Author Topic: Light Touring  (Read 4841 times)

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Offline Deacon

Light Touring
« on: October 05, 2011, 03:08:49 pm »
Hello.  I am new to the forum and to bike touring.  I plan to do some light/credit card touring next year on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  What is the recommended pannier set up to use when carrying 15lbs or less?  I know that load balancing is important, but wasn't sure how it would apply given such a relatively light load.

Based on the answer to the first question, what brand/style of panniers would you recommend?

Thanks in advance.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 03:31:50 pm »
Welcome to the forum!

In reverse order, I really like my Ortliebs; their Sports Packer (Plus) should carry 15 pounds with no problems.

That's not a terribly heavy load, so I suspect you could carry it on a rear rack.  Depending on the bike you'll be riding, that might be easiest.  Some bikes, like those with a carbon fork, can carry a rear rack, but not a front rack.  You might even be able to carry your gear in a large saddle back (like some of the classic English bags wallbike.com carries).

The major advantage of front racks I can think of would be to allow you to carry extra water and food in a rear trunk bag, as well as a jacket, camera, etc.  The BRP has some long stretches with limited services.  The Sports Packers will fit either front or rear racks.

Offline whittierider

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 06:06:16 pm »
If "light" means you stay in hotels instead of camping, you could get away with no panniers or rack like pdlamb said.  The biggest of the seat bags he's referring to have around 1500 square inches of space, with internal supports to avoid sagging and swaying.


Jandd Mountaineering's Mountain Wedge III only has about 450 cubic inches, but that's still nearly two gallons' worth of space.  Here's mine:


Another I just found out about that has more space than Jand's is Revelate Designs' Viscacha with 3.7 gallons' worth of space, 14 litres which is something like 850 cubic inches.


You could augment with a handlebar bag too, but I've ridden probably at least 10,000 miles with both and I can tell you the handlebar bag ruins the handling of the bike a lot more than a big seat bag does.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Light Touring
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 06:42:07 pm »
You could augment with a handlebar bag too, but I've ridden probably at least 10,000 miles with both and I can tell you the handlebar bag ruins the handling of the bike a lot more than a big seat bag does.
Agreed. All of my bikes with an Ortlieb medium bar bag exhibited reduced handling, even my Burley Vagabond loaded touring bike. But switching to something like a randonneur bag (decaleur + small front rack + rando bag) greatly mitigates, if not improves, depending on fork/trail/headtube/stem design, handling of a front-loaded bicycle. I don't have a picture handy of my fully configured randonneuring bike, but the bike handles much better with the rando bag and load than without. Rando bags generally have higher capacity than a handlebar bag, too.

Here is an example:

waynemyer.com
warmshowers.org  (user:waynemyer)

Offline staehpj1

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 07:30:54 pm »
15 pounds is less than I have carried on tour, but I did carry 22 last tour.  I used two smallish front panniers and put the tent on the rear rack.  I also used a handlebar bag for camera stuff and other misc. stuff.  That worked very well for me.

That said lots of folks use a saddle bag for that kind of load.

Online RussSeaton

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 08:27:52 pm »
Carradice is the name of the saddlebags in whittierider's pictures.  Jobst Brandt has toured many miles using one of those bags for his credit card type tours.  You could also use a seatpost clamp on rack and a large bag on top of the rack as your baggage carrying device.  I have a rack bag similar to the one below where the side pockets unzip into small side panniers.  Quite roomy.

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/Panniers-and-Bar-Bags-Altura-Arran-Transit-Drop-Down-Rack-Pack-Black/ALTUBAGP280000000000

Key to credit card touring is to go ultralight.  2 pair shorts, 1 jersey, bike sandals so you don't need any other shoes, 1 t-shirt, 1 off bike shorts, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb.  Maybe sunscreen and lip balm.  Small digital camera.  Not much else.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 09:56:35 pm »
The seatpost mounted beam rack is simple, easy to install, and is good for up to 20 pounds. There are a lot of different manufacturers. It's usually better if you do not have a carbon seatpost.

http://www.rei.com/product/697096
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1023817_-1___


Offline Deacon

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 09:06:22 am »
Thanks for the great feedback everyone! 

A few more facts:  Looks like I will be buying a 2012 model Jamis Aurora Elite.  It comes with a rear rack, so if I'm hearing correctly, and given the light/credit card load I will have, sounds like some rear panniers for the rear rack w/ nothing up front is the way to go.  Sound reasonable?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 09:51:07 am »
Thanks for the great feedback everyone! 

A few more facts:  Looks like I will be buying a 2012 model Jamis Aurora Elite.  It comes with a rear rack, so if I'm hearing correctly, and given the light/credit card load I will have, sounds like some rear panniers for the rear rack w/ nothing up front is the way to go.  Sound reasonable?
Sounds OK to me.  I would think that the panniers could be fairly small ones and would be inclined to look at ones intended to be used as front panniers.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 02:05:44 pm »
Sounds OK to me.  I would think that the panniers could be fairly small ones and would be inclined to look at ones intended to be used as front panniers.[/quote]

+1.  Maybe some Ortlieb Sport Packers as noted above. I have a pair. They hold a good amount without being obscenely large like their Bike Packer companions. And they are waterproof.

Offline peterharris

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 06:11:25 pm »
+1 from me, too, for the Ortlieb Sport Packer (I have the Sport Packer Classic). I've used them for credit card tours and they have PLENTY of room, even in cooler conditions in VA & WV in October when I've wanted to carry extra layers.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 12:44:42 pm »
15 lbs? I'd just throw it in a small backpack and tie it on top of the rear rack.

Offline Pinellas Paul

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2011, 03:08:01 pm »
That's exactly the way we tour.  We each have a pair of the old, tiny Cannondale panniers to keep even the very lite the loads down low.

FWIW, here's our packing list in addition to the shorts/jersey/shoes/ gloves we are wearing:

One pair bike shorts

One bike jersey

Gore Tex jacket

Zip front fleece hoody

Off bike shorts

Off bike shirt

Off bike shoes/sandals

Merino  wool leg warmers

Small toilet kit

Tubes

Patches

Bike tool kit

Cell phones and chargers

Offline bogiesan

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2011, 10:01:17 am »
Paul, your list implies you're in the southern or southwestern USA with narry a care for the weather. Even in Idaho, I'd need to add two or three more layers to know I'd be safely warm cresting 6000-9000 foot passes where the weather can turn within moments.

Don't forget, besides water, you need some food on the bike and a place to put it.

Lite touring also implies your'e doing laundry every night.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline pptouring

Re: Light Touring
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2011, 12:43:09 pm »

Lite touring also implies your'e doing laundry every night.


Or you're wearing Merino wool stuff and you only need to wash once a week or so! For example, Ibex Duo shorts and some of their shirts.  ;D
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 01:50:15 pm by pptouring »