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First multi-day tour coming in August - prepping

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First multi-day tour coming in August - prepping

Old 04-27-19, 07:31 PM
  #1  
KC8QVO
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First multi-day tour coming in August - prepping

All,

I am breaking away from "things" for a while this summer to do some adventuring. Part of that, towards the end, will be a bike tour. It will be a bit of a long time coming. I got my bike - Surly Disk Trucker with 700c wheels - about 5 years ago in preparation for some touring with my uncle. Our lives went different ways and we never could make things work. So we're going to make things work this year and do it.

I have a few thousand miles on my bike. That isn't a lot compared to a lot of you out there that can ride 10-15,000 miles a year. My bike isn't fully stock - I've made some changes to the drive train (added a 4th smaller chain ring for climbing). I upgraded my original wired Sigma computer to a Garmin Edge 1000 a couple years ago. I have had a rear rack on the bike since I got it - a cheap metal wire rack from Ebay. I've had it overloaded for my day tours for years and it's never failed. However, it won't work with traditional panniers so the rack is getting upgraded.

Speaking of racks a panniers -

I am looking at the Ortlieb Plus series - Sport-Packer Plus fronts, Bike-Packer Plus Rears, and Ultimate 6 Plus handle bar bag (7L, looks like they have an 8.5L also - if I can get it in red then I will go with the bigger one). Are there any comments from the crew here? It looks like that set up will get me 77L (40L in the rear bags, 30L in the fronts, and 7L in the bar bag). I have been using 20L dry sacks for rear panniers for years. I could borrow one of those as a rack top bag if I need more "space". Until I really start prepping I am not sure how much space I will ultimately need.

For the front rack I am looking at a Tubus Duo.

For the rear rack I am looking at a Tubus Logo Evo.

The Chromoly steel is attractive as it can be more easily repaired/welded on-the-go.

I was trying to do the combo set order from bikeshophub.com but it appears they are doing some changes to the site and that combo build function is down. Are there any other vendors online that would be worth a shot? thetouringstore.com closed up and they were taken over by bikeshophub.com.

I want to make sure my rear is well lit. Where I have had my rear light now has been a bit of an issue - being blocked by the bags to some extent. I am wanting to make a bracket for the light that will keep it back behind the panniers quite a ways. I am not sure if I will make something that attaches with hose clamps or just weld it, but that is one "modification" I know I want to make. I also like carrying a 7Ah 12v battery and solar panel for charging my electronics. I usually put the battery under the seat on the top of the rack. I am not sure how that will work just yet on the Logo Evo, but I don't think that will be too hard to get on.

For what it is worth, my tour hasn't been planned out yet as to where. However, it will be mostly self-supported and camping, though we may do some hotel stays. Length is 1 to 2 weeks. Mileage - I don't think we are going to do very many miles, maybe a 25 mile/day average, possibly up to 40 (with some stops being 2-3 days before moving).
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Old 04-27-19, 08:04 PM
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Thoughts-

- if you are doing 25mi per day up to 40 with 2-3 days rest between, then there is no need worrying about a steel rack being field repairable. The odds of a rack failing with that expected use is basically 0. 25 to 40mi with 2-3 days off between on some stops for 1-2 weeks means 90-250mi ridden and no rack should break in that time.
For many parts of the US, it's be easier to just buy a new rack wherever you are than find someone to weld the broken rack.

- many panniers have loops to connect rear lights. Those loops will place the lights at the rear of the bike and unobstructed. Always been a great place for me to hang a light(left rear pannier or on rear rack).

- maybe solar panels have improved since I last looked(I assume they have since its been a couple years), but perhaps just the battery pack is needed? You will presumably have a lot of time in camp/restaurants based on your expected ride time, so just plug the power bank into an outlet and call it good.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:43 AM
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Logo is a good rack, but do not start welding on it because I think it was heat treated.

Planet Bike Superflash light comes with a seat stay mount bracket that is smaller diameter than the seatpost bracket. I also wrapped a bit of inner tube rubber strip around the rack before I put the bracket on the rack as the seatstay bracket was a bit bigger than the Logo tubing diameter. In the photo I have two taillight, one is not a Planet Bike, but I am mainly focusing on the light mounts with this photo.

Planet Bike makes several different lights that have the name Superflash, I suggest the plain Superflash or the Stealth version.
https://www.planetbike.com/store/sup...ight-1066.html

These lights have a very bright but very focused light to the rear, they put almost all the light directly behind you. But some of their other models are not that tightly focused, that is why I am specifically recommending that one light. That is an advantage but it is also a disadvantage that your light has to be carefully aimed straight back to be effective. I prefer lights that take AAA batteries, thus my recommendation has that bias. I use NiMH batteries in it.



The logo can also be used to mount a taillight that uses the standard 50mm bolt spacing if you want one taillight in the center.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
....It looks like that set up will get me 77L (40L in the rear bags, 30L in the fronts, and 7L in the bar bag). I have been using 20L dry sacks for rear panniers for years. I could borrow one of those as a rack top bag if I need more spac......

77L plus a drybag? that's serious overkill. you'll likely wind up carrying twice what you really need. hauling a lot of unnecessary gear will slow you down, and make hills/wind pure agony.

you say you've overloaded your rack on day trips. what sort of mileage were you doing, and how much weight? makes a big difference in handling (and endurance) going from 15-20 pounds on the rear to 50-60 pounds.
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Old 04-28-19, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
77L plus a drybag? that's serious overkill. you'll likely wind up carrying twice what you really need. hauling a lot of unnecessary gear will slow you down, and make hills/wind pure agony.

you say you've overloaded your rack on day trips. what sort of mileage were you doing, and how much weight? makes a big difference in handling (and endurance) going from 15-20 pounds on the rear to 50-60 pounds.
The rack I have now is light duty - I want to say it had like a 15-20lb rating. I am not sure on exact weight, but I'd say I have had 50lbs on it before.

I used to ride in rural Illinois along the I&M trail. I never stopped in any of the towns, just rode through and day camped. My geared up runs were anywhere from 40 to 116 miles with the bulk of them in the 50-80 range. Most of the miles were on the I&M trail - mostly crushed gravel, not roads.

For what it is worth, I backpack also (part of my adventuring that is planned as well). So I am familiar with weight and trimming it, but there is a different balance to that equation that I work with that isn't the normal mindset so I will work with that how I normally do on the stuff and weight and make it work. I always have.
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Old 04-29-19, 10:58 AM
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You are suggesting a large volume of storage for a two week trip. My observation of my behavior is that the amount of "stuff" I need will grow to fill the available space. Perhaps the same is true for you. I toured across the US with just two rear (non-Jumbo) panniers and a bar bag. It was a mix of camping, hotels and Warmshowers; I never felt that I was doing without something that I needed.

If you read a lot of bike touring journals there are two recurring themes that show up the first week:
1. I should have trained more.
2. I'm carrying too much stuff.

Try like hell to avoid theme 2.

Enjoy your ride.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:46 AM
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Tubus is brazed together .. under that powder coat .... to shave weight it's a pretty thin wall tube..

Weight on the front wheel steadies the ride, nicely..

those 2 bags, with their stuff in them, should weigh about the same..

rear bags won't tend to steer the bike to one side or another , if they have different weights..


It takes discipline to not fall into the ' Load Expands to fill the Volume Available ' thinking.






....

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Old 04-30-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolboy2 View Post
Enjoy your ride.
Ah yes. As is said in backpacking - "Hike your own hike". Similarly, in biking - "Ride your own ride".

My riding partner and I are both gearing up for the trip with some new stuff and getting excited about the trek. I'm sure it will develop as we go.

I am set with my hammock set up - I converted over to a hammock about 6 years ago and have not looked back (though, I did have to ground pitch it last summer with no trees accessible... And I thought I would never return to being a ground dweller). My riding partner is replacing his Hubba tent with a new model.

I think I will replace the tires on my bike. I had some 42mm's on there but I ran over the front wheel in the garage with my 1 ton truck so when I rebuilt the wheel I went back to the 38mm's that came on it and never changed them. I like the 42's better. Continental Tour Ride's are what I had before.
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Old 05-01-19, 11:17 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Logo is a good rack, but do not start welding on it because I think it was heat treated.

Planet Bike Superflash light comes with a seat stay mount bracket that is smaller diameter than the seatpost bracket. I also wrapped a bit of inner tube rubber strip around the rack before I put the bracket on the rack as the seatstay bracket was a bit bigger than the Logo tubing diameter. In the photo I have two taillight, one is not a Planet Bike, but I am mainly focusing on the light mounts with this photo.

Planet Bike makes several different lights that have the name Superflash, I suggest the plain Superflash or the Stealth version.
https://www.planetbike.com/store/sup...ight-1066.html

These lights have a very bright but very focused light to the rear, they put almost all the light directly behind you. But some of their other models are not that tightly focused, that is why I am specifically recommending that one light. That is an advantage but it is also a disadvantage that your light has to be carefully aimed straight back to be effective. I prefer lights that take AAA batteries, thus my recommendation has that bias. I use NiMH batteries in it.



The logo can also be used to mount a taillight that uses the standard 50mm bolt spacing if you want one taillight in the center.
+1

Four of the touring bikes in our family have the Superflash rear lights. Planet Bike sells an adapter with 50 mm bolt spacing for the Superflash. It fits our Tubus Cargo Classic and Evo rear racks.
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Old 05-01-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
+1

Four of the touring bikes in our family have the Superflash rear lights. Planet Bike sells an adapter with 50 mm bolt spacing for the Superflash. It fits our Tubus Cargo Classic and Evo rear racks.
hey, thanks for that Doug, I had no idea that existed. I've looked at stores around here but havent ever seen something, and never made something myself, but when using the Troll in town at night, I just put one of my seatpost adapter things on it.
This wouldnt work for a trip because my rackpack would be in the way, but then Ive never taken a rear flasher on a trip before because I never (well, nearly never) ride at night. I do have a reflector on the rear rack mount thing, and the panniers reflect, but its good to know this adapter is available.
cheers

ps, I just looked up this thing for prices, and lordy, some amazon.ca seller is selling it for $25 (free shipping!)
https://www.amazon.ca/Planet-Bike-Ta.../dp/B000IQEAK2

a bit over the top frankly, there must be better prices out there somewhere.

thanks again
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Old 05-01-19, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
..., but then Ive never taken a rear flasher on a trip before because I never (well, nearly never) ride at night. ...

...

ps, I just looked up this thing for prices, and lordy, some amazon.ca seller is selling it for $25 (free shipping!)
https://www.amazon.ca/Planet-Bike-Ta.../dp/B000IQEAK2

a bit over the top frankly, there must be better prices out there somewhere.
...
I almost never ride at night when on a bike tour, but I often have a flashing red light on during the day when riding on some rural roads where the drivers are half asleep from boredom.

Good lights are not cheap, I have never seen a Superflash sell for under $20. I have bought several cheap taillights before the Superflash that were under $10 but I eventually decided to buy better lights for the same reason I buy good helmets, it is safety gear.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:09 PM
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its been a long time since I bought a turbo, it probably cost 35 or so, don't recall exactly.
(seems a bit pricey, nearly $25, for a plastic mount though--I saw after that in the states, you can find it for 6 bucks...)

but I dont regret getting a turbo at whatever price it was, as an urban rider, its a very effective attention getter. I angle mine down a bit so its not too annoying, as I think it can be at the wrong angle.
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Old 05-03-19, 03:54 PM
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Well I got panniers and racks coming. Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus, Sport Packer Plus, Ultimate 6 Plus Med for the bags. Tubus Duo front and Tubus Logo Evo rear racks.

I figure I will start with the commercial racks and keep things a bit more simple. Not that I don't like making things, I just feel better with this type of application being ready-made from a proven manufacturer/materials/processes.

Next up is a few more pairs of padded shorts.

I need to get a second stem also. I left the fork tube long when I bought the bike so I would have the space in there for adjustment as well as a second stem for a dummy bar for the accessories. That will keep my handlebar free from "stuff".
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Old 05-03-19, 05:08 PM
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You have a crank that does 4 gears up front? And shifts? Do tell.
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Old 05-03-19, 05:10 PM
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buying panniers and whatnot like racks is one thing doing it online, but as for padded bike shorts, I highly recommend trying them on in stores, because sizing from one brand to another is different, and they dont all fit the same.
Have you used padded bike shorts before?

leaving the steering tube long was a very good idea.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
You have a crank that does 4 gears up front? And shifts? Do tell.
This is one thread I had on the subject (look further down, page 3 I think is where the pictures are). I seem to recall touching on that subject in another thread or two. Do a search..

I use the 2nd and 3ord chain rings 98% of the time. I don't think I've ever used the 4th. The small 1st one has come in very handy, not all the way geared down (pedaling is way too fast at speeds too slow to balance normally), but it makes a big difference.

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...ainring-3.html
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Old 05-03-19, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Ah yes. As is said in backpacking - "Hike your own hike". Similarly, in biking - "Ride your own ride".

My riding partner and I are both gearing up for the trip with some new stuff and getting excited about the trek. I'm sure it will develop as we go.

I am set with my hammock set up - I converted over to a hammock about 6 years ago and have not looked back (though, I did have to ground pitch it last summer with no trees accessible... And I thought I would never return to being a ground dweller). My riding partner is replacing his Hubba tent with a new model.

I think I will replace the tires on my bike. I had some 42mm's on there but I ran over the front wheel in the garage with my 1 ton truck so when I rebuilt the wheel I went back to the 38mm's that came on it and never changed them. I like the 42's better. Continental Tour Ride's are what I had before.
IMO it doesn't hurt to have excess cargo space, maybe let's one carry some of partner's stuff or whatnot. & with shorter daily mileage plus that amazing quad crankset, weight shouldn't be a big worry. Anyway, panniers can be cinched down if they're not stuffed full. BTW I remember from elementary school's "Weekly Reader" newspaper reading about some guy who had made a 20-speed (quad crankset) bike...the kids all considered that to be quite the technological feat!
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