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  1. #1
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    Storing stuff on Intl. Tour

    My 2014 Tour will be across Wales this year. Which means flying there from the US.
    I know I can fit panniers, camping gear, clothing etc into a suitcase I have - I have done it before - but where do I store said suitcase while on my tour?

    It doesn't fold down or anything. Does anyone have experience with B+B/Hotels storing such things for more then a week with no problems?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Does it have to be a suitcase? Why not use a cheap (and therefore lightweight) duffel to pack it for the plane?

    Edit:

    COme to think of it, you could sew yourself a bag (litterally a bag: Straight up and down, and tie the end shut) from a bed sheet.

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    The suitcase works due to size limit and structure/padding in it. Bike pumps are sharp, also have a sleeping bag and tent etc all in the suitcase. It also 'restricts' what I pack - no room for extra stuff that I don't need, plus it keeps things rather neat and orderly as opposed to stuffing into a duffel bag. I also haven't come across a rugged but lightweight duffel bag that wouldn't add extra weight and take up room in the panniers.

  4. #4
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    My 2014 Tour will be across Wales this year. Which means flying there from the US.
    I know I can fit panniers, camping gear, clothing etc into a suitcase I have - I have done it before - but where do I store said suitcase while on my tour?

    It doesn't fold down or anything. Does anyone have experience with B+B/Hotels storing such things for more then a week with no problems?
    If you do a circular tour and stay at the same hotel/B&B at the beginning and end of your tour you'll be able to store your suitcase with them I have doen this a couple of times, the most recent being a hotel in Reykjavik where I stayed at the beinging and end of a 3 week tour.

    Also you can post cases to a Post Office where your tour will end and they will hold them for you to pick up. Just reseach "General Delivery" or "Post Restante" in the UK

    http://www.postoffice.co.uk/poste-restante

  5. #5
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    I stored a duffel bag and bike hard case at a camprgound in Sevilla, Spain for 7 weeks.

  6. #6
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    I stored a duffel in a motel in Whitefish Montana for two weeks. Small family run place. I put a note on it with my name in bold letters and had it folded up with a string tied around it so it was a compact bundle. I asked the gal at the reception desk where it would be stored and she asked why, I said when I come back if someone else is at the desk I might need to tell them where you put it. She told me the name of the room it would be in.

    Two weeks later, the guy at the desk was clueless, I told him the specific room that the gal had told me to look in. He came back in a minute with my duffel.

    I usually take a picture of my luggage before I get on a plane too, I get pretty careful about being able to identify my stuff or describe it later.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    The suitcase works due to size limit and structure/padding in it. Bike pumps are sharp, also have a sleeping bag and tent etc all in the suitcase. It also 'restricts' what I pack - no room for extra stuff that I don't need, plus it keeps things rather neat and orderly as opposed to stuffing into a duffel bag. I also haven't come across a rugged but lightweight duffel bag that wouldn't add extra weight and take up room in the panniers.
    Weird. I have travelled all over the world, and not once have I thought "I need something hardsided to stop my gear from cutting their way out", nor have I not been able to keep my stuff "neat and orderly" while in a duffle bag.

    I thought you had panniers, and you were shipping the panniers too?

  8. #8
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    My bike is S&S coupled and fits in a hard-sided case that I need at the end of my trip to rebox the bike for flying.

    On tours where I am starting and ending at the same city (either loops or taking transportation to starting or ending point), I have left my case in a motel by agreeing to stay there at the start and end of my trip. I've done this in France, Switzerland and Texas.

    On tours where I am ending at a different place than I started, I usually post the (empty) bike box to the ending point. Usually, I try to find someone from warmshowers.org or couchsurfing.org that is willing to accept delivery and hold the box for me. Since this is done within the same country (usually), the shipping costs aren't all that high. I have also shipped my bike box to a motel where I plan to stay at the end of the trip without problem. While it is a bit of hassle and requires planning, I've done this many times.

    I've flown with my wife to my starting point, spent some time sightseeing, she's flown home with all her stuff in my bike box, and, at the end of my trip, she's flown out to meet me with the bike box.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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    I've used a duffel bag many times, too. REI has some fairly strong but lightweight ones.

    But I've been touring on my Bike Friday folder for many years and it packs into a hard-sided suitcase. I've usually been able to store it at the place where I spend at least my first night and last night. Another option would be to query some folks who live near your arrival point on the warmshowers.org list and see if someone can store it for you in their home while you're touring.

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    I've always put my empty panniers in my suitcase, with rest of gear packed on top including day clothes I won't be bringing on tour with me. My floor-bike pump (with a gage...haven't found a hand pump with one) has a very sharp metal edge to it. The structure of suitcase helps prevent anything from getting crushed against said edge, and helps keep bike shoes etc from being flattened too. Usually put handlebar bag in there too (full of items since its a hard shape itself) and carry helmet on plane with me.

    Start and End cities will be the same for me - Cardiff in this case. Have to finalize dates and will have to pick a hotel based on closeness to trainstation/busstop. Or, hopefully, a place offers pickup from the Airport which is I think 30 mins outside of Cardiff. Not sure how I'd lug a suitcase and bikebox around a city by foot.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Check out the lezyne micro floor drive pump. There is a couple of different versions, and mine comes with a gauge and is also light.

    Here is the HP/HPG (High Pressure):
    http://lezyne.com/en/products/hand-p...r-drive-hp-hpg


    And here is the HV/HVG (high Volume):

    http://lezyne.com/en/products/hand-p...r-drive-hv-hvg

    Btw, those pumps are smaller in reality than they look in those pictures

    I opted to buy a $10 pressure release valve as the yellow bit you see, because that wasn't standard with my purchase, but perhaps something like that is worth considering instead of bringing a shop-floor pump, having to not only travel with a suitcase, and having to store said suitcase while traveling

    Last edited by SmallFront; 01-09-14 at 02:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    We have a tandem with S&S couplers. We've either stored the cases at the hotel where we started and finished, or shipped the cases between two hotels on one occasion. We've never had any problems with this method.

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    I'll have to take a look at those pumps. What is the difference between High Volume and High Pressure? My peanut sized brain can't seem to figure out the benefit of one over the other.

    So, I think I'll get in contact with some hotels over in Cardiff and see what sort of arrangements can be made. I think I'll rely on a Bikeshop to package it all back together, but will have to figure out transportation somehow.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    I'll have to take a look at those pumps. What is the difference between High Volume and High Pressure? My peanut sized brain can't seem to figure out the benefit of one over the other.
    Both do reasonable high pressure (my high volume-one does 110psi). The high volume one presses a bit more air in per stroke, which translates to less work at, say, from zero to 60-95-psi. But as the pressure rises, it is harder work up there than the "high pressure" pump. Or, to put it simply: The "High pressure" has a smaller diameter piston, and thus less volume, and the other has more internal volume.

    My "high volume" does really good, even at 95-100 psi, so it's only if you have high pressure road tyres and/or are weak or petite that the high pressure one would be handy. (Edit: But it will be slower to pump up more voluminous tyres until you reach that high pressure where the other would be struggling /end of edit).

    The "G" at the end of both the HVG (high volume) and "HPG" stands for "gauge". So you don't want the HV or HP, you'd want the HVG or HPG (my recommendation is the HVG).

    The pump is just under a foot long and weigh next to nothing. It also comes with a holder that sits next to the bottle cage utilising the bottle cage bolts. I haven't used mine, as it is just as easy to carry it in a bag along with my other stuff with no risk of someone being tempted to nick it.
    Last edited by SmallFront; 01-09-14 at 03:56 PM.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What is the difference between High Volume and High Pressure?
    Physically a high volume Pump cylinder would be larger diameter , to move more air, per stroke.

    but a high pressure would be a longer tube , so the amount of air compressed with a long stroke
    the length of stroke is your compression ratio. and would not need to be so large a tube diameter..

  16. #16
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Physically a high volume Pump cylinder would be larger diameter , to move more air, per stroke.

    but a high pressure would be a longer tube , so the amount of air compressed with a long stroke
    the length of stroke is your compression ratio. and would not need to be so large a tube diameter..
    The two in question is the same length, only a smaller diameter for the high pressure one, which amounts to the same: Less air per "length of stroke", but a tad easier to push at higher pressure than the high volume one.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the one in the picture and the master blaster benefit from being essentially a Floor Pump.
    so you have a fixed surface to push against, the earth.

    You would choose a different pump entirely if you were inflating a Boat.

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    I use a frame pump (zefal HPX) and a calibrated thumb. The pump stays ductaped to the bike during transit.
    I put all of my various bags inside a tough plastic bag and tape it shut. You can always find tough plastic on the return journey (eg from building sites). On occasion I have carried by bike packing material on my rear rack but have also stashed it at accomodation close to the airport.
    My carry-on luggage is usually a small backpack and a barbag + helmet. They can be strapped together to form one bag but usually no-one questions the arrangement.

  19. #19
    djb
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    CR_bike+stuff_airport-0888.jpgI'm not sure you have mentioned, but are you not taking your bike with you? In a box?
    If so, then just put your panniers in a cheap light duffel bag or something. How many panniers are you taking, two or four?
    I have always carried my handlebar bag over my shoulder with the usual valuables in it, and even taken one pannier on as a carry on if needed.

    The obvious reason I ask are you taking your bike is referring to if it is boxed, then you can easily put a tent and sleeping bag in with the bike (well, maybe, I have in the past).

    Perhaps before mentioning more ideas, should wait for your response about if you are taking your bike and how it is going.

    re pumps, I have been happy with my Road Morph G (gauge) as it works very well pumping up to over 100psi and is not overly large or cumbersome, plus it fits easily into one of my rear panniers (dont like the idea of having on my frame either).

    I guess the only advantage to these type of bags vs a suitcase is the option of riding away from airport (but then always touches on getting a new box when returning).
    I would say however that these type bags probably can hold more as they are more "odd" shaped.
    I have always maxed out what I carry on my self, helmet etc stuff that is more fragile. Plus I have been able to put front panniers, tent etc into the bike box, limiting what I have left, usually rear panniers.
    Last edited by djb; 01-09-14 at 08:16 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    The contents of my 4 panniers go into the yellow light weight duffle bag, which goes a checked baggage. My rack pack, the yellow bag in the upper left usually goes as carry-on along with my bar bag. In this case the plane was crowded and airline offered to check my rack pack for free. The 4 empty panniers go in the bike box, along with water bottles, frame pump, and tools. The duffle weighs about 4-6 ounces, and goes in the bottom of a pannier while on tour. My duffle (homemade)and my wife's light weight duffle (REI) have been used in this way many times on buses, trains and planes. They are still in good shape. We carry full camping and cooking gear.

    I would leave the floor pump home and just use a frame pump. You can always stop at a bike shop and use their floor pump. On longer tours we stop in bike shops occasionally to check tire pressure. I check the tires every morning with the squeeze test, and pump them up if they feel soft. Any good frame pump will pump up to 120 psi.


    My Topeak frame pump will inflate my tire at the rate of 1 psi per stroke. What pump do you carry while you are riding?


    My wife with 2 bikes, 2 duffles, 2 rack pack, and 2 bar bags at the Lisbon Airport. All our empty panniers are in the bike boxes.
    Last edited by Doug64; 01-09-14 at 11:41 PM.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I have never used a suitcase when cycletouring internationally.

    This was how we arranged things on our most recent tour ... bicycle box with panniers as padding, larger woven blue bags with the camping gear, blue and green duffle bags with clothing, and we each had purple backpacks, but in this picture, Rowan is using his handlebar bag instead of the backpacks.




    The duffle bags and backpacks folded down to a very small size ...



    The larger woven blue bags folded flat and were quite light. They were also very inexpensive.

    Travel light! It'll be so much easier to lug everything around the city. One option would be to put the bicycle together at the airport, fold everything up, put everything where it belongs ... and you're off and cycling.





    If you're concerned about your frame pump, it can go into one of the panniers which go into the cardboard box ... you don't really bring a floor pump with you do you? If so ... get a Topeak Road Morph and solve that problem.




    All that said ... we did store our cardboard bicycles boxes at a hotel in Taiwan and later at a hotel in Japan. We just made sure to book our last night there.

  22. #22
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    Travel light! It'll be so much easier to lug everything around the city. One option would be to put the bicycle together at the airport, fold everything up, put everything where it belongs ... and you're off and cycling.
    This is sage advice. Leaving unnecessary stuff behind and traveling lightly makes bike touring far more enjoyable. On a recent Amtrak trip packing my bike and gear took 15 mins and was ridiculously easy.



    On a trip to iceland I packed my bike and gear into a softsided carrying case, put that on the plane as regular luggage as it weighed around 40lbs and was within the dimension limits, and took my handlebar bag as carry on luggage. In Rekyavik I took a bus to my hotel and it was easy to carry my bike and gear. I built the bike up again the next day and I folded the softsided case (Groundeffect Tardis) into it's phone book sized case and left it at the hotel and picked it up after my tour was over. I used the bus a couple of times (Iceland is tough) and having a light set up made it easy to stow the bike and baggage in just a few mins.

  23. #23
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    I have a Surly Disc Truker and keep the rear rack on when it was packed into the box and would be flying with the box. Shipping bike ahead of time, to me, is a little unreliable - would rather be able to ride my bike up until a few days before heading over, and you never know how long it'll take to ship, cost, etc. I live in a pretty secluded area, no walmarts or REI or anything, and don't own a lightweight duffel - I think I have one, but I don't think it would fold up too nicely. I'll have to double check and take a look.

    My Ireland trip...the LBS where my Aunt lived was probably the best customer service i've ever experience from a LBS. The guy gave me this little nipple-adapter thing that worked on gas-station air pumps. So I just pumped my tires up that way, left the floor pump at my Aunts and used it when I did rides out from her house (day trips). Going to be more remote in Wales, using campsites etc, so need a pump with me this time.

    Not sure if tent and sleeping bag + pad will fit in the box with everything else, and not exactly something I want damaged enroute.

  24. #24
    djb
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    When are you thinking of going? I imagine not for a number of months, so you at least have time mucking about with trying different packing techniques, both in getting the bike into the box (if you have not done this before with your disk Trucker), seeing what can fit into the bike box safely and still be within the weight limits.

    "Safely" meaning what can go in without it being damaged, ie a sleeping bag wont get damaged, it will in fact cushion the frame a bit with bangs, same with a tent (usually poles are pretty secure and protected rolled up in the middle of the tent "sausage")
    I always look at the bike in a box and visualize what is going to get skwershed given a given drop or whatever, and then place stuff to cushion the blows from directly hitting a given part of the bike (or stop one part of the bike dinging another part) using my stuff or bits of cardboard etc.

    re your trip in Wales, if you are willing, I'd be interested in seeing your idea for a route, I have family in southern UK as well as in Wales (more in the north) and have toyed with the idea to fly into London, ride down to the south coast and then work my way along to Cardiff and up.

    You dont mention a front rack, so does that mean you will be going with two rear panniers only, and stuff on top of the rear rack? My photo is with only two rear panniers chucked into the old red zippered bag we have, but as others have shown, you can get away with much lighter and cheaper bags to hold your panniers and such together, just throw on a whack of tape and for a flight it would work.

  25. #25
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    Suitcases are so old lady. Stick as much stuff as you can in your bike box without going over weight. Put the rest in a light duffel bag. My duffel weighs less than a pound and folds smaller than a novel. Either throw it out at the start point, store it at a hotel, etc. or strap it to the bike as I did and ride to your destination. (I rode from London to Budapest on an LHT like this)

    Wrap your panties around your sharp pump edges and tape. Get on with it.

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