Saturday, March 3, 2012

WT: Advice about bicycle touring / Converting MTB (Mountain Bikes) into Touring Bicycles with Panniers!

Stefan Cycle Touring asked some discussions questions about MTB (mountain bike) conversions for bicycle touringI wanted to share them in the Korean-world. Getting started with bicycle touring or expedition touring is actually a difficult laddered  step for most people, eventually you will get there! 

Stefan asks: 
"How to carry everything, what to carry, how do I convert my mountain bike into a touring bicycle?"

Obviously, most people interested in bicycle touring are determined to figure this problem out, the configuration of a touring bicycle is much the same as a regular tour bicycle, with added accessories.

The touring component accessory list (Racks and Panniers)

  • Rear rack carrier is attached to the frame and seat post QR (quick release) try Topeak Supertourist DX Disc (my racks for HimalayasX2011-2012), or Tubus racks in stainless steel for either Disc or Rim brake systems.
  • Front racks (2) or a single piece are attached to the lower fork stanchions on a MTB with front suspension forks without a problem.(aluminum flat racks with U-clamps, attach with PVC zip tie the rest of the rack in contact with the lower forks, used in HimalayasX2011-2012)
  • Panniers are touring bags that are attached to your racks. (Ortlieb Frontroller and Backroller Classic panniers are excellent, waterproof, durable quality, one size fits all racks)
  • Choice on size (volume) and designs vary widely. 
  • Choose the best panniers for your carrying capacity and decide on professional or basics.
— with Gaston Bonaudi and 3 others.

September 24, 2011 

Packing panniers for bicycle expedition touring

    • Stefan Cycle Touring want a friend gave picture on my wall a
      picture of how do you pack saddlebags and that order and what all
      wear them, will mean a lot to me now before the trip ... ;))

    • Photo: Crossing Mongolia 2012 (minimalist packing)

      Brian Perić 
      Hi Stefan, the packing is really a personal choice, but the weight of the contents is important. 

      On the left are the large rear panniers, in them, I have the MSR stove, fuel bottles, titanium pot set from Snowpeak, apricots/raisins usually, oatmeal. I have a plastic container with a sealed lid (Tupperware for food) and all electronic chargers, external hard drives, cables go into it, it should be padded not to crack. That is really important. 

      For expedition touring: I have a tool kit, spare chain, spare tube, patch kit, first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic cream for skin, pills for oral use, wrap bandages, multivitamins mega-pack, gatorade powder-hydration, altitude sickness medicine, spare jackets packed on the top for easy access!

      Front panniers, sun lotion, banana chips, snacks, notebook computer in it's own waterproof case, extra light clothes for padding. I will repack these and arrange it for a better photo opportunity later. I also carried a 26w solar charger blanket and USB power hub for the Himalayas (:

    • Stefan Cycle Touring 
      It is essential to know the order in which to pack, not to put things
      without links will be great after this is the big shit :))
      just after this I will pack your order what I need with good judgment, and
      always carry food and buy for almost the whole trip and getting ready, and not
      always getting ready to do what I used and occupied the place always saves
      money. and so you doing? ;)) Thanks again

      15 hours ago ·  

    • Murray Du Plessis I think few hobbies rival cycle-touring, when it comes to having to be organised. Unorganised, chaotic pannier bags... ooh, not fun!
      12 hours ago ·  

    • Murray Du Plessis You seem to have mastered that art, Brian. of being organised on 2 wheels!

    • Brian Perić 
      Thanks Murray Du Plessis! (: And Stefan Cycle Touring, I didn't carry much food, the list above is it, plus plums or melons, a few peaches, and Nan bread in bags outside the panniers (because they would get crushed, evidently, the plums got crushed on the outside, and I popped a hole in the bag and drank the nectar with some drinking water, mmm good.

      Packing panniers is a tough one, they should balance (right and left about equal weight, the front panniers should be lighter than the back for sure, it all depends on your contents, the tent and sleeping bag didn';t get packed in them, they ride in a nylon zipper bag inside a plastic bag (heavy plastic, wrap the tent/sleeping bag in plastic and put in the cheap nylon zipper bag, it sits on top
      of the rear carrier rack, strapped down with bungee cords with hooks). You need some front racks, simple aluminum U-mounts to the forks, and use anything like PVC zipper ties that are heavy duty to secure them, front racks need a stabilizer bar across the top of the front wheel...check my photos for more,
      Moj novi bickl za predstojecu sezonu..veliku zahvalnost predajem prijateljima 
      Draganu i Bojanu..koji su mi obezbedili ovaj bajk ;))— with Brian Perić and 15 others.

      Hi friend, i need some one information from you, I have a bicycle with wheels
      of 26 inches made it comfortable to travel with him or with wheels of 28 inches regards ;))

      • You like this.

        • Noel Kegel Most people seem to prefer 26" wheels because it is easier to get parts and tires in far-off places.
          However, I'm a purist and in my mind a proper touring bike should have 700c(28") wheels.

        • Brian Perić I agree with Noel Kegel, 26" is standard MTB, we all have them starting out in touring if an MTB was the affordable
          way to tour (it was for me). In the near future, 29er wheels will take over, they are so similar to the character of the 700c wheel,
          stronger in AM (all mountain) and XC (cross country), I rode Bontrager Race Disc 26" AM wheels, they were amazing for the Himalayas, everything I came across, tires, Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour or something like them, search around your area and the tire is very important, about equal to the wheel itself (:

        • Noel Kegel ‎@Brian Perić: Agreed that tire choice is perhaps as important, if not more important consideration.
          My all time favorite expedition touring tire is: Schwalbe Marathon XR...the more cycle travelers you meet, the more you realize
          that Schwalbe tires are your only choice, anything else only increases your frustration.

        • Brian Perić I couldn't find Marathon XR last summer (May/June) and I was preparing for my first tour expedition,
          I found the Marathon Plus Tour (1100g each), heavy but substantial tires for sure. Even the simple, Marathon HS404 is great as a spare, I carried a 26x1.5 for an emergency that never happened, if you lose/slash a tire and tube, I definitely believe the spare tire is as important again, at least lighter ones than what you are running as the main rubber. Schwalbe Marathon XR lived a long time on expeditions, now there are Schwalbe Mondials where available in 2012. (: Thanks Noel (: We know tires, when we ride them long enough to see the differences.

        • Stefan Cycle Touring 
          Thank you for comment on otherwise I do not use
          Schwalbe Marathon tires I financially ready to use CST TRAVELER I moved a lot and are well proven for now I have no intention to change .. and when it
          comes to mechanics I've never bought something
          expensive I have always been in the bar lower than
          the other bikes and equipment as hard as I had Deore XT and is converted to an now alivio
          on wheels 26 "I always drove the 28" and is a
          great mountain like it might in the near future to
          buy something very strong and well-lived society :)

        • Brian Perić The ARROW looks great, if you add front pannier racks and small bags, you'll have all the room and gear you need. Food, simple is good. Cheers Stefan Cycle the way, I don't have Shimano XT either, I used Shimano LX because it was cheap and available, I wore the sealed bearings out finally, and found the SLX to replace it, just parts to keep moving, now I need to keep my body from falling apart at 39 (: 

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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