Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: hikerjer on March 29, 2018, 12:28:39 am

 
Title: Gear weight
Post by: hikerjer on March 29, 2018, 12:28:39 am
I'm pretty sure this has been discussed extensively before but I'm curious as to what the weight of  your gear, minus consumables (water/food) would be for say, a summer coast to coast tour across the midsection of the country.   Let's assume you'll be camping most nights and cooking most of your own meals.  I know there are a  gazillion gear lists out there but I'd like to hear from the experienced folks on these boards.  Personally, I always seem to weigh in at 32-35 lbs of gear which includes the weight of the panniers and handlebar bag and tools but not food and water.

Thanks much.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: RussSeaton on March 29, 2018, 01:59:16 am
Unless you are going ultra light, and invested the research time and money before buying the gear, I think a very reasonable gear weight is 30 to 35 pounds.  Including tent, sleeping bag, mattress, clothes, hygiene gear, cooking gear, food.  Not included is all the electronic stuff people seem to not be able to live without.  Amazing how 25 years ago I was able to ride all over Europe without any computer or smart phone.  Just used paper maps.  Amazing.  I seem to recall being perfectly happy on my adventure and I never ever got lost.  Amazing.  Back to the story.  If you invest the time studying and buy the right gear, you can get the weight down from that 30-35 pound number to 10 to 20 pounds all in.  AND most important of all, be smart about what you take.  Eliminate, do not take, all of the stuff you do not need.  That is the best and cheapest way to reduce weight.  Light weight gear generally costs double or more of regular weight gear.  So.....  Then add on 30 pounds for a fully loaded touring bike with racks and fenders and all the other stuff on a bike.  Couple full water bottles.  60 to 80 pounds for a fully loaded touring bike is very average.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: misterflask on April 04, 2018, 10:43:53 pm
Well here's a data point you can easily beat.  My Surly LHT fully loaded at the end of a tour weighed about 100lbs.  Some things that ran the weight up:
Clothing/sleep gear picked to be comfortable to 30degF, survivable down to 0degF.
My fuzzy fleece-centric wardrobe isn't the lightest way to go.
I carried a Marathon Plus spare across the country.  I wouldn't do that again.  I'm also neurotic about spare tubes.

I know I ride heavy, but I'm not sure what I'd trim.  I'm sure not guilty of sartorial or gastronomic excess. 
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: Inge on April 05, 2018, 02:00:19 am
Am currently in the proces of creating my packing list for my Pacific tour and come to the following numbers:
weight of everything (bike, bags  + content, water, fuel for stove etc..) = 43.658kg = 96 pounds
bags + content + water+fuel = 27.158 = 59.75 pounds
just contents of bags = 19.072kg = 41.96
(weight bags 5.196kg = 11.43)

Same here I know it is fairly heavy but for me have reached the minumum for me of what to take. I know there are things I could go lighter on but do not want to leave a good heavy camera home since I like taking photo's too much (could shave off about 600 grams by choosing a different camera)

Also when talking about weight think about the fact that those travelling as couples/ friends always carry less weight per person since they share several items like tent, stove, pots etc..
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: staehpj1 on April 05, 2018, 07:40:17 am
Well here's a data point you can easily beat.  My Surly LHT fully loaded at the end of a tour weighed about 100lbs.  Some things that ran the weight up:
Clothing/sleep gear picked to be comfortable to 30degF, survivable down to 0degF.
My fuzzy fleece-centric wardrobe isn't the lightest way to go.
We all have different ideas of what is necessary and even with the same basic list of necessities can vary widely in what we pack.  I know that on the ST I was packed for those temperatures with a fleece centric wardrobe and carried 14# total including camping and cooking gear, but not counting food and water.

I carried a Marathon Plus spare across the country.  I wouldn't do that again.  I'm also neurotic about spare tubes.
I won't even put Marathon Pluses on my bike.  The set i did buy were fairly quickly removed and sold.  I hated the stiffness of the sidewalls and the weight.

Am currently in the proces of creating my packing list for my Pacific tour and come to the following numbers:
weight of everything (bike, bags  + content, water, fuel for stove etc..) = 43.658kg = 96 pounds
I might have started my first long tour with something approaching that weight, but had sent at least 20 pounds of stuff home in the 10 weeks of the tour.  By the next tour I had trimmed the list a good bit more and continued to do so on subsequent tours.

Even at 14# of gear for winter on the ST, I still had things I could get by without and items where lighter ones would be fine.

Not everyone wants to go that light, but it is certainly possible to get along fine with a pretty minimal setup.

I found that when backpacking I was asked a lot, "what do you have in that little backpack?"  If I asked them what they were carrying they would list their gear, and I could honestly say that I had basically all the same stuff despite my pack being much smaller and less than half as heavy.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: Pat Lamb on April 05, 2018, 09:49:06 am
Well here's a data point you can easily beat.  My Surly LHT fully loaded at the end of a tour weighed about 100lbs.

Thank you for that data point!  My total load probably started around 110-120 pounds, and ended up similar to yours.

Every time weight comes up, the discussion seems to mirror that joke about the teenage girls going to the beach:  "Did you forget your swimsuit?"  "No, it's here in my clutch.  Did you forget yours?" "No, it's in my compact."

Quote
I carried a Marathon Plus spare across the country.  I wouldn't do that again.  I'm also neurotic about spare tubes.

I managed to pare my tubes down to only three (and used them all one day, and had to patch one!).  I had a spare chain (used it, wife mailed me another at my request, daughter used that one) and a spare tire (which I also used).  I'll skip the chain in the future, but I'll take a lighter spare tire that's about half the weight.

I think I could pare back some on the clothes if I didn't end up in the Pacific northwest; I certainly wore the extras enough to be glad to have them.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on April 05, 2018, 01:22:49 pm
The old "N" word: "Need." I don't "need" a Kindle or a book in the sense that I can tour without one.  But I bring one because it makes being on the road more enjoyable. One could argue that something like a toothbrush is not a need for the same reason.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: Inge on April 06, 2018, 01:03:29 am
Quote
Quote from: Inge on April 05, 2018, 02:00:19 am

    Am currently in the proces of creating my packing list for my Pacific tour and come to the following numbers:
    weight of everything (bike, bags  + content, water, fuel for stove etc..) = 43.658kg = 96 pounds

I might have started my first long tour with something approaching that weight, but had sent at least 20 pounds of stuff home in the 10 weeks of the tour.  By the next tour I had trimmed the list a good bit more and continued to do so on subsequent tours.

I absolutely agree with the fact that you do trim down on things you do not need. Though I think for my needs I have reached pretty much the limit in what I can/ want to trim down. It is just what you prioritize or not. I am mean I could take a diferent camera and shave off 600 grams but like photography too much to make the sacrifice. Same for my tablet -like to read at night + work at my blog. Could probably also get by with with 1 long sleeved shirt instead of two however I like one for cycling and use the other as backup ans as a pyjama. Same for short sleeved ones - am bringing 3 where I could probably get by on two (but since laudry facilities are a bit scarce I like the extra shirt. That would bring the weight down another 375 grams but since I am also spending some time in my starting and ending cities I do like the extra shirts. In other words if I really wanted to I could bring down the weight by 1kg (2.2pounds) but choose to carry the extra weight at least to start out with. I might indeed end up shipping 1 long sleeved shirt and a short sleeved shirt home the closer I get to Calfornia. But will see how it goes.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: misterflask on April 07, 2018, 05:45:15 am
Here's an entertaining Adventure Cycling blog post on their bike weighing experiences back in 2011.  The TL;DR is a low of 50lb, a high of 174lb!!!, with most falling between 70 and 95lb. 

https://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/no-weigh-weigh/
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: staehpj1 on April 07, 2018, 07:06:40 am
Here's an entertaining Adventure Cycling blog post on their bike weighing experiences back in 2011.  The TL;DR is a low of 50lb, a high of 174lb!!!, with most falling between 70 and 95lb. 

https://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/no-weigh-weigh/
Interesting article.  Perhaps it should be noted that those weights include the bike itself as well as any consumables like water, fuel, and food.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: Inge on April 08, 2018, 01:55:35 am
Interesting indeed - guess compared to those of 50lbs I am taking too many luxuries  ;)
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: RustyCrank on May 10, 2018, 11:40:44 pm
I'm heading out on the TransAm May 26th. I just returned from my shakedown ride. Gear (incl water) weighed 63.6 lbs.  Bike + gear (incl water) weighed 97.6lbs

Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: staehpj1 on May 11, 2018, 07:00:27 am
I'm heading out on the TransAm May 26th. I just returned from my shakedown ride. Gear (incl water) weighed 63.6 lbs.  Bike + gear (incl water) weighed 97.6lbs
It always puzzles me when folks include water in the gear weight.  It makes it hard to figure how much gear they are actually carrying.  Since the weight of water carried is variable throughout the day as well as day to day depending on where they will travel and how hot it will be, it is better in my opinion to not include water or other consumables in gear weight.

I know that for me there are days where I carry only two small bottles and days where I carry well over a gallon.  Also on any given day some of the day I'll have the whole load, but it will diminish during the day, perhaps getting close to zero at times.

Other consumables (food, fuel) are similar, but usually not nearly as significant as water.

Just me, but I'd suggest that folks not include water in gear totals, but if they do at least specify how much they included so we can tell how much gear they are carrying.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: RustyCrank on May 11, 2018, 09:34:40 am
Front left (rain/warm clothing) 5.6 lbs
Front right (tools/medical) 9 lbs
handlebar bag 4.8 lbs
seat bag 1lb
Rear left (stickers/cards/maps/books,clothing)  12.4 lbs
Rear right (clothing, power pack) 10.6 lbs
Luggage bag (camping) 11.6 lbs
Water (three 1 liter bottles)/lock 6 lbs

Detailed gear list here:
https://rustycrankc2c.blogspot.com/2018/02/gear-list.html
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: dkoloko on May 11, 2018, 10:40:52 am
I'm heading out on the TransAm May 26th. I just returned from my shakedown ride. Gear (incl water) weighed 63.6 lbs.  Bike + gear (incl water) weighed 97.6lbs
It always puzzles me when folks include water in the gear weight.

It bothers me that water is not included, also food, fuel, etc. For me, weight carried is everything included ready to roll. I start with the same number of bottles, filled, for trips lasting weeks, months.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: staehpj1 on May 11, 2018, 11:40:35 am
It bothers me that water is not included, also food, fuel, etc. For me, weight carried is everything included ready to roll. I start with the same number of bottles, filled, for trips lasting weeks, months.
Different strokes.  Folks can list or not count consumables in their gear totals as they see fit, but if they do count them I find it helpful if they state what and how much in the way of consumables they are carrying so I can work backwards to get a gear total without consumables.

As far as always starting with the same number of bottles...  I have definitely not found that to be the case from day to day or even for at the start of various tours.  On road tours I may be where I can resupply multiple times throughout the day and I may be where I need to carry 24 hours worth of water.  I also may be somewhere cool and wet or I may be in a hot desert.

If we were to include off road tours I might need to have multiple days worth of consumables or I might have caches or other resupply points daily.

I'd be hard pressed to say what consumables I usually carry since the number would include a very wide range of possibilities.  On a road tour my total consumables carried can range from 12+ pounds to just two small water bottles and a power bar.  At 12+ pounds my consumables could sometimes be heavier than the rest of my gear in total.  If we include off road tours the count could go a good bit higher.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: RussSeaton on May 11, 2018, 04:34:45 pm
Front left (rain/warm clothing) 5.6 lbs
Front right (tools/medical) 9 lbs
handlebar bag 4.8 lbs
seat bag 1lb
Rear left (stickers/cards/maps/books,clothing)  12.4 lbs
Rear right (clothing, power pack) 10.6 lbs
Luggage bag (camping) 11.6 lbs
Water (three 1 liter bottles)/lock 6 lbs


Move your front panniers to the rear.  And the rear panniers to the front.  The weight will be much better balanced and the bike will handle so much better.  For some reason many people do not know how panniers, specifically low mount front, work.  You want all or most of the weight in the front down low.  Handling is superior over a heavily overloaded arse end.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: hikerjer on May 13, 2018, 12:16:06 am
"Handling is superior over a heavily overloaded arse end." ---   Same as with the  human anatomy,  huh? ;D
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: Inge on May 13, 2018, 01:40:41 am
Same here - though the variables I have are food and amount of fuel.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: RussSeaton on May 13, 2018, 03:11:03 pm
"Handling is superior over a heavily overloaded arse end." ---   Same as with the  human anatomy,  huh? ;D


Apparently you have never ridden a bike in your life.  Its about balance.  Your big, heavy arse is on the rear of the bike.  Its weight is on the rear wheel.  So you have a light unloaded front wheel.  Putting all the panniers on the front balances the bike so an equal amount of weight is on both wheels.  Of course equal does not happen.  You still end up with 60% weight on the rear and 40% on the front even if you only have front panniers and no rear panniers.  Because your big, heavy arse is so huge and cannot be overcome with pannier contents.  Just reduced.  But still much better balanced than your scenario of putting 90% weight on the rear wheel only.  Bad handling.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: DaveB on May 14, 2018, 08:21:08 am
Russ... It was a joke. ;D
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: hikerjer on May 21, 2018, 11:24:02 pm
I tend to agree with staephpj1.  While it's probably a minor thing, having a standard equation to list weight would help.  After all, water weight can vary significantly from person to person based on number of bottles, size of bottles,  whether they are are full or not, whether they contain dehydrated water or not, etc.  With food,  it's an even greater variable.  I'd say weight is just easier to understand if it includes just gear not including the weight of the bicycle and racks. Significantly, I think gear weight weight should include the weight of the panniers.  Just my two cents worth.
Title: Re: Gear weight
Post by: hikerjer on May 21, 2018, 11:29:21 pm
Russ... It was a joke. ;D

Really it was.  Jeeze, some people have no sense of humor.