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Gearing up is getting expensive

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Gearing up is getting expensive

Old 01-30-24, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
..., don't use my headlamp on tour and only use a little blinkie on tour, ..
Fully agree. I carry a light in case I want to use it to go to a pub in the evening or need it for a tunnel. But otherwise if I have a headlight on my bike on a tour, it is a dyno powered light that was already installed on it for home use.

The light in the photo below, I carried that in my handlebar bag for five weeks on my Canadian Maritimes tour, and never used it. No batteries, it plugs into my USB powerbank for power. Strap it onto handlebar with elastic to use. It is for emergency use only.

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Old 01-31-24, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Pratt, I grew up around boats and understand the money pit that they are. Eventually I became a sailor on the Pacific in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club. Talk about a money pit, all 973 feet of it!

The biggest expense outside of the tent and quilt is the wool clothing. I only wear wool socks period, and have plenty of them, however I want two wool shirts and one long sleeve wool shirt. Right there that is about 140 bucks for the cheep stuff on Amazon. I have always used Smartwool for these garments, but don't want to foot that kind of bill. I will not need a stove as I can make an alcohol stove very easily, but since I don't cook I won't need it anyway. Should be able to survive on the same stuff I live on now without cooking.

Just to be clear, I have all the real big ticket items such as bikes, tires, racks, bags. Just need the wool clothing, lights, rain jacket, pump, and some other things that will pop up at some point. Anyway, my lamenting is simply that, lamenting and venting.

Oh yeah, I'm married with two adult children and one very understanding wife.
Never buy Smartwool (or any wool, for that matter) at full price. There are always sales.
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Old 01-31-24, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Fully agree. I carry a light in case I want to use it to go to a pub in the evening or need it for a tunnel. But otherwise if I have a headlight on my bike on a tour, it is a dyno powered light that was already installed on it for home use.

The light in the photo below, I carried that in my handlebar bag for five weeks on my Canadian Maritimes tour, and never used it. No batteries, it plugs into my USB powerbank for power. Strap it onto handlebar with elastic to use. It is for emergency use only.

That light makes some sense since you are carrying the battery bank anyway.

One thing that made me think about is that I could go the other way and use my helmet lamp/handlebar lamp as a battery bank if I wanted to. Primary use on tour would be as a battery bank, it could be used as a headlamp in a pinch. Mine was bought for night time trail riding and it works well in that role. I am pretty sure it would do fine charging my phone or ther devices a few times per charge.
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Old 02-01-24, 03:51 PM
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Nice wool shirts are indeed pricey, but with moderate abuse, they will last decades, ditto sweaters.
My touring kit includes a shake dry jacket, a Patagonia wind shirt, and a $50.00 down jacket that are pretty much cycling, in fact touring, specific.
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Old 02-01-24, 05:23 PM
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Yes, wool is durable and with proper care it will outlast most any other material in the same application. I commuted for 20 years using the same three wool t-shirts and one heavy sweater. The sweater still survives, but I don't use it much anymore, typically only when XC skiing. The t-shirts are done and long gone in the trash. Wore a hole through the back of the long sleeve caused by a messenger bag, and the bag was not even exposed to the wool as the long sleeve was always under a wind breaker.

Anyway, I can go on and on about wool, suffice it to say that in retirement I am not doing a single months long tour and calling it good, I plan on taking a tour every year for at least 5 years and hopefully more, which is why I am looking for new. As it is I simply will adjust and persevere.
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Old 02-06-24, 06:07 AM
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Wool: I like wool for fashion, but for outdoors, especially a bike trip, I'm sold on synthetic fleece. Can be washed easily and dries relatively fast. Tough. Still warm when wet. Available in different weights. Then a shell over that. Fleece these days can be had fairly cheap.

Tent: REI when on sale are usually good deals. My preference is a 2-person rectangular dome tent, with just two crossing poles, (I don't like systems with the extra complexity and special parts of pole hubs), and a cover fly with a short pole that provides an overhang over the front and back windows. This tent has excellent ventilation due to that. At one point I bought a similar tent with full coverage fly down to the ground in all directions, with front and back doors and covered vestibules at each, but the problem was, that tent had no ventilation in hot weather. And, the vestibule was not big enough to keep the bike in it.

Besides the bike and specific accessories, I'm not seeing many thousands of dollars in other gear, unless you're going top-line and paying list price.

Panniers, buy the best you can, because if they break, you're outta luck. Ortlieb looks good, have a good warranty I believe, and a large network of dealers to honor it. They sell cheap copies on amazon, but on a long tour, I'd get a name brand. Jandd used to make some expedition quality ones, tough, but not waterproof and these days I would want that, and they don't make their panniers any more. Even with quality, one long tourer recommends straps to support the pannier weight and not rely on the modern plastic clip setup, and also horizontal straps instead of the inside lower clips or springs.

Racks also, should be first-rate.
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Old 02-12-24, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
The joke - gearing up isn't expensive. Just buy a smaller cassette. Your current derailleurs will work just fine. Now, gearing down? That can get expensive!

And seriously - the tent. Test it out in a hard rain. With you in it. And all your gear in it. (The gear can be whatever but have it inside.) Waterproof? Dry pad. Done in time you can send it out to one of the first class outfits to have it waterproofed and repaired. (I've got a name I can dig up if you need it.)
I have a 5 ounce cover for the bike and the bags that combats the rain rather well. Well worth the relatively inexpensive cost. My "tent" is a single person sort of bivy framed deal that has plenty of space for me to sleep but not much more except a light and a Kindle. Everything else is under the cover. But the premise is correct: fully complementing a touring bike can get quite expensive!
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Old 02-13-24, 07:14 AM
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I have been very fortunate as of late. Found a rain jacket on MP that was free, two old bike lights that had no mounts for free (have already made a mount for the rear and will start on the front mount soon), and found a 36oz water bottle that will be strapped to a cage that I have made (the cage can hold up to a half gallon sized container). Working on a few other things as well.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
I have been very fortunate as of late. Found a rain jacket on MP that was free, two old bike lights that had no mounts for free (have already made a mount for the rear and will start on the front mount soon), and found a 36oz water bottle that will be strapped to a cage that I have made (the cage can hold up to a half gallon sized container). Working on a few other things as well.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
So is laziness. I've derived math formulas for repeated calculations (and later using computer programs), which save a lot of work in the long run, just a 30 second calculation the next time around.

Regarding that big bottle cage, just be aware of something not widely known: So let's say you double the weight carried by the cage (from quart to half-gallon). Now, if held by the same structural attachments, static stress is also doubled, and may be fine. But what is not widely known is, the fatigue strength will plummet, fatigue resistance is not linear. So that doubling may reduce fatigue strength by 30-50X or more. And a water bottle cage is definitely subjected to cyclic fatigue, up and down, and most particularly, left and right, over an attachment base that is usually just the width of the attachment bolts, which is narrow. (An example, there was a thread talking about brackets attaching to the 3 bolt pattern on the front of Bromptons, and many other folding bikes, and someone made the point that aftemarket brackets only attached at the bolts, but the genuine Brompton, had wings that press on each side at the head tube, a much wider base, way stiffer left-to-right, and I completely agreed, much stronger.)

Another problem I see, is things like water bottle cages and other things, attached with screw-hose-(band)-clamps. People look at where the band is solid and see strength, not realizing that by the slots where the screw works, the metal is just thin strips on each side, much weaker. And, a metal clamp attached to a frame tube or fork, can develop fretting wear there, causing a stress concentration (riser) and subsequent crack on your frame or fork (always expensive), thus should always use clamps with rubber padding on the inside, some come that way, or you can slip rubber tubing over the opened band, or use a piece of tire tube between the clamp and the frame.

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Old 02-22-24, 12:36 PM
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If you're in the US, this is what I always say... If you wait long enough, you can find anything you want in this country for free. Except medical coverage. FB marketplace I discovered has a plethora of used panniers - old and new. And I have to say that no matter what a FBer is selling it, so much of it is highly underpriced! Don't buy new even at REI - all you're doing is supporting the overpaid CEO's of America (or whatever country they might be from). You have a lot of time to do a lot of research and find gear cheap. For the bike, if you're near a big city, search for bike coops. Thrift stores will save you a lot on clothing and other stuff that you might need. I've worked in bike shops. You can't believe what goes into the garbage. There's a reason why the unhoused who live on their bikes rummage thru the dumpsters! There's also a site called freecycle.org. Don't know where you're planning to tour to, but don't over think it. The great thing about bike touring is...there are no rules. Except that you need a bike.
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