Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
daddig
Posts: 209
Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 9:01pm
Location: Tetbury
Contact:

Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby daddig » 15 May 2012, 9:51am

Hi open Question
I have toured in Europe,using a Saddle Bag(Carradice Nelson Longflap) a Carradice Bar bag and Carradice Front Panniers,for the last 10 years. Mostly camping and Helpx ing .
Now I'm thinking of expanding my sights and going further afield and for longer,eg 6 - 12 months,do I need to increase my carrying capacity and amount of kit carried because I am going further and for longer?
Currently my kit is
Saunders tent
Additional Groundsheet
Exped Sleeping Mat
Mountain Equipment 3 Season Sleeping Bag
Silk Liner
Two Merino Base Layers
Two pairs padded shorts
One pair three quarter Shorts
One pair trousers
Two pair underpants
Three pairs socks
One pair silk long johns
One Cotton Tee Shirt
One Fleece Top
One Bike Top
Gloves and mitts
Sunglasses
Reading Glasses (map reading mainly)
Cook kit (pans gas burner gas canister)changing to multi fuel.
Staple Food (pasta,oats and coffee)
Waterproof Jacket and Overshoes
Usual tools and and spare bolts etc.Reducing these as weighed what I had planned ouch.
The Touring Blogs I've looked at all seem to favour four panniers,bar bag and additional bag strapped to rear pannier frame
I don't consider myself a lightweight cyclist but looking at some of the blogs,not sure where I Fall
Water is in one .75 ltr and one 1.5 ltr bottle.
Last edited by daddig on 16 May 2012, 8:23am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike G

CoolHandLuke
Posts: 9
Joined: 27 Mar 2012, 10:14am

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby CoolHandLuke » 15 May 2012, 10:17am

personally, I would remove a pair of shorts and change the pair of trousers for a pair of trousers that the legs zip off.

I would also go with a multi burn (white gas, kerosene, unleaded auto fuel, diesel, and jet fuel) stove over gas canisters.

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby takeonafrica » 15 May 2012, 10:35am

It rather depends on where you are going.
I.e. if you need to carry food for several days and/or many litres of water, do you have space?
And if you are going remote, do you have all the repair stuff and spares you need to fix the problem and first aid kit for yourself?
You mention reading glasses, but do you have space for books? etc.
Will you be going high altitude areas and need more warm clothing?

Of course you can go light as you say, but ultimately it's whether it will enhance or hinder your trip...

Personally I would go with a setup that allows for more space than you need currently, go with the gear you normally tour with, and then you have the space if/when you need it.

What about rear panniers and handlebar bag plus a spare waterproof bag/rucksack to strap on top of rack for 'extras' if you need them, and do without the front panniers... I know of a few long distance tourers with that setup.
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 10415
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby horizon » 15 May 2012, 10:50am

Mike: I agree with the previous post about allowing space for what you need on the way (e.g. an extra fleece and the day's food shopping). In fact I would say that I am not of the "lightweight world touring" mindset: a bike and its rider, miraculously, has the ability to carry a fair weight - the things you need to make a long journey comfortable and enjoyable. I am not suggesting the vast weights that some carry but nor do I believe that ultra lightweight makes sense unless you are trying to get somewhere very fast (in which case camping makes less sense). Four panniers and a bar bag is a nice set up* and easily carried plus a bag on the rack. But I suppose this is all down to personal choice unless you are going into the wilds.

*It might look unwieldy but on the right bike it is fantastically well balanced and handles sublimely even at speed downhill.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

phil parker
Posts: 1019
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 5:09pm
Location: Hants/Wilts

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby phil parker » 15 May 2012, 11:04am

I also agree with the above posts even though I haven't done any tours of over a month - and surprisingly, your kit list is very similar to mine for UK touring.

It might be worth checking out what Vin Cox took on his round the world speed tour: http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/blog/03/09/10/vin-coxs-round-the-world-record-is-official to see if there's a compromise to be made somewhere.

I'm sure it could be done, but it is the different climates that would need some careful logistics!

simonhill
Posts: 3333
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby simonhill » 15 May 2012, 12:07pm

My first question is do you want/need to camp? This mainly depends on where you want to go.I tour extensively 'east of Suez' and never camp. In India, SE Asia, China, camping is not really an option, so a tent and all that other stuff would be superfluous.

Nonetheless, everyone's kit list is personal - yours works for you why do want to change it just because you are going further or longer. After about 2 weeks you need just the same stuff. Also remember that in a lot of cheaper countries you can buy the stuff as you need it. I have bought warm clothing in China when it got cold, then given it away.

I get by with two rear panniers although no camping equipment. One problem with too many bags is when you are off the bike, eg plane, train, bus, etc.
Last edited by simonhill on 15 May 2012, 12:08pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby meic » 15 May 2012, 12:07pm

If it is for a long time and covering many different countries, I would not plan on taking everything I need from the UK.
I dont mind buying stuff as and when I need it in foreign countries.
Which means that I do need space in my bags.

Then again I am not addicted to bike-specific clothing.

Of course your Merino can be a base layer in the cold climate and an evening jumper in the warm climate.

I am not sure if your list is incomplete because some things are obvious like mobile phone, toilet paper, maps, GPs, music. Or if you are setting of with what is on the list and nothing more.
Yma o Hyd

takeonafrica
Posts: 216
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 7:57pm
Contact:

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby takeonafrica » 15 May 2012, 6:19pm

Worth considering your cooking stuff - specific gas canisters can be hard to find in some regions. So options are
1. to carry spare canisters to get you through (extra weight).
2. take a multi-fuel stove which will burn anything
3. don't take a stove at all (just a pan is the lightest) - and either eat out, eat cold food or cook over a fire (i did the latter for many months in the African sahel where it is dry and dead wood can be found, and then bought a cheap camping gas stove as you can buy the blue canisters in most major cities in Africa, but I did carry 6 at one point i recall!)

and just thought of another - 4. make your own alcohol stove - v small and light (http://zenstoves.net/Construction.htm)

You may not need to camp, but a tent will double as a mosquito net (which is practically essential in some regions).
http://www.helenstakeon.com
Books: Desert Snow and A Siberian Winter's Tale

User avatar
PaulCumbria
Posts: 461
Joined: 23 Mar 2012, 1:52pm
Location: Kendal

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby PaulCumbria » 15 May 2012, 7:54pm

I'd agree with the suggestion you don't take more, just because you're going for longer. Change the stove for multifuel, sure, but apart from that the kitlist sounds fine. I've repeatedly toured for two months at a stretch in developing countries with no problems using a similarly brief kit. I'd consider forgetting about camping in places where accommodation is very cheap.

And don't be sucked into taking tons of spares - if your bike is in good condition when you set out, you're EXTREMELY unlikely to find yourself with the right spares if anything does go wrong. Friends doing Beijing - London on a recumbent tandem trike took tons of spares, but had to have a new rear hub airfreighted out when it collapsed. Virtually all the spares and tools came home with them - what a waste of effort! Time is your friend when going extended touring - losing a few days waiting for parts to arrive from home shouldn't be an issue, so take advantage of that.

Tools can be purchased when needed, and sold back to the seller a few hours later at virtually zero net cost.

daddig
Posts: 209
Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 9:01pm
Location: Tetbury
Contact:

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby daddig » 15 May 2012, 10:36pm

Thanks for your advice,multi fuel stove is an option I had read about and will likely go with,my list is fairly comprehensive,though I will be taking a mobile,GPS is not an option,based on cost. Spares are fairly basic nuts bolts washers tie wraps spare inner tubes (2),tools are just enough to fit all the bolts etc on the bike. Never thought of buying tools then selling them back though. I use front panniers and bar bag to balance the bike. Hadn't thought of buying clothes on the go as it were,nice idea.
My plan as such is to go through Europe and into Iran etc to China and then India,Malasia,to Brunie where my daughter will be. Minimum flying.
Bike is a Revolution Courier, the wheels are hand built Spa 26" on Deore LX hubs,drive train is based on Deore chainset,Deore gearing,tyres are Schwalbe Suprimes. So far bike apart from chain has done 2000 ml, tyres 150 ml.
Things like toilet paper etc is supplied by store toilets or public toilets,food for day is added as needed into a bag bungeed to saddle bag loops. In Europe so far this has worked ok,going further seems to require a different approach,hence my question!
Tent would seem to be usefull in first part of journey,at least until Asia?
Mike G

User avatar
Dean
Posts: 1031
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 2:40pm
Location: Darlington

Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby Dean » 16 May 2012, 10:12am

Everyone finds their own level. Some people carry loads, some get away with less. I've got a lot of stuff, for various reasons. It's cheaper to carry things I already owned (eg warm clothes) rather than buy them on the road. Having a water filter gives me more flexibility etc.

I met one guy who said he was planning to cycle around the world and carry everything in a messenger bag. Alternatively, my mate in Masshad has a photo of a Japanese tourist he met, and this little guy was carrying so much gear, I don't know how he got moving. The bike and kit must have weighed more than he did.

I've found camping easy everywhere except India and the plains of Nepal. Too many people - I either got gently discouraged from camping, or ended up with half the village watching me cook and eat. Accommodation can be had for 200 rupees (about £2.50) or a little more in most places, and it's worth it for the privacy. Rajasthan was the exception, camping in the desert there was dead easy, but Rajasthan doesn't have the population of other parts of northern India.

Iran is brilliant for camping, as long as you avoid sensitive sites (and they are pretty strict about this - military, industrial, and infrastructure such as bridges are all considered sensitive).

User avatar
Dean
Posts: 1031
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 2:40pm
Location: Darlington

Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby Dean » 16 May 2012, 10:13am

Oh, you'll need to buy bog roll once you leave Europe. And it's pretty hard to come by outside tourist areas, so don't be caught short!

willem jongman
Posts: 2095
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby willem jongman » 16 May 2012, 11:07am

I am all in favour of lightweight, and I have bored people to death with that belief, but I think that for a trip like yours both front and rear panniers is what I would take. You will need clothing for cold weather, and you will need storage capacity for quite a bit of food and water. Make sure you have good racks, and take quite a few spare tubes and tyres. You can set out on the Supremes, but they will not last the trip, so take some Mondials as well. Take a valve adapter if you are using Presta tubes, or perhaps even better drill the rim for Schraeder valves and take a little insert in case you can only get Presta tubes. Spokes in three sizes and a Next Best Thing II are also a smart thing to take.
Willem

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 5244
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby foxyrider » 16 May 2012, 6:33pm

horizon wrote: Four panniers and a bar bag is a nice set up and easily carried plus a bag on the rack.

It might look unwieldy but on the right bike it is fantastically well balanced and handles sublimely even at speed downhill.


A lot less unweildy than everything piled on the back over that poor abused rear hub!
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!

daddig
Posts: 209
Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 9:01pm
Location: Tetbury
Contact:

Re: Your Thoughts on Lightweight world touring

Postby daddig » 16 May 2012, 10:33pm

I agree everything piled on the back is unwieldy and puts a greater load on the back wheel,however spreading the load over both wheels using a saddle bag,front panniers and bar bag is how I go now what I was asking really was on a world trip do I need more carrying capacity and hence more kit!
Following from what has been said it appears to me carrying more is not necessarily the way to go!
Mike G