Author Topic: Packs and pack weight for long tours  (Read 10706 times)

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Offline walks.in2.trees

Packs and pack weight for long tours
« on: September 19, 2015, 01:49:16 pm »
Curious about what others average pack weights are, both with and without the bike weight included.

Obviously it's understood that this will change by season and vary as supplies are consumed, so let's say 3-season, full packs. If you feel the need to break it into general categories (food,clothes, tools, camping), that's cool too

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 04:15:16 pm »
There can be a pretty wide range depending on individual choices.

I went with what I now consider a pretty heavy load for my first tour, which was the Trans America.  For that tour I had weight ranging from 45-55 pounds of bags and gear on a 30 pound bike.  Gear weight went down during the trip as I discarded or mailed stuff home.

On subsequent tours I incrementally cut gear weight a number of times still using the same bike until I got the gear and bags below 20 pounds.

Then I went with 14 pounds of gear and bags on a 24 pound bike for the Southern Tier in Feb-Mar.

After that I carried 11.3 pounds of gear and bags on a 22 pound bike for a 9 day dirt road tour in Colorado.

In all cases I was camping and cooking comfortably.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2015, 06:33:42 pm »
The folks at Adventure Cycling headquarters have been weighing the rigs of touring cyclists who stop in for about a year now.  Perhaps someone from there could post some summary data?

Offline atodaso

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 08:22:52 pm »
There can be a pretty wide range depending on individual choices.
 for my first tour... I had weight ranging from 45-55 pounds of bags and gear on a 30 pound bike.
.. subsequent(ly... I got the gear and bags below 20 pounds...Then I went with 14 pounds of gear and bags on a 24 pound bike for the Southern Tier in Feb-Mar...After that I carried 11.3 pounds of gear and bags on a 22 pound bike for a 9 day dirt road tour in Colorado.
In all cases I was camping and cooking comfortably.

Well done. Were these differences partly the result of packing for different seasons of regions? Or just refining needs and getting better gear?

 I'm down to a bike weight (including racks) of about 22lbs plus loaded panniers at +/-25lbs.  So under 50lbs total, including bike, gear, food and water.  This doesn't include cooking equipment as I relied on stopping for food. It does however include a fairly luxurious camping arrangement. (tent/sleeping bag/ thermarest)

Offline staehpj1

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 09:31:24 pm »
There can be a pretty wide range depending on individual choices.
 for my first tour... I had weight ranging from 45-55 pounds of bags and gear on a 30 pound bike.
.. subsequent(ly... I got the gear and bags below 20 pounds...Then I went with 14 pounds of gear and bags on a 24 pound bike for the Southern Tier in Feb-Mar...After that I carried 11.3 pounds of gear and bags on a 22 pound bike for a 9 day dirt road tour in Colorado.
In all cases I was camping and cooking comfortably.

Well done. Were these differences partly the result of packing for different seasons of regions? Or just refining needs and getting better gear?

Mostly just refining the packing list and replacing a few items with lighter ones.

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 05:31:17 pm »
12lb bike with 15-20lbs of gear

I only carry enough food to get me through the day (or however many days until I expect to come across a store again)

I travel pretty minimalist. I'll even go as far as tossing out the pages of my book as I read them.
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline atodaso

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 06:06:52 pm »
12lb touring bike? Wow, at 16 lbs I thought my Merlin was light, and that's my fast bike. My touring bike, which is light, weighs about 19lbs including fenders and racks.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 06:08:48 pm by atodaso »

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 06:15:35 pm »
12lb touring bike? Wow, at 16 lbs I thought my Merlin was light, and that's my fast bike. My touring bike, which is light, weighs about 19lbs including fenders and racks.

It's not a touring frame; I'm not a fan of them. I also don't use fenders. Not worth it for the maybe 5 days out of 100 where I'll run into rain. My back rack is designed in such a way as to where it acts like a fender and the front I deal with. If it's raining that bad I'll wait it out.

Also assuming you use both front and rear panniers? I only use rear ones. Pretty minimalist as mentioned.
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline atodaso

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2015, 06:30:42 pm »
To be able to achieve the light, nimble,  easy to climb feel of a fast road bike while touring would be a beautiful thing. I could probably get my setup down to 40 lbs without food or water and still be able to camp comfortably on multi-week tours, but I'm not sure I'd be able to widdle it down much further.  At +/-30lbs are you able to camp comfortably and do long tours? 
BTW, I agree about the clunky 'touring' bike. Mine is a titanium litespeed blueridge with campy record 9 speed, carbon bars, ti seat post, so not your average long-haul trucker.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 06:32:13 pm by atodaso »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2015, 06:33:09 pm »
12lb touring bike? Wow, at 16 lbs I thought my Merlin was light, and that's my fast bike. My touring bike, which is light, weighs about 19lbs including fenders and racks.

It's not a touring frame; I'm not a fan of them. I also don't use fenders. Not worth it for the maybe 5 days out of 100 where I'll run into rain. My back rack is designed in such a way as to where it acts like a fender and the front I deal with. If it's raining that bad I'll wait it out.

Also assuming you use both front and rear panniers? I only use rear ones. Pretty minimalist as mentioned.

I have never actually seen a 12 pound bike.  The pro racers tdf bikes are required to weigh at least 15 pounds (6.8 kg).  I have a hard time imagining anyone touring on a 12 pound bike.  Specifically what frame and components do you use that come in at 12 pounds?  Sorry but I have to say that I am skeptical.  It is pretty had to imagine a 12 pound bike with a rack on it.

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2015, 07:09:43 pm »

I have never actually seen a 12 pound bike.  The pro racers tdf bikes are required to weigh at least 15 pounds (6.8 kg).  I have a hard time imagining anyone touring on a 12 pound bike.  Specifically what frame and components do you use that come in at 12 pounds?  Sorry but I have to say that I am skeptical.  It is pretty had to imagine a 12 pound bike with a rack on it.

Again, it's not a touring frame. I'm not a fan. It's all carbon and comes in at 11.25lbs except the rear rack which is titanium and weighs in at 0.43lbs putting the bike at less than 12lbs. I add in extra weight for the front/rear lights. The rack is made by Tubus and wasn't cheap (somewhere around $200).

You can certainly go lighter. My friend did the TransAm on a Trek Emonda (I believe) which weighed in at 10.25lbs and Merida makes one weighing in at 10.05lbs which can be reduced to under 10lbs by changing a few components on it.
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2015, 07:14:40 pm »
To be able to achieve the light, nimble,  easy to climb feel of a fast road bike while touring would be a beautiful thing. I could probably get my setup down to 40 lbs without food or water and still be able to camp comfortably on multi-week tours, but I'm not sure I'd be able to widdle it down much further.  At +/-30lbs are you able to camp comfortably and do long tours? 
BTW, I agree about the clunky 'touring' bike. Mine is a titanium litespeed blueridge with campy record 9 speed, carbon bars, ti seat post, so not your average long-haul trucker.

Very comfortably. I hammock camp and carry a single lightweight sleeping bag with me. I don't use a sleeping pad or anything of the sorts. The cold doesn't bother me and my sleeping bag is rated for +30 so wearing extra clothes on those few nights where it drops below 30 isn't a big deal to me. A few shots of whiskey and you're out cold anyway!  :P

I do use a camelback so I carry most of my water on my back except for one bottle on the bike tube. In terms of food I usually carry oatmeal and Cup 'O Noodles and only one or two at a time depending on how long it'll be before I reach the next store. Sometimes some chocolate and an apple or two at the most.
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline atodaso

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2015, 07:18:03 pm »
So what does this 12lb specimen look like, and who makes it?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 08:49:52 pm by atodaso »

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2015, 07:36:02 pm »
So what does this 12lb speciment look like, and who makes it?

It was custom made by Nicolai back home in Germany. I believe they've since expanded to the USA but not sure what their capacity is here. If I knew how to upload photos I would but I don't....
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline John Nelson

Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2015, 10:09:16 pm »
I'm going in another direction from this race to the bottom. My total weight is 80 pounds. That includes my bike and everything on it, except me. Including food, water, my helmet and bike shoes. The panniers alone weigh almost 9 pounds. Believe it or not, despite everybody posting here, my setup is no heavier than the average cyclotourist. I meet many carrying more than me.

I'm not sure you'd want to cross the Mojave Desert with an ultralight load. I carried 24 pounds of water.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 10:17:58 pm by John Nelson »