Newbie touring advice needed (Inbred content)

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  • Newbie touring advice needed (Inbred content)
  • mudshark

    I have bought a pair of Altura Dryline 56 panniers and plan to get a Tortec Expedition Pannier rack for a mini tour in Brittany in June. I’m told a bar bag is sensible though someone thought the handling might be affected badly by one; I guess OK especially as some seem to use front panniers well enough. I think proper mudguards would be a good idea so will they fit on OK with to my Inbred with the pannier rack attached?

    I’m thinking of getting a lightish tent and sleeping bag and attaching to the top of the pannier rack somehow – is that likely to work? Any tips? Any problems with just camping in a field somewhere? Or would staying in B+Bs be more sensible?

    I plan to travel over on an overnight ferry; how is bike storage arranged?


    Folk have different opinions about weight distibution – I like not to have it all on the back and don’t mind the effect on handling. Bar bags are handy for wandering off to see whatever when you are touring (so all valuable are in one place)

    Mudguards should go on fine and well worth it unless you are as good as guaranteed no rain.

    Tent should go atop rack fine, sleeping bag perhaps not. I think I’d struggle to tour solo in the uk without 4 panniers myself.

    Rough camping usually OK with owner’s consent. You’ll welcome a hot shower though if you can find a campsite. B&B’s – more costs but less leggage needed. Ferry – the usually find somewhere on the car deck to put your bike.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    a dry bag with D-rings on will be good for stuffing a sleeping bag into and strapping to the top of your rack. Tent packs will do the same.

    Travel light though. One pannier bag should be enough for your clothes and cooking kit. The other could take your sleeping bag and thermarest. Only then need to stick the tent on top.

    Bar bags are good for day to day items – phone, map, pens, torch, compass, splashtop. Get one with a shoulder strap so you can sling it over your shoulder like a man bag when you leave the bike.

    ANy effect on handling of any bags you get used to in the space of a few miles and dont notice by the end of the first day.

    2x thermarests in one roll bag and the tent in the other.
    Bedding for both in one saddle bag with clothes, cooking equipment in the other with clothes.

    More photos to show bags.


    I like to carry some weight forward. I think it helps balance and I don’t think it affects handling to any great extent (probably improves it).

    That’s the bike loaded for a 3-day camping trip, including all food.

    As has been said, bar bags are very handy for stuff you want “on the day”, like wallet, camera, phone


    Did this last year. Denmark the year before.

    Brittany ferries from Portsmouth – bikes are just left in a room on the car deck so take all the bags up to the passenger deck with you. Take a lock for your bikes anyway.

    As above , you won’t notice the weight of the bar-bag after a while and the handling will be ferked from the rear panniers anyway.

    Brittany isn’t that wild (like southern England really) so wild-camping could be tricky. Municipal campsites are good, there’s a book of them all which you get from the tourist info.

    Also, look up the off road routes, there’s loads of them along canals and old railways which means you can go for days without using roads.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    RE campsites, most communes have a campsite open during the sumemr season (may be a field, but even the most basic have arunning water and a shower/toilet). Also, the Michelin yellow maps show villages.towns that have a campsite with a black circle with a white triangle in. We found this a very good guide for camping and used it for over a month with no problems.


    Thanks for all the advice. What I’m really doing is just riding down to a place on the cost called Jard-sur-Mer south of Nantes, staying there a week, then riding back. I think I only need 1 stop overnight after the ferry so like the idea of just pitching a tent when I’m ready rather than either booking a B+B beforehand, and having to get there, or possibly struggling to find a B+B for the night wherever I find myself. If I forget about camping would it be risky not to book somewhere to stay , staying thin advance?

    Premier Icon cp

    the panniers out back will screw up the handling enough to make a bar bag insignificant.

    a bar bag is sensible, for stashing wallet, snacks and a small camera.

    reckon i might go for a tour somewhere this year 🙂


    stoner what type of saddle bags did you use?

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Carradice Super C

    and 8litre bar bag.

    30litres each plus the tent and thermarests for 3 months.

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