Touring advice?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Mountain Bike Hash Forum : One Thread
I remembered you used to do cycling tours around UK (if I'm correct) during your student days. Well, I'm planning to take a trip to the Lake District this summer, somewhere between my project period and electives. Generally, what are the things to consider while touring with your bike? I understand that your bike has some eyelets to install panniers...mine doesn't. Or do I need them in the first place? What about stuff to bring etc etc. bearing in mind that I'll be going uphills and downhills like a roller coaster, so weight is an important consideration.
Any help/comment is much appreciated. Cheers.
-- Matt (email@example.com), April 05, 2002
Amir was the one who cycled around UK and in Europe. He'll be able to provide much useful information.
But here are some pointers from my own experience of cycling in the tropics:
- You can use backpacks instead of panniers. But the added weight can make your bum sore if you are not used to it.
- Panniers will not add to the discomfort of your bum.
- Panniers will change the handling of your bike. It will feel very slow, but you will get used to it within 1 hour of riding.
- You can't jump if you have loaded panniers. You can with a backpack.
- Roll-top waterproof panniers are expensive. You can waterproof the contents of your bag by putting them into a bin liner before putting them into your bag.
- If you are cycling with a friend, you can save weight by distributing spares etc between yourselves. Eg, you can share 1 spare tyre, 1 extra chain, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 first aid kit, 1 lock.
- If your bike does not have eyelets for a rack, you can use adapter clamps. These clamp around the seatstays and onto the rack. Any good bike shop in the UK will carry them. It's probably not as secure as bolting the rack directly onto the frame, though.
- Remember to check the bolts on the rack every day. High frequency bumps can loosen them pretty quickly. Better yet, use Blue Loctite to secure the bolts.
I understand that there are some really good technical off-road rides in the Lake District. If you are planning off-road touring, then a pannier is not suitable. What type of riding exactly will you be doing?
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 07, 2002.
Matt, I've toured all over the world and the best panniers I've ever found are Ortlieb. They are completely waterproof, easier on and off than most, fit well to most racks and, contrary to what Joe said, are no more expensive than any other brands. If you have a front shock, front panniers are out. If you don't, they are a nice way to even out the load if you're going to be camping. If you're not camping and have enough stuff that the rear bags are full, you've got too much stuff!! The best touring tires you can get for mt. bikes (in my humble opinion) are Continental Town & Country's. One pair took me from Cape Town to Tel Aviv. They'll do fine on pavement or gravel. If you plan to ride some muddy single track, bring along a knobby for the rear. The rolling resistance of knobbies on the road will really slow you down, especially if you're worried about those rolling hills. Lastly, if you're going to be putting in more than 40 km per day DO NOT CARRY A BACKPACK!! Not only will it be incredibly uncomfortable, it can do serious damage to your back.
-- David Loveland (email@example.com), April 17, 2002.
I agree with David on the Ortlieb panniers. I own two sets, and they are da bomb. But compared to cheap Taiwanese nylon panniers, they are pricey (bought mine for RM800). They are, however, good value if you are looking for a set to last a lifetime of cyclo-touring.
-- Joe Adnan (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2002.