Newbie Advice - Help needed

Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby filippimini » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:42 pm

Hi all,

First of all, let me start by saying that I am a complete newb when it comes to bikes. In saying that, I have always ridden bikes and have owned many over the years, but I would never consider myself "in the know" about bikes or as a "cyclist", i'm just a bloke on a pushy.

A mate and I plan to start touring this summer with a couple of very short (80-100) overnight trips. Having never done this before I think I will need a lot of help, especially with the gear.

The Bike
Two years ago I bought myself a new bike with the intension of using it as a commuter/leisure bike with the possibility of doing some very light touring on it. With a tight budget, I found myself bringing home a 20" Trek 7.2Fx. I have really enjoyed riding it and think its a great bike for the price. I had a rear pannier rack installed when I bought the bike. It also has a small tool kit, pump, lights and drink bottle holder (will add a second).

What spares should I carry?
Is it worth adding bar extensions?

Panniers
I am trying to choose between two sets of panniers. Has anyone had any experience with either of these?
http://www.pushys.com.au/tioga-waterpro ... pgodGAUATw
http://www.velogear.com.au/cycling-acce ... niers.html
I know they are both cheap, but will they do the job? are they actually waterproof?

Sleeping Mat
I like the look of the exped SynMat range. Is the ultralight worth it?
http://www.bushcraftequipment.com.au/st ... asic-7.5-M
http://www.bushcraftequipment.com.au/st ... c-UL-7.5-M
Are there any other similar mats in that price range worth looking at?

Sleeping Bag
I have an old 0* Roman sleeping bag that is in good condition, but it may be a little to big/heavy. Whats out there that is worth looking at and won't blow the budget?

Cooking
At this stage the sites I'll be staying at will have bbq facilities as well as kettles, but I do plan to invest in a hiking stove. Probably a mini trangia (had one years ago).
I'll also carry a plastic bowel, cutlery and mug.

Clothing
I plan to just wear light cotton shirts, a pair of running shorts and joggers. I will pack a shell incase of rain. Will carry board shorts, clean shirt and thongs for campsite.

Miscellaneous
- Small first aid kit
- Micro towel
- head light
- Bike lock
- Toiletries
- Phone

I'm sure I have forgotten lots or overlooked many things and that is why I would love all the feedback and advice I can get.

Cheers
filippimini
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by BNA » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:41 am

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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:41 am

Your Trek 7.2FX should be quite good for touring. We bought the 7.3FX for my daughter to tour Tassie with us. She rode 1000kms. It has all the mounts for front and rear pannier racks and we addded mudguards, kickstand, and lights to have it fully kitted out.

Either of those panniers you linked to will do the job - they are both mid-range gear. Get the Tioga if you want waterproof, they are constructed out of material like Ortliebs with seams all welded, just not such a user-friendly or robust mounting system as Ortlieb. The Den Haag is cordura and will be waterproof, for a few years, but then the internal waterproof coating may wear off, and the seams may still leak.

I love the Exped mat. I have the standard 7L and it is very comfy and not a great weight penalty.

Even if staying in camping parks with BBQ facilities there is still great value in carrying your own stove, and most certainly a pot-set. The camp facilities may be used by others, out of order, or you may not make it to the destination one day. Also at times on the road on cooler days it may be worthwhile to bring out the stove to do a warmer meal - cup of soup or a noodle pack. On a camping tour I always carry the stove.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby Tim » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:18 pm

G'day filippimini,

A year or two back I was also a complete newby to the world of bike touring. Tons of experience bushwalking and camping but zilch on a bike.
Everything you need to know is contained somewhere within the Cycle Touring forum pages.
It is well worth while taking the time to search around and read up on any topic that comes to mind and pick up extra knowledge along the way.
I have learnt an enormous amount from the bank of experienced tourers on this forum. It is an awesome source of touring wisdom.
Based entirely on information and advise gleaned from here I chose a bike, set up the panniers, purchased accessories and established a list of touring essentials (and non essential comforts).
I placed my trust in the combined experience, intelligence and knowledge of the members here and have not been disappointed.
I hope Ronk and Aushiker don't mind me posting links to their web sites but both contain invaluable advise and packing lists. It might be a good place to start;

http://wheelswhisper.blogspot.com.au/
http://aushiker.com/
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:41 pm

After reading advice on here. I brought a EXped mat and I am very happy with it.
Sleeping bag. Match the temperature range to the usage.
Do you have a tent?
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby filippimini » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Thanks guys,

I have been reading a lot off of these pages during the last month.

mitzikatzi wrote:After reading advice on here. I brought a EXped mat and I am very happy with it.
Sleeping bag. Match the temperature range to the usage.
Do you have a tent?


The tent that I have is a Vango Tempest 200. Haven't used it yet, but i'm pretty certain it will do the trick. It's a little heavier than I would of liked, at 2.9KG, but the price was right and the reviews seem pretty good.

Whilst on the topic of tents, are two man tents really suitable for two men? I have a mate riding with me and the idea was to share. Considering its only an overnight trip I don't mind sharing, but for longer trips I think he will need his own.

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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:38 pm

A two man tent is snug with two. I like having a two man tent to myself. I have shared a 3 man tent with another. That was close enough.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:10 pm

I think it's an 'age' thing. I used to routinely share a two-man tent with friends years ago in my youth. Even did an extended tour with three in a three-man. We just crashed and slept (a few beers helped). But in recent years I have tended to take my own seperate tent and so do my mates. The Exped Vela 1 is good as it has good length, plenty of usable room to sit up, a huge vestibule, and only weighs 1.8kgs.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby filippimini » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:57 pm

Fortunately we have been sharing tents since we were kids, so it doesn't worry us too much. Especially for an over nighted
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Re: Newbie Advice - Help needed

Postby claystevens » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:02 pm

Really nice advices, though I'm not newbie anymore.
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