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Gear list for 5,000+ mile solo tour - Thoughts?

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Gear list for 5,000+ mile solo tour - Thoughts?

Old 12-25-15, 09:51 PM
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Gear list for 5,000+ mile solo tour - Thoughts?

Hey everyone. I was figuring out my gear list for an upcoming cross country trip departing May 1, 2016 and covering 5,000+ miles over 22 states. Everything on the list is generally backpacking quality (i.e. small or extremely lightweight). I will be mailing myself packages that will contain some of the items (extra medications, extra contacts etc). In terms of the +40*F sleeping bag, this is more than warm enough for me. I've used the bag in temperatures as low as +17*F and was rather comfortable. That was without the underquilt, which I just purchased recently and is a new addition. I'll be running rear panniers with a small bag under the back seat. Everything listed fits with room for 2 days worth of food (the longest I'll go between towns). All the items have been sprayed with a water sealer.

I've toured before so I'm not new to it. Twice from Seattle to San Diego, once from Seattle to Green Bay and once from Cincinnati to Seattle. Totaling over 10K miles. Those 4 tours involved a mix of my younger sisters so this is my first solo tour, outside of short 3 day trips. I'm 23 for anyone who cares to know.

I took my bike into the shop last month and they did a complete maintenance package on it. New chain, complete clean (took the bike apart piece by piece), new brake pads, new cables, wider touring tires, touring run flat tubes, new handlebar tape etc.

I may have left a few items off of the list that I already own. Is there any item you would add or take away? Feel free to ask questions and I'll clarify as needed.

Camping Supplies
Sleeping bag (+40*F)
Hammock (with rain fly (doubles as tarp), bug net, underquilt, and straps)
Bivy
JetBoil Flash
JetBoil pot (with attachment)

Fuel
1 plate, 1 collapsable cup, 1 spoon, 1 fork, 1 knife, can opener (will use JetBoil pot as bowl)
Scrubber for dishes
Collapsable lantern (battery operated)
Bug spray
Coffee filter

Tools, Spare Parts etc
Tire levers
2x spare tubes
Pump
Multitool
4x spare spokes
Spoke wrench
4x spare chain pieces
Chain breaker
Chain lube
Gear cleaner
Patch kit


Personal
Chamois Butt’r
Electric shaver (battery operated)
Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, sunscreen, shave secret, mirror, soap etc)
4x extra contacts
Eyeglasses (with case)
Camp dry towel
Medications (beta blocker)

Clothing
2x padded bike shorts
Waterproof pants
4x socks
2x pair running shorts (to bike in)
Rain jacket
Cycling shoes
Slip on shoes
4x shirts
2x boxers
Compression leggings
Compression shirt (short sleeved)
Armwarmers
Gloves
Waterproof rain booties
Waterproof helmet cover
Beanie
Swim trunks



Miscellaneous
Book
Journal
Pen
10x postcard stamps
Bear spray
Bear spray cozy
First aid kit
Water bottle
Water purifier (fits into water bottle)
Sunglasses
Waterproof bags
Passport ID card, debit card, insurance card
Emergency contact info
Webbing strap
Bungee cords
Camelback (doubles as day bay and takes place of one water bottle)
Whistle
General itinerary
Zip ties
Duct tape
Coug flag (Only WSU fans will get this one)

Electronics
iPad Mini 4 with case/keyboard combo
Cell phone
Charging cords
Backup external battery

Items on bike
Front light
Back light
Seat pouch
Rear pannier rack
Reap panniers
2x water bottle cages (water bottle in one, bear spray in other)
Pump
U-Lock
Cable lock

I don't currently have a front fender but may add one. The rear pannier rack acts like a fender so don't need one there.

Last edited by Ty0604; 01-14-16 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Added/Removed gear
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Old 12-25-15, 10:43 PM
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too much clothing. if you really need something, you're always
within a days ride of a walmart or target.

leave the jeans and dress shirt. lightweight fastdry synthetic polo and khaki shorts.
looks nice enough....any church that would turn you away isn't exactly the kind of
place you'd want to pray in anyway.

only one pair running shorts (over the spandex i assume).
only two pair sox, two boxers, two shirts.

do you need a second jacket? rain jacket over shirt enough?
why legwarmers and long running pants and rainproof pants?
waterproof helmet cover? freebie shower cap from motel.
rain booties? will fill with water, rot your shoes. warm enough without?

skip the multitool, go with separate tools.
cassette removal tool to replace those rear spokes.
patch kit, extra chain quickie link.
misc spare bolts, couple zip ties.

leave electric shaver. disposable razor needs no batteries.


camelback? uncomfortable. carry water on the bike.

maps?

selfie stick? just....say....no.

small lightweight front platform rack. useful for water bottles.

taking a lock?

how about a small handlebar bag with map case?
quick release, carry your valuable when leaving the bike.
quick access to camera and snacks.
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Old 12-25-15, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
too much clothing. if you really need something, you're always
within a days ride of a walmart or target.

leave the jeans and dress shirt. lightweight fastdry synthetic polo and khaki shorts.
looks nice enough....any church that would turn you away isn't exactly the kind of
place you'd want to pray in anyway.

only one pair running shorts (over the spandex i assume).
only two pair sox, two boxers, two shirts.

do you need a second jacket? rain jacket over shirt enough?
why legwarmers and long running pants and rainproof pants?
waterproof helmet cover? freebie shower cap from motel.
rain booties? will fill with water, rot your shoes. warm enough without?

skip the multitool, go with separate tools.
cassette removal tool to replace those rear spokes.
patch kit, extra chain quickie link.
misc spare bolts, couple zip ties.

leave electric shaver. disposable razor needs no batteries.


camelback? uncomfortable. carry water on the bike.

maps?

selfie stick? just....say....no.

small lightweight front platform rack. useful for water bottles.

taking a lock?

how about a small handlebar bag with map case?
quick release, carry your valuable when leaving the bike.
quick access to camera and snacks.
Yes, I have U-lock and a cable lock. The multitool I have has all the tools on it I would need. Why bring separate tools that weigh more and take up more space? The camelback doubles as my day bag and will have my phone, keys, ID etc inside of it. I don't find them uncomfortable at all. I can't use disposable razors. They give me terrible razor burn and make me break out. The electric shaver I have weighs near nothing and the batteries that fit my lantern will also work in it. No maps. I've never used paper maps on any of my four other tours and never will. Too much weight and the maps I have on my phone work without service. No patch kit. That's what the spare tubes are for. The rain booties zip into the rain pants. No way for them to fill up. I'm not expecting to run into very much rain anyway. I have extra chain pieces as mentioned in my list. Bolts? For....?

Yup, the selfie stick is coming. At less than 5 ounces, I'll barely notice. I never wanted one but I'm riding solo. I have no issues asking people for a photo but wont always be around someone. I'll consider a cassette removal tool. Good idea and had considered it. I broke two spokes on my last four tours combined and replaced them without removing the cassette. No, it was not easy and I cursed a lot.

As for the clothes; I don't think it's too much but will consider scaling down. Extra socks are a must though because my feet sweat really bad and wearing socks twice for me is pushing it. Yes, running shorts over the padded bike shorts. I prefer running shorts when I bike. I said a second jacket because my rain jacket is just that; a rain jacket. It's not meant for warmth and thought about bringing a second jacket for those colder nights. I already own the waterproof helmet cover. It weighs less than 1/2 an ounce. Seems trivial to leave that behind in an attempt to find a shower cap at a motel if need be.

I should also mention the number of hotels/motels I'll be staying at: Zero

I did remove the leg warmers in favor of the compression pants. Pretty much the same thing but they're a full pair of pants.

It's funny you mention Wal*Mart... I'd rather starve than ever step foot into one of them. Refusing to support Wal*Mart is my own personal opinion though so let's not start a debate about that please.

Last edited by Ty0604; 12-25-15 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 12-25-15, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
The multitool I have has all the tools on it I would need. Why bring separate tools that weigh more and take up more space? I've never seen a mulit tool that didn't have stuff I didn't need (start with the frame of the tool) or could access some places that an individual would could reach. The camelback doubles as my day bag and will have my phone, keys, ID etc inside of it. I don't find them uncomfortable at all. I can't use disposable razors. They give me terrible razor burn and make me break out. The electric shaver I have weighs near nothing and the batteries that fit my lantern will also work in it. No maps. I've never used paper maps on any of my four other tours and never will. Too much weight and the maps I have on my phone work without service. No patch kit. That's what the spare tubes are for. Leave the razor, lantern AND the compatible batteries behind. My Reme touring patch kit DOES NOT WEIGH AN OUNCE. The rain booties zip into the rain pants. No way for them to fill up. I'm not expecting to run into very much rain anyway. I have extra chain pieces as mentioned in my list. Bolts? For....? The one that vibrates out??? Of course, I am being stupid......your through maintenance practices will render that an impossibility. Credit them to less than lantern weight, you're still ahead. I guess vanity has it's price.

Yup, the selfie stick is coming. At less than 5 ounces, I'll barely notice. 5X ( FIVE TIMES) more than the patch kit that will weigh you down and take up soooooo much space.I never wanted one but I'm riding solo.

It's funny you mention Wal*Mart... I'd rather starve than ever step foot into one of them. Refusing to support Wal*Mart is my own personal opinion though so let's not start a debate about that please. No problem, feel free to let your personal feelings make your trip as difficult as you will.......even though they will not make the slightest difference of human existence in the future
Comments in above stuff.
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Old 12-26-15, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gregjones
Comments in above stuff.
The multi tool has all the tools on it that I would buy if I were to buy them separately. The tools "frame" consist of a bolt holding the tools together.

In over 10K miles of touring, I've never had a single bolt "vibrate" out. I feel like it's fairly easy to prevent this with routine maintenance and check ups to your bike.

As for a patch kit... It's not about the weight, it's about bringing an item you don't need. Why would you leave the lantern behind? Same with the shaver? I can't stand going a few days without shaving, needless to say 4 months.

I'm not sure how not supporting Wal*Mart is making my trip difficult. Again, in over 10,000 miles of touring, can you guess how many Wal*Marts I've been in? You guessed it; Zero.

Last edited by Ty0604; 12-26-15 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 12-26-15, 12:39 AM
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You sir are, of course, right.
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Old 12-26-15, 12:46 AM
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Deleted...

After reading your last post I can see that you know more than me on the subject. It's pretty funny that you make a comment about someone not paying attention to maintenance yet had to take your bike into a shop to have someone else do that.

10,000 miles of touring and you have to ask people to look over your equipment list... Couldn't the guys at the bike shop pack it for you?

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Old 12-26-15, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
As for a patch kit... It's not about the weight, it's about bringing an item you don't need.
Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Why 2 tubes and no patch kit - this one has me baffled. Twice the weight and reduced versatility. It should be one tube and a patch kit. The tube is used on the road so you don't have to make repairs in the ditch and the patch kit is used in camp that night to actually fix the flat. If you get two flats you are sol as it is. If you want I can tell you how easy that is to occur.
I guess that you missed the new standard for touring riders.....patch kits are "an item you don't need". Don't kill the messenger.

If I put one foot into a church that I thought did not want me to attend their services because I am a rider and dressed due to that.....the second foot would not get inside....I'd be down the road to, by my concepts, a real church.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
It's just my 2CW, and some ideas were already covered but in a general sense, seeing as you asked...

I don't get the looking "presentable" bit with the jeans and dress shirt. You are riding 5000 miles solo - that should be a pretty good reason to look like a person riding a bike in church. I doubt anyone expects the suit and tie routine as well.

It looks like you want a hammock and accessories, bivy and a tarp. Perhaps one small tent would serve with less over all weight/volume.

Meh on the lantern. You are touring in summer and if you need a light for anything, use your bike light. Same with the shaving mirror, use your bike mirror.

I have found I just need a cup and bowl with a spoon.

Clothes are what they are. I don't get arm warmers but meh.

Why 2 tubes and no patch kit - this one has me baffled. Twice the weight and reduced versatility. It should be one tube and a patch kit. The tube is used on the road so you don't have to make repairs in the ditch and the patch kit is used in camp that night to actually fix the flat. If you get two flats you are sol as it is. If you want I can tell you how easy that is to occur.

U lock is pretty heavy. I use a Kryptonite cable lock which is fair theft defense yet lightweight. If someone is going to go to the trouble of thwarting that they will probably strip your bike regardless.

I would definitely get a good front fender. On a long tour with mixed weather you will avoid a lot of issues with wet and dirty shoes/socks/legs/pants/gear/bike...

Also, why the passport?

Those are just my thoughts, YMMV. The other stuff is really just personal choice.
Thanks for the comments.

The tarp shouldn't be on there. I'll edit it. The rain fly from my hammock will double as a tarp when needed with the bivy. I prefer hammock camping and am bringing a bivy for places where hammock camping isn't possible. It's a basic shell and weighs about 7 ounces.

I don't use a mirror on my bike. Therefore the camp mirror.

I love arm warmers. I usually wear them in the morning and then pull them off as I warm up. It can be done without stopping and they take the place of a long sleeved shirt in my gear.

I'll look into the Kryptonite cable lock. How much does it weigh? My u-lock and cable lock weigh 2lbs combined. It's a set from OnGuard.

Why the passport? It's a passport ID card, not to be confused with a passport book. I don't drive and my passport ID card is my only form of identification. It's exactly the same size etc as your drivers license, just in a passport form. Also, I'll be riding on the US/Canadian border at times and thought about venturing over.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:08 AM
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I just feel embarrassed because I had a bolt shake loose about a month ago and now realize it's because I'm a slacker...

On the up side I'm a prepared slacker and just duct taped the other end in until I could make the repair.

Again: no mirror for cycling, which you will do about 8 hours a day on a roadway, but one for shaving which you will do 2 minutes a morning?

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Old 12-26-15, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gregjones
I guess that you missed the new standard for touring riders.....patch kits are "an item you don't need". Don't kill the messenger.

If I put one foot into a church that I thought did not want me to attend their services because I am a rider and dressed due to that.....the second foot would not get inside....I'd be down the road to, by my concepts, a real church.
Again, over 10K miles and never used a patch kit. What you find necessary for your tours I may not find necessary just as what I find necessary you might not find necessary.

I'm not worried about any church not letting me attend. Don't confuse what I said. Wanting to look presentable is a personal opinion.

Last edited by Ty0604; 12-26-15 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I just feel embarrassed because I had a bolt shake loose about a month ago and now realize it's because I'm a slacker...

On the up side I'm a prepared slacker and just duct taped the other end in until I could make the repair... Oh, that's not on the above repair list I see.
I know people who carry duct tape but you're the first I've heard of actually using it. They usually wrap a few pieces around a pen. I might do the same.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:16 AM
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Next to electrical zipties, duct tape is the most versatile repair tool you can carry. You can fix bikes, tents, panniers and even shoes with it. Look for a 1" wide roll which makes for a smaller package.

Here's the bolt that worked loose. Here's what allowed me to ride on instead of pushing a bike with no handlebars attached, and the dike system I was riding on when it occurred. Like most accidents, I never had it happen before.

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Old 12-26-15, 01:20 AM
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For those of you not familiar with a passport card, here's a blank one. Valid for land and sea travel between the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Next to electrical zipties, duct tape is the most versatile repair tool you can carry. You can fix bikes, tents, panniers and even shoes with it. Look for a 1" wide roll which makes for a smaller package.
Thanks, I'll add it to my list. I don't think I've ever seen 1" wide duct tape but will look for it.
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Old 12-26-15, 01:26 AM
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It looks like this. You probably don't need such a full roll.
That's also my tool kit for a bike with hex drive bolts but I usually include a small adjustable wrench. Used to it I guess.



This is my complete old school bike kit (excluding the electrical tape that is just in there because I put some bar tape on recently).

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Old 12-26-15, 01:29 AM
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Thanks. I'll check the store when I go next. Shouldn't be too hard to find. Maybe a place like Home Depot? I do have zipties of varying length laying around.

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Old 12-26-15, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Deleted...

After reading your last post I can see that you know more than me on the subject. It's pretty funny that you make a comment about someone not paying attention to maintenance yet had to take your bike into a shop to have someone else do that.

10,000 miles of touring and you have to ask people to look over your equipment list... Couldn't the guys at the bike shop pack it for you?
There's a difference between simple maintenance (making sure your tires are aired up in the morning, checking for lose bolts etc) and serious maintenance (taking the bike apart piece by piece etc). This is the first time the bike has been taken to the bike shop since it was purchased. I know how to make good every day routine maintenance to it. In 10,000 miles of touring over 4 tours she blew one rear tube and two rear spokes. Everything else was original to the bike. Part luck? Probably. Mostly just good everyday maintenance to it.

I'm posting my gear list because my four previous tours were done with 3 teenage girls and I don't feel the need to bring as much as I did with the 3 of them. It's a miracle my youngest sister didn't try to bring the cat
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Old 12-26-15, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Next to electrical zipties, duct tape is the most versatile repair tool you can carry. You can fix bikes, tents, panniers and even shoes with it. Look for a 1" wide roll which makes for a smaller package.

Here's the bolt that worked loose. Here's what allowed me to ride on instead of pushing a bike with no handlebars attached, and the dike system I was riding on when it occurred. Like most accidents, I never had it happen before.

Looks like you have cages on your pedals? I use them as well. I tried clipless pedals but didn't like them. Sounds like they're good for efficiency but when you're riding 5K miles I didn't see the benefit. Do you always use cages?
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Old 12-26-15, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
It's funny you mention Wal*Mart... I'd rather starve than ever step foot into one of them. Refusing to support Wal*Mart is my own personal opinion though so let's not start a debate about that please.
Gee, I sure hope you don't get any flat tires or you'll come to learn to love Wal-Mart. I sure did this summer. That's true I'm not the normal tourist as I get out of town early and into town late...aka, before bike shops open and after bike shops close...aka where you going to get your hands on a floor pump to fully inflate your tires...Wal-Mart. Buy, Use, Return, Leave. I did that countless times this summer. Typically the only time throughout the day that I was in a big enough town to have a Wal-Mart/McDonalds/bike shop was first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. I was always out of town by 8AM, long before any bike shop opened up and I wasn't getting into town until 7PM or later, long after any bike shop was closed. MY frame pump wouldn't get the tires fully inflated. Quite frankly, it wouldn't even get the tires pumped up to minimum recommended pressure...unless I wanted to stand there for an hour or two and sweat my butt off big time. I would just use Wal-Mart and buy a pump, walk outside and inflate the tire all the way up, walk back in and return the pump and then leave.

Wal-Mart's are good for something.

Do you plan on doing any riding between now and next May. I would never take my bike in to get it tuned up and checked out until a few days before I leave. Any wear and tear you put on the bike between now and then can make for things failing sooner on the trip.
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Old 12-26-15, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
Thanks, I'll add it to my list. I don't think I've ever seen 1" wide duct tape but will look for it.
Why bother? If weight is the reason there is no need to use narrow stuf, just roll a few feet (or yards if you must) of duct tape around something you are already taking. I actually prefer 3" wide high quality milspec tape that I used to bring home partial rolls of from work. Now that I am retired, out of it, and not sure where to buy it, I just use the 2" stuff from home depot. It is worth buying good quality tape, some of the cheap stuff is inferior. BTW, it easy enough to rip into whatever width you want and sometimes the full width is handy.

On a more general note... Take what makes you happy, but you are carrying a lot of stuff that seems kind of excessive to me much of which I don't bother with when car camping. This is especially true of the large list of clothing. I have never been to a church that wouldn't understand that I am on a bike tour and didn't carry much in the way of clothing. If you must take some nicer pants, there are lots of lighter choices than jeans which IMO are a pretty poor choice to take for touring.
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Old 12-26-15, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gregjones
I guess that you missed the new standard for touring riders.....patch kits are "an item you don't need". Don't kill the messenger.
Yeah, that one boggles my mind. I am one of the more obsessive weight trimmers and don't ride anywhere without a patch kit it goes in a little seat wedge with a few minimal tools and stays on the bike at all times whether on tour or around home.
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Old 12-26-15, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bikenh
MY frame pump wouldn't get the tires fully inflated. Quite frankly, it wouldn't even get the tires pumped up to minimum recommended pressure...unless I wanted to stand there for an hour or two and sweat my butt off big time.
You need a different frame pump. I have used a number of different ones including some tiny mini pumps that work great. My road morph works well enough that I typically use it at home if it is closer at hand than the floor pump.
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Old 12-26-15, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
Looks like you have cages on your pedals? I use them as well. I tried clipless pedals but didn't like them. Sounds like they're good for efficiency but when you're riding 5K miles I didn't see the benefit. Do you always use cages?
I don't think toe clips (cages) are especially inefficient, but I do find them less comfortable and harder to get in and out of if you tighten the straps enough to do any good. Back in the day racers and some tourists used toe clips with cleats that located the foot on the exact spot on the pedal. I know that when I switched to clipless I was really happy to not have to deal with toeclips.
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Old 12-26-15, 10:51 AM
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I support you in not shopping at walmart and generally in riding your own ride. Sorry about the negativity you encountered above.

If you are trying to lighten your load I do think you have too much clothing. Wool socks control odors and can be worn for several days. Two pairs should be more than enough. One pair of riding shorts is enough. Zero to one pair of boxers... 1-2 riding shirts and 1-2 off bike shirts.. Could you wear nylon khaki-like pants to church? Also a polo for church could double as an off-bike shirt.

The shaver makes sense to me as a small luxury. How much does yours weigh? I just ordered one that weighs 4 ounces. How much does the lantern weigh? The newest solar lanterns are about 4 ounces. Can you read on the iPad mini and skip the book? I'd leave the gear cleaner at home. A flat tire is a "showstopper" and you could have a failure with your spare tube. I'd bring a patch kit. Please consider a mirror. It's very important for safety. If you don't feel like doing it for yourself do it for your family.

Best of luck in refining your list. I am sure you'll figure some stuff out on the road too. I hope you have a great trip!

Last edited by mm718; 12-26-15 at 10:58 AM.
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