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Tents that fit on drop bars

Old 07-17-10, 09:17 AM
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Tents that fit on drop bars

I ride a Spec roubaix with 42cm handlebars. I've been looking around at tents online but it's difficult to tell exactly how wide they are. I'm not a tourer and my bike isn't set up like one. But a few times a year I'd like to throw my saddle bags and a tent on my bike take off for a weekend on the coast. I'd like it to fit on the handlebars like a handlebar bag does. So far the only tent I've seen that fits for sure is a Topeak Bikamper I saw at the LBS but I'm not too impressed with the reviews. I'd like a one or two man tent 3 season tent that can take a shower. I'll use it in S. Korea where it's usually pretty dry except in monsoon season but sometimes the wind can gust pretty hard. Can anyone tell me some lower cost range tents that fit the 42 cm bars?

Thanks
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Old 07-17-10, 09:21 AM
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I don't think you'll have much luck with a full tent, the poles are too big for something like that.

You could try a hammock tent, that might work.

Another option is to get a trailer, that should work fine with any road bike, and you won't have to mess with panniers or racks. The problem with a trailer is resisting the urge to throw the kitchen sink in it, since you'll have lots of room.
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Old 07-17-10, 09:24 AM
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silnylon tarptent by henry shires, other ultralight shelters, or an epic canopied tent from black diamond. you may still have to strap the poles underneath the toptube, most tent poles are a bit on the long side.

a hennessy hammock packed in its snakeskins could be wrapped around the seat tube!
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Old 07-17-10, 10:22 AM
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that black diamond looks pretty neat. I guess I could strap a small tent on my saddlebag I just worry about the weight accumulating. It's all carbon and I'm a clyde. Maybe I'm worrying too much?
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Old 07-19-10, 02:39 AM
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I have an Outdoor Designs Race Raider, a single-skin GoreTex bivvi tent which is great for lightweight tours in spring, summer or autumn, but it can get a wee bit claustrophobic and clammy on a calm summer night. It goes up in less than a minute, has good insect netting, and is very compact when packed. Great bit of kit, gathering dust under my bed at the moment - thanks for the prompt to get out and use it again!
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Old 07-19-10, 08:48 AM
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You could stuff the tent itself into whatever size bag works and just strap the poles to your top tube or some other place.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:25 PM
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You can buy the tent you like and cut the poles in half(cost of a couple sleeves) or for about $80.00 you can buy(2) new Easton poles and make them any length you want.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:45 PM
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I toured on a Specialized Tarmac and my Big Agnes Seedhouse 1-person tent fit on my bars (although in the end I elected to keep it in my panniers). Maybe give this one a shot?
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Old 07-19-10, 01:54 PM
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wow really good info here, thanks guys.

p.s. how do you safely cut tent poles? hacksaw?

Last edited by garethzbarker; 07-19-10 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 07-19-10, 02:29 PM
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Almost any tent would work as Booger1 suggests. Rather than cutting the poles in half just get a smaller stuff sack for the tent minus the poles to strap to your bars and attach the poles somewhere else. I recommend this option for every tent as the bags are generally much to large in order to have enough room for the poles. Getting something like an OR or Sea to Summit silnylon stuff sack is a great option. The roll top allows you to push out the air getting a really tight and small package.
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Old 07-19-10, 02:31 PM
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You could try one of the nemo tent offerings which have no poles. The two man is very spacious but can get a little warm in hot temps with direct sun.
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Old 07-19-10, 03:12 PM
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Aluminum poles or fiberglass poles can be cut with a fine tooth hacksaw.Tape the fiberglass poles so you don't splinter them.Aluminum poles can be cut nicely with a tubing cutter.
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Old 07-19-10, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MTBMaven
Almost any tent would work as Booger1 suggests. Rather than cutting the poles in half just get a smaller stuff sack for the tent minus the poles to strap to your bars and attach the poles somewhere else. I recommend this option for every tent as the bags are generally much to large in order to have enough room for the poles. Getting something like an OR or Sea to Summit silnylon stuff sack is a great option. The roll top allows you to push out the air getting a really tight and small package.
I really like this idea the best. I think I could just strap the poles to the my top tube and then tie the stuff sack on the bars. I decided to order this tent: https://www.rei.com/product/779219

Last edited by garethzbarker; 07-19-10 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 07-20-10, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker
I really like this idea the best. I think I could just strap the poles to the my top tube and then tie the stuff sack on the bars. I decided to order this tent: https://www.rei.com/product/779219
Classic tent design and a good choice. They have sold thousands of those tents. Do keep in mind that is a non-freestanding tent, meaning you must use stakes for the tent to pitch. Not a huge deal really just something to be aware of. If you think you will ever be camping on a hard surface (like cement or rock) tie about 2-3 feet of parachute cord where the stakes go. You can wrap the cord around a bowling ball sized rock to pitch the tent. I have done this a few times in the high Sierra with a non-freestanding tent I use for mountaineering.
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Old 07-20-10, 06:58 PM
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Yes, a well-tested design. I thought I'd see how well your plan to fit it between the handlebars would work even including the standard poles. Here's my slightly older version (I think it was purchased in '84). Actually not too bad although the drop position of the bars doesn't work so well. But the tops and hoods are fine.

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Old 07-20-10, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker
I ride a Spec roubaix with 42cm handlebars.
Thanks
I just measured my Clip Flashlight (circa 1999?) and the poles were about 43.5mm I think it would still fit between the bars, depending on how you mount it and one end of the poles can just be slightly under or over the handlebar. Anyway, it is close! It is a great tent, not freestanding as someone mentioned, but dry as can be, and great in the wind as long as you pitch it well. Fits my wife and I fine, but light enough that I take it on solo trips. And I have slept 3 in it in a rainstorm. Not comfy, but doable if you have to.
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Old 07-20-10, 11:25 PM
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REI let's you chat with store workers online. I ordered this to strap to my handlebars. https://www.rei.com/product/766674 The rep said the tent should fit in without poles. I'm not going to cut the poles as I'd rather not ruin them but I may try to fashion some later if I run across extra poles. I know these old Korean ladies that can sew anything; I was thinking I could make a little Velcro pack for them that straps to the top tube.

I'm glad to get so many positive responses about the tent, that's good to hear from the touring forum. I haven't bought a tent in close to 20 years. This one looks really useful for a lot of activists and I think my wife and I could squeeze into it. I will probably just use it for overnight trips but I wanted to get something that I could use if I get the time to do some longer touring in the future. I wish I would have had it on my backpacking trip in Thailand a few years back, it would have saved me a ton of cash.
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Old 07-21-10, 03:36 AM
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I will chime in and vote positive with your choice of tent. My son has had a couple of them and gotten excellent service out to them for backpacking use. My daughter has one of my son's tents and uses it day in and day out during the summer months when she is out on a trail maintenance crew.

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Old 07-21-10, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker
I know these old Korean ladies that can sew anything; I was thinking I could make a little Velcro pack for them that straps to the top tube.
This might work, too: https://www.bikebling.com/ProductDeta...andd-FramePack
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Old 08-26-10, 07:12 AM
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Love that SD tent. In a stuff sack I can fit the tent and footprint to a size that easily straps to my roadbike bars or under my hardtail cables. I made straps with a long cord of Velcro. I then made two smaller Velcro loops that hold the poles on the top tube.
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Old 08-26-10, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker
REI let's you chat with store workers online. I ordered this to strap to my handlebars. https://www.rei.com/product/766674 The rep said the tent should fit in without poles. I'm not going to cut the poles as I'd rather not ruin them but I may try to fashion some later if I run across extra poles. I know these old Korean ladies that can sew anything; I was thinking I could make a little Velcro pack for them that straps to the top tube.

I'm glad to get so many positive responses about the tent, that's good to hear from the touring forum. I haven't bought a tent in close to 20 years. This one looks really useful for a lot of activists and I think my wife and I could squeeze into it. I will probably just use it for overnight trips but I wanted to get something that I could use if I get the time to do some longer touring in the future. I wish I would have had it on my backpacking trip in Thailand a few years back, it would have saved me a ton of cash.
I tried something similar a while ago. Here are some pictures of that Sea to Summit compression sack strapped to my handlebars. https://wheelsofchance.org/2010/02/02/ultralight-setup/

A tent would take up a bit more space, but it's workable. The bikepackers who carry tents and bedding up front usually use flat bars so they don't have the restriction of having to fit stuff between the drops.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:21 AM
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Pack the poles elsewhere? I don't understand why you want to block the use of the handlebar with a tent.
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Old 08-26-10, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker
p.s. how do you safely cut tent poles? hacksaw?
Arrow saws (most arrows are made from the same stuff as tent poles) are quite expensive. I found this. Maybe it'll help.

https://www.christianoutdoorsman.com/...showtopic=3544
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Old 08-26-10, 10:36 PM
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A lot of good ideas. Try using a compression sack instead of just a plain stuff sack. The blue sack is the tent and the rainfly, the yellow is a +25 sleeping bag, and the orange is a full length Therma-Rest pad. The water bottle is for scale. This happens to be a Sierra Design "Lightning". It weighs less than 4 lbs and hold 2 comfortably. It is tough and versitile. There are a lot of good tents out there. REI has their Quarter Dome on Labor Day Sale right now for $199. It receives pretty good marks from a lot of folks on this forum.







P.S. I missed your post about the Clip Flashlight. We also have one of those, and while it did not work out well as a 2 person tent it is a great solo tent. Still think about a compression sack.

Last edited by Doug64; 08-26-10 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 08-27-10, 07:33 AM
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I'm running out the door but I'll eventually post pics of how it got it set up using everyone's help. Used a compression bag and velcro. I just sling it to my bars on either bike and can still put another handlebar bag on top. Put the poles on another bag or top tube with velcro. It worked out pretty well with access to all my brakes and stuff but I do have to adjust the brake barrel every time I remove it or install it on the Roubaix as it pulls the cable.
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