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Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



Whether it's for an overnight jaunt or continent-spanning voyage, bicycle touring covers the subset of cycling where you're traveling from point A to B for leisure and to experience everything in between, rather than primarily for commuting or exercise. Bike touring has been my favorite cycling activity because of how it can be both very relaxing and incredibly exhilarating at the same time, and you get to explore the land more intimately than you ever would by car. I really like this quote from the top of the last thread, as it sums things up perfectly and I often bring it up when people ask why I enjoy going places by bike.

Ernest Hemingway posted:

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them. ... Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motorcar only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.

Bicycles are probably the most energy-efficient way to transport yourself under your own power, and are capable of traveling much further than you might think. With proper planning you'll be able to traverse long distances at a leisurely pace, even with a heavy bike that's loaded down with equipment. Added benefits to traveling on a bicycle is that your transport time is part of the experience instead of just a means to an end, and instead of spending money on gas or tickets that cash goes towards all the food you get to eat along the way.



Types of Bicycle Touring

Just like with other cycling disciplines, bicycle touring can take a number of different forms depending on the type of terrain you expect to encounter on your travels. How you intend to shelter and support yourself on a tour also comes into play.

Loaded Touring
[Anyone else want to volunteer a picture of their ride?]

This is the type I'm most familiar and comfortable with, where you carry everything you need to be self-sufficient. How much you pack onto your bike will depend on where you're going and for how long; camping equipment like tents and portable stoves aren't out of the ordinary, but if you're expecting to be far away from a bike shop for extended periods it's also wise to bring along spare parts and tools to be prepared for any situation.

In my experience this is the marathon form of bike touring, where your day-to-day moving speed is slower but you're capable of going enormous distances. I'm right in the middle of Canada and have hosted many bicycle tourists crossing the country (more on this later), and pretty much all of them were of this type. Not just on the traditional West-East/East-West route, but folks who have also traveled here all the way from Tuktoyaktuk, north of the Arctic Circle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUme99UQwO0

Lightweight Touring
[Anyone want to volunteer a picture of their ride?]

Also commonly referred to as credit card touring, this form of bicycle travel has you carrying very little on your person and instead paying for your food and shelter along the way. I often see this as part of organized tours where there's some form of support vehicle should anything unexpected occur, but it's possible to do it on your own as long as you're traveling through populated areas where you can buy what you need to get by. You can go much faster when not loaded down with so much stuff, but make sure you have a backup plan for when things inevitably don't go according to plan.

Bikepacking

[Anyone else want to volunteer a picture of their ride?]

This form of bicycle touring is more geared towards off-road riding, away from population centers. Like traditional loaded touring this involves carrying supplies to be self-sufficient, but due to the rough terrain involved extra attention is paid to equipment weight, its distribution on the bike and its effect on handling characteristics. This is where you see bikes that tend to discard the traditional voluminous rack-and-pannier setup for frame, saddle, and handlebar bags.

Equipment

Bicycle

There are many purpose-built bicycles out there suited for touring, but any bicycle you're comfortable riding on for extended periods is a good place to start. My very first touring bike was on a hybrid bicycle I modified and it served me well until I got my current ride.

Purpose-built touring bikes will have a more relaxed geometry and a longer wheelbase for comfort and stability during long hours in the saddle, and mounting points for accessories and load-bearing equipment. Gearing tends to be lower to allow for easier pedaling, which is especially nice when going up inclines while carrying lots of gear. Wheels typically have at least 36 spokes for additional strength, and solidly constructed rims to handle additional weight and/or rough terrain.

Common loaded touring bikes are the Trek 520, Fuji Touring, Surly Long Haul/Disc Trucker, and the Kona Sutra. Bikepacking bikes can be more varied depending on just how harsh the terrain is going to be, and can run the gamut from gravel bikes with slightly bigger tires to mountain bikes with big fat tires; I'll edit in some entry level bikepacking bikes if someone with more knowledge can offer some suggestions.



Your body's main contact points are going to be your saddle (butt), feet (pedals), and handlebars (hands). Just like with all other forms of cycling, saddles are going to be an individual preference but the same general recommendations apply. You want something wide enough for your sit-bones to comfortably rest upon, but firm enough that they don't sink in and cause the saddle to squeeze up into the nerves under your junk and make things go numb.

Some form of pedal retention is nice on long rides, and this can take the form of straps that clip over your shoes, or clipless pedals that engage with a cleat attached to special cycling shoes. Clipless pedals and shoes meant for mountain bikes are ideal, as they use a smaller cleat that allows you to walk around normally when off the bike. Touring shoes are available now that are lighter and don't have the aggressive tread that MTB shoes have, and you can even get sandals that can have SPD cleats attached. I've never used them, but some people swear by them for touring.



A handlebar that allows you to shift your hands into a variety of different positions is ideal; traditional drop bars are good at this, but other designs are available these days that you may find just as comfortable.



Above all the most important thing is to make sure the bike fits your body, which necessitates correct sizing and fit. Make sure to do ample test riding in the conditions you plan to be riding in, with the attachments and equipment you expect to bring with you. I only found out my original wheels were no good before my first tour on a test ride that busted a couple spokes, but thankfully I wasn't too far from home and was able to get a new wheelset before heading out.

Containers

Unless you're doing credit card touring, you're going to need some way to carry your stuff along with you. Traditionally this is done with racks attached to the front and rear of your bike that allow the attachment of pannier, trunk and porteur bags. Bikepacking bikes are more often seen with frame bags inside the triangle of the frame, and additional roll bags that hang off the saddle and handlebars. This offers less cargo capacity but makes for a more nimble off-road ride. Some form of waterproofing is usually a good idea, even if it's just some rain covers that go over your bags.



Cargo

Everyone's comfort zone is different and what may be too much gear to one person is not enough to someone else. I usually head straight out from my home or the airport so I like to come prepared. This is what I brought with me for my longest trip, a six-week ride across Japan from Fukuoka to Tokyo. I think the only thing I never used was my lock because, as I discovered, people can just leave their million yen bikes leaning on the side of a building without having to worry about it being stolen. I think I used it to pound some tent stakes in.



Logistics

Planning

Especially when planning your first overnight trip, tools such as the Strava heatmap are handy for seeing the routes that are used by other cyclists. Pull up your area and a place nearby that looks like it would be nice to camp or spend the night, and chances are there's going to be routes more interesting than the highway that leads straight there.

Tools such as Strava (currently a paid feature) and RideWithGPS (currently free) allow you to plan your route in finer detail, with features such as printable cuesheets that tell you where to turn, or turn-by-turn directions on a GPS device. It is strongly recommended that a dedicated bike computer or GPS is used for navigation, as the phone apps accelerate battery drain and can leave you without a lifeline in the event of an emergency.

Shelter

If you're not staying at a hostel, you're probably camping. Sometimes things don't work out and you might not reach your destination in time, or there aren't any places to stay between points A and B, which are a couple nights away. Experience with wilderness camping is handy when you're out in very rural areas, or stealth camping in more populated places. Stealth camping in particular is highly dependent on where you're traveling through and the level of risk involved if someone (or something) stumbles into you. Whenever I had to do it, I opted for the most public-looking land I could find like a park and setting up out of the way, and leaving the place as clean as it was when I got there.



Another option to consider are communities such as Warm Showers. Warmshowers.org is a non-profit website that allows bicycle tourists to find places to stay, or to offer to host people who are on tour. It used to be free until this year when the site needed to be upgraded; currently it's a one-time $30 fee for new users. I first used it in Japan and was so impressed by it that I immediately signed up to host and have met so many cool people over the years as a result.

The very first person I hosted was someone who was traveling across Japan the same time I was, but we were always just ahead or behind each other. When she asked to stay at my place I noticed her name was the same as one of the signatures in a guestbook at the top of a mountain I climbed right before I got there, which was such an amazing coincidence.

It's also good for when things don't go so well...

Emergencies



Just like with any other form of cycling there's some risk involved, except now there's the additional possibility of crashing somewhere far from home in an unfamiliar place. I slipped at speed going down a mountain and broke my collarbone on my last day of riding, but because I was in touch with amazing SA peeps in Japan (especially super-awesome bike-thread regular Stringent who picked my broken rear end up from the hospital) it wasn't even a fraction as bad as it could have been. Travel insurance paid for an upgrade to first class for the flight home, which was worth breaking some bones if I'm going to be completely honest. I was able to pay the favour back soon after when one of the people I hosted got hit by a car and I did some legwork for them here, and thankfully she wasn't messed up as bad as she could have been.

These days apps like Strava have real-time tracking links you can provide to your contacts as long as you have a data connection, which isn't a bad idea when you're going to out-of-the-way places or traveling on your own.

Coxswain Balls fucked around with this message at 05:37 on Jul 26, 2020

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Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



Reserved!

Fart Car '97
Jul 23, 2003

o fuk traffic

Please, Ride A Bike.

FireTora
Oct 6, 2004



Touring is the best. Here's my bike last summer early on, I was carrying way too much poo poo at the start. We passed a hunting weight station like 2 weeks in and it was ~95 lbs. I ditched 15-20 lbs of poo poo i think before we flew to Europe for the rest of it.



Feel free to add it to the OP if you want. Also if Keen ever makes those Commuter Sandals again I'm buying a pair right away.

e: Here's a shot of our camp coming down the PCH at the start of the pandemic, got rained on a bit that day and then the ranger showed up and told up all the state parks were closing. Had to do motels the next 3 nights even though the weather ended up being perfect the rest of the trip.

FireTora fucked around with this message at 14:55 on Jul 25, 2020

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



I have no idea how they compare but Shimano just announced a re-release of their original SPD sandals earlier this month. I'm certainly curious, but not enough to spend over a hundred bucks on something I ultimately might not like.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/information/news/the-legend-reborn--shimano-s-25th-anniversary-spd-sandal.html

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



In looking for touring / touring bike pics, I noticed Google created this highlight reel from my last tour. Flits through the pics rather fast, but cute pastiche of touring
https://photos.app.goo.gl/b4sFcRB1WvNRifxg9
Feel free to pause and dissect.

The Wiggly Wizard
Aug 21, 2008




Great OP Cox. Bookmarking and hoping I can get out for at least one multiday tour and a couple sub 24 hour overnights before the end of the year.

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


IF I'M TALKING ABOUT ART, I'M PROBABLY WRONG, SO PLEASE REPORT ME SO I CAN BE PROBATED. AGAIN.




If you want some entry bikepacking bikes pretty much any Surly that can handle 29er/27.5 tires is a solid pick. Steel hardtails or rigid bikes in general are a good pick. Way smoother ride than aluminum and not as much worry about damage from straps and bags as carbon frames.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



Bottom Liner posted:

Steel hardtails or rigid bikes in general are a good pick. Way smoother ride than aluminum

Alan of CyclingAbout (a very good touring resource) gives an impassioned argument on how little frame material matters past a certain tire size, owing to deflection coming from the dominant soft spring in a system:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/why-impossible-steel-frames-more-comfortable-than-aluminium/
Ignore the clickbait title.

trufflefoo
Oct 29, 2006


I am definitely about the 2-4 day bikepacking trips rather than fully loaded touring. For me, itís more about making an extension of the ride rather than a thing itself, although Iíve used it as a form of lightweight touring before.


Off road


Or on road

My camping setup folds out to something like this currently (though ordering a new tent soon):


I also have a tarp and bivvy set up, but no photos of that to hand.

Casual Yogurt
Jun 30, 2005

Cool tricks kid, I like your style.

I love bike touring!!! 2012-present:

First time 2 day bike touring LOL:


Got a proper touring bike:


Still working on the right setup:


Bikes + Trains are the best!


Touring with your friends is also the BEST!




Fav set up ever!


After pussyfooting around doing 2-4 day tours on the CA coast I got a new bike and toured from Vancouver to Los Angeles:



Any bike is a touring bike! Get out there!!!

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



Casual Yogurt posted:

Fav set up ever!


On our tour of the PCH, there was this kid with some old road bike with one skateboard bungeed to it, and we passed him back and forth on the road over multiple days. We assumed he was stopping at every skate park on the way and catching up. Keep grinding, Skate Kid.

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


IF I'M TALKING ABOUT ART, I'M PROBABLY WRONG, SO PLEASE REPORT ME SO I CAN BE PROBATED. AGAIN.




kimbo305 posted:

Alan of CyclingAbout (a very good touring resource) gives an impassioned argument on how little frame material matters past a certain tire size, owing to deflection coming from the dominant soft spring in a system:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/why-impossible-steel-frames-more-comfortable-than-aluminium/
Ignore the clickbait title.

That might all be 100% correct for normal touring but I have ridden steel, Alu, carbon, and Ti off-road and on single track and the frame material definitely matters.especially with hard tails or rigid where your frame will be absorbing a lot of hits. And again, with bikepacking you have more concerns like frame rub and such.


I love my 10 year old alu road bike, but Iíd never want to ride alu off-road for a long time while loaded.

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010






Salad Prong

Casual Yogurt posted:

I love bike touring!!! 2012-present:

First time 2 day bike touring LOL:


i loving love this like seriously it's great.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



kimbo305 posted:

Alan of CyclingAbout (a very good touring resource) gives an impassioned argument on how little frame material matters past a certain tire size, owing to deflection coming from the dominant soft spring in a system:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/why-impossible-steel-frames-more-comfortable-than-aluminium/
Ignore the clickbait title.
Please, big soft tires are no substitute for the torsional flex in my noodly frame.

Old steel can feel sketchy with a heavy rear load. It is much better with a balanced load.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



Bottom Liner posted:

That might all be 100% correct for normal touring but I have ridden steel, Alu, carbon, and Ti off-road and on single track and the frame material definitely matters.especially with hard tails or rigid where your frame will be absorbing a lot of hits. And again, with bikepacking you have more concerns like frame rub and such.

For rigid bikes, I partially disagree. Yes, for actual rocky off road, you quickly max out the "travel" of your tires and then you're delving into the flex of the fork and frame.
At that point, however, I would say the fork plays a bigger roll in feel than the frame. And IME, fork harshness goes like this:
- really lovely steel forks
- aluminum forks
- touring steel forks without front load
- overbuilt carbon forks
- nice carbon forks
- touring forks with front load
- nice road steel forks

A $50 3 pound steel fork paired with a really nice steel frame is still gonna feel like poo poo. Off road, I'd much rather ride on alu frame with a legit touring fork with some load over a mediocre all-steel frameset.

There are alu frames with a bunch of flex designed in, but I dunno that I would ride them for extremely long bikepacking tours. My Slate doesn't feel harsh at all between the flattened chainstays and 3cm suspension fork.

CopperHound posted:

Please, big soft tires are no substitute for the torsional flex in my noodly frame.

Flexy alu frames make you fear for your life. Thankfully (?), that was without any load.

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010






Salad Prong



snow



cool campsite



moody cows

Going on a overnighter this monday so i'm super excited even though the forecast is just dreadful

SimonSays
Aug 4, 2006

Simon is the monkey's name

I'm going on a week-long tour in two days, now I feel mighty, thanks for the inspiration, thread.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



SimonSays posted:

I'm going on a week-long tour in two days, now I feel mighty, thanks for the inspiration, thread.

your setup.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



My touring bikes have been aluminum with steel forks and I've never found them uncomfortable or weird to handle with a ton of gear strapped on. The main benefit to steel on a touring bike is that if you're in a real jam way out in the country, any place equipped to do any sort of welding can work on a steel bike whereas aluminum welding requires a specialized rig and skillset.

I'm starting to consider getting a new frame since my 2006 Devinci Destination's rear triangle eyelets are starting to give up the ghost. One of the seat stay eyelets needed to be tapped a size larger a couple years ago due to deformation, and a couple weeks ago when reinstalling my rack the threading on the frame by the RD just detached into a wire spiral. I was able to tap that one too but I'm starting to think fatigue from my crash is starting to catch up to it, since that was the side I skidded on at high speed.

Back in the day I thought the Soma Saga looked cool, but after hearing about the Wolverine dropout issues I became less interested. Are there any decent frames to look at that are possible to get from suppliers in Canada? I'd just be moving all my components over, including a Disc Trucker fork and 700C wheels, although if touring frames and forks with thru-axles exist now and play nice with 9-speed components I might not be opposed to waiting even longer until I have more cash to replace those as well.

SimonSays posted:

I'm going on a week-long tour in two days, now I feel mighty, thanks for the inspiration, thread.

Sweet, can't wait to hear you tell us all about it! Wherebouts are you headed?

Coxswain Balls fucked around with this message at 19:28 on Jul 25, 2020

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



Gonna post the evolution of my touring bikes. All meant for >1 week, majority on-asphalt loaded touring.

First touring bike, a couple days into the first tour:

Standard 4 pannier setup, with tent items on top of the rear rack. I had one full load test ride before, but still swapped the pannier locations of a few things early on in the tour.

This was a 2010 Jamis Aurora Elite, a transitional touring bike with 9-speed groupset but also disc brakes. The gearing was 50/39/30 x 11-34, which was just barely adequate for some of the grades we hit.
The bike came with fenders, rear rack, and that neat NVO adjustable stem (which I futzed with by a few mm early in the tour, and was happy to leave it alone after). It was new old stock in 2013, so I got it for 1100ish? Only things I added were the front rack and a (pointless) rim dynamo. You can see the junction box on the top tube, and my phone electric taped to the GPS. If I wanted to take a picture from the bike, I would unmount the GPS and hold it with the phone for the pic.

No regrets picking this over a Long Haul Trucker, between the brakes and the brifters. I would buy this bike again and throw on an MTB triple to lower the gearing, and a low rider front rack. Ugly as they are, I actually really loved the Ritchey anatomic bars.

kimbo305 fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Jul 25, 2020

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


IF I'M TALKING ABOUT ART, I'M PROBABLY WRONG, SO PLEASE REPORT ME SO I CAN BE PROBATED. AGAIN.




Bottom Liner posted:

Bike touring rules

Road rig





I made a custom little reflector/keep cars away from me thing I attach to my rear rack. It's a signpost with reflective tape, and I can safely ride in the middle of a lane and cars give me a lot more room with it. Cost about $2 to make, weighs nothing, and causes no noticeable drag (plus I can just turn it longways if needed).



Bikepacking rig






Posting from old thread for posterity

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

My touring bikes
520 number 1

Cracked at seat stay weld. Made 95% of a trans-am.
This photo sucks because it is 2006.

520 number 2

Killed by someone who couldn't look for bikes
(Its blurry because I had been hit by a car)

Salsa Vaya

Cracked at seat stay. A few times. Whatever

Steve Rex

Not dead yet!

SimonSays
Aug 4, 2006

Simon is the monkey's name

Coxswain Balls posted:


Back in the day I thought the Soma Saga looked cool, but after hearing about the Wolverine dropout issues I became less interested. Are there any decent frames to look at that are possible to get from suppliers in Canada? I'd just be moving all my components over, including a Disc Trucker fork and 700C wheels, although if touring frames and forks with thru-axles exist now and play nice with 9-speed components I might not be opposed to waiting even longer until I have more cash to replace those as well.


Sweet, can't wait to hear you tell us all about it! Wherebouts are you headed?

I really like my Saga, the frame has been through a lot of revisions and the dropouts are forged in one piece, go for it if it's the right geometry for you. In Canada you should look at the Bassi Hogs Back if you're not going for a Soma or Surly.



This has been my ride for a few years, with a few component changes. The photo is from two years ago in Vermont.

Next week's ride is 660km over six days from Montreal to Mont-Laurier up north, down the Gatineau river to Ottawa then back to Montreal. It'll be a lot of wild camping and relaxing riding and I'm very much looking forward to it.

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


I'm in SoCal and I gotta tour in this Covid-cursed world. I wish I knew of a good guide to 1 or 2 day tours in the Angeles Forest area.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



SimonSays posted:



This has been my ride for a few years, with a few component changes. The photo is from two years ago in Vermont.

Do you only do two panniers? have you tried one front, one back, or both front?

SimonSays
Aug 4, 2006

Simon is the monkey's name

kimbo305 posted:

Do you only do two panniers? have you tried one front, one back, or both front?

Both front is excellent on other bikes than the Saga, but on a one-week tour I don't need all four. The Saga rides great with a load on the back, almost better than unloaded.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



The pannier placement is a good segue into the next step of my touring bike evolution. After the PCH tour, I sold the Jamis to some hipster in SF.

My two primary goals for the next bike were lower gearing and bigger tires.
I caught some marketing campaign for the Specialized AWOL, and that it ticked the bill for bigger tires. I managed to find a base one on eBay pretty cheap.

This is pretty much the stock bike with a low rider front rack and some rear rack I had lying around.
I managed to get my gear into 3 Back Rollers, so just one on the back:

I also thought about a saddle bag and a bigger test:


I never had too much on the back, so I downsized to a Tubus Fly Evo. Also went to smaller 42mm Soma Cazaderos and bamboo fenders:

The wheelset had a real dynamo instead of that rim nonsense, with the charging all happening in the gastank bag.

For the next tour starting in Jasper, AB, CA, my other Boston friend and I decided to ship the bikes but check in and fly all the gear. As fate would have it, we made our flight, but our gear didn't. 3rd friend from Atlanta carried on his gear and bike, and it all made it. The only thing I carried on was a Back Roller with my bike shoes (thank god) and normal clothes.
This was HIGHLY suboptimal, and yet exactly what touring is about -- taking things as they come. My friend and I spent $2k CAD at MEC and Atmosphere (CA camping store) to re outfit our bikes. The spread of hastily assembled replacement gear:

Thank GOD the stores were open, as this was that August long weekend holiday in Canada.


The panniers I picked up didn't latch well to the racks, but we didn't really have much offroad riding, so it was fine. Final bike setup without panniers:

Final gearing was 50/39/24 x 11-36. Big improvement over first tour, and I rode in the granny gear for a few hours of the tour.
Notice bear spray in some climbing chalk bag. That Raceface Diabolus seat post was the only replacement part I picked up on the way -- my undersized carbon post was splitting pretty uglily by the time we got to a bike shop.

One thing I like about the AWOL frame is that it has a low top tube. This is actually a size Small, but at 55cm ETT, it still works as a Medium for me with a normal length stem, instead of the new short stem gravel trend. Anyways, that low top tube makes it a lot easier to lift the bike, since your arm is straighter.

View from the saddle:

This is where my handlebar bag would be if it had showed up. I opted not to suck it up and not get a replacement. I think I used the bar mount for a couple of aero tucks in windy flat stretches. The charging junction gadget was also in the gear box, so I was lugging around a very heavy front hub that did nothing.
The Campy 9-speed worked well, shifting the Shimano triple no problem, and the 9-speed Shimano RD with a Shiftmate converter. I would like to tour on Campy again. I think I just really prefer the hood shape.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



SimonSays posted:

I really like my Saga, the frame has been through a lot of revisions and the dropouts are forged in one piece, go for it if it's the right geometry for you. In Canada you should look at the Bassi Hogs Back if you're not going for a Soma or Surly.



This has been my ride for a few years, with a few component changes. The photo is from two years ago in Vermont.

Next week's ride is 660km over six days from Montreal to Mont-Laurier up north, down the Gatineau river to Ottawa then back to Montreal. It'll be a lot of wild camping and relaxing riding and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Oh sweet, it'd be neat to replace my Devinci with another frame from a Quebecois company. The only thing it doesn't seem to have that my Destination has is 180mm rotor compatibility, because I want to take all the braking I can get when going downhill with as much gear as I usually take. All of the other common touring frames seem to only go up to 160mm, unfortunately.

It's a weird thing to want, but does anyone still make frames that have both cantilever and disc brake mounts? My Destination has that and I've thought about setting up a backup V-brake for when I'm barreling down a mountain at motorcycle speeds. A hundred pounds of bike does a good job of overcoming drag and making you haul rear end, but I felt like I had to be perfect with my cornering and braking technique so that I wouldn't run into brake fade at the worst possible moment. A drag brake hooked up to a friction shifter would be cool but nobody makes them any more, so a separate set of redundant brakes seems to be the only other option.

Edit: Oh man, Soma Sagas used to have both but they discontinued it a couple years ago, so I'd need to find a NOS frameset. If they can take 180mm rotors then it'd be almost perfect (perfect being something with thru-axles).

Coxswain Balls fucked around with this message at 09:36 on Jul 26, 2020

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



Coxswain Balls posted:

It's a weird thing to want, but does anyone still make frames that have both cantilever and disc brake mounts?
Troll still has both, though I can't say I have ever experienced, or even heard of, brake fade with mechanical discs and metallic pads.

e: We're you the person that fell off the side of the mountain in Japan? If so I guess I can sorta understand your extra caution.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



CopperHound posted:

Troll still has both, though I can't say I have ever experienced, or even heard of, brake fade with mechanical discs and metallic pads.

e: We're you the person that fell off the side of the mountain in Japan? If so I guess I can sorta understand your extra caution.

Hahahah yup. Thankfully I didn't go over the guardrail, but I got to watch my front wheel break free from its forky prison and yeet off the side of a cliff. That accident was mainly due to trying to conserve braking power for when I really needed it in the corners, so I was going 80km/h when I started braking but I didn't have enough power and went a bit wide into a patch of gravel in the shoulder. Thankfully I skipped down the road on my right side instead of plowing into the wall so I got away with just a broken clavicle, some bruised ribs and plenty of road rash. The only things I needed to replace on the bike were the fork, wheel and front rack.

The place where I really ran into problems was the downhill portion of the Kuragari pass, which I didn't realize at the time was the steepest road in Japan and apparently the ninth steepest in the world. Parts of it hit 30%-40%, I seriously thought there was going to be a tunnel because every time Strava told me there was going to be a stupid climb like this there ended up being a tunnel cutting through the mountain.



https://pjammcycling.com/climb/1365.Kuragari-Pass-East

Turns out I wasn't the only one. When I eventually got to the top of the mountain an old lady sat me down and gave me water and fed me, and made me sign a guestbook. It was cool to see how many other people also experienced the same thoughts and then suffering I went through.





The downhill was absolutely terrifying because of the grade combined with the narrow streets and blind corners. I had no choice but to ride on the brakes the whole way down, and even then I was hitting 50-60kph. When I gave my bike a once-over when I got to Kyoto my pads were completely glazed over.



Also, that was the guestbook that had the entry from the person who asked to stay with me a month or so after I got back, and I hosted her for about a week. I really think the best part of bike touring is all the incredibly cool people you meet and get to know.

Coxswain Balls fucked around with this message at 10:42 on Jul 26, 2020

SimonSays
Aug 4, 2006

Simon is the monkey's name

Coxswain Balls posted:


Edit: Oh man, Soma Sagas used to have both but they discontinued it a couple years ago, so I'd need to find a NOS frameset. If they can take 180mm rotors then it'd be almost perfect (perfect being something with thru-axles).



I think nobody makes a tourer that can take 180mm because you'd have to beef up the fork blades so much they'd become even more uncomfortable. I'm jealous of the springy forks on Sagas from before they went disc, a friend has one and it looks so good.

Actually it looks like the Montreal Bassi dealer has a Soma D/C left in one size.

rngd in the womb
Oct 13, 2009



Yam Slacker

rope kid posted:

I'm in SoCal and I gotta tour in this Covid-cursed world. I wish I knew of a good guide to 1 or 2 day tours in the Angeles Forest area.

I guess it'd be OK to ride past noon anywhere up in the mountains there. I know Crystal Lake is at least open and has a cafe, I was there a few weeks ago but it does get slammed. There's a road closure between Crystal Lake and the 2, but you can easily jump it, and it wouldn't be too unusual. Cyclists regularly do that from what I've seen/heard, and you can get to Wrightwood or do the 2. I just don't know if there's any campgrounds open past Crystal Lake in either direction.

fakeedit: I've been jonesing for a trip of some kind too. I really wanted to do a weekend bikepacking trip on Catalina Island and something else this year.

The Wiggly Wizard
Aug 21, 2008




SimonSays posted:

I think nobody makes a tourer that can take 180mm because you'd have to beef up the fork blades so much they'd become even more uncomfortable. I'm jealous of the springy forks on Sagas from before they went disc, a friend has one and it looks so good.

Actually it looks like the Montreal Bassi dealer has a Soma D/C left in one size.

My Crust Evasion takes a 180mm front disc on a decently raked fork.

rope kid posted:

I'm in SoCal and I gotta tour in this Covid-cursed world. I wish I knew of a good guide to 1 or 2 day tours in the Angeles Forest area.

Have you read any of the bikepacking.com writeups before? If you're equipped for fire roads you might scope these out

https://bikepacking.com/routes/baldy-bruiser/
https://bikepacking.com/routes/la-observer/
https://bikepacking.com/routes/socal-desert-ramble/

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



SimonSays posted:

I think nobody makes a tourer that can take 180mm because you'd have to beef up the fork blades so much they'd become even more uncomfortable. I'm jealous of the springy forks on Sagas from before they went disc, a friend has one and it looks so good.

Actually it looks like the Montreal Bassi dealer has a Soma D/C left in one size.

Aww man, it's just one size larger than what I'd need. Although that's probably a good thing because there's a good chance I'd have done an impulse purchase.

The disc trucker fork can take 180mm rotors, but obviously no canti mounts. I was running 160mm before I crashed though.

https://surlybikes.com/uploads/downloads/80-000128_INST.pdf

Coxswain Balls fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Jul 26, 2020

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


The Wiggly Wizard posted:

Have you read any of the bikepacking.com writeups before? If you're equipped for fire roads you might scope these out

https://bikepacking.com/routes/baldy-bruiser/
https://bikepacking.com/routes/la-observer/
https://bikepacking.com/routes/socal-desert-ramble/
Yeahhhhhh... my touring bike runs 700x33, which is... hmm. I really want to do that LA Observer route, but some of those sections look too macho (for me) on 33s and drops.

I've decided to finally build up my Crust RomanceŁr, specifically so I can do some of the Cool Kid Golden Saddle/Cub House bikepacking routes. If I can't cut it with Rat Trap Passes and upright bars, I'm hopeless.

EDIT: gently caress, that desert ramble route. The elevation cyclist has logged on.



rngd in the womb posted:

I guess it'd be OK to ride past noon anywhere up in the mountains there. I know Crystal Lake is at least open and has a cafe, I was there a few weeks ago but it does get slammed. There's a road closure between Crystal Lake and the 2, but you can easily jump it, and it wouldn't be too unusual. Cyclists regularly do that from what I've seen/heard, and you can get to Wrightwood or do the 2. I just don't know if there's any campgrounds open past Crystal Lake in either direction.
I think all official places are slammed. I canceled my trip to Sequoia (camping outside of Sequoia and then driving in) because the national parks are just getting hammered.

I think any camping I'm going to do is just going to be stealth.

rope kid fucked around with this message at 00:52 on Jul 27, 2020

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him




Do yall consider walking the bike a defining aspect of bikepacking? Any time I see <100% riding time for a bikepacking route, I'm bummed out. I guess it's kind of arbitrary as far as difficulty of the route, but I don't want to do hiking in my bike shoes (yet another bikepacking gear decision, I supposed).

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


I don't, personally, but the differences between touring and bikepacking are pretty nebulous in my mind. I'd prefer to not bike-hike, though.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



I think that it's just more likely that you'll have to do some walking when doing a bikepacking route due to the terrain, but that's about it. When I got to that stupid climb I had to walk much of it even though it was paved, and even that was a struggle at times.

Whenever the grade was getting to absurd levels I saw these circular cutouts on the road which I assume is to give cars extra traction. I started calling them gently caress you dots.

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kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



Seeing that makes me want to consider updating to 46 or 50t. Just in case.

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