Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
oneten
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Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby oneten » 12 Sep 2015, 11:09pm

Just been packing today for my 3 - 4 week camping tour along North Sea Cycle Route / Monch's weg. I'm a bit ssurprised at the amount of weight - total of 25kg; 16 rear (incl tent, 1st aid kit and etc and clothes) and 8 at the front made up of small stove, spare gas canister,cooking utensils and cycle toolkit, plus bar bag with essentials. I read somewhere that a tourer shouldn't be loaded with more than 25kg max so am I setting myself up for problems?
( Did a 'dry run' with the front loaded up this afternoon and although it feels different, it handled just fine.!st leg of journey - Monday, Tilbury to Harwich).

wearwell
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby wearwell » 12 Sep 2015, 11:22pm

I gave it a lot of thought on our last trip. I'd dump the front bags and chuck out things you can't fit in the rear bags. Front bags can be tiring due to a sort of pendulum effect - you may find yourself working against them especially on hills.
Then add a light ruc-sac / back-pack, empty, folded up under a bungee, for the various temporary extras you might pick up en route - bread, wine, tins of cassoulet etc.
We've always carried more than we need and have reduced it year by year.

irc
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby irc » 12 Sep 2015, 11:31pm

My camping touring kit in 4 panniers is around 15kg No bar bag. That's including a netbook and charger.

25kg is really too much. No idea where all your weight is though.

I've no full kit list but noted the following weights for each pannier before a tour across the USA. Weights include the panniers.

Rear Right, sleeping bag, duvet jacket, waterproofs, cable lock, bifocal sunglasses. 3.3kg

Front Right, kitchen, toiletries, first aid 2.9kg

Rear Left, spare clothes, toolkit, 3.7kg

Front Left, passport, maps, electronics (netbook, charger, camera charger), . 3.0kg

Rack Top, tent, footprint, sleeping mat 2.7kg

if I ditched the netbook I could just about get everything in 2 rear panniers and lose the weight of a front rack and panniers. I like having plenty space in the rears though for stocking up with food/water for long sections between shops. Also just not having to be too careful about packing is good. Know which pannier an item goes in and ust stuff it in.

psmiffy
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby psmiffy » 13 Sep 2015, 8:55am

25kg is OK - dont worry about it - people write lots of things secure in their own beliefs - NSR is hardly the most mountainous route - if it handles OK - and you have packed what you want to take then go for it

borisface
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby borisface » 13 Sep 2015, 9:44am

In my view anything you can't fit in a carradice longflap should stay at home

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 13 Sep 2015, 9:49am

psmiffy wrote:25kg is OK - dont worry about it - people write lots of things secure in their own beliefs - NSR is hardly the most mountainous route - if it handles OK - and you have packed what you want to take then go for it


+1 especially at this time of year when you need lots of 'in case' stuff. My Surly DT actually handles much better with front panniers. Tracks like a tram!

robing
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby robing » 13 Sep 2015, 9:57am

psmiffy wrote:25kg is OK - dont worry about it - people write lots of things secure in their own beliefs - NSR is hardly the most mountainous route - if it handles OK - and you have packed what you want to take then go for it

Agreed. So long as the weight is evenly distributed and the bike handles fine, no problem. I carry about 17Kg but my cooking stuff is fairly minimal lightweight stuff.

beardy
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby beardy » 13 Sep 2015, 10:12am

I would not choose to tour with 25Kg, nor would I choose to tour from a longflap at this time of year.

Both of course are quite possible but I think the optimum will be somewhere between the two.
Many of us who are interested in cycle touring will have acquired stuff that brings the weight and volume down quite considerably but has cost (quite) some money.

Often clothing is the best place to start reassessing your kit list if you want to bring down weight.

I am a minimalist style of camper who doesnt want to carry much kit, others are happier to load themselves up with everything that they fancy. Both styles have their benefits and drawbacks.

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simonineaston
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby simonineaston » 13 Sep 2015, 10:18am

I aim for 8kg, some don't mind 25 - others can't abide the thought of anything over 5... you'll find your own level.
Me and some chums did The West Country Way and when it became clear chum x had waaaaayyy too much stuff with him, he simply packed up the things he realised he wasn't going to need (like 2 separate full bottles of shower gel...) and sent them off home via Parcel Force - genius!
Last edited by simonineaston on 13 Sep 2015, 2:51pm, edited 3 times in total.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

22camels
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby 22camels » 13 Sep 2015, 10:21am

This is the ultimate 'it depends' question.

Perhaps people should be a bit more clear if they are including the weight of the empty containers (panniers, bar bag, any other bags) when making comparisons. On my most recent trip the containers (front+rear panniers, bar bag, small frame bag, saddle bag, dry bag bungeed to rack) weighed 4.4kg. That's not counting the racks and mounts (an additional 1.3kg).

pwa
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby pwa » 13 Sep 2015, 10:25am

I recently cycled around Provence with my wife and daughter, carrying camping gear, and I had a similar weight to carry. Possibly a little less. It was fine. The important thing is to give it a test ride (as you have done) to make sure your weight distribution gives stable handling. I found that imbalance in the front panniers (perhaps not surprisingly) produced low speed wobble and needed correcting.

One thing that surprised me was that I could cycle steadily up cols without too much extra huffing and puffing. I went a bit slower than I would have without the baggage, but low gearing allowed me to keep ticking over without discomfort. Very little suffering was involved. On flat terrain I rolled at a good speed. 15mph was easily sustained over prolonged sections. Downhill, I reckon I did 40mph+ in places.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Sep 2015, 10:41am

Shirley the answer is when it begins to detract from one's enjoyment and/or the reliability of one's bike, the latter affecting the former, of course.

If neither's the case, carry what you like.

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meic
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby meic » 13 Sep 2015, 10:59am

I did a tour this spring and the weight got caught in a feedback loop. My normal lightweight minimalist set up wasnt adequate for extended camping and the additional stock to cope with a longer period in a wide range of weather conditions.

One thing caused another and weight and volume just kept increasing. Yet as I was out of Wales it was not the weight that held me back but the wind resistance of all my luggage.

Dont forget you will need room for supplies that you buy on route and your water (and beer) will add to the weight.

As an example my pocket rocket and 250g cylinder was replaced by a Primus stove with a Primus Fuel bottle and an additional plastic bottle with 750cc of paraffin. Plus a 300cc bottle of meths to refill the primer bottle.
The CF front forks were replaced by touring forks, rack and dynamo, there was over another Kg. 2Kg by the time you add panniers.

On the plus side, four panniers and large saddlebag meant I always had lots of space for easy packing with very simple organisation and plentiful food stocks. As ever many of my clothes went unworn.

In a way the different luggage styles will reinforce themselves. Lots of kit leading to lots of stops and time not riding using the kit. Very little kit means you have nothing else/better to do than just keep riding. :lol:
Yma o Hyd

pwa
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby pwa » 13 Sep 2015, 12:41pm

My recent tour was carried out in mainly sunny, warm conditions, but we did have two days of iffy weather with occasional heavy / torrential rain. That allowed me to test, in adverse conditions, my theory that only one pair of lycra, padded cycle shorts is necessary. I washed them after each day's ride and did what I could to get them dry for the next morning. Even in the wettest weather I was able to get the pad dry(ish) for the next day. The same applied to my solitary cycle vest and jersey. I was similarly sparing with off-the-bike clothing, taking very little and choosing items that were very light and made of quick drying fabrics. So not much cotton.

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Audax67
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby Audax67 » 13 Sep 2015, 1:15pm

It wasn't exactly touring, but for a chum of mine 20 kilos was too much for PBP. He reached Loudéac, slept for 9 hours, woke up out of time and took the train home.
Have we got time for another cuppa?