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Advice sought

Old 06-24-13, 06:29 AM
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Advice sought

Hello touring people.

I own and daily ride a Merlin Extralight. Want to do about a 5 day 3 or 4 night tour in Eastern Uk this fall. I really don't want to have to aquire a whole touring rig as its not something I will be doing all the time. I am therefore looking into ways to equip the Merlin for light touring.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

My bike has no mounts but I have found this rear rack https://www.blackburndesign.com/racks...l#.Ucg5uRbsGDE

and several options for clip on fenders.

Also will look for a wider wheel set as i am currently running 23s.

Any advice experience re using a Merlin and equipment, ie fenders that might work would be well received.

I have shipping sorted.
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Old 06-24-13, 07:01 AM
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You might find something helpful in this link, re gear.
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Old 06-24-13, 07:25 AM
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1) I wouldn't worry about fenders or bigger tires on such a short tour

2) your link did not work but I assume it is a seat post rack? if so make sure the placement of the interface does not bother your legs while riding

3) For a tour of that length I would take my road bike as is. My rack with a square cargo pack, a handle bar pack, my larger seatbag and maybe a light backpack I would limit my clothes to what I need and pack them in and anything else I did not want wet in ziplocks. I would ride in my shimano spd instead of my road cleats, I would pack light sandles. Two pairs of riding shorts and shirts and wash them alternatively. I would put all maintenance stuff in seat bag tools tubes patch kit. things I want right away in handlebar pack phone camera wallet. Remember you have year pockets and consider them as an extra pack I would talk to others on the tour to see what they are taking. I would pack a trashbag and three shower caps as rain gear

I think it is common to overpack, I know I do. You can get by on less there are things I pack and never use. Know your route and your challenges and remember you can buy things you need on the road if stores are available
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Old 06-24-13, 09:31 AM
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You probably won't be able to fit a tire larger than 25-28mm on your bike.

Consider a trailer like the BOB Yak - they'll work with any bike. Simple to add/subtract to any road bike. They're very popular, and you can sell a slightly used one easily on eBay/CL for at least half the original price (and usually more).
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Old 06-24-13, 10:19 PM
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Thanks but no way am I doing a trailer.. How does that equate with light touring and going via air..

The link to the rack is this one https://www.blackburndesign.com/racks...l#.UckYghbsGDE
mebee cut and paste is better.. it gets supported by an extra long axle. Actually just found it on sale at Nashbar.. anyone used a setup like that ??

I was thinking to do small panniers (any suggestions) rather than trunk bag or handlebar bag.

Why no fenders.. you know it rains a lot in England.. BTW thanks for the tip re shower cap and trash bag.. though I think a lightweight riding cape in a snappy yellow might be better.

How do you get yr shorts to dry out quickly enough..
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Old 06-24-13, 11:01 PM
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Very helpful link thanks

Originally Posted by Cyclebum
You might find something helpful in this link, re gear.
Very helpful link thanks
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Old 06-25-13, 02:52 AM
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Are you planning to camp in the UK this fall or use youth hostels and bed and breakfast (B&B). Cycle tourists also use the new budget hotels that are springing up.
You should be able to tour credit card style using a bar bag and a large Carradice style saddlebag on your Merlin race bike. Use whatever tyres you have, it's not worth changing for a couple of days.
Although it can rain anytime in the UK, the eastern region is usually quite dry and Sept is one of the best months with settled, warm, dry conditions and cool evenings. We don't usually get big storms until late Sept. The 5 day forecasts are pretty good.
If the weather does turn out wet, you can buy clip-on fenders at any good bike shop, and there are plenty.
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Old 06-25-13, 03:07 AM
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Have you considered hiring a bike? Something with racks and fenders suitable for the famous English weather? There is the advantage of no damage to your bike which can and does happen sometimes.
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Old 06-25-13, 04:15 AM
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OK .. I am definitely doing the credit card thing. I am from North East London so my first stop is my sisters in NE London and then on to Cambridge. I would be doing the Youth Hostel thing. The great thing about early Sep along with the weather is that the school kids are back in college and the Hostels are empty.

I have been trying to find a decent hire place but no one seems to be offering what I am looking for. Theres lost of Townie style bikes and mixties but have not come accross a decent Road / Tour bike hire place near enough my start place. Thats why the desire to do it on my Ti bike. Any suggestions of hire places would be well received.
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Old 06-25-13, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ukny
OK .. I am definitely doing the credit card thing. I am from North East London so my first stop is my sisters in NE London and then on to Cambridge. I would be doing the Youth Hostel thing. The great thing about early Sep along with the weather is that the school kids are back in college and the Hostels are empty.

I have been trying to find a decent hire place but no one seems to be offering what I am looking for. Theres lost of Townie style bikes and mixties but have not come accross a decent Road / Tour bike hire place near enough my start place. Thats why the desire to do it on my Ti bike. Any suggestions of hire places would be well received.
Your bike sounds perfect for light credit card touring. If you pack carefully you could get by with only a handlebar bag. Add a seat bag if you pack a bit more and you should have more than enough capacity. You really need very little even if camping and cooking. For credit card touring you could get by with your on bike clothing and a credit card.
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Old 06-25-13, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ukny
Why no fenders.. you know it rains a lot in England.. BTW thanks for the tip re shower cap and trash bag.. though I think a lightweight riding cape in a snappy yellow might be better.

How do you get yr shorts to dry out quickly enough..
You might want to look aat SKS Race Blade Long fenders. They are made specifically for your type of situation, road bike with no eyelets.
https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...=c&cagpspn=pla

I purchased a set for my wife's road bike, but have not insalled them yet. I did see a set mounted on a road bike at the bike show where I purchased them and they looked like a well thought out product.

Improvise


You may have a problem with your heels hitting the panniers due to the short chainstays on that bike. We have custom made panniers with more taper for light touring with our road bikes.

Our daughter on my wife's road bike. She has full camping gear, and is using the tapered panniers. Total weight is about 20 lbs.

Last edited by Doug64; 06-25-13 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 06-25-13, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Your bike sounds perfect for light credit card touring. If you pack carefully you could get by with only a handlebar bag. Add a seat bag if you pack a bit more and you should have more than enough capacity. You really need very little even if camping and cooking. For credit card touring you could get by with your on bike clothing and a credit card.
Agreed. How far apart are your stops?
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Old 07-01-13, 06:05 AM
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I am thinking only 50 miles a day.. 25 lunch and 25.. real casual.. only prob is..
i was on a long hot ride on friday and took a spill.. separated my ac joint so all plans are now on hold till
i recover and fix up the bike..

thanks everyone for the input..
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Old 07-01-13, 06:14 AM
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Take a look at Carradice bags, which center the weight much better than panniers. Some of their larger bags will carry as much gear as small-medium panniers. With their Bagman rack, you should be able to use a fairly large Carradice bag, such as the Camper or Nelson with your bike (unless it is a small size). You shouldn't need new wheels, but make sure that yours are trued and tensioned with tires as large as will fit on your frame -- which should be at least 25s or 28s.
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