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What worked

Old 06-23-23, 04:23 PM
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What worked

[just completed a Dover Orkney Dover trip in the UK. Very pleasant]

A few observations below:

Energy
. Solar panel (Lixada 7w held in place on top of the lid of my handlebar bag with paracord and paper clips) kept my phone fully charged. And this in the UK, so should work anywhere not once did the battery level drop below 50%. The phone (S20 ultra) was typically on all day, in battery saver mode, which would last 4-6 days.
. I was also carrying 2x3500mAh 18650 batteries inside Wurkkos flashlights that have battery bank functionality. One would have been enough.
. Continental adapters work perfectly with UK sockets. I used the pen tool from my SAK to trigger the safety.
. Breadcrumb navigation with my watch was usually ok, but required occasional looks at my phone because the designers of the National Cycling Network like to play hide and seek. Still, I prefer 10 solid days of navigation like this (Enduro) to 5 days with mapped navigation (ex: F7).

Luggage system
. Transitioned from 2x12.5L front panniers + food, tent, trekking poles, z-fold pad secured on rear rack, to 2x5.5L Ortlieb fork packs + 2x5L dry bags (one for sleeping bag, one for tent) + 25L MLD Core backpack for food, poles, umbrella, rain shell. Overall pleased - I can lift bike+luggage over fences or stairs whereas before I had to do it in two stages (bike; luggage). I may tweak the backpack system. When breaking camp I have to empty the backpack so I can put the z-fold first. Small detail. Fork packs do not require a rack, which greatly speeds up packing the bike for public transit.

Bike
. Not a single flat in 3 000 kms. Great improvement over last year when I tried TPU inner tubes (3 flats, all of them slow leaks with both Tubolito and Schwalbe aerothan). Tires (Almotion) look like new.
. Chain (Wippermann 10sX) still going strong
. Mixed feelings WRT my saddle (selle anatomica). Super comfy out of the box, but asymmetric stretch over time, accelerated by a few thunderstorms. A Cambium is in the mail.

Clothing
. Scotland was colder than I expected, with several mornings at 5 Celsius and moderat northerly breeze. Never close to hypothermia, but would have worn more. I may try to ditch a redundant T-shirt and leggings in order to have enough space to carry a puffy jacket instead of a vest.

Cooking
. My previous system was built around solid fuel (Esbit) which is difficult to source while traveling. I've settled on a gas canister stove (BTS 3000) and a Widesea HX pot.
. 100g canisters were out of stock in most places. Next time, I'll plan around 210g that is commonly found
. The Widesea is tall enough to accommodate a 210g canister + transfer valve. This means that there's no loss of fuel when installing/removing the stove. Makes for an extremely efficient system.
. I use a Vargo flint igniter. Smaller than the ubiquitous mini BIC, very reliable, except one time in the rain, where I used a Firefly - a Ferro steel rod that takes the place of an SAK toothpick. I thought I'd never use it, turned out I'd have had to eat a cold meal without it.

Misc
. Umbrella, used only once. Extremely lucky with the weather - thunderstorms starting after my tent is up, or just when I ride in front of a coffee shop. Used once, but not worth carrying for this trip.
. BT keyboard. Not worth carrying. Only marginally better than virtual keyboards.
. Binoculars. Used a few times. Marginal
. Glasses (prescription) - lost under way. Dropped chain so I put them over my head to lean down and put the chain over the ring, forget about the glasses, finish the climb, and proceed to the very steep descent. I realized that the glasses were gone several kms later (I use a rope to keep them dangling in front of me when I don't want to wear them, but this is useless if glasses fall back... - I have to find a better way.)
. Water filtration. Useless in populated areas. Same for a 2L bladder. 2 water bottles were enough.
. Shepherd tent pegs are usually ok, and very small/light. But not up to the task when it is very windy. Purchased T pegs after a windy night.

1. Solar panel

Panel is secured with paracord and paper clips. Bombproof. Notice also the watch, used for navigation, secured to the bag and the stem

2. Bike packing


The Rinko is stored in the bottle cage located under the down tube. I use the same bag to fly.

3. A 110g canister with transfer valve would fit inside this pot, but they were hard/impossible to find in France. The valve prevents the unavoidable gas leak that occurs when screwing the stove.

In white, Rova aerogel. Notice the thermometer and, at the bottom, the heat exchange apparatus.

Last edited by gauvins; 06-24-23 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 06-23-23, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
[just completed a Dover Orkney Dover trip in the UK. Very pleasant]

A few observations below:
...
. Continental adapters work perfectly with UK sockets. I used the pen tool from my SAK to trigger the safety.
...
.
Glad you had a good trip. Thanks for the update, especially on the outlet adapters.

Any photos coming later?
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Old 06-23-23, 11:08 PM
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I'll edit, adding some pictures, later today.
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Old 06-24-23, 08:28 AM
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Glad that solar panel worked for you. My last tour, my dynohub and Cycle2Charge V3 was just barely enough to keep me self sufficient for power over two weeks. A couple times I had access to an outlet overnight, but chose not to use it to see if I could do the trip self sufficient on electrics. So, the question is - since you have done trips with a solar panel and also with a dynohub for battery charging, which do you prefer?

That thing that looks like a lever with a knob on the end that is sticking up that is attached to your steerer tube, is that a lever to hold your handlbars from turning when turned down for a parked bike, but is up when not needed? If so, could that inadvertently deploy and prevent you from steering while riding?

Are there cargo cages on the sides of your rear rack, or are the dry bags simply strapped to the side of the rack?

Before your trip, you were testing rate of butane fuel use with your stove. How much fuel did you use for your trip? I try to keep track on a grams fuel per day basis from my trips to use for planning purposes for future trips, so I am just curious how that worked for you with the heat exchanger pot.
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Old 06-24-23, 09:36 AM
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Impressively compact and light for a camping set up. Do you know the all up base weight.

I,m stick with the traditional 4 pannier (no bar bag) set up next tour. Around 14kg all in including panniers and contents before food water and fuel.
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Old 06-24-23, 12:22 PM
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Electricity:

I go by the maxim that being rich is having more that what you need. Which is why I navigate with a smart watch. My estimate is that I "need" 1Wh/day. Next to nothing...

In my experience, dynohubs didn't fare well when flying. My inexperience. Two years in a row the connexions were damaged in transit. And when the charger did work, results were often surprising. A dynohub starts generating at, say, 8mph (12kph). This is slow, but if your day is a long uphill, you may well be below that critical value for most of the day (like the day we "climbed" Mt Fuji. Etc. So in my book, dynohubs are for commuters, more than for tourers.

Solar... Last year didn't work because the panel was too small. This year (7W) it did. Keep in mind that I need very very little. I don't think that you can reliably navigate with a phone. And the last touring computer I've used was consuming just as much, so that wouldn't work either.
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Old 06-24-23, 12:35 PM
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That lever thing:

​​​​​​I forget the name. Something like steerer stopper. I slide a loop of paracord along the top tube to capture the lever, which keeps the front wheel more or less in the axis of the bike. When not in use, the lever is raised so it won't interfere with steering. There is zero risk of accidental lock, BUT I sometimes forget to disengage it when resuming riding - not a wise strategy

A side benefit is that you can ditch your star nut. It therefore frees the head tube to store (lubricant in my case).

I "accidentally" discovered that I can use it to steer the bike when the handlebars are removed. Invaluable in train stations - I can now prep the bike on the quay and walk the bike to the proper carriage, which can be a fair distance from the gate.

Very useful
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Old 06-24-23, 12:39 PM
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Securing dry bags:

A pair of voile/salsa straps is enough in my case. Both work equally well. I have a preference for the salsa (a tad wider, aluminum buckle engages more firmly)
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Old 06-24-23, 12:51 PM
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Fuel consumption:

My guess is 120g over 5 weeks. But this was a special case. Most of the time I was able to purchase milk at the end of the day, so breakfast became granola + milk. Have had more than a few meals with tortillas and peanut butter. I've also encouraged the hospitality industry.

Still, my setup is very efficient. There's the HX pot. There's the transfer valve (no connexion waste). There's the thermometer (the lid stays on, turning off at 80C). There's usage (making tea, warming up ready to eat bolognese, hot water for ramen - I do not cook rice, and certainly not pasta).

So... Making a cup of tea is perhaps 2.5g. same for ramen etc.
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Old 06-24-23, 01:25 PM
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Yeah, I need more watt hours than that. My Cycle2Charge puts out maybe 50 percent more than the Sinewave I used to use, but less than the Forumslader you have used. The Cycle2Charge puts out zero below about 7mph (~11 km/hr) but puts out a lot more when up in double digit mph speeds than the Sinewave did. But you are right, if riding on hilly terrain if you are doing 6mph up hills for 80 percent of the time, the 20 percent of the time you are actually charging is not very much time. I found on some hilly days it did not produce much power. I probably need a couple watt hours per day just for the GPS. Probably another couple watt hours per day for all other devices combined. On fairly flat terrain, I can put out a lot of power because I am always above that minimum speed that you need for charging. Hilly terrain is where things do not work so well.

Originally Posted by gauvins
That lever thing:
... sometimes forget to disengage it when resuming riding - not a wise strategy
...
If you adjusted your steerer stopper so that the handlebars aimed 20 or 30 degrees to right or left, then you would notice that and not start out riding with it still attached. But, then it might roll if leaning on something when you are off the bike.

My Canadian Maritimes trip was a bit over five weeks, camping a total of four weeks, used 750 grams of butane fuel. So, your fuel use is VERY impressive compared to mine. But I had some pasta, fried some eggs and ham, etc. And of course two cups of coffee each morning. I usually boiled the water instead of stopping short like you did.

And a new question - Did your phone with North American frequencies work well in Europe and UK? Did you buy a plan (or sim card) in Europe or UK, and if so, do you recall which company you used? If I recall correctly you have a very low power phone that uses very little power for the display, mine is not one of those but I use my phone VERY little, mostly just for weather forecasts.
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Old 06-24-23, 02:04 PM
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I have a French Orange SIM and use their Mobicarte system (30 euros for unlimited voice+text & 30 GB, over a 30 day period) Works in France and most European countries.

​​​​My phone is a Galaxy S20 ultra. I've never had network compatibility problems and I have travelled quite a bit over the years. Back in the days, lots of NA phones were CDMA instead of GSM (i.e. everywhere else). So the trick was to subscribe to a gsm provider.

​​​​​[EDIT] you refer to the eink Hisense A5. I've dropped using it because autonomy was simply not worth the trouble. I carry an eink tablet, somewhat similar to a kindle that runs recent Android. Good autonomy, excellent device to read and edit documents synced to Drive. [/EDIT]

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Old 06-24-23, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by irc
Do you know the all up base weight.
About 12kg.
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