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What's Hot - What's Not

Old 06-22-19, 09:28 PM
  #1  
sdn40
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What's Hot - What's Not

Hey guys
I spend all my time over in Classic and Vintage but coming over for the expert advice. Thinking about building a tourer but initial research has my head spinning a bit. Is Blackburn still a go to as far as racks ? Is being brand specific for clip ins important ? I know there are a million ways to build a bike, but just wondering what's hot, what's not. What's in, what's out from your point of view. So far it seems that cantilevered seat post bags are hot which is what sent me over here. Maybe racks in general are not so hot anymore ? I'm off to spend 8 days straight in the loaded rigs thread !
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Old 06-22-19, 10:31 PM
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A lot of it depends on what kind of touring you are planning to do. I use a mix of bike packing and traditional bags, and vary depending on where I’m riding. Here is my Katy Trail setup.

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Old 06-22-19, 10:37 PM
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where, in your mind, is it hot to go ? your bike is a tool to get there. how long are the the days planned ?

Bene Sugg: read a lot of history about where you plan to go, so you know more about what you are seeing..


I should have kept my mid 80's. Specialized Expedition ..


collector? Bruce Gordon's touring bikes were orphaned by the builders death.





....

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Old 06-22-19, 11:11 PM
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I have some Blackburn racks that have accumulated over the years. I can also get this Ibera dirt cheap

Close to purchasing a Miyata 1000 or may just use my Cannondale ST.
I assume all the new clip in bags are not universal ? I assume if using a Blackburn, bungee cords or diy nylon straps are used for most everything? If I purchase the Ibera then I assume only Ibera bags will work perfectly and others will require some MacGyver skills ? Light touring is what I am expecting to do as a start. Hope that gives you a better idea where I'm at. Ground zero basically. Just want to know whats down the road with the decisions I may make today. I don't want to choose racks today and regret it when looking for bags tomorrow. Or maybe the cantilever seat post bags and bar mounted bags are the way to go and forget the racks ? Hence the what's hot what's not

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Old 06-23-19, 12:11 AM
  #5  
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I buy and have bought gear that is practical and just to suit my needs. I don't buy gear that is in nor out. That is how you set up a touring bike, or any bike. I don't really care what it looks like, just that it does the job I want it to do. I don't bikepack, so other than a top tube bag and feed bags, all my other bags are bicycle touring specific bags. You can merge both together, or do one or the other anyway or anytime. But if you prefer, bicycletouring , get specific bags and racks to suit the job. Don't buy gear that suits others, buy it to suit yourself.

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Old 06-23-19, 12:35 AM
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Depends how much money you're willing to spend and how light you want to go.
For me personally, I'm using vintage Cannondale panniers onto an Axiom Journey rear rack.
My camping gear consists of a 3.5lb solo tent, 2lb sleeping pad, sleeping bag + inflatable pillow(on its way), and some other things. One rear pannier will be for camping related gear, the other pannier will be for personal belongings. All in all, I will have less than 40lb of gear onto my bike.
How much did I spend? Well, the panniers I got with my older Miyata, but the modern stuff (in $CAD):

Axion Journey rack: $50
MEC Spark 1 Solo tent: $300
MEC sleeping pad: $90
Sleeping bag + pillow: $40

I'm probably missing something. But the rule of thumb is, the lighter you go, the more expensive it becomes.
I chose panniers because I'm working with what I have. A long saddle bag was out of my budget.

If you're interest, I can post a picture with my setup so you can get an idea of how it looks.
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Old 06-23-19, 11:55 AM
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What 's hot?

Bike packing, frame bags, 1X drive systems, disc brakes, plus tires, tubeless.

What's not?

Racks and Panniers, rim brakes, skinny tires.

The old stuff worked, so does the new stuff. Use what works for you.
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Old 06-23-19, 02:39 PM
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Thanks for all the comments thus far. I've read every word. I'm a researcher and like to have a handle on things before moving forward, and then move forward with a purpose and reason. Coming from a camping background, things have changed considerably in the last decade as far as gear. Light fast and mobile (and cheap). From 20lb camp stoves to $8 stoves the size of your thumb and a s.s. mug. Interesting that I built this 10 years ago from a pile of junk and now I'm building a bike to achieve the same thing --- lighter, faster, mobile, and cheaper. And the process is exactly the same. Begin Step 1 but you better know how the heck you plan on achieving Step 4


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Old 06-24-19, 07:28 AM
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For racks, Tubus is certainly at or very close to the top, high quality, steel (or titanium) lightweight racks that are tour proven. Blackburn and Topeak make some decent stuff but I don't care for aluminum racks while touring, Surly Nice racks are excellent quality but very heavy and Nitto quite the same. Plenty of lower quality cheap racks out there but heavy or poor weight capacity rules them out. If I was to go with a modular type system, it would be Racktime for sure, tons of awesome bag and basket options and they are owned by Tubus so the quality is there and loads of great testing but again not a huge fan of aluminum for touring. Weight capacity tends to be lower for aluminum and I cannot easily repair it then again most of my touring is in the U.S. so it is not a huge concern.

Bikepacking stuff can be great but you have to be good at packing and pack really compact and light to make it work. I just bought an Oveja Negra frame bag and am quite happy with it quality wise and the size is small but does the job I need it to do. I also like my Topeak BackLoader but I maybe would have liked something fully waterproof rather than have a dry sack in it (which they provide) but so far no real complaints on it. I haven't yet tried any front loading roll type stuff but I do have a Swift Industries Rando bag which I love and recommend if you go the rando rack route.
All that being said I like my more traditional pannier set up, I like having pockets and more space and while I still strive to carry lightweight stuff I can more easily carry some stuff less awkwardly then with some of the bikepacking stuff
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Old 06-25-19, 06:45 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
Hey guys
I spend all my time over in Classic and Vintage but coming over for the expert advice. Thinking about building a tourer but initial research has my head spinning a bit. Is Blackburn still a go to as far as racks ? Is being brand specific for clip ins important ? I know there are a million ways to build a bike, but just wondering what's hot, what's not. What's in, what's out from your point of view. So far it seems that cantilevered seat post bags are hot which is what sent me over here. Maybe racks in general are not so hot anymore ? I'm off to spend 8 days straight in the loaded rigs thread !
not sure if this was asked, but have you ever done any bike touring before?
Have you ever done any self supported camping activities before, ie hiking, canoe camping--as opposed to car camping?

blackburn still make racks, but there are tons of reasonably priced, well made aluminum racks out there in the 30-50 buck range that will work perfectly fine if you are disciplined and dont take too much stuff.

heads up, the traditional blackburn front lowrider racks or knockoffs, work fine, but some panniers dont work on them, specifically Ortliebs, but standard "two upper hooks" and "lower hook on a bungee" system will work.

also, do you have panniers already to use?
simply put, panniers are the easiest to use for a given volume of stuff, and used or borrowed panniers will work fine for you to try out touring without spending much.
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Old 06-25-19, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
not sure if this was asked, but have you ever done any bike touring before?
Have you ever done any self supported camping activities before, ie hiking, canoe camping--as opposed to car camping?

blackburn still make racks, but there are tons of reasonably priced, well made aluminum racks out there in the 30-50 buck range that will work perfectly fine if you are disciplined and dont take too much stuff.

heads up, the traditional blackburn front lowrider racks or knockoffs, work fine, but some panniers dont work on them, specifically Ortliebs, but standard "two upper hooks" and "lower hook on a bungee" system will work.

also, do you have panniers already to use?
simply put, panniers are the easiest to use for a given volume of stuff, and used or borrowed panniers will work fine for you to try out touring without spending much.
I have not yet done any specific bike touring which included camping. I am leaning panniers as it seems to be the most bang for the buck, especially if the panniers can be obtained used. I've learned from other camping that less is more. I have already abandoned the worry about matchy matchy as far as clip ons etc.
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Old 06-25-19, 09:16 PM
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Re used panniers, around here there are always used ones for sale, so keep an eye out one your area, maybe there are there also.
Good luck trying it out.
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Old 06-25-19, 10:21 PM
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When you say "building a tourer", do you mean building a bike from the frame up or adding racks to an existing bike?

I built up an LHT this past winter and going with what is "hot" was more complicated than I thought. Compatibility between derailleurs, shifters, brake sets, frame and of course component colors, took a lot of research. In the end, I went withe tried and true 3x9 . A big challenge was the little things.

For racks, I settled for 2nd best, I went with Tubus, They are nice, but not much better than the other brands. Panniers are usually "one fits all", but it's always good to make sure
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Old 06-25-19, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
When you say "building a tourer", do you mean building a bike from the frame up or adding racks to an existing bike?

I built up an LHT this past winter and going with what is "hot" was more complicated than I thought. Compatibility between derailleurs, shifters, brake sets, frame and of course component colors, took a lot of research. In the end, I went withe tried and true 3x9 . A big challenge was the little things.

For racks, I settled for 2nd best, I went with Tubus, They are nice, but not much better than the other brands. Panniers are usually "one fits all", but it's always good to make sure
As I said earlier, I will build up a Cannondale ST frame I already have, but have a lead on a Miyata 1000 that I'm working on.
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Old 06-27-19, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
When you say "building a tourer", do you mean building a bike from the frame up or adding racks to an existing bike?

I built up an LHT this past winter and going with what is "hot" was more complicated than I thought. Compatibility between derailleurs, shifters, brake sets, frame and of course component colors, took a lot of research. In the end, I went withe tried and true 3x9 . A big challenge was the little things.

For racks, I settled for 2nd best, I went with Tubus, They are nice, but not much better than the other brands. Panniers are usually "one fits all", but it's always good to make sure
for Marcus and sdn40,
Marcus, here in Canada, Tubus racks are seriously expensive, upwards of 125 and 150 front and back, throw in 15% sales tax and its a lot of cash. I bought a pair for when I decided to do some Latin America trips, so went with top stuff
----BUT

sdn, for decades myself and probably every experienced tourer on here , did fun and successful tours on very moderately priced aluminum racks without any issues whatsoever.

I commute all the time, buy groceries etc, carry two panniers, on bikes with 25 to 40 dollar racks, and they just keep on ticking.

all that to say, is that well made, moderately priced aluminum racks will work perfectly fine, throw in the used panniers and you can try out bike touring for not too much money, and see if you like it, plain and simple.

just be moderate in your packing, and yes, you will probably take too much crap the first time, but thats life-we learn from doing it.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:56 AM
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France (and most of Europe).. 45C 113.18 f
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Old 06-28-19, 04:32 PM
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Hot, circa 1900:



Hot, circa 2019:

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Old 06-28-19, 05:34 PM
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TCS, ya right, next thing you'll be trying to convince us is that the same bike seat company is on both bikes after more than a century---balderdash, preposterous my good man!

Well done on putting those two shots together btw.
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Old 06-28-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
for Marcus and sdn40,
Marcus, here in Canada, Tubus racks are seriously expensive, upwards of 125 and 150 front and back, throw in 15% sales tax and its a lot of cash. I bought a pair for when I decided to do some Latin America trips, so went with top stuff
I hear ya. I saw the Tubus' once at a bike show, so really did not check them out, but the way people on the net rave about them, I thought they would help me conquer the world.
In the end, they were twice as much as other brands and half as much as Surlys, so I compromised.
I think they are well made, they state that their weight capacity is much higher than what is declared but they don't want people using it to mount child carriers, thus the standard 25 kg limit.
The front racks do not fit perfectly on my LHT, so had to figure out a different mounting
I found the paint chips easily. I have not done any "rough" tours yet, but I suspect they will not look good at the end of one
Cheers
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Old 06-29-19, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I hear ya. I saw the Tubus' once at a bike show, so really did not check them out, but the way people on the net rave about them, I thought they would help me conquer the world.
In the end, they were twice as much as other brands and half as much as Surlys, so I compromised.
I think they are well made, they state that their weight capacity is much higher than what is declared but they don't want people using it to mount child carriers, thus the standard 25 kg limit.
The front racks do not fit perfectly on my LHT, so had to figure out a different mounting
I found the paint chips easily. I have not done any "rough" tours yet, but I suspect they will not look good at the end of one
Cheers
for sure they are well made, for me the main reason I got them was that I figured it was worth getting really good ones, and I knew that they have a real solid reputation for being solid and all that. The price was rather shocking, but I was able to find the front rack on sale during the winter, and paid more or less full price for the rear, but at that point just wanted to have them both. Oh, also the rear I got is the two level one, with the panniers lower--but I got it specifically because I knew that it would work on my frame due to the long attachment arms, my frame is more of a mountain bike type frame shape, so it needs a rack with longer horizontal attachment arms, and I had seen evidence that many people had successfully used this rack on the Troll, my bike.

re the paint, I put tape and even some rubber tubing on my racks, to thicken them up and I have to use my panniers without the small inserts that go in them, the inserts of diff sizes for diff rack rail thicknesses. So as well as stopping the paint rubbing off, the main reason was to reduce any pannier movement on the rails, to avoid or lessen things loosening up over time from all the vibrations.
I also put some tape on the other contact points, but one has to accept that some paint will come off, and paint touchups will have to done at some point--but I always have some black metal paint I use to touch up metal railings at my house, and also my steel winter car tire rims.

re the Surly racks--I find them just too heavy, and like you say, they are expensive also.

but again, after all this blah blah, I still say that a well made, reasonably priced aluminum rack works fine, all of my bikes with these type racks prove this, and this is important for someone just trying out bike touring.
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Old 06-29-19, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Pretty much what I was thinking as far as what was hot. I probably won't do any of that - LOL. Looks cool though.

Do frame bags automatically mean paint wear ??
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Old 06-29-19, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
Pretty much what I was thinking as far as what was hot. I probably won't do any of that - LOL. Looks cool though.

Do frame bags automatically mean paint wear ??
think of it this way, any time that anything rubs constantly against something, wear occurs.
Look at how brake or shifter housings up near headtubes end up wearing away paint over time from turning the bars back and forth.
Our shoes often rub off paint off our crankset arms......etc

common sense is that frame bags used on gravel and whatnot are going to mean bikes with more dirt and dust on them, so more abrasive getting inbetween frame bag straps and frame ---rub rub rub, three men in a tub, so at least some tape will help reduce this at the key contact points.
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Old 06-29-19, 11:47 PM
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I like Ortlieb panniers esp since the mounting points are adjustable, so far they've worked on all my different front/rear racks. They're not the cheapest but OTOH not exorbitantly-priced either. Sometimes on sale, also maybe a good price if ordering from Germany/UK.
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Old 07-02-19, 04:27 PM
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Going to take a look at these this weekend. All from the same seller. I didn't get the brand name of the racks but if anyone has some advice it would be appreciated. I asked to make sure all of the brackets are gathered up as I don't really want to have to fabricate a bunch of stuff. The prices are certainly right.






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Old 07-02-19, 08:31 PM
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the top rack is probably a Blackburn, I have a 1990 lowrider by them, and they remained unchanged for ages, and then knockoffs started being made. Simple, light, work alright, I always had light front panniers so it worked out.
in the bottom photo, the rear rack could be an old blackburn also, but it could be a newer one by whatever brand--I have numerous identical ones and they work fine too--maybe just look and make sure there arent any obvious cracks or whatever.

oh, the lowrider with the hoop is the type that ortlieb front panniers dont work on because of the top rail design, the "enclosing" doohicky parts of ortliebs cannot encircle the top part of the rack, because of that welded on vertical part.

panniers--the old cannondales. I had an identical set made my another company, but there were loads of similar zippered panniers like ths back then. Hey, they work, not waterproof at all so you have to wrap your stuff in bags. but hey, all this stuff will work and you'll see if yoiu like this activity.
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