How much to take on an audax?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
jamesxyz
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How much to take on an audax?

Postby jamesxyz » 6 Oct 2018, 6:43pm

I'm moving into audax over longer distances (200-600km) so want to buy a saddle bag to accommodate extra kit than a normal day ride of 50-100 miles. How large a bag to people general have for these 3 litres, 8 litres, more??

PH
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby PH » 6 Oct 2018, 7:42pm

Depends on the weather and how much of an issue getting it wrong would be. So for a summer 200 with little chance of rain I'll be carrying basic tools , pump and spare tube, lock, plus a bit of food. For any winter ride, I'll take what's needed for the worst case scenario, I'll judge it ride by ride. I use the traditional Audaxers Carradice saddlebag, either 9 or 15 ltr, you don't have to fill them, but remember you may want to remove layers and need somewhere to put them.
I've done a few where the larger bag has been stuffed full and some other riders have everything in their pockets, take what you think you need, refine it as you go. Despite what people may think carrying an extra kilo or two is unlikely to spoil your ride, though not having something you need to be comfortable might.

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meic
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby meic » 6 Oct 2018, 8:22pm

I use a similar amount.
The 11 Litre rackpack in better weather or the 15L saddlebag in more changeable weather which is way more than enough but makes life easy.
This means that jackets can be stuffed in rather than strapped on, plenty of food can be carried and I often have a spare tyre too.
A friend carries a flask in his too.

Most people carry less than this.
Yma o Hyd

Vitara
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby Vitara » 6 Oct 2018, 8:42pm

For shorter events and good weather I find the 9 litre carradice super c audax is enough
Longer rides and changeable weather and I use a 15 litre nelson. I work on the principle that I'd rather have extra kit/clothes that I don't need, than need kit and not have it. Obviously you don't want to be loaded down with the weight of extra kit, but I don't find that a few extra Kg makes a significant difference to my speed.

On longer rides having a slightly bigger bag with spare space also makes it quicker and easier to find things when you want them. With a tightly packed small bag you can end up emptying the who bag to get something that has migrated and hidden itself right at the bottom.

I also use a small Ridge handlebar bag for things I want access quickly &/or on the move; brevet card, pen, camera, chocolate etc. It also has a handy lid holder for route notes etc. It's just big enough for a few bits and bobs but still leaves room on my bars for lights and GPS

PH
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby PH » 6 Oct 2018, 8:47pm

Another thing you might note is that the gravel/adventure/bikepacking fashion has made luggage that was once considered dorky now highly desirable. Whatever you think of the reasons for it, more choice is a good thing.

pwa
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby pwa » 6 Oct 2018, 11:51pm

There is no right answer. You see people with a small pannier and you see others with a tiny under-the-saddle pack. Best thing is to work out how little stuff you are happy to set out with, then work out what it will fit into.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Oct 2018, 3:21am

This time of year taking into account the very variable weather and likelihood of constant rain, for trips longer than 100 miles I'd probably take:

Waterproof overshoes
Spare socks
Spare gloves
spare hat if it's going to lash it down all day
a couple of self sealing bags
Small towel
maybe arm warmers + different base layer again depends on potential temp differentials and if riding through the night.

I'll easily do 50kcals/mile and prefer to take my own home prepared food as much as I can (my high protein pasties are to die for) plus a bottle of home made super concentrated energy drink that will make 4-5 bottles worth, so given the above kit I'm quite happy with a 22L single pannier that has a zipped compartment at the side.

I wouldn't bother with a lock myself but if you must a kyrpto retractable cable lock with combination is a small/lightweight deterrent or a movement alarm unit, they're around £9 and weigh a lot less than a standard lock and take up far less space.

iandriver
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby iandriver » 7 Oct 2018, 9:12am

For a 200, I'd take nothing extra over a 100. It's the ones where you are likely to ride into the night where the big temperature differences are that things get interesting (my ride last Sunday was 3 degrees at 4.30 am and got up to 17 degrees by mid day). Was jolly glad of the layers in my 15 litres of space.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

thirdcrank
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Oct 2018, 10:28am

Not on the subject of what to take, but rather how to improvise when you didn't take something, a thick layer of newspaper shoved up your jumper and if necessary down the front of your lower half can be very good. I've rifled through litter bins in my youth, but nowadays there are shops open around the clock in many areas.

There was a Helms cartoon once of a cyclist pinching the coat off a scarecrow to try to keep warm.

PH
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby PH » 7 Oct 2018, 11:40am

Take things that make you happy, after hours in wet feet the pleasure of putting on dry socks is priceless, even if I know they'll be wet again before long. A spoon or spork opens up a whole range of possibilities when you're looking for something in that petrol station, I get cravings for those pots of rice pudding that I don't eat at any other time. A toothbrush for any overnight ride...
What I'm saying is work out what you want to take, then look at how you're going to carry it and don't expect to get it right till you've made a few errors.

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SimonCelsa
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby SimonCelsa » 7 Oct 2018, 11:55am

I would say just buy a camper longflap.

Sidepockets for your tools, tubes & first aid gumpf.

Spacious interior for a change of clothes, mini pump & some grub.

Fits directly to a Brooks / SPA saddle with bag loops, no need any special support.

Good for a 100, 200, 300, 400, 600 etc etc (although I've never got as far as the etc etc).

jamesxyz
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby jamesxyz » 7 Oct 2018, 2:16pm

That's great, thanks all. I've done 200KM rides in the summer with only a small saddle pack as part of a group but I knew Id need something bigger for longer / colder rides.
ANyone got experience of this or something similar.? https://www.evanscycles.com/ortlieb-bik ... k-EV276883

I'd prefer this style to a traditional saddle pack.

Whippet
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby Whippet » 7 Oct 2018, 3:18pm

I use the 13 litre Super C rack bag, purely for the reason that if it was good enough for Steve Abraham during his annual mileage record attempt, then it’s good enough for me.

PH
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby PH » 7 Oct 2018, 3:32pm

jamesxyz wrote:ANyone got experience of this or something similar.? https://www.evanscycles.com/ortlieb-bik ... k-EV276883

I'd prefer this style to a traditional saddle pack.

Very fashionable :wink:
pros - some aerodynamic advantage
cons - you may need to empty it to get at the item at the bottom, doesn't read like much of an issue, you may think otherwise if that item is you spare tube and it's 3am and raining... Also if you mount your bike by throwing your leg over the saddle, don't forget the bag is higher - or do if you want to amuse the other dozen riders in the petrol station (and no, you can't get back on quickly and ride off and hope no one noticed :lol:)

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The utility cyclist
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Re: How much to take on an audax?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Oct 2018, 6:28pm

Quite, have a fat sausage hanging off your seatpost isn't something that appeals to me but can see why they're useful for racing type bikes without eyelets etc. That said you can buy a standard design pannier rack to a frame without eyelets easily enough and that doesn't involve P clips :D