USA Coast to Coast ride... What equipment?

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by prestonjb, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    What kind of bike, rack, bags, tent, ect would you carry to do a coast to coast ride say over 30 days.
     
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  2. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    Very quickly -

    Bike: MTB or touring bike, whichever you prefer (or have!)
    Racks: Blackburn make very nice ones, and Topeak do some too.
    Bags: Buy the best quality ones you can afford, they'll pay you back with many years of service
    Tent: Whatever is comfortable and practical for you. Getting the lightest one isn't essential. Unless you're flying around with all of your kit weight is that important.

    Check out some of these for general touring advice:

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/index.htm
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/touring/index.html
    http://www-math.science.unitn.it/Bike/
    http://www.nickcoyne.com/eur02/

    Good luck & enjoy!
     
  3. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    I own a MTB, a racing bike and a tandem. I was thinking about the LiteSpeed Blue-Ridge for this trek.
    I have one that we use on the tandem for 2-day credit-card rides. I'll probably reuse that one for this trip.
    Here is where I start to wonder what I need. I use a large waterproof pannier for commuting to keep the laptop dry... I have two front-bags from blackburn that my wife uses for her rear-bags when she commutes. I was thinking about only carrying the two small front bags as rear bags only.
    I want to try to stay in hotels as often as possible but I wonder if I need a tent as a backup... Also if I should carry the tent then I would need ground cover stuff: matt, bag and such... What is the best/litest..

    Also what tools, and such do you carry? I was thinking about a basic set of tools, a bit of chain, several tubes/glue and a few spokes (two front two rear<one each side>)..

    And then I have to plan the route... Maps? I wonder how far I should ride each day...
     
  4. REDBENT

    REDBENT Guest

  5. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    Thanks Redbent.

    After reading this link and looking at all of the other stuff I'm currently looking at the Airborne Carpe Diem... Here is why...

    1) I love titanium. My racing bike is a Litespeed
    2) I thought about the Blue Ridge but the design of the rear brake cable boss looks bad. Someone had issues with it and it does look awkward
    3) The airborne is different so it will give me someone to compare Ti vs Ti.
    4) I'm not looking for a 4-bag tourer. Yes I could add a set of front bags if I want. The Carpe Diem only as 42.5cm chain stays but that should be OK for me. Hey if I want more space I'll add an Expedition rack and it will push everything back...
    5) Except for the chainstays not being 45cm, the carpe diem has all of the other stuff... 3 bottle mounts, canti brake bosses, could use disk, fender and rack mounts. There was a comment about higher center of gravety because this frame is listed as a cyclocross-tourer... But the BB drop out is 6.5cm whereas my litespeed racer is 7.1cm. I think I won't notice it being 6mm higher!

    Now I'm thinking about gearing and such...

    Do I go with a triple and a 12x27 rear or with a double and a 13x32 rear.

    Also do I go with a 30x39x53 dura-ace setup or a 30x42x52 standard ultegra/105 chainrings?

    I was also thinking about lighting... Internal hub generator (3 watts max) or simply carry an emergency cateye light... I've got a massive blinker light that I use on my mountain-bike/commuter so that should do for the rear (esp with a rack to mount it on).

    And tires... 700x30/28/25 or stick with something I'm use to such as 700x23s...

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  6. msrw

    msrw New Member

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    The one issue I haven't seen anyone else mention: aluminum racks may not be adequate for heavy duty touring, or at least not as good as chromolly racks. Specifics? They can bend, they can break, they will sway more than chromolly racks under heavy loads etc.

    If it were me, I'd use a Tubus Cargo rear rack--there are other much more expensive chromolly racks, but I think the Tubus Cargo is as good as anything out there.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.wallbike.com/tubus/tubus.html
     
  7. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    I second the heavy duty rack idea-- just about any medium priced bike will make the trip, but only high-end racks will. If you're fine with the motel 6 travel mode (it could end up being pretty pricey)

    I'd get a couple of cheap headlights and tail blinkers (AA battery) the're light and if they break....oh well
     
  8. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    I second the heavy duty rack idea-- just about any medium priced bike will make the trip, but only high-end racks will. If you're fine with the motel 6 travel mode (it could end up being pretty pricey)

    I'd get a couple of cheap headlights and tail blinkers (AA battery) the're light and if they break....oh well
     
  9. byfred

    byfred New Member

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    Two pieces of equipement that I would highly recommend are #1. Continental Top Touring 2000 tires. #2. Therma-Rest Self-filling Air Mattress, 3/4 length. Both those products have served me well on many tours. I have used a Sierra Designs Meteor Light CD Tent, (two man) for many years now and have no complaints with it either.
    There are so many great products and I'm sure you will find loads of information on the Net. The ones I have mentioned, I have had great service from them........byfred
     
  10. sdorrity

    sdorrity New Member

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    If you are intending to stay in motels etc you could look at just taking a goretex bivvi bag and lightweight sleepingbag for emergency stopovers. I have a down bag plus simple bivvi bag weighs in at about 2lbs and is about the size of a couple of water bottles.

    I note your comment about using expedition rear racks to push the weight further back, this could a
    have a detrimental effect on handling.

    My main reason for using front panniers is to improve balance and handling.

    Have fun

    Steve D


     
  11. canuckguy

    canuckguy New Member

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    I've never done a cross-country tour, but have done several self-supported week-long rides, with tent, bag, stove, food, the whole 9 yards.

    I would definitely go with 4 bags, for better weight distribution and handling. You don't have to fill them all. Just make sure the weight is well distributed, about 60/40 r/f. And if they aren't full, pull them tight somehow so they aren't flapping in the wind.

    I don't think you will gain much with the DA on a touring bike. Sure it's a great gruppo, but probably overkill. 105 is probably sufficient, but you can always bump it up to Ultegra if you don't mind dropping a few hundred more.

    I wouldn't even think about doing it on a double. My first tour was Cape Breton Island. I only had a double then, and ended up walking a good part of the first mountain. After that, I always ride a triple. I would go at least 12 - 27 and 30-42-52. The biggest cog on my touring bike is a 32, and my granny ring is only 28.

    Tires - at least 25, better yet, 28. The increased rolling resistance isn't nearly as important as the load carrying capacity.

    Lighting - Don't know what to suggest here. I did all my riding in daylight. But I think I would stay away from the internal hub generator. Just one more thing to go wrong.

    Good luck with the ride.
     
  12. byfred

    byfred New Member

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    You & I are almost neighbours. I'm from the Glencoe area, about 40 miles west of London, Ontario. My wife & I have done a lot of touring in Canada & USA but we have never tried the rest of the world. There is so many beautiful trips to be taken right here in Canada. I would be interested in sharing experiences & routes with you. Contact me at <[email protected]> direct, if you wish..........byfred
     
  13. Maq Dreqan

    Maq Dreqan New Member

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    I would maybe even go with 32 wide tires on the back wheel to avoid breaking spokes. Definately use conti top touring. Also, make sure you travel with extra spokes and a chainwhip in you are carrying lots of weight. Bike shops aren't always easy to find. And of course, carry the other standard tools as well. They are worth their weight.

    An awesome tent that a bunch of us used to a xcountry trip last summer is the eureka solitaire. (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=226&prrfnbr=12253) You CANNOT beat the price ($69), it held up in some major storms, and it weights 2.5 pounds!! You won't won't find a smaller packing, lighter tent for any price. I packed mine with a ground cloth cut to size (also bought from campor) that I would recommend for durability.

    Propane powered whisperlite stoves are really nice for cooking, if you are doing that sort of thing. Pricey, but worth it.

    Oh, and spring for a sleeping pad if you'll be outside as well. Well worth it, and it keeps you warm.
     
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