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Ultra light on a carbon frame

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Ultra light on a carbon frame

Old 06-01-10, 01:48 AM
  #1  
doughmaker
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Ultra light on a carbon frame

In August of this year I am planning my first 'tour' - I am going from Irelands most Northernly point to the most southernly point - Mailn Head to Mizen Head - approx 400 miles. 4 days cycling. I am with 2 friends - we are not planning on camping - cheap b&bs on the way down.
I plan to take a toothbrush, evening clothes (shoes light trackie bottom and top) plus 2 tubes and mini pump.
My problem is: what is the best way to carry this small load.
We are competitive guys and plan to push the pace on good carbon fibre bikes so therefore want something that won't drag us down or damage the bikes.

Any help appreciated...

Thanks
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Old 06-01-10, 02:13 AM
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chasm54
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I'm assuming your carbon frame doesn't give you the option of fitting a conventional rack. I'd say you have three options. First, a bar bag. Very useful but you'll struggle to find one large enough for shoes, clothes, tools etc for four days. (If you replace your clipless pedals for cages and straps you can cycle in trainers and save taking extra shoes.)
Second, a saddle bag. http://www.carradice.co.uk/ You can get them bigger than a bar bag but they can be difficult (read impossible) to fit to a racing saddle, so you'd need to look carefully before buying. Third, a beam rack. http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...1?query=Topeak These clip onto the seatpost. They are supposed to be safe up to a 7 kilo load. They aren't as good as a conventional rack because the weight is carried higher, so it raises the centre of gravity and if you were carrying the full 7k would affect the bike's handling, but it sounds as if you're unlikely to haul that sort of weight.

Don't use a rucksack. And you don't mention tools. One of you needs to take some. 400 miles is a long way, even in Ireland, and it can be annoying and waste a lot of time if you aren't equipped even to trim a wheel or fix a chain.

I did the Tour of Ireland challenge http://www.cyclosport.org/eventdetails.aspx?eventid=72 in 2008 and 2009. Great cycling country.
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Old 06-01-10, 04:56 AM
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Thanks for the advice. My seat post is also carbon - would the Topeak product you suggest damage the post by clamping on? Also can you suggest a good pack for my job to sit on the rack?
The Tour of Ireland looks amazing - maybe next year...

Thanks Again
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Old 06-01-10, 05:27 AM
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I don't see any reason to suppose that the beam rack would damage a carbon seatpost. Incidentally, I notice they've increased the weight limit on the latest version to 9 kilos. Speaking for myself, I definitely would not carry that sort of weight on one - but more because of the effect on bike handling than because I was worried about the seatpost.

As for bags, Topeak sell compatible bags that look nice, but are quite expensive. I'd guess that almost any reasonably compact bag could be secured to this with a couple of straps and/or bungees.
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Old 06-01-10, 06:40 AM
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I don't think you are supposed to put beam racks on carbon seat posts.

Tubus Fly Rack and quickrelease adaptor, with Lone Peak front panniers. Light, plenty of space, won't damage frame, can carry up to 40 pounds.

www.thetouringstore.com

If you pack really light, you can get away with only carrying one pannier - the lopsidedness looks weird, but doesn't bother the handling.

This was my solution for a 4-day credit card tour on my titanium bike, it worked great.
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Old 06-01-10, 06:51 AM
  #6  
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your planned load is really small.

put everything in a silnylon drybag and lash it to your saddle/ seatpost.

or an ultralight daypack (700-1000 cu in).

I have an older Gregory Reactor pack that fits the bill. Would be more than enough room for your needs.


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Old 06-01-10, 07:13 AM
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The trip you're describing would probably fall more correctly under the term, long distance cycling. There's a forum here for that type of riding that would be of more help. They solve the type of problems you are describing all the time.
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Old 06-01-10, 07:26 AM
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valygrl
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Originally Posted by xyzzy834 View Post
The trip you're describing would probably fall more correctly under the term, long distance cycling. There's a forum here for that type of riding that would be of more help. They solve the type of problems you are describing all the time.
diasgree, it's touring
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Old 06-01-10, 07:42 AM
  #9  
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Yep, it's touring.
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Old 06-01-10, 08:13 AM
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xyzzy834
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
diasgree, it's touring
I'm not going to get into an argument about semantics. Call it anything you want.

The important point is these are problems the randonneurs and long distance cyclists solve all the time. The original poster could get good advice by reading and asking in their forum.
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Old 06-01-10, 08:39 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Second, a saddle bag. http://www.carradice.co.uk/ You can get them bigger than a bar bag but they can be difficult (read impossible) to fit to a racing saddle, so you'd need to look carefully before buying.
Hardly difficult and definitely not impossible... I had no trouble fitting a Carradice Nelson Longflap to my 54cm carbon race bike using a Bagman QR support. The only limitation is that you need some space between the saddle rails and the tire. If you've got a small frame or very little seatpost showing, you'll need to use a smaller bag (e.g. Lowsaddle Longflap, Barley, etc). The OP isn't planning to take much stuff to begin with, so one of these smaller bags would likely be perfect for him.

FWIW, when I was thinking about using my race bike for touring I planned to swap the expensive carbon seatpost for a cheap aluminum one. I, honestly, can't tell much difference between the two and didn't want to risk damaging the carbon post.
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Old 06-01-10, 09:07 AM
  #12  
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Thanks xyzzy834 - I have also posted on the long distance board.

Great advice everyone - this is the first time I have used the forumn and am blown away by the quality response!
Thanks everyone
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Old 06-01-10, 09:08 AM
  #13  
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I thought I had better photos but this is all I can find. I did a weekend tour on my old carbon frame a few years ago. I used a Carradace Nelson Long Flap, Bag Man rack, switched out my carbon post for an aluminum Thompson post. I attached my sleeping bag to the handlebars and everything else in the saddlebag.





Weight according to the bathroom scale is 33 pounds, that's without water.

Here's the gear:




Gear List:
Sleeping Bag: Marmot Arroyo 35 deg (~16oz)
Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes something or other
Tent: Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cap silnyon poncho tarp
Stove: Cat food can
Pot/Bowl: Heineken can with bobble warp for insulation and aluminum flashing for windscreen
Utensil: Lexan spoon
Black Diamond LED headlamp
Solar charger to charge the Garmin (turned out to be worthless)
Riding clothes for day 2
Camp clothes
Food: Beef Stew, instant Oatmeal dried cherries
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Old 06-01-10, 09:35 AM
  #14  
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I've done similar trips using a fanny pack. Didn't bother with the "evening attire", though.
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Old 06-01-10, 09:43 AM
  #15  
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epic designs?

http://www.epicdesignsalaska.com/

Either the seat bag or stuff everything in a dry sack and get their handlebar bag/mount.

Or just get a dry sack and strap it to your handlebars as shown in the post above.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:45 AM
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Find a cheap, light aluminum rear rack and attach it using p-clips. Then get a compression bag and strap it on.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:17 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Hardly difficult and definitely not impossible... I had no trouble fitting a Carradice Nelson Longflap to my 54cm carbon race bike using a Bagman QR support. The only limitation is that you need some space between the saddle rails and the tire. If you've got a small frame or very little seatpost showing, you'll need to use a smaller bag (e.g. Lowsaddle Longflap, Barley, etc). The OP isn't planning to take much stuff to begin with, so one of these smaller bags would likely be perfect for him.
That's interesting, I hadn't known about the QR support. Nice idea, I might try one of those myself. doughboy, with one of these attachments I'd definitely favour a saddlebag over a beam rack...
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Old 06-01-10, 11:50 AM
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If I was doing a trip as you mention... I would go with my medium Ortlieb handle bar bag. Between the bag and my jersey pockets I would have everything I need for a 4 day trip.

This is assuming you have alloy bars though.
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Old 06-01-10, 01:04 PM
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at least get light walking shoes, stuff what you need in a small stuff sack and put it between the shoes, strap together with toe straps or webbing then strap under saddle. Get stuff sack and tie it under handlebars. Done.
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Old 06-01-10, 01:54 PM
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Epic Designs and Carousel Design Works make great stuff. The large saddle bags both make are smaller and harder to organize than the Carradace product. I have a large saddle bag from Carousel. Great product but might not be large enough depending on how much you need to carry. Both companies make fame bags which are pretty cool for those who want to go lightweight.
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Old 06-01-10, 02:05 PM
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Better yet, OP can make his own bags. Cheaper and more custom. That is the route I'm going.
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Old 06-01-10, 02:45 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by doughmaker View Post
In August of this year I am planning my first 'tour' - I am going from Irelands most Northernly point to the most southernly point - Mailn Head to Mizen Head - approx 400 miles. 4 days cycling. I am with 2 friends - we are not planning on camping - cheap b&bs on the way down.
I plan to take a toothbrush, evening clothes (shoes light trackie bottom and top) plus 2 tubes and mini pump.
My problem is: what is the best way to carry this small load.
We are competitive guys and plan to push the pace on good carbon fibre bikes so therefore want something that won't drag us down or damage the bikes.

Any help appreciated...

Thanks
With that little gear you can use a Carradice Barley and a handlebar bag, or just get a couple of compression sacks and strap them onto the saddle and the handlebars
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Old 06-01-10, 02:45 PM
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Niles H.
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Originally Posted by doughmaker View Post
In August of this year I am planning my first 'tour' - I am going from Irelands most Northernly point to the most southernly point - Mailn Head to Mizen Head - approx 400 miles. 4 days cycling. I am with 2 friends - we are not planning on camping - cheap b&bs on the way down.
I plan to take a toothbrush, evening clothes (shoes light trackie bottom and top) plus 2 tubes and mini pump.
My problem is: what is the best way to carry this small load.
We are competitive guys and plan to push the pace on good carbon fibre bikes so therefore want something that won't drag us down or damage the bikes.

Any help appreciated...

Thanks
There are some alternatives to carrying a toothbrush. I've been using a small microfiber towel, and I actually prefer it now to toothbrushes. You can just wrap it around a finger, and clean your teeth that way. It seems to do a better job, and isn't as harsh on the gums (some people's receding gums catch up with them eventually -- and using brushes can contribute to this, I am told).

Microfibers are very effective at cleaning. You can use them as-is, or put a little brushing powder on them.

The wrapping technique works just fine, and the microfiber washcloth has multiple uses -- it can be used for all kinds of other things, in addition to keeping teeth clean.

If they are reasonably well made, these washcloths are also extremely durable, and don't have to be replaced as often as toothbrushes (the splaying that happens with toothbrush bristles is annoying, and I'm glad to be free of it -- and free of carrying and packing and replacing those stupid toothbrushes).


***
Some people might prefer a 'fitted' and task-specific design:

http://www.gollygear.com/toothbrush_mfib.html

But is it a good toothbrush? Will it clean your teeth as well as a regular nylon brush?

Actually, because the bristles of the Silver Care toothbrush are made of microfiber, it cleans teeth much more effectively that a nylon-bristled toothbrush. The microfiber bristles are "grabby" but gentle, and are able to pick up more of the plaque and general yuck off your teeth than a regular nylon head.

Last edited by Niles H.; 06-01-10 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 06-01-10, 03:34 PM
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Niles H.
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Originally Posted by doughmaker View Post
In August of this year I am planning my first 'tour' - I am going from Irelands most Northernly point to the most southernly point - Mailn Head to Mizen Head - approx 400 miles. 4 days cycling. I am with 2 friends - we are not planning on camping - cheap b&bs on the way down.
I plan to take a toothbrush, evening clothes (shoes light trackie bottom and top) plus 2 tubes and mini pump.
My problem is: what is the best way to carry this small load.
We are competitive guys and plan to push the pace on good carbon fibre bikes so therefore want something that won't drag us down or damage the bikes.

Any help appreciated...

Thanks
With the amount of stuff you will be carrying, I don't see why you couldn't just use a lightweight drybag tucked in and lashed to the rails under the saddle -- or perhaps lashed inside the main triangle (using a lashing material that won't mar, abrade, or damage the tubing).

There are also different sizes available in saddle packs (ready-made under-the-saddle bags, seat bags or 'wedges') -- anything from very small units that will carry a tube, very basic small tools, and a credit card, up to larger units that could probably accommodate what you will be taking, if you keep all of the items as compact as possible.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...?category=1800

There are additional models and user comments and reviews here:

http://www.rei.com/category/4500851

***
Some shoes are much more minimalist, compact and lightweight than others -- some track shoes, for example, or dancing slippers.

Some fabrics will pack way down, much more than most of them.

Shoes or sandals can also be lashed on separately; but the minimalist ones could probably fit inside some of the wedges.

Last edited by Niles H.; 06-01-10 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 06-01-10, 04:30 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
I thought I had better photos but this is all I can find. I did a weekend tour on my old carbon frame a few years ago. I used a Carradace Nelson Long Flap, Bag Man rack, switched out my carbon post for an aluminum Thompson post. I attached my sleeping bag to the handlebars and everything else in the saddlebag.





Weight according to the bathroom scale is 33 pounds, that's without water.

Here's the gear:




Gear List:
Sleeping Bag: Marmot Arroyo 35 deg (~16oz)
Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes something or other
Tent: Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cap silnyon poncho tarp
Stove: Cat food can
Pot/Bowl: Heineken can with bobble warp for insulation and aluminum flashing for windscreen
Utensil: Lexan spoon
Black Diamond LED headlamp
Solar charger to charge the Garmin (turned out to be worthless)
Riding clothes for day 2
Camp clothes
Food: Beef Stew, instant Oatmeal dried cherries
brilliant definitely the way to go as long as your comfortable with your load.
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