Touring bikes – show me what you use please!

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  • Touring bikes – show me what you use please!
  • sorry got no pics , but last year i cycled round Cuba. needed plenty of fluids due to humidity etc and also to carry plenty of gear so i used my sanderson life kitted out with semi slick tyres, a camelbac to carry water and some kit – lightweight stuff like clothes etc. so not too muchweight on my back – couple of bottles with carb drinks and a big saddle bag (carradice barley is my favourite) – rationale = steel hardtail easy to repair bend back to shape if the worst happens.
    clothing wise you only realy need two lots of kit three at most – wearone wash one spare one, hang kit from bars etc to dry as your riding along – not pretty but practicle. pair of lightweight trousers a sweat shirt and a fleece jobs a good un
    have a look here bikepacking for ideas
    just don't forget the sudacreme.


    everything you need to be self sufficient camping for 4 months including food / water for 3 day stints with no facilitys – obviously route planning could have avoided this but we wanted to travel a specific route !

    just recieved a carradice long flap camper for multin night bivy trips and long audaxes


    It's had a bar-bag added since this picture – although still not got around to mudguards!


    Thorn XTC – ugly but versatile and comfy. Don't think you lose much on 26" wheels. I definitely prefer drop bars on a long haul just for mixing up arm/wrist positions as you go.

    And if you're thinking "what tyres" I replaced these Marathons with 1" Schwalbe Stelvios and have been very impressed.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    PQ (sometime of this forum) is a long term long distance tourer.

    This is his take on the subject…

    Sure it's been done before but couldn't find a decent thread on the search.

    Looking into building a touring bike especially after the Morocco thread, thinking of converting my SS Kaffenback to take up the roll so intrested in the non standard type tourers

    Thanks 🙂


    Took this round Northern France 3 years on the trot before my son was born , It's since been converted back to rigid MTB and sold as next time I'll just be using my P7


    No pics but really pleased with my new Moulton TSR – a truly different and practical take on the bicycle and looking forward to spending three weeks in France on it next month.

    What Kona is that TrailRat? Hadn't thought of a RoadRat either


    its a kona jake

    was brilliant in nz used it on and off road

    did an mtb race on it and came within 8 mins of marcus roy over 40kms – very capible/comfortable bike ! – doesnt like being clicky


    I always get upset looking at how little luggage other people seem to get away with when touring. I seem to fill one pannier with my sleeping bag and mat, the other with tent and then the fronts with food and clothes, then of course you need to fit in a coat, a book, maps etc. How do people manage with just 2 panniers!??!

    Anyway, here is my new tourer. A Surly LHT, only had it a week so still need tweaks and minor spec changes to finish it off.


    STATO – the more bags you have, the more you find to fill them 🙂


    that may be so but…

    Sleeping bag
    Small camp mat
    Stove and Pan

    All required (ok, level of comfort choice allowing) and all take up space. I notice everyone who is super-light either compromises significantly or seems to share weight/bulk with a 2nd person.

    Too much time to think about out on the road thats the problem! 😆


    Sorry about dreadful pic.


    I spent years backpacking so have developed the sense of what's requried and acquired some lighter-weight, compact gear along the way. Have a look at what you're carrying on the bike and imagine it all on your back. Would you still take as much 😉

    This is me loaded up with all the camping gear (tent, bag, mat, stove, pots etc). And thos panniers ain't full – the tent is on the bars to balance the load a wee bit.


    stato i carried everything -all my girlfriend had to carry was "her things" – sleeping bag , clothes , mat etc

    we had msr whisper lite stove , pots pans , fuel , spatula , spork, orikaso origami cup/plate/bowl

    our sleeping bags were in dry bags in the pannier but our wee arric (started as wee arrics but morphed into much better kathmandu mats of similar size when the arrics bust after 8 days) in a dry bag strapped on top , tent was on top too

    2 sets of cycling clothes , a waterproof , a fleece set of light weight packable trousers – pair of sandles strapped to the outside on top, arm and leg warmers

    4 litres of water – on the pannier rack top under sleeping mat and tent

    at one point i was carrying 6 books as well ! – thats how much room i had.

    cant think of anything else but there was plenty room in our panniers – 55 litres though – jaynes were 18kg mines were 25 – before water and fuel


    Cheers druidh/trail-rat. Ive cut it down a few times but think my bulky sleeping bag and mat in the panniers is the root cause of my issues. Compare kit lists with others and i dont seem to be taking more than others, my stuff just takes up more space. Nice shot btw, where is that? (druidh)

    Oh, for comparison i can cut right down. This was for 3 days on a wet coast-n-castles (b&b) run last year…

    T_R i am in awe of your achievements (audax) so not supprised you managed the seemingly impossible in packing 😉


    Stato – that photo was taken on the shore of Loch Loyne. There's an old road which was flooded by the raised water level when they built the hydro system. Occasionally, usually in late September, the water level is drawn down enough so that you can still use it. There's a really shonky old bridge which has to be crossed though- if it's still there!

    More photos here:

    Non standard tourer? 5 day C2C camping trip ably assisted by my Carrera Fury with a trailer. Take what you need, no bother 🙂


    stick a rack on yer bike and get on with it!

    @Druid is that a Ti Tourer from Van Nicholas with discs – very nice – custom build or off the peg? Very nice – been looking for somehting similar to build up next winter.
    Off to search their website!




    Can't find a piccie at the moment but I use an On One Inbred with 700c touring wheels.

    If I were to do a long tour with camping I'd consider using a trailer.

    Premier Icon mustard

    Singular Swift

    Going to really ruin it with some tri bars for extra hand positions and getting out of the wind – don't tell Sam! 🙂

    Planning to spend a month on it in Spain later in the year but haven't decided thought about a route yet, so don't know if it'll be on road or mtb tyres. But hopefully going to get a pair of freeload racks as I wouldn't want to have to trust the beam rack and don't like the weight being taken by the seatpost either.


    99pcc – VN Amazon with Kinesis DC19 forks, BB7s on XTR hubs, Open Pro rims and otherwise Ultegra. Running it as a compact double with a 11-28 cassette.

    Cheers Druid – Lurvverly Bike! Looks like the kind of frame I've been looking for (evidently not that hard!)…. might double up for occasional CX too?!

    Premier Icon tootallpaul

    Christmas 2008 – my Inbred 29er – Khao Sok National Park, Southern Thailand.

    A few changes since then- Marathon XR tyres- the Wtb semi slicks just punctured all the time, and Ortleib Panniers- the Vaude's are great but leaked in the monsoon in Thailand. Oh and I fitted a 180mm rotor at the front.

    And now, in my Ethiopian garden…

    Premier Icon turboferret

    Inspiring stuff, especially like Stoner's pair of Pompinos and kit 8)

    Quite fancy a few weeks of pedalling around France next summer, I wonder if I build a new bike for the missus she'll be game 🙂

    Cheers, Rich


    Thinking about a Surly Cross Check or one of those Vaya ones by Salsa to use for noob touring. They look nice.

    There is on the other hand those lovely Enigma Etape thingies… like them.


    Does it have to be a single?

    If it does:


    Touring in the old days with my Condor Diablo in Morocco….

    ….nowerdays however I use an Inbred (in Spain) with proper suspension and tarmac friendly chunky tyres…..

    ….unless it's a family tour in which case the revamped Diablo has greater luggage capacity….

    Not done a family tour for several years now though 🙁 Got too many kids to tow.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Inspiring stuff, especially like Stoner's pair of Pompinos and kit

    I still surprise myself that we lived out of this lot for 3 months 😉


    Not as much as me – that's a weekend's worth of B&Bing kit for me. Mind you, I don't smell 😛 and your tramp-like attributes are well known 😀

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Giant SCR winter trainer in light touring mode. On the ferry to Rotterdam (we missed the Zeebrugge ferry) for a long weekend's touring and the Gent Six Days back in Niovember 2008.

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    Wow, the logistics of a family tour would make my head spin. All power to you!

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