Touring on my road bike

Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:05 pm

Hey everyone.

So, as I mentioned in the touring overseas forum, I am taking a trip of to NZ to ride my bike from Auckland to Wellington in February.

Buying a touring bike is not really an option, so I'm planning on just taking my normal road bike.

Which is this - http://www.reidcycles.com.au/bicycles/road-bikes/2012-reid-falco-road-bike.html#.UJnB3-PZ8rg

1. Looking in to options for transporting some gear around. Not entirely sure what I'll be taking, but will be packing relatively light. Couple of different cycling kits, few t-shirts, jeans, essentials etc.

Can anyone recommend a rear rack/panniers that can attach to the seatpost/quick release skewer or similar? (I'm not particularly mechanically minded, so ease of use is pretty essential).

2. If anyone has ridden through the North island, will I survive with the stock crankset/cassette or should I really be looking in a compact etc.? I'm reasonably fit, and do climb a fair few hills on my usual rides, but will obviously have a bit extra weight with me.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:21 pm

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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby BoardRider » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:21 pm

I toured from Perth to Adelaide on my road bike which found to be an error .Different climate but some of the lessons may apply .
The weight I carried in the panniers broke my spokes and rims buckled.It was a difficult repair in the middle of nothing.Also pain from getting back on the road seat each day was near unbearable.
If I was to do again I would go the sturdy and comfortable option unless you have a support crew. I hope your trip is enjoyable ,uneventful and memorable in good way.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:25 pm

Your best option may be to use a BOB trailer or an Extrawheel.

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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:41 pm

I actually wondered that. Maybe I'd be best to just go with a backpack.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Compact crank, at least - you're touring, not flogging yourself. It should be fun and easy.

At least 700c x 25 tyres; the bigger the better. Fenders would be a good idea too I reckon.

Old Man Mountain make racks that are strong and able to be fitted to pretty much any bike. Tubus make adapters for their racks to fit to the QR, not sure about the seat post though. The Extrawheel or BOB are good options, but complicate the flight and add to the weight. For a light load, I'd aim for a rack of some sort. We're talking about clothes and a few essentials only right? No camping gear or cooking gear?

Another option might be a big saddle bag and a big handlebar bag. Google 'bikepacking" and you'll find a heap of ways to carry reasonable loads without racks. Personally, I have a Carradice Camper Longflap that carries a ginormous amount of gear; it's like a tardis and constantly surprises me. That with a decent handlebar bag would be plenty for a clothing only tour. I'd advise a little bit of support underneath the bag if you load it with a bit of weight though, otherwise the saddle rails will be under a fair bit of stress (I have a little support that's just made out of bent tubing. It loops around the seat stays and provides a little ring to support the bag, but I can't find a picture of it at the moment. Again, googling "saddle bag support" will give you the idea).
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby Cheesewheel » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:07 pm

BoardRider wrote:I toured from Perth to Adelaide on my road bike which found to be an error .Different climate but some of the lessons may apply .
The weight I carried in the panniers broke my spokes and rims buckled.It was a difficult repair in the middle of nothing.Also pain from getting back on the road seat each day was near unbearable.
If I was to do again I would go the sturdy and comfortable option unless you have a support crew. I hope your trip is enjoyable ,uneventful and memorable in good way.

Did you have a pannier rack or a trailer (or both).

I have a carbon merida sculptura

Image


.....and have often contemplated hitching my extra wheel trailer (no pannier rack - just the trailer with two panniers) for a speedy and light touring option ... but I have concerns about the wheels, spokes and tyres (and possibly frame) holding out.

Anyone have any experience or heard anything pro or con on the structure dept of carbon racer + trailer?
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby BoardRider » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:15 pm

Cheesewheel wrote:
BoardRider wrote:I toured from Perth to Adelaide on my road bike which found to be an error .Different climate but some of the lessons may apply .
The weight I carried in the panniers broke my spokes and rims buckled.It was a difficult repair in the middle of nothing.Also pain from getting back on the road seat each day was near unbearable.
If I was to do again I would go the sturdy and comfortable option unless you have a support crew. I hope your trip is enjoyable ,uneventful and memorable in good way.

Did you have a pannier rack or a trailer (or both).

I used front and rear panniers and had a alloy frame. If I included a trailer I could of carried more supplies food and water mainly as I was on my own. I also under estimated my food requirements as I was burning lots of energy between towns
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby RonK » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:19 pm

I would have serious doubts that a Reid bike would be capable of carrying any significant load without wheel issues, how you load it, i.e. in panniers or on your back is immaterial.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:04 pm

jacob_T wrote:I actually wondered that. Maybe I'd be best to just go with a backpack.

Ooofff!!

Recommend not to, but go right ahead if you must, like I did on my very first cycle tour in 77 - discover the 'joys' of backpack touring. I never repeated the experience :roll:
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:14 pm

RonK wrote:I would have serious doubts that a Reid bike would be capable of carrying any significant load without wheel issues, how you load it, i.e. in panniers or on your back is immaterial.


Yeah, I've definitely thought about this, but buying a new bike is kind of out of the picture.
What if I was to invest in some better wheels at least (something I've been toying with anyway)... Do you think this would help?


Edit: Also might be worth mentioning I way about 68kgs - so might have a bit of room to move in the weight department.
Last edited by jacob_T on Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:25 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:
At least 700c x 25 tyres; the bigger the better. Fenders would be a good idea too I reckon.



This is probably a really dumb question, but I'm very new to cycling, so don't understand how this all works... If my bike currently has 700x23c tyres fitted to it, is it just a matter of buying 700x25 tyres and fitting them on, or is there more to it than this (need a whole different wheel etc.)?

WestcoastPete wrote:

Old Man Mountain make racks that are strong and able to be fitted to pretty much any bike. Tubus make adapters for their racks to fit to the QR, not sure about the seat post though. The Extrawheel or BOB are good options, but complicate the flight and add to the weight. For a light load, I'd aim for a rack of some sort. We're talking about clothes and a few essentials only right? No camping gear or cooking gear?



Exactly. The aim is to keep it as light weight as possible... Not quite a touring set up, not quite an ordinary day out on the road bike.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:33 pm

Just found this picture whilst searching bikepacking

Image

I reckon something like that would be more than enough for what I'm planning.

Maybe even without that funny thing in the middle.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Traditional randonneuring approach (a la Audax)

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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:47 pm

jacob_T wrote:
WestcoastPete wrote:
At least 700c x 25 tyres; the bigger the better. Fenders would be a good idea too I reckon.



This is probably a really dumb question, but I'm very new to cycling, so don't understand how this all works... If my bike currently has 700x23c tyres fitted to it, is it just a matter of buying 700x25 tyres and fitting them on, or is there more to it than this (need a whole different wheel etc.)?


Yep, just swap them out. Get some decent tyres with some kind of flat protection; you should be able to go without the slime tubes, but that's neither here nor there in my book. I'm not sure what size tyre you'll fit on your Reid, but you might fit a 28mm. Have a look at the distance between the top of the tyre and the fork crown, chainstay and seat stay bridges.

Here's a thread on the difference the small size change can make on your comfort.

Personally, I ride 700c x 35 on my commuter and would tour on these without hesitation.

WestcoastPete wrote:

Old Man Mountain make racks that are strong and able to be fitted to pretty much any bike. Tubus make adapters for their racks to fit to the QR, not sure about the seat post though. The Extrawheel or BOB are good options, but complicate the flight and add to the weight. For a light load, I'd aim for a rack of some sort. We're talking about clothes and a few essentials only right? No camping gear or cooking gear?



jacob_T wrote:Exactly. The aim is to keep it as light weight as possible... Not quite a touring set up, not quite an ordinary day out on the road bike.


I reckon something like in this picture would be a good setup:

Image

The weight of the saddle bag there is all supported by the saddle though. If I was planning on carrying a bit of weight in it, I'd try to support it from the seat stays with something like this:

Image

This is the kind of thing I have, which I was talking about before:

Image

Of course, you can get more modern looking saddle bags and handlebar bags which might work for you.

I don't know too much about the Reid's wheels. If you can get some new wheels, then I'd consider it, but you'd want to spend a bit to make it worth your while. You might find that getting your current wheels tensioned and trued by a good wheel builder will do the job for you...
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:19 pm

With a carbon frame road bike I would definitely not be using a stay-mounted saddlebag support. Your only option really is some form of saddlebag and handlebar bag combo, or a BOB/Extrawheel trailer.

Panniers really would not do that frame much good - I would not like the results of the stresses induced and there is no really suitable way to mount the upper mounts for say, the Old Man Mountain racks.



Carbon and touring really is a contradiction of terms. Except if you go for one of these :wink:

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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby Sprocket » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:48 pm

Isn't it only the forks on the Reid that are carbon? In which case wouldn't the rest of the frame take the weight/stress of the seat post system?

Carradice have some very nice looking setups. There are a couple of stockists in Australia - Melbourne and Canberra, so you might be able to see them in the flesh if you are local to either of these.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:50 pm

Ah, I stand corrected. You are right, it is an alloy frame and carbon forks. Still I'd be very wary of relying on it to mount panniers or fit a stay saddlebag support.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby Aushiker » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:07 pm

James Quinton recently completed his ride from Darwin to Perth on a carbon bike pulling an Extrawheel Voyager. His ride included the Gibb River Road.

With regards to the Extrawheel. It is relatively easy to fly with; much easier than say a BOB trailer.

If the OP wants to tour light I would look at what the bikepackers often do for ideas. You can bike tour light without panniers or trailers if one so desires. A Google search on lightweight bicycle touring should bring up ideas.

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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:33 pm

il padrone wrote:Ah, I stand corrected. You are right, it is an alloy frame and carbon forks. Still I'd be very wary of relying on it to mount panniers or fit a stay saddlebag support.


I reckon it'd be fine. There are plenty of examples of people fitting racks to similar frames and carrying decent loads. This load will be light. The stay mounted saddle bag support would only be a support, not for complete load bearing. These supports have a fair bit of flex in them anyway, and even if they didn't, you'd need a fair bit of weight on them to damage the ally seat stays. I just worry about having a big saddle bag with a decent load hanging only from the saddle rails.

A Tubus Fly rear rack would be pretty easy to fit with a Tubus QR kit. The single stay on the Fly is easily bolted to the brake bridge. I have one on my commuter and it carries a load of shopping/dog food well.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby Uncle Just » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:46 pm

Yes the Tubus Fly is an idea but does the OP's bike have enough heel clearance for panniers? The bike's chain stays will need to be at least 42.5cm and the rider not have big feet to enable sufficient clearance. The Fly's top rack area is very small to load sufficient gear on to it as well. I use front Ortliebs with my Fly rack on my roadie but I specified longer chain stays to avoid heel strike. There is a guy on CGOAB Pete Staehling (I think) who has done many tours and is into extreme lightweight touring with a road bike. His articles may assist you.

FWIW I have toured up to a week with a 22 litre back pack weighing <5 kgs all up using my MTB on several tours. Not camping mind you but it can be done if you pare everything back taking only essentials and washing gear nightly. If you go this way Deuter make a backpack with a trampoline mesh back to allow air flow so you don't get too sweaty. I like travelling light but as others have said carrying the weight on the bike is better.

Re gearing I'm not sure of the topography on your intended route but I err on the side of having lower gears for touring. If you can't afford a compact or even if you are young and strong try and fit a 12-27 or 12-28. Check if your rear mech can take the larger sprocket. A bail out gear is always welcome.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby RonK » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:56 pm

A Tubus Fly (or any Tubus rack) will cost half as much as the OP's bike.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby Sprocket » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:01 pm

Might be able to get some ideas from this guy: Ultralight bicycle touring. Not sure I could handle bedding down on a strip of bubble wrap after a day cycling......
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:20 pm

I think the OP would be better served by scrounging up a half decent old MTB off EBay or gumtree. $200 will get you something of quality.

Most old MTB's have rack and mud guard mounts, low gearing and are near indestructible.

A good strip and clean with a bearing repackage, new cables and new tyres and they should be good to go.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Definitely thinking I'll just rock a backpack. That's what everything else is doing.
I'm going with three other guys on roadies so a MTB probably won't work.
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Re: Touring on my road bike

Postby jacob_T » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Everyone*
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