Author Topic: Tools / parts to carry on tour  (Read 1083 times)

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Offline froze

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2024, 12:24:52 pm »
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I do long-distance bike camping myself, but my tools are rather thin because I do a very extensive pre-ride inspection before I go, and do one every morning.  But this is a practice I've done for the last 50 years, about 40 before I started multi-day trips, and I've never had a mechanical breakdown on the road, not including flats of course.  Every morning, I go through my water bottle cages, fenders, and pannier racks to make sure the bolts are tight, those things seem to be the most likely to loosen, but so far they haven't.
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Agreed the pre-ride inspection is super important!

On rack and fender bolts and keeping them tight, Loctite is your best friend.  I've noticed that some bolts are more likely to loosen up than others, so it might be a good idea to ride around home with your bike fully loaded for a few days and figure out which bolts those are.  But I'd recommend putting a threadlocker and all of the rack and fender and cage bolts.

You mentioned wheels and spokes... my experience has been that broken spokes under mostly normal use is usually a sign of a poor wheel build.  High-quality custom wheel builds with alloy hoops and an adequate number of spokes are not grossly expensive (on the order of $300 each) and you can abuse the heck out of them and they won't let you down.  Usually from a return on investment standpoint wheel upgrades are a very good deal.  If you do basic maintenance (checking your wheels to make sure they are still true) you aren't likely to have problems.

I'm curious though.  You didn't mention chain oil at all.  At least for me riding dusty and dirty I usually need to clean the chain and reapply chain lubricant every couple of days.

I forgot to mention about the chain lube, I do take chain lube.  Currently, I use Dumonde Tech Lite because it lasts between 400 to 500 miles between applications, and I wipe it down after each ride.  But I am thinking of switching to Effetto Mariposa  Flower Power lube, supposedly it lasts about the same amount of time as the Dumonde, but it runs a lot cleaner with less friction, hmmmmm, so I will probably try it and if it fails to impress me I'll go back to Dumonde.

My touring bike, as do almost all touring bikes, are now coming with a max of 32 spoke rims, some just have 28, and if one spoke fails those lesser spoke wheels could cause a taco effect of the wheel.  Bike manufacturers are excusing the low spoke count wheels as making up for it with a stronger rim, but it doesn't work that way.  I'm like you, I think a touring bike wheelset should have at least 36 spokes with 40 being ideal, or 40 on the rear and 36 on the front, but my newer touring bike is using 32 spoke wheels, and I don't care for them but I'll keep using them till a rim starts to develop a crack somewhere, usually at a spoke hole.

I forgot to mention too, that I check my tires at night for holes and cuts, if any are found I fill them in with Super Glue, I do that at night because it takes a while for that glue to get real hard when it's not being used to put two things together.

I've been doing bike camping for about 12 years, on two different bikes, and so far none of my bolts have ever loosened, so Loctite has not been necessary, but just because they haven't loosened in all that time doesn't mean I don't check them because one day I could get a nasty surprise if I don't.  You can't take anything for granted when riding long distances for days on end.

I do a post-trip on my regular bikes after each ride, not as involved as a touring bike but it still needs to be done.

I even do a pre-trip when I'm in the RV as well, blowing an engine due to low oil, low antifreeze, a worn belt, a tire that has low air blowing out causing the potential for an accident, and other assorted checks I do every morning before leaving a campsite, having an issue on the road can be very expensive, an engine alone can run you around $8,000 these days, plus installation which is about 12 hours of labor, not to mention the time you have to wait for a part to come in, thus motel and food expenses.  So you want to make sure you do your due diligence to ensure the vehicle is up on all of its fluids and air pressure.

Some people probably think I'm anal, but if you read my list of tools you would allow me to come back to Earth!

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2024, 08:51:14 am »

I've been doing bike camping for about 12 years, on two different bikes, and so far none of my bolts have ever loosened, so Loctite has not been necessary, but just because they haven't loosened in all that time doesn't mean I don't check them because one day I could get a nasty surprise if I don't.  You can't take anything for granted when riding long distances for days on end.



Good idea.  One time I hastily installed my racks under a bridge in Missoula in order to get back to camp before an approaching storm.  On the 5th day of the trip, which included some rough, unpaved, hilly roads, one of the bolts of my front rack got rattled loose and fell out.  Didn't notice it until we got to camp and I noticed the rack listing heavily to one side.  A rack into a front wheel on the unpaved road we had just finished would have likely been a disaster.

Offline froze

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2024, 12:08:23 am »

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Good idea.  One time I hastily installed my racks under a bridge in Missoula in order to get back to camp before an approaching storm.  On the 5th day of the trip, which included some rough, unpaved, hilly roads, one of the bolts of my front rack got rattled loose and fell out.  Didn't notice it until we got to camp and I noticed the rack listing heavily to one side.  A rack into a front wheel on the unpaved road we had just finished would have likely been a disaster.
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The odd thing about pannier rack problems, I've run into more people who have had welds break on aluminum racks than I have with bolts coming loose!  Apparently, as the load is bouncing up and down on the rack, which could be made to carry a 75-pound load for example, but that weight is measured as the weight just sitting on the rack, it isn't taking that 75 pounds and adding another say 35 pounds when the 75 pounds jumps and comes back down constantly like a slide hammer.  A slide hammer might have only a 10-pound hammer, but you slide that thing back and forth on just 23 inches of rod and that weight is multiplied.  Now of course a load on a bike isn't jumping 23 inches, but even if it's only jumping an inch it's causing more weight than what the rack was designed for to be hammering away at the welds.  I've been on roads that have ridges every 12 feet or so, you hit those damn things and the load is bouncing up and down for miles, aluminum can't take that for long unless your load is at least 25% lower than the max carrying weight of the rack.

Offline davidbonn

Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2024, 01:32:12 pm »
A lot of inexpensive and lightweight aluminum racks aren't built to carry very much and could easily be overloaded by a bicycle tourist.

When you look at a lot of the low-cost racks on Amazon I suspect that the carry weight ratings are at best very optimistic.  And given that most folks don't have a serious clue about how much weight they are actually carrying it is surprising to me that there aren't more stories of rack mayhem and disaster.