Question for seasoned tourers

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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foxyrider
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby foxyrider » 17 Feb 2015, 11:32am

On my first 'big' tour (three weeks between Bonn and Salzburg - don't ask, its a long story!) i had far too much stuff! too much clothing, too many spares, too bulky stuff. It all weighed in at a leg breaking 40+kg. I had 2 punctures, some of the kit never left the bags and spares - bar tape? pannier hooks? you really would think i was crossing Asia Minor!

Ten years on (and admittedly some £1000 poorer) i take @ 13kg (bags included). A lot of the money has gone towards, better quality lighter weight kit and stuff i don't need doesn't travel. The bike has a full strip down service, new cables, brake blocks etc before departure - prevention is better than cure, the tool kit can handle just about anything up to bearing removal but weighs just 150g (i've fitted self extracting crank bolts, i carry an emergency spoke so no need to remove cassette) If i can't get myself to the next town with a bike shop it really will be a major failure! The spares now run to 2 tubes, loads of patches, a tyre boot or 2, one each gear/brake cables and one set of brake pads - if i need more than this there are shops!

The camping kit has reduced in volume, increased in performance and lost 5kg! I don't really cook so i just take a kettle for drinks and dehydrated stuff and use Orikaso crockery as its light and folded flat takes no space in the bags. My Windmaster stove fits inside the kettle for transport. Everything in the bags is sorted into seperate storage 'pods', wash kit, cook kit, first aid - easy to find and i don't lose stuff. The only spares for kit i carry now are a couple of extra tent pegs.

Clothing - i probably take more than a lot of people here but i do go to restaurants and 'attractions' when i'm away! So three sets of cycling kit, off bike trousers, fleece and a couple of t's (not cotton but hiking style) plus off bike footwear. In addition there's a race cape, Goretex over shoes, leg warmers, buff and maybe a wide brim hat (depends where i'm headed). Barbag carries all the valuables. If i need extra clothing - well its not happened yet!

Yes its spread around 4 bags but it could all fit in 2 with space to spare but i prefer to have extra space for food/souvenirs and to spread the bulk/weight around the bike. (last year i bought several books, extra sandals etc.) I often send route expired guides/maps and souvenirs home by post - even dirty kit i don't need towards the end of a trip, it doesn't cost much and especially when i'm flying is a good way to avoid excess baggage charges.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

pwa
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby pwa » 17 Feb 2015, 12:47pm

Take spare rear wheel drive side spokes, a mini too to get your cassette off (Spa Cycles?), a spoke key, and the knowledge of how to use these things. Broken spokes are a common problem on tour but can be fixed in half an hour if you have the right bits (don't weigh much) and a little knowledge.

whoof
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby whoof » 17 Feb 2015, 1:09pm

I use this stove for camping in France
http://www.leisuredepot.co.uk/coleman-2 ... tAodaHkA_w
Not because it's great but because it's the one you can buy gas for at every supermarket and the cannister can be removed from the stove for packing.

For two people camping and cooking in France in summer for two weeks we take IN TOTAL 2 Ortleib rear panniers, two Carradice front panniers and two bar bags. Just to avoid any confusion that's not each but shared between two. There is also plenty of space in the panniers for food.

Stuff I would recommend to take in addition to more obvious things.
String (washing line, securing stuff on the rear rack and emergency repairs).
Travel wash. Sort of, just normal clothes washing liquid in a small plastic bottle.
Cable ties.
Stuff to add flavour to cooking; curry powder, salt, pepper, small screw top plastic bottles of olive oil and chilli sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce sachets.
Something light to wear on your feet when you have stopped riding, I use flip flops.
A buff.
In the mountains, some gloves.
Chain oil. I take 1 ml in a plastic 'seed bottle' designed for chemical solutions. Enough for two chains and weights 2 g. Useful if it's lashed it down with rain for a couple of days and washed the chain dry.
http://www.aliexpress.com/promotion/hom ... otion.html
Speedos for swimming instead of board shorts a lot smaller/lighter. Most French pools have rules (not always enforced) saying you must wear these rather than shorts.

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foxyrider
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby foxyrider » 17 Feb 2015, 1:10pm

pwa wrote:Take spare rear wheel drive side spokes, a mini too to get your cassette off (Spa Cycles?), a spoke key, and the knowledge of how to use these things. Broken spokes are a common problem on tour but can be fixed in half an hour if you have the right bits (don't weigh much) and a little knowledge.


They are only common on tour if you abuse the wheels! Last time i had a broken spoke on any bike was in 2011, the result of a shoddy shop repair in Denmark after a nipple snapped. That is the only broken spoke i've had on any touring trip in 30+ years. 8) I do take an emergency spoke after the Danish fiasco (i actually did @ 1000 miles on a 31 spoke rear wheel as i couldn't be bothered to try another shop!) but you don't need to take the cassette off to use it. :)
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Vorpal
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby Vorpal » 17 Feb 2015, 1:39pm

When I was a teenager, My brother and I used to tour quite minimalistically. We took sleeping bags and a tent, drinks canteens, a change of clothes, spare underwear, jackets, waterproof matches, a little adapter for inner tube valves, a patch kit, screw driver, needle nose pliers and a swiss army knife. We got air from stations when we needed it. Sometimes, we'd take a collapsible fishing rod and an aluminium pan. We usually took some kind of food. A loaf of bread and a block of cheese was the most common.

These days, I prefer my creature comforts :mrgreen: I take more clothes, a gas burner, something to make coffee with, and more tools.

There are some good discussion about kit on previous threads
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=85590
and
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=48438
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

simonhill
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Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Postby simonhill » 17 Feb 2015, 3:34pm

Re you Deore external bottom bracket. Mine is the original, bike is nearly 3 years old so probably done about 25,000kms. I know some people had problems, but if yours is alright why change it?

If you do any replacing, don't forget to do it in plenty of time before you go in case of teething problems.

I decided against an electric kettle on this trip. Then saw small 0.8 litre one in Tesco for 4 quid and thought of all those lovely cups of tea each morning. Bought it.