Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Is it possible to use my bike?

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Is it possible to use my bike?

Old 03-02-09, 12:22 AM
  #1  
Radiohead84
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Is it possible to use my bike?

Hi. I've been into cycling for the past two years. I haven't been able to do it as much as I have wanted to but I am looking into doing a tour. Not sure how long yet, but I have a good amount of time with no commitments, and I want to go cycling and see parts of the country. This might involve touring for a time and then taking a mass transit at other times.

Anyway, I am in the starting phase of the idea. The bike I ride right now is a Bianchi Brava. I understand that to load a bike with touring equipment its best to have a touring bike, but I thought I would ask anyway. Anyway to modify my bike a bit to make it work? I do love my bike. The Brava is made out of steel so it is a stronger body but I guess a lot of it deals with the frame and clearance.

Like most things in life..I want to spend as little amount as money as possible..so i would rather not buy a whole nother bike for touring as I don't know if I would ever do this again.

thanks!
Radiohead84 is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 01:05 AM
  #2  
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's doable if you can fit 28-32mm tires on the frame and not carry a big load on the rear wheel. I'd stick with one set of panniers on front lowriders and a bag on the rear rack. Some frame bags would help to bring weight into the middle of the bike.
LeeG is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 01:33 AM
  #3  
arctos
40 yrs bike touring
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Santa Barbara,CA.
Posts: 1,013

Bikes: Bruce Gordon Ti Rock N Road [1989], Fat Chance Mountain Tandem [1988]

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Much depends on strength of wheels, the rider weight, style of touring-(self-contained camping or ?), weight of equipment carried and type of road surfaces expected.

I believe that the Brava has a carbon fork which may limit how much you could carry up front for equipment weight distribution other than with a handle bar bag. Are there mounting points for a rear rack? How much heel clearance from hitting rear panniers? How wide a tire fits the bike?

You may just want to try short trial run trips with various configurations of carrying stuff to see how the bike handles the load. Then you can decide if you need a different bike or just some changes to the Brava. Everyone starts touring with what they have and evolves with experience. Good Luck!
arctos is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 01:41 AM
  #4  
AsanaCycles
Bicycle Lifestyle
 
AsanaCycles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Grove, Ca
Posts: 1,737

Bikes: Neil Pryde Diablo, VeloVie Vitesse400, Hunter29er, Surly Big Dummy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you can always use Old Man Mountain racks.
AsanaCycles is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 01:49 AM
  #5  
Newspaperguy
Senior Member
 
Newspaperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It depends on how long a tour you're planning. For a week or two, you'll have no problem with just a rear rack and panniers and a handlebar bag. If you're going for longer tours, you may want to look at either swapping out the front fork for something else, or using a trailer.
Newspaperguy is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 07:58 AM
  #6  
RepWI
Senior Member
 
RepWI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think a trailer is a solution for you.
RepWI is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 10:47 AM
  #7  
Mr. Jim
Bike Nerd
 
Mr. Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Mid- Michigan
Posts: 579

Bikes: mid 80's Fuji Supreme (commuter), LeRun unicycle thingy Raleigh Centrurion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sounds like a trailer would work fine. I used a trailer with a my Giant TCR for touring before selling it and buying a LHT instead.
Mr. Jim is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 11:06 AM
  #8  
DuckFat
Senior Member
 
DuckFat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 252

Bikes: Cannondale Killer-V 900 (Mountain), Jamis Aurora (Touring)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yep, get a BOB trailer.
DuckFat is offline  
Old 03-02-09, 11:17 AM
  #9  
Captain Jake
Devil's Advocate
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa
Posts: 134

Bikes: Sterling Road bike, Chromolly Specialized Allez, Bianchi was given to me don't know model

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My suggestion was going to be a trailer, many people beat me to it.
Captain Jake is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 01:08 AM
  #10  
Radiohead84
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you for the information guys.

It seems to me that almost all the pictures I see around of people touring is with panniers on the side of their bikes. I rarely see any trailors.

Is there a reason why people do not like trailors as much? I imagine it makes the bike a little bit hard to deal with, turn, and stop.
Radiohead84 is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 02:19 AM
  #11  
Radiohead84
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I guess I should say some more.

One of my main concerns is space. If I do this I plan to do a mixture of camping, and staying at friends, or friends of friends, houses or backyards. With the trailer...its more stuff to move inside and such.
Radiohead84 is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 08:21 AM
  #12  
neilfein
Senior Member
 
neilfein's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Highland Park, NJ, USA
Posts: 3,792

Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You can tour on any bike. A dedicateed touring bike makes it easier and more fun, but it's fun no matter how you do it. Go for it!

Where are you considering touring? If roads exclusively, a two-wheeled trailer makes the most sense - you can get a used child trailer and convert it into a cargo trailer. For any kind of trail, such as packed dirt or limestone, I'd go for a Bob or other 1-wheel touring trailer.
__________________
Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

My bands:
neilfein is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 08:32 AM
  #13  
skookum
cyclotourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: calgary, canada
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
You can tour on any bike. A dedicateed touring bike makes it easier and more fun, but it's fun no matter how you do it. Go for it!

Where are you considering touring? If roads exclusively, a two-wheeled trailer makes the most sense - you can get a used child trailer and convert it into a cargo trailer. For any kind of trail, such as packed dirt or limestone, I'd go for a Bob or other 1-wheel touring trailer.
So true. You may have to modify your goals somewhat, use public transporation for parts of your tour, but if you've got a bike, then go!
skookum is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 09:45 AM
  #14  
northboundtrain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The trailer will certainly be more of a hassle when you are trying to put the bike on a bus or train.

Sounds like your approach might lend itself to a lightweight set up anyway, so it's quite possible to tour with your road bike. Last year, I did exactly such a tour with a Lemond racing frame. I used a rack similar to the Old Man Mountain that I attached to the rear with the QR skewer and P-clamps on the seat stays. I also clamped two water bottle cages to the fork. My load was approximately 25 lbs with four full water bottles.

Most panniers are made for proper touring bikes and are a little long for a road bike. You can always mount them in such a way as to avoid heal strike, but bike handling is compromised the further back the load is relative to the rear axle; you get the tail-wagging-the-dog effect. (At least that's my unscientific theory). I did have a bit of a front end shimmy when riding no-handed, but otherwise the bike handled pretty well.

I would suggest using drybag stuff sacks in lieu of panniers. They are more compact length-wise, so the load's center of gravity will be further forward. I used the Sea to Summit 13 liter bags. I attached the bags to the rack with webbing stuff sack compressors and an extra strap cinched around the middle. It worked well enough, although the bags are not quite as accessible as regular panniers. Next time, I would also have a frame bag that mounts inside the main triangle in the top-tube-seat-tube corner for stuff such as wallet, sunscreen, food, etc. that I want to be able to access during the day. A medium to large seat bag should be able to accomodate your tool/repair kit. You won't be able to carry much food, so you'll need to buy meals one at a time almost. This means eating out of convenience stores and small groceries a lot of the time.

To sum up, yes, by all means, you can use your road bike. Use the largest tires you can while still having enough clearance with the frame to allow for a wheel to go a little out of true, try to keep your load between the two axles as much as possible, and use ultra-light camping gear to keep the weight and bulk down.
northboundtrain is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 10:34 AM
  #15  
neilfein
Senior Member
 
neilfein's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Highland Park, NJ, USA
Posts: 3,792

Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was able to achieve a balanced setup on a mountain bike with front panniers and a trunk rack. The OP's frams is steel, but probably significantly lighter than my old tank. Might the same principle apply if he swaps out the fork? Is that even possible?
__________________
Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

My bands:
neilfein is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 10:58 AM
  #16  
kayakdiver
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You can tour on anything like mentioned above. I toured with two guys last summer across North Dakota that did just fine on road bikes... 23mm tires and and light racks.

Was the setup they had ideal? Not really. Did it work? Sure did. Would I have wanted to be the one riding the bikes they had? Nope.

Did they have a blast? Sure did. Did I look down on them because they had something other than a LHT? Nope.

You mention spending as little as possible. I have ortliebs and axiom waterproof panniers. Both keep my stuff dry. The axioms are much less money and work great. Mounting is very secure. More so than my Ortliebs.

Don't get to hung up on this stuff. You mentioned that you love the bike. Go with the one you love!

my 2 cents.
kayakdiver is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 07:02 PM
  #17  
Newspaperguy
Senior Member
 
Newspaperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
I was able to achieve a balanced setup on a mountain bike with front panniers and a trunk rack. The OP's frams is steel, but probably significantly lighter than my old tank. Might the same principle apply if he swaps out the fork? Is that even possible?
I know the conventional wisdom around here is to carry the bulk of the weight in front, but I've done nicely with the weight on the rear wheel. Normally, I only have a tent, some extra water and a handlebar bag in front. The rest of my gear is on the rear rack. On my last tour, I had rear panniers, a rack trunk and a handlebar bag. The bike handled beautifully and most of the time I forgot I was carrying a load.
Newspaperguy is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 08:53 PM
  #18  
Radiohead84
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went to the bike store near by today and talked to the guy there a bit. They said they do not sell a lot of touring bikes now because most people that do it just use road bikes because they don't want to have two bikes for just those things.

I checked it out and I think that I can fit panniers on the back of my bike..which is good. I forgot to ask about the tires.

My fork is not made out of steel. How do I figure out which forks I can replace it with for my bike and which would be the best deal.

I recently checked out a packing list of things that people usually bring on a long tour(including camping equipment), and maybe I am bad at spacial relationships, but it seems like a lot of stuff to pack into just panniers!
Radiohead84 is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 09:14 PM
  #19  
Newspaperguy
Senior Member
 
Newspaperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Radiohead84 View Post
I went to the bike store near by today and talked to the guy there a bit. They said they do not sell a lot of touring bikes now because most people that do it just use road bikes because they don't want to have two bikes for just those things.
For most road riding, a touring bike will work well. For touring, commuting, riding for transportation and riding for recreation, a touring bike will handle conditions well. It's not as good for racing, but that's the only limitation that comes to mind right now.
Originally Posted by Radiohead84 View Post
I recently checked out a packing list of things that people usually bring on a long tour(including camping equipment), and maybe I am bad at spacial relationships, but it seems like a lot of stuff to pack into just panniers!
For a week or two on the road, I can manage with rear panniers, a small bag under the seat and a handlebar bag quite nicely. The only things that don't fit are my tent, mattress pad and tarp. For a longer trip or a trip under more primitive conditions, I'd add a pair of front panniers.

I've been touring for a while and after every tour, I do a review of how it went. I include a section about the gear I packed, what I used and what I needed but didn't have.
Newspaperguy is offline  
Old 03-03-09, 10:43 PM
  #20  
stephenboyd
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did a two week tour last summer on a Giant OCR2 road bike. I used 25c tires, two rear panniers (ortlieb), and a handlebar bag. I camped (tarptent, light sleeping bag) all but 2 nights, and had only two flat tires. It can definitely be done.
stephenboyd is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.