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Help an old tourer understand something

Old 01-14-24, 09:53 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Steel has more flex than aluminum, but I have two other steel touring bikes that do not have that problem with a heavy load.

And my steel rando bike and steel road bike are both much stiffer in the seat tube and bottom bracket area, those frames were not built to be stiff enough for touring yet that part of their frames are stiffer than the LHT that Surly refused to warranty. The frame was defective.
Not doubting you or the frame builder you consulted; as I said, I've just never heard of a frame's stiffness being affected by welding temperature in that way. I've just posted a question about it in the Framebuilders forum here.
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Old 01-14-24, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
My 2019 Masi Giramondo preferred a weight placement of 80r and 20f, but there was something wrong with that frame because it would shimmy like crazy, and that weight distribution reduced it but did not eliminate it.
Ancient lore, passed down from master to apprentice since the 1890s:

Racing bikes are built with robust downtubes and chainstays to hold the wheels in line during those 1250+ Watt sprints. The twist on the frames is down low. The top tubes are light and those bikes are built with pencil stays.

Touring bikes - racks and panniers or bikepack-style dunnage - have weight attached at the headtube and seat cluster. Ergo, touring frames have additional twist up high. Touring bikes should be built with relatively more robust top tubes and seatstays.
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Old 01-14-24, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Not doubting you or the frame builder you consulted; as I said, I've just never heard of a frame's stiffness being affected by welding temperature in that way. I've just posted a question about it in the Framebuilders forum here.
Hmm. My engineering reference suggests while UTS can be affected by temper, Young's Modulus is not.
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Old 01-14-24, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
You are very lucky you got a new frame.

I had a first year of production Surly LHT that Surly refused to warranty. A frame builder explained to me in much more detail than I understood how the welder had their heat settings all wrong when they welded the bottom bracket shell. Made the bike handle like a wet noodle with a heavy load. The frame was so soft that if you pushed hard on a drive side pedal that the chain would rub on the front derailleur and a couple times it downshifted by itself because of that when I pedaled hard.

I eventually put the frame in a metal recycling bin. I did not want to pass that tro ule,ublesome frame on to someone else.
Your experience with how your frame was behaving sounded like mine. Mine got worse over time too, at first after moving the load around the shimming stopped, but then as time went by it got worse. I had the bike for 3 years, but two of those years was the covid years, so no bike camping, so once I got up and running it took another 2 years for it to get gradually worse to where no redistributing the weight did a bit a good unless you remove all the weight.

The bike shop guy weighed about another 50 pounds more than me, so with 60 pounds of camping gear plus another 50 pounds, he got that frame to move like crazy, he said it was dangerous to ride, that if I continued to ride it a weld could break.

To bad about your Surly bike, that was one of the bikes I was considering! But Surly has a reputation, I guess they didn't care about it like Orbea doesn't care either. I actually ran into another guy on another forum who had the same problem with Surly he bought, he bought his last year. I think these shops in Taiwan and China are not being held accountable for their quality control, so junk slips out, mine is made in Taiwan, I think I recall the Surly was too? you can confirm that. If that is the case probably the Masi and the Surly came out of the same factory.

If I have a problem with this new bike I'm going to have to ask for my money back, I can't tour on a bike like that. I called Haro before I bought the first one and told them how much weight I would be hauling including myself, and they promised it would hold up fine, and they promised that again with the new one. But if it fails I'm demanding a refund, I'll get my second choice the Kona Sutra or the other second choice, they tied, that was the Salsa Marrakesh. both are about the same price.
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Old 01-14-24, 11:59 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Not doubting you or the frame builder you consulted; as I said, I've just never heard of a frame's stiffness being affected by welding temperature in that way. I've just posted a question about it in the Framebuilders forum here.
It was not the actual temperature in degrees, but which tubes where how hot for how long and how things warped from that. The shell was warped so badly that I had to have the threads re-cut. Surly answer on why they would not warranty it was that is normal to have to have the threads re-cut. The mechanic that cut the threads had to take a break half way through because it needed so much muscle. He said he had never seen that much metal filings cut out of a bottom bracket before.

The frame builder I talked to did not see the frame, I was on a tour and had a conversation with her. I was waiting for a laundry machine at a campground when I met her. I mentioned that my Surly frame was defective, she asked what was wrong, I explained, and she asked more and more detailed questions. Then she explained how the heat settings caused it to warp that much. And that it likely was quite weak afterwards. That conversation was in 2016, two years after the frame went into the recycle bin.
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Old 01-14-24, 11:59 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Steel has more flex than aluminum, but I have two other steel touring bikes that do not have that problem with a heavy load.

And my steel rando bike and steel road bike are both much stiffer in the seat tube and bottom bracket area, those frames were not built to be stiff enough for touring yet that part of their frames are stiffer than the LHT that Surly refused to warranty. The frame was defective.
Steel frames are more flexible than aluminum frames. Itís a matter of how the material is used. When used in the same manner, steel is 3 times stiffer than aluminum.

Originally Posted by tcs
Ancient lore, passed down from master to apprentice since the 1890s:

Racing bikes are built with robust downtubes and chainstays to hold the wheels in line during those 1250+ Watt sprints. The twist on the frames is down low. The top tubes are light and those bikes are built with pencil stays.

Touring bikes - racks and panniers or bikepack-style dunnage - have weight attached at the headtube and seat cluster. Ergo, touring frames have additional twist up high. Touring bikes should be built with relatively more robust top tubes and seatstays.
Thatís my understanding of the problem as well. Itís part of the problem with using race bikes loaded up for touring. My touring bikes can be loaded with 60 lbs of gear and will hurtle down a mountain at 40+ miles per hour in a very boring mannerÖi.e no drama. Iíve ridden more race oriented bikes down similar hills with loads back in ancient times and it was frightening.
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Old 01-14-24, 12:09 PM
  #132  
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Ah, I see the 1st gen Surly LHT has entered the chat.
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Old 01-14-24, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
...
Touring bikes - racks and panniers or bikepack-style dunnage - have weight attached at the headtube and seat cluster. Ergo, touring frames have additional twist up high. Touring bikes should be built with relatively more robust top tubes and seatstays.
Downtube on touring bikes is often larger diameter for more stiffness and may have a thicker wall. Unfortunately I can't point you to Lynskey website for their Backroad model, they discontinued it. But I saved a copy of their page on that frame when I bought mine in 2017, it says:
The massive 1.75 inch downtube matched with its 1.375 inch top tube sustantially improve handling and increase stability under heavy loads. (I left their misspelling as is.)
Lynskey claims it is the strongest touring frame available. Maybe it is, but I consider my Lynskey to be my light touring bike, I used 32 spokes in front, 36 rear, I use a rear rack that was rated at 30kg (Racktime Addit) instead of my Tubus Logo EVO which was rated at 40 kg. Etc.

Note how the downtube dwarfs the bottom bracket shell on my Backroad.




That said, for heavy loads off pavement I prefer my Thorn Nomad Mk II (steel). They rated that at a 62kg load, not counting weight of rider for my frame size. (They have slightly different ratings for different sizes.) I do not think I have had that much weight on it, but I may have come close. I once had a slight resonance in 2016, but not bad at all. If I loosened up my grip on the handlebars, it settled right down. That day I had a killer gusty headwind and I was down in the drops, was gripping the handlebars tightly because of the wind gusts. The Nomad Mk II uses M6 bolts for racks instead of M5 which is the standard rack bolt size.
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Old 01-14-24, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Steel frames are more flexible than aluminum frames. Itís a matter of how the material is used. When used in the same manner, steel is 3 times stiffer than aluminum.
....
Thank you for correcting me, that is what I meant when I said: Steel has more flex than aluminum,... I forgot to use the word frames in my statement.
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Old 01-17-24, 08:49 AM
  #135  
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10,520 mile perimeter tour of the US. 323 days of bliss. Used a combo of Tailfin panniers and rear rack bag, Apidura for the rest. Worked perfectly on a 1x11 10-42 with a 38 tooth chainring. Wheels were 650b"s with 47mm WTB Byways. Rode like a Cadillac on pavement and thousands of miles of trails. Didn't have any issues, no swaying , rattling, or durability issues. The best thing about bikepacking gear is how stout it is. The abuse it can take makes it a great all around choice. Plus there are so many options on capacity, bike location, and mounting options. Definitely a fan of the handlebar "chum buckets". They're so handy they stay on the bike all the time now.
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Old 01-18-24, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chief9245


10,520 mile perimeter tour of the US. 323 days of bliss. Used a combo of Tailfin panniers and rear rack bag, Apidura for the rest. Worked perfectly on a 1x11 10-42 with a 38 tooth chainring. Wheels were 650b"s with 47mm WTB Byways. Rode like a Cadillac on pavement and thousands of miles of trails. Didn't have any issues, no swaying , rattling, or durability issues. The best thing about bikepacking gear is how stout it is. The abuse it can take makes it a great all around choice. Plus there are so many options on capacity, bike location, and mounting options. Definitely a fan of the handlebar "chum buckets". They're so handy they stay on the bike all the time now.
Tailfin kit just works. It's well thought out, robust, and rock solid on the road and off the road. My aeropack and a 22 litre pannier get used daily for commuting, a few bikepacking trips a year, and anything else I may get up to on my bike.
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Old 01-18-24, 07:18 AM
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Yes, Tailfin works. No squeaks, no rattles, you don't even know it's there. The Aeropack is a great piece of kit. Only issue I had was the thru axle rounded out and snapped on one side, had to have a new one shipped, but for what they went through I'd recommend and buy them again in a heart beat. I had racoons in California slice one of my panniers to get at my non-dairy creamer. Put a few pieces of gorilla tape over the area and they're like brand new again.
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Old 01-18-24, 07:53 AM
  #138  
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chief, and while your setup is great, light, narrow etc and worked for you, it still has a rather limited volume capacity that will have an effect on what one can carry, and depending on the trip and what one person considers important to them for either comfort or whatever.

no right or wrong answers here, but not a lot of volume is a real factor.
Kind of like the gearing question here, your low gear worked for you, but I know from lots of touring in various guises over decades that a lower low and a higher high is better for my knees etc, even with the same total bike weight as yours.

What volumes do your various individual things hold, and what is the total volume together?
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Old 01-18-24, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
chief, and while your setup is great, light, narrow etc and worked for you, it still has a rather limited volume capacity that will have an effect on what one can carry, and depending on the trip and what one person considers important to them for either comfort or whatever.

no right or wrong answers here, but not a lot of volume is a real factor.
Kind of like the gearing question here, your low gear worked for you, but I know from lots of touring in various guises over decades that a lower low and a higher high is better for my knees etc, even with the same total bike weight as yours.

What volumes do your various individual things hold, and what is the total volume together?
Some people see the reduced volume as a feature, not a bug. If you have the cash, Camping gear weight and volume have decreased a lot in the past 25 years.
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Old 01-18-24, 11:50 AM
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I took two years to prep for my tour, so I had time to accumulate the lightest and best gear I could find. Price was no object as I knew I was going to be on the road for 323 days and my life depended on it. For capacity, I had a total of 90 liters storage and that was enough for everything. Total weight was a little over 75 pounds, bike included. I spent months experimenting with gearing that worked for me, and a 38t chainring and 10-42 cassette hit the sweet spot, again, for me. My biggest concern was the Rockies and Cascades and I nailed it perfect, for me. I think cadence is more important to keep steady for knees more than gearing. I always try to stay at 85 RPM and my knees never have an issue. Your results may vary.
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Old 01-18-24, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
chief, and while your setup is great, light, narrow etc and worked for you, it still has a rather limited volume capacity that will have an effect on what one can carry, and depending on the trip and what one person considers important to them for either comfort or whatever.

no right or wrong answers here, but not a lot of volume is a real factor.
Kind of like the gearing question here, your low gear worked for you, but I know from lots of touring in various guises over decades that a lower low and a higher high is better for my knees etc, even with the same total bike weight as yours.

What volumes do your various individual things hold, and what is the total volume together?
Here's a rundown of my setup

R/F fork - 5 liter Apidura - Stove and fuel, Benchmade knife attached to outside
L/F for k - 5 liter Apidura - First aid kit, Sea to Summit sleeping pad
Handlebar bag - 15 liter Apidura - Nemo tent, stakes, Sea to Summit sleeping bag, groundcloth
Handlebar bag addition 4(?) liters Apidura - camera, cables, battery packs
Chum buckets - 1 liter Apidura x 2 - everyday stuff, wallet, phone, glasses, snacks, etc.
Frame bag - 4.5 liter Apidura - tools, 9mm Ruger LC9s, tube, lubes, cables, brake pads, gloves
Rear bag - 20 liter Tailfin Aeropack - tent poles, odorless bags, xero shoes, lock, toiletries. Left space for food if needed
R/R Pannier - 22 liter Tailfin. Think I used the lightweight version - rain pants, cold weather gloves, beanie, winter toe caps, long sleeve merino wool shirt, Louis Garneau tights(non thermal), Search and State jacket
L/R Pannier - 22 liter Tailfin - 3 pair socks( all merino wool), 3 pair compression shorts, 2 short sleeve shirts, 1 button up shirt, 2 pair of shorts.

Like I said, was pretty minimal but worked for me. I did 39 years in the military so I have no idea what a creature comfort is. If I didn't "need" it, I didnt take it.


Handlebars get a little busy too.
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Old 01-18-24, 04:46 PM
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From the detailed list, I count just a hair short of 100 liters. Whether it be 90 or 100, that is a very compact looking kit you have. You did a good job of getting everything to work well for the trip.

I usually tour with about 105 total capacity, and mine looks much greater than yours does. Mine is Ortlieb Frontloaders (25 liter for pair), Ortlieb Backrollers (40 liters for the pair), Ortlieb Rackpack (31 liters), and handlebar bag (roughly 9 liters). Add 3 liters for water bottles.

I have not seen a bear spray can on a bike before, where did you get the idea for that?
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Old 01-18-24, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chief9245
I took two years to prep for my tour, so I had time to accumulate the lightest and best gear I could find. Price was no object as I knew I was going to be on the road for 323 days and my life depended on it. For capacity, I had a total of 90 liters storage and that was enough for everything. Total weight was a little over 75 pounds, bike included. I spent months experimenting with gearing that worked for me, and a 38t chainring and 10-42 cassette hit the sweet spot, again, for me. My biggest concern was the Rockies and Cascades and I nailed it perfect, for me. I think cadence is more important to keep steady for knees more than gearing. I always try to stay at 85 RPM and my knees never have an issue. Your results may vary.
interesting, I really thought your rear panniers were of smaller capacity. I have a set of very light Arkel Dry Lite panniers, and the two of them are about 25l, so that was my reference. So I was quite off in my assessment of your storage capacity. Plus that top rack 20l job meant you had reasonable overflow room for extra water if need be or food.
At 75lbs total, that is also more than I expected. I figure your bike must be mid to high 20s, so your load was not overly light by any means. Add in the fact that you got really good equipment, I have no doubt that you were comfortable enough on and off the bike.
You also put a lot of thought and trying out stuff for this trip, so it sounds like it worked really well in all aspects.
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Old 01-18-24, 05:12 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by chief9245
Here's a rundown of my setup

R/F fork - 5 liter Apidura - Stove and fuel, Benchmade knife attached to outside
L/F for k - 5 liter Apidura - First aid kit, Sea to Summit sleeping pad
Handlebar bag - 15 liter Apidura - Nemo tent, stakes, Sea to Summit sleeping bag, groundcloth
Handlebar bag addition 4(?) liters Apidura - camera, cables, battery packs
Chum buckets - 1 liter Apidura x 2 - everyday stuff, wallet, phone, glasses, snacks, etc.
Frame bag - 4.5 liter Apidura - tools, 9mm Ruger LC9s, tube, lubes, cables, brake pads, gloves
Rear bag - 20 liter Tailfin Aeropack - tent poles, odorless bags, xero shoes, lock, toiletries. Left space for food if needed
R/R Pannier - 22 liter Tailfin. Think I used the lightweight version - rain pants, cold weather gloves, beanie, winter toe caps, long sleeve merino wool shirt, Louis Garneau tights(non thermal), Search and State jacket
L/R Pannier - 22 liter Tailfin - 3 pair socks( all merino wool), 3 pair compression shorts, 2 short sleeve shirts, 1 button up shirt, 2 pair of shorts.

Like I said, was pretty minimal but worked for me. I did 39 years in the military so I have no idea what a creature comfort is. If I didn't "need" it, I didnt take it.
thanks for details. All completely reasonable list, and while you're a hardass ex military, you seemed to have mostly the same stuff most of us bike travel with. No warmer puffy jacket or fleece top or something like that?
I''ve used fork 5L bags as well, and putting heavyish stuff there, and also heavy stuff in a frame bag similar in size to yours was nice to keep too much weight off back of bike. Plus you've also put the tent etc on the front handlebar, which I find works quite well, even if my stuff is a bit heavier.
Don't really get the gun thing, but there you go.

Last summer I took my bike with the regular old four panniers and handlebar bag routine, but also took bikepacking stuff a bit and so did two different types of trips. I can certainly say that having less frontal area is so nice with headwinds, and I've noticed it for years now--so ya, I get the whole narrower bike thing, while still thinking that panniers are also handy and suitable also.
I guess I appreciate both methods.
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Old 01-18-24, 05:29 PM
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same trip, left with panniers and did only on road stuff, but also took the handlebar harness and yellow drybag, plus the light 25l rear panniers (both together hold about 25-28L) to do the more off road stuff, which was really fun.


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Old 01-18-24, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
Some people see the reduced volume as a feature, not a bug. If you have the cash, Camping gear weight and volume have decreased a lot in the past 25 years.
big time, and ya, I get it. Even with the budget way I have reduced my load, its really nice schlepping a much lighter bike, with a lot less "sail-effect" from headwinds.
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Old 01-18-24, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
From the detailed list, I count just a hair short of 100 liters. Whether it be 90 or 100, that is a very compact looking kit you have. You did a good job of getting everything to work well for the trip.

I usually tour with about 105 total capacity, and mine looks much greater than yours does. Mine is Ortlieb Frontloaders (25 liter for pair), Ortlieb Backrollers (40 liters for the pair), Ortlieb Rackpack (31 liters), and handlebar bag (roughly 9 liters). Add 3 liters for water bottles.

I have not seen a bear spray can on a bike before, where did you get the idea for that?
In the Northwest; Montana and Washington, and parts of Oregon, bears are prevalent and it's pretty much standard issue to carry. Although having it close by when tenting, never felt really secure wild camping out in Montana, the tent was just the wrapper for the tasty treat inside. I kept it on after, it also works great on crazy people and big dogs.
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Old 01-18-24, 05:45 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by djb
thanks for details. All completely reasonable list, and while you're a hardass ex military, you seemed to have mostly the same stuff most of us bike travel with. No warmer puffy jacket or fleece top or something like that?
I''ve used fork 5L bags as well, and putting heavyish stuff there, and also heavy stuff in a frame bag similar in size to yours was nice to keep too much weight off back of bike. Plus you've also put the tent etc on the front handlebar, which I find works quite well, even if my stuff is a bit heavier.
Don't really get the gun thing, but there you go.

Last summer I took my bike with the regular old four panniers and handlebar bag routine, but also took bikepacking stuff a bit and so did two different types of trips. I can certainly say that having less frontal area is so nice with headwinds, and I've noticed it for years now--so ya, I get the whole narrower bike thing, while still thinking that panniers are also handy and suitable also.
I guess I appreciate both methods.
I left Massachusetts in the beginning of May and I decided not to bring a warm jacket, I had it planned out where wherever I was it was not below 60ish. I had a Search and State jacket and an Assos vest. The coldest temps I hit were in Marfa, TX and believe it or not, Louisiana. With a shirt, a long sleeve merino wool shirt over that, my vest, and then the jacket, I did okay.
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Old 01-18-24, 05:52 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by djb
same trip, left with panniers and did only on road stuff, but also took the handlebar harness and yellow drybag, plus the light 25l rear panniers (both together hold about 25-28L) to do the more off road stuff, which was really fun.


I like the setup, it looks really comfortable. The gray bag setup looks really manageable. And who doesn't like a Surly? Beautiful machines. How do you like the Brooks saddle? I was plagued with saddle sores for years and spent thousands of dollars trying to find a saddle that worked. Was going to try a Brooks but I found a place in California called Infinity bike seat. I picked one up and have never looked back. The best thing about it is it's designed so you don't wear bib shorts, just a pair of compression shorts from Andiamo and a pair of regular shorts over them. It's bizarre looking but the only seat i'll ever use now.
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Old 01-18-24, 06:06 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by chief9245
I left Massachusetts in the beginning of May and I decided not to bring a warm jacket, I had it planned out where wherever I was it was not below 60ish. I had a Search and State jacket and an Assos vest. The coldest temps I hit were in Marfa, TX and believe it or not, Louisiana. With a shirt, a long sleeve merino wool shirt over that, my vest, and then the jacket, I did okay.
last spring I was out where in the morning it was maybe 5, 6, 7c, low 40s I guess, and it was nice having a warmer top.
I also am a big fan of neckups/buffs, that and a thin beanie make a real difference, and a pair of thin gloves--all stuff that is really compact and doesnt weigh much.
Funny about Louisiana, I've ridden in Mexico a few times and the second time, in january, a big cold front from the states came down even where we were in Oaxaca and at night it got down to 5c . I had to go buy a toque and gloves (toque is a winter hat, Canadian term eh) after a few days--pretty funny for a Canadian with loads of toques and gloves and all that jazz back home.
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