Author Topic: Gear list: am I on the right road?  (Read 2862 times)

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Offline froze

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?u vry rare
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2021, 10:05:40 pm »
I certainly would trash the thorn resistant tubes, they're very heavy and bulky, no reason for those, just carry 2 standard tubes.  If flats worry you then get a pair of Schwalbe Marathon HS440 tires, these tires are virtually flatless, Schwalbe says their flatless but I've never seen a flatless tire, but it should be very rare to get a flat, but you take 2 tubes just in case.  You also need a patch kit, so you can repair tubes, and you need a boot patch in the unlikely event you get a large hole in the tire.

Food wise all you say you're carrying is 2 Ramens?  That's not food!  Or did you not mention all the food you're going to carry?

Taking two spokes is a good idea but rigid spokes requires removing the gear cluster for the rear, I just take a couple of very small bottles (it's how they came) of a fiber spoke called FiberFix Emergency Spoke, because it's a fiber you don't have to remove the gear cluster thus no need to carry a tool to do that.

disposable razor? I just use a Braun M90 AA powered shaver.

Coffee? you didn't say how you are going to cook it, or is it instant?  I don't particularly like instant coffee so I carry a GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip maker, and then put coffee I ground from beans into a zip lock bag, it's better tasting coffee than instant.  While this drip maker doesn't make fancy coffee but all the fancy makers weigh a lot more and take up a lot more space.

There is also a tent light or a outdoor table lamp that recharges by solar and it inflates and deflates to fit flat inside your pannier, it's the MPowerd Luci Original.  I have one of these and I can comfortably read inside my tent with the setting on medium!  It charges fast too, but don't get the version that they say you can charge your phone with because you can't, the solar panel is far to small to be effective at doing that, unless you had 8 days of pure sunshine and didn't use the phone in those 8 days!

Speaking of lights, for a flashlight all I take is an odd thing called Nebo Tino, it has a spot light and a work light, it's very slim so it sets flat, it's not rechargeable and it takes AAA bats and those weigh next to nothing.

Otherwise, you're list is very well thought out.  My stuff I brought up is simply options to consider, not that my ideas are better than yours, people have different preferences of what they want to carry.  I carry a 3 panel solar system so I can charge my phone and bike lights with it, along with a power bank just in case there is no sun, and I can charge the bank with solar.  Some people will tell you it's a bad idea to carry solar because it's heavy and besides you're always somewhere near electricity, ok, whatever, but I can be charging something while I'm riding, the solar panel just lays open on my bike rack and it charge up to 2 items at the same time, and what happens if you're not near electricity for several days?  They talk about weight yet they will use a generator hub that weighs more than the panels weigh, plus adds a few watts of resistance when you pedal.  Anyway you may not need a solar unit, but if you decide you do, don't buy anything more or less than 3 panels system, less and it won't charge your phone up from dead in a day, more and it gets heavy and bulky.  I bought a cheap one and it works great.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2021, 04:29:18 pm »
In my experience, newspapers might be available on the top of some passes, but not many.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2021, 04:41:09 pm »
In my experience, newspapers might be available on the top of some passes, but not many.
Yeah, I don't recall them ever being readily available at the top of passes when on tour.  I am certainly not carrying them for the purpose.  I do have a wind shirt that weighs a few ounces and at least one light insulation layer is a must even for a summer tour.  They are probably lighter and easier to pack than newspaper.  Someone mentioned using their ACA maps...  I guess in a pinch it is something to remember as a last resort.

Offline zzzz

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2021, 10:39:12 pm »
When I go over passes on tour the ACA maps aren’t my last resort, they’re my first resort!

I got them with me anyway, they’re waterproof so they aren’t damaged by it, and they really block the wind. Why would you use anything else?

Offline ray b

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2021, 04:58:38 pm »
...like they said..., though all the recommendations might put the weight at uncomfortable level on the first pass....

I'll second the use of board shorts (swim trunks) with cargo pockets. These are my only off the bike shorts.

I wear them with my usually clean wind vest while doing laundry, which is everything else. The board shorts dry quickly, and usually get "washed" whenever I'm in the water. Debate among some of the motorcyclists I ride with is whether to remove the netting from the shorts.....
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline mpeebles

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2021, 08:34:52 am »
I used a folding solar panel power pack on my trip x country.  I bungeed it to the top of my sleeping bag /tent and left it plugged into my rechargeable rear light...a Hot Shot 125.  I could also unhook it and charge my cell phone when needed.  I considered the charger and tail light to be two of the more important pieces of equipment that I carried.  I had no fewer than three drivers stop me and mention that they could see my light well before they noticed the bright yellow jersey. 

As for the rest of your list I wholeheartedly agree with the statement......"if it makes you happy then take it".  I traveled somewhat heavy and didn't regret it. 

......Mike

Offline Jono1979

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2021, 01:41:24 pm »
Some great advice here from everyone.

Offline froze

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2021, 12:37:35 am »
I forgot to mention in my earlier post the solar charger I got was the RavPower 16 watt unit that is waterproof, comes with dual charging cables so you can charge two things at the same time, I made sure it was compatible with my iPhone so you have to read what this units are compatible with.  The crazy thing is that it charges up my iPhone in the same length of time it takes the wall outlet to charge it!  RavPower is no longer selling this but a similar one is Nekteck 21 watt charger; when I bought mine the RavPower used the most efficient panels that were on the market at that time, Nekteck at that same time did not and thus too longer to charge stuff, not sure if Nekteck has changed that in the last year, but Anker also makes the same system but cost more than Nekteck and I think Anker is using the better more efficient panels, so I think Anker is the old RavPower unit.  These things are made in China and they keep dropping stuff from one brand and moving it to a different brand, not sure what that is all about, maybe to avoid paying any warranty claims?  The reviews on all three of those brands has been very high so I haven't read about any warranty problems. 

With that charger I bought a Anker 10,000 mah slimline power bank because it was cheap at just $13 and it was lightweight, they make better ones then the one that I got but the better ones weigh more.  The power bank is useful if the day is dark and very cloudy and you can't get the solar system to charge anything.  Like the solar chargers you have to make sure a power bank you choose is compatible with your stuff as well, and make sure the power bank can be charged by your solar charger.

I never thought when I bought my solar charger that it would work as good as it does, I thought it would take a couple of days to charge up the iphone, nope, just a couple of hours, and that prevented me from sending it back, yeah, I tested it first because I was prepared to send it back thinking it would be flop.  Like I said before you want to stay with a 3 panel system, more than then 3 and it's gets heavy and bulky, less than 3 and you won't be able to charge up a iPhone in a couple of hours, it could take all day and then some.

Offline ray b

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2021, 01:54:23 pm »
As for the rest of your list I wholeheartedly agree with the statement......"if it makes you happy then take it". 
Ahhh..., the philosophy of happiness on a bike...

...of course you'll not know whether something makes you happy or unhappy until you try to carry it up the first hill. Make sure you take your fully loaded bike out for some long days before deciding what you need to take. Although I carry (too many) tools and parts as well as musical instruments, I've met a lot of very happy cyclists carrying next to nothing - usually as they pass me.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2021, 05:51:46 pm »
Oh, the battle of weight. Back in the day, on a quest for fast and light for multi-day, van supported, back-to-back century rides for charity, I would spend $100 to save a few ounces. One day riding with a friend who was a bit overweight, he was asking what my bike weighed and I told him I would have to spend another $100 to save so many ounces. He looked over at me and said "You fat F*@7, why don't you just skip a few lunches!"

It is after all the total weight you have to pull up the hill. I have just done a few week long shakedown tours to determine what I can ditch out of my bloated gear kit. I figured 10 pounds from my panniers and another 10 from my well-rounded body would do the trick. I love to have the tools and parts I need for a roadside repair but I do not need to carry an Alien Tool and a set of Allen keys. One spare cable for brake and one for shifter is more than enough, I do not need a pair for each. I had a bike light, a head light, and a flash light, the flash light is gone. My credit card is pretty light. If I want a bear canister I can buy it in bear country and gift it when I leave. Also snacks weigh a ton - we skip lunch and snack all day, but 5 days worth of snacks weighs 10 pounds. Buy as you go and keep an emergency ration of maybe 1 day.

Weigh everything to the ounce and put it into a spreadsheet. Highlight everything over so many ounces, definitely anything over a pound, and think hard about it.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline froze

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2021, 09:50:02 pm »
Trying to eliminate ounces can be frustrating, especially when you find something that weighs say 32 ounces like a tent, but to chop that down to 24 ounces it cost $500 more, so it becomes also a battle of money and ounces, and it is it wise to spend $500 to save 8 ounces or whatever, but that becomes a problem with each ounce you try to save on a particular item the cost slopes up more and more dramatically. Spending $65 an ounce to cut weight is crazy, but people do it.  You can spend a small fortune on ultralight camping gear.

I don't carry any spare parts except for two FiberFix spokes, but I have no plans to carry cables when I do my USA touring trip because I will put on brand new cables before I leave, and new cables are good for a very long time.  I will carry a multi tool which can fix most things that can go wrong, and a small pair of pliers.  I have flashlight called a Nebo Tino, it's super thin so it takes up very little space, I carry my bike lights (front and rear) but those stay on the bikes, but no head lamp. I carry just one spare tube because I'm very confident in fixing tubes so I have no need for 2 tubes, besides if I have to use the spare finding store with tube isn't that much of a problem in America, A spare chain link, but the chain would be a new one before left for a USA tour so chances of using a spare link would be rare but it is light and takes up virtually no space.

The only iffy thing which currently I do take, but tires today are far better than they use to be even must 10 years ago, but that is a spare folding tire, but I'm thinking of ditching it due to tire technology today.  The folding tire I take is lightweight tire, only to be used for emergency, sort of like a donut spare found in cars today; what I would do is the rear tire got destroyed is to move the front to the rear and put on the lighter tire on the front.  I'm still debating about keeping the spare tire.  I have it squashed really flat with rubber bands keeping it squashed, but do I want the extra weight?  Do any of you carry a spare tire?  I have read from other tourists that they carry a spare tire. 

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2021, 07:00:27 am »
Never felt the need to carry a spare tire just a bit of duct tape wrapped around a pen. Read several posts where people broke rear shifter cables in the mountains, so to me that 0.5 oz. is worth it. Not losing rear brakes in the mountains for a broken cable, when a spare brake cable is another 0.5 oz., is burden I will carry. Chashing weight can be a very expensive proposition, I agree. There is also the downside of less durability in some cases with lighter gear. Using an item for 7 to 10 days is not the same as using it for 60 to 70 days. Repeated setup and breakdown, inflation and deflation, or being washed every day is more use than some ultralight products are designed for. Reliability and durability have to be considered, along with cost, when trying to save weight.

The other outcome of COVID is that you can buy just about anything online and have it shipped to just about anywhere within a day or so. I have an older tent that I hiked the AT with. It has already been used over 200 camping nights. They have a bicycle specific replacement now with shorter poles that weighs an ounce less, but costs $580 with the foot print. I am taking my old tent and will replace it if it should start to fail.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nelson

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2021, 07:43:12 am »
Whether or not to take a spare tire is always a close decision. Every time that I have not taken one, I didn’t need one, and every time that I have taken one, I needed it. How’s that for luck?

If you carry a spare, it allows you to not fuss about starting with brand new tires, which allows you to get full value out of your existing tires. My tire failures have always come in the middle of nowhere, which would have otherwise left me hitchhiking. Twice the tire has exploded (failed from the inside), which would have been unrepairable (well, I might have been able to boot it, but not reliably). Twice the tire developed a bulge in the sidewall, which meant that I could have kept riding, but I would have been very nervous coming down every hill. You don’t want that kind of anxiety on a tour. I’ve heard stories from others about bead failures, which is completely unrepairable. Many tire failures are unpredictable.

I now lean towards carrying one, if nothing more than to reduce anxiety. On a long tour, I leave a second spare at home and have it sent to me when I use the first one.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2021, 08:12:15 am »
I guess it is possible to spend a bundle in search of weight savings.  It is also possible to go pretty light frugally.  I have splurged on a few items, but really don't have all that much invested in the gear that I typically carry.  I don't own a speck of cuben fiber or othe high tech shelter tech.  My shelter system that I took on my last trip was almost exactly a pound and about $150.

I did splurge on a nice sleeping bag and some expensive dodads here and there, but overall my gear isn't really much more expensive than the average heavy tourist's stuff and is probably cheaper than a lot of folks stuff.

I did my ST on my old 1990 race bike and relatively cheap gear other than a nice sleeping bag and pad.  The gear weight was 14#.  I could probably start from scratch and assemble a complete setup like that for less than the average entry level touring bike here.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with indulging in nice things if you can afford them.  I just hate to see folks get the idea that it is a necessity if they want to go UL.  I found it quite possible to get down to an 8# base without resorting to the application of mass amounts of dollars.  The thing is that most of the weight can be saved fairly cheaply.  It is really only the last little bit that is really expensive and really is it worth it if you are already able to get to 16, or 12. or 8 pounds without breaking the bank?  I know that I found that once I got down to a certain point I looked at where I might have cut it a bit close and a little more weight might be worth carrying.  For me that meant a few more ounces for a larger tarp.

Also it isn't like folks don't spend a bundle on heavy stuff too.  There are functional inexpevsive racks and panniers for heavy touring and there are $$$ ones.  I did the Trans America as my first tour with heavy gear and Nashbar stuff ($50 panniers, $20 rack, etc) it all worked fine and all these years later, after a lot of use and having been loaned out, and used for commuting it is all still functional.  Same for heavier tents.

Personally I never saw a need to carry a spare tire for a road tour, at least nowhere in the continental US.  I am 70 years old and have been a cyclist my whole life and have never had a tire that couldn't be booted well enough to limp to somewhere to get a new one, but barring that I also have never been shy about sticking out a thumb and hitching a ride.  In places where cars are rare, most will stop if you are obviously broken down even if you don't stick out a thumb.  People I have been with have typically easily hitched a ride to a bike shop even when the nearest one was 100 miles away.  They typically got a ride right away.  I find that when someone is injured, out of water in the desert, or broken down folks will help.  The idea of talking about carrying a spare tire in the same post where spending an extra $500 to get a tent down to 24 ounces kind of boggles my mind unless maybe the rider is using sewups.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2021, 08:13:32 am »
Whether or not to take a spare tire is always a close decision. Every time that I have not taken one, I didn’t need one, and every time that I have taken one, I needed it. How’s that for luck?
Wow!  Odds are against that.

I guess I have been lucky.  I can say that I have never needed one.  OTOH, we may have a different definition of needing one.  To me not needing means I have always been able to improvise a fix of some sort and limp to somewhere.  I probably wouldn't consider it worth carrying a spare even if once or twice in all of my tours I had needed to hitch a ride to get a tire (I never have).  It isn't like there aren't other things you can't carry, but might need.
Quote
If you carry a spare, it allows you to not fuss about starting with brand new tires, which allows you to get full value out of your existing tires. My tire failures have always come in the middle of nowhere, which would have otherwise left me hitchhiking. Twice the tire has exploded (failed from the inside), which would have been unrepairable (well, I might have been able to boot it, but not reliably). Twice the tire developed a bulge in the sidewall, which meant that I could have kept riding, but I would have been very nervous coming down every hill. You don’t want that kind of anxiety on a tour. I’ve heard stories from others about bead failures, which is completely unrepairable. Many tire failures are unpredictable.

I now lean towards carrying one, if nothing more than to reduce anxiety. On a long tour, I leave a second spare at home and have it sent to me when I use the first one.
I might have been okay with repairing all of those for long enough to get a spare.  I am probably way more cavalier about stuff like that than most.  Limping along for 100 miles or a couple hundred miles, to me, is just part of the adventure.  Even a bead failure can be ridden on with tape wrapped around the tire and rim.  It renders rim brakes on that wheel unuseable though.  Not ideal, but I have done it and it got me home (not on tour).

FWIW these days I no longer start tours with new tires.  I just replace them along the way as needed.  I found the half worn ones never got used.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 08:36:16 am by staehpj1 »