Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Colorado. I'd like to get into multiday tours. They will likely be primarily in mountainous or hilly areas. I've been looking at the Surly Long Haul Trucker. However, I've read that it is a heavy bike. I understand on tour the bike gets loaded with the weight of gear. Still I'm wondering how important it is or isn't to use as light a touring bike as one can in mountainous terrain.

Thanks,

Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,832 Posts
Weightless

mcdelroy said:
I live in Colorado. I'd like to get into multiday tours. They will likely be primarily in mountainous or hilly areas. I've been looking at the Surly Long Haul Trucker. However, I've read that it is a heavy bike. I understand on tour the bike gets loaded with the weight of gear. Still I'm wondering how important it is or isn't to use as light a touring bike as one can in mountainous terrain.
Assuming we are talking about carrying a load on the bike, then bike weight is not an issue of any substance. You should be much more concerned about stability and comfort. To estimate the advantage of "saved weight" on a climb, you can pretty much use percentages: a 1% reduction in total weight (like about 2 lbs/1 kg) means a 1% incresae in speed. So, if you shave off that 2 lb and you were climbing a moderate grade at 10 mph, you could now go 10.1 mph, shaving 40 seconds off an hour of climbing. Not much in the context of a multi-day tour, especially if that lighter bike gets squirrely on descents or is uncomfortable for hours in the saddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
makes sense

That arithmetic makes sense. However, I should note I'm concerned about effort and, perhaps, pain felt while climbing mountain passes more then shaving minutes off the time it takes. I guess I'm hoping for some anecdotal discussion of wise bike choices for strenuous, almost odious climbs with touring loads.

Marc
 

·
N. Hollywood, CA
Joined
·
754 Posts
A few extra ounces of steel on the frame won't matter. If you're serious about carrying weight on the bike, a stout frame with braze-on bosses for all rack attachments (4 points on the rear, 4 points on the front), and a good steel rack like Tubus Tara will ensure that the tail won't wag the dog (much). If you're gonna tow a trailer, you can ignore most of my advice.

If you're concerned about effort and pain, just be sure you get appropriate gears. Given your "strenuous, odious" plans, I'd follow the Rivendell approach to low gearing. Triple crank, perhaps 48-36-24, with a widely spaced cassette 12-27 or wider. Of course every person is different. But my hunch is if you're riding a fully loaded (pannier'd) bike up a 10 mile climb over 10,000' el., the 24-27 may or may not be an easy enough gear. I think many "real" bike tourers would get a 13-34 cassette. YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
panniers better?

Thanks for the info. I heard that climbing with panniers is advantageous compared to towing a trailer. Is this accurate? I'd like to make sure I get an appropriate set up for climbing.

Thanks,

Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
I've heard it both ways. I prefer the lower center of gravity of a trailer.

In addition, you can mount a kickstand to a trailer, which makes it a little bit easier when you have to stop the whole thing somewhere, saves you from having to lit the whole mess all the way back up. Not a big deal when you're fresh, but halfway through, or at the end of a long day, it's just one less thing. And, when the trailer comes off, so does the kickstand.

Which is nice... if you're out touring, and you're staying at a hotel or something, you can unhitch the whole trailer, and be back to a plain, unloaded bicycle, in under a minute. Throw the trailer in the room, and go wander around town. You can do similar things with panniers, except with the kickstand.

Ditto what the other guy said about appropriate gearing. Don't be macho about having only 2 chain rings. Traveling and hauling a load demands a certain amount of common sense that racing and pack riding does not. Knees are important, and pounding them won't help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
I've done a couple of tours in Colorado. I didn't really find the climbs difficult, just slow but steady going. I'm a fairly slow rider any way, but my usual speed going up a climb is around 4 mph. My touring bike with rear rack weighs 25lbs and the gear I carry weighs 35lbs. I'm using a 24-36-46 with a custom cassette from Harris Cyclery of 11-28 for gear inches from 23 to 113.

I would definitely make sure you have a good fitting bicycle and good saddle since you'll be on the bike for long periods day after day.

Most of the climbs in Colorado are not very steep, usually 4 to 5% grades.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top