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Old 03-21-10, 02:48 PM   #1
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touring light with a road bike?

I am admittedly entering into this plan with a great deal of naivete....I have ridden a lot of miles (usually with a 12 lb backpack while commuting), but never tried something like this.

I am planning a 7-10 day cycling trip this summer, basically "a bike and a backpack" sort of thing. I have purchased a Bontrager Trek Interchange rack/pack (w/ or w/o self-contained panniers) and likely will use it. I see a lot of people talking about special touring "builds" and worrying about whether their wheels will hold up to the load.....will my off-the-rack, lightweight road cycle stand up?

I have a Defy Alliance with Mavic Aksium wheels, fwiw. I do have a Schwinn hybrid (Alexrims R500 wheels) I could use instead, but it is obviously quite a bit heavier and has a different riding position than the road bike so it is not my preference unless necessary.

Any advice for a newbie would be appreciated (not just about the wheels/bike)!

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Old 03-21-10, 03:06 PM   #2
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Touring means different things to different people. If you plan to camp, IMHO you need to settle first on the type of kit that you'll be comfortable with. If your needs for comfort are low and you consequently have a minimal amount of gear, you can get away with some combination of saddle bag, handlebar bag, and frame bag and use your road bike. If you plan to stay in motels, then you'll especially have no problem.
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Old 03-21-10, 03:24 PM   #3
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I did a 500 mile tour on my road bike.
Carried the tent on the down tube.

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Old 03-21-10, 03:42 PM   #4
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Carry a good credit card and pack your toothbrush and change of clothes and shoes for the evenings and stay in hotels with some amenities and you can travel pretty light. Plan your stays and FedEx or UPS your stuff ahead of you and get the hotel to ship your dirty clothes back for you (you can print return labels and put them in the package you ship).
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Old 03-22-10, 10:39 AM   #5
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My LeMond with stock Bontrager Select road wheels carried me and two large rear panniers across the Southern Tier (3000 miles) with no problem. I was lucky in that the LeMond had mounting points for the rear rack. The Ultegra brakes limited the size of tire that I could use so I went with 700/25. With the weight and some really bad riding conditions, I did end up with more flat tires than I would have liked but it all worked just fine. I think that the road condition you plan for is the relavant issue when discussing wheel/tire performance. I would not take my LeMond off road to tour. I did ride several miles on unpaved dirt, gravel, grass. It is obvious that wider tires handle unpaved surfaces better than do narrow tires. But then, on my Burly touring bike with bullet proof wheels I only use 700/28 tires since I only tour on paved surfaces. Good luck.
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