Author Topic: Bike across the US help  (Read 3310 times)

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Offline Amk7223

Bike across the US help
« on: April 18, 2017, 12:49:26 pm »
My husband and I are going to bike Route 66 to the transamerica route to finish in Yorktown (hopefully!). We have sold our house and quit our jobs. We have about 2.5 months between quitting and flying out to Santa Monica ( which is happening may 1st) to finish the trip or see how far we can make it. We are in our 30s and have always been big road bikers but haven't done as much touring. Our longest tour has been about 450 miles. We made money on our house and figured this was the only way we could attempt the ride before retirement. It has happened quickly but I figured I'd regret it more if we didn't do it then if we continued living our lives without trying to live our dreams. The problem is We have carbon road bikes which don't hold panniers. I'm also worried road bikes won't be safe on all the conditions we will face. I'm thinking we each need to buy a nice touring bike. Any thoughts? If we stay with our carbon bikes we are faced with a trunk bag, a front basket bag and a frame bag. We would then also have to carry camel backs for some of the longer days as space will be so limited. We have the maps and our one way tickets but ANY advice on anything would be much much much appreciated! Or how much we should spend on a touring bike? Any recommendations? If we do buy one we thought we may just do it in Santa Monica to save the headache of getting it out there. THANKS!

Offline etsisk

Re: Bike across the US help
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 01:06:53 pm »
The ACA website has a number of how-to resources, and the cyclosource shop has books! Plenty of information out there to get you started! The "bicycle touring pro" website also has a lot of info available. Backpacking websites/resources also have a lot of info that's well tested and to the point - the only difference between us and them is the packs and the fact that we can carry more stuff!

Good luck and have fun - the planning and learning can be just as much fun as the ride!

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Offline Iowagriz

Re: Bike across the US help
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 01:48:34 pm »
Touring bikes will likely be more comfortable over the long run, but you could get away with those road bikes.  Put the widest tires that you can fit on them and then research the bikepacking bags options.  That would be assuming that you go lightweight and not overpack.  Large seatbags, framebag and handlebar bags should allow you enough.  It all depends on what you want to get out of the tour.  If you take your time, smell the roses and want to explore side trips along the way, (I do), then likely need more stuff for that type of trip and more road conditions.  If you fit into the later, then look at touring bikes, or something a little burlier (Salsa Fargo, Trek 520?).

Enjoy!  Sounds like fun


  • Guest
Re: Bike across the US help
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 02:25:35 pm »
Are your road bikes geared sufficiently to allow you handle mountain climbs of 10+ miles while carrying weight?

BTW..REI offers some affordable touring bikes. Is there one near you? If so, there is one in Santa Monica. It's quite possible that if you buy bikes from a local REI they will later assist in shipping them to the Santa Monica store for you. Or get a local bike shop to box them and ship them to the Santa Monica REI for reassembly using, which is a discount broker for FedEx bike shipping. I have used the Missoula REI for reassembling my bike at the start of tours and I didn't even buy it from an REI. But make sure you call and ask if they will do that for you.

Offline etsisk

Re: Bike across the US help
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 11:03:09 am »
In today's ACA email they gave a link to Cycling About, another website with tons of info, much of which seems to be exactly what you are looking for - check 'em out!

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Offline BikeFreak

Re: Bike across the US help
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 07:50:45 am »
You need to determine how much luggage you will bring. It will tell you if you can use the road bikes or not. Maybe a BOB Yak Trailer? Anyhow, I heard about a couple who biked across USA on a tandem. They did not have any luggage at all! When they were showering, they were showering with their clothes on and would thereby automatically wash them at the same time. I also met a German guy biking across: He went to LA, bought a standard bike at a bike shop, then a small trunk bag for the rear rack (or was it mounted on the seat post? I cannot remember). He was biking from motel to motel using google maps and was washing his bike clothes every night in the sink.


PS: I think it is great that you sold your house. You will not regret it.