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Mountain touring anyone?

Old 10-24-03, 03:03 AM
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Mountain touring anyone?

Hey everyone,
I'm looking for a new chalenge and have decided Mountain Touring is it. You know, like touring except on a mountain bike.....on dirt.

I'm starting from scratch, building a bike from the ground up, probably going with a BOB Ibex trailer at this stage. Most of my trips will either be self supported 3 dayers or week long jaunts, but who knows? I'm aiming for mostly off road too, so a traditional touring bike is not an option.

Any advise on set-up and equipment would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-24-03, 05:03 AM
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well, i do LOTS of mountain touring, but since i am now in the Alps and there is a great network of huts, i don't usually carry a whole lot of gear...

on the 7-9 day TransAlp tours i guide (riding usually from Germany to Italy across the Alps and I personally include lots of vertical climbing - passes in the 2300-2700m range!, lots of single trails and great descents) i personally carry around 10kg, although i encourage my riders to carry less than 7kg in their backpacks. (we only carry snack food and repair tools and basic clothing + a lightweight "sleepsack" and eat at the huts and have a bed with blankets there)

i also have a BOB trailer and have done a few overnighters with the sleeping bag, stove and tent...

basically you have 2 options:
1) almost everything in a backpack with maybe a small tool pouch under the seat - more and you can't ride technical trails. here the max limit where you can really ride technical stuff is maybe 15kg, but that's already pushing it.
2) BOB trailer - awesome in the mountains b/c you can still ride single trail and technical stuff while carrying significant weight (of course climbing steep stuff is tough b/c of the weight!). i can even ride small drops with my trailer. the only real problem is IF you ride really technical stuff you will eventually have to push/carry and the BOB trailer sucks for that. Note: i did a tour last summer and was on steep climbs of 15-20% with the trailer and passed some unloaded day riders who were pushing: so it depends a lot on the rider then on a technical descent i bombed through a section with some small drops and really freaked out 2 guys walking their MTBs down the trail as the trailer bounced after me

but, however you do it, you need small gears- and more the more weight you carry. definitely go with a 34 as your biggest rear cog (now one of the "normal" 9speed sizes from Shimano so not expensive) --- and the standard 22 smallest front ring is ok -- only if pulling heavy loads and/or steep climbs you might think about a 20 (or if you have old 8 or 7sp and can't get a 34 rear cog) ---- but 22 x 34 is about walking speed, so keep that in mind if you go with anything lower.

otherwise just a basic XC mountain bike - either hardtail or full suspension.

mountain bike touring is AWESOME! i'm currently contemplating a 2-week off-road technical tour through the French/Swiss Alps for next summer -- and will maybe offer it as a guided tour!
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Old 10-24-03, 05:05 AM
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oh, i forgot. always bring extra pins for the BOB trailer. if you loose one on a trail without a replacement then it sucks (happened to me and i used a twist-tie to fiy it but it had to be re-fixed every few minutes as the trail was _way_ technical). my trailer is from 2000 and i think they may have improved the design so the pins are less likely to fall out.
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Old 10-24-03, 05:57 AM
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In the UK, tourists using hostels manage to use a full sus bike with good luggage capacity, by fitting a Caradice saddlebag. You can get up to 25l, hanging off your saddle. The advantage over a seatpost rack is, less weight, better security, better balance, heavier load rating.
If you put all your heavy stuff in the saddlebag, you can carry the light, bulky stuff in your small backpack
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Old 11-04-03, 06:57 PM
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Climbing the mountains

Any experience with th KOGA trekking bikes there? I saw many folks riding these in Europe -they just became available in the US.
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Old 11-06-03, 11:10 AM
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Panniers and racks offroad

Just wondering what people experinces are with using a rear pannier and rack offroad are? I know the bob trailer is likely a better option but what about panniers?
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Old 11-06-03, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kaelc
Just wondering what people experinces are with using a rear pannier and rack offroad are? I know the bob trailer is likely a better option but what about panniers?
Because panniers stick out and get caught in brush and other stuff,I use the top section of a rear rack,which is directly behind me and keeps my rear kit in-line with my body. Advanced land navigation and basic survival skills are also a must if you travel into remote mountain ranges. Some of my best fly fishing has been using a MTB.

Regards.
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Old 11-11-03, 12:22 PM
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The more I look at racks and panniers, the sillier they become. A trailer seems much more versatile. Koga/Miyata hasnt been in Australia for maybe 18 years, and I have my own bike company ( https://www.thylacinecycles.com ) so its not like I'm about to rush out and buy another brand of bike. Lucky me.

After I get more gear and have done a few shorter trips, I'll be eyeing off the Mawson Trail in South Australia. 900kms of off road adventure. Oh yeah.
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Old 11-13-03, 06:17 PM
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i did racks and panniers on quite a few offroad trips in the mid 90s, and they were always breaking on me. spokes and tubes went fast from the extra weight, too.
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