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will bike weight make a difference to an old guy like me?

Old 08-31-20, 07:13 AM
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jpjuggler
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will bike weight make a difference to an old guy like me?

(FYI, I also posted this to the 50+ riders thread)

HI,
I'm almost 60.
i want a bike that I can tour with but mostly do day rides. The Surly Long Haul Trucker is 30lbs and I love the riding position on the 58cm bike I tried. The riding position I would say is the most important factor for me, as I've tried other bikes now and then and the reach from seat to handlebars feels too short, or I'm too bent over, (aggressive road bike position) for my comfort level.

The all city space horse is a light touring bike at 25 lbs. and I can't try it yet because of the bike shortage in my area.
The long haul trucker is 30lbs and is available now and has the super low granny gear that i would also like.

So... at my age and so so fitness level, do you think I will enjoy the lighter bike in the sense that the bike will accelerate faster and be faster in general? I like fast. (fast for me that is, )
OR...will it not be that noticeable? My 22 year old son says I wouldn't be able to notice.

An apples to apples comparison isn't available as i can't try the lighter bike because all the shops are sold out.

But I'm very interested to hear your thoughts.
JP
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Old 08-31-20, 08:05 AM
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the trucker is a great bike. If it fits you perfectly then I would not mess with it and instead I would try to replace some components like get a second tubeless wheelset (carbon wheels) for the day rides. Coupled this with carbon seatpost and handlebars and maybe lighter bike racks (you mentioned light touring for which heavy duty racks might not be necessary) and You will save 5 pounds quick. If You decide to go on a rougher tour or longer tour where you would feel better using your original wheelset then you can simply just swap wheels.


OTOH - YOLO - having more than one bike is great too, especially if you ride often and the one and only bike has to be sidelined due to some maintenance
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Old 08-31-20, 08:48 AM
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touring loads on light thinwall tubes will flex the frame.. maybe carry less & stay in Motels?
light touring is the load is light, foregoing camping gear..

you can always throw stuff in a bike trailer to get it off the bike....






..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-31-20 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 08-31-20, 09:57 AM
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Have you toured before? With camping gear or staying in motels (often called credit card touring)?

How often do you expect to go touring, and how much would you carry on the bike?

If you have not toured before and have a dream of going touring someday, is that someday a dream that is a few years away or are there concrete plans for a trip?

I think these are the things you need to think about before you decide if you want a city bike that is fun to ride or a workhorse that is built to carry a load.

To your specific question, adding five pounds of weight to the bike is not really noticeable. Two full water bottles that are one liter each carry a total of 4.4 pounds of water. And if you were riding along and suddenly stopped, drained out the water and started riding again, you would not notice the difference after losing 4.4 pounds.

Regarding fit, it is common to buy a new stem that is longer or shorter or has a different angle to shift the handlebars to a different location after buying the bike. Thus some bikes you tried, with a different stem you might be able to improve their fit.
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Old 08-31-20, 10:07 AM
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I am older than you by a few years and I suggest that the Trucker would be a fine choice, especially as you find it comfortable. I have a trucker that I use for commuting and touring and I put a lot of miles on it. I do have other bikes (5 total) and I do feel that a couple of them are faster and more nimble than the Trucker but the Trucker is a touring and commuting beast and it is more important to me to ride happy than it is to ride fast though sometimes happy is faster.
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Old 08-31-20, 10:24 AM
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As suggested above, A trucker with a second lighter set of wheels and tires, and maybe upgraded bits like seatpost and handlebar/stem, would bring the weight down a few lbs, close to the All City, but with the same robust and tough-as-nails frame, if you need that for carrying a heavy touring load.

If you already own all the ultra-lightweight camping gear you would need to tour, then maybe a lighter bike frame would be fine.

In the end, the answer is 'no', it won't make much of a difference unless you plan to do fast or competitive group rides in hilly areas. On flat terrain the weight makes practically zero difference.
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Old 08-31-20, 11:09 AM
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I have a LHT and use it for everything. If you want the bike to be a little more nimble, choose the 26 inch wheels over the 700 wheels. As for weight, mine always has the bags on it, and they always have all sorts of assorted junk in them, so mine is never light. If I take the bags off it feels amazing. I wouldn't worry about a five pound difference, especially if you want ti use the bike for touring.
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Old 08-31-20, 12:16 PM
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Remember, the effective difference between a 25 lb. bike and a 30 lb. bike really isn't 5 lbs. The real difference in weight is 25 lbs. plus your body weight versus 30 lbs. plus your body weight. So, for example, if you weigh 180 lbs., the effective weight difference isn't 20%, it's 2.3%.
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Old 08-31-20, 01:16 PM
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I recommend getting the Trucker to enjoy immediately. Of my two bicycles, the default one for fun weighs 35 lbs. I could reduce that by 5 lbs if I removed the racks but, I like the way it handles as it is. It also has some pretty heavy pedals. They work well though, so why should I bother trying to make it lighter? It's fast and it handles hills fantastically. If any part of your bicycle spins slow and resistant, THAT should be the part to worry about.
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Old 08-31-20, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjuggler View Post
(FYI, I also posted this to the 50+ riders thread)

HI,
I'm almost 60.
i want a bike that I can tour with but mostly do day rides. The Surly Long Haul Trucker is 30lbs and I love the riding position on the 58cm bike I tried. The riding position I would say is the most important factor for me, as I've tried other bikes now and then and the reach from seat to handlebars feels too short, or I'm too bent over, (aggressive road bike position) for my comfort level.

The all city space horse is a light touring bike at 25 lbs. and I can't try it yet because of the bike shortage in my area.
The long haul trucker is 30lbs and is available now and has the super low granny gear that i would also like.

So... at my age and so so fitness level, do you think I will enjoy the lighter bike in the sense that the bike will accelerate faster and be faster in general? I like fast. (fast for me that is, )
OR...will it not be that noticeable? My 22 year old son says I wouldn't be able to notice.

An apples to apples comparison isn't available as i can't try the lighter bike because all the shops are sold out.

But I'm very interested to hear your thoughts.
JP
I would. Weight is weight and if you have to haul it up over a hill, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the bike, on you, in your trailer or on your rack.

We’re going to go to trailers instead of panniers on a bike. The reason for that are several:

1. The weight of the rack, front and rear panniers, are about the same. If you look at the weight differences in touring bikes vs gravel or cross bikes, the trailer is substantially lighter.
2. Why I like to tour is because I like to ride my bike. I like the feel of a sprightly, nimble bike and I don’t like the feel of a heavy loaded bike. To be more explicit - I *hate* And detest the feeling of riding a bike that is sluggish and weighty.
3. When it comes time to muscle around the bike, lighter is better especially for us old guys (I’m 65). I can do it but if I don’t have to, I’m all for it.
4. The trailer is more aero. While that sounds silly on it’s face, aero matters big time in almost any application in which you’re moving. Add a headwind and it’s obvious.
5. I don’t have to put the effort into balancing the load anymore. That works your core, which is fine for exercise purposes, but it does lead to fatigue faster. I’m touring with my 20 something son and I need all the advantages I can get.
6. I have panniers I don’t really like and so it’s cheaper to do the trailer than the panniers. And it’s way, WAY cheaper than the cost of another bike (and I’m already way down the N+1 curve).

The trailer we’re going to go to is the Cyclone IV from Radical Designs.

So I’d say, ride the bike you want to ride, or better *like* to ride, and work backwards from there.

J.
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Old 08-31-20, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I would. Weight is weight and if you have to haul it up over a hill, it doesnít matter if itís on the bike, on you, in your trailer or on your rack.

Weíre going to go to trailers instead of panniers on a bike. The reason for that are several:

1. The weight of the rack, front and rear panniers, are about the same. If you look at the weight differences in touring bikes vs gravel or cross bikes, the trailer is substantially lighter.
2. Why I like to tour is because I like to ride my bike. I like the feel of a sprightly, nimble bike and I donít like the feel of a heavy loaded bike. To be more explicit - I *hate* And detest the feeling of riding a bike that is sluggish and weighty.
3. When it comes time to muscle around the bike, lighter is better especially for us old guys (Iím 65). I can do it but if I donít have to, Iím all for it.
4. The trailer is more aero. While that sounds silly on itís face, aero matters big time in almost any application in which youíre moving. Add a headwind and itís obvious.
5. I donít have to put the effort into balancing the load anymore. That works your core, which is fine for exercise purposes, but it does lead to fatigue faster. Iím touring with my 20 something son and I need all the advantages I can get.
6. I have panniers I donít really like and so itís cheaper to do the trailer than the panniers. And itís way, WAY cheaper than the cost of another bike (and Iím already way down the N+1 curve).

The trailer weíre going to go to is the Cyclone IV from Radical Designs.

So Iíd say, ride the bike you want to ride, or better *like* to ride, and work backwards from there.

J.
Thanks for your perspective. It didn't even occur to me to use a trailer for touring. duh! as I mentioned before, I wouldn't see myself touring that much. so a trailer could be very interesting option. I'll check out the cyclone you mentioned . THANKS!!!
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Old 08-31-20, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjuggler View Post
Thanks for your perspective. It didn't even occur to me to use a trailer for touring. duh! as I mentioned before, I wouldn't see myself touring that much. so a trailer could be very interesting option. I'll check out the cyclone you mentioned . THANKS!!!
Glad to help. The overwhelming percentage of touring cyclists use panniers, but there is really no overriding reason to do so and it boils down to personal preference and cost. When you factor in aero, then I feel that it is then a better solution.

The counterpoints to a trailer are:
  • Too easy to carry too much stuff. This, to me, is a matter of personal discipline. Iím a million miler in business travel and I learned long ago that extra stuff doesnít seem all that great after you lug it around. So I can handle this.
  • Trailers can be a nuisance in hotels. The Cyclone IV fixes that too. Itís the transformer of trailers. Turns into a duffle or a wheelie. No hotel is going to have a problem with it.
  • Trailers are another opportunity for things to break. Iím an engineer. Iím good at preventative maintenance. But you also ditch the whole high wear issues of the back wheel and tire with panniers where there is a lot of extra weight. You now have no wheel heavily loaded and thatís going to be good all around. Iíd put money on the notion that itís net less broken stuff per mile.
  • Extra rolling resistance of one or two extra wheels. This is basically nonsense. Rolling resistance on a fully loaded bike tire is around 7-10W or so. Two lightly loaded tires or a single lightly loaded tire is going to be very low. A wash at worst and likely advantage to the trailer. But at this point, I think weíre splitting hairs.
  • Handling. A bike with a trailer can have different handling characteristics depending on how you load it. True and you have to mindful of that. However, the handling is still going to be way better than a heavy bike with heavy panniers on it. Just like with a car, donít forget itís behind you.

So thatís my argument for trailers and against buying a new bike especially if you like the bike you have.

My son and I did a spreadsheet of all the trailer picks that are interesting for the two tours weíre doing next summer. If youíre interested in that, I can send it to you. PM me.

J.
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Old 08-31-20, 06:52 PM
  #13  
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A trailer could be quite inconvenient if you wanted to fly somewhere, take Amtrak or a bus. But if you always drive to your starting point or start from home, then that is not a problem.
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Old 08-31-20, 07:00 PM
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A comfortable bike underneath you is better than an unknown bike on order...
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Old 08-31-20, 07:15 PM
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For what it is worth, given this has also touched on trailers...

I have toured a fair amount, most of it with panniers. I also own three trailers and have toured for about ~8 weeks total with an ExtraWheel trailer and ~4 weeks total with a Bob. My Travoy trailer gets used for groceries and my Bob gets used for moving things around the neighborhood. Despite having tried the combination, I am still much more of a panniers guy for several reasons, though it also depends on the trailer:
  • A two wheel trailer, like my Travoy now has three tracks to keep track of - dodge potholes, etc.
  • A trailer that attaches up top like a Travoy feels different in the handling than the Bob or Extra Wheel that at least attaches down low - those feel pretty similar
  • Trailers that have different sized tires like the Bob and Travoy mean I'll carry a different sized tube just in case. Not an issue with the Extra Wheel that uses same sizes
  • When flying, the trailer is an additional item to carry with me, and I sometimes hit oversize type limits. For my panniers, I bring a large-sized lightweight duffel and they all go in there and as long as I keep below weight limits (e.g. 50 lbs), it is one piece of luggage
On the counterpoint, I do like swapping from loaded to unloaded and with either trailer or panniers that is fairly quick to do. Also, if I had an existing bike that couldn't have racks for some reason then a trailer can help.

Now as far as the original question goes, I would put a lot of premium on the fit and comfort - so that would make me more nervous than 5 lbs if I couldn't try a space horse frame. It might depend some on your weight but I know I wouldn't notice 5 lbs by itself as a difference in the bikes - in the same was a mentioned I wouldn't notice whether I had three empty water bottles vs full water bottles - eventually this weight does add up - but I'd prioritize comfort over weight in this case.

Photo below of the Extra Wheel trailer being used along with panniers as well.
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Old 08-31-20, 08:00 PM
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I would love to tour using my light road bike and a trailer but the gearing would be a problem on hills. My LHT has very low gearing and is able to handle all the climbing on tours. By the time you have a loaded bike with luggage, the extra weight is not really an issue. It is an issue when you ride around town unloaded.
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Old 08-31-20, 08:10 PM
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Personally I notice five pounds weight difference, especially on tour. I often dump my one liter water bottle before a climb if I know there's water soon after the summit.

About a decade ago I made a commitment to lighten my self-contained touring load (I'm 63). I was able to go without front panniers and handlebar bag, just two rear panniers. Losing the mass off the front of the bike made a huge difference, as in 20 to 30 more miles per day and less fatigue. Most of my riding entails a lot of climbing, so weight management is important to me.

That said, I don't ride an especially light bike. Life cycle cost, reliability, and comfort are also concerns. In your case, availability is a big one too.
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Old 09-01-20, 01:08 PM
  #18  
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Juggler, as someone close to your age, my view is that a lighter bike is always appreciated and enjoyed.
especially if you will be using more g for unloaded or lightly loaded rides.

many options out there, and many of them with higher front ends so reasonable riding positions.

low gearing on even a lighter bike is important, especially if you even end up doing hotel tours with two rear panniers and a handlebar bag, just makes things easier on your knees.
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Old 09-01-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A trailer could be quite inconvenient if you wanted to fly somewhere, take Amtrak or a bus. But if you always drive to your starting point or start from home, then that is not a problem.
Not if you do it correctly. The Bob Yak will disassemble and fit with all your gear in an Ortleb Big Zip that meets airline baggage size limits. The Big Zip, if you use it correctly can also be the bag inside the Yak for your tour. Should you ever have a boat/plane/train issue you just remove the tongue and tire and put it in the Big Zip with your stuff and you’re good to go.

The reason that we chose the Radical Designs Cyclone is that it is the transformer of trailers. It is pretty much a duffle bag on a frame and the wheels come off and fit inside as does the trailer tongue. Then it’s nothing more than a big duffel and you carry it with a shoulder strap. It also has the capability to move the wheels aft and become a wheelie that I doubt any hotel or ferry would have an issue with. If they did, transform it into a duffle. It’s designed to hold your gear for air travel too and meets the airline specs.

So between the Bob and the Cyclone, the travel size issue is solved.

Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
A comfortable bike underneath you is better than an unknown bike on order...
Exactly. Bike fit is critical.

Originally Posted by mev View Post
For what it is worth, given this has also touched on trailers...

I have toured a fair amount, most of it with panniers. I also own three trailers and have toured for about ~8 weeks total with an ExtraWheel trailer and ~4 weeks total with a Bob. My Travoy trailer gets used for groceries and my Bob gets used for moving things around the neighborhood. Despite having tried the combination, I am still much more of a panniers guy for several reasons, though it also depends on the trailer:
  • A two wheel trailer, like my Travoy now has three tracks to keep track of - dodge potholes, etc.
  • A trailer that attaches up top like a Travoy feels different in the handling than the Bob or Extra Wheel that at least attaches down low - those feel pretty similar
  • Trailers that have different sized tires like the Bob and Travoy mean I'll carry a different sized tube just in case. Not an issue with the Extra Wheel that uses same sizes
  • When flying, the trailer is an additional item to carry with me, and I sometimes hit oversize type limits. For my panniers, I bring a large-sized lightweight duffel and they all go in there and as long as I keep below weight limits (e.g. 50 lbs), it is one piece of luggage
On the counterpoint, I do like swapping from loaded to unloaded and with either trailer or panniers that is fairly quick to do. Also, if I had an existing bike that couldn't have racks for some reason then a trailer can help.

Now as far as the original question goes, I would put a lot of premium on the fit and comfort - so that would make me more nervous than 5 lbs if I couldn't try a space horse frame. It might depend some on your weight but I know I wouldn't notice 5 lbs by itself as a difference in the bikes - in the same was a mentioned I wouldn't notice whether I had three empty water bottles vs full water bottles - eventually this weight does add up - but I'd prioritize comfort over weight in this case.

Photo below of the Extra Wheel trailer being used along with panniers as well.
Lot of good information here. Extrawheel was our second choice after the Radical Designs Cyclone. The Extrawheel looks to me like it could be packed in with your bike if you did it judiciously but primarily, it’s handling looks like it would be really nice. I also would have to believe that you could disassemble the trailer and carry it on to any train. The wheel, panniers, and trailer frame would all fit in most of the train overheads that I’ve been on.

Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Personally I notice five pounds weight difference, especially on tour. I often dump my one liter water bottle before a climb if I know there's water soon after the summit.
Weight is weight. If you took 5 lbs off your bike, you’d definitely notice it. And there’s more than that in the difference between a road bike and a touring bike. On the other hand, adding more than 5 lbs in an unfamiliar and untested bike is something I’d rather not do. That seems to me to be heading in the wrong direction on two fronts. If you consider cost, then it’s the wrong way on three fronts.

J.

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Old 09-02-20, 03:21 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
The Extrawheel looks to me like it could be packed in with your bike if you did it judiciously but primarily, itís handling looks like it would be really nice. I also would have to believe that you could disassemble the trailer and carry it on to any train. The wheel, panniers, and trailer frame would all fit in most of the train overheads that Iíve been on.
Depends a bit on what else is in the bike box. I had a big enough bike and tightly packed that I couldn't quite fit it in the same box on a trip I took through Kashmir, India. As it turned out, the airline fees were large enough for both domestic (India) and international (India->US) that in 2014, I ended up leaving the Extrawheel shown in this photo behind in Srinagar rather than pay to bring it back. I got a different one after that. Looking at the Extrawheel page, one feature I like of the most recent version is the support for 135mm spacing. I've broken a hub/rim occasionally on longer expedition trip and this wider spacing now enables me to truly bring an extra rear wheel/rim on that expedition and use it as a backup. Rim/hub failures are still rare but on multi-month trip in remote terrain the consequences have been big enough.
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Old 09-02-20, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A trailer could be quite inconvenient if you wanted to fly somewhere, take Amtrak or a bus. But if you always drive to your starting point or start from home, then that is not a problem.
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Not if you do it correctly. The Bob Yak will disassemble and fit with all your gear in an Ortleb Big Zip that meets airline baggage size limits. The Big Zip, if you use it correctly can also be the bag inside the Yak for your tour. Should you ever have a boat/plane/train issue you just remove the tongue and tire and put it in the Big Zip with your stuff and you’re good to go.

The reason that we chose the Radical Designs Cyclone is that it is the transformer of trailers. It is pretty much a duffle bag on a frame and the wheels come off and fit inside as does the trailer tongue. Then it’s nothing more than a big duffel and you carry it with a shoulder strap. It also has the capability to move the wheels aft and become a wheelie that I doubt any hotel or ferry would have an issue with. If they did, transform it into a duffle. It’s designed to hold your gear for air travel too and meets the airline specs.
....
Maybe that works for you, but I doubt it would have worked for me.

This is what went onto the plane. Most of the bike is in the black S&S Backpack case, but the rear rack and a few other parts went into the other checked bag to keep it below 50 pounds. Did not want baggage handlers to damage my helmet so that was on my head going onto the plane, it went into the overhead.



Add to that a trip to the grocery store to get a couple weeks of groceries, that became this.



It was a real struggle to get everything into the olive green bag, decided after that trip to invest in a bigger bag.

I replaced the green bag with a Seal Line 115 liter backpack for my next trip for more space. Also tried some different panniers, nothing wrong with the Ortliebs, just giving something else a try. One rear and one front pannier met the size limits for carry on and personal item on the plane.

Had plenty of excess room with the Seal Line bag. The Seal Line bag is water tight and air tight, rolled up the top roll closure with a towel in the fold so air could get in and out of the bag with airplane pressure changes.





If you have it figured out so that the trailer works for you for planes, trains and buses, great.

Just saying that I think what I am doing works better for me.

In both trips above, the black S&S case and the green or orange bag were stored in a luggage room during my trip, those were not carried on the bike.

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Old 09-02-20, 06:54 AM
  #22  
Trevtassie
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Gearing is more important than weight with a touring bike. Pushing anything sucks, never tried pushing a bike with a trailer up a hill, but I imagine that sucks just as much as pushing a loaded bike. I run down to 14 gear inches on my tourer, there's not much I can't ride up, even with the BBQ, charcoal and beer for the night on board. And yes, you can ride 14GI and not fall over, google track stand for a demonstration of people riding a bike at zero speed.
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Old 09-02-20, 08:19 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post


Add to that a trip to the grocery store to get a couple weeks of groceries, that became this.



.
Sorry to be off-topic.....but I'm impressed as hell that you packed 2 weeks worth of food. Can you briefly explain what you ate for two weeks? I'd like to remotely camp for a couple weeks on my bike but I can't seem to figure out how to pack enough food.
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Old 09-02-20, 08:58 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Maybe that works for you, but I doubt it would have worked for me.

This is what went onto the plane. Most of the bike is in the black S&S Backpack case, but the rear rack and a few other parts went into the other checked bag to keep it below 50 pounds. Did not want baggage handlers to damage my helmet so that was on my head going onto the plane, it went into the overhead.



Add to that a trip to the grocery store to get a couple weeks of groceries, that became this.



It was a real struggle to get everything into the olive green bag, decided after that trip to invest in a bigger bag.

I replaced the green bag with a Seal Line 115 liter backpack for my next trip for more space. Also tried some different panniers, nothing wrong with the Ortliebs, just giving something else a try. One rear and one front pannier met the size limits for carry on and personal item on the plane.

Had plenty of excess room with the Seal Line bag. The Seal Line bag is water tight and air tight, rolled up the top roll closure with a towel in the fold so air could get in and out of the bag with airplane pressure changes.





If you have it figured out so that the trailer works for you for planes, trains and buses, great.

Just saying that I think what I am doing works better for me.

In both trips above, the black S&S case and the green or orange bag were stored in a luggage room during my trip, those were not carried on the bike.
I generally need about 60-70 liters of capacity for long time touring. The Radical Design Cyclone has more than enough at 100 liters and with my Orucase Airport Ninja bike case bag gives me my two luggage pieces. The bike case comes in at 35-38 pounds. The Cyclone at about the same with all my gear (camping gear, clothes etc...). I have a small backpack that is meant for travel. My helmet, cycling shoes and pedals go in there and with me in the plane.

the Cyclone, since it has extra capacity over whatís needed for my stuff, leaves about 30 liters for food and/or packing the trailer wheels as luggage.

Given my airline status, I get two bags <50lbs for international and travel for me and the same for my traveling companions. So weíre well within weight limits. I, like you, work it out with a hotel to leave my case for the duration of the trip.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:06 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
Sorry to be off-topic.....but I'm impressed as hell that you packed 2 weeks worth of food. Can you briefly explain what you ate for two weeks? I'd like to remotely camp for a couple weeks on my bike but I can't seem to figure out how to pack enough food.
Photo of my bike was from a trip in Iceland, but I carried a lot of food from USA to Iceland since I did not know what I could buy there. I think they had a 3kg limit on importing duty free food plus a few other restrictions that I complied with. If I recall correctly, they had a no egg product rule, I did not bring powdered eggs on that trip.

The photo of the bike showed a full Ortlieb 31 liter Rack Pack on top of the rear panniers and a blue dry bag strapped on between that Rack Pack and the seatpost. The food pretty much filled both of those bags. When the photo was taken, that was four days after I left Reykjavik, thus I had already eaten three to four days of food.

I included photos from some other trips here too.

Breakfasts
Almost every breakfast is the same, I have trouble with high carb diets and the standard camping fare for camping breakfasts is hot cereal, which is too carb heavy for me. Mountain House makes a breakfast called Breakfast Skillet, available in 1 or 2 serving packets and also available in 10 serving cans. It is very low carb. I buy the cans and before I get on the bike, I separate that can into 10 ziplocks. It is hard to pack separate servings, you have to work at it a bit because there are large light density clumps that rise to the top in the can, smaller denser bits are lower in the can, you have to spend several minutes if you want to get each baggie more uniform. For more calories, I also add one packet of instant hot cereal. Once the can is opened, not sure how long it lasts, but I do not save part of a can for a future trip so sometimes I need some other meals. Those other meals are hot cereal packets to have as a breakfast with some dried fruit.

And a couple cups of instant coffee.

The Breakfast Skillet with one instant hot cereal packet mixed into it is in the photo below.



Since Covid, the cans of Breakfast Skillet have been unavailable from Amazon, but pre-Covid it usually cost somewhere between $25 and $35 per can of 10 servings. With a 30 year shelf life I buy only when on sale and then stock up.
https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Hous...dp/B003Z45XVE/

The hot cereal I usually buy to mix in the above is the unflavored variety of this:
https://www.betteroats.com/products/steel-cut-original/

The flavored varieties like Maple have a lot of sugars that I try to avoid, I have trouble with too much sugar.

If I bring hot cereal to eat with dried fruit, I bring this.
https://www.betteroats.com/products/organic-bare/

***

Lunches:
Usually some form of meat and cheese on flat bread or tortilla or some heavy dense sort of bread that does not collapse if you pack it in a bag. When I eat fast food near home, I often ask for extra packets of mayo and accumulate that in the fridge until I have a trip. Usually have one mayo packet per day with my meat and cheese sandwiches. On average I budget 4 oz meat and 2 oz cheese for a lunch if I have hard salami or summer sausage.

Foreign countries it is very hard to buy something like Summer Sausage, but Summer Sausage is readily available in USA. Needs no refrigeration until opened, and I usually avoid camping in hot weather so I will use summer sausage for a few days after opening.

Last summer in Canada, I had difficulty finding anything like Summer Sausage, when I finally found some it was quite expensive.



Cans of ham or chicken were much cheaper and I occasionally had a can of ham for my lunch sandwiches. Photo was from one of my eggs and ham breakfasts, but I also had this ham for lunch occasionally.



I made the mistake of buying lunch size packet of sliced ham to carry, that was a mistake, a lot of liquid dripped out of the ham packet and made a mess of things, I no longer buy packets of sliced lunch meat ham.

With 4 oz meat, 2 oz cheese, add in several oz of snacks and some bread or tortillas and lunches can be heavier and more volume than the suppers plus breakfasts.

Snacks.
When traveling near home I get something like this and split it up into smaller zip lock bags, one per day. I might throw some extra M&Ms into that too, 2 to 3 oz per day.
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/fle...=country%20mix

I usually try to carry one protein bar per day, athletic trainers will tell you to have some protein within 45 minutes after your workout for faster muscle recovery. I often forget to have my protein bar after a hard ride, but I still bring enough for one a day.

Foreign countries, try to figure out what to bring, I always want something to nibble on during the day. But generally rely on what I can buy local after I arrive for snack foods.

Suppers:
Rather dull. Almost always one pot meals, but pasta is often a two pot meal. Generally one out of three meals is a pasta meal, the others are also one pot meals and almost always based on Bear Creek soup packets.

Pasta and spaghetti sauce. The sauce is McCormick brand powdered mix, add tomato paste or sauce and water. Usually bring 4.5 to 5.5 oz dry weight per meal for pasta noodles, mix up one half of the McCormick sauce packet for a meal. And usually add some form of meat for protein, 5 oz can of chicken, 2 oz Spam packet, or something like that.

Sometimes I get lazy, make the noodles and then heat the sauce, but sometimes I move the two pots back and forth to the stove to keep them both hot while the noodles are cooking like in the photo.





I also carry a 3 oz bottle of olive oil, seasoning, etc. The little red bottle above is hot sauce. And sometimes carry a few bricks of Ramen. If I feel that I need more calories, I can throw a half brick into my one pot meal and get some extra calories.

Bear Creek makes these soup packets that are supposed to be added to 8 cups of water. I only use 6 cups of water per packet, not the full 8 cups they specify. Some meals get a bit thick and require care to avoid burning on the pot when I make them thicker, for those I might add a bit of water while cooking. Some also require something else, like their chili also needs tomato paste.

I usually split Bear Creek packets into thirds (make three meals out of it) but sometimes I might split them into halves instead of thirds if I had a tough day. These meals are a little too heavy in sodium in my opinion, but I just avoid adding salt to my other meals to compensate.





Note the chili also needs tomato paste, or in the case of Iceland where they had little cans of Tomato Puree.



And of course, when carrying your supplies for weeks, you buy the dehydrated stuff.



This is a lot of volume and a lot of weight to carry. So, if you plan a long trip where you can't re-supply, it might be a good idea to estimate your food weight before you get too deep into your trip planning, just in case you find you needed more volume than you had available. In the photo of my bike, I brought the blue dry bag just in case I might need more volume since I was buying my food in Iceland and I had no idea what would be available. I did not plan to carry extra food in that dry bag, but after the trip to the grocery store and then re-organizing all my food at the Hostel kitchen, I realized that I had a lot more volume than I had anticipated.

If you have a calorie deficit during a couple weeks, it won't kill you. But on a longer trip it might be a good idea to count up your calories to make sure you bring enough.

And when your trip is over, ... this photo was from a kayaking trip, not a cycling trip.




I hope you put this to use, I spent a lot of time writing this up so I hope the time was not wasted.

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