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Ruck sack for early June Alp trip or not?

QuinsQuins Posts: 239
edited June 2015 in Road general
I'm going on my first trip to Alp D'Huez with a group from my club in early June. One of the guys recommended taking/riding with a small ruck sack to carry clothing ( proper jacket, dry base later, overshoes, ). I saw photos of him on the same day on a May trip,2000m climb up theTelegraph and the snow ! Now concerned that I will need to take every bit of winter kit just in case......

Anyone else done this sort of trip and can recommend a suitable rucksack or another way of carrying kit, any other advice? Hoping the weather will be sensible, if that's possible with mountains?



  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,062
    Stick it in his rucksack then... bad enough 20 mile climbs or whatever it is out there....
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    You don't need a rucksack for a quick trip up the Alpe. Make sure you dress modular and put warmers and windproof shell in your jersey pocket when you don't need them. bring warm gloves for the descent too.
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    Cycling with a rucksack is a nightmare, I hate it.

    Surely you can just stuff armwarmers, windbreaker, etc. in your back pockets?
  • QuinsQuins Posts: 239
    Thanks for replies, I was thinking same. The guy has been a few times and was saying to take a proper jacket , my DHB Windslam wouldn't fold into pocket wi all the other fear. As you all say, riding with a rucksack is not ideal, but having seen the photos and read a few reports on the changeable weather I was getting concerned. I've got a rain cape and a gilet, will get warmers. Is there a particular type of cycling top that would be worthwhile getting, I've got a long and short sleeve club top that are pretty lightweight, or is it the base layer that is key?

    Thanks for your help.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    I don't think you have the right gear. You need to be able to cope with 25C plus temperatures on the lower slopes and valleys down to freezing temperatures and wind at the top. So whatever you wear needs to be removable and packable.

    I would wear a short sleeved baselayer and a summer jerser with regular bib shorts. Then bring arm, leg or knee warmers depending on the weather. An essential item is a packable shell jacket as are warm gloves.

    You could also wear a gilet if it is a cooler day. Another option for cooler days would be insulated bib shorts i would definitely bring some on the trip.

    If the weather is wet and cool on any particular day, then don't bother with the passes, stay low and explore the lower altitude areas instead.
  • Just leave everything in your support car
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • tomisitttomisitt Posts: 257
    Personally, I don't have a problem riding with a good, small rucksack. I use a Kriega R20, which has an excellent quad-lock system and waist strap, so it stays in the right position. It's reasonably weatherproof, superb quality, and very comfortable. I've done eight-hour rides with it, and it's been fine. I'd rather suffer the very mild discomfort of toting a rucksack and have a choice of kit as necessary. But if you can't stand the idea of a rucksack, the above suggestions (layering, and warmers) are the way forward.
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    Just leave everything in your support car

    Only high quality tour companies provide those.....:)
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Medium size seat pack or a frame bag from the likes of Apidura or Alpkit. Rucksacks are horrible if it's really warm.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    The main problem with ruck sacks is they block water vapour escaping through your back. I use one for longer mountain bike rides but is can get a bit damp sometimes. In terms of weight and fit i don't notice it at all when riding for a good few hours.
  • QuinsQuins Posts: 239
    I will start a new thread , having decided that the ruck sack is not for me. I will go for layering and ask for comments on my current kit and stuff I need to get. It's only a 3 day hit, but could be spoiled by not having the right choice of kit. Thanks for your advice, it's very helpful for someone inexperienced in this area.
    Kit for 3 days Alp D'Huez?
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 109
    I cycle in the Alps from April to October. April is fine, as the cols are still closed - by large barriers of snow. I wear layers - decide on the day whether its 3/4s or bibs, then arm warmers, gilet or rain jacket, and if it's nasty, long fingered gloves.
    I got close to hypothermia in the storms last July, and the best gear advice then is - turn around and go down to the valley and make sure you do so early enough that you can still feel your hands enough to brake. There's always another 3 day trip you can make - if you are healthy and uninjured.
  • paulmonpaulmon Posts: 315
    Use a small saddle bag to carry spare tubes/co2. In your jersey pockets pack.

    Windproof/waterproof jacket.
    Arm warmers, leg warmers
    Endura fs260 gloves or something similar

    You shouldn't need any of that gear going up unless it rains at which point get the jacket, gloves and overshoes on before you get wet. If it doesn't rain then depending on the temperature you will need the jacket, arm warmers and leg warmers for the descent.

    Trouble with a rucksack is if it's warm at the bottom you will sweat a lot and the rucksack will stop some of the natural cooling you get from not wearing one.
  • QuinsQuins Posts: 239
    Just back from the trip. No ruck sack needed, so I planned to carry stuff in pockets. It was mostly hot! I've never sweated so much over 3 days cycling. String base layer,short sleeve club top, bib shorts every day. Rain jacket strapped to saddle, Arm warmers and Gilet were carried in pockets and used on the 9 mile descent from La Morte, that was shivering cold up there.

    I had a tyre blow out on the flat ( thank God) after descending from La Sarenne, hit a ridge or stone in the road as we finished the descent and it blew a huge hole.Luckily one of the group had a boot to do a running repair.

    It was extremely tough.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
  • QuinsQuins Posts: 239
    Robbie,I can honestly say that the cycling for first 2 days was torture, up Alp D'Huez and down via La Sarenne, next day up Col De Glandon and Croix De Fer.Unrelenting. The views.....mostly of my front wheel on a baking road, sweat dripping onto garmin , cadence of 62 speed 6-7 mph. I did see stunning scenery, even took photos, but It was like a vile turbo session. Day 3 was so different. Found my legs, Col Ornon and la Morte. Monster efforts but much more enjoyable. I even took the sprint on way back into Bourg D'Oisin. On reflection, absolutely fantastic! The whole trip was brilliant. I now know what to expect. I would go back and do it all again.
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