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Bike touring trade-offs

Old 06-03-12, 09:51 PM
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Bike touring trade-offs

I just posted an article about the trade-offs that bike tourists have to make. I wrote about the kind of bike to take on a tour, panniers vs trailers, flat vs clips vs clipless pedals, Camelback vs water bottles, U-Lock vs cable lock, Camping vs Motels vs Couch Surfing.

I have tried to describe the strengths and drawbacks of each option. I have tried cover them as clearly as I could, though I realize other people have different opinions and experiences than I do.

I'd be interested in any thoughts, feedback or suggestions on the article.

Last edited by raybo; 06-03-12 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:38 AM
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or vs back packing, eurail pass, and so forth..

no showers when you stealth camp for free, is a trade-off,

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-04-12 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 01:18 AM
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I'm sure a lot of people will benefit from that kind of treatment. One of my pet peeves is the way we talk about touring bikes, almost apologetically. Bikes for touring have a long history. Your section on them is pretty short, and ostensibly in a touring bike article. You take the tack of saying they are like a blend between road and MTBs. I think people will find that helpful given that many people though they have no business on racing bikes or MTBs are far more familiar with them than touring bikes. Sorta like writing about station wagons or mini vans and starting with a long description of Racing cars, then covering 4wd, then topping it off by saying, "well you get the idea, kinda in the middle."

However if that kind of detail bugged me it is a fair bet you nailed the article. You probably said what needed to be said for the average person getting into the subject.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:42 AM
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What is your touring resume' ?
you could have written that regurgitating posts on this forum..
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Old 06-04-12, 11:16 AM
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This seems like a good reference for folks trying to figure out what questions need to be asked.

Choosing any piece of outdoor gear, component, or clothing is a trade-off or compromise, i.e., tires: weight vs comfort vs durability vs cost. I think your article may introduce the neophyte into the concept of considering these trade-offs when they start thinking about bike touring equipment.

Hopefully, folks will appreciate your effort.

Last edited by Doug64; 06-04-12 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 06-04-12, 11:27 AM
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Nice job! I like the approach of treating everything as a tradeoff rather than right or wrong answers. As I'm sure is the case with many others, although I like to talk and think about touring, what really draws me to it is how low the stakes really are (usually) -- pretty much whatever one wants to do, within reason, will work just fine.

Another potential category, similar to "Camping vs Motel vs Couch Surfing" could be "Cooking vs Buying Prepared food."

I can see many attractive aspects of cooking along the way (cost, nutrition, control, choice, relaxation, etc), but I find that I tend to end up going to restaurants quite a bit. By the end of my cross-country tour, for example, I was only using my alcohol stove once every couple of days. Carrying the stove, a pot, utensils, etc made less and less sense. For my most recent tour, I didn't bother to carry any cooking gear and found this worked well for me.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
What is your touring resume' ?
you could have written that regurgitating posts on this forum..
I've been touring for the past 10 years, probably close to 10,000 miles in that time. If you care to do any research, you can see many of my journals at www.biketouringtips.com .

As for regurgitating posts on this forum, there are many links in the article that point to posts on this (and other) forums. Unlike your original contributions, I often find wisdom in what others have written.

By the way, what is your touring resume?
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Old 06-04-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
you could have written that regurgitating posts on this forum..
That's not by definition a bad thing, as long as enough people with 'field experience' are willing to give feedback.

Edit: I see the point is moot, apologies.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Derailed
Another potential category, similar to "Camping vs Motel vs Couch Surfing" could be "Cooking vs Buying Prepared food."
I was going to include that one in the article but I didn't for two reasons. First, it was getting a bit too long and I wanted to finish and post it. Second, I am in the process of planning a bike tour without cooking and I thought it would make a good stand alone article.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
no showers when you stealth camp for free, is a trade-off,
Just curious, what would you call it?
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