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Messages - ray b

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1
The 45 pounds is gear PLUS bike. .....

Contrast that with Andrew Kulmatisiki's Tour Divide set-up - bike PLUS gear = ~34 pounds.

I guess we could include a new name; "Insane" or "Nuts"  ;)

Like you, my touring bikes are not lightweight.  But 34# for bike, gear, food, & beverage is pretty impressive, even 45#.  Of course, I would bet he gives up a lot of comfort I would not be willing to give up. 

But my points about the various valid categories and the names given them remain, at least to me.

Tailwinds, John

Agreed.

My goal here is to encourage folks to self-describe not on the basis of self-perception or fashion, but on the basis of how much they will carry.

As an ex-racer and ex-crazy-light tourist, I might still want to think of myself as a sport tourer, but when I weigh out what I want to take for tools, parts, and equipment, I have to move on and match bike, gears, wheels, tires, and luggage to meet the mass (weight) of my planned load.

The problem with self-description has been especially tough for "bikepackers." Everyone wants to be a bikepacker, but as defined by the great folks at bikepacking.com (check out their beautiful printed journal) and REI, the bikepacker is a racer or sport tourer and limited by luggage to an unsupported handlebar pack, unsupported seat pack, and a frame pack. Once the average "bikepacker" realizes he is neither a racer nor sport tourer, he thinks those who are, are..., well, nuts. 

The fact that the average self-described bikepacker can't live comfortably with so little luggage has led to a continuum with tradiitional racks and panniers, with addition of bikepacking racks, small panniers, supported seat and handlebar bags, and fork mounted carriers for larger bags.

If riders define their touring on the weight of their luggage, then they will not make mistakes that frustrate them down the road.

I'll note that Andrew K is thoughtful and occasionally thought provoking (think heat-shrink-wrapped rear aero wheel), but not nuts. He's a professor of soil science at Utah State. @John Nettles - you should look him up for coffee or the equivalent sometime. Maybe you guys could collaborate on a book about modern bicycle touring.

2
As always - I enjoy your prose and thoughts. And I liked the old term light touring, but preferred the term sport tourer as it implies a state of mind or philosophy missing in the word light.

The 45 pounds (20 kg) is gear PLUS bike. So, right, credit card tourists would be sport tourers.  With such a large range in the mass (weight) of bicycles used for touring, I thought it reasonable to include the bicycle in total mass. And of course - use of mass as a cutoff between sport touring and general touring is strictly arbitrary. It's a mindset. There are some ex-racers out there (not me) who are sport touring no matter how much weight they carry as they charge up the hills.

The inclusion of bicycle mass is important to the definition, as the bicycle often dictates the style of touring. I noted previously that my bicycle with racks comes in at about 37 poiunds. I can easily add another 40-45 pounds of gear to that and am pretty comfortable and not wanting for anything.  Unlike my early days, I am not usually a sport tourer.

Contrast that with Andrew Kulmatisiki's Tour Divide set-up - bike PLUS gear = ~34 pounds. In his 40s, he still solos the Great Divide route in about 2 weeks and change.

The idea here was perhaps to help folks better match choices in bikes, luggage (soft/internal frame/rack mounted) and quantity of gear to a style of touring - i.e., multiday unsupported race touring, sport touring, or general touring. If someone asks for  advice for their 100 pound (bike plus gear) general touring set-up, it will be a lot easier to let them know that their 50 inch low gear probably isn't going to cut it and that soft, insufiicently supported luggage will likely be too bulky and floppy.

Riding on.

3
The term bikepacking seems too loose, and refers to soft packs preferred by light-weight multi-day racers, that are often overloaded by more leisurely tourers, who often end up frustrated by the floppiness and lack of stability.

Let's clean up the terms - we're all bikepackers.

It's all semantics and the arguments sound familiar to those of us who backpacked heavy loads on stable frame packs (think racks on the bike) or climbed with softer and usually lighter packs for climbing (think soft packs mounted directly to the frame). Comments elsewhere in the forum reflect the fact that bikepacking with soft packs, in-line with the bike, and relatively aerodynamic, fit more with multi-day self-supported racing and less with long comfortable touring. Soft, light packs used for touring limit the weight one can carry.

I suggest, to borrow a motorcycling term, we refer to lighter, faster tourers as "sport tourers" - no matter how they carry the load. Any bike plus gear under 45 pounds (20 kg) would likley fit this definition, and would be ridden by those who prefer performance and speed to creature comforts. (My first cross-country tour in 1979 had me on a Jackson criterium racing frame with rear rack, small pannierts, a handlebar bag, and generally under 35 pounds for bike, bags, tools, parts, sleeping bag and bivy.)

Although the term bikepacking will continue to be with us for a while for marketing purposes, it will likely become more generalized, while classes of packs will resemble backpacking terms - soft packs, internal frame packs, or rack-mounted packs.

4
Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Trek Checkpoint on Transamerica route
« on: November 19, 2022, 11:49:22 am »
To keep the thread on topic - I'll note that the Cross Check is a fine bike for whatever you want to do. Other than making sure you have low enough gears for an uphill finish at the end of a day while fully loaded, you're probably in great shape for road touring. Unless you're wealthy, I'd save the money you'd spend on a new bike for some treats on the road.

As noted elsewhere, I'm down to 2 bikes - a junker single speed for around townand a 20+ y-old karate monkey with 3 sets of wheels and 3 forks (one suspended) that I have used for everything fron mountain biking, bike packing the great divide, road touring, and relatively fast, unloaded centuries.

As regards the devolution to discussion of the tern bikepacking - it's all semantics and the arguments sound familiar to those of us who backpacked heavy loads on stable frame packs (think racks on the bike) or climbed with softer and usually lighter packs for climbing. Comments above seem to reflect the fact that bikepacking with soft packs, in-line with the bike, and relatively aerodynamic, fit more with multi-day self-supported racing and less with long comfortable touring. Soft, light packs used for touring limit the weight one can carry. I suggest, to borrow a motorcycling term, we refer to these lighter, faster tourers as "sport tourers" - no matter how they carry the load. Any bike plus gear under 45 pounds (20 kg) would likley fit the bill. I'll start a new thread with this thought.

5
Gear Talk / Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« on: November 14, 2022, 01:42:13 pm »
Of course, even in the more remote areas, we can usually pick up a cell signal every day or two to check weather forecasts.

Before loading anything extra to take up space on the bike and in the brain, I always remind myself, it is supposed to be adventure cycling, and the adventure is provided by the unknown. Just a thought.

6
Gear Talk / Re: tubes or tubeless for a cross-country ride??
« on: November 14, 2022, 01:35:01 pm »
Fortunately I have no problem getting the bead pop back on with the setup I have used.  Maybe not with a mini pump (I have not tried), but I have done it with a floor pump with no problem.  I also did it with co2 with no problem, but found that co2 kills the sealant precipitating out all the solids.  So I recommend emptying the tire of co2 and refilling with air if you use co2 to seat the bead.
All excellent advice, except the last sentence. The CO2 cartridge kills the sealant through the endothermic process of gas expansion. It's the rapid drop in temperature that can cause polymerization of the sealant.

One proposed solution is to allow the sealant to collect in the 6 o'clock position - away from the valve stem, and hope the temperature of the sealant stays up.

Reducing inflation speed and thereby rate of drop in temperature with the CO2 has also been recommended - but of course, the whole purpose of using CO2 to set the bead is its ability to rapidly increase pressure - so....

One could certainly pump things up a little with an air pump, and then use as little of the CO2 as needed to quickly increase the pressure and set the bead. This has been my preferred on-road technique with hard-to-seat tires.

7
Gear Talk / Re: tubes or tubeless for a cross-country ride??
« on: November 11, 2022, 02:04:11 pm »
And a reminder recently noted elsewhere - if you're headed to goathead country - tubes or no tubes - sealant will markedly reudce the number of stops one makes to repair a flat.

8
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: November 11, 2022, 02:00:17 pm »
So you are agitating for an industry standard for reporting on performance.

Great idea.

As notede above, max pressure and volume/pump would be a good start. Median tire volumes could be used to develop tables (an app?) for number of pumps required for a given pressure....

9
Gear Talk / Re: Gear that I was glad to have taken
« on: November 11, 2022, 01:51:01 pm »
I too am an amateur extra, but in the context of my Garmin Mini with satellite text capability for emergencies, I carry only an emergency Baofeng with a 19 or 42 inch (foldable) antenna, depending on where I'm headed.

K2REB

10
General Discussion / Re: Kansas
« on: November 07, 2022, 02:45:43 pm »
One might also mention the 6000 foot climb east to west (or the 6000 foot descent west to east).

Huh? Kansas?
Well that would be Kansas City to Pueblo through Colorado Springs. A more direct route is only ~3000 feet difference in elevation.... In either case, almost meaningless in the day-to-day feel of a 650 mile trip.

11
General Discussion / Re: Kansas
« on: November 06, 2022, 09:59:35 pm »
All interesting. One might also mention the 6000 foot climb east to west (or the 6000 foot descent west to east).

In the end, I agree with all - unless there's a front coming in, a lot of wind (and heat) can be avoided by watching the sun rise from the saddles every morning..., in which case, I agree with all above that starting the day with the sun at one's back is a pretty pleasant way to start the day.

Of course, if you are riding in cooler weather, and agree with Bill Murray in his impersonation of a bass player - "It's not natural to wake up before the sun is warm." - well, enjoy the (minimally) downhill ride with the afternoon sun (and occasionally the wind) at your back.


12
Gear Talk / Re: tubes or tubeless for a cross-country ride??
« on: November 04, 2022, 06:19:14 pm »
Huh.

Should be easier to get off now. I would try again before the next trip. If they cannot be easily removed, tubeless or not, these are not tires that are serviceable on the road, and they would be inappropriate for a self-contained trip.

It doesn't happen often, but as you know, a hole in a tubeless tire big enough that a plug will not work, and one will have to remove the tire to slip in a boot and tube.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Crescent wide jaw adjustible wrench.
« on: November 02, 2022, 03:49:00 pm »
Man - does that bring back memories. My tool kit from the 70s was similar (though a Swiss Army knife took the place of the ingenious, drill chuck).

I suppose the cresent wrench can also serve as back-up for personal security in a pinch....

Before I moved on to more modern parts (i.e., more easily found on the road), I used to carry a lightweight set of headset wrenches that doubled for use on the old bottom brackets. The weight savings and specifity of use over my large Craftsman crescent wrench was sufficient to justify the substitution. Just a thought.


14
Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: October 27, 2022, 02:24:27 pm »
Scratches hold bacteria.
(Sometimes - but irrelevant for surfaces exposed to hight heat.)

15
Routes / Re: Route Tucson to Glacier [AZ, UT, CO, WY, MT]
« on: October 25, 2022, 03:58:30 pm »
(Juan - might have said it before, but we are waiting to purchase your guidebook including the chapter on how and how not to plan routes.... Many thanks for your contributions.)

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