Author Topic: ~4,000 mi cross country tour on mountain bike?  (Read 1422 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

Re: ~4,000 mi cross country tour on mountain bike?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2014, 02:32:44 am »
But overall this is an interesting thread.

For years I have toured with rear panniers alone and an aero bar. It worked really well, however:

1. I could sometimes miss a handlebar bag for my camera, money and other valuable stuff. The main purpose of that bag would be convenience of just clicking it on-off when going to a shop for doing groceries. Also I would carry some of the "heavy" stuff in the handle bar bag so I could shift my weight ratio more properly. I have really missed that.

2. Oftentimes, maybe my rear panniers struggled with the volume so I was missing a bit of space. But it worked. Having my valuable stuff in my rear panniers in a waist belt kind of bag was always annoying because I felt I had to empty a pannier each time when going to a grocery store.

I have bought an Arkel handle bar bag and it is beautiful and I have made some small tours with it, but I feel I miss the aero bar. Then I see the Revelate bags which enable me to combine both an aero bag wih a handlebar bag. But due to their strapping system and that it basically is a roll only, I will miss the convenience of rapid "in and out" combined with multiple pocket for optimum organization.

I would be happy to hear about some solutions :-) (without hijacking this thread).

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: ~4,000 mi cross country tour on mountain bike?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2014, 05:27:12 am »
But overall this is an interesting thread.

For years I have toured with rear panniers alone and an aero bar. It worked really well, however:

1. I could sometimes miss a handlebar bag for my camera, money and other valuable stuff. The main purpose of that bag would be convenience of just clicking it on-off when going to a shop for doing groceries. Also I would carry some of the "heavy" stuff in the handle bar bag so I could shift my weight ratio more properly. I have really missed that.

2. Oftentimes, maybe my rear panniers struggled with the volume so I was missing a bit of space. But it worked. Having my valuable stuff in my rear panniers in a waist belt kind of bag was always annoying because I felt I had to empty a pannier each time when going to a grocery store.

I have bought an Arkel handle bar bag and it is beautiful and I have made some small tours with it, but I feel I miss the aero bar. Then I see the Revelate bags which enable me to combine both an aero bag wih a handlebar bag. But due to their strapping system and that it basically is a roll only, I will miss the convenience of rapid "in and out" combined with multiple pocket for optimum organization.

I would be happy to hear about some solutions :-) (without hijacking this thread).

Lucas

I have successfully tried a number of different configurations.

Everyone usually advises against it, but I have used a small light backpack on a couple long tours.  I found it to work well and be very convenient.  I keep to two or three pounds most of the time and have the things I want to always keep with me in it.  I started out using it for extra food and water on a long stretch with no services and found that as long as it was light enough it didn't bother me.

As far as weight balance fore and aft...  On one tour I actually went with front panniers and no rear ones.  I did have the tent on the rear rack on that trip though.  I found that it really worked pretty well and would do it again.

If you want to just get a little weight forward, that could be done by just strapping your tent, sleeping bag, or a bar roll under your aero bars.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: ~4,000 mi cross country tour on mountain bike?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 10:56:33 am »
While I am at it.

I once bought this one

http://www.gillesberthoud.fr/anglais/fiche_detaillee/fiche.php?refArticle=312RTAS/G

and used it on my touring bike while still using my aero bar.

Advantage: Unlike normal handlebar bags it moves the weight close to the headset with the result that you almost cannot feel the weight. With a 100 mm stem and then the handlebar brackets further extending the weight outwards and away from the headset you really feel the added weight and steering becomes more sluggish.

Disadvantage: As a bag for my mini front rack, I used a small 2,5 litre Ortlieb roll. I would roll up the bag and let the two ends wrap around the aero bar on the top and close with the quick release buckle. So the aero bar made sure I would never loose my bag, however the bag was not really fixed sideways on the bottom, and I hated that.

I would be happy to receive suggestions on a proper multicompartment bag for this mini rack :-)

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: ~4,000 mi cross country tour on mountain bike?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 11:30:35 am »
I would be happy to receive suggestions on a proper multicompartment bag for this mini rack :-)

I used a similar sized but cheaper rack and used a modified handlebar bag with it.  I took the Nashbar Elite Handlebar bag, removed the stiffeners to save weight.  I used the shoulder strap to keep it on the rack.  I kind of wrap the strap around the stem in a way that the bag can't shift enough to come off of the rack.   I thought it worked pretty well.