Touring on my racing bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Steve B, Mar 8, 2003.

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  1. Steve B

    Steve B Guest

    Hi,

    So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    question...

    I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.

    Can I do this on my racing bike?

    It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize that
    weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit rear
    panniers. Also, no braze ons.

    Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    coast? Will any type of pannier fit?

    If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.

    THANKS!!!!
     
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  2. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Steve B wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?
    >
    > If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.
    >
    > THANKS!!!!

    100 miles is a long race for most amateurs, you know. That means most serious racers have ridden the
    distance in a day more than once. On racing bikes, of course. And note that the pros routinely stack
    100+ mile days, though they're pampered. Once you've gained the saddle time, I'd think that 100
    medium-easy miles on consecutive days would be quite doable. I'm reaching the age where such crazy
    ideas are appealing.

    If I were to try a multi-day motel trip (I don't own a touring bike) I'd try a large fanny pack for
    a change of riding clothes, toothbrush/paste, cash. That would probably be too little. A largish
    saddle bag would probably cover the rest though. A cycling backpack would be the fallback option.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  3. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Steve B wrote:
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?

    Probably - BTW, I'd recommend Portland to SF rather than the other way around for more
    favorable winds.

    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?

    I'd recommend a regular rack supported by legs to the rear dropout area. The one I use on my '89
    Cannondale SR800 criterium frame also attaches at the top to the brake bolt. If your frame has
    triangular cut-outs by the rear dropouts there were some clips offered by Blackburn that would
    attach there - an LBS may have some in a bin. Otherwise you can use P-clips from a hardware store to
    attach the rack legs to the lower part of your stays - preferably the steel P-clips rather than
    aluminum for better durability. P-clips can also be used with many racks to attach the top arms to
    the seat stays.

    I ride down from SF to the bike rally in Paso Robles each year going down Hwy. 1 and staying at the
    Hike & Bike campsites on the way and do some other self-supported bike tours. I haven't had any
    problems using my close-coupled criterium frame. Front fenders are not an option since I already
    have pretty severe toe-overlap with the front tire, but I attach a sprayguard under the downtube and
    that keeps most of the water off my feet and legs. My feet do touch the small pockets that are on
    the front of my rear panniers so I keep those empty and tie them out of the way. Handling has been
    fine with no signs of instability on descents even though I use the old rear panniers & handlebar
    bag style of packing that isn't supposed to be ideal. If you want to travel with lots of gear then a
    BOB-type trailer would also be an option, but shouldn't be needed for relatively lightweight
    touring, even including camping equipment.
     
  4. Here are a couple of ways to tour on your race bike:

    1. A set of Carradice Limpet panniers will mount on the FRONT of your bike with no rack. These
    mount low on the fork and actually make the bike more stable. They use the QR skewer as one
    mounting point and you might need to use a rear skewer (and maybe a few spacers or washers) in
    place of the front skewer (just because a rear skewer is longer) If your present front skewer
    has an aluminum shaft I'd get one with a steel shaft just to be on the safe side. You can see
    these panniers at:

    http://www.wallbike.com/carradice/limpet.html

    2. You could get a Carradice saddlebag which mounts crossways behind the saddle. This is not a
    little thing meant to hold your keys and a spare tube and a few tools. There are several models,
    the largest of which has a 24 litre capacity. You can see these bags at:

    http://www.wallbike.com/carradice/camper.html

    To mount the bag on your bike you would need a Carradice mount which they call an uplift. You can
    see this at:

    http://www.wallbike.com/carradice/uplift.html

    Either of these solutions would work pretty well but would cost $125 to $130 including shipping.

    Bob Taylor
     
  5. On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 17:43:43 -0500, Steve B wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?

    Sure. No reason why not.
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.

    You can get things called P-clamps at a hardware store. They even come with insulation that keeps
    them from scratching your stays. Works fine, and allows you to move the rack back a bit.

    I used this on a 700 mile trip last summer. No problems. My chain stays are probably shorter than
    yours, and I had no trouble with my feet hitting the pannier.

    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light.

    Seat post racks are not very stable. Certainly not for a long trip.

    Maybe
    > stay at cheap hotels along the coast? Will any type of pannier fit?

    Some seat post racks hold panniers, but not with enough weight to be useful on a tour. Use a regular
    rack with these clamps.

    If you tour alone, you will need to have enough tools and spare parts to get you out of trouble,
    plus clothes and stuff. I don't think there is a real advantage in absolutely minimial packing.
    I'd rather be able to wear clean clothes, have some non-cycling clothes for dinner and evenings,
    and have enough emergency-repair material so I don't get stranded. That requires panniers in the
    rear at least.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The _`\(,_ | common welfare was my
    business; charity, mercy, forbearance, (_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The
    dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
    --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  6. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    You can tour on any bike, depending on how much mickeying around you want to do. The main thing is
    for the bike to be comfortable for 10-12 hours of riding a day and for the gearing to suit your
    abilities and the terrain.

    For tours where you're staying on some kind of accomodation and don't need to take a tent, cookware,
    food, clothing for many different situations, etc., then any bike with a saddlebag ought to be fine.

    I toured 10 days through the Alps this way last summer and along the Mississippi River a couple of
    years ago; other posters here such as Jobst Brandt have gone much longer with just a saddlebag. Kent
    Petersen (*son?) did a loaded tour from Seattle to Cloquet MN on a fixed gear with camping gear.
    Henry Kingman toured for weeks along the coast with a saddlebag and a lightweight bag, bivvy sack,
    etc. and no panniers.

    There's lots of stuff on the Web related to this. Check out the Trento Bike Pages for a couple of
    good packing lists for people using saddlebags. A Google search will turn up all kinds of stuff.

    Here's an excellent discussion of the options:

    http://www.randonneursontario.ca/trequip.html
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Last summer I encountered a guy who was crossing the US on a '70s Masi w/ 52 - 42 Campy NR
    crankset/chainrings, probably a 13-26 freewheel. No fenders, and I don't know how he attached the
    rack, but he did. He seemed to be having as much fun as anyone else out there.

    Carradice and Rivendell (www.rivendellbicycles.com) both make excellent seat bags in sizes from
    minimal day tripping to lightweight cycle camping. Great way to carry loads, saves you the hassle of
    attaching a rack to a bike
    w/ out eyelets.

    --
    mark "Steve B" <birndorf@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:6c5e6819.0303081443.1da7585c@posting.google.com...
    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?
    >
    > If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.
    >
    > THANKS!!!!
     
  8. David Storm

    David Storm Guest

    Last Fall I encountered a guy on a Cannondale R2000 in Sacramento,
    CA. I didn't notice at the time whether he had a triple or not. He was on the next to last day of a
    cross country tour from New York and had been on the road for 2 months. He was pulling a very
    heavy-loaded BOB trailer. He looked about 25 years old.

    It can be done on a light weight racing bike depending on your age, conditioning, and/or how much
    you carry.

    "Steve B" <birndorf@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:6c5e6819.0303081443.1da7585c@posting.google.com...
    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?
    >
    > If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.
    >
    > THANKS!!!!
     
  9. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Steve B wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?
    >
    > If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.
    >
    > THANKS!!!!

    I've done that very trip, just like that, on a "racing" bike. Also known as "credit card" touring.
    Touring in CA is easy because the weather is mild and predictable, so you don't have to bring so
    much stuff. It'll fit in an underseat bag no problem.

    Just go for it.

    Matt O.
     
  10. Br

    Br Guest

    Two summers ago, I self-toured on an old Trek 1400 (circa 1988 or 1989). I carried about 40 lbs on
    it, mostly just-in-case stuff that I never used but had ... just in case. I had a double (53-39) and
    a 7 speed rear cassette (12-30, that last cog being a granny gear). This setup still did not give me
    low enough gears given the weight I carried, my strength, and the terrain. My current road bike is a
    tripple with 30 teeth in the smallest chain ring and 25 teeth in the biggest cog. That gives me only
    a slightly lower gear (by about 2.6 gear inches) than on my old bike and old setup. In my lowest
    gear, at 60 rpm, I could go about 6 mph. That was about as slow as I could go/peddle without getting
    unbalanced. On some of the steepest parts, I needed to go slower. No problem. On those parts, I had
    to get off and walk the bike. It didn't detract from my enjoyment at all. That being said, if I do a
    cross country tour on this bike, I probably would get a smaller 3rd chain ring or switch cassettes
    from the 12-25 to one with a great big granny gear so that I wouldn't have to suffer, suffer,
    suffer, and then give in to walking (of course, that routine was due to me being stubborn). If I
    couldn't switch them out though, so be it. Train on hills. Train with weight. Learn what you can and
    can't do. And then decide whether to have some work done on your bike to get lower gears or use a
    different bike. Personally, I like touring on the road bike.
     
  11. Pat Clancy

    Pat Clancy Guest

    As long as you are in reasonably good shape and the route does not have any extraordinarily long,
    steep hills, your current gearing will work.

    Like your bike, my Bianchi has no braze-ons or eyelets, so over the years I've experimented with a
    variety of racks and bags. I'd avoid seatpost racks unless you are traveling ultralight. I used a
    seatpost pannier rack on a multi-day tour where I was carrying maybe 25 lbs. The handling of the
    bike was seriously compromised.

    My experience using P-clamps to hold a conventional rack was not good. The upper clamps worked fine,
    but then they're really not carrying significant weight, they're simply keeping the rack horizontal.
    However, after a few miles of riding, the lower P-clamps slipped no matter how much I tightened them
    until the drive side clamp was just a mm or so from the smallest cog. I couldn't shift the chain to
    it. Of course this may vary depending on the design of your seat stays and dropouts.

    My ultimate answer (so far) was to buy an Old Man Mountain rear pannier rack. They provide special
    brackets that allow you to mount the pannier using the wheel's QR clamp. This gives a good, secure,
    low center of gravity point of attachment. You will still probably need P-clamps at the top, but
    that's trivial. Check out oldmanmountain.com.

    Pat

    birndorf@hotmail.com (Steve B) wrote in message
    news:<6c5e6819.0303081443.1da7585c@posting.google.com>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > So I JUST got a road bike. I've crossed over from mountain biking. And, I love it. So here's the
    > question...
    >
    > I'd like to start taking longer rides. 100 miles plus. Also, some multi-day trips. Like San
    > Francisco to Santa Cruz to LA. Or, San Francisco to Portland.
    >
    > Can I do this on my racing bike?
    >
    > It's a used 1999 LeMond Zurich with a 53-39 to a 12-27. From reading some old posts, I realize
    > that weight/gear might affect the steering and the short chain stay might cause my feet to hit
    > rear panniers. Also, no braze ons.
    >
    > Can I get one of those seat post racks and pack REALLY light. Maybe stay at cheap hotels along the
    > coast? Will any type of pannier fit?
    >
    > If anyone has any ideas or experience with this problem, I'd appreciate some help.
    >
    > THANKS!!!!
     
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    I've toured with many different storage locations. 1 rear panniers and rear rack with camping gear
    on top of the rack front panniers on low riders with 2 camping gear and rear panniers on rear rack
    or 3 camping gear on rear rack and no rear panniers or 4 no camping gear and no rear rack 5 rear
    rack with only a rackbag on top 6 sleeping bag & bivy sack stuffed under the saddle, with spare
    shorts and stuff in small handlebar bag

    For racing frames I've used 4 and 5 the most, with 4 = low riders for 15 to 25 pounds of gear, and 5
    = rackbag for 10-15 pounds of gear. Low riders are the best for keeping the weight so low you don't
    notice it while out of the saddle climbing. But with any bags that are securely held you learn to
    forget they are there.

    -Bruce
     
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