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You should be able to get over the Sierras on the the Western Express route. It crosses the mountains at Carson Pass which the state tries to keep open year round. There's currently 10' of snow up there and it's open now.
My current set up is:
-Vangoo Banshee 200 tent: weighs 2.3kgs or 5.07 pounds.
-standard summer season sleeping bag.
-Thermarest blow up mattress.
Get a bike with low gearing no matter what. Triple crankset. Or one of those compact cranks with big cassette cogs. Or maybe one of those mountain bike double cranks with a tiny inner cog.
I've wondered about this for a while. I'm old, slow, and heavy, so I've got gears down to 20 gear inches on all my bikes, even the one without racks, so I can climb some ridiculous hills when it's hot and I'm tired. But some people recommend doubles for touring with light loads. At what point of youth, fitness, and light load does a 27-30 gear inch low become a viable option for touring?
I run my barcons in friction mode and switch seamlessly between 8, 9, and 10 speed cassettes.
You would then get out your 3mm Allen wrench and tighten them.Details, details, it's a 4mm allen wrench.
They can come loose and fall out in the weeds.
Basically the Pugsley is incorrect for almost all riding. Unless you plan to ride the beaches from Seattle to San Diego. Or maybe ride the Rocky Mountain trail in the middle of winter and need some flotation for the snow.That seems a bit harsh Russ. Never tried one myself but I've read where some people prefer them to regular bikes for single track and e.g. gravel logging roads. But I agree they don't appear to be very good for the ACA sort of touring on roads.
36 x 11 using 29" x 2.3" tires = 94.7 gear inches and gives just over 25mph @ 90rpm.
So odds are I will be coasting downhill, and on the flat I definitely will not be pedaling a loaded bike at anything like 25mph unless there is a very strong wind behind me.
In fact there are quite a few factory offerings now with 2x MTB drivelines. They are marketed as adventure bikes and are redefining touring bikes. They are equipped for touring nonetheless, with alternative driveline arrangements, fender and rack mounts and multiple bidon mounts, with frame clearance for decent sized tires too. There are a just few examples listed here.
2016 Buyer's Guide: Best Adventure Bikes