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Touring with rucsack

mcrinemcrine Posts: 22
edited May 2009 in Tour & expedition
Hi all

I'm planning on doing a short 4 day tour approx 100 miles a day from glasgow area to north of Scotland.

This will be on a carbon bike(boardman team carbon) so panniers are out. I will be camping light weight just sleeping bag bivvy bag and a tarp.I'm Looking to carry minimum kit a small cooker and some dry clothes plus other essentials. I will pick up extra food and water as I go. Should all fit into a 25ltr rucsack that i have.

Has anyone done anything similar and how did you find it?
what were the pros and cons of a rucsack over other carrying methods?

The only other option I can think of is attatching a rack to the seat post .

Any information will be much appreciated
Al

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    mcrine wrote:
    I will be camping light weight just sleeping bag bivvy bag and a tarp.I'm Looking to carry minimum kit a small cooker and some dry clothes plus other essentials. I will pick up extra food and water as I go. Should all fit into a 25ltr rucsack that i have.l

    25 litres? Sounds pretty optimistic to me. Might be worth doing a trial pack to see if it really is feasible.

    Mountainbikers ride with backpacks all the time. A decent backpack like the Deuter Aircomfort series is a help.

    Alternatively, a seatpost rack might be OK for part of the load - especially the lighter but bulkier stuff. Or you could consider a saddlebag. Or even bungeeing some stuff to the frame.

    Have you thought about a trailer? I know it's expensive but you might be able to hire.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    Or B&B. I wouldn't recommend cycling a road bike with a rucksack on your back, any bike for that matter. It will certainly do your back in. If you can't do B&B or hire a trailer or travel a lot lighter then couldn't you borrow a touring bike? B&B is only £15 a night. It's got to be better than lugging a huge heavy pack on your back. Why did you buy a road bike if you wanted to go touring?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    I hate going for a 10 mile ride with a 6 kilo rucksack. It's hard on my back and I can feel every bump a little more with the extra weight on my body. Of course I'm old and cranky but I think it would be hard for anyone to be carrying a good bit more weight than that for 100 miles. Best to take a test run to decide for yourself. Another option would be to look into a proper rear rack with a Tubus rear axle mount and one of those seat post clamps with the mounting holes for the rack stays. http://www.bikebagshop.com/tubus-accessories-c-29.html (1st and 3rd items on page)
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    dilemna wrote:
    Or B&B. I wouldn't recommend cycling a road bike with a rucksack on your back, any bike for that matter. It will certainly do your back in. If you can't do B&B or hire a trailer or travel a lot lighter then couldn't you borrow a touring bike? B&B is only £15 a night. It's got to be better than lugging a huge heavy pack on your back. Why did you buy a road bike if you wanted to go touring?

    I was going to say in may earlier post that I'm sure someone will be along to threaten dire consequences if you do ride with a rucksack.

    There's absolutely no reason why riding a bike with a rucksack should do your back in.
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    You'll be much more comfortable if you carry your kit on panniers.

    Go to the Tubus website, they have a whole range of racks you can put on road bikes. You get an attachment to allow the bottom of the rack to sit on the skewers. www.oldmanmountain.com have similar range, although more aimed at mtb's (although I've used one of their racks on my roadbike very successfully). To attach a rack to the upper part of the stays either use p-clips or get the M-part seat clamp like this one:

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=NP09504

    You don't even need panniers, you could always rig up your backpack to tie to the rack (although proper panniers are better).

    There are also options for small front racks for road bikes - Nitto make some very nice ones, but they are hard to get.

    Alernatively, you could probably do it with a combination of saddlebag and large barbag.

    I agree with Andy that you probably won't damage your back, but you will certainly find it very uncomfortable. Apart from sweaty back syndrome, having so much weight above the centre of gravity makes cycling less pleasant.
  • BodhbhBodhbh Posts: 117
    I did my first 'tour' with a backpack a couple of weekends back as the bike with the racks mounted was on the blocks (60 miles a-day on the South Downs Way). It was fair-sized, 40l climbing pack, half-filled with change of underwear, baselayer, fleece etc., bit of food, toolkit, and a couple of litres of water – so what, 7-8kg? Gave me no bother at all, with either balance or discomfort, although I commute with one so maybe I’m used to it. I wouldn’t have considered it tbh if the racked bike was available, was a nice change to be forced to travel without the kitchen sink will do it again. Maybe give it a dry run and see how it feels?
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    andymiller wrote:
    dilemna wrote:
    Or B&B. I wouldn't recommend cycling a road bike with a rucksack on your back, any bike for that matter. It will certainly do your back in. If you can't do B&B or hire a trailer or travel a lot lighter then couldn't you borrow a touring bike? B&B is only £15 a night. It's got to be better than lugging a huge heavy pack on your back. Why did you buy a road bike if you wanted to go touring?

    I was going to say in may earlier post that I'm sure someone will be along to threaten dire consequences if you do ride with a rucksack.

    Did I ?!? :shock:
    andymiller wrote:
    There's absolutely no reason why riding a bike with a rucksack should do your back in.

    Er.....yes it does....... I'm speaking from painful experience following a cycling tour about 20 years ago. Afterwards I got my self sorted with rack and panniers and some physio... :wink: Haven't worn a rucksack when cycling since. The thought of having a wet and sweaty back as well is a great disincentive. For carrying small amounts you can use your jersey pockets or a saddle pouch/bag. If you really want to carry stuff then I would recommend a seat post rack which will make you economise. Plus you could also fit a bar bag. :)
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Hmm I wonder whether the real cause wasn't weak core muscles.

    Thousands of mountainbikers (including me) ride regularly with rucksacks, not to mention thousands of couriers riding with courier bags.

    If you get a decent one a sweaty back isn't a problem.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    For a small load it might be OK, but anything over a couple of KGs, get panniers, a barbag, one of those carradice things, a trailer or a sherpa. Remember that all the extra weight goes through your backside, so any saddle discomfort you're gonna have will be worse. + The sweaty back thing isn't great.
  • mcrinemcrine Posts: 22
    Thanks for the advice and links to products it is much appreciated

    Most of my cycling is done for fitness and the enjoyment of it hence the road bike.
    I have managed to talk my mates and brother into joining me so my old bike with eyelets is being used by my brother. This is why I was planning on using a rucsack to keep costs down and use kit readily available.The rest are just catching the cycling bug.

    I have a deuter bike 1 rucsack that I use on occasions for work and training with a max return journey of 30 miles. I have not had any problems with my back over this distance but I have never carried it all day.

    I have made a trailer before (blue peter would have been proud) and it worked ok but this time I am planning on minimal kit.I am being met at the finish by the mrs who will bring normal clothes. The stuff that weighs the most is the food and water which I will pick up as and when I need it.

    Thanks again and keep the advice coming
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    andymiller wrote:
    Hmm I wonder whether the real cause wasn't weak core muscles.

    Thousands of mountainbikers (including me) ride regularly with rucksacks, not to mention thousands of couriers riding with courier bags.

    If you get a decent one a sweaty back isn't a problem.

    Nope, no weak muscles doc, except perhaps my brain for trying to do it. Panniers all the way now when I need to carry stuff, no weight what so ever on my back.

    So doc 1000s of mountain bikers including you and bike couriers riding regulary with rucksacks on their backs is an endorsement then that it doesn't harm the back and makes for efficient cycling. Right......Can't get over all that unnecessary extra sweaty feeling with a rucksack on the back. Ughhh!

    Carrying a weight on one's back does wonders for bike stability as the centre of gravity is at least several feet higher compared to panniers :roll:

    If you like to ride with a rucksack on your back fine. But their are easier choices to improve your cycling experience.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    If you are not using a carbon seatpost then one of these, it sits on your seat post while you are riding keeping the C of G lower and avoiding any possible back issues. When you arrive you click off its mount and away you go.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • flesterflester Posts: 464
    No way I'd do it as someone who has done lost of short tours I'd always attach my gear to the bike.

    Assuming one of those beam racks that fit on the seat post you could use a rack pack
    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=NP03770
    plus a handlebar bag.

    Also you could fit low-rider racks to the fork

    I have no experience of carbon whatsoever but I assume you can't hang too much weight off a carbon seat post or fork?

    'I do not believe in the three-speed gear at all', the sergeant was saying. 'It is a newfangled instrument, it crucificies the legs, the half of the accidents are due to it.' (From 'The Third Policeman')
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    I always tour with a rucsac. Generally 4-5 days. Never had a problem.
    I use a 30L Deuter.

    Forces you to travel light .... which is a good thing.
    exercise.png
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    dilemna wrote:
    ... B&B is only £15 a night. ....



    where at?

    Names and addresses please
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    I did a very short three day tour on a roadbike with a rucksac although we were only doing about 50 miles a day and were B & B'ing. It was fine and I'd happily do the same again.

    I wouldn't fancy it with camping gear personally but many people have done it and still seem to be able to walk.

    If I was doing what you're doing though I think I'd invest in a big saddlebag like this (despite the old school looks):

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Carr ... ps-630.htm

    plus a handlebar bag.
  • baserbaser Posts: 127
    As a MTB'er I always ride with a pack, on longer rides into the wilderness (50 - 60 miles 5+hours) I take a 3l camelbak, small toolkit, couple of tubes, pump, food, sports drink 1l, small first aid kit, waterproof etc etc list goes on and on. I dont have a problem with it although it does unbalance the bike a little with all that extra weight up high, but you get used to it.
  • i've been riding with a rucksack on my mountain bike for years. never really gave me much bother, but now i have a road bike, and i definitely feel it when i ride with a rucksack, not advisable, but i think the best advice would be to try it youself, and if it gives you grief, stop, if it don't then fine!
    like a rolling stone
  • OldkneesOldknees Posts: 214
    It's just so much easier and much more comfortable to use panniers.
    slow is good too
  • Read down at the bottom of this page...

    http://www.alpkit.com/gourdon/

    He fitted:
    * Alpkit Pipedream 400
    * Alpkit Wee Airic (Folded in four)
    * Tarp/tent
    * One pole section (the other pole sections drop in the seat tube)
    * 8 Tike pegs
    * Lwt Fleece
    * Waterproof trousers
    * Alpkit Tifoon
    * Food for 2 days
    * Alpkit MytiMug
    * Stove
    * Bike tools
    * Pump
    * Waterproof jacket
    * Socks/Gloves
    * Bivi bag (Rab)
    * And of course Alptunes “the original red ipod”

    Into his 25 litre Alpkit gourdon!
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