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Weekend tour packing

Old 12-10-16, 07:56 PM
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Weekend tour packing

A group of my friends and myself are preparing for ragbrai. We wanted to do a small tour before hand just to have some seat time. We already know when trails we're biking. We are only doing about 30 miles a day for 3 days so I won't need alot of gear. I don't have paniers or a bob (I do plan on buying one for longer tours). To carry what little I need should I use a small backpack or maybe strap my stuff to a cheap rack on my bike? Any suggestions are appreciated
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Old 12-10-16, 08:24 PM
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You don't need much, so a small duffel or similar strapped to your rack is fine. Even putting all your stuff in a double garbage bag (doubled for better water proofing) rolled up and strapped down is fine for your needs.

Don't carry it on your person, you'll regret that after a few miles.
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Old 12-10-16, 08:38 PM
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Same feelings here. Avoid the backpack idea. A simple rear rack, and soft bag. I have in the past used what I would call a carry-on size duffle bag. Might be called a gym bag. I got a two sided saddle bag before my touring began. It is used all the time doing daily errands etc. a great commuter bag.
Heck, even if you strap a back pack on the rack you will like it a lot better.

Well, my opinion.
Hope this helps,






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Old 12-10-16, 10:08 PM
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Are you camping or going to hotels/b&bs each night?

If its thebhotel route, then you could fit everything in a waterproof compression sack atop a rsck and call it good. $25 for the rack and $25 for the sack. $50 or less.

If you are camping, you will need to carry a lot more and panniers or a trailer would be needed.



I dont see how one could do 3 days out with camping gear, toiletries, and clothing without bags on the bike.


I woudbt want a backpack...as mentioned, thatll get old fast.
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Old 12-11-16, 06:52 AM
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Old 12-11-16, 07:07 AM
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Your question reminds me of my first tour. I managed to ride 1000 miles around Lake Michigan from Chicago on a borrowed Schwinn Continental with some borrowed camping gear on a rear book rack (the kind with the spring-loaded clamp) and an old gym duffle bag tied between the brake levers to carry food and a pot. I had no money, so I did it without spending any.

Over the ensuing years I geared up with panniers and better camping gear, but I can't say it ever got any better than that first trip.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:16 AM
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Since you want to do ragbrai and doing other tours in the future, this is as good as time as any to think about investing in some gear. You don't need to do anything crazy but ask yourself what kind of riding you'll be doing and what kind of gear you want to bring.

A rack and some kind of rear rack pack can carry a fair amount of gear.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:22 AM
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I assume you are in a warm enough climate that it will be above freezing, and I assume credit card touring. That means only carrying a change of clothes for off the bike, some warm clothes and rain gear. Plus of course a tube or two, patch kit, etc. And lunch. Although this time of year you are only doing 30 miles per day (likely 3 to 4 hours), bring a light too and maybe batteries.

If you use a bag strapped on top of a rack like suggested above, make sure that it is tightly filled, a half empty sack can be very hard to strap on as the contents shift over time. If you use a compression sack, bring along a plastic bag to put your stuff in to keep it dry if it rains.

You can buy large sized rack top bags that have fold out small pannier sides. That is what I would use because the clothes can go in the side panniers. I got one of those bags over a decade ago made by Cannondale but I doubt they still make it. If you carry less than you would need in the panniers, fold them back up into the side pockets. Such a bag could come in really handy later when you do ragbra too, thus it could be a good investment for longer term.

I just did a quick google search, this one looks similar to mine. But there are others out there too.
https://www.bikebagshop.com/banjo-br...ag-p-2642.html
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Old 12-11-16, 06:48 PM
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The chain stays on my bike are really short and I hit my foot on even small paniers so if have to carry alot I'll be buying a bob. Right now it's just out of my budget tho. I think I'll try to fabricate a trailer for this tour.
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Old 12-11-16, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
The chain stays on my bike are really short and I hit my foot on even small paniers so if have to carry alot I'll be buying a bob. Right now it's just out of my budget tho. I think I'll try to fabricate a trailer for this tour.
Check out the trailers from Discount Ramps. They're not Bobs but they're a fraction of the price. I owned the second one for awhile. Worked great.

Bicycle Cargo Trailer BCT-20301 | Discount Ramps

Single Wheel Bicycle Trailer for Cargo BCT-8002 | Discount Ramps
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Old 12-11-16, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
Check out the trailers from Discount Ramps. They're not Bobs but they're a fraction of the price. I owned the second one for awhile. Worked great.

Bicycle Cargo Trailer BCT-20301 | Discount Ramps

Single Wheel Bicycle Trailer for Cargo BCT-8002 | Discount Ramps
I looked at those and they seemed a bit to cheap to me and I decided I wanted a bob cause they have an unbeatable reputation of durability and those were reviewed rather poorly
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Old 12-11-16, 08:10 PM
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I have a big backpacking backpack and I would make a flat type trailer designed for it to strap to so I don't need to buy more bags
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Old 12-11-16, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
I looked at those and they seemed a bit to cheap to me and I decided I wanted a bob cause they have an unbeatable reputation of durability and those were reviewed rather poorly
Where did you see they were rated poorly at? Both of them have 5/5 stars across the boards on the links provided above.

I can't speak for the first one but the second one was great.

At the very least it could help as you build your own. You could modify both.
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Old 12-11-16, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
Where did you see they were rated poorly at? Both of them have 5/5 stars across the boards on the links provided above.

I can't speak for the first one but the second one was great.

At the very least it could help as you build your own. You could modify both.
I had looked at them in the past and dove pretty deep into it and some of the weld quality was pretty low from what I found upon digging deeper
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Old 12-11-16, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
I had looked at them in the past and dove pretty deep into it and some of the weld quality was pretty low from what I found upon digging deeper
Interesting. Never had any problems with mine and haven't heard of any issues.
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Old 12-11-16, 08:20 PM
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My bad. I was looking at other similar trailers and got them confused. I might pull the trigger on that single wheel one cause is seems nice and I think I could reinforce it to haul more than its rated 65 lbs
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Old 12-11-16, 08:37 PM
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I would look into bikepacking bags and forget about trailers. With careful gear choices you don't need trailers or panniers to tour.
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Old 12-11-16, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
I would look into bikepacking bags and forget about trailers. With careful gear choices you don't need trailers or panniers to tour.
I'd buy the trailer so all my stuff is in one place. Just easy for my that way and I like having access to my water bottles in my front triangle
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Old 12-11-16, 09:21 PM
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Maya Trailer

This is a a good trailer. Have had this out for several weekend trips.

https://www.mayacycle.com/bike-trailer-gallery for some pictures. It doesn't break the bank and I really like the bike stand feature. I took the wheelbarrow handles off mine and removed the small fender (kept having issues with it coming lose on rough terrain).

Because it is only one wheel, the handling is superb. When you buy the trailer, the bag comes with it. I have also strapped a small tote to it, so I can keep certain food stuffs and other valuables locked away from critters and two legged varmints from entering when I am not looking.
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Old 12-11-16, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. They're pretty budget friendly and that's great since I don't have much money. But the trailer idea is alot better than the backpack idea
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Old 12-11-16, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
I'd buy the trailer so all my stuff is in one place. Just easy for my that way and I like having access to my water bottles in my front triangle
You don't have to give up water bottles in the front triangle and I'd hate to lug a trailer around on tour. You just need two bags to tour, a handlebar bag and a saddlebag.
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Old 12-11-16, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
You don't have to give up water bottles in the front triangle and I'd hate to lug a trailer around on tour. You just need two bags to tour, a handlebar bag and a saddlebag.
Even to haul a tent some food and other camping gear? I'm going mostly unsupported for the weekend tour
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Old 12-11-16, 10:24 PM
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Sounds like you've decided on the single-wheel trailer to haul your backpack. That should work fine. If you've never ridden a bike with touring bags on it (generally two rear panniers on the rack, bedroll and tent on top of the rack and front handlebar bag), you will probably find the trailer to be more agreeable. A lot of people have ridden a whole lot of miles with panniers but that setup can make your bike feel sluggish, which the proper trailer is less likely to do. Good luck!

P.S. Try riding all day with 65 pounds in that trailer before you decide you need to do any reinforcing. I recently toured with 50 pounds in a B.O.B. and that was plenty of weight. I probably could have done with less and certainly would not have wanted more.

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Old 12-11-16, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
Even to haul a tent some food and other camping gear? I'm going mostly unsupported for the weekend tour
Sure, with UL gear I do 4-day/3-nighters with a single 20lbs/25L pannier, incl 6 lbs of food/water.
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Old 12-11-16, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27
My bad. I was looking at other similar trailers and got them confused. I might pull the trigger on that single wheel one cause is seems nice and I think I could reinforce it to haul more than its rated 65 lbs
+1 - That's the one I owned. I can't comment on the dual wheel one since I've never owned it. 65lbs is a lot. I sold my trailer because I travel light, averaging 13lbs on a cross country tour.

Personally having all of my gear in two 14L panniers vs in a trailer was better for me.

I did enjoy the trailer while touring with my younger sisters though, who were 10 & 15 (twins) the first time we toured. Ended up carrying most of their gear. They're now old enough to carry their own gear. Couldn't tell you how much the trailer weighed then. 40-50lbs I think would be a good estimate. Handled well. The bag that comes with it is waterproof as advertised. I do spray all of my gear with Thompson's Water Seal though. That may have added to how well it worked, not sure.
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