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Light touring with (modern) road bikes

Old 03-31-16, 08:31 AM
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TheRef
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Light touring with (modern) road bikes

Lately I've taken interest in bike touring but I have ZERO experience with it. I've been reading books and blogs and one day I hope to do the Trans AM route but that will be years before I can do it.
My teenager son has shown some interest as well and we are planing a few overnight (or 3 day weekend) trips over the spring and summer but here is our dilemma.

Both of our road bikes don't have rack mounts but will take a 28mm tire that would be helpful as some routes may include crushed limestone paths (up to 50 miles of it). I'm not sure of our options are for carrying gear. I've seen those seat post mounted racks that claim to hold up to 20lbs each. I figured that between the 2 of us that should be enough but I'm not sure about putting an extra 20lbs + the rack itself on my carbon FUji Gran fondo.

Another option would be a cargo trailer or 2 but I've heard that those slow you down a lot, but the plus side it allows for a lot more gear to be carried. Food is not an issue as most of our planned routes are within well populated places with plenty of access to food and drinks.

What are your experiences with light touring as a road rider. Are there any other options I'm missing??

Note: I've posted this here instead on the touring forum to get a different perceptive from those hardcore touring people but I'll be posting there for some advise as well.
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Old 03-31-16, 08:38 AM
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502 mile tour



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Old 03-31-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Lately I've taken interest in bike touring but I have ZERO experience with it. I've been reading books and blogs and one day I hope to do the Trans AM route but that will be years before I can do it.
My teenager son has shown some interest as well and we are planing a few overnight (or 3 day weekend) trips over the spring and summer but here is our dilemma.

Both of our road bikes don't have rack mounts but will take a 28mm tire that would be helpful as some routes may include crushed limestone paths (up to 50 miles of it). I'm not sure of our options are for carrying gear. I've seen those seat post mounted racks that claim to hold up to 20lbs each. I figured that between the 2 of us that should be enough but I'm not sure about putting an extra 20lbs + the rack itself on my carbon FUji Gran fondo.

Another option would be a cargo trailer or 2 but I've heard that those slow you down a lot, but the plus side it allows for a lot more gear to be carried. Food is not an issue as most of our planned routes are within well populated places with plenty of access to food and drinks.

What are your experiences with light touring as a road rider. Are there any other options I'm missing??

Note: I've posted this here instead on the touring forum to get a different perceptive from those hardcore touring people but I'll be posting there for some advise as well.
My suggestions for your situation:

Learn the art of going light. You don't have to lose comfort. Pack smarter. Study the packing lists of those who are good/very good at this. Then implement intelligently.

You don't need racks. Trailers are also unnecessary.

Take a look at the range of bikepacking options.

Last edited by lightspree; 03-31-16 at 09:12 AM. Reason: .
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Old 03-31-16, 09:22 AM
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You are trying to use a Corvette to take 4 kids on a ski trip.
It wont be the most practical, but could be some fun!

If I only had a road bike and there was no way for me to use a rack and panniers, I would look into a single wheel trailer. The 'bikepacking' option is intriguing where you fill every nook and cranny of the diamond frame with fitted bags, but space is still limited and the bags are expensive. Too expensive for me if I were testing out and wanting to see if this is even something I want to get into or not.

At worst, a 2 wheel trailer off craigslist will hold all the stuff and be relatively cheap when compared to most(all?) other options. It allows you to overpack though too, which is a negative, but thats also all up to you.
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Old 03-31-16, 09:35 AM
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I've done light touring on a carbon road bike, as have many here. Personally I'm not fond of seatpost-mounted racks, I used a traditional Carradice saddlebag. The Nelson or camper bags will hold plenty. Frame bags would also be an option, and some people just strap compression sacks behind the saddle.

20lbs would be tops for a road bike load, imo. But if you're only planning to be out for three days and aim to share a tent you won't need anything like 40lbs weight between you. The camping gear will weigh a lot less than 20lbs total and beyond that, what do you need? Rain jackets, a change of clothes and a minimalist tool kit is all. So pack on the basis of what you absolutely can't do without and you'll get along fine with modest saddle or frame bags carrying 10-15lbs each. No problem.

Last edited by chasm54; 03-31-16 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:08 AM
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Trailers do get used on the OR Coast Route, Every year.

Extrawheel trailers use a second front wheel ... you can get another like what you have on Your Bike ..

Build one even with a hub dynamo, for those who wont take a vacation from your Phones..

https://www.extrawheel.com/

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-31-16 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Note: I've posted this here instead on the touring forum to get a different perceptive from those hardcore touring people but I'll be posting there for some advise as well.
I agree, the people here are soft and mushy. They'll love you to death, leading you astray from the harsh realities of bike touring. Which hardcore "touring forum" are you referring to?
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Old 03-31-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I agree, the people here are soft and mushy. They'll love you to death, leading you astray from the harsh realities of bike touring. Which hardcore "touring forum" are you referring to?
He posted it in the 41. It was moved.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
He posted it in the 41. It was moved.
Now it makes sense. Yeah, the people in the 41 were definitely the ones to ask. Thought I was missing out on the "real" touring forum, where people abuse you. Oh wait, isn't that what the 41 is for?
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Old 03-31-16, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Now it makes sense. Yeah, the people in the 41 were definitely the ones to ask. Thought I was missing out on the "real" touring forum, where people abuse you. Oh wait, isn't that what the 41 is for?
No, you're out of date. Abuse is de rigeur ​in touring now, if you're so old-fashioned as to ride a steel bike.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
No, you're out of date. Abuse is de rigeur ​in touring now, if you're so old-fashioned as to ride a steel bike.
OK, then just STFU, HTFU, and get out there and ride. You'll figure it out. BTW, red is faster, so get a red bike.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:31 AM
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Well, I don't know why my post was moved. I wanted to get a perpective from the occasional road biker that chose to take his/her road bike on a weekend tour. I guess the mods moved.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Now it makes sense. Yeah, the people in the 41 were definitely the ones to ask. Thought I was missing out on the "real" touring forum, where people abuse you. Oh wait, isn't that what the 41 is for?
The "real" touring people usually have a dedicated touring bike, panniers, racks and lots of experience packing gear. I wanted to see from a different perspective, an improvisational kind of way.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Well, I don't know why my post was moved. I wanted to get a perpective from the occasional road biker that chose to take his/her road bike on a weekend tour. I guess the mods moved.
Last summer a friend of mine rode from Philly to Atlanta, credit card style, on his carbon Fuji. I think he had a trunk bag, but I would have to confirm. Are you planning on camping or staying indoors?
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Old 03-31-16, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
The "real" touring people usually have a dedicated touring bike, panniers, racks and lots of experience packing gear. I wanted to see from a different perspective, an improvisational kind of way.
Well, apparently you have been denied that opportunity, and are stuck with us hardcore folks. Welcome! Lots of different types of touring styles represented here.
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Old 03-31-16, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
The "real" touring people usually have a dedicated touring bike, panniers, racks and lots of experience packing gear. I wanted to see from a different perspective, an improvisational kind of way.
That's not really true. There are all kinds of touring and you'll see that here.

But you have two clear options, both of which are workable. (1) Go light and borrow ideas from the bike packing people and other lightweight tourists. Your bike will work great for that. (2) Get a bike trailer and, within reason, carry whatever you want. Your bike will work great for that as well.
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Old 03-31-16, 11:09 AM
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You've got several options. Get a trailer like a BOB Yak, which should fit just about any bike, and carry what you need. Alternatively, get a large seatbag such as a Carradice, and travel very light. If you are credit-card touring and staying in hotels, you can tour surprisingly light. I have ridden weeklong tours on the GAP-C&O Canal trails twice carrying about 20 lbs of gear in a set of rear panniers, but we stayed in hotels/inns every night. Panniers are not realistic unless you willing to put a rear rack on your bike, and you still might have heel clearance issues.

A final option would be to ride in a supported tour, where all you have to carry is a normal seat bag, water bottles, etc. I have ridden a number of supported tours over the years and it's a great way to travel by bike if you don't have a touring bike, panniers and other gear.
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Old 03-31-16, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
The "real" touring people usually have a dedicated touring bike, panniers, racks and lots of experience packing gear. I wanted to see from a different perspective, an improvisational kind of way.
Welcome to the touring forum! It's the only place on (virtual) earth where you can become an expert on bike touring without ever going on a tour!
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Old 03-31-16, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
The "real" touring people usually have a dedicated touring bike, panniers, racks and lots of experience packing gear. I wanted to see from a different perspective, an improvisational kind of way.
Touring is a Simple thing.

Load your junk on Your bike and ride.

I moved your post. You question is a common question.

Freddy here did 2,200 miles

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Old 03-31-16, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Touring is a Simple thing.

Load your junk on Your bike and ride.

I moved your post. You question is a common question.

Freddy here did 2,200 miles
Thank you for your comment and your input. However I'd prefered if you didn't move my post. It was a valid question wanting to hear the perspective of the 41 or people that not necessarily tour but found ways of carrying a couple days worth of stuff on a modern road bike. I don't mean to sound rude or to come as aggressive but if I wanted to ask the touring forum I'd have posted here.
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Old 03-31-16, 01:15 PM
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How about this kind of set up? This is not my bike, just a photo I found.

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Old 03-31-16, 01:20 PM
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Another secure option would be to use an Old Man Mountain bike in the rear and attach using p-clamps to the seat stays or get yourself a seat post collar with braze ons, then you can go as heavy or as light as you want. Depending on your foot size and pedal stroke, you might have trouble with heel strike issues if your chain stays are too short.

Old Man Mountain specializes in Racks designed to work on all bikes.

Axiom Trekk Seat Collar w/Rack Eyelets, 31.8mm
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Old 03-31-16, 01:36 PM
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I think with a combination of a frame bag, something like a Blackburn Outpost seatbag (or a big carradice) and maybe a good handlebar bag you should be able to fit everything you need, especially if you aren't bothering with carrying food. If camping, your son and you can split the tent load (one of you carry the rainfly and ground pad, and stakes, the other the tent and poles). Check out youtube as well. I think I just googled "touring with a carbon bike" and a number of videos came up. I've thought about it. Supposedly our bike co op is planning a camping trip weekend that we will bike to, and while they are planning on recruiting ppl to bring all of the gear over by car, I want to pack as much of my own stuff as I can on the bike.
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Old 03-31-16, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Thank you for your comment and your input. However I'd prefered if you didn't move my post. It was a valid question wanting to hear the perspective of the 41 or people that not necessarily tour but found ways of carrying a couple days worth of stuff on a modern road bike. I don't mean to sound rude or to come as aggressive but if I wanted to ask the touring forum I'd have posted here.
Maybe you need to rephrase to something like this and post in the 41:

Hey fellow roadies, how would I carry a bunch of stuff on my road bike in the event I wanted to do a really, really long road ride and possibly needed a place to sleep overnight in an emergency if I got stuck out in the boonies after dark, and I also wanted to bring extra clothes in case the weather changed during my really, really long road ride, etc., etc. Note: the cool folks in the Touring forum probably have awesome suggestions, but you roadies are really cool too, so I just wanted to ask here instead of bothering the folks over there.

The mods may come down on you hard, but it's worth a try.
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Old 03-31-16, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Another secure option would be to use an Old Man Mountain bike in the rear and attach using p-clamps to the seat stays or get yourself a seat post collar with braze ons, then you can go as heavy or as light as you want. Depending on your foot size and pedal stroke, you might have trouble with heel strike issues if your chain stays are too short.

Old Man Mountain specializes in Racks designed to work on all bikes.

Axiom Trekk Seat Collar w/Rack Eyelets, 31.8mm
That's very cool, thank you for the link, I'll look into those racks.
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