Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Great Divide Equipment

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I'm planning on riding the great divide route this
summer and would like some feedback regarding
how I haul my supplies.  I plan on carrying
20-25lbs of supplies.  
If I just use a rear rack with panniers do you think
that would be too much weight for the rear wheel
over rough terrain.  Handling?
What about a rear rack/panniers and a handle bar
bag to put  5-8 or so pounds up front.  
A front and rear rack with panniers might be the
best but I don't want to spend the money on a front
rack and panniers and also don't want the extra
Anyone have experience with a rear (or front) wheel
failure while weighted down.  This is what I'm most
concerned with.  I ride a Mt. bike with Bontrager
Satelite wheels.
Thanks for the input!

I ride an old (about 8 years) Giant Sedona on rails to trails and in the mountains of North Carolina.  The only wheel problems I have had is when I make a mistake that is bad enough to send me over the handle bars. I weigh 208 and my bike is 29 lbs plus about five or six pounds of lunch, tools and just stuff for day trips.  That totals over 240 pounds.  Your question did not include your weight but as touring is easier on wheels than single track I think you have a stronger set up than most touring bikes.  Handling with panniers I have no experience.

Hi Dan
I am a dutch biker, done lots of touring both on and off road, using panniers back and rear and a BOB. I did part of the GDMT last summer, great fun. Touring needs strong wheels! I had problems wth panniers and rear wheels. For me a strong rim and at least 32 or 36 spokes crossed over 3 work well. 20-25 lbs sounds awfull light fot the Great Divide! There are several stretches where you'll need food for a couple of days. Are you sure you can stay this light? The handling of a bike is seriously effected by panniers, worse if you pack everything on a rear rack alone. A heavy handlebar bag is bad for steering and you loose some sight of the road. I used my BOB on the Great Divide and I find that it handles very well off-road. It is a lot heavier than a pannier set-up though. Anyway, have fun!

You would be alll right with just a rear rack with 20 to 25 pounds of weight. My thought is 8 pounds will afffect stearing with a handlebar bag. I use a handlebar bag only for small camera, and smacks.
I just don't know how you will keep weight so low on the Great Divide. At time I carried 2 gallons of water and 3 days of food and just made it to the next provision spot. There are some lonely and dry areas on the Great Divide. I don't think you can go quite that light. I would suggest from and rear panniers or a bob. I have used both and they work well.

I forgot to mention in the first message I weigh
145-150 lbs.  My bike is about 26.5 lbs (w/ slime
tubes) with no accessories on it.  I went ahead and
put an old man mountain rack on the rear (white
rock) and front (sherpa) so I'm forgetting about the
handle bar bag idea.  Plus, that will put some
weight up front and take some pressure off the
rear wheel.  I prefer to travel as light as possible
and feel 20-25 pounds is doable and also realize
that the weight will increase significalnly on those
occasions when I do need to carry more water and
food.  My plan is to carry two Ortlieb Classic
panniers and a trunk rack or a small dry bag with
8-12 lbs strapped to the other rack.  I haven't
decided if the panniers will go on the front or rear
but wherever they go I'll strap some other gear to
the other rack .
Thanks for the input so far.  


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