Author Topic: Need advice for bringing guitar  (Read 7743 times)

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Offline subatomiclife

Need advice for bringing guitar
« on: March 20, 2006, 03:21:16 pm »
I'm a musician planning a bicycle tour this summer and I could really use some advice on packing an acoustic guitar (in a lightweight Fort hard case).  I know people out there have done this...I'm just curious how!

Thanks in advance for your help.

ps -- if it helps, i'll be riding a hand-me-down Peugot.  dunno what model, but the gear-shifters are down on the frame, not on the handle bars.

Offline wanderingwheel

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 04:26:09 pm »
You will probably have to do some experimenting on your own.  The first thing I would try, assuming you are carrying four panniers, is to dedicate one of the rear panniers to the guitar.  Of course the guitrar will stick out of the pannier, but with some creative lashing it should be stable enough.  This is probably a good place for one of those "kitchen sink" panniers from Jandd or Arkel.  

The next thing I would try is to tie it down to the rear rack with neck pointing back.  A very large rack platform, such as from Jandd, would help.  Of course this would displace anything that you would normally put on the rack such as a tent or sleeping bag.  It will also restrict access to the rear panniers on the road and prevent you from overstuffing the rear panniers above the height of the rack.

The third option is to use a trailer and be done with it.  Maybe someone has some better ideas.  Regardless of how you carry it, make sure that the guitar is safe from water damage.  Consider not only rain, but also spray from your tires.


Offline annie

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2006, 06:32:34 pm »
Good luck! I wish I knew someone who'd done this and could advise you. Still, it seems to me that you'd want to keep the guitar fully protected and I think a trailer would be the preferred choice. Use a good waterproof bag and you won't have to worry about moisture. Don't know how rough roads would affect the tuning? I know the BOB Yak trailer has a shock, as it's made for off-roads travels. Might be the way for you to go.


Offline Badger

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 10:38:35 pm »
Have you considered a ukulele?

Offline TheDaltonBoys

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2006, 08:38:24 am »
....maybe a mandolin?? Enjoy the voyage...Mark of the Dalton Boys

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 09:52:55 am »
Back in '97 my daughter and I mountain biked through NW Russia as part of a missionary team. One of the riders, whose family were resident missionaries in Petrozavodsk, decided to take his guitar. This was before we got to know BoB Yak, so Caleb had his guitar strapped on top of his panniers. It was a lot of work, particularly on windy days. Where most of us could coast down hills, he often had to pedal. Don't get me wrong; it was great having the guitar for worship times, but when I got back to the states, I sent him a harmonica.

Ride safe, (sans guitar)

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol-MN
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline Luca

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006, 08:23:42 pm »
I had the pleasure of travelling the road with a musicyclist last summer.
He was lugging his acoustic up the west coast - when he whipped it
out, and strummed his way through a blues, I was surprised to
discover that the guitar's body was made of carbon fiber! What next,
carbon fiber strings?

This wayfarer had equipped his bike with an Xtracycle (http://, and so had ample room for this guitar (in a soft
case), camping gear and incidentals. If your budget permits, it's
definitely an alternative to a trailer.



  • Guest
Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2006, 09:05:16 pm »
I have two suggestions. Unfortunately, both options involve spending a fair amount of money.

First I want to mention that I do not recommend trying to take your guitar if you are only using panniers.

My first suggestion, involves the purchase of a new guitar case - a Calton case to be specific. These are very expensive and our custom made to fit your guitar. They are water tight, fire retardent and simply the absolute best protection for any instrument. A case like this would all but guarantee the saftey of your guitar.

My second suggestion, which someone else already brought up, is to add an   Xtracycle to your bike. This is a pretty great system for carrying, among other things, oblong and bulky objects. Combining this set up, with a Calton case would be, IMO, the absolute best solution *speaking strictly in terms of the saftey of your instrument*.

I have not toured with the aforementioned set up but I do use it it the city in all conditions with excellent results.

If cost is really an issue, I suggest a BOB, or similar trailer, and a decent hard case. Buy some foam sheets or blocks and cut them for the inside of yor case to absorb shock and prevent movement in side the case. Pack your tailer and lash your guitar to the top of yout load. A tarp over the top will keep it dry.

If that's still too much, remember that Woddy Guthrie, among others, used to ride the trains without even a case for his guitar!

Finally, I would always suggest against traveling with a guitar which holds sentimental value for you.

Offline subatomiclife

Need advice for bringing guitar
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2006, 04:15:32 pm »
thanks for all your input!  i'm going to explore a few of these options (including taking up the ukelele!) and see what happens.