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  1. #26
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    1) When I travel, the weight of the bicycle + bicycle box + all the gear has to fall within the airline restrictions.

    If I'm flying with Qantas, I've got a restriction of 32 kg per item, and I can carry 2 items. Other airlines have tighter restrictions. Some restrict you to a weight of 23 kg per item ... so that's usually the number I work with.

    So after I've weighed the bicycle and the box ... whatever is left is what I've got to work with.

    That is a very real cost, in monetary terms, of what you bring. If what you bring exceeds the limits, you pay.




    2) My own personal guideline is to bring no more than half my body weight. Bicycle + All The Gear should add up to no more than half my body weight. From my experience, when I go over half my body weight, I struggle and the tour loses its enjoyment. I struggle cycling up hills, I struggle pushing the bicycle up hills, and I struggle during the off-the-bike lifting and carrying portions of the tour. Half my body weight puts me well within the 23 kg * 2 item limit ... so that's good too.




    3) I mentioned the off-the-bike lifting and carrying portions of the tour above ... our tours are rarely the type of tour where we wheel the bicycles down the driveway and set off, then camp the whole time. Our tours usually involve flights, trains, ferries, hotels, hostels, and all sorts of things. When you've got to haul stuff around an airport or train station ... when you've got to dash from one platform to another in a train station ... when you've got to carry it all from the airport or train station to a hotel ... when you've got to haul it all up flights of stairs to your room ... you start to appreciate the idea of carrying less. In fact, you start entertaining ideas of mailing it all back home and travelling with a toothbrush and a towel.






    You mention enjoyment ... and yes, that's a factor. I want to go as light as possible, because that is more enjoyable. But not too light that I'm missing a key element.

    You mention speed ... I don't care about that. I rarely travel with an itinerary so tight that I have to reach a certain place by a certain date. All I know is that if my stuff weighs too much I find it very difficult to get up hills. And, as mentioned above, I have a pretty good idea where that line is for me.






    As for specifically what I bring ... that list of stuff has been refined through years of cycling, years of camping, and lots of cycletouring. But, of course, it still goes through changes before each tour.
    Machka, we are kindred spirits, and this post was enlightening
    Ultralight Gear Lists and Reviews... MAXTHECYCLIST.COM

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    If I believe the calculator, the effect of weight is small indeed. Probably less than I would have guessed. I increased the weight of the bicycle from 22 lbs. to 120 lbs. That dropped the speed from 15 mph to 14.07 mph. Then to decrease the weight of the cycle from 120 lbs. to 100 lbs., the speed improves from 14.07 mph to 14.26 mph. So to shave 20 lbs. off my pack improves my speed by so very little.
    Using the calculator, if I keep the wattage and body weight the same (150 lbs), put in a 6% grade over 20 miles, and our bike + load weights 65 lbs (me) 120 lbs (you) I will arrive 1.5 hours earlier. Although I agree that touring is not a race 90 minutes of extra riding a day is significant. Beyond the extra work one may be creating for oneself with heavier loads there's the extra time in camp it takes to manage all of that stuff (packing/unpacking, sifting through stuff, repairing, maintaining, fiddling....). For me simple is better but viva la difference, it would be pretty boring if we all did it the same way.

    Have you posted a gear list? I am curious where your gear weight comes from. For instance, are you planning for multiple contingencies, carrying lots of "luxury" items, lots of clothes?

  3. #28
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm718 View Post
    Using the calculator, if I keep the wattage and body weight the same (150 lbs), put in a 6% grade over 20 miles, and our bike + load weights 65 lbs (me) 120 lbs (you) I will arrive 1.5 hours earlier. Although I agree that touring is not a race 90 minutes of extra riding a day is significant. Beyond the extra work one may be creating for oneself with heavier loads there's the extra time in camp it takes to manage all of that stuff (packing/unpacking, sifting through stuff, repairing, maintaining, fiddling....). For me simple is better but viva la difference, it would be pretty boring if we all did it the same way.

    Have you posted a gear list? I am curious where your gear weight comes from. For instance, are you planning for multiple contingencies, carrying lots of "luxury" items, lots of clothes?
    This strikes me as the logical approach. If you're calculating/estimating the extra time riding at the same effort with more load. Now put a $ value on the extra time, compare against the utility of a given item and there you have it!

  4. #29
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    And here I clicked on this thread thinking it would be a currency exchange question

  5. #30
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I think you can go too ultralight. I personally don't want to fiddle with tarps, quilts, hammocks, or alcohol burners made from coke cans, nor havign to make do without proper tools and an extra tube. But on the other hand, I don't want to carry a canvas tent, iron stakes, and brass camp lights.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    ...
    2) My own personal guideline is to bring no more than half my body weight.
    ...
    What a fool I was to lose 35 pounds. That means that I have to trim 17.5 ponds of gear out of my kit. Maybe I should eat some pie with ice cream while I contemplate this quandary.

  7. #32
    djb
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    Half of body weight = bike+stuff is the off the cuff recommendation. Your mileage may vary but I would recommend the blueberry...mmmmm

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dengidog View Post
    Sorry for being flip, but this sure seems like an awfully long post that could be summed up in just a few words: different strokes for different folks.
    Think of it this way: Border collies need to herd.

  9. #34
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    There are intangibles involved in the equations. To me, it comes down to:

    1. Comfort. What you are comfortable with might weigh more than what, for example, andrewclaus, would tolerate (he also is a long-distance hiker, so he is entirely familiar with lightweight camping). I am prepared, for example, to tolerate the slightly extra weight of an Exped sleep mat than a thin half-pad Thermarest because I want to sleep comfortably. Comfort also applies to on the bike, and the best example I can think of right now is a Brooks B17 saddle which for me, when broken in, is the best; but the trade-off is that it weighs a lot more than the CF sliver of a saddle that I could put on, and probably hate after four or five days on the road.

    2. What you are comfortable with comes from experience. Anyone who has done any sort of outdoor activity will have been through the mill as far as finding the gear that keeps them comfortable in all the anticipated conditions they are going to encounter. I think it is accepted among the experienced tourists that you are more likely to take more stuff with you on an overnight or weekend trip, than you are on a tour of a month or longer's duration.

    3. Your interests. You may want to ride distances for the achievement, or you may want to ride to see what's along the route. Either will influence what you want and need to carry.

    4. Your physical and emotional outlooks. You may only be capable to riding 30 miles a day. Others may be capable of riding 100 miles a day. Either style of touring means there is scope for different loads (and it may even be that either rider may carry the same amount of gear and be capable of completing their desired distances). Your physical capabilities may also influence the type of bike you use -- DF or recumbent -- and the speed you can travel at.

    5. Money. It might seem odd, but if you are touring on a budget, and you are starting out, often the only affordable stuff is clunky -- higher-volume, higher weight. It's well known that the lighter the weight of a given item, the more expensive it is. You can pick up cheap sleeping bag that's bulky for $30 at a big-box store, or you can spend $400 on a down bag at a high-end camping store that is very lightweight and much more effective at low temps.

    6. Quality of the bike. This is probably less of a problem nowadays, but noodly frames do not make good loaded touring bikes. Cycling amenity takes a hit when having to cope with a BB that moves about a lot, or the bike simply shimmies and won't manoeuvre well at take-off or fast downhill speeds.

    7. Weather. You can tour lighter in warm dry weather than you can in cold wet weather. There are going to be trade-offs in bulk and weight.

    8. Terrain. Flat is always going to be easier than lots of hills. Experience will tell you what you should carry in either/or sorts of terrain.

    9. Your openness to the latest new-fangled do-dad that is promoted to make your camping and bike-touring life so much easier. The thing is... it often doesn't. I opted for a simple Victorinox "Survival" pocketknife rather than one that weighs twice as much and has everything so I could MacGuyver my way out of any trouble. The weight of big stuff is obvious; the cumulative effect of the small stuff is not so obvious. My jury is still out on the Leatherman style of multitool -- I just don't see too much need for pliers on a bike tour.

    10. There is still that worthwhile advice for the novices -- lay out everything you think you will need on a trip, then get rid of half of it. Experience will tell you what you will use and won't use, and what you absolutely have to have for emergency purposes. Then make a list, and look critically at it after every trip. Then decide what can be done better, what can serve two or more purposes, and what can be left behind next time to lighten the load.

    Where does that leave you? With a pretty complex set of equations that then have to dovetail into each other. The physics is plainly obvious, but the mathematics cannot take into account those other intangibles that make us human beings.

    The most suitable answer of all, in my book, is quite simple really: It depends.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #35
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    And here I clicked on this thread thinking it would be a currency exchange question
    Actually ... so did I. I thought someone was heading off to the UK.

  11. #36
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    Do you enjoy going fast or do you enjoy getting there? I know a couple people that refer to their touring bikes as the carbon or titanium bikes that they use for credit card touring. To them it is a touring bike because it has a rack and a rack top bag. They are shocked that I would tour on a bike that is 10 or more pounds heavier than theirs, even more shocked that I would carry a tent and sleeping bag and cooking gear. It becomes a factor of what type of touring you prefer.
    Steel, Al, Ti and carbon are all reasonable materials for a credit card or loaded touring bike. A bike doesn't need to have a rack for you to use it as a loaded tourer because it's pretty easy to carry everything you need to be self supported without one. I carry tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking gear clothes and everything else I need in a Carradice camper saddlebag and an Ortlieb Classic front bag on a carbon Cervelo RS. I've chosen my equipment to be light and so that I make few, if any, compromises on comfort when camping. The light bike and gear weight make the riding fun, climbing easier and dealing with the bike and baggage very easy if I have to lift them over obstacles or take them on trains, buses or planes. Easier riding means that I avoid excessive tiredness and I can enjoy more sightseeing. Fewer bags and volume of stuff makes camp setup and packing quick and easy. My bike and gear come in at 38lbs which is 1/5th of my body weight. I hope to get that up to approaching one quarter by reducing my body weight.
    Last edited by nun; 12-21-13 at 08:30 PM.

  12. #37
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    I think you can go too ultralight. I personally don't want to fiddle with tarps, quilts, hammocks, or alcohol burners made from coke cans, nor havign to make do without proper tools and an extra tube. But on the other hand, I don't want to carry a canvas tent, iron stakes, and brass camp lights.
    You can go lightweight without too many compromises. My gear weighs 19lbs and I have a single walled tent, down sleeping bag, sleeping mat..... I do have an alcohol burner, but it isn't made from a soda can and an a canister stove would only be a few oz heavier, and I have tools and tubes.

  13. #38
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I dont like single walled tent, nor thin sleeping mats (I sleep on the side). I don't like alcohol stoves either, nor do I, say, feel like collecting small sticks for a small woodstove.
    I bet that if we went together, you will still have made a lot of compromises that I think are "too much". Cooking with alcohol is one of them. I use an MSR Reactor, because it is fast, safe (well, as safe as an open flame can be), and I usually carry my computer too. I mean, I know that I would be able to get down to your weight, but I'm out there to enjoy myself, and I don't want to spend time making do with less.

    I am not packing exceptionally heavy, but water, for instance, weighs a lot, and I do like my water. I am also always carrying my e-reader and camera whenever I travel just a little (regardless of travel mode), so there's that. I am not willing to travel "hobo style" so much anymore. Worked fine when I was younger, and I guess that when I get older I will have to revert to that out of necessity.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    I dont like single walled tent, nor thin sleeping mats (I sleep on the side). I don't like alcohol stoves either, nor do I, say, feel like collecting small sticks for a small woodstove.
    I bet that if we went together, you will still have made a lot of compromises that I think are "too much". Cooking with alcohol is one of them. I use an MSR Reactor, because it is fast, safe (well, as safe as an open flame can be), and I usually carry my computer too. I mean, I know that I would be able to get down to your weight, but I'm out there to enjoy myself, and I don't want to spend time making do with less.

    I am not packing exceptionally heavy, but water, for instance, weighs a lot, and I do like my water. I am also always carrying my e-reader and camera whenever I travel just a little (regardless of travel mode), so there's that. I am not willing to travel "hobo style" so much anymore. Worked fine when I was younger, and I guess that when I get older I will have to revert to that out of necessity.
    The trade-off here is that the distances between possible accommodation such as campgrounds in many parts of Europe is not great. You can afford to carry a bit more and have shorter days. In parts of the US and Australia, for instance, the distances can become much, much larger, and the trade-off between weight and efficiency become more important.

    And, from what I have seen in nun's posts in the Ultralightweight threads, he doesn't want for comfort given his level of desired amenity. As I said in my previous post, the amount a touring cyclist carries depends on quite a few factors. There are no wrongs and rights... although the one in a group who continually complains about riding alone and getting in late and being tired all the time, while toting 120lbs of stuff might need to take a good long look at what s/he is doing.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  15. #40
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The trade-off here is that the distances between possible accommodation such as campgrounds in many parts of Europe is not great. You can afford to carry a bit more and have shorter days. In parts of the US and Australia, for instance, the distances can become much, much larger, and the trade-off between weight and efficiency become more important.
    I wild camp in all places, excepting poorer countries where I can get a real bed for the night. In Australia and parts of the US, I would still need to carry water and I don't want to do without my coffee. Or are you saying that carrying 19lbs for crossing Australia or barren parts of the US is something that will be more comfortable than carrying enough water and stuff for a shade, a double walled tent with a mosquito net/mesh?

    [edit: What is it with people, that when they read I live in Copenhagen, they automatically think that that must be my only stomping grounds? I have a passport, and I do travel./edit]


    And, from what I have seen in nun's posts in the Ultralightweight threads, he doesn't want for comfort given his level of desired amenity. As I said in my previous post, the amount a touring cyclist carries depends on quite a few factors. There are no wrongs and rights... although the one in a group who continually complains about riding alone and getting in late and being tired all the time, while toting 120lbs of stuff might need to take a good long look at what s/he is doing.
    Yup, but as I said in the very post he responded to:

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront
    I think you can go too ultralight. I personally don't want to fiddle with tarps, quilts, hammocks, or alcohol burners made from coke cans, nor havign to make do without proper tools and an extra tube. But on the other hand, I don't want to carry a canvas tent, iron stakes, and brass camp lights.
    Last edited by SmallFront; 12-21-13 at 09:34 PM.

  16. #41
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A couple other points ...


    1) When I pack for a tour, I consider each item and think about how many purposes it has. As much as possible, I want what I carry to have more than one purpose.

    So ... I don't carry cycling jerseys anymore. They've got one purpose -- to be worn while cycling. Instead I carry very lightweight wicking T-shirts. They have more than one purpose -- to be worn while cycling, to be worn off the bicycle, to be worn while sleeping. And those T-shirts go through a rotation. I might wear one off the bicycle one evening, and for sleeping that night ... and then for cycling the next morning. And that evening, I start a new T-shirt.

    I carry a sarong ... it can be a pillow, a sheet, a towel at the beach, a wrap while I'm washing the rest of my clothing, a dress on a hot day ...

    I choose cycling shoes which I can wear on the bicycle, walking around town, hiking up a mountain ...

    My main piece of kitchenware is a metal camping mug which could be used for coffee, for collecting water, for a bowl of soup or cereal ...

    My sleeping mat doubles as a lounge chair, and my panniers double as the chair back support. I have also used my panniers as part of my pillow system.

    Just a few examples.


    2) Depending on where you're touring, you can often buy stuff along the way. When I first started touring, I was under the impression that I had to carry everything I thought I might need for the whole tour with me. It didn't take too long to discover that there are shops along the way which sell all sorts of stuff. I don't need to carry everything ... I can pick it up when I need it.

    As an extreme example of that, Rowan and I went to Europe in 2007 without a tent. We bought one a few days into the tour when we reached the first Decathlon on our route, and we stayed in that tent for the rest of the tour. We still have that tent and it still works well for us.

    Another example are the lightweight wicking T-shirts I bring ... I bring a couple of them with me, and then I've collected more as I've travelled. On a 5-day tour of Vancouver Island in 2011, Rowan and I were wandering around the town we were staying in late one afternoon, and found a shop selling wicking T's for $15. We each bought one. And the Decathlons in Europe are great sources of all sorts of cycling stuff ... I ended up with 4 wicking T's after a shopping excursion in Bordeaux. Fortunately they are as light as can be and fold down to practically nothing.

    Even things like pillow ... we brought pillows with us, but found some that pack down to almost nothing in a sporting goods shop in Switzerland, and they weren't a bad price. So we bought them.

    And then there are also the toiletries and that sort of thing. I don't need to carry a big bottle of shampoo with me for my long hair, I can carry a small bottle and acquire more along the way.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    I wild camp in all places, excepting poorer countries where I can get a real bed for the night. In Australia and parts of the US, I would still need to carry water and I don't want to do without my coffee. Or are you saying that carrying 19lbs for crossing Australia or barren parts of the US is something that will be more comfortable than carrying enough water and stuff for a shade, a double walled tent with a mosquito net/mesh?

    [edit: What is it with people, that when they read I live in Copenhagen, they automatically think that that must be my only stomping grounds? I have a passport, and I do travel./edit]




    Yup, but as I said in the very post he responded to:
    Water is as variable as the amount of food that is carried. It depends on the conditions, distance travelled and the distance between services. I would imagine that for the sake of this thread discussion, we are concentrating on the fixed weight a person would expect to carry.

    To cross Australia, I would opt for 19lbs, which would give me additional flexibility in carrying additional water. I didn't have significant issues with water on the Nullarbor Plain, because the distances between services wasn't huge. And I was a newbie then, so I had a lot of heavier-than-needed equipment. But getting up into the real deserts or riding north from Alice Springs to Darwin might bring more issues where having lighter equipment would be imperative to compensate for the additional water that I would need.

    I don't know what your touring experience is. Let us know so we can put what you say in context (I am sure you know why that helps after recent events on another thread).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #43
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I have toured with both my (open water) rowing boat as well as on motorcycle. I have been to several countries in Africa, both sub-saharan and mediterranean African countries. Europe, obviously, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, Australia, NZ, and Japan. I have had smaller trips to the US, Iceland, and Brazil.

    Good enough? Or do you demand more detail?

    When I was younger, I did a lot of low-cost, very-little-gear travel/touring. But these days, I don't want to be "roughing it", nor do I want to spend a lot of time setting things up, a lot of time cooking or brewing myself a cup of coffee or whatnot.
    I take note that you don't seem to count water (much), but let me repeat once again with emphasis on some important parts, hopefully closing this:

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront
    I think you can go too ultralight. I personally don't want to fiddle with tarps, quilts, hammocks, or alcohol burners made from coke cans, nor havign to make do without proper tools and an extra tube. But on the other hand, I don't want to carry a canvas tent, iron stakes, and brass camp lights.

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    What I notice on my bike is that when riding around without any gear, I use the top two rings, and when riding around loaded I use the bottom two rings. So the cost of my load is one ring, which is pretty significant if the standard is in the 44, 34, 24 range. or 67% extra energy. Some of that is pretty much indispensable, one might say the bike, water, racks, and bags. So if one is working with the 50% number, then that presupposes some degree of bike, rack, bag etc... One can decide on not doing the 50%, but once one is in, one needs some degree of gear to carry that stuff.

    The relevance to the OP's question is one of whether one is calculating marginal pounds at all. In many cases the issue is how do you get the summit oxygen to the top camp on everest. All the effort, all the expenditure is there to get you your summit attempt. So in hot weather you need everything you need in order to carry the water that allows you to stay out there, or the food. The last pound you put in place costs all the other pounds to get there. Sure there are some rides where it is all about the misery index of carrying, or not carrying an espresso maker.

    I come from a mountaineering and risk management background. So I am looking at stuff like will I be able to outrun a dog or bear with my load. Basically I can't outrun either with a load, but I can without a load. Just a fun example. A real example is heart conditions and blown knees and ankles, as I ride through my mid 50s. Doctor says I need a bypass, I am waiting for something better to come along for the moment. Every trip could theoretically kill me. Since the crash, every trip could cripple my knee. So there is no marginal pound or misery index that makes sense. But we are all in this situation, one way or another. ATMO. I have ended up on a few trips going down bad dead ends with difficult retreats, and had to shoulder the bike and cyclocross it. I have limits for that kind of thing. Can happen at a border or bridge where there is no accommodation for a bike. I have had vehicles that were two bikes wide come at me on bridges and I had to lift my bike over their heads to let them by.

    The pros of carrying too much gear are not all that convincing to me. So think espresso maker. I don't drink that stuff anyway, but I do drink coffee. If I stop drinking coffee cold turkey, I get a headache. Has never happened to me on the first few days of a ride. I guess because I am oxygenating like an SOB. I would like to have a cup of coffee, but I am doing something different by going on a trip, I don't require all the stuff I do while at home because, frankly, I am not filling time in the same way.

    Almost all ultralite gear is better in some way, other than just the weight, than heavier gear. For instance there are many ways in which tarps are better than tents. Just as tents are better than tarps in their own way. Overall, cars are far better than bikes, but we all accept that bikes are also better than cars. It should be the kind of trade-off that is pretty much in our biking DNA. So don't look at weight savings as a zero sum game. Look for gear that inspires and assists you in every way, and has no compromises, then you won't have to ask zero sum questions.

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    Making one's own gear is a great way to get out of a variety of ruts. It becomes personal, and you accept it as such. If one is buying say jeans. Maybe there is a brand that is higher status than any other, and there is no way to get around it other than to have the best brand. But a home made dress, or even a custom made one, is perfect because it is custom. It fits you. There are times that is more important. Commercial gear is reviewed, and reviews are mostly won, on the number of features a product has. But home made gear is often simpler and lighter. Who wants to buy something with a million zippers. If it proves out you have to have another compartment, you can always add it later. If you make something and it is too light, you can fix it or make another. You don't carry garbage like footprints, because you got the floor in once, and can do it again, or will have whipped up a new tent by the time you get that far down the road. Consumerism is a large part of the problem, where weight is concerned. Pretty much by definition if a product is designed to suit everyone, it has to weigh more than if it was just designed to suit you.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm718 View Post
    Using the calculator, if I keep the wattage and body weight the same (150 lbs), put in a 6% grade over 20 miles, and our bike + load weights 65 lbs (me) 120 lbs (you) I will arrive 1.5 hours earlier. Although I agree that touring is not a race 90 minutes of extra riding a day is significant. Beyond the extra work one may be creating for oneself with heavier loads there's the extra time in camp it takes to manage all of that stuff (packing/unpacking, sifting through stuff, repairing, maintaining, fiddling....). For me simple is better but viva la difference, it would be pretty boring if we all did it the same way.

    Have you posted a gear list? I am curious where your gear weight comes from. For instance, are you planning for multiple contingencies, carrying lots of "luxury" items, lots of clothes?
    That's an excellent perspective. I was not considering grades much. And my first reaction was "where do I ride 6% for 20 miles?". But a total of 20 miles at 6% during a day is entirely to be expected depending on the terrain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    What a fool I was to lose 35 pounds. That means that I have to trim 17.5 ponds of gear out of my kit. Maybe I should eat some pie with ice cream while I contemplate this quandary.
    Change the formula so the "excess" body weight is considered part of your gear. Now losing 35 pounds allows you to pack more stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Water is as variable as the amount of food that is carried. It depends on the conditions, distance travelled and the distance between services. I would imagine that for the sake of this thread discussion, we are concentrating on the fixed weight a person would expect to carry.
    That's one angle on it. But I have indeed wondered about the incremental cost of weight that I might decide to take on, or not. I do want to point out that I agree with others here that there are many factors to consider related to bringing something or not. It would be a mistake to try and reduce it all to a mathematical formula. I'm not looking for math to be the total answer. I only look for it to give me another perspective.

    Let's say I I'm keeping my eyes open for a big well equipped grocery store to pickup supplies for an upcoming part of the tour where I expect to find little. I could decide to go ahead and stop and load up with 15 pounds of stuff. But if I do then I have to take on the burden of hauling that extra weight.

    I also have the alternative of continuing on if I think the odds are good I'll find what I need further up the road. But if further up the road is nearly flat, and I know the 15 extra pounds will only take 0.1 mph off my average speed, then the cost of stopping while I'm at an ideal spot to stock up is very low.

    On the other hand if 15 pounds would take 2.0 mph off my speed, that might influence me to accept the low risk that I won't find something this good further down the road. The numbers matter. My intuition or "gut" feel can appraise the real influence of the weight inaccurately.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Let's say I I'm keeping my eyes open for a big well equipped grocery store to pickup supplies for an upcoming part of the tour where I expect to find little. I could decide to go ahead and stop and load up with 15 pounds of stuff. But if I do then I have to take on the burden of hauling that extra weight.

    I also have the alternative of continuing on if I think the odds are good I'll find what I need further up the road. But if further up the road is nearly flat, and I know the 15 extra pounds will only take 0.1 mph off my average speed, then the cost of stopping while I'm at an ideal spot to stock up is very low.

    On the other hand if 15 pounds would take 2.0 mph off my speed, that might influence me to accept the low risk that I won't find something this good further down the road. The numbers matter. My intuition or "gut" feel can appraise the real influence of the weight inaccurately.
    I know what point you're trying to make, but ...

    Unless you're planning to head off into wilderness for several days, chances are you wouldn't need to carry 15 lbs of food.

    If our intuition (and map) tells us that there should be supplies quite regularly along the road, we'll carry dinner that night, breakfast the next morning, and maybe a few snacks.

    If our intuition (and map) tells us that we might not find supplies for the next day or two, we'll carry a little bit more.

    For example, we'll usually carry a few packets of ramen noodles tucked into one of our panniers. 4 of them is about 0.7 lbs. We might also have a couple packages of those flavoured rice meals ... 2 of them is about 0.5 lbs. And some margarine, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, and a few snacks will bring us to somewhere between 3 and 4 lbs between the two of us. That's the basic amount we carry.

    At lunchtime, we'll pick up a bit more for dinner and breakfast, and we'll add a bit to it if we figure it could be difficult to find food for a couple days ... and of course as those things get used, they get lighter.


    What I'm saying is that in my experience, it's rarely that dramatic a choice ... more like, "Should we pick up dinner for tonight ... or for tonight and tomorrow?" And if, for some reason, we felt like the situation could require acquiring a lot food, then the decision is pretty clear ... get lots of food. I'd rather go slower and have food than to run out of food.

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    A "pound" of feathers weighs more than a "pound" of gold

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