Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: touring
May
4

Ultralight bicycle touring

Books. No books! Paper is extremely heavy with respect to its usefulness. Read your tourist guide before the trip and leave it at home. The only thing that I need from a guidebook on the trip are maps of towns. I photocopy these or tear them off the guide – there is no place for sentimentality here. On a long trip it is sometimes nice to have something to read. When this mood hits me, I stay a day or two in some hostel where they have books to lend.

Digital cameras. I’m not an expert in digital photography and am a classical fan myself, but from the volume/weight point of view I’d reccommend the use of digital cameras. Old style SLR film cameras are 3-6 times heavier than digital ones. The spare batteries/charger that you’ll need for digital cameras are in the weight class of spare films for SLRs. You are looking at about 500 g of saving here, minimum, not to mention the volume.

On the picture to the left you’ll see also an evolution of a baterry recharging cable, the leftmost one can be used on any kind of plugs.

P.S. I wrote this paragraph few years ago and now it is obsolete: nobody uses film cameras any more. However, you can read it as “compact versus DSLR” musing. With regard to weight and bulk DSLRs are a huge step backward from compact cameras. And to those of you why prefer the DSLRs because of their superior picture quality, I say: tell me that when you make your first poster print or publish an article in National Geographics.

Locks. My philosophy for securing the bike is to have it always in sight. On few occasions when it is not possible, I lock it with the small cable lock to a solid object – and hope for the best. I assume that any kind of lock can be broken, so you might as well have the smallest and lightest lock, just to prevent any passer-by taking your bike. As you can see on the picture I use now a small cable with combination lock (48 g). The cable is just thick enought that you can’t break it with your teeth – unless you are a character from James Bond movies. This means that you’ll need a tool to break the lock. But if you are determined to steal the bike to the point that you brought the tool, then you’ll break any kind of lock.

Cycling jersey. Make a good use of cycling jersey’s pockets. They are ideal carriers: light, aerodinamic, accessible on the fly. You can store 200 to 300 grams there – possibly everything you need while riding on an average day. Some additional stuff can be tucked under the leggings of cycling shorts.

Bicycle frame. Lot of stuff can be taped on various parts of the frame. I usualy tape less frequently used items to the frame: spare tubes, spare tyre, spare

May
1

Bicycle Traveler – a FREE bicycle touring magazine

The magazine

Bicycle Traveler was launched in 2011. We aimed to create a magazine that showcases bicycle travel and delves into why people dream of undertaking round-the-world tours.

BT’s carefully curated collection of articles and photographs are gathered from a diverse group of cycling enthusiasts worldwide. With the recent boom in bicycle touring, our magazine base has grown to more than 25,000 dedicated subscribers.

As BT begins its 9th year, we are more passionate than ever about publishing high-quality content that resonates with our adventure-minded readers and illustrates the wonderful world of two-wheeled travel.

Subscribe (it’s free!) so that you don’t miss out on future editions. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The people behind it

Grace Johnson is the founding editor and designer of Bicycle Traveler magazine. Photographer Paul Jeurissen runs the website and his cycle touring and bicycle culture images regularly appear in the publication.

They met on the Trans America bicycle trail in 1981 and since then have taken numerous bike trips, totaling more than 9 years over 5 continents. You can follow their two-wheeled travels at Impressions from Bicycle Travels.

Source Article

Apr
23

Choosing Handlebars for Bike Touring

Bicycle Handlebars For Touring

When you see different touring bicycles, you will notice a variety of bicycle handlebars. But which style is best for you and your tour?

Selection Criteria

So when you choose a handlebar for your bicycle, you should pay attention to a number of factors:

  • Number of different hand positions available – While touring, I prefer to switch my hand positions regularly to eliminate or reduce hand and wrist problems. If your hands stay in an unusual position for too long, the pain can be unbearable as time passes. So a bicycle handlebar with one or two hand positions may be fine for certain tours and terrain but not others. Also, certain hand positions allow more leverage for hill climbing.
  • Body posture – Different touring conditions require different body posture positions. If you are battling a head wind for hours, an upright position will just exhaust you quickly. So you will want to be able to get low with your head down. While some bicycle handlebars will stretch you out more to get you lower, your body may put more weight on your hands and wrist, resulting in severe pain. And if you tour mainly off road, terrain will be more of a factor than wind. Consequently, you will want a handlebar that allows plenty of climbing leverage and quick turns.
  • Stem clamp compatibility– Mountain or hybrid style stems require compatible handlebars and the same for road stems. A mountain/hybrid stem has a clamp diameter of 25.4mm. A regular road stem clamp will be 26.00mm. Compatible handlebars will have the corresponding clamp area, which is not the same as the rest of the bar. A few mountain bars and an increasing number of road handlebars utilize an oversize stem clamp diameter of 31.8mm.Other factors relating to the stem and handlebar will include stem height and length. If the shape of the handlebar is different from your existing bar, you may have to shorten or lengthen your stem to keep your arms at a comfortable stretch. The same applies to the change in height due to the new handlebar. You can raise or lower your handlebar by replacing the stem with an adjustable stem. However, as you change the height of the handlebar, you will also be changing the length of the stem in relation to the distance from the seat to the handlebar. So you may have to buy a different stem length with the adjustable stem.
  • Brake levers/shifters compatibility – Mountain bike brake levers and shifters fit mountain style handlebars, which have a diameter of 22.2mm where. Road bike brake levers and barend shifters require handlebars of 23.8mm diameters. In other words, you can’t install road brake levers on mountain bike handlebars.

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Mountain (Straight) Handlebars

straight bar

Mountain style handlebars are great for off-road terrain, but typically they have just one hand position (see number on photo). If you add barends, then you can add another hand position.

If you need to get low

Apr
23

Bicycle Illinois – Illinois’ Bicycle Touring Company

WELCOME
TO BICYCLE ILLINOIS
Illinois’ Bicycle
Touring Company

We
are extremely sad to announce that due to the
extension
of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home Order, GRABAAWR 2020 must
be postponed.
Significantly
more information will be coming promptly for all participants,
vendors, and suppliers.

Registration is
now open
for all
Bicycle Illinois events!

Click
Here
to register for
Bicycle Illinois
(prices
increase April 30th!)


Click
Here
to register for the Illini
Weekend Getaway
Click
Here
to register for the Tri-State
Tour Chicago Century

Click
Here
to register for RAIL North
Click
Here
to register for RAIL South
Click
Here
to register
for our RABGRAI Transportation Service

Registration
is now open for
all Bike Wisconsin events!

Click
Here
to register for the Bike
Northwoods Tour
(prices
increase April 30th!)

Click
Here
to register for SAGBRAW
Click
Here
to register for Will to
Ben

Click
Here
to join our mailing
list!
(make sure
to mark your interests on the
right side of the form)

2020
Event Schedule

2021
Event Schedule
(tentative)

Click
on one of the routes at left
for more information

We
Encourage You to Register
as Early as Possible!

Click
Here
for
more information

Please “Like” us
on our Facebook
page!

Source Article

Apr
22

Reviews of the Best Touring Bicycles

bicycles cartoon
When it comes to buying a touring bicycle, most local bike shops will have only one or two models on the floor, if any. It isn’t that they don’t want to sell a high-quality touring bicycle, it is more an issue of economics and what price range the average person comes in the store to buy.

If you go into a local bike store, the price of most bicycles will start around $300 and go to over $1,500 for higher-end racing bicycles and mountain bikes. Most of the bicycles you will see will be in the $500 to $600 range. Unfortunately, a new, high-quality touring bicycle will usually have a price tag of $1,000 or more. And many of the expedition bicycles that can handle almost any touring terrain will start at $2,000 and go up from there.

When considering a new touring bicycle, I use the following selection criteria:

The following models are just a short list of high-quality bicycles available. Many more models exist. If you would like us to add another model to this list, please email us.

UPDATE: We recently wrote two great articles summarizing the best men’s road bikes and the best women’s road bikes for 2012-2013. Take a look if you want more advice.

Medium to Long Range Touring Bicycles

Cannondale Synapse Alloy 7

This is a newer model of Cannondale touring bikes. While they don’t have the reputation of elite touring bikes, like the Tour I and Tour II had, they are still ideal for touring.

They use all Shimano 105 components (including the shifters… previous Cannondale touring bikes used STI shifters, which are difficult to fix) and are made entirely of aluminum. This means you have lightweight, high quality components on a bike that is lighter than paper (it weighs in at less than 20 pounds).

They come with 700c wheels and use a FSA Gossamer BB30, 50/34 front crankset.

Learn more about the Synapse Alloy 7.

Cannondale Tour I and II

Cannondale Touring II

Unfortunately, you cannot buy these bikes new anymore. But if you can find one used, both the Cannondale Tour I and Tour II are excellent around touring bicycles. The compact aluminum frame and cro-moly steel fork are well made and have the basic touring braze-ons: water bottle mounts, front and rear rack mounts, and clearance for fenders and wide touring tires.

The 700c wheels have 36 holes, 14 gauge spokes (adequate for loaded touring) and cantilever brakes for stopping. The shifters are STI, which I don’t prefer for touring. STI brake/shifters are harder to get repaired while on the road, but many cyclists use them with excellent results.

The Tour I uses a 50/39/30 front crankset and 11/34 rear cassette combination for light touring in rolling hills or medium loaded touring on flat terrain. The Tour II uses a 48/36/26 front crankset and 11/34 rear cassette combination that is better for loaded touring in long distance touring. Please read my page on gearing.

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Novara Strada

Novara Strada Bicycle From REIIt is