Carrying weight and easing the burden

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Josh Hirschel, Jun 23, 2003.

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  1. Hi everyone,

    Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally carry a Kryptonite chain
    and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go. In addition, I may be transporting books,
    groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other miscellaneous objects.

    The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    way to distribute the weight - in the backpack or on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an option
    at the moment, so I'd have to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.

    Any advice on how to avoid melting into a giant puddle of sweat this summer would be greatly
    appreciated!

    -Josh
     
    Tags:


  2. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally
    carry
    > a Kryptonite chain and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go.
    In
    > addition, I may be transporting books, groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other
    > miscellaneous objects.
    >
    > The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    > way to distribute the weight - in the backpack
    or
    > on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an option at the moment, so I'd
    have
    > to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.
    >
    > Any advice on how to avoid melting into a giant puddle of sweat this
    summer
    > would be greatly appreciated!
    >
    > -Josh

    Gee, I didn't realize the summer was such a problem in New York. Come on down to Texas and cool off,
    then! You might put a rear rack on your bike and put the lock and chain there.

    Pat
     
  3. Andy Kriger

    Andy Kriger Guest

    [email protected] (Josh Hirschel) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally carry a Kryptonite chain
    > and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go. In addition, I may be transporting books,
    > groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other miscellaneous objects.
    >
    > The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    > way to distribute the weight - in the backpack or on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an
    > option at the moment, so I'd have to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.
    >
    > Any advice on how to avoid melting into a giant puddle of sweat this summer would be greatly
    > appreciated!
    >
    > -Josh

    wear the chain like a belt, you don't even notice the weight or wrap it around your seat post or top
    tube (though that can scratch things up)
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Josh Hirschel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally carry a Kryptonite chain
    > and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go. In addition, I may be transporting books,
    > groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other miscellaneous objects.
    >
    > The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    > way to distribute the weight - in the backpack or on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an
    > option at the moment, so I'd have to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.
    >
    > Any advice on how to avoid melting into a giant puddle of sweat this summer would be greatly
    > appreciated!

    It isn't really about distributing the weight -- either method works for that, at least up to 20 LB
    or so. However, backpacks are sweaty no matter what. If you're going to be using your bike for an
    all-purpose hauler, get some racks and bags, and a trailer for the really big loads. Bike-mounted
    brackets to hold your locks would be a good idea too. I wind up taking my Camelback sometimes, only
    because I have nowhere else to carry my lock.

    Matt O.
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, "Pat" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Gee, I didn't realize the summer was such a problem in New York. Come on down to Texas and cool
    >off, then!

    From the Texans I know, I wouldn't be surprised if in order to cool off you guys chased the tornados
    and thought of 'em as Nature's Great Fans. :)

    >You might put a rear rack on your bike and put the lock and chain there.
    >
    >Pat

    Something to consider - at the very least, it's an excuse to hit the LBS!

    -Josh
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, Andy Kriger
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >wear the chain like a belt, you don't even notice the weight or wrap it around your seat post or
    >top tube (though that can scratch things up)

    Not a bad fashion statement! I'll try it tomorrow - I guess the main thing to be aware of is to make
    sure the chain is fastened tight. I'd hate for that sucker to come lose and get wrapped in the wheel
    on a major road.

    -Josh
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, "Matt O'Toole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >It isn't really about distributing the weight -- either method works for that, at least up to 20 LB
    >or so. However, backpacks are sweaty no matter what. If you're going to be using your bike for an
    >all-purpose hauler, get some racks and bags, and a trailer for the really big loads. Bike-mounted
    >brackets to hold your locks would be a good idea too. I wind up taking my Camelback sometimes, only
    >because I have nowhere else to carry my lock.
    >
    >Matt O.
    >

    I got a Camelback too. Can't imagine going on a ride without one nowadays, but sometimes space is at
    a premium. Those locks can sometimes take up room.

    Pat suggested a rear-rack to store the locks. These brackets sound interesting, but I haven't seen
    them before. Or if I have, didn't recognize 'em for what they were. In any case, it's always good to
    have more options.

    Thanks for the input!

    -Josh
     
  8. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:mQPJa.4957

    > at least up to 20 LB or so. However, backpacks are sweaty no matter what.
    If
    > you're going to be using your bike for an all-purpose hauler, get some
    racks and
    > bags, and a trailer for the really big loads. Bike-mounted brackets to
    hold
    > your locks would be a good idea too. I wind up taking my Camelback
    sometimes,
    > only because I have nowhere else to carry my lock.

    I take issue with his statement that "backpacks are sweaty no matter what." Check out the cycling
    packs from Vaude (www.vaude.com). I used one of their packs for commuting year-round in Texas and
    had the coolest back in town. Their ventilation system really works. It also provides a handy place
    to store a u-lock.

    As for hauling groceries, etc., you need more space than a backpack, so a rack with grocery bag
    panniers will be your best bet. I have been using a Jandd rack trunk for years (it is also a good
    spot to carry small loads like a lock or chain), so I'd bet their grocery bag panniers would be fine
    (http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FGBP).

    A trailer can be useful, but poses its own set of problems like an additional set of locks so the
    trailer doesn't disappear....

    Finally, don't wrap your chain around your bike like some suggest. Over time, it will really beat up
    the finish on your bike. I restored/repainted an old Schwinn that was treated this way. Alright, so
    it did make for a good beater bike that nobody wanted (baby blue paint with rust all over), but I'm
    sure it wasn't deserving of such harsh treatment.

    Good luck in your search, Buck
     
  9. It depends. The backpack is very convenient for the total door-to-door trip -- just hop off the bike
    and enter the store/house/whatever. On the other hand, a rack or trailer is much more comfortable
    when you are actually riding. Going from 40 pounds on a backpack to 40 pounds in a trailer is an
    amazing transformation -- you will not believe how much better it is.

    As long as I am not overdressed, the heat is not much of a problem for short trips -- say 5 miles or
    so. The cooling effect of the air is linear with speed, but the power required goes as the cube of
    your speed. Riding at less than "full out" will do a lot to keep you from melting. I find that I
    perspire much more when walking. as opposed to riding a given distance.

    Paul
     
  10. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    Hi Josh, When its hot and humid its really nice not to carry a backpack at all although backpacks
    are very handy if you are making a lot of short stops and you want to make sure nobody steals your
    stuff from your bike :) You could also try a messenger/courier bag which carries the weight lower
    than a backpack would.

    For my locks - I attach the U lock to the frame along the vertical bar, it sits just slightly above
    the water bottle holder along the lower part of the frame triangle. I wind my cable lock around my
    seat post.

    Definitely pick up a rear rack if you don't already have one - they are fairly inexpensive and very
    useful. You say that panniers aren't an option, I'm assuming this is because of cost and not bike
    design? If cost you can find creative ways of emulating panniers, buckets attached to the back etc.

    Depending what you are on a trip to pick up, you could attach a milk crate to the rear rack with a
    bungee cord, although its nothing something you probably want to ride with all the time. I've used a
    milk crate to transport plants for the garden where I want them not to be stacked in a bag or pack.
    In fact the rear rack ($10-15) and bungee cord (1.50) will do well for a lot of transportation, you
    can bungee a case of pop or beer directly to the rack, car battery etc. I wouldn't recommend it for
    the small pets though. :) A crate or trailer would probably work best there :)

    You could try homemade for making a trailer too http://www.clayandpapertheatre.org/cart.html

    hth Tanya

    [email protected] (Josh Hirschel) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally carry a Kryptonite chain
    > and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go. In addition, I may be transporting books,
    > groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other miscellaneous objects.
    >
    > The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    > way to distribute the weight - in the backpack or on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an
    > option at the moment, so I'd have to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.
    >
    > Any advice on how to avoid melting into a giant puddle of sweat this summer would be greatly
    > appreciated!
    >
    > -Josh
     
  11. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    [email protected] (Josh Hirschel) wrote in message news:<cYRJa.18815> Pat suggested a
    rear-rack to store the locks. These brackets sound
    > interesting, but I haven't seen them before. Or if I have, didn't recognize 'em for what they
    > were. In any case, it's always good to have more options.

    Hi Josh, Brackets to mount a u-lock to your bike are often sold together with the u-lock. Here's an
    example of what one looks like http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=-
    580555&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=477859&bmUID=1056483908191

    Tanya
     
  12. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Josh Hirschel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > Since selling my car, I've been riding a lot more frequently. I normally
    carry
    > a Kryptonite chain and a New York mini U-lock in a backpack wherever I go.
    In
    > addition, I may be transporting books, groceries, car batteries, small domesticated pets and other
    > miscellaneous objects.
    >
    > The weight can get to be substantial. With the upcoming heatwave in the northeast, what's the best
    > way to distribute the weight - in the backpack or on the bicycle itself? Panniers are not an
    > option at the moment, so I'd have to put the locks on the crossbar or the handlebar.

    I'm afraid I'll have to agree with the group's eccentric, Ron Hardin, and vote for the rear rack
    with a mounted milk crate. It's hard to beat from a pure utility point of view. I have one on my
    "errand" bike, I typically toss a backpack in it so I don't have to ride with it on my back. For
    shopping, most things I just toss in the crate (including any locks), I leave a piece of foam on the
    bottom to cushion the contents (e.g. 12-pack of beer bottles). You can bungee large objects, or tie
    additional plastic bags to hang from the crate.
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Paul
    Hamilton) wrote:
    >It depends. The backpack is very convenient for the total door-to-door trip -- just hop off the
    >bike and enter the store/house/whatever. On the other hand, a rack or trailer is much more
    >comfortable when you are actually riding. Going from 40 pounds on a backpack to 40 pounds in a
    >trailer is an amazing transformation -- you will not believe how much better it is.

    Probably won't believe it for some time. Though intriguing, can't see myself investing in a trailer
    in the near-future. :) Definitely something to consider for the longer term though. Thanks!
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Tanya
    Quinn) wrote:

    >
    >Definitely pick up a rear rack if you don't already have one - they are fairly inexpensive and very
    >useful. You say that panniers aren't an option, I'm assuming this is because of cost and not bike
    >design? If cost you can find creative ways of emulating panniers, buckets attached to the back etc.

    It's more because I'm moving overseas for a year and won't be taking my bike with me (I'll pick up a
    cheap one over there), and so I'll procrastinate any improvements for when I return stateside.

    >
    >Depending what you are on a trip to pick up, you could attach a milk crate to the rear rack
    >with a bungee cord, although its nothing something you probably want to ride with all the time.
    >I've used a milk crate to transport plants for the garden where I want them not to be stacked
    >in a bag or pack. In fact the rear rack ($10-15) and bungee cord (1.50) will do well for a lot
    >of transportation, you can bungee a case of pop or beer directly to the rack, car battery etc.
    >I wouldn't recommend it for the small pets though. :) A crate or trailer would probably work
    >best there :)

    That might be a very effective solution for me over the summer!

    >
    >You could try homemade for making a trailer too http://www.clayandpapertheatre.org/cart.html

    Interesting. Maybe I'll try and construct a sidecar for the pets. I understand the controversy on
    helmets for riders, but is there a consensus for domesticated animal companions? :)
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I'm afraid I'll have to agree with the group's eccentric, Ron Hardin, and vote for the rear rack
    >with a mounted milk crate. It's hard to beat from a pure utility point of view. I have one on my
    >"errand" bike, I typically toss a backpack in it so I don't have to ride with it on my back. For
    >shopping, most things I just toss in the crate (including any locks), I leave a piece of foam on
    >the bottom to cushion the contents (e.g. 12-pack of beer bottles). You can bungee large objects, or
    >tie additional plastic bags to hang from the crate.
    >
    >

    Resident eccentric, eh? They usually seem to have the most ingenious solutions to things I never
    thought were problems! I knew an engineer who once rigged a clapper to a keg of beer. Apparently he
    thought pulling a tap was too much work. Of course, the clapper presented its own problem - how to
    clap while one hand is holding your glass?

    In any case, Ron's suggestion seems to be pretty useful and precisely the solution I'm looking for.

    Thanks to you both!
     
  16. In article <[email protected]>, "Buck" <j u n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o
    r p . c o m> wrote:
    >"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:mQPJa.4957

    >
    >I take issue with his statement that "backpacks are sweaty no matter what." Check out the cycling
    >packs from Vaude (www.vaude.com). I used one of their packs for commuting year-round in Texas and
    >had the coolest back in town. Their ventilation system really works. It also provides a handy place
    >to store a u-lock.

    I've a Camelback that I stock heavily with icecubes. It's nice on the first leg of the commute,
    tolerable on the return trip.

    >
    >Finally, don't wrap your chain around your bike like some suggest. Over time, it will really beat
    >up the finish on your bike. I restored/repainted an old Schwinn that was treated this way. Alright,
    >so it did make for a good beater bike that nobody wanted (baby blue paint with rust all over), but
    >I'm sure it wasn't deserving of such harsh treatment.

    Point taken. Although some cosmetic uglieness to the bike might make it a bit less desirable to
    thieves. Then again, isn't that what the kryptonite chain are for?

    >
    >Good luck in your search, Buck
    >

    Thank you.

    -Josh
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Tanya
    Quinn) wrote:
    >[email protected] (Josh Hirschel) wrote in message news:<cYRJa.18815> Pat suggested a
    >rear-rack to store the locks. These brackets sound
    >> interesting, but I haven't seen them before. Or if I have, didn't recognize 'em for what they
    >> were. In any case, it's always good to have more options.
    >
    >Hi Josh, Brackets to mount a u-lock to your bike are often sold together with the u-lock. Here's an
    >example of what one looks like
    >http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=580555&PROD
    >UCT%3C%3Eprd_id=477859&bmUID=1056483908191
    >

    Thanks for the link, Tanya!
     
  18. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    joshua,

    If you are really concerned about weight, lose the NY chain set-up. I believe it is the heaviest
    lock you can get. Unless you are leaving your bike alone outside for long periods the U-lock alone
    should do the trick. Consider getting a larger U-lock, or try this fancy fix: cut the NY chain with
    a torch and weld it back together to make two shorter chains. Sell the other one to some punk and
    offset the ridiculous cost of the chain. At that point people know you are cool and dont mess.

    Not recommendo: messenger bag. Messenger bags are made so packages can be taken out and put in
    without taking the bag off. That's it. Even the messengers are switching over to big-ass
    backpack-type bags.

    Get one the biggest mtn. bike specific backpacks available, with the mesh against the back. This
    mitigates but does not solve the sweat problem. Carries 50$ of groceries plus a rainjacket, sweater,
    lock, tools, and the rest. The rack/milk crate is good but when you crash all your sh** will fly
    out. Good thing about the milk crate is you almost definitely dont need a NY chain anymore.

    Robert
     
  19. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    << cut the NY chain with a torch and weld it back together to make two shorter chains. >>

    Or a fellar could just cut the chain uh that would be better <cough>>

    Robert
     
  20. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (R15757) writes:

    > The rack/milk crate is good but when you crash all your sh** will fly out.

    <laugh, chortle, snort, chuckle, laugh>

    You can say that again! :)

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
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