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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:24 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am
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Location: A veritable floating palace
I've done a lot of MTB touring with all sorts of bikes and levels of equipment, from a sandwich to four pannier bags. My touring mountain bikes have tended to end up looking like my current commuter:

Image

If you can get over the oldfartinum image, a Carradice saddlebag is adequate for touring, and there's no need for a rack.

A front rack is good for a tent, but you can't put a lot of weight on it, and it stops you from seeing what the front wheel is doing. The Minoura rack on this bike is too big to be useful; a rack this size needs to be fixed to the frame so it doesn't move with the handlebars.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:30 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 419
Another option is 'bikepacking' bags; basically bags that attach directly to your frame. They are most popular in the US for long-distance rides like the Tour Divide. Bikepack.pl seem to be the cheapest.

Image

PROS: By far the lightest system, much narrower than panniers so easy to ride singletrack, you can keep the weight towards the centre of the bike rather than hanging over the back or front wheel so they hardly affect handling.
CONS: More expensive - framebags £60+, seatpacks are £70+, handlebar slings and fuel tanks can be similarly expensive. Since it's a relatively new thing, they aren't easy to find secondhand.

I have used bikepack.pl bags (seatpack and fuel tank, DIY'ed my framebag) on a few overnighters and multi-day trips and found them to be very good: sleeping bag goes in a heavy-duty compression sack and gets strapped to the bars; tent and clothes go in the seatpack; more clothes, tools, food and cook-kit (i.e. the heavy stuff) go in the framebag to keep the weight central. The fuel tank bag is great for snacks and camera/phone.

If you're handy with a sewing machine, they are pretty easy to make. I did a framebag in a day. There are loads of guides on the internet.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:35 am 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Looking at dirt cheap two wheeled kiddie trailers on eBay or is this a bad idea? Thinking road.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:49 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am
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Location: A veritable floating palace
It'll be ok if you're on the road, but forget it if you have to go off-road or onto a pavement. I have one you can have for not much (converted it with a big piece of ply as a load bed).


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:17 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
Posts: 5663
Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
lae wrote:
Another option is 'bikepacking' bags; basically bags that attach directly to your frame. They are most popular in the US for long-distance rides like the Tour Divide. Bikepack.pl seem to be the cheapest.

Image

PROS: By far the lightest system, much narrower than panniers so easy to ride singletrack, you can keep the weight towards the centre of the bike rather than hanging over the back or front wheel so they hardly affect handling.
CONS: More expensive - framebags £60+, seatpacks are £70+, handlebar slings and fuel tanks can be similarly expensive. Since it's a relatively new thing, they aren't easy to find secondhand.

I have used bikepack.pl bags (seatpack and fuel tank, DIY'ed my framebag) on a few overnighters and multi-day trips and found them to be very good: sleeping bag goes in a heavy-duty compression sack and gets strapped to the bars; tent and clothes go in the seatpack; more clothes, tools, food and cook-kit (i.e. the heavy stuff) go in the framebag to keep the weight central. The fuel tank bag is great for snacks and camera/phone.

If you're handy with a sewing machine, they are pretty easy to make. I did a framebag in a day. There are loads of guides on the internet.


See the bag that fits in the triangle, there? My brother used to live in Tanzania and they would make up stuff like that, I assume it was fairly cheap - my brother asked me to send him the lengths of the internal side of the tubes, including angles, and he had one made up for me, and brought it back, when he was next over.

It's made of quite robust kind of canvas, and seems sturdy and resilient, although it's not pretty. It was made specifically for the dimensions of my 95 DB Apex, though, so really only truly suits that frame. Something to consider using when I eventually get my ass into gear and go walkabout with my bike - I have a 2nd identical 95 DB Apex I'm in process of building up as something of a hack / bitsa build, that may be just ideal for touring. Only downsides, are the TT-Lite frames and forks from that year don't have any eyelets or mounts for guards or racks, anywhere (even the seat-stay bridge doesn't have the normal hole through it).


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:31 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
Posts: 1785
Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
lae wrote:
Another option is 'bikepacking' bags; basically bags that attach directly to your frame. They are most popular in the US for long-distance rides like the Tour Divide. Bikepack.pl seem to be the cheapest.

Image

PROS: By far the lightest system, much narrower than panniers so easy to ride singletrack, you can keep the weight towards the centre of the bike rather than hanging over the back or front wheel so they hardly affect handling.
CONS: More expensive - framebags £60+, seatpacks are £70+, handlebar slings and fuel tanks can be similarly expensive. Since it's a relatively new thing, they aren't easy to find secondhand.

I have used bikepack.pl bags (seatpack and fuel tank, DIY'ed my framebag) on a few overnighters and multi-day trips and found them to be very good: sleeping bag goes in a heavy-duty compression sack and gets strapped to the bars; tent and clothes go in the seatpack; more clothes, tools, food and cook-kit (i.e. the heavy stuff) go in the framebag to keep the weight central. The fuel tank bag is great for snacks and camera/phone.

If you're handy with a sewing machine, they are pretty easy to make. I did a framebag in a day. There are loads of guides on the internet.


:? Where do the 2 x drink bottles go?


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:34 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
chris667 wrote:
It'll be ok if you're on the road, but forget it if you have to go off-road or onto a pavement. I have one you can have for not much (converted it with a big piece of ply as a load bed).


Pm incoming


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:01 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:32 pm
Posts: 405
Location: London, UK
Here's an easy alternative to traditional bike touring. If you follow the more popular European routes, such as the Danube tow path, you will find tour companies that will supply a bike, hotels and move your luggage from one hotel to the next. All you need to carry is a small pannier for daytime essentials.

Here is an example http://www.donaureisen.at/en/bike-route ... au-vienna/

A few years ago I rode from Passau in Germany, through Austria to Vienna and on to Brattislava. It was all done at a leisurely pace, covering about 40-50 miles on average along easy tracks and pathways. Best of all, it is downhill (but not by much).
The bikes were solid tourer style items, mine was a 7 speed with 700c x 38 Schwalbe anti-puncture tyres and reasonable brakes. Neither bike had any issues for the duration of the journey. We were able to get cheap flights on RyanAir to Vienna and had to get a single ticket by train to Passau for the start. I think overall it cost less than £800 in total per person and we got to see a lot of places.

I would highly recommend it for families or anyone who is feeling a little soft around the middle and likes a few creature comforts.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:29 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 419
Woz wrote:
:? Where do the 2 x drink bottles go?

My framebag left space for one drink bottle in a side-entry cage, and had pockets for two 1ltr collapsible bottles. Enough for UK/most of Europe, but if you're touring in more remote locations I suppose you might want a second cage on the underside of the downtube.

A lot of people use hydration packs... I'm not sure how good they are for extended touring since they are somewhat difficult to clean. Other people mount cages to fork lowers which brings its own problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro MTB Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:59 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11105
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Job done!
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