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Old 08-10-14, 02:18 AM   #1
kxiao
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Credit Card Touring on a Road Bike

I'm looking into credit card touring on a road bike and I have a few questions.

1. Is it reasonable to do this type of touring with an aluminum road bike (plan on going 40-50 mi a day, 7 days, 300 mi total)?

2. Is this a reasonable packing list for a weeklong tour?
Credit Card (Duh)
2 jerseys and shorts
1 pair of gloves
1 pair of jeans and 1 t shirt
1 jacket / windbreaker
3 pairs of underwear and socks
Eating Utensils
Toiletries
Basic First Aid Kit
Basic Bike Repair Kit (4 CO2, Tube, Patch Kit, Levers, etc)

Shoes:
3. I have A530 touring pedals and touring cycling shoes, should I also be bringing sneakers? (part b: what if I plan on doing heavy walking in a museum, would the shoes become unbearable)

Computer / GPS:
4. I currently use an android with strava as my GPS, would it be worth investing in a real cycling GPS for touring?

Racks and Bags
5. I really have no idea what to get for bags and racks. I looked at the trunks, but I'm not sure if everything will actually fit inside of a trunk. Would a pannier be a better fit or would a trunk be fine for credit card touring? What brand of pannier or trunk should I get? I'd prefer the cheapest decent bag.

There are racks like this: Topeak® Cycling Accessories ? Products - Roadie Rack, Black made specifically for road bikes. Is this a decent rack? Are there any better racks that will work with a road bike?



Notes about the bicycle:
Aluminum
Cannondale Synapse

Thanks,
kxiao
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Old 08-10-14, 02:40 AM   #2
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Regarding bags, look at Carradice. I really like my Nelson Longflap ... quite a lot of room.
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Old 08-10-14, 02:57 AM   #3
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1. Is it reasonable to do this type of touring with an aluminum road bike (plan on going 40-50 mi a day, 7 days, 300 mi total)?

sure.

2. Is this a reasonable packing list for a weeklong tour?

cut down. 1 jersey & shorts. jeans are heavy, find something thinner and lighter.
2 undies & sox. no eating utensils.

Shoes:
3. ...should I also be bringing sneakers? (part b: what if I plan on doing heavy walking.)

try walking a mile and see. otherwise carry a pair of flip-flops/tevas.

Computer / GPS:
4. ...would it be worth investing in a real cycling GPS for touring?

i wouldn't bother. one decent paper map should cover your whole route.

Racks and Bags
[B]5. ..I'm not sure if everything will actually fit inside of a trunk....

step one. put stuff in pile.
step two. put pile of stuff in bag.
step three. take bag to bike shop.
step four. put bag in trunk.

i'm sure you can probably make it all fit in a trunk. why not go with a seatpost mount?
Topeak® Cycling Accessories ? Products - Racks > BeamRack RX

otherwise, there are always seat-mounted bags or frame bags.
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Old 08-10-14, 02:57 AM   #4
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kxaio:

1. Yes.
2. May not need Eating Utensils.
3. Extra pair of sandals or shoes for walking on nice floors.
4. Android should be all you need. There maybe a mount available.
5. I'd use some painter's tape on the seat stays to protect the finish with that rack. A large Carradice bag could also work.

Brad
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Old 08-10-14, 03:11 AM   #5
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Jeans:the worst.
Polycotton lightweight hiking pants, maybe cutoffs.
2x tshirt (wicking), 1x jersey.
spork or plastic spoon is always useful, with a swiss army knife.

Pump not CO2. Air is unlimitted. What is the hurry.
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Old 08-10-14, 04:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxiao View Post
2. Is this a reasonable packing list for a weeklong tour?
Credit Card (Duh)
2 jerseys and shorts
1 pair of gloves
1 pair of jeans and 1 t shirt
1 jacket / windbreaker
3 pairs of underwear and socks
Replace the jerseys with lightweight wicking T-shirts so that you can wear them off the bicycle too.

Replace the jeans with something lightweight and quick-drying.

Replace the T-shirt with those lightweight wicking T-shirts or maybe a lightweight long-sleeved merino wool top which you could wear on or off the bicycle.

Make sure your jacket is a rain jacket, not just a windbreaker.
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Old 08-10-14, 04:01 AM   #7
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1. Is it reasonable to do this type of touring with an aluminum road bike (plan on going 40-50 mi a day, 7 days, 300 mi total)?

Yes, no problem.

2. Is this a reasonable packing list for a weeklong tour?

Yes. It is more than I would take though. Personally I'd probably take one pair of bike shorts and one jersey. You can sink wash them daily if you want, but I usually do it only every few days. I'd never take jeans on a bike tour, they are bulky, heavy and dry slow.

3. I have A530 touring pedals and touring cycling shoes, should I also be bringing sneakers? (part b: what if I plan on doing heavy walking in a museum, would the shoes become unbearable)

It depends on how the shoes are and how much you will walk and could go either way. I have done trips including extended ones with and without a second pair.

4. I currently use an android with strava as my GPS, would it be worth investing in a real cycling GPS for touring?

In my opinion no.

5. I really have no idea what to get for bags and racks. I looked at the trunks, but I'm not sure if everything will actually fit inside of a trunk. Would a pannier be a better fit or would a trunk be fine for credit card touring? What brand of pannier or trunk should I get? I'd prefer the cheapest decent bag.

You can carry little enough on a credit card tour that a rack would be unnecessary. If you eliminate the jeans, pick items that pack small, and don't take spare shoes it would all probably just about fit in jersey pockets so a large seat pack and/or handlebar bag should be a lot of space.

If you can keep it under 5 pounds or so I have found that for me a backpack can work well. Something like the REI Flash 18 maybe.

Bike packing bags would be another option.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:31 AM   #8
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I agree with Machka about the Carradice. I too have a Nelson longflap. Used with one of their "bagman" supports it is fine on a road bike and holds easily enough gear for a week or two of credit-card touring. They aren't cheap, but they'll last a lifetime. Alternatively, pack light in a compression sack and strap it under the saddle.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:37 AM   #9
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I love the Carradice bags and have several of them. Another bag that has worked very well for me for short tours is the Banjo Brothers Racktop Pannier bag, easy to source in the US and can be used for daily rides as well as longer rides.

Aaron
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Old 08-10-14, 07:13 AM   #10
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Get a portable battery charger for your phone.

Enjoy.
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Old 08-10-14, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
kxaio:

1. Yes.
2. May not need Eating Utensils.
3. Extra pair of sandals or shoes for walking on nice floors.
4. Android should be all you need. There maybe a mount available.
5. I'd use some painter's tape on the seat stays to protect the finish with that rack. A large Carradice bag could also work.

Brad
4. Disagree. If you want the convenience of turn by turn an Android will most likely not have the battery power to last all day. Plus you need to remember to charge it. A regular GPS with changeable batteries is awfully handy.


I have toured on an aluminum road bike for years. No real issues.

No jeans. Use those zipoff khaki pants. That way you have shorts and long pants all in one. Look at the weather. You might not even need long pants. Substitute sandals as you walking shoe in warm weather. They are lighter and you can use them as shower sandals should you stay in a hostel or guest house.
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Old 08-10-14, 09:59 AM   #12
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Re Cooking , why? Restaurants and most fast food joints take credit cards . (NB: cash advances on a CC incur a fee, not assessed with Debit cards )

I didnt see any cycling shorts listed: 2 minimum ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-12-14 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 08-10-14, 10:30 AM   #13
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Thanks for all of the help.
I have some follow up questions:
1. I can't seem to find carradice at any online retailer or any lbs, is there a way to easily buy them in the US or should I just go with the Banjo Brothers bags (the reviews on the BB bags were less than stellar)?

2. What brand or model of minipump / framepump should I get?

3. I read that U-locks are absolutely unnecessary for touring; if this is right, what model of cable lock would you guys recommend?

Thanks again,
kxiao

Last edited by kxiao; 08-10-14 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-10-14, 10:47 AM   #14
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Pump.....Topeak Road morph.
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Old 08-10-14, 11:42 AM   #15
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Abus bike locks.. better than a cable .. chain+ integrated lock.. Lock-chain combination - Locks / Bike Safety and Security

I've been using these, around town instead of a U lock http://www.abus.com/us/Recreational-.../Folding-locks.

have the chain-combo for longer to get to things, other than sign posts and Bike racks.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-10-14 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 08-10-14, 11:52 AM   #16
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You can buy from Carradice direct from their website. Don't know about the shipping costs, but bearin mind the price will be almost 20% lower than the quoted £sterling figure, because our Value Added Tax (sales tax) will be deducted.
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Old 08-10-14, 12:23 PM   #17
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There are some interesting options for baggage on a credit card tour with a standard road bike.

Bontrager makes a lightweight rack that connects to the rear wheel dropouts so no additional eyelets are needed (it uses a quick release). To stabilize the forward section, they also make a seat post clamp for it. Then you can mount one of their interchange rear bags and its all clean and efficient. I must admit, I have not tried this system so can not comment on its effectivity or any potential issues. But it seems as if it would be a good prospective venue for lightweight touring. If you have a carbon post, its probably a good idea to change it to a Thompson post just for peace of mind.

You can also consider their seat post rack (no eyelets). Then put an interchange bag on it. A metal (Thompson) post is mandatory for this arrangement.


Another prospective solution is to mount one of the Revelate seat bags and, perhaps one of their top tube frame bags if needed (although I don't particular like the top tube frame bag). Again, it makes good sense to use a Thompson post for peace of mind.

Of course a back pack (as mentioned above) is also a good prospective way - but in the summer it could be a little warm.

You can also put one of any number of smaller handlebar bags on the bike. In fact it might be a good idea since the handling will likely be better with the load more balanced between front and rear.

Here is a picture (from another forum) of Specialized Venge ready for the road (w/Revelate bags). With a set up like this, you pull into a town, take the baggage off and look up the fast group rides. Show up and you fit right in.

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Last edited by NealH; 08-10-14 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 08-10-14, 02:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxiao View Post
I'm looking into credit card touring on a road bike and I have a few questions.

1. Is it reasonable to do this type of touring with an aluminum road bike (plan on going 40-50 mi a day, 7 days, 300 mi total)?

2. Is this a reasonable packing list for a weeklong tour?
Credit Card (Duh)
2 jerseys and shorts
1 pair of gloves
1 pair of jeans and 1 t shirt
1 jacket / windbreaker
3 pairs of underwear and socks
Eating Utensils
Toiletries
Basic First Aid Kit
Basic Bike Repair Kit (4 CO2, Tube, Patch Kit, Levers, etc)

Shoes:
3. I have A530 touring pedals and touring cycling shoes, should I also be bringing sneakers? (part b: what if I plan on doing heavy walking in a museum, would the shoes become unbearable)

Computer / GPS:
4. I currently use an android with strava as my GPS, would it be worth investing in a real cycling GPS for touring?

Racks and Bags
5. I really have no idea what to get for bags and racks. I looked at the trunks, but I'm not sure if everything will actually fit inside of a trunk. Would a pannier be a better fit or would a trunk be fine for credit card touring? What brand of pannier or trunk should I get? I'd prefer the cheapest decent bag.

There are racks like this: Topeak® Cycling Accessories ? Products - Roadie Rack, Black made specifically for road bikes. Is this a decent rack? Are there any better racks that will work with a road bike?



Notes about the bicycle:
Aluminum
Cannondale Synapse

Thanks,
kxiao
the best thing about light touring is looking fast. remember that when you are packing and buying a rack and/or a bag.
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Old 08-10-14, 05:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxiao View Post
Thanks for all of the help.
I have some follow up questions:
1. I can't seem to find carradice at any online retailer or any lbs, is there a way to easily buy them in the US or should I just go with the Banjo Brothers bags (the reviews on the BB bags were less than stellar)?
Do a google search on Carradice.


On the first page, there's the Carradice site:
Carradice of Nelson - bike bags, saddle bags and waterproof panniers


SJS Cycles:
Carradice Bicycle Equipment Shop at SJS Cycles


Wallingford Cycles:
Carradice | wallbike.com
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Old 08-10-14, 07:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxiao View Post
Thanks for all of the help.
I have some follow up questions:
1. I can't seem to find carradice at any online retailer or any lbs, is there a way to easily buy them in the US or should I just go with the Banjo Brothers bags (the reviews on the BB bags were less than stellar)?

2. What brand or model of minipump / framepump should I get?

3. I read that U-locks are absolutely unnecessary for touring; if this is right, what model of cable lock would you guys recommend?

Thanks again,
kxiao
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do a google search on Carradice.


On the first page, there's the Carradice site:
Carradice of Nelson - bike bags, saddle bags and waterproof panniers


SJS Cycles:
Carradice Bicycle Equipment Shop at SJS Cycles


Wallingford Cycles:
Carradice | wallbike.com
Wallbike is good.

I have no issues with Banjo Bros bag and it has seen nearly daily use for the past 5 years, some of my Carradice bags are pushing 15-20 years old.

I have ordered Carradice from Wallbike, SJS and direct. Depends on who has what in stock at the time I needed it.

Aaron
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Old 08-11-14, 04:40 AM   #21
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4. Disagree. If you want the convenience of turn by turn an Android will most likely not have the battery power to last all day. Plus you need to remember to charge it. A regular GPS with changeable batteries is awfully handy.
There are a few factors to consider here that make make one or the other work better. They tend to make me more likely to leave my eTrex home and use the phone, but YMMV.

There are spare batteries available for most phones. They can typically be found cheaply and are usually quite light. I think that in most cases they are under an ounce and under $10 if you shop price. Then there are also external batteries.

Battery life can be greatly extended if you put the phone in airplane mode. Searching for a signal eats battery pretty fast and when you turn that off the battery lasts much longer.

There are apps and or built in capability to pre-load maps with android phones, so no need to have data downloading while on the road.

All that and I generally find that I like my phones GPS capability better than that of my handheld GPS. Since I use the phone as a camera, an email device, a phone, a text device, and a bunch of other things it is going along even if I were taking a separate GPS. For the weight of the GPS I could carry a lot of battery either in the form of batteries for the phone of an external battery. For the weight my Garmin Etrex I can carry at least a weeks worth of battery and probably more. Then there is the fact that most tours seem to have long stretches with no turns, so that time can be stretched much further if you turn the phone off when you know the next turn is an hour or more down the road. I know that most of the tours I have done involve small amounts of navigating in towns intersperse between long stretches them. On something like the Trans America or even more so the ST you could pretty easily have the phone off 90% of the time.

I know that I have managed to go a week with my cell phone on a backpacking trip without plugging in anywhere, using it as my only navigation device, and taking tons of pictures. I use it as a phone very sparingly, but do text or email status reports home regularly. On a road bike tour I seldom go more than a day, two at most, without a chance to plug in, so battery life becomes a complete non issue for me.

Since the OP is credit card touring it should be really easy to keep up with charging even with only the battery in the phone as long as they take some measures to conserve the battery and charge every night. With a spare or two or with a external battery they could pretty much use power without much regard for conserving it and never run out.

Last edited by staehpj1; 08-11-14 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 08-11-14, 09:33 PM   #22
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Again, thank you all so much for your help. It's people like you guys that make cycling such a great sport to be a part of.

Here's what I have so far in my "to purchase list":
Bags: I decided to go with Revelate's Viscacha. Thanks @NealH. I looked at the Carradice bags and I didn't really like the style, I prefer a more modern look I guess. It also seems to be fairly difficult to procure the bags since most of the American retailers only had limited selections.
Locks: Not really sure, most people seem to use a cable, but the Abus folding lock mentioned by @fietsbob seems pretty interesting too. Does anyone else have any experience with it?
Pump: I'm probably going to go with a handpump (I have a handful of CO2s now, but I've never had to use any), @Cyclebum is there a significant advantage to having the entire t thing on the handle?
GPS: Probably just going to go with an external battery as mentioned by @staehpj1, the problem is that my phone's battery is absolutely terrible and can barely last through a ~35 mile, ~2 hour ride without dying (even with the screen black 95% of the time).


Quick Overview (Please Tell me if I have too much stuff or am missing some vital (or nonvital, but useful) gear):
In Revelate bag:
1 pair of sneakers
1 first aid kit
1 leatherman wave
1 jacket
3 underwear
3 socks
1 pair of pants (some type of thin pants)
1 t shirt
1 bike repair kit
set of hygiene stuff

On person:
1 jersey
1 pair shorts
1 pair gloves
1 pair cycling shoes

Tube top (or handlebar bag):
1 Wallet
1 Extra phone battery pack
Energy bars or other assorted snacks
<Anything else that should be in here? ie. First Aid Kit and Repair Tools if I choose handlebar bag?>

Note about tube top or handlebar bag. What type of bag is more useful during CC touring and what brand of bag should I get? I saw some topeak tube tops for only 20 dollars or so.

Edit: Any recommendations for a horn or bell?

Last edited by kxiao; 08-11-14 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-14, 01:10 AM   #23
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I jst did a credit card tour from Astoria-SF on my Merlin with a trunk on a seatpost rack. 2 bibs/jerseys/ socks. One pair of shorts, one long sleeved t, one silk dress shirt, a fleece sweater, and a pair of flip flops. Toiletries replenished en route. No first aid kit. Four tubes, a chain tool/bike tool. Cell/smart phone with charger. Cable lock. Credit cards/DL/cash in a money clip. Glasses.

Thats it for two weeks.
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Old 08-12-14, 02:30 AM   #24
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Does your phone have a replaceable battery or a built in one? If it is replaceable it might be worth getting a new one and maybe a spare. Also you say it barely lasts for a two hour ride. Are you turning off the phone and wifi function? Searching for a signal really sucks battery. I find that putting my phone in airplane mode makes the battery last several times as long especially if the signal is sketchy or non existent.

I have never bothered with a horn or bell, but I can yell really loud

How much lock you need may vary with the locale and how careful you are about where you leave your bike. I use the cheapest lightest cable lock I could find. I think it weighs 5 ounces. In places where I am concerned I don't leave my bike unattended. I sometimes have wheeled it up and down the aisles of a store. On the other hand in a lot of places where I tour I don't bother locking at all.

Last edited by staehpj1; 08-12-14 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 08-12-14, 09:05 AM   #25
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Re the pump. With those skinny tires, you might want to go with the mini Road Morph. The in line gage on the larger version is not good for much. I just do the pinch test. Road Morphs are extremely reliable pumps.
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