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Lightly Loaded Touring Bike

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Lightly Loaded Touring Bike

Old 10-19-13, 04:15 PM
  #1  
koolerb
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Lightly Loaded Touring Bike

I've aways like the idea of touring but have never done it. I'm thinking I might give it a try with some longer single day (75-100 miles) or two day rides. Short trips by touring standards, and I won't need to load the bike with much. I've got a good deal lined up on a Jamis Aurora and I'm on the fence. I could mod my mid 90's chromo road bike for light touring and it would probably work fine. Or I could scratch my touring bike itch and buy this Aurora. Full on touring bikes like the Aurora are made to ride loaded. How will a bike like this ride very lightly loaded?
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Old 10-19-13, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Or I could scratch my touring bike itch and buy this Aurora. Full on touring bikes like the Aurora are made to ride loaded. How will a bike like this ride very lightly loaded?
It will ride OK, but if going lightly loaded I prefer a sportier bike myself. Since I started packing really light, my touring bike sees pretty much no use. I used a lighter bike even for a Southern Tier from San Diego to Florida and was very happy with the choice. Unless carrying at least 25 pounds I wouldn't even consider taking the heavy touring bike and I find I can camp and cook with much less than that.

That said some folks like to ride heavier touring bikes.
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Old 10-19-13, 04:38 PM
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Your 90s road bike sounds ideal. Put off the purchase until you decide you want to do something longer.
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Old 10-19-13, 07:36 PM
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You can "light tour" on just about any bike. Give it a shot. If you stay in hotels rather than camp, you can carry all that you need in a large seatbag, racktop bag, or backpack. You also can ride on supported tours where they carry your gear and ride anything. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Don't feel that you have to buy an expensive touring bike with racks and panniers to tour.
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Old 10-19-13, 07:58 PM
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You guys are no fun,,, but you're right. So all I'm doing on the road bike is a B-17 saddle, a Blackburn Expedition rack, and bigger tires. What kind of tire do you guys like in 700C? Drive train is geared a little high for touring but I'm going to leave it alone and see how it does.
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Old 10-19-13, 07:59 PM
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My GFs Aurora can handle fully loaded touring, but it's much lighter and feels better unloaded than my LHT. I would say it's on the sportier side of touring. Certainly has lighter weight tubing.
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Old 10-19-13, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
My GFs Aurora can handle fully loaded touring, but it's much lighter and feels better unloaded than my LHT. I would say it's on the sportier side of touring. Certainly has lighter weight tubing.
Steering me back the other direction. The Aurora looks like a nice bike and I can get this one at a good price. But even if I end up replacing some drivetrain components on my road bike along with buying a new saddle, tires, and rack, its still probably double the money to buy the new bike.
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Old 10-19-13, 09:00 PM
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My Aurora rides great loaded or unloaded. Unloaded/lightly loaded it feels sporty to me. I think either way you will be fine.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:16 PM
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"Go Ahead Kid, Buy the Aurora, You Know You Want It"

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Old 10-20-13, 02:38 AM
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If you have the money, go for it if you have the space. The Aurora isn't a super heavy tourer, is it? I'd think you'd ride on it just fine unloaded. Sure, it's not a carbon race bike but obviously that's not a concern. A road bike loaded for touring can work but not very well. It would be a bit surprising if your road bike has chain stays long enough for decent panniers. If it does and you're entirely comfy on it then it will probably be OK if it can take tires wide enough for your intended use. My recommendation would be 32c for a basic minimum touring width. If I had a road bike I wanted to use for touring that's what I'd want as a minimum. In your case you are new to touring and maybe you'll like it and maybe not so it won't hurt to do some touring before you buy a new/used bike. Keep in mind though, your experience touring with a lightweight road bike will be quite different than what you could do with a full touring bike. You might enjoy one and not the other .
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Old 10-20-13, 03:08 AM
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You are really asking us two different things here. 1. Should I buy this 'touring bike'? & 2. Do I need it for a two day "very light" tour?

A.

1. See #9 .
2. A very definite no. Get, at most, a seat post clamp-on rack and do it.
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Old 10-20-13, 03:16 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post

You guys are no fun,,, but you're right. So all I'm doing on the road bike is a B-17 saddle, a Blackburn Expedition rack, and bigger tires. What kind of tire do you guys like in 700C? Drive train is geared a little high for touring but I'm going to leave it alone and see how it does.
If you're doing lite touring get a Tubus Fly. It weighs less than half what the Blackburn does.
I've had mine forever, it's tough.

The tires depend on the clearance in your frame, and what you prefer.
I'd pick 28 or 32.
http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...rathon_supreme

The B17 is a good saddle, I think this is an improvement on that design.
http://www.selleanatomica.com/products/
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Old 10-20-13, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
If you stay in hotels rather than camp, you can carry all that you need in a large seatbag, racktop bag, or backpack.
I'll add that if you pack very carefully and are willing to go a bit minimal you can camp and cook with those setups as well. I started out carrying more (50-ish pounds), but have found it quite enjoyable to go with a very minimal setup. It works out fine even on multi-month tours. I can go with as little as 5 or 6 pounds base, but generally want a few luxuries so I am more likely to have 10 or 12 pounds of gear and clothing. At that weight there is really no need for a dedicated touring bike and in fact a road bike is actually more suitable IMO.
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Old 10-20-13, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
You are really asking us two different things here. 1. Should I buy this 'touring bike'? & 2. Do I need it for a two day "very light" tour?

A.

1. See #9 .
2. A very definite no. Get, at most, a seat post clamp-on rack and do it.
I toured with a seat post rack. 700 X 28 tires for chip seal roads. The Yellow Bike.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...League-City-TX
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Old 10-20-13, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
You guys are no fun,,, but you're right. So all I'm doing on the road bike is a B-17 saddle, a Blackburn Expedition rack, and bigger tires. What kind of tire do you guys like in 700C? Drive train is geared a little high for touring but I'm going to leave it alone and see how it does.
For me the deciding question would be the tire size. I have done loaded touring, both credit card and camping, on road bikes. If your wheels and tires are not up to the additional weight you can have a very unhappy trip. After 40 years of doing it, I wouldn't want to try it on anything smaller than 32mm and 38-42 would be a safer bet. Oh hell, don't frustrate your inner consumer, buy another bike!

Marc
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Old 10-20-13, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I toured with a seat post rack. 700 X 28 tires for chip seal roads. The Yellow Bike.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...League-City-TX
OMG that looks like a lot of strain on that seat post. From the loaded rack, not you. Guess it held up though. Great pics!
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Old 10-20-13, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
OMG that looks like a lot of strain on that seat post. From the loaded rack, not you. Guess it held up though. Great pics!
Seat post is still good after 40,000 miles

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Old 10-20-13, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
I'm thinking I might give it a try with some longer single day (75-100 miles) or two day rides.
For the single day 75-100 miles, you just need a wallet and any bag to carry the items you need for a single day ride. For the two day trips, its a pretty light load and I would expect it to be less than 20 lbs of gear.

Back in the 70's I toured on a road bike and just put a rack on it and added a large range RD and wide range freewheel. I used this setup for years.

Its always fun to get a new bike but if you are new to touring, add a rack to your current bike, go on a few tours and decide if you like doing this before the expense of a new bike. I setup my touring bike a couple of years ago and now i am doing more credit card touring, and use my road bikes.
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Old 10-20-13, 09:48 PM
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Allow me to offer a counter-opinion.

I have a "light" touring bike, a Raleigh Port Townsend. It's comparable to the Jamis.

I have big heavy-duty tires on it (35 rear, 32 front) and two racks and I still ride it naked every single day. I've done centuries on it and I can still beat the 40-something's on $5000 CAAD bikes. I love my touring bike as an everyday bike.

At the end of the day, a bike is a bike and 10lbs doesn't make that big of a difference. Run thin tires and you might not be able to even notice a substantial difference.

The Jamis is not inappropriate for light touring.
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Old 10-21-13, 06:38 AM
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koolerb, Bottom line is that you can tour lightly on either, just as others have written. I day trip using my touring bike, but I also have a freshly built distance roadie that with a carradice style bag can also be used.

The T bike has 10 mm larger tires at lower pressure, gearing for any situation and a longer wheelbase that along with more lax geometry, make for a very comfortable and stable ride. Something I like when sight seeing. Overall the T bike is a rugged, more versatile jack-of-all-trades and I wish I'd built one up earlier than I did.

Brad
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Old 10-21-13, 12:53 PM
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I stole my wife's 700X32C tires for a ride on the old road bike and man what a difference from the 25C's. But I had to put them back. I know what I "want," but it's going to come down to what I can comfortably spend. I forgot to mention, we're shopping for a new car for my wife this fall as well. I'm going to think it over for a little bit before I pull trigger. Thanks for all your input guys, much appreciated.
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Old 10-21-13, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
I stole my wife's 700X32C tires for a ride on the old road bike and man what a difference from the 25C's. But I had to put them back. I know what I "want," but it's going to come down to what I can comfortably spend. I forgot to mention, we're shopping for a new car for my wife this fall as well. I'm going to think it over for a little bit before I pull trigger. Thanks for all your input guys, much appreciated.
I hope whatever route you go it works well for you.
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Old 10-21-13, 01:36 PM
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Being a curtain looking glow of Charged particles in the polar atmosphere, Auroras are pretty light.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(astronomy)
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/th...l#.UmWBvlpESR0


now if you have abundant wallet resources , you have to carry little, ... just have a generous credit line.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:45 PM
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Just to throw in another option: How about the Soma Double Cross? While nominally a cyclocross bike, it's actually more of a general purpose road bike. It's super versatile, and would be ideal for light touring. It can be set up for just about any kind of road or light off-road usage. About the only thing it's not that well suited for is expedition touring, but if you'll be carrying 40pds or less it's just about ideal.

It's only sold as a frame, but if you scrounge for decent used parts, you could put together a better build for about the same price as the Aurora.

http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/double-cross
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Old 10-22-13, 01:55 AM
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The Aurora is a fine do-it-all bike that seems to work just as well unloaded as loaded, typical of an English style club touring bike rather than a US style expedition tourer.
If your chromoly road bike can accept 32mm tyres, then that is a whole different proposition, you already have a tourable road bike. Work out the cost of any rack, tyre and transmission changes to set up for touring.
I had a similar old roadbike for commuting and I had some upper rack eyelets brazed onto the seatstays, followed by a rattle-can paintjob.
If finances are tight then go with what you have.
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