Author Topic: How many cloths for a tour?  (Read 2151 times)

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Offline o2kayak

How many cloths for a tour?
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:36:01 pm »
I’m kind of new to bicycle touring and I take to many cloths? How much and what type of cloths do other cyclist take?
I am leaving June from Illinois to the Portland - Seattle areas using the Katy Trail, connector route, TA, L&C, and PC route.

Thanks

Offline John Nelson

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 08:08:15 pm »
There's a lot of room for personal preference here. But I'll respond as if you had asked about the least amount of clothes you can get away with.

You need one pair of on-bike clothes. For most people, this is a pair of bike shorts, a jersey and a pair of socks. I think most people would take a second pair of socks and a second pair of shorts so that they could rinse out a set each night and be sure of having a dry pair in the morning, or have a clean pair in case you don't have enough water to rinse them out.

You need one pair of off-bike clothes. This means a shirt, a pair of pants, socks and underwear. If your pants have zip-off legs, you can make them do for both long and short pants. If you use cycling shoes to ride, you probably also want a lightweight pair of shoes, which might just be sandals or flip-flops.

Most people want some sort of protection from the rain. A lightweight rain jacket will do. Some people like rain pants too, but many people do not take a pair.

Everything else depends on how cold it will get on your trip. Get the average highs and lows for the places you will go through. I wouldn't worry much about record highs and lows, since you can't prepare for everything. I like to figure out what the coldest expected temperature will be and then take enough clothes so that I'll be okay if I put all the clothes I brought (cycling and non-cycling) on at the same time.

Offline staehpj1

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 03:56:09 am »
John's answer is on target.  There is lots of room for personal preference though.

My list for my last tour in a locale that was likely to be colder than yours:
  • Bike shorts - 1 pair Pearl Izumi Attack Ultrasensor (sometimes I have taken two pairs)
  • Tights - Cheap ones with no chamois
  • Jersey - 1 short sleeved
  • Warm shirt - Immersion Research (medium weight pile)
  • Tee shirt - UA Heat Gear
  • Down vest (mostly used as pillow) - cheap one from Cabelas
  • Bike hat
  • Cap - Novara Thermal Tech Beanie
  • Rain jacket - Ultralight Sierra designs (7.5 ounces)
  • Rain pants- Ultralight Sierra designs (7.5 ounces) I used these as my only long pants, but on some other trips I took light weight zip off leg pants.
  • Running shorts - Nike DriFit
  • Bike Shoes
  • Off bike shoes- I got by fine after my Crocs disappeared so I might consider skipping them for some locales, but on a trip with more hiking I might want either Crocs or ultra light trail runners

Offline misterflask

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 06:31:11 pm »
My simplistic approach:
Figure out what you would wear on the coldest day.  Bring that.
Add some extra socks,shorts, and a shirt so they can be drying after a wash at any given time.
Add rain gear.
Add some shoes other than your cycling shoes.

Offline John Nelson

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 07:34:05 pm »
My simplistic approach:
Figure out what you would wear on the coldest day.  Bring that.
Add some extra socks,shorts, and a shirt so they can be drying after a wash at any given time.
Add rain gear.
Add some shoes other than your cycling shoes.
+1
Simple and to the point. Although the rain gear can serve as clothes to wear while washing the others. My approach to laundry is to wash a couple of items each night in the sink--I almost never wash everything at once.

Offline carolbergson

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 09:59:32 am »
For the minimalist:
Two pair of bike shorts.  If your shorts don't dry overnight you will get industrial strength blisters in places you never knew you could blister.  I ended up bent over a MD's table having my butt debrided while ordering a second pair of shorts to be drop-shipped to our next stop.  It was not a pretty sight...metaphysically either. 

Two pair of bike socks, unless you wear sandals in which case 1 pair will do.

Layers for the top, one of each layer.  Who cares if they get wet.  If it rains, you can always wear a rain jacket with nothing underneath.

One set of off bike clothes including shorts, shirt, 2 undies, sandals. You can always used outter layers of cycling clothes off the bike in bad weather. 

Believe it or not, the only difference for women is a dress with built in bra for off the bike and a few pairs of earrings and maybe a shawl for dress up occasions. 

We have gone for three weeks with nothing else.  I'd rather carry tools, a tire, a few spokes, a camera, kindle and FOOD.

Offline awbikes

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 11:05:46 pm »
I just finished a trial packing of my clothes, shoes and toilet items for a pacific northwest trip in June. I use light to mid-weight hiking/outdoor gear for in town wear and to supplement as some base layer riding gear. With the exception of bike shorts of which I packed two pairs (for reasons stated by Carol) and one riding jersey.

Off bike shoes are Crocs which are surprisingly light and comfortable, light weight but high quality rain jacket serves dual purpose on/off bike. Synthetic base layer long sleeve tee shirt and short sleeve tee, light weight fleece jacket and zip-off leg shorts. One pair undershorts, two pair socks.

My entire kit including toiletries easily fits in a single small Ortlieb Sport Packer front pannier and including the pannier weighs in at approx. 8 lbs. Note:(this weight and packing space does not count one set of the above clothes as you will always be wearing something.

Offline indyfabz

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 03:19:06 pm »
and one riding jersey.

And if it gets wet and doesn't dry over night and it's cold the next morning? I have toured in WA in late May twice. So glad I had two jerseys. Starting out in the low 40s wearing a wet jersey would not have been fun even with a layer or layers over it.

Offline John Nelson

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 06:13:25 pm »
If my jersey is still wet in the morning and it is too cold to wear a wet jersey, then I just wear something else. Also, if I know it's going to be cold in the morning and I'm not sure my jersey will dry overnight, then I don't wash it.

Everyone's experiences are different, but I have put on wet shorts in the morning with no bad consequences. It's not much different than riding in the rain, which is sometimes unavoidable on tour.

Offline tonythomson

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 01:02:11 am »
Go with the minimum and don't forget you can always buy cheap jumpers etc if things turn too nasty. Drop them in a thrift shop when it improves.  My "wardrobe" regularly changes on tour except for the very basics.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline indyfabz

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 06:54:38 am »
Also, if I know it's going to be cold in the morning and I'm not sure my jersey will dry overnight, then I don't wash it.

Of course, but washing isn't the only thing that makes a jersey wet. If I get a cold rain between Rockport and Colonial Creek and it stays damp and wet the entire day, the next day I don't want to start to climb the North Cascades Highway in sub-40 temps wearing a wet jersey (or shorts or socks) just to save what amounts to a negligible fraction of the toal bike, body and bag weight. Even a smaller fraction when you add the rest of the gear. Even more unappealing when you throw in rain and then snow during the climb. But of course, YMMV.

Offline staehpj1

Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 08:10:52 am »
Personally...
I have not found starting with damp shorts or jersey to be a huge hardship other than actually putting them on in the morning and that discomfort can be avoided by warming them in the sleeping bag with you for a bit.  If they are really wet I would keep them in a waterproof stuff sack or zip lock while warming them.  Most of the time I just grit my teeth and put them on cold though.  If it is chilly I put my coated nylon jacket on over the jersey and am soon warm.  If it is really cold I also wear a pile sweater.