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Touring with a Saddlebag Instead of Panniers?

Old 10-15-19, 07:42 PM
  #26  
79pmooney
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Do you like to get out of the saddle when you climb? If so, you will find that loaded saddlebags suck. Panniers are a lot better. LowRider panniers, even when heavily loaded are no harder to ride uphill out-of-the-saddle than a light bike (for your hands and wrists, NOT your legs - obviously!)

I am a huge fan of LowRiders. All I will use on my fix gears. On the rest of my bikes, they go on first, get loaded with all the heavy stuff, then the rear panniers go on.

I toured several times when I was young and didn't know any better with a big English saddlebag. Never again. In fact, once I had panniers, it never went on a bike again. 20 years ago I purchased the front Ortleib panniers. "Replaced" them 10 years later with new Ortleib fronts, then turned the olds into rears. I haven't toured with them but I'd do it in a flash (or maybe get the big rears to hold sleeping bag and other large stuff). That how wet they get absolutely doesn't matter is just another plus/

Ben
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Old 10-15-19, 08:00 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Do you like to get out of the saddle when you climb? If so, you will find that loaded saddlebags suck. Panniers are a lot better. LowRider panniers, even when heavily loaded are no harder to ride uphill out-of-the-saddle than a light bike (for your hands and wrists, NOT your legs - obviously!)
This is a very personal thing. I find it easy to get out of the saddle with my saddlebag. I think the reasons for this are that the bag is securely mounted so there is very little sway; it is close to the center of mass of the bike, ie my butt, and so it has very little moment and also the bag and contents only weigh 13lbs.

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Old 10-16-19, 06:39 AM
  #28  
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With a set up like mine you have to be mindful of food and water as they can be bulky.

I have 2 x 2L water bottles in cages that I top up at every opportunity. If I am going to be away from resupply I put extra soda/water cans in the rear pockets of my jersey, in my handlebar bag or use the long flap to give extra room in the saddlebag. I keep daily food in a large plastic bag in my bar bag and if I stop to pick up food before camping it gets strapped under the lid of the saddlebag. I also carry a nylon day pack and can carry
items in it in a pinch.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:00 AM
  #29  
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Here's my Caradice Nelson Longflap on Caradice's Bagman QR fitted with Caradice's Support Struts. It doesn't sway or swing or hit my thighs or rub my rear tire or do anything wonky to the bike's handling, although we should note that several posters have pointed out I'm doing it wrong.

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Old 10-16-19, 09:32 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Here's my Caradice Nelson Longflap on Caradice's Bagman QR fitted with Caradice's Support Struts. It doesn't sway or swing or hit my thighs or rub my rear tire or do anything wonky to the bike's handling, although we should note that several posters have pointed out I'm doing it wrong.

The Bagman and the Quick Release should completely eliminate sway as the bag is fully retained. and supported from the bottom. I find that the old school way with no support works well for me, but there are several ways to mount a saddlebag. The incorrect ways allow sway....here is a great example of the wrong way.

https://www.rivbike.com/collections/...ckville-bagboy
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Old 10-16-19, 02:39 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Here's my Caradice Nelson Longflap on Caradice's Bagman QR fitted with Caradice's Support Struts. It doesn't sway or swing or hit my thighs or ...
Good point to mention, my legs just barely touch my smaller saddle bag when it hangs unsupported. Does not bother me once I got used to it, but some people could be bothered by it. Just like my left leg touching the pump that I have mounted on a bracket on the seattube, you get used to it.

***

Different topic - handlebar bags. Handlebar bags are great if they are conveniently detached so you can take it into a store or restaurant with you and easily e-attach later. Not so great if they are hard to detach and re-attach. I have no knowledge of the bag you are looking at.

I use a second stem to mount my handle bar bags that are mounted on the handlebar, not a rack like you plan. Photos of three of my bike setups at this link:
Help with handlebar bag and rack selection

I can quickly and easily take my bag off of the bike and put it back later, thus I can keep all my valuables in the bag when I leave the bike.

It can take a while to get your bag organized, but they are great to hold all that extra stuff that you might want to get to during the day, I try to keep the weight as far to the rear as I can, you want the weight closest to the steering axis to avoid messing up your handling. It can take several days on a tour to get my bag organized to figure out what I want where. First photo of my bat in Iceland in 2016.



Photo below of my bag in the Canadian Maritimes this year.

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Old 10-16-19, 02:58 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Good point to mention, my legs just barely touch my smaller saddle bag when it hangs unsupported. Does not bother me once I got used to it, but some people could be bothered by it. Just like my left leg touching the pump that I have mounted on a bracket on the seattube, you get used to it.

***

Different topic - handlebar bags. Handlebar bags are great if they are conveniently detached so you can take it into a store or restaurant with you and easily e-attach later. Not so great if they are hard to detach and re-attach. I have no knowledge of the bag you are looking at.

I use a second stem to mount my handle bar bags that are mounted on the handlebar, not a rack like you plan. Photos of three of my bike setups at this link:
Help with handlebar bag and rack selection

I can quickly and easily take my bag off of the bike and put it back later, thus I can keep all my valuables in the bag when I leave the bike.

It can take a while to get your bag organized, but they are great to hold all that extra stuff that you might want to get to during the day, I try to keep the weight as far to the rear as I can, you want the weight closest to the steering axis to avoid messing up your handling. It can take several days on a tour to get my bag organized to figure out what I want where. First photo of my bat in Iceland in 2016.
Nice setup. Unfortunately the steerer tube on my Bilenky is a little short for that. It just might be worth it to me to buy a new fork to make this work. Mind telling me what H-bar bag you are using in these pics? Can you recommend one with a lot of room? Also, I've never had a bag that is suitable for a rack with decaleur. I'm assuming that style is definitely NOT quick-release. If I decided to go with that setup, should I then have some sort of bag within my hbar bag to hold my valuables to take into a store for a quick in and out? Up until now, most of my touring has been bickpacking trails, so only village store visits in areas were crime is low.
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Old 10-16-19, 03:22 PM
  #33  
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The Klick Fix bag attachment on the Ortlieb bar bag is good as it's solid yet very quick and easy to detach. However the mount that comes with the Ortlieb uses 2 cables to mount to the handlebars and it's a real pain. So I replaced it with a mount which clamps around the handlebars and just uses a single cable to prevent vertical motion. Again I don't need to use a rack. I keep all things in it that I need to hand and that would be a real pain to have stolen. When I stop I take the bar bag off and get out my lock and lock up the bike. Then I put the shoulder strap on the bag and I'm all set. If my bike or saddlebag are stolen at least I'll have phone, wallet, passport and a jacket and hat and so I can keep warm and call and spend my way out of trouble.
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Old 10-16-19, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Nice setup. Unfortunately the steerer tube on my Bilenky is a little short for that. It just might be worth it to me to buy a new fork to make this work. Mind telling me what H-bar bag you are using in these pics? Can you recommend one with a lot of room? Also, I've never had a bag that is suitable for a rack with decaleur. I'm assuming that style is definitely NOT quick-release. If I decided to go with that setup, should I then have some sort of bag within my hbar bag to hold my valuables to take into a store for a quick in and out? Up until now, most of my touring has been bickpacking trails, so only village store visits in areas were crime is low.
My bags are Louis Garneau, I have three of them of different models. I do not recommend them because they badly sag, I had to add some Aluminum strapping to support the bag bottom and it attached at the bracket. Also their bags do not have a stiff lid, I cut the seams, put in a stiff plastic stiffener, and re-sewed the lid. Several hours per bag. Plus I think they no longer make them any more. After I bought the first one, I bought more for two simple reasons (1) they all use the same mount so all of my bags fit all of my bikes, and (2) I bought all of them on clearance sale pricing.

Thorn makes an accessory T bar adapter that only uses one inch (25mm) of steerer tube. SJS at times has very affordable shipping from UK to USA but at other times, not so affordable for small items. I do not know how their prices run right now.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessor...0-deg/?geoc=US

The link to the one above is 55mm long, they also make longer ones but I think you want as short as possible so it keeps your weight closer to the steering axis.

I do not have a photo of it, but I have also put a bag bracket using that T Accessory Bar on my road bike, I had exactly 25mm of extra steerer tube.

The photo below shows the 55mm one. The photo also shows the Aluminum supports that I had to add.



This photo does not show the T bar very well, but you can see how everything fits together with enough room between the handlebar and the bag for my hands.


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Old 10-16-19, 03:54 PM
  #35  
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I have no clue what shifters you use, make sure they work with your bag.



I use a rear Campy brifter on my rando bike. I usually use a narrower bag on that bike but I decided to check to see if my widest bag would fit, just barely.

I assume you do not use the vintage Shimano shifters where the cables stick out to the sides, a friend of mine did and he used V brake noodles to re-route his cable runs for his bag.

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Old 10-16-19, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My bags are Louis Garneau, I have three of them of different models. I do not recommend them because they badly sag, I had to add some Aluminum strapping to support the bag bottom and it attached at the bracket. Also their bags do not have a stiff lid, I cut the seams, put in a stiff plastic stiffener, and re-sewed the lid. Several hours per bag. Plus I think they no longer make them any more. After I bought the first one, I bought more for two simple reasons (1) they all use the same mount so all of my bags fit all of my bikes, and (2) I bought all of them on clearance sale pricing.
I am in awe of your wisdom, your tenacity, and your creativity. What would your have purchased if not for the cheap LG bags? I've studied all of the Hbar bags I can find links for, and so far, I'm only in love with the Velo Orange bags/decaleur setup. Am I damned to eternal Hell for this?
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Old 10-16-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

I also must applaud the use of noodles to satisfy your needs. So clever!
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Old 10-16-19, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I am in awe of your wisdom, your tenacity, and your creativity. What would your have purchased if not for the cheap LG bags? I've studied all of the Hbar bags I can find links for, and so far, I'm only in love with the Velo Orange bags/decaleur setup. Am I damned to eternal Hell for this?
I worked at a bike shop before I went to college and got an engineering degree. In the process of that I concluded that I was lucky to be gifted with outstanding mechanical aptitude. I also was low on the wealth scale, I commuted to college on a 5 to 10 year old motorcycle. When the motorcycle needed a repair, if the tools were cheaper than a labor bill to fix it, I always bought the tools instead I learned a LOT about late 60s and early 70s Triumph 500 motorcycles. After a while you can often look at something, ponder it for a bit, and then try it. If your project was a failure, you probably learned enough to avoid a different failure later.

I was considering the Ortlieb, but saw a Louis Gaurneau on sale and did a bit of internet research, sounded like a nice bag. When I got it I was quite disappointed with the floppy lid, but it was cheap enough I decided to keep it and try to add the stiffener. It was after a couple trips when I finally added the Aluminum straps to get rid of the sag. Initially I used 3/4 inch by 1/8 inch Aluminum, but that bent so I then used 1.5 inch wide instead of 3/4. Later I saw a different Louis Gaurneau at a different internet site on a clearance sale, ordered a couple, mostly for more brackets so I could put them on more bikes. Then a couple years ago I saw one at a swap meet, the owner wanted $15 and since I wanted another bracket for another bike, I bought it.

The second stem, I got that idea from somewhere on the internet and later I saw a few photos of bikes that used a second stem. So, that really looked like the best option to me.

Nope, you are not damned for liking the Velo Orange bag.

Call them and ask them how easy it is to attach and detach? I bought a Velo Orange frame three or four years ago, I talked to them on the phone first and asked a few questions. They were very pleasant to talk to. It is a small shop so they know they have to be good to customers with accurate answers.

They changed ownership in the past couple years, but I suspect they are pretty much operating the same way they did when I bought my frame. I thought about it for weeks, thought up some questions, called and asked them. And a couple days before I was going to buy they suddenly had a store wide 20 percent off sale. That was early December or maybe late November before the holiday season. My timing was quite lucky.
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Old 10-17-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I worked at a bike shop before I went to college and got an engineering degree. In the process of that I concluded that I was lucky to be gifted with outstanding mechanical aptitude. I also was low on the wealth scale, I commuted to college on a 5 to 10 year old motorcycle. When the motorcycle needed a repair, if the tools were cheaper than a labor bill to fix it, I always bought the tools instead I learned a LOT about late 60s and early 70s Triumph 500 motorcycles. After a while you can often look at something, ponder it for a bit, and then try it. If your project was a failure, you probably learned enough to avoid a different failure later.

I was considering the Ortlieb, but saw a Louis Gaurneau on sale and did a bit of internet research, sounded like a nice bag. When I got it I was quite disappointed with the floppy lid, but it was cheap enough I decided to keep it and try to add the stiffener. It was after a couple trips when I finally added the Aluminum straps to get rid of the sag. Initially I used 3/4 inch by 1/8 inch Aluminum, but that bent so I then used 1.5 inch wide instead of 3/4. Later I saw a different Louis Gaurneau at a different internet site on a clearance sale, ordered a couple, mostly for more brackets so I could put them on more bikes. Then a couple years ago I saw one at a swap meet, the owner wanted $15 and since I wanted another bracket for another bike, I bought it.

The second stem, I got that idea from somewhere on the internet and later I saw a few photos of bikes that used a second stem. So, that really looked like the best option to me.

Nope, you are not damned for liking the Velo Orange bag.

Call them and ask them how easy it is to attach and detach? I bought a Velo Orange frame three or four years ago, I talked to them on the phone first and asked a few questions. They were very pleasant to talk to. It is a small shop so they know they have to be good to customers with accurate answers.

They changed ownership in the past couple years, but I suspect they are pretty much operating the same way they did when I bought my frame. I thought about it for weeks, thought up some questions, called and asked them. And a couple days before I was going to buy they suddenly had a store wide 20 percent off sale. That was early December or maybe late November before the holiday season. My timing was quite lucky.
I worked in a bike shop before I joined the USAF and learned how to work on aircraft. After I retired from that, I got a BS in Marketing, but I should have done engineering for sure. In fact, I went back to school just to show my teenagers that they should choose to do it too - kind of a "lead by example" sort of thing. I don't regret getting an education, just the type. My father was an engineer. I should have went in that direction. The marketing was easy-peasy and I went at night after work. No online classes back then. The sad part is that my skills are all like yours. After I got my degree, my employer put me in the advertising department. I was successful at it, but after a year or so I was miserable and asked to go back to my previous machinist position. I've been welding and machining things my whole life. I've got the equipment, building bikes and making bike racks and such is simply something I never tried to do.

I'll call VO, but I'm thinking that if I have a fanny pack to carry my valuables while I'm inside somewhere, then I'll be gtg. Let me know what you think of this idea.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:15 AM
  #40  
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I wear a fanny pack on brevets where my valuables are kept. I will continue to do so for my overnight touring since my handlebar bag, frame bag, and seat bag are already at capacity with clothing, tools, and random electronic stuff.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:30 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
...
I'll call VO, but I'm thinking that if I have a fanny pack to carry my valuables while I'm inside somewhere, then I'll be gtg. Let me know what you think of this idea.
Some people like wearing fanny packs on a bike, some like backpacks on a bike, I personally do not like either. Walking around in touristy areas when I am not on a bike trip, I will use a daypack or a fanny pack to carry some water and some food, plus of course any souvenirs I buy. But I do not like to wear them on a bike.

I rode White Rim Trail in Canyonlands Utah, brought a handlebar bag (before I reinforced it from sagging with the Aluminum strips) and my smaller Carradice bag. Worked great. It was a 4X4 supported trip where the truck hauled our food and camping gear, thus all we had to carry during the day was water, lunch and any layers of clothing we shed during the day as it warmed up. My nine friends on that ride all had full suspension mountain bikes and they all wore backpacks and they all thought that my saddlebag was completely the wrong way to go.

It really is personal preference.

And I think there is some group think too, every bikepacker I have ever seen when I was out on mountain bike trails was wearing a backpack because their bike packs were insufficient to hold everything they needed. And everybody else wore backpacks so they seemed to think that must be the right way to go.

First two photos below were from that White Rim trip, second photo shows quite well the extra two toe clip straps that I said I added to the Carradice lid so I could strap extra clothing on if I wanted to. With that much leather on the saddle bag, leather toe clip straps seemed to make the most sense.





Photo below was when I did an ACA van supported trip in Big Bend. I brought my folding bike, that worked out best with the airlines because I could fit it into my S&S case, flew Southwest and they give you two free checked bag allowance so the bike flew for free. Most others had skinny tire road bikes and wore fanny packs or backpacks, but I prefer to put my extra stuff on the bike instead.

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Old 10-17-19, 08:25 AM
  #42  
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Completely agree with @Tourist in MSN that backpacks, waistpacks, etc. are such a personal decision. I only wear a backpack when bike shuttling for hiking. I can tolerate a backpack for 10-15 miles. The backpack (holding my cycling shoes) then gets locked up with my bike and I use a waistpack for hiking.

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Old 10-17-19, 11:03 AM
  #43  
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I truly hate the idea of a fanny pack. They are so gauche!

Since I started this thread, I've gone over all of the bag makers that I could find, and I've settled on Arkel. They look nice and have great reviews. The handlebar bag especially looks great, and the mounting system look to be exactly what I need. For my first set of loaded touring bags, I think these are a wise choice.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:21 AM
  #44  
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I don't like to ride with fanny packs or backpacks, but I do carry a 2 oz emergency nylon backpack just in case I have to carry bulky items for a short distance and my longflap is already being used.

I have jersey back pockets and they are where I carry apples, bananas and non meltable food which usually gets eaten in the morning. I also have my iPhone and radio in one back pocket.


If you want to use a saddlebag instead of panniers then the importance of the handlebar bag is increased as it becomes a far larger fraction of your baggage volume and it also needs to be packed and chosen carefully.


The Velo Orange stuff is nice in a retro way. The Randonneur bag looks useful and I like the new material, but for me the mounting system isn't ideal as a rack would not work with my carbon bike and the attachment method is a bit involved. I chose the Ortlieb mostly for the Klick Fix mount and it's rugged simplicity and lightness of construction. It has a zipped internal pocket that is good for valuables and the single large volume inside can take lots of stuff. Mounting to the handlebars is an issue for some as they worry about it affecting handling and the way the strap clips onto the side of the bag takes a bit of practice to do quickly. But overall the Ortlieb is just the most convenient solution for me as it doesn't need a rack.

Last edited by nun; 10-17-19 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-17-19, 08:08 PM
  #45  
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Re fanny packs, I'm younger than some of you guys and older than others, but man o man i find fanny packs to be dorky.

Re ortlieb handlebar bags, like nun, the light weight and waterproofness are the two main appeals.
While it's not offroad off-road, I never have had loosening problems even after being on rather rough roads in Mexico and central America. I didn't overload it and am reasonable over rough surfaces, but was still pleasantly surprised not to have issues during the two trips of about 3 1/2 months total, plus other trips after.
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Old 10-18-19, 11:27 PM
  #46  
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Beware of the clearance between the bottom of the bag and the tire. I have a bagman mount without the support underneath, and the bag rests on the top of my rear fender, which is ok. However, I found that my back leg touches the bag every time, so I'm switching to an SQR system, which I recommend over the bagman.

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Old 10-19-19, 06:15 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I've got a bikepacking setup. its okay, but for a coast-to-coast tour, I'll need more space.
I just don't get why folks so often say something like that. Everyone can and should take what they need, but I always figured I'd carry exactly the same stuff for a weekend as I do to go coast to coast. Yes the climate or geography may change on a coast to coast trip so at some point I just might change a few items at some point by mailing stuff home and having a few items sent to me from home, but then again maybe not. A well tuned packing list can and should be pretty versatile.

I packed pretty light on my last coast to coast trip (a february southern tier) and used the same stuff for the whole trip. I don't usually do really short trips, but I think I'd carry the same 14# of gear I used on the ST if going for the week or probably even the weekend at that time. My gear has changed a little since then, but I'd still use the same stuff for a short as I would for long trip.

Yes I carried a ton of stuff when I did the Trans America, but that had more to do with the fact that it was my first tour and I probably would have packed super heavy for a short tour back then as well.

Just a suggestion, but...
If you think you need a lot of extra stuff for a long tour, have a long hard look at each extra item to decide if you really need it. In my experience you probably don't in most cases.
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Old 10-19-19, 06:48 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I just don't get why folks so often say something like that. Everyone can and should take what they need, but I always figured I'd carry exactly the same stuff for a weekend as I do to go coast to coast. Yes the climate or geography may change on a coast to coast trip so at some point I just might change a few items at some point by mailing stuff home and having a few items sent to me from home, but then again maybe not. A well tuned packing list can and should be pretty versatile.

I packed pretty light on my last coast to coast trip (a february southern tier) and used the same stuff for the whole trip. I don't usually do really short trips, but I think I'd carry the same 14# of gear I used on the ST if going for the week or probably even the weekend at that time. My gear has changed a little since then, but I'd still use the same stuff for a short as I would for long trip.

Yes I carried a ton of stuff when I did the Trans America, but that had more to do with the fact that it was my first tour and I probably would have packed super heavy for a short tour back then as well.

Just a suggestion, but...
If you think you need a lot of extra stuff for a long tour, have a long hard look at each extra item to decide if you really need it. In my experience you probably don't in most cases.
This is very good advice, and I thank you! I also won't tell you that you are preaching to the choir, but I'm thoroughly aware of how much weight each additional item will add to the sum of the whole. My packing list is ever-changing but I've broken it down into two categories: Stuff I need and stuff that would be nice to have. Things I need are sleeping pad, tent, etc, and things that would be nice would be a change of clothes, perhaps some nicer clothes that would be nice to be seen in town with, and not necessarily be taken as a cyclist at first glance. I've been researching/shopping and there are some amazing long pants out there that are smart looking but very lightweight and packable. Pants from Patagonia, Ex Officio, and a list of others. Expensive, but worth it if you are only buying one pair. I think I can double-duty on the shoes. I like my Keens.
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Old 10-19-19, 07:43 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
This is very good advice, and I thank you! I also won't tell you that you are preaching to the choir, but I'm thoroughly aware of how much weight each additional item will add to the sum of the whole. My packing list is ever-changing but I've broken it down into two categories: Stuff I need and stuff that would be nice to have. Things I need are sleeping pad, tent, etc, and things that would be nice would be a change of clothes, perhaps some nicer clothes that would be nice to be seen in town with, and not necessarily be taken as a cyclist at first glance. I've been researching/shopping and there are some amazing long pants out there that are smart looking but very lightweight and packable. Pants from Patagonia, Ex Officio, and a list of others. Expensive, but worth it if you are only buying one pair. I think I can double-duty on the shoes. I like my Keens.
I use these shorts for cycling and they look normal off the bike too

https://www.groundeffect.co.nz/colle...y-cycle-shorts

I have a pair of Ex-Officio long pants with zip off legs which give the option of long pants or shorts. I also have 2 pairs of padded underwear which get washed every night and can be worn
without shorts in an emergency, so I have lots of options for not much weight.

https://www.vulpine.cc/catalog/produ...o2LCJwb3MiOjV9
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Old 10-19-19, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
This is very good advice, and I thank you! I also won't tell you that you are preaching to the choir, but I'm thoroughly aware of how much weight each additional item will add to the sum of the whole. My packing list is ever-changing but I've broken it down into two categories: Stuff I need and stuff that would be nice to have. Things I need are sleeping pad, tent, etc, and things that would be nice would be a change of clothes, perhaps some nicer clothes that would be nice to be seen in town with, and not necessarily be taken as a cyclist at first glance. I've been researching/shopping and there are some amazing long pants out there that are smart looking but very lightweight and packable. Pants from Patagonia, Ex Officio, and a list of others. Expensive, but worth it if you are only buying one pair. I think I can double-duty on the shoes. I like my Keens.
re long pants, there are reasonably priced ones like the Royal Robbins ones I have, a tan colour that look like regular street clothes, very light, roll up small, dry quickly, the colour doesnt show dirt which is great. Good tough material that still isnt clammy in heat and I like having them on a trip to wear when walking around a town if cool.
I carry a pair of Outdoor Research shorts, similar to the longs in that they are very light, roll up small etc, and have a zippered pocket which is nice for keeping money in etc in front, that reduces pickpocket risks (recall my trips in Latin America, I was always very aware of this sort of thing)
re a diff pair of shoes, personally I really like to have a more comfortable pair of walking around shoes compared to my stiff spd biking mtb shoes, and really appreciate getting into diff shoes at end of day.
I also tend to take one normal looking button down short sleeve shirt-again, very light, small etc, and mine was a cheapie to boot but looks nice.

In the end, I figure that the extra clothes I take compared to nuns or staep's setup only adds maybe 2-3lbs, and at a certain point, its nothing in the big scheme of things and I like having them. Same with taking a small camp pillow-it fits in a small bag, but I sleep better, so its worth it to me without question.

I find that extra food and water is the main culprit for making the bike heavier, besides my tent, which is still not a lightweight one at 4lbs and a bit, so I could easily save a few pounds by getting a lightweight single man tent. My campmat and sleeping bag are fairly light, so thats covered at least.

as you say though, grams do add up, so being reasonable does make a difference, but certainly getting to know what you are comfortable with stuff wise or lack of stuff wise is fairly personal.
I have noticed that I have reduced tools over the years, added a bit for the latin american trips and disc brakes (tiny needle nose pliers) --specifically I took more spares, spare tire etc that I knew was worth carrying given the availability of stuff or lack thereof.

NC, when are you leaving and what is your route ish? I can't recall if you have mentioned this that much.
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