Author Topic: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?  (Read 18396 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2011, 09:35:58 am »
Re: re: the tights.  I took tights on my big tour, and was glad I did.  There were a couple of cold days I wore them the entire day (including 34 degrees coming downhill from Guffey!).  I had the $30 unlined light cheapies from Performance.  I don't have that much difficulty getting them off, and even wore them a few evenings in camp when the zip-off pants weren't warm enough.

For comparison, wore my leg warmers to commute this week.  A bit chilly at 45 degrees; I was happy to get inside after a half hour of that.

Offline staehpj1

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2011, 10:32:41 am »
Re: re: the tights.  I took tights on my big tour, and was glad I did.  There were a couple of cold days I wore them the entire day (including 34 degrees coming downhill from Guffey!).  I had the $30 unlined light cheapies from Performance.  I don't have that much difficulty getting them off, and even wore them a few evenings in camp when the zip-off pants weren't warm enough.

For comparison, wore my leg warmers to commute this week.  A bit chilly at 45 degrees; I was happy to get inside after a half hour of that.

I own a bunch of different weights of tights ranging from thin and silky inside and out, to the ones that are a tiny bit fuzzy inside, to ones that are more fuzzy inside, to thicker "windproof ones".  Each one is a step warmer.

My leg warmers (Novara Thermal Tech from REI) are thicker than some and somewhat windproof.  Leg warmers come in a lot of different weights, but I like these.

I used thin tights on the Trans America and they were OK.  I used the leg warmers this past year in the Sierras and they were almost as warm as my windproof tights (which I have never taken on tour).  Those few times that it was really cold I just put my lightweight cheapie rain pants on over either the leg warmers or tights.  Funny thing is that I have never worn my rain pants to ride in the rain.  I have worn them in camp and have (rarely) ridden in them when it was below freezing.

FWIW, I don't find leg warmers that much easier to take off.  I wear my tights over my shorts so they are just about as easy to remove.

Tights are nicer for sleeping in, wearing in camp, or wearing under the zip off leg pants like long underwear.  That said I used the legwarmers on my last tour to save weight.

I typically trail run much more often than I ride these days.  So I use my tights for running way more than for riding, but here is my take on the weights of tights.  The caveat is that most of the experience it is based on is from trail running not bicycling.
  • Thin tights, silky inside and out - OK in the 30's and 40's for running.  For riding maybe the 50's and not too deep into the 40's
  • Still thin, but a tiny bit fuzzy inside - OK in the mid 20's, 30's, and low 40's for running.  For riding maybe the 40's and 30's
  • A bit thicker, fuzzier inside - OK in the high teens, 20's, and 30's for running.  For riding maybe the 40's and and down to 30 or so.
  • Thicker windproof ones (the backs of the legs are less windproof) - These are good for the 20's to subzero running.  For riding maybe the mid 30's to zero-ish.

The above is just an approximation and individual preferences, wind conditions, and other factors might skew the list.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 10:35:29 am by staehpj1 »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2011, 09:25:48 pm »
Pete, I understand where you're coming from.  I wonder if almost all tourists and commuters come up with a table like that?  I did one a few years ago.  Since I only have three levels of tights (plain, brushed, and pile), the portion of that temperature table that deals with my legs only had three rows:

40-50: plain tights
30-40: brushed (slightly warmer)
below 30: pile tights

Since then, I've got some knee and leg warmers; I can use them from about 45-55, maybe 60 if it's overcast or dark, windy, and rainy.  Below 45, as I hinted above, they don't provide enough cover for my crotch, which then gets too cold.

The core part of my chart is larger.  On tour, though, I get by with poly and wool short sleeve jerseys, long sleeve knit mid-layer, and of course the rain jacket.  Mix and match layering works from 90 degrees down to freeing.

Offline bogiesan

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2011, 12:02:15 am »
Actually, you can compromise on everything. Spend a few hours researching ultralight backpacking techniques. The equipment and methods have been perfected over several decades. Not everything is a direct adaptation to bike touring but most of the lessons are easily transfered.

For instance, you don't need an 8-10 pound tent/fly/ground cloth. You can use a silnylon tarp and a bivvy bag, 3 pounds. You don't need a self-inflating mattress at 6 pounds. You choose your sleeping site carefully and most nights you will be comfy on a folding foam pad, 12 ounces. An excellent down bag will weigh 50-70% of the same temp rating in a synthetic. A functioning kitchen can be no more than an alcohol stove, a titanium cup, a spoon, and some simple spices.   

If you can take your total mass from 45-60 pounds to less than 20 pounds, your need for bombproof racks and panniers evaporates.

Going ultralight is not for everyone. If you take less junk, you got less junk to lose; you can pitch or strike camp in a few minutes.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Tourista829

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2011, 09:22:57 pm »
Staehpj1 not a bad list. I think possible to save if you limit your clothes, accessories, and if money is an issue, borrow some gear, but like all of us you learn by experience. I'd start off a little heavier and send stuff home, as you progress through your trip.

Offline staehpj1

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2011, 08:32:47 am »
I'd start off a little heavier and send stuff home, as you progress through your trip.
Funny thing is...  That is what most folks who think they are already packing very light are actually doing their first trip.  I know that on my first tour (the TA) we thought we had packed pretty light and yet we mailed stuff home numerous times and trimmed the list further on subsequent trips.

We were all fairly experienced campers having done some backpacking, canoe camping, and other stuff.  So I expect that someone who has done less camping would be likely to over pack even worse.

Offline Stevenp

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2011, 09:43:49 am »
I have read many touring journals and have noticed how most people eventually mail things home. What I find surprising is that they are sometimes mailing things like, a pair of socks, leg warmers, pair of shorts...etc. My point being that the things they are sometimes mailing home are very light items which don't seem like they would make much of a difference in weight. Is it that noticeable when you lose such small amounts of weight from the load?

I am getting into this trip realizing it's going to be a lot of work, also realizing that I really have no idea of what I'm getting in to. I look forward to taking luxuries like a fan, bigger camera, extra clothes...etc. Am I really going to regret these extra things because of the weight??

Offline staehpj1

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2011, 10:57:46 am »
I have read many touring journals and have noticed how most people eventually mail things home. What I find surprising is that they are sometimes mailing things like, a pair of socks, leg warmers, pair of shorts...etc. My point being that the things they are sometimes mailing home are very light items which don't seem like they would make much of a difference in weight. Is it that noticeable when you lose such small amounts of weight from the load?

Is it noticeable?  I can say that when I mailed home a couple pounds it was very noticeable.

Often the little things add up to more than you would think.  Two ounces here, 3 there, 4 there and pretty soon you are talking pounds.

I don't think too many folks mail home just a pair of socks.  I think that a more likely scenario is to go through every item and pick things you don't need with no regard for weight.  An unneeded item is an unneeded item.  Whether it is an ounce or a pound it all adds up.

I am getting into this trip realizing it's going to be a lot of work, also realizing that I really have no idea of what I'm getting in to. I look forward to taking luxuries like a fan, bigger camera, extra clothes...etc. Am I really going to regret these extra things because of the weight??

"Am I really going to regret these extra things because of the weight??"  I can't say for sure, maybe you won't, but I can say that without a doubt I would.

I will also say that we did the TA during what was a record heat wave much of the way (often over 100F) and again when I was in the Sierras last year the heat was severe (over 100F a good bit and 110 at least once).  Even in that extreme heat I wouldn't have accepted a fan if someone was giving it to me.  I'll repeat something I said before, decide on taking things based on whether you need them, don't take anything because it might be nice or sounds like a good idea.

Offline John Nelson

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2011, 11:36:41 am »
If you're touring by yourself, have plenty of time, can stop whenever you want, don't mind walking a hill every now and then, and have bullet-proof bike and equipment, then you can probably take whatever you want. Like Pete, I wouldn't accept a fan if you paid me money to take it. A fourth pair of socks or a third shirt that you never wear is useless. Even though each individual article of clothing is light, it does, as Pete says, add up. My clothing is the biggest component of my gear at 35% of the total gear weight. Tools/parts are 13%, camping gear is 28% and the rest (toiletries, electronics, maps, journal, wallet, etc.) is 24%.

Sorry for the diversion. This thread was originally about money, not weight. There's another thread currently active about weight.

Offline cindalee

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2011, 12:24:14 am »
Steven,
You have a huge budget - and I don't think you need to spend nearly that much money. I did my first tour last fall - 18 days - bought all my gear except borrowed a tent. My gear and trip including airfare and fees to ship bike on plane to SF to Pittsburgh & return Washington DC to SF costs less than your budgeted amount for gear.

I even bought the high end Ortlieb rear panniers (www.thetouringstore.com), which were absolutely the best), a Big Agnes down bag and mat (that slips into the sleeve the sleeping bag - so comfortable - no sliding off and waking up on the hard/cold ground). Check out peak62.com  I had custom cycling jerseys made (bikingthings.com) and bought Pearl Izumi cycling shorts - which I have found to provide the best comfort for long days in the saddle.

Oh  and I already had a camera but I did buy a bike computer/heart monitor and a solar powered charger. I bought fenders, racks, handlebar bag, lights, handlebar camera mount, headlamp for camping (which can also double as a second light for the bike).

If you haven't looked the website for Bicycletouringpro.com then I strongly suggest it - he has great articles on touring - a young guy but with years of experience.

BTW - I just learned how to ride a bike less than 2 years ago - on a borrowed Raleigh Mountain Bike (now bequeathed to me permanently) - I love it. I swapped out the true mountain tires for Continental Travel Contact tires - they're fabulous tires. My tour was a solo adventure for 500 miles. Can't wait to do a cross country in 2012.

Good luck - will you have a blog?
Cinda

Offline Stevenp

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2011, 10:34:25 am »
I just created the journal blog on CGOAB.

Here it is:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/adam2011

Offline staehpj1

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2011, 10:50:05 am »
I just created the journal blog on CGOAB.

Here it is:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/adam2011
That link isn't working for me.  Just a guess, but did you possibly forget to check the "publish" check box on the properties for the page?  It remains invisible to everyone but you until you do that.

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • So, what's the problem?
Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 06:49:46 pm »
I just created the journal blog on CGOAB.

Here it is:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/adam2011
did you possibly forget to check the "publish" check box on the properties for the page?  It remains invisible to everyone but you until you do that.
Good sleuthing!
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline Stevenp

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2011, 09:30:21 pm »
Yes exactly, check publish! checked.

Offline tonymason

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2011, 12:21:37 am »
I agree with an earlier post. You need to look into going light.  It will save you money, decrease the weight of your load and make your tour much more enjoyable. The most expensive items on your list will also be the heaviest so research lightweight tents (single layer silnylon) sleeping bags (800 fill down) and panniers/racks (no need for bombproof ones beacuse your load can be under 20#)  will save you serious weight and dollars.  Adventure Cycling's how-to department(www.adventurecycling.org/features/ultralight.cfm) and backpackinglight.com are good resources.
Less is more.