try these and search in Google Images
Originally Posted by mm718
Eszter Horanyi CTR Blog 2: An Ounce of Comfort
In the magazine under BLOG, there's a Sierra Trails account using ultra light. Basically café, they ride hard, cover ground, occasionally go hungry and court hypothermia.
Big, Fat, Texan
To arctos and mm718: My current setup has been the Viscacha tail bag with a custom frame bag similar in size to the tangle and the DIY harness I made to carry a multitude of drybags depending on the needed gear. I recently got a Cannondale CAADX that I plan on buying the large Tangle for. The Sweetroll is nice, but my DIY solution is versatile enough, I don't see a need to spend the dough. The bag has been one of my top 5 gear purchases of all time. The thing is amazing. On the smallest setting, I could fit my clothes, size 12 shoes and a few extras. I commuted like this all summer 25 miles each way.
For sure you will have less overall carrying capacity with this type of setup. It might take a bit of a shift in your personal "touring" philosophy. On this forum in particular, there seems to be a big, fat solid line between "self supported" and "credit card" touring. Mostly, it comes up with CC touring holding an extremely negative connotation because all the cool kids carry 7 days of supplies and take a day to go 30 miles up a mountain in 22/32 gearing (I am of course, exaggerating). In the bikepacking world, self supported basically means no follow car or having your wife/buddy fly out to part of the trail with some supplies to help you out. Mailing stuff to post offices in advance of the race, buying parts from shops along the way and food/lodging along the way is totally fair game. Most people camp where they can, though.
All that gibberish to simply say: You aren't going to be able to carry as much food and water with a rackless approach. And really, you don't need to. I personally see zero reason to have 5 days of food when I'm going to be maybe 100-200 miles max between well stocked towns full of food. I've done the several days of food on my back thing with backpacking, I don't need to ride past a grocery store with multiple days of food already hanging from my bike to prove anything to myself. Again, I'm exaggerating here.
However, there will occasionally be really long stretches where you might need to carry a bit more. For this, lots of folks, myself included, will carry a light drawstring style backpack. Sea to Summit also makes a really nice packable backpack that has more comfortable straps. These are good for quick resupplies in town where you don't have a lot of space left on the bike. As you eat the food over the next bit of miles, you repack the bike the next morning and usually can put the temporary backpack away for the next few days.
The biggest limitation for space/weight in any touring setup will be your sleep/shelter system. This is also, unfortunately, the most expensive part. It's easy to spend 500-1000 bucks just to get a properly light/small setup. But there are budget deals to be found.
In short: the bags are great, but certainly have their limitations. Again, I would recommend people check out bikepacking.net for more extensive info. It's certainly not for everybody, and to each their own. I ragged on fully loaded touring quite a bit earlier, but I certainly understand that some people enjoy it immensely for reasons that I would hate it. Different strokes, right?
Big, Fat, Texan
This is basically what I said, except much simpler. It's a whole different ballgame with this type of "touring."
Originally Posted by BLYTZPK
I did the Tour Divide race this year (aka the GDMBR) and I'd concur with all of the comments pointing the OP to a rackless setup -- less drag, no hardware to fail, better weight distribution, good handling, much lighter, etc.
That pictured bike has about the same gear carry as, at best, one of my rear panniers, and I am running xsmall panniers, that were originally conceived for offroad use, though normally they are on my.
The rear bag is basically a small capacity version of a rack top carry on most touring bikes, The inner triangle bag is tiny, but counts towards some part of a pannier. The two top bags, are a pocket. Many tourists run handlebar bags. So there you are, you have thrown out 3 panniers or more. That is as it should be if a person can manage it, but it isn't some snazzy new system that saves a lot of weight. It is a system for people who have pre-decided they don't need about 65% of the capcity of a regular touring bike. Part of that capacity is just there to carry lower cost gear like synthetic fill bags. Pile.
Other snazzy ideas like "no hardware to fail", are also pointless. YOu can save literally pounds of weight by not having panniers that quick detach, yet people will not ask for them or use them. If people would just frame pack their racks they would save probably 3 pounds. SO why is it we don't have heavy, one hand detach systems for frame packing? Anyway, the good hardware never fails, and bad stitching does.
Even the Ultralight backpack guys who have base weight packs of 8 pounds, have the capacity to load up when they hit a food re-supply. I don't see where you double you carrying capacity with that rig. Or more to the point get it to a reasonable level.
You can't really make a list of rack builders these days, so many people are into it now, there are hundreds of really strong racks out there. Good advice, which goes mainly unheeded, is to decide on the load, then the bags, then the racks, then the bike. Obviously you would go back and forth on that, as you come to a final design.
I made a set of racks out of 4MM door skins, in use 20 years, it is a highly viable approach. Pretty quick to build also.
Nice setup, that is how I am outfitting my Troll a little fun and adventure this year. What is your gearing?
Originally Posted by Ohbejoyful
Good points, MassiveD. I should've been more clear that this is a decidedly race-oriented rig with a commitment to going light, fast, and resupplying ~daily (for the TD at least). So yeah, perhaps not suited for typical touring (whatever that is) but I think the trend towards leaner and lighter kits is probably beneficial for the full spectrum of use cases.
Similar to your backpacking analogy - fewer people are going for the conventional approach of 6,000ci, 6# bomb-proof packs anymore, and that's good. (I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with a 10# base weight 10 years ago, so I don't mean to imply that any of these are "snazzy new systems.")
To your point about capacity, I had this 3.6oz cuben backpack in my kit to deploy as needed (eg, the Basin in Wyoming, etc). I'd put light fluffy layers in there and the extra food + drinks would go in my Viscacha seat bag.
Anyway, I mostly intended that pic as an example of the kind of rackless options that the other commenters had been encouraging the OP to look into.
Thanks! I ran 32x18, which was a good all-purpose gearing for that terrain for me. Still plenty of walking (there's nearly 200,000 feet of climbing in the race, which ended up being 2,859 miles this year with fire reroutes in NM, and I finished in 22 days).
Originally Posted by iforgotmename