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Expedition bike and trailer questions

Old 07-25-10, 07:45 PM
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Expedition bike and trailer questions

I am looking for some direction. I am taking a year to a year and a half and riding from bellingham to tierra del fuego. I used to race triathalons and I've worked as a bike rickshaw driver. I need some help in finding a good bike, trailer, and saddle bags. I need the trailer as I am bringing a decent load of climbing gear (about 30-35lbs worth).

I know nothing about this. But I can't get this idea out of my head. Constructive suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Ryan
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Old 07-26-10, 11:12 AM
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A steel framed touring bike with 26" wheels, rim brakes, a very low granny gear, and bar end shifters is in order. 26" wheels and rim brakes for parts availability south of the border. Bar ends for their simplicity and reliability. Orblieb/Lone Peak panniers are the standard against which others are measured. Check with The Touring Store for these. Schwable tires for maximum puncture resistance and life span. As for a trailer, I'd think the decision would be based on single vs double wheel. Either will work.

Most ppl have at least 30 pounds of gear, often 40 when you include the pannier weight. If you're also carrying 35 pounds of climbing gear, plus a gallon or more of water, that is going to be quite a load to be hauling up steep hills in high country. That's why I suggested a very low granny combo, like 22/34. Might save you some pushing. No stock touring bike comes with gearing that low, least that I know about. You'd have to modify.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:37 AM
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One option, https://www.biketrailershop.com/extra...er-p-1377.html, uses another Front MTB wheel.
suspends load balanced on Either side

Their other model uses 2 larger dry bags on either side..

prior adventure blogged here : https://wildworks.co.nz/csr/home.php

He set out on a Surly Pugsly with another Pugsly wheel in the trailer into AU Outback.


There was a hard to top Swedish adventurer .. rode his bike towing all his gear
to the Himalayas, scaled Everest, Then Rode Home.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-26-10 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:48 AM
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don't worry, the idea will get out of your head once you start making it happen.
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Old 07-26-10, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
There was a hard to top Swedish adventurer .. rode his bike towing all his gear
to the Himalayas, scaled Everest, Then Rode Home.
Goran Kropp - who sadly died while rock climbing in Washington state

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6ran_Kropp
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Old 07-26-10, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG
don't worry, the idea will get out of your head once you start making it happen.
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Old 07-26-10, 03:39 PM
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I am looking at the Surly Big Dummy right now and BOB trailer. I think my total load will be in the 60-70lb range. Thanks for the look at the dual dry bag trailer, but I need something with a flat bottom. I am going to have a small haul-bag with everything in it and I am thinking of using Ortliebs rear panniers. We'll see how it balances.

For the haters. There are a lot of sailboats sitting hawaii from people that up and decided to sail around the world. I had some friends do this trip in the 70s (with the climbing aspect). I've been toying with the idea for quite a while. When i realized I could make it a climbing trip it became totally reasonable. I work at a mine in the middle of nowhere, I have no kids, no house, no responsibilities. I've set and achieve many lofty goals in the mountains. But, if a couple internet trolls could discourage me then my heart really wouldn't be in it anyway. So hate away. I'm going to keep a blog so you'll be able to talk all the trash you want

Anyway, thanks for the input. Hope it is sunny and warm where ever you are.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by G. Ryan Johnson
So hate away. I'm going to keep a blog so you'll be able to talk all the trash you want

Anyway, thanks for the input. Hope it is sunny and warm where ever you are.
Hey man, lighten up. I'm pretty sure LeeG's comment was just light hearted humor. Least that's the way I took it. Nobody on here hates you or even dislikes you. Heck, we hardly know you. Sorry that you took such offense.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:53 PM
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G. Ryan, no hate here. I was just addressing the idea in your head and how great it'll be on the road and out of your head. I don't know squat about climbing or the gear required and have very little experience hauling trailers. Most of my experience was touring/racing 20+yrs ago when I was skinnier and owned a shop on Hwy1 in Ca. so take it for what it's worth.
My $.02 is that a Big Dummy and Bob Trailer is more than necessary for hauling 60lbs. Unless you needed that climbing gear all along the trip you might consider a normal heavy duty touring bike like a 26" wheeled LHT or others out there for less than a Big Dummy for the non-climbing part then pickup the gear and trailer at the closest pickup point. That way you get to enjoy hauling what you need and enjoy what you and your legs can do on the road then pick up the next 30lbs and trailer when you need it. My impression is that the Big Dummy is fine carrying 75lbs just as it is.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:05 PM
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If you haven't see this yet, these guys road from Alaska to Argentina mostly offroad with Big Dummys and/or extracycle equipped bikes:

https://www.ridingthespine.com/main.html

Seems to have worked well for them.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:44 PM
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Ryan...get a Surly Big Dummy....it will carry all your gear and still be laughing. No trailer needed. Very strong, comfortable and stable.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...7604923671546/

Check out this tour with Big Dummies and related bikes along the same route you are heading, but a lot of offroad as well.

https://www.ridingthespine.com/

Just saw post above me....lol..great minds!
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Old 07-26-10, 07:25 PM
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Hey no worries guys. On climbing forums there a lot of people that get online just to get people worked up. No idea why. I've been looking at these Xtrabikes and it seems like a good idea, and I agree that adding a trailer might be overkill. I ordered a Big Dummy this afternoon. When it shows up I'll see what changes I will need to make to my kit.

Thanks again for all of the input. I did all of my bike tours on the same litespeed I used in triathalons, and wasn't about to try and do this on that bike.
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Old 07-26-10, 07:45 PM
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hey G. I have no desire to work you up. Have a good trip. An acquaintance in Washington decided to get a 38' sailboat in Alaska and was sitting in a freezing boat looking at white beaches and palm trees, in a month he was there, learning celestial navigation on the way. His first bike trip was at age 16 going from India to Afghanistan in the 60's. The short quips and unclear communication aren't hate, it's brotherhood. That Big Dummy is like a cycling ship. Perfect for carrying 70lbs.
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Old 07-26-10, 10:15 PM
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I think trolling has become a Passtime
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Old 07-27-10, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
A steel framed touring bike with 26" wheels, rim brakes, a very low granny gear, and bar end shifters is in order. 26" wheels and rim brakes for parts availability south of the border. Bar ends for their simplicity and reliability. Orblieb/Lone Peak panniers are the standard against which others are measured. Check with The Touring Store for these. Schwable tires for maximum puncture resistance and life span. As for a trailer, I'd think the decision would be based on single vs double wheel. Either will work.

Most ppl have at least 30 pounds of gear, often 40 when you include the pannier weight. If you're also carrying 35 pounds of climbing gear, plus a gallon or more of water, that is going to be quite a load to be hauling up steep hills in high country. That's why I suggested a very low granny combo, like 22/34. Might save you some pushing. No stock touring bike comes with gearing that low, least that I know about. You'd have to modify.
He said it perfectly - that is exactly what you will want! We are now in Bolivia and have cycled down here from Alaska. Since we have 2 kids with us and have to carry gear for 4 people on essentially 2 bikes, we are loaded pretty heavy. We have BOB trailers and four panniers each. It's heavy, but works.
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