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Ultra compact touring (vs ultra light)

Old 04-29-21, 06:55 PM
  #76  
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By the way, Rema patches are these:
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Old 04-29-21, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Very interesting, thanks. I was wondering about self adhesive patches. I understand you are using Zefal self adhesive patches but the only last a couple of months? I've been using the Park Brand self adhesive patches for over 25 years, and they NEVER let go, I throw away tubes after about 8 to 10 years and the patches are still holding. Maybe you should try Park instead? Which of course makes me wonder if the Park patches would stay a long time on a mattress or not. When I get a leak in my mattress I will have to try the Park and see what happens. I still wonder though if the Rema Glue on tube patches would work better for a mattress or not.
I used a Zefal because that is what I had, but I have used maybe a half dozen brand of self adhesive patches, including Park, Slime, and a few others. I do not recall which had the low life span, but after having a couple fail after a few months I now only use self adhesive if I am not at home. When at home, I use glued on patches. And the self adhesive patches get peeled off later so I can glue on patches.

I suspect that the glue on patches might not work so good. There might be solvents in the glue that may damage the air mattress fabric, or it might not stick at all. I suggest you try the Park self adhesive first.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:52 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I used a Zefal because that is what I had, but I have used maybe a half dozen brand of self adhesive patches, including Park, Slime, and a few others. I do not recall which had the low life span, but after having a couple fail after a few months I now only use self adhesive if I am not at home. When at home, I use glued on patches. And the self adhesive patches get peeled off later so I can glue on patches.

I suspect that the glue on patches might not work so good. There might be solvents in the glue that may damage the air mattress fabric, or it might not stick at all. I suggest you try the Park self adhesive first.
I tried a bunch of other brands of glueless patches over the years thinking they would work, no they didn't! in fact, as an experiment, I even tried Black Gorilla Tape after someone on a forum said it worked on tubes, well it actually did, for about 12 or so hours, which was about as long as other brands of self adhesive patches lasted. So in a pinch black Gorilla tape will work. But for me the only self adhesive patch that held up for the life of a tube was the Park Super Patch, originally the Park was 3M, that's when I started using it was that long ago, Park bought out the 3M method because 3M didn't want to be in the cycling industry, also way back when that all took place Specialized was using the Park design as well and called it Fat Boy patches if I remember the name correctly, and I used those too when I couldn't find the 3M patches, but Specialized stopped selling those, not sure if there was licensing issue or why they stopped selling them. I think Topeak has licensed with Park to have their patches made by Park but with Topeak logo on the patch, I haven't tried the Topeak patch to make sure but the patches look exactly like the Park patches except for the Topeak logo. But I had dismal results with any other glueless patch I tried, and I tried them all! I even got my hands on the newer Lezyne patches about a year ago and they too sucked.

I normally use only glueless patches, however a lot of tube manufactures lately changed the composition of tubes which in turn has made glueless patches not work as well according to Park after I emailed them about the patches not sticking last year; the problem I ran into with these newer tubes is if I cleaned a newly buffed tube to prepare the tube for patching with an alcohol pad the patch would not stick, that never happened before, so for fun I didn't clean the tube and just put the patch on, it stuck! not sure what's going on to make that happen, but probably the composition of the tubes now.

The other issue with glueless patches is that the adhesive does age, sort of like after you open a glue tube then a few months later you find the glue has dried out in the tube, so I replace my glueless patches every season. Park also said there was a chance that I might have gotten some older patches that were sitting in the warehouse too long when I had my sticking problem.

When I bike camp, I now carry both glue on and glueless patches, I will always try to use the glueless patch first, but if for some reason they fail then I'll resort to using glue on patches. Even though I carry a backup tube I also don't want to be without a tube when bike camping and later when touring.

For those of you reading this and wondering about glueless patches let me tell you how to make sure they work correctly. First and foremost use only the Park Brand, not sure about the Topeak. Do what you would normally do to a tube, first buff the tube in area slightly larger than the patch will cover, no need to clean the area just blow off any residue if any, then carefully peel off the patch while making sure you only touch the corner of the patch in as small of an area as possible, apply the patch, then press the patch between the tube and your thumb and fingers as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then repeat for each corner, look at the patch when your done, if you see any small frosty looking areas repress that area, once that's done you're good to install the tube or roll it up and store it your seat bag. I have glueless patched up spare tube in my seat bag and the patches are not even remotely peeling off. If done correctly the Park will not come off, I tried taking a Park glueless patch off of an old tube and in that process I tore a chunk of tube with it!

I didn't think about the solvent potentially damaging the mattress, good thing you mentioned that! Thanks.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:08 AM
  #79  
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Going a bit more off topic... I always wondered about glue-less patches on tubes and folks said certain brands worked. I have only tried ones that failed. Something occurred to me when you mentioned using Gorilla tape. It may matter how you size the tube. I go way small on the size of tube using either the smallest size recommended or smaller than recommended, usually the latter. I also use light weight ones. It saves weight and means tires are easier to mount without pinching tubes. It also means more frequent topping up pressure. I am now thinking that it also stretches the patch more and may make choice of patch brand and type more critical. It makes me wonder if I am doomed to fail with glue less patches even if I buy the best brand (Park?) when using undersize tubes. I generally have been using glue type Rema patches with good success lately, but it would be nice if glue-less patches actually worked for me
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Old 04-30-21, 09:35 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Going a bit more off topic... I always wondered about glue-less patches on tubes and folks said certain brands worked. I have only tried ones that failed. Something occurred to me when you mentioned using Gorilla tape. It may matter how you size the tube. I go way small on the size of tube using either the smallest size recommended or smaller than recommended, usually the latter. I also use light weight ones. It saves weight and means tires are easier to mount without pinching tubes. It also means more frequent topping up pressure. I am now thinking that it also stretches the patch more and may make choice of patch brand and type more critical. It makes me wonder if I am doomed to fail with glue less patches even if I buy the best brand (Park?) when using undersize tubes. I generally have been using glue type Rema patches with good success lately, but it would be nice if glue-less patches actually worked for me
I've been using glueless patches for over 30 years, like I mentioned I started using them when they first came out and were known as 3M glueless patches before Specialized and Park took that patch over. I would have to assume however that if you use a tube that is smaller than what is recommended for your tire size that the patch could fail, we use to use smaller tubes when I raced because they saved a tiny bit of weight, but when I was doing that we were using glue on patches and those WOULD fail on occasion due to the tube pulling the patch apart, but sometimes that didn't happen, not sure why it worked sometimes and sometimes not other than maybe one tube manufacture tube may have been a bit larger than another so the stress wasn't as much, but in light of that I would not use a glueless patch on a tube size smaller than you're supposed to be using just to be safe.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:48 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
.... I go way small on the size of tube using either the smallest size recommended or smaller than recommended, usually the latter. I also use light weight ones. It saves weight and means tires are easier to mount without pinching tubes. It also means more frequent topping up pressure. I am now thinking that it also stretches the patch more and may make choice of patch brand and type more critical. It makes me wonder if I am doomed to fail with glue less patches even if I buy the best brand (Park?) when using undersize tubes. ...
After seeing how some of my tubes that I aired up with tooooooo much air to try to aid in finding the leak just barely stretched where old patches were, I decided to err on the side of bigger, not smaller for that exact reason. I never go undersize on tubes.

I do not get enough punctures to use up a tube of glue with all of the patches that came with it. I often only get one or two tubes patched before the glue tube is no longer viable, leaving me with lots of patches and no glue. Some time back on this forum someone commented that they bought a can of Slime rubber cement and used that on inner tubes. I bought a can and so far the one tube that I patched with it is holding well.
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...050/12062416-p

But, as I noted above I only glue patches at home, not on the road. So I do not carry that can with me on tours, only carry the self adhesive ones.
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Old 04-30-21, 10:12 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
we use to use smaller tubes when I raced because they saved a tiny bit of weight.
The thing is that the weight adds up when you figure two tubes in the wheels and then add spares. On tour that is likely to be two spares at least (so 4 total) if in goat head thorn country. When you get into the mindset of watching you ounces that habit gets pretty ingrained. I figure that the difference between having a 50# base and a 14# base is mostly a lot of little decisions of a few ounces each. So a few ounces time 4 isn't something I am inclined to go on the side of going heavier.

Going that route does mean extra care in applying good patches. Maybe I'll eventually just go tubeless. That has worked fabulously on my MTB.
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Old 04-30-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...
Going that route does mean extra care in applying good patches. Maybe I'll eventually just go tubeless. That has worked fabulously on my MTB.
The rando board had a recent thread on tubeless.
Ready to give-up on tubeless road tires
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Old 05-09-21, 10:27 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
... I go way small on the size of tube using either the smallest size recommended or smaller than recommended, usually the latter. I also use light weight ones. It saves weight ...
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The thing is that the weight adds up when you figure two tubes in the wheels and then add spares. On tour that is likely to be two spares at least (so 4 total) if in goat head thorn country. When you get into the mindset of watching you ounces that habit gets pretty ingrained. I figure that the difference between having a 50# base and a 14# base is mostly a lot of little decisions of a few ounces each. So a few ounces time 4 isn't something I am inclined to go on the side of going heavier.
....
You made these comments over a week ago. Sorry for the delayed response, but I just had to ask, were you serious when you said that part of your reason for using undersized tubes is that you save a few ounces of weight?
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Old 05-09-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You made these comments over a week ago. Sorry for the delayed response, but I just had to ask, were you serious when you said that part of your reason for using undersized tubes is that you save a few ounces of weight?
I'm sure he meant what he said. You can't get down to the weights he travels at by not scrutinizing every item you take.

One item that I did purchase where saving volume was the primary concern, was replacing my Thermarest pillow with a Sea to Summit blow up model. It saves significant volume within a pannier but for me it is not nearly as comfortable.

Last edited by robow; 05-09-21 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 05-09-21, 02:46 PM
  #86  
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When I use to race and eventually switched to clinchers we used undersized tubes to save weight, but I don't think one size down saved a couple of ounces, maybe a gram at the most, not worth on a day to day riding, but racing it might be worth a 10th of second over 100 miles.

I also went with a Sea to Summit blow up pillow, it's actually not bad, I had another brand, can't recall the name, but that darn thing the valve blew out of the pillow one night which wasn't good.
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Old 05-09-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You made these comments over a week ago. Sorry for the delayed response, but I just had to ask, were you serious when you said that part of your reason for using undersized tubes is that you save a few ounces of weight?
Yes, that is one reason. The few ounces of rotating mass is enough to matter a little. Then when you add up two tube in the tires, and two more spares you are getting into the range of half a pound to a pound of difference. In goat head country sometimes if thing get real bad carrying more than two spares isn't out of the question.

There is also the bulk of the spares in the little seat wedge and the ease of mounting the tire without pinching the tube.

I didn't arrive at the practice in an intentional premeditated manner, but just found tubes in the lower end of the size range nicer to deal with and started weighing the pros and cons. After that I started going even a bit smaller.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:14 PM
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I do not know the difference between ultra compact vs ultra light in terms of definition. I have been touring for over 40 years in a variety of ways.

I rarely carry a stove anymore although my current stove is an MSR and one pot is a 900 ml Evernew Titanium.

My first light tent was a Sierra Designs single wall goretex model from the mid 80s, it is about 2 pounds and I still have it although my current tent, if I take one, is a Tarptent lithium (cuban fibre). I sometimes just use a bivvy. It depends how many nights in motel vs nights camping. I have a 3+ seasons tent that I would take if going shoulder season to a wet, colder area.

My bag is either a 16 oz down bag or a extra large, extra wide quilt that goes a fat 24 oz but is is a luxury worth it. Pad is either small CCF or a Thermarest xlight 25 x 72.

For me, a lot of factors go into how light. My kit always has merino or yak fiber for warm when wet. I always have goretex shakedry top and maybe rain bottoms (for sure if going to NZ or places like that) but unlikely in the desert SW. One spare bibs. One ss top, one ls top, one wool undershirt, sun sleeves, tights or leg warmers in wool. Warm and water resistant gloves. No cycling gloves. Helmet and glasses. Spare tools, tires, 3 tubes, etc. Maybe SPOT or InReach.

It all fits in a small handlebar bag and a large seat bag by Revelate designs that I think is 12L. Phone, charger, money, ID, and other small important stuff goes into a small bag onto the top tube.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
...
I also went with a Sea to Summit blow up pillow, it's actually not bad, I had another brand, can't recall the name, but that darn thing the valve blew out of the pillow one night which wasn't good.
I bought a really small inflatable pillow several years ago on a clearance sale, I was thinking it would come in handy on long airline flights to get some sleep. But, the size was perfect to fit in the hood on some of my sleeping bags, so I started bringing it on camping trips for sleeping bag use. But the internal seam that gave it pillow shape started to pull out and take the shape of a ball. I bought another inflatable pillow that should also function as a seat cushion. But have not yet camped with that pillow, I am hoping that I can fold it down to the right size and shape.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:32 PM
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Interesting to read all the various answers here. The wife and I are experimenting with ditching the panniers for more of an offroad tour and don't want as much jangling around. We're doing just a weekend tour next month in the Catskills. Usually we only tour in the summer and have often done ok with cheap fleece sleeping bags and a silk blend liner, liner for me is fine down to about 60*. We've got new bags on the way that will pack down much smaller though only rated to 50, with liners they should be good down to 40 if not a touch below. Worse case we have a full sized inflatable air mattress with an r5 or 6 rating that we can sleep on with the bags used as blankets over the top of us for extra warmth.
I've got the air mattress and tent strapped to my fork cages, the tent poles are strapped to my downtube. The frame bag will be holding my clothes while the seat bag will hold our cooking equipment. Wife will have the sleeping bags in her fork cages while also putting clothes in her frame bag and her seat bag with also hold some food and other small essentials she feels the need to bring. We have two bags that attach to the stem and handlebar, one on each side of the stem, for holding our water bottles. On the downtube of the bike is also a small bottle cage with a tool holder to keep the basics in. For this short a trip I wouldn't carry a spare tire but for some of the longer rides we're considering I will strap a tire along the downtube of her bike.
When the tarptent double rainbow is available again we'll buy one, right now we have a cheap 30.00 walmart tent that fits 4 so that'll take down most of my weight. Our utensils and cook pot are titanium and we have a small folding stove for warming up a second pot using small sticks and such, haven't had a lot of use but we're getting a ti french press to enjoy better coffee.
Goal is to limit the cargo to the fork cages, frame bag and seat bag with the whole thing being narrower then the handlebars. I can already see though that for a more rugged, mtb based ride, I'm going to have to shrink the wheels to 650b and toss on 2.2 tires. The 2.1 on the bikes are fine but it does create more tire overlap then I like.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:44 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yes, that is one reason. The few ounces of rotating mass is enough to matter a little. ...
Thanks for the clarification. I never raced, so I can't understand that drive to trim grams.

One tour that I did with ACA had a guy in the group that had been an amateur racer. He would pull up next to you, stare at you for several seconds and then launch his attack. I am not kidding he was on a LHT, four panniers, and suddenly he would try to drop you. And of course none of us participated in that so we were all easy to drop.
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Old 05-09-21, 04:01 PM
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Whoa there cowboy, you feel you save 1/2 to 1 lb by using one size smaller inner tube x 4 tubes ?
According to Competitive Cyclist, Actual weights as measured in-house by the Competitive Cyclist team.
A Continental Race Tube

700x25-32mm, 42mm Presta valve.......143 grams (I weighed several of my own and none came up higher than 140 grams)

According to my calculations, you would have to save 57 grams per tube to save a half pound and it would be impossible to save one pound with only 4 tubes. In other words your tubes could weigh no more than 86 g. You can't get anywhere near that weight unless you change to a different much lighter/thinner series of tubes such as the Race Light or the Supersonic line of tubes and also size down. Is that really what you run? if so, more man than I, as I have found they flat so much easier than the more standard Race series.
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Old 05-09-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
One tour that I did with ACA had a guy in the group that had been an amateur racer. He would pull up next to you, stare at you for several seconds and then launch his attack. I am not kidding he was on a LHT, four panniers, and suddenly he would try to drop you. And of course none of us participated in that so we were all easy to drop.
Yeah, that sounds pretty silly even to me as someone who did a little racing.

I will say that pretty much everyone I ever rode with while touring did seem to ride pace line or just draft if they were more lazy or the other rider was stronger that day. That was true whether packing heavy or light. We did tend to take much longer turns than would be typical while racing.

Trying to drop each other, not so much. I don't recall ever trying to drop anyone or anyone trying to drop me in that manner.
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Old 05-09-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Whoa there cowboy, you feel you save 1/2 to 1 lb by using one size smaller inner tube x 4 tubes ?
According to Competitive Cyclist, Actual weights as measured in-house by the Competitive Cyclist team.
A Continental Race Tube

700x25-32mm, 42mm Presta valve.......143 grams (I weighed several of my own and none came up higher than 140 grams)

According to my calculations, you would have to save 57 grams per tube to save a half pound and it would be impossible to save one pound with only 4 tubes. In other words your tubes could weigh no more than 86 g. You can't get anywhere near that weight unless you change to a different much lighter/thinner series of tubes such as the Race Light or the Supersonic line of tubes and also size down. Is that really what you run? if so, more man than I, as I have found they flat so much easier than the more standard Race series.
Yeah I run the thin light tubes and yes I need to top off pressure every day. They hold air better than latex tubes though. I stopped using latex some time ago, but I actually liked them pretty well.
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Old 05-09-21, 09:32 PM
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Yea, the cost of latex and the daily need to top off was not ideal, especially when on tour when I don't have a true floor pump on me.
As to saving a few ounces, as always, I know where I would be better off in shaving off a few pounds.

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Old 05-10-21, 08:51 AM
  #96  
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I found this article discussing the effect of 5kg (11 lbs) weight difference on a long tour interesting:

https://ridefar.info/bike/cycling-speed/weight/
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Old 05-10-21, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
I found this article discussing the effect of 5kg (11 lbs) weight difference on a long tour interesting:

https://ridefar.info/bike/cycling-speed/weight/
Interesting, but I never thought that the reason I go lighter is to go faster.

For me the difference is more about the quality of the experience. To me it is so much more pleasant to ride an unladen bike. Much like it is so much more pleasant to hike with a 15# pack than a 65# one. Granted the bike helps mitigate the load, but the difference in the experience is still significant enough.

It might only be a little faster overall by that calculation. On the other hand I suspect it would take me longer than that implies on a heavily loaded bike because I'd knock off for the day earlier. I'd take more breaks on climbs. I'd be less likely to tackle that second or third or fourth big climb of the day before knocking off for the day. I'd be more likely to get off and walk. I'd also be more likely to decide to cut the trip short. Heck I'd be less likely to go at all with a heavier load in the first place these days now that I know what it is like to travel with both kinds of loads. If I couldn't go light, I'd probably do something else, maybe a nice back country canoe trip.
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Old 05-10-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...
On the other hand I suspect it would take me longer than that implies on a heavily loaded bike because I'd knock off for the day earlier. I'd take more breaks on climbs. I'd be less likely to tackle that second or third or fourth big climb of the day before knocking off for the day. I'd be more likely to get off and walk. ....
That describes me, shorter days but a trip that is longer in time. My last solo trip was a bit over five weeks, and that does not count the time flying, etc.

I used to have two neighbors that hiked the AT, I asked what their packs weighed at the end, she said hers was 12 pounds and her husbands was 15. She said they did not have any spare clothes, what they wore was all they had. (I suspect they had spare socks, but I did not ask.) One of them would wear raingear while doing their laundry once a week while the other hid out naked in a motel room. Her father mailed their supplies to them as they traveled.

When I asked, she said - at the beginning our packs weighed, <pause> you asked only at the end? I said yeah, I was only interested in what they trimmed down to. So I do now know what they started with.

But they were through hiking, so they had to make a lot of miles to cover the distance before fall weather. So, they needed to maintain high mileage days, needed to travel light for that.
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Old 05-10-21, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yes, that is one reason. The few ounces of rotating mass is enough to matter a little. Then when you add up two tube in the tires, and two more spares you are getting into the range of half a pound to a pound of difference. In goat head country sometimes if thing get real bad carrying more than two spares isn't out of the question.

There is also the bulk of the spares in the little seat wedge and the ease of mounting the tire without pinching the tube.

I didn't arrive at the practice in an intentional premeditated manner, but just found tubes in the lower end of the size range nicer to deal with and started weighing the pros and cons. After that I started going even a bit smaller.
Your weights are delusional, the most you will save going to a smaller tube is one to two GRAMS not ounces, so for 2 tubes you'll save 2 to 4 grams, and there are about 28 grams in an ounce.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Your weights are delusional, the most you will save going to a smaller tube is one to two GRAMS not ounces, so for 2 tubes you'll save 2 to 4 grams, and there are about 28 grams in an ounce.
His perceived savings might be delusional, but his efforts to cut grams is extreme.

I have a tiny little flashlight on my key chain, takes four watch sized batteries, the entire flashlight is roughly half the size of a single AA battery. He uses the same flashlight for all camping and cycling needs on his trips. My camping trips, my headlamp takes one AA battery or four AAA batteries, depending on which one I brought.

When I tour where grocery stores are plentiful, I will buy two or three days of groceries at a time and I might buy a glass bottle of wine too. But he will take the extra time and ride the extra distance to buy groceries daily to avoid carrying the extra food weight.

Everyone has their preferences based on what they value in a bike touring experience, his values are a bit different than mine. Nothing wrong with that.
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