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What is a light tour/light touring.

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What is a light tour/light touring.

Old 02-17-15, 09:36 AM
  #1  
Jwall0804
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What is a light tour/light touring.

I just bought a Novara verita mainly for commuting but it also said it is a good bike for light touring. I am curious as to what is considered a light tour. Like how many miles or what kind of gear would you bring/use. Last year I rode 60 miles on a specialized sirrus which wasn't really a problem and was a lot of fun and would like to do an even farther distance this year.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:17 AM
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mdilthey
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Light touring describes the amount of weight the bike is designed to carry. On a frame like the Novara, a light to medium load is ideal. Anything too heavy, and the frame will begin to feel a little wobbly from the extra weight. I doubt you'll manage to break the frame with a reasonable touring load.

I consider light touring to be anything under 30lbs, properly distributed on good racks/panniers. It's possible to tour comfortably with much less. I have a few gear lists posted on my site (check my signature).
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Old 02-17-15, 10:21 AM
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niknak
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I think the definition of a "light tour" in marketing speak is what's commonly called a credit card tour. You carry a change of city clothes and you rely on your credit card to eat at restaurants and to sleep at hotels, inns, etc. The good news is that with lightweight gear and an adventurous spirit, any bike, including yours, could be used for an unsupported tour, where you carry camping and cooking equipment and are generally more self-reliant.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:40 AM
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Just my definition. Light touring is traveling fairly light(<22lbs), so you can enjoy the ride. Cycling shouldn't be a chore, yet I enjoy brisk pace with other cyclist. For me a cyclocross with 28c road tyres is ideal
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Old 02-17-15, 10:43 AM
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Jwall0804, There's no real definition of light touring other than weight. I think expedition level unsupported loaded touring starts with around 40 lb. of gear and a bicycle specifically designed to control that much, or even more weight. I tend to load about 25 lb. and I mostly hub and spoke tour, which is when day trips are started and ended at the same point.

Your bike would fare well carrying 25-30 lb. and looks well equipped for racks and such to do so. Light touring also doesn't have as much emphasis placed on low gearing and your bike is well placed there also.

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Old 02-17-15, 10:52 AM
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Light touring can mean a lot of different things, mainly to differentiate from touring with a bike loaded with panniers and lots of gear. It could encompass:
- Loaded touring with lighter weights, perhaps a couple of panniers or a large Carradice bag and less than 30 lbs of gear.
- Supported touring where an outfitter or oganizer carries your gear from town to town, and you just ride your bike with enough gear for the daily ride.
- Hub-and-spoke touring where you base yourself in a town or campsite and do loop rides, returning to the same point at end of every day.
- Credit-card tours where you carry clothes, tools and other necessities but no camping gear, and stay in hotels and inns, and eat out
- Short trips in which you don't have to carry much gear
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Old 02-17-15, 10:58 AM
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I can pack everything I need in two medium sized rear panniers and a handlebar bag with a few things lashed to the rack if I am travelling where provisions are not scarce... if the journey takes me places where I need to be self sufficient over a period of days then then the load increases as I carry more food, a little more gear, and in some cases more water which is the most significant weight addition.

Lessons can be taken from back packers who tend to be minimalists as carrying all your stuff on your back is harder than it is on a bike... my light kit would fit in my hiking pack easily.
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Old 02-17-15, 04:18 PM
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Heavy -> four bags
Medium -> two bags
light -> no camping gear

I don't own any low gram ultra compressible camping gear which means light and camping to not mix.
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Old 02-17-15, 04:39 PM
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I'll take . can I use my road bike on a bike tour?. , Alex..
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Old 02-17-15, 04:47 PM
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From The Adventure Cycling site.

Just a quick note, when I talk about light touring, or randonneur bikes, the characteristics I'm referring to place us somewhere between road bike geometry and pure touring bike geometry. They would have shorter chainstays than a touring bike, a tall headtube, wide tire clearance, and often only rear rack mounts. Here are a few of the bikes I have really been keying in on as of late.
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Old 02-17-15, 05:00 PM
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Machak, my Marinoni Ciclo, is a sport touring bicycle designed for things like randonneuring or light touring. I have done 1200K randonnees on him ... and I did a 3-month 5000 km cycling tour carrying approx. 40 lb of gear in 2 small panniers, handlebar bag, and Carradice. I probably pushed it a bit into the medium touring range, but the bicycle handled it just fine.

I would say that a bicycle designed for light touring should be able to go any distance you want to go ... and should be able to carry enough for a credit-card tour, or a tour where you opt to eat at cafes rather than bringing cooking gear, or maybe a tour where you go with a lightweight bivy and minimal sleeping equipment ... a tour where you don't carry everything and the kitchen sink.

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Old 02-17-15, 05:15 PM
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I'm sorry! I've been misusing the phrase "light touring" to describe the type of short, infrequent bike tours I've been able to take up until this point.

My tours ARE "credit card" tours and I do not travel with a lot of gear, so at least I'm not totally off-the-mark!
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Old 02-17-15, 06:35 PM
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These days you can camp using ultra-light gear.
If you can shoulder your bike and luggage with ease, you are a lightweight tourer.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jwall0804 View Post
I just bought a Novara verita mainly for commuting but it also said it is a good bike for light touring. I am curious as to what is considered a light tour. Like how many miles or what kind of gear would you bring/use. Last year I rode 60 miles on a specialized sirrus which wasn't really a problem and was a lot of fun and would like to do an even farther distance this year.
This an Adventure Cycling article that might interest you: https://www.adventurecycling.org/defa..._O%27Grady.pdf
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Old 02-18-15, 06:34 AM
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The distinction is more about how much you carry, not what you carry or how long the trip is. I have met folks credit card touring short distances and carrying more than I would consider light touring. It is also quite possible to cross continents with very light loads while still maintaining camping and cooking capability.

Different folks will probably draw the line in different places, but the line ought to be based on how much you carry. This is pretty arbitrary and I might give different numbers if asked again, but... I'd say over 35 pounds of gear is heavy touring, 25-35 pounds is medium, 20-25 is light, and 0-20 is ultralight.

That said credit card touring does blur these distinctions since it seems odd to call a 20-25 pound load light when not hauling any camping or cooking gear.

BTW... It really bugs me when folks automatically label anything in the ultralight range as credit card touring. I have been in the 10-15 pound base gear range on my most recent tours and was definitely not credit card touring.
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Old 02-18-15, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The distinction is more about how much you carry, not what you carry or how long the trip is. I have met folks credit card touring short distances and carrying more than I would consider light touring. It is also quite possible to cross continents with very light loads while still maintaining camping and cooking capability.

Different folks will probably draw the line in different places, but the line ought to be based on how much you carry. This is pretty arbitrary and I might give different numbers if asked again, but... I'd say over 35 pounds of gear is heavy touring, 25-35 pounds is medium, 20-25 is light, and 0-20 is ultralight.

That said credit card touring does blur these distinctions since it seems odd to call a 20-25 pound load light when not hauling any camping or cooking gear.

BTW... It really bugs me when folks automatically label anything in the ultralight range as credit card touring. I have been in the 10-15 pound base gear range on my most recent tours and was definitely not credit card touring.
I'd go along with those numbers. My gear weight for three season "fully unsupported touring", ie I have a tent, sleeping system, cooking stuff etc is 18lbs and I don't feel that I'm depriving myself of much. Still I use my credit card a fair amount and like to stay in motels. I'm planning a 3 day true "credit card" tour for May and I expect my gear and bag to weigh around 9lbs and for it to be carried in a Carradice Barley saddlebag.
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Old 02-18-15, 07:24 AM
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In my case, light touring means no shelter, no sleeping bag and no cooking gear (stove, pot(s), utensils, burner, fuel...).

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