Mr.Benton wrote: ↑11 Jan 2022, 6:18pm
s130 wrote: ↑10 Jan 2022, 8:39pm
Initially I was hoping to get a bike which might bridge both gravel / bikepacking and also for this longer tour but from your responses and further deliberation I don't think this would be appropriate as I don't think a bike appropriate to gravel / bikepacking will fit my requirements for this trip and so will probably go all in for a full-on tourer (thanks @pwa)
Mr.Benton wrote: ↑29 Dec 2021, 5:37pm
those on thin tyres really struggled on the rough surfaces. I would also go for low gears as the hills were tough. I would also look at the luggage carrying capability of the bike, towards the bottom of Chile the supply points were up to 4 days cycling apart.
I was wondering how wide your tyres would need to be at a minimum do you think (friend is thinking about taking his current bike so looking at tyre clearance). Also any thoughts on gear inches in particular that you would recommend? Really useful to know re supplies, any thoughts on water carrying capacity (will take a purifier)? Thanks!
It is difficult to say what the minimum width of tyres would suit, but one cyclist I met was on a Genesis TDF which comes with 700x37c tyres and he managed OK. I wouldn't want to go narrower than this.
Regarding gear inches, my lowest gear was 24T at the front and 34 at the back which gives an 18.4 gear inches, there were a few times when I wanted a lower gear.
I took two 0.75L water bottles and this was enough. there were plenty of streams to fill up from, and I used a water filter when I thought it was necessary. I also had a water bladder to use a camp, this saved me running out of water when cooking tea and breakfast
My route was San Carlos Bariloche -> El Bolson -> Cholila->Esquel->Trevelin->Futaleufu->Villa Santa Lucia->La Junta->Puyuhapi->Coyhaique->Puerto Tranquilo->Cochrane->Villa O'Higgins. The remote sections were Coyhaique to Peurto Tranquilo and Cochrane and Villa O'Higgins.
Most of the route I carried 2 days food and there was plenty of places to stop and replenish. Although I say 2 days food it was often the case that I bought a bag of pasta or cereal and it would last 4 or more days, it wasn't possible to buy smaller packets. It was on the remote sections that I would carry a full 4 days of food.
with my 16.7 g.i low (which I would have thought to be overkill) on the Central America trip, there were a handful of times where I could barely get up stuff even with this gear. One time in particular was in Costa Rica, so I had been on the road for about 2 months, so pretty good legs, but I had to stand and zig zag , stop when my heart was about to go pop, wait and do some more. It was most likely well over 20, maybe 25%, I have no clue, but I was completely surprised by how I couldnt ride up it without stopping, even standing.
This is an exception, but where really low gearing like mine is nice is for all those times when you are tired or hungry or feeling sick, and its just nice to be able to downshift and spin slowly up something. Being on loose surfaces and offroad stuff will mean less standing, and more chance of wheel spinning and or wallowing due to soft stuff, so a good low gear really does have its advantages.
I can't emphasize how happy I was with my triple setup, 44/32/22 and 11-34 and 2inch tires, over numerous trips. Tire choice really does depend on what surfaces you expect to be the majority, my tires were slicks basically, as I figured I'd mostly be on asphalt, and the dirt stuff I was on was perfectly fine for me with those tires, lowered pressures and they were good. They are Schwalbe Supremes, and I was extremely happy with them for wear, ride quality and coping with various surfaces---BUT I also was aware that chunky monkey sharp rocked roads would not be the best place for them.
There are all kinds of tire options out there for tread and sidewall toughness. The Supremes were great for me, no flats over 3 major trips, about 10,000kms on them too, which is pretty damn good in my opinion and more than I expected out of them.
ps, I carried a couple of spare water bottles in a rear pannier, a 2L and a 1 L, plus I had a couple of folding water bladders as backup, but really didnt need to use (wanted to have them in case we ended up doing some far off remote stuff, which we didnt really do)
I steripened water each morning from taps, and put in my bike bottles and store bought water bottles in my pannier, to always have extra water, mostly due to it sometimes being really damn hot and I hate running low on water. Small stores and gas stations usually were around to buy some cold drinks, which is really nice on super hot long days.