Author Topic: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring  (Read 2855 times)

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Offline tomdett

front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« on: March 04, 2010, 10:44:41 am »
On my first self-supported non-camping bike tour I found I could put all my stuff in my rear panniers and trunk bag.  I was packed relatively heavily due to a 6 lb computer and cold weather clothes.  This resulted in a significant degradation in bike handling when descending.  Plan to do my next tour with front panniers on a low rider rack and pack less in the rear.  Do you have any suggestions to help me get this optimized?

Offline briwasson

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 12:15:42 pm »
I tend to put heavier, but smaller items in the front panniers, leaving extra room for stuff I use during the day like raingear, food, etc. Lighter, but bulkier stuff goes in the rear. Examples of what I carry in the front bags include my tools, lock, electronics charger(s) if any, etc. I like having the extra "flex space" available in the front bags. Just be careful not to load it up with even more heavy stuff.

Offline staehpj1

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 12:27:13 pm »
How much weight and bulk are we talking about?  Maybe split the load between front panniers and your trunk bag?

Different strokes, but I would shoot for 10 to 15 pounds of gear if credit card touring and I would be inclined to pack it in small front panniers.

A six pound computer, wow!  Obviously it's your choice, but I think a net book is too much to carry.  My under 8 ounce Nokia N800 is about my limit and on a short tour I might leave it home.  A web enabled cell phone would be sufficient if it weren't for the monthly charges.

Offline tomdett

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 12:55:24 pm »
Thank you both for responding to my query post. 

I will drop down to a 3 lb netbook (w/charger) and will be traveling in warmer weather so I do plan to reduce my packed weight considerably.  On the other hand the route will include ACA Western Express so I expect to need to carry a lot of water (at times) and more parts/tools than my previous experience.   

Offline staehpj1

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 02:50:48 pm »
Thank you both for responding to my query post. 

I will drop down to a 3 lb netbook (w/charger) and will be traveling in warmer weather so I do plan to reduce my packed weight considerably.  On the other hand the route will include ACA Western Express so I expect to need to carry a lot of water (at times) and more parts/tools than my previous experience.   

Yeah water can add up quickly and it isn't optional.

Before you start be sure about daily mileages and destinations since the WE is pretty remote.  I have not ridden it but I bet Credit Card touring will be a real challenge due to the distance between services.  It looked like it would be a challenge on the TA and the Western Express is reportedly much more remote.  I know that even on the TA there were some pretty long sections with nothing in the way of services.  I think there was one place where we were 80 miles between water stops.  The WE would probably be much worse.

Offline Tourista829

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 01:03:47 am »
Tomdett, the front bags will give you stability. Without knowing your bicycle and it's geometry here is my suggestion that will also work on a shorter chain stay length.  I usually ride with 15 pounds a side in the rear and 6 pounds a side in the front. (I like to travel light and the front to back ratio 30%/70%*) I put the heaviest items, in the lowest part of the bag. I keep my handlebar bag light and do not use a rack trunk bag, when touring. One suggestion, I purchased an inexpensive fishing scale that doubles as a luggage scale. ($4.99 at Walmart, although ACO offers a nice digital one for under $25.00)  I like to weigh my panniers, prior to starting a tour. This helps me keep balanced, side to side and front to back. *(not counting my handle bar bag 3-5 pounds) and the top of my my rear rack, which I also try to keep as light as possible :)   

Offline jfitch

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 05:06:55 am »
"I bet Credit Card touring will be a real challenge due to the distance between services.  It looked like it would be a challenge on the TA and the Western Express is reportedly much more remote.  I know that even on the TA there were some pretty long sections with nothing in the way of services.  I think there was one place where we were 80 miles between water stops.  The WE would probably be much worse."

But it has been done. For example see Mike Noonan's journal at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=2522&v=si.

Offline tonythomson

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 05:16:28 am »
Although I tend to prefer CC touring these days there is no way I would tour without my tent and sleeping bag.  As someone said sometimes the distances are really long.  As I don't like to push myself beyond my limits I am happy that I'm carrying back up and know I wont get caught out in the middle of no where cold & wet. 

But if you are younger and stronger then I'm sure you can do it, best of luck.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline johnsondasw

Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 12:18:42 am »
Here we go again.  I would think about a trailer.  Your handling problems are over, esp if it's a 2-wheeled trailer (Burley Nomad).  And access to gear is much easier.  If you use a lightweight bike, the weight trade off is not that significant.  I can ride a carbon fiber bike and avoid the 8 pounds of panniers and come out about the same. 
May the wind be at your back!