I have been looking at posts on this site, as well as crazyguyonabike.com, in order to obtain info on how much weight (bike/gear/water/food) is carried on a cross country tour. I am looking at it from two points of view. One is - what is the weight of an "average" self supported tour, and the other is what can the bike support safely (I weigh 152 pounds). I see that individuals occassionally address this issue, and depending on their tour attitudes and needs, I have read blogs where total weights are reported in the range from 40 pounds up to 115 pounds.
I realize there is no average or "typical" weight, as what people think is important to bring varies. But I am trying to get a sense of what to expect long term and answer the question - am I bringing too much/can I bring more?
I am riding a Surly and with my racks/panniers/handlebar bag it comes to about 42 pounds. After I get the bike loaded, including two 28 ounce water bottles, it is at about 70 pounds. I have been riding it comfortably at this weight. To experiment, I added a few textbooks and extra water bottles and did some riding at 83 pounds. The bike handled okay, but not as "nimble" as at 70 pounds. I went slower uphills, but for four hour test rides overall average speed was very similar, in the 14-15 mph range at both weights.
The main thing I noticed at 83 pounds is the bike feels very heavy when maneuvering it around while not riding it, just pushing it around, moving it onto a sidewalk, etc. And it feels a little different when standing up when going up hills, though totally stable.
Background: I am riding CT to Washington, have a ten week window of time, plan on riding 75 miles per day with ten rest days (no riding), which would actually let me cover the ~3800 miles in about nine weeks. Have been riding 750 miles per month last three months training.
So I wondereded if anyone had thoughts/comments on this. I wondered if the difference between 70 pounds and 83 pounds, or in those ranges, seemed to matter much in your experiences or planning. I'd like to add more weight, like bring a laptop in particular, but am hesitant to do so as I feel I might regret the extra pounds down the road.
Thanks for any feedback!