Cross-country Touring On A Road Bike?


New Member
Jun 3, 2015
Washington D.C.
Hi I'm pretty new to this forum but not new to long distance cycling. I've been road biking to and from work almost daily (about 12 miles each way) and feel its time to start a cross country tour. However I'm running into a couple of issues/concerns.

1) Would biking across America on a Road bike (Felt F90) be a bad idea even with gatorskin tires and proper seat?

2) Would adding heavy duty racks on both sides to carry panniers cause any long term damage to my bike? I'll probably end up bringing around 40-50lbs of luggage with me.

I understand that buying a trekking bike would make a heck of a lot more sense but I'm pretty attached to the bike i already have being that I've had it for so long and put in lots of work to modify it. Plus i might not find a good trekking bike for cheap in my area before next month.
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Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
FWIW. Before you pony up for a new bike, you could try a couple of 50+ mile round-trip rides with the anticipated load ...

If you have any reservations about how the bike handles with the additional weight, then I think you could just get a suitable frameset (THAT an undefined unknown which will vary from rider-to-rider, of course ... I would be inclined toward an otherwise plebeian HYBRID frameset with a RIGID fork as the foundation for that type of bike, BTW) for between $100-to-$300 & move the majority of your FELT's components over for your trip.


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
When I was younger, my biking friends and I had that plan of going to the province atop our bikes. That's 5 hours by bus so we were expecting to hit our destination after 10 hours in consideration of stopovers. We had a list of what to bring including vulcanizing kits for flat tire. Unfortunately, I was not given permission by my parents because I was the only female in the group. My biking friends proceeded with that trip and they stayed in the province for 3 days before coming back.


Apr 25, 2015
I'd absolutely love to do that but if the country is big it's simply not possible due to the resources needed along the road.


Mar 9, 2015
A venture like that is not something to just jump into if you have not done a lot of long distance cycling carrying a load. It's amazing how just 20lbs can increase the amount of effort it takes, making a ride go from easy to exhausting depending on the terrain.

I suggest you take at least a couple of cycle packing trips in your own area before. Find out what it feels like to carry all that and make sure you are going to be going up some hills on those trips. Going cross country will require you to travel through the mountains for days. You need to be confident that you are physically up to that. Getting injured in the mountains could be disastrous.


Jul 6, 2015
In agreement with everything posted above. Touring is COMPLETELY different and nuch more of a strain MENTALLY than any other cycling discipline.

Keep in mind a cross country trek is 3 months of constant exposure to a variety of obstacles. Riding is the easy part. Mechanical breakdowns, inclimate weather, unleashed country dogs, bike hostile car and truck drivers, stupid object throwing teenagers are just a few.
Take several tours of increasing lengths while camping out to give you a Cliff Notes idea of what works for you. Find an experienced tourer to act as 'tour captain' and is willing to show you the basics.
Even a 200 mile day ride from door back to door won't give you any clear idea of what it takes to do 2500 miles w/24/7 saddle/camping routine. One knows subconsciously there's a hot shower at the end and a familiar, comfortable sleeping surface. No so when on tour.
Afa using a road bike? Get a touring specific bike as the frameset geometry is designed for hours of saddle time. Haunt forums and websites for ideas for what will work for you. Can you true a wheel or change out a spoke? How good of a bike tech are you? Do you want friction or integrated shifting? Mechanical/fluid disc or rim calipers? Self-contained or sagged? Hardcore stealth campiing.or credit/debit card touring?
Betty Davis said, "Getting old is not for the faint of heart." Neither is long distance cycle touring. Educate yourself...have fun. There's really no more satisfying cycling discipline than touring. Start here:


New Member
Sep 26, 2015
VNCO.. Did you do it, it is now Sept. 26? A tour bike has a longer wheel base and more spokes in the wheels. Do you know about Warm They are 66,000 registered residents across the nation where you can be provided free places to sleep on your solo bike trip.


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
NE Indiana
I ran into a guy this last summer who was trying to tour across country on a standard steel road bike and he used a rear rack that fastened to a special skewer, he had to stop here in Fort Wayne for a couple of days coming out of Detroit because the skewer and hub broke. If you want to tour on a road bike I recommend you credit card tour and carry very little with you, otherwise get a dedicated touring bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker and do it right. For the money the Surly is a very nice bike.

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