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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140

    Use Road Bike for Camping?

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    I'm very interesting in doing some touring. Currently I own a Bianchi Veloche and use if for casual riding, century rides and occasional work commuting. I'm very interested in doing some overnight trips but I'm not sure how much I can load on my bike (it's not a touring bike). Has anyone done this before? I don't want to invest in a touring bike until I know for sure that I enjoy camping off the bike.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    I don't know that bike specifically. Have you figured out a way to put panniers on it? Or another kind of bag?

    How far do you want to go? How autonomous do you want to be? Do you want to go alone or with someone (sharing the load, tent, food, etc.)?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Newberg, OR
    Posts
    758
    A trailer might be a better way to go. We have a Burley cargo trailer that carries up to 100 pounds. I think I'd rather pull the weight than have it on a rack and panniers.

    (Plus, dh usually pulls the trailer...so BONUS for me!)

    Actually, we probably should get another one. We have an emergency preparedness plan and we use our trailer to store supplies in case, for whatever reason, we have to evacuate on our bikes. That alone makes a trailer worthwhile to have, for us anyway.
    Road Bike: 2008 Orbea Aqua Dama TDF/Brooks B-68


    Ellen
    www.theotherfoote.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140
    I've looked at panniers and trailers on REI's web site. I guess my primary question is whether a road bike (aluminum with carbon forks and seat post) is sturdy enough for some light touring & camping. Wondering if any of you have used your lighter road bikes this way? I would like to try it out with my Bianchi before I spend $ on a second bike (such as a Trek 530 or Surly LH).
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Quote Originally Posted by Dog View Post
    I've looked at panniers and trailers on REI's web site. I guess my primary question is whether a road bike (aluminum with carbon forks and seat post) is sturdy enough for some light touring & camping. Wondering if any of you have used your lighter road bikes this way? I would like to try it out with my Bianchi before I spend $ on a second bike (such as a Trek 530 or Surly LH).
    Of course it depends on your definition of "light" but frankly unless you leave for more than 2-3 days, or unless you have a tendency to pack on the heavy side (including the kitchen sink), I think sturdiness is not going to be your main concern.

    However you may find that finding a rack that works for your bike is more of a challenge. Not impossible, but more challenging. Of course you could just go for a big Carradice-style saddle back with assorted support, which is probably simpler, but still not totally straightforward.

    Certainly worth the effort, though, compared to shelling out minimum $1000 for a new bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Before I found a touring bike, I used my Giant OCR1 road bike for some commuting. I didn't do an overnight tour, but did commute quite a few times with panniers. I found a Blackburn MTN rack that actually fit my bike and worked quite well. Attaching it at the bottom required a little help from the LBS since there weren't extra braze-ons for the rack alone. It worked, tho.
    Definitely try that before buying a new bike.

    What kind of touring do you want to try? Overnight by yourself? Fully supported or semi-supported? Just curious, as I love to hear anything about touring.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    You could always see if any shops in your area will rent you a BOB trailer. (or I suppose any other trailer - even a kiddie trailer can haul camping gear). A trailer doesn't require anything special on the bike for attachment.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140
    Eventually I would like to ride down the coast (from Seattle to San Diego) and ultimately across the United States and then there is always CANADA and ALASKA I like to set big goals! But, I know I should try some shorter rides first with gear on the bike. So, I'm thinking a couple of weekend trips in state including maybe riding over the Cascades from Seattle to Spokane. And, I would ride with one or two other people. I'm not sure I can afford the cost of an organized tour.

    The other thing is I'm not sure what would be better - panniers or a bob?
    So, renting a bob sounds like a great idea.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    I didn't even notice before that we are in the same area. If you can get up to Seattle, Aarons over in West Seattle rents trailers - I'm not sure if they specifically rent BOBs, but I wouldn't be surprised.

    You could also put an ad up on the Cascade board - There are definitely people who rent out their bike cases, so I wouldn't be shocked if someone was willing to rent out their BOB.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,132
    ABR does rent out BOBs among other things. They also have touring bikes and xtracycles.

    Here's a list of rates.
    http://rideyourbike.com/rental.html

    Call to confirm rates and I believe he's added to his rental fleet so he may have more bike sizes available. And if the ol' curmudgeon gives you any lip, let me know. I'll slap him upside the head for you the next time I see him.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    2007 Rodriguez Adventure/B72
    2009 Masi Soulville Mixte/B18
    1997 Trek 820 Step-thru Xtracycle/B17

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Dog View Post
    Eventually I would like to ride down the coast (from Seattle to San Diego) and ultimately across the United States and then there is always CANADA and ALASKA I like to set big goals!
    I'd love to do the Pacific Coast one day, and I dream of doing cross country, but doubt that will happen unless I save up and do it with a group tour. DH loves to ride, but not tour, so I'd have to go it alone for months (not something I do well- the alone thing).
    Kudos to you for getting out there and exploring by bike. I wish I were brave enough to do more solo tours (or that DH wouldn't worry as much when I did).

    I wish we had trailer and xtracycle rentals here. I think I belong on the West coast for more than a few reasons. It seems like everyone there has many of the same views on things as I do (be it environmental, political, or otherwise).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    I've been using my road bike (all aluminum except for the fork, so not exactly built for the weight) this fall for touring and it's been working beautifully. Thanks to a nicely timed run-in with a car I got a beautiful new rear wheel made specifically for touring which makes me a little more confident with loading up the bike. Maybe try that if you're really concerned? The top of the line Mavic touring rims are only about $75 or so, and I got a fully built wheel with a tiagara hub for about $200 (in extremely overpriced Toronto).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140
    Hi Applegum, thanks for the feedback. Did you use panniers and how much and what type of gear have you carried?

    Tri Girl, my DH doesn't plan on touring with me either (a century ride is the max for him). And, he won't let me tour alone, so I'm trying to talk some of my friends into trying a weekend tour.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    I did use panniers. Got them cheap from when I worked at Performance (alright for discounts!) and the 40lb rack from there as well. It was interesting getting one of the supports to bend properly to join up on the seatstay around my brake caliper, but it was stable since I didn't put too much weight on it, max about 30lb. All of that goes on the rear rack though and it held up really well. I was surprised by how fast I could go with everything loaded up. We still managed to average around 15.5-16mph, up to 21mph when we were in a paceline because we had to catch up to another group or sprint to the train station. Granted it was only about 75 miles of riding the first day, 50 the second. We did a trip last year and I was on an upright and it was MISERABLE. Well, actually a lot of fun. But the bike itself-pretty miserable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SF bay area
    Posts
    151
    I did a 500 mile loaded tour on my bianchi eros donna road bike equipped with panniers. I found a rack that could be mounted through the quick release and onto my caliper brake mounts for the rear (axiom) and a front rack that mounted through the quick release and braced onto my carbon front fork (Old Man Mountain). My wheels were sturdy ksyriums and I had no problems with the wheels (but carried extra spokes and truing equipment just in case). My load was about 55-60 pounds.

    A note on gearing. I had a standard road triple on this bike (30-27 largest gearing), and it was a bit of the grind on the steeper climbs we encountered (we had sustained portions of 8 and 10 percent grade, and even up to 12% grade. This was a bit of a grind for me. I powered through it but my friends with touring bikes (and thus more mountain bike gearing) spun up those climbs with greater comfort and less overall fatigue. This may not be an issue for you depending on the terrain you encounter, your strength, daily mileage etc.

    I ran into folks with trailers on the tour and this seems like a decent option as well. I'm not sure how easy it is to travel with the trailer though. It was pretty easy to remove the pannier racks for boxing and shipping. Something to consider.
    Last edited by NadiaMac; 10-18-2008 at 10:59 AM.

 

 

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