Light Evolution


Below you will find history of light evolution: what I changed during the course of last 12 years of cycle touring, mostly in persuing the reduction of load and volume. This might be more insightful then reading the above tips. It may save you some money too: learn from my mistakes and don't repeat my evolution by bying several bikes, sleeping bags, tents, etc.

This was the setup in the summer of 2002 in Mongolia and China. Steel road bike with big 630 wheels, front and rear racks, two front panniers, two bottle cages with 0,75 l cycling bottles, 2 kg tent bungeed atop the front rack, 40 l backpack and 5 mm foam sleeping pad on the rear rack and big handlebar bag (which is not on the photo). I wasn't weighing my stuff yet at that time, but the setup was already light in comparison with most of the cyclists.

In the winter 2002/3 I rode in Mexico. I had lighter road bike, this time with the usual 622 wheels. I got rid of the front panniers, but still kept the front rack to bungee the (same) tent on it. The setup at the rear is unchanged. The handlebar bag is still the same.

In the winter 2003/4 I rode from Phnom Penh to Kuala Lumpur. I bought a new lighter steel road bike for this occasion. I wasn't camping on this tour, so I had no tent and sleeping bag. I removed the front rack. The setup at the rear and the handlebar bag are unchanged. I still wasn't weighing my stuff.

Summer 2004: 1 month in Kyrgyzstan & China. The bike is the same as the trip before. The setup is also the same with the exception that I had a tent and sleeping bag (in the backpack on the rear rack). I also included an underseat bag (yellow one) for carrying tools. This trip marks the beginning of light weight awareness (and maybe folly?). I started weighing everything, trying to find better (=lighter) solutions. At the end I managed to get the weight of all my stuff down to 9.8 kg, or 21.8 kg including the bike. At that time cycling community considered this as extremely light.
  • I cut the waist belt of the backpack and removed several straps, leaving only shoulder straps so that I can use the backpack for hiking. It lightend the backpack for about 300 g.
  • The plastic cycling water bottles (0,5 and 0,7 l) were replaced by ordinary 1 litre PVC bottles. You save 40 grams per bottle.
  • I bought new 1-person single walled tent weighing 1365 grams. That was 500 grams less then the old tent.
  • I stopped taking tourist guides on tours. At least 300 g saved.
  • I cut the map and took only the part where I planned on cycling. Big saving in volume and about 50 grams in weight.
  • I bought smaller and lighter SLR film camera with 28-300 mm lens. 80 grams less, or 600 grams less if I count also the old telephoto lens, which I normally took.
  • I started using dish washing cloth instead of towel. About 50 g saved - and huge amount of space.
  • I bought very light foam sleeping pad. It was as big as old one, but weighed 155 g which was 150 g less than the old one.
  • I bought a small, 25 g flashlight. That's about 80 grams less than the old one.
  • I used sandals instead of shoes - about 150 g saved.
  • I had a pen water filter - the first time (30 g with the container).
Tour in China (Xinjiang, Tibet) in summer 2005. I made several changes. This was very demanding
tour because of altitute, low temperatures and rough terrain, but I still managed to cut down the stuff by 130 g (to 9.7 kg) - mostly because I used a waterproof bag instead of the backpack. Overall weight including the bike was bigger: 22.5 kg, because of heavier bike.  
  • Replacement of the backpack with a waterproof bag. The bag was 445 grams, which was almost 400 grams less than the backpack.
  • New down sleeping bag. At 1190 g it was heavier then the old one by 210 g, but was rated at -5 C (old one at +5 C). It packed a little smaller.
  • No silk sleeping liner: 210 g less. It was not necessary with the warmer sleeping bag.
  • I used only one bungee cord instead of two: 80 g less.
  • Only one underwear - 30 g less.
  • Smaller mulitool: 50 grams less.
  • I had no maps - not even cut-outs, just a paper with riding directions.
  • I gave up on "monocular" - a part of small binoculars for birdwatching. 80 g less.
  • I left the container for pen water filter: 10 g less (+volume).
  • I had about 50 grams more of warm clothes and 300 g heavier shoes.
  • I lost the bike and practically all the stuff in Tibet, so I could start building up my gear from the scratch.
There were some radical changes for a winter tour 2005/2006 in South America. The overall stuff weight was cut down by 950 grams, counting the bike even by 3350 g from the previous trip to China and 2685 grams less from the lightest setup so far (in 2004). Stuff weight 8.7 kg, with the bike 19.1 kg. 
  • I bought new, 2 kg lighter bike.
  • Stuff bag (160 g) instead of waterproof bag (445 g) - saved 285 g.
  • Bubble wrap as sleeping pad and waterproofing material for the stuff bag. Not much saved in weight (30 g), but an enormous change in volume and the whole lightweight philosophy.
  • Lighter gloves: I had only plastic kitchen gloves. 60 g less. This was not a good idea - I suffered from ulnar nerve inflamation.
  • No woolen cap and neckechief.
  • No pen water filter.
  • Only one pair of spare socks, 30 g less.
  • Much lighter top clothes than in China - it was summer in S. America. Around 220 g less.
  • I also had some stuff which was heavier: camera (80 g), overshoes (70 g, new addition), tent (530 g more! - I used the old tent from before 2004).
The trip to Indian Himalaya was the peak in the evolution and it set a standard for my ultralight setup. I dropped the weight of the stuff by 1770 g, down to 6970 g (or 17.5 kg with the bike).  
  • Compact (ultrazoom) digital camera instead of SLR film camera. The camera itself with charger and spare battery meant 390 g less.
  • No spare film rolls: 125 g less for 6 rolls.
  • Underseat bag used as a handlebar bag: 420 grams less. Since I had small camera and no spare films, I didn't need the big handlebar bag.
  • Lighter, single skin tent, only 950 grams. Saving of about 900 g from the previous tent and 450 g from the lightest tent I ever had.
  • I trimmed down the tent for additional 45 grams (removed inner pocket and straps from its bag).
  • No soap. I relied on the soap in hotels.
  • I cut the handle of the plastic disponsible razor. Not a big weight, but quite some space saving. Besides, you really need only a small handle for a razor - unlike the tooth brush.
  • I cut down the medical/sewing kit by 30 g.
  • Also the amount of plastic wrapping bags was smaller for 40 g.
  • I bought new light shoes: shoes for in-door football (soccer). At 660 g they were just 25 g heavier than sandals, but infinitely more comfortable and warm, both for cycling as well as walking.
  • I had some heavier/bulkier stuff: warm gloves (+140 g), fleece top (+70 g), tool kit (+55 - chain tool), cycling gloves (+45 g).
  • With all these savings I could indulge in a bit of luxury: I mounted a kick-stand (200 g) for the bike.
The trip to Australia was done with similar setup. I dropped the weight of stuff down to around 6200 g, mostly because I expected much warmer weather then in Indian Himalaya. 
  • I used very ligh rain jacket (140 g) instead of my standard 500 g jacket.
  • Fleece top replaced with lighter one, saving 90 g.
  • I removed kick-stand. It does provide some luxury by not having to lay down and lift up the bike, however it doesn't provide a stable support (a few times the bike toppled down), so I will not use it again. 200 g less.
  • I cut the pedal spanner in two - 50 g saved. You don't need a big handle for the pedal spanner: just find a stone and hit the short handle a few times to unscrew the pedals.
  • I cut 8 cm of seat post, saved about 50 g.
  • Ligther lock: I bought a tiny combination lock which weighs only 48 grams. 130 g saved. The philosophy is that any lock could be broken by a dedicated thief, so take the lock that just ensures your bike can't be ridden away by occasional passer-by.
  • No camera battery charger. I estimated that one spare battery will be enough for 1 month trip - and I was right.
  • Only one spare tube. I relied on availability of those in Australia.
  • No tooth paste. I brushed the teeth just with water.
  • Instead of a knife I used razor blades. Quite a volume saving and about 40 g less.
  • Less pages in a notebook - minus 10 g.
  • Shorter and lighter wicking cycling socks: 30 g less.
  • I did use a helmet this time (280 g more).
The trip to Central Asia (Tadjikistan, Kyrgyzistan, China, Pakistan, India) was done with practically the same setup as from 2006. There were little changes, resulting in about 300-400 g less: stuff 6.7 kg, with the bike 17.1 kg. 
  • I bought new down sleeping bag - smaller and almost 100 g lighter, with the same rating (-1 C comfort) as the old one.
  • I cut off the inner mesh lining form my rain jacket. The weight dropped from 500 g to 370 g. I am still undecided whether this was a good idea or not.
  • New strip of bubble wrap. The new one was 60 g lighter. I don't know if this comes from different construction or from the dust that collected on the old one.
  • A hat replaced with a cycling cap: 30 g instead of 90 g. The cap is also an excellent tool for killing flies and mosquitos (a hat would be too heavy for that).
  • Lighter rain pants - 30 g less, but worse quality. I will go back to heavier ones.
  • Heavier stuff: there was a spare tyre (300 g) this time. 
In the January 2009 I was in the Middle East. This was a rather radical experiment regarding the ultraligh cycle touring. I tested how it would be to tour with just the bivy bag, carrying all the stuff on the bike, without the racks or backpacks. With 3.9 kg of stuff and 13.7 kg including the bike, it meant about 3.7 kg less from my usual "fully loaded" setup as in 2008.
  • Tent, the sleeping bag and bubble wrap were replaced with a bivy bag and a silk liner. I saved 1.5 kg there. The bivy was carried in the bottle cage holder.
  • I kept most of my stuff in the compression bag behind the seat. I saved 100 g because of lighter bag and another 40 g by using nylon straps instead of bungee cords.
  • There was no need for a rear rack. 570 g saved.
  • The rain jacket was replaced with two items: a windstopper and a light rain shell, both of them together were almost 100 g lighter then the old jacket.
  • There were a lot of small things that I left out: water filter, sun screen, neckerchief, lighter, battery charger, one spare tube, spare spokes, chain tool, hypercracker, one water bottle. All of this meant about 500 g less.
In the summer of 2009 I rode from Vancouver to New York City. It was a full-kit camping tour with the least weight so far; I managed to cut down my touring weight by almost a kilo. I had 5.8 kg of stuff and 16.0 kg including the bike. 
  • Smaller and lighter rear rack. It's 450 g or 120 g less then the old one. Besides that it attaches to the brake bridge screw and enables me to adjust the brakes without the need to remove the rack.
  • Lighter road tyres 25x622. Almost 300 g lighter then the 32x622 Schwalbe Marathons.
  • Only one tube - 100 g less. No spare spokes. No spare tyre.
  • I bought the lightest pump there is: 25 g, means almost 50 g less. It's also a bit smaller.
  • Only one bottle cage and one water bottle: 110 g saved.
  • I bought a new summer down sleeping bag. With 600 g for a bag with light compressioin bag it was 350 g lighter than my 3-season sleeping bag.
  • I had new lighgter shoes, 60 g less.
  • A few things left out: beanie, battery charger, card reader, altimeter, hypercracker. Smaller first-aid kit. In all about 150 g less.
  • The clothes were different from the last year's tour, but the overall weigth was practicaly the same. Rain gear and cycling shorts were lighter, but the merino cycling jersey and arm warmers were heavier.
  • I did have some new additions. Rear view mirror. I took a 170 g tyvec protective suit (meant as rain gear). Cell phone (70 g) and "monocular" for watching birds (80 g) didn't work at all and were never used. I threw monocular away on the 3rd day. 

In august/september of 2010 I cycled in Africa. It was a mini "Africa's coast-to-coast", through Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho. To start with, I took stuff from the 2009 trip in Canada and then reduced it for about a kilo: 4.9 kg of stuff and 15.3 kg including the bike.
  • After having illusions for 20 years about me becoming the National Geographic's featured photographer I finaly realized that it is not going to happen. So I bought a very popular "travelling ultrazoom compact" and I am quite happy with it. It weighs 220 g and saves me 150 g, counting in the charger as well.
  • I used "crocs" as my only footware. They are incredibly light (320 grams a pair), comfortable, have excellent pedal grip, can be used for fording rivers or as bathroom slippers, and they dry in a minute. Complemented with some kind of waterproof/windproof socks, they may be the ultimate cycle-touring footware. Saving 340 grams!!!
  • The things left out: rain shell, rain pants, fleece gloves, overshoes, tyvec suit, "monocular", mosquito net, spare socks.I didn't expect much rain this time, so my windbreaker jacket (160 g) should suffice. It ment 660 g less.
  • Carbon fiber bottle cages: two of them have the weight of one aluminium cage - 60 g less. They worked perfectly with 1 l and 1.25 l PVC bottles, even on rough gravel roads.
  • I replaced quick release skewers with skewers with allen-key titanium bolt. A small change which resulted in 120 g saving!
  • Additions: second bottle cage and water bottle, heavier front tyre, beanie, a small tripod for the camera, headtorch: 330 g more.
  • I could have been even lighter. For example, I had a merino jersey, that performet great (being  warmer and quicker drying then synthetics), but was heavier: 240 g in comparison with 160 g synthetic jersey. Also, I didn't cut off the struts from the rear rack, as I planned originaly. That would save about 80 g, but in the end I just didn't bother with it. I'll probably do that on the next trip. You see, that's how over-engineered the things become when you have a small load to carry. Some things were unnecessary, such as tripod, maybe even a headtorch.

In july/august 2011 I cycled in France. It was a mix of two tasks: climbing over 100 French cols and completing Paris-Brest-Paris randonnée. It was also the weight record breaking tour, which is not surprising since I didn't take full camping gear. I had 3 kg of stuff and 11.9 kg including the bike.
  • I took the road bike with compact double crankset, which I usually use for training at home. I managed to lower its weight from 9.2 kg to less then 8.9 kg by easy and relatively cheap modifications: folding tires instead of wired tires (-100 g), super light tubes at 53 g (-90 g), and titanium bolt skewers instead of QR skewers (-120g).
  • I didn't have the tent, sleeping bag and pad (-1500g), but I took bivy bag (+280 g) for emergency (and money saving) camping. There were no racks either (-450g).
  • Clothing was a bit different this time. I had: cycling cap, gloves, socks, shorts and jersey, arm and leg warmers and windproof & water resistant jacket. Apart from that only bathing trunks and touring shorts (instead of long trousers). Saving about 200 g on clothing.
  • Participation in PBP required some more stuff that I'd usually not take: front and rear lights with batteries, reflective vest. About 370 g more.

In december 2011 I was in Tenerife for one cycling week. I made five daily excursions on rented road bicycle. When cycling I had about 1.5 kg of gear - which I think would be my absolute minimum for a credit card summer tour (the setup would be without the seat bag in the picture, which was there only the first day) .

  • Just one tip from this tour: I didn't want to carry a wind/rain jacket in a jersey pocket, so I wrapped it in a plastic bag and carried it in the second bottle cage.

In august 2012 I cycled again in France, the same route as the last year, but in opposite direction. It was also the weight record breaking tour, but this time it was a genuine camping tour. I had 2.6 kg of stuff and 9.9 kg including the bike. Yesss, I crossed the psychological limit of 10 kg!
  • The biggest weight reduction (-1.6 kg) was a consequence of the lightest road bike so far: 7.3 kg, with pedals, lock and computer. Some details about the bike are here.
  • I reduced the weight of clothes by not taking leg warmers (-104 g) and having a lighter jersey (-74 g). On the other hand I had heavier cycling shorts (+40 g). 
  • Instead of bivouac bag (-262 g) this time I took a summer sleeping bag (+472 g) and nylon sheet (+34 g). 
  • For night riding I had lighter front light (-138 g), rear light (-50 g) and reflective belts instead of reflective jacket (-88 g).
  • New, smaller and lighter camera (-108 g) and only USB battery charger (-50 g).

In October 2013 I was in Vietnam and China. Another weight record for a tour with camping equipment (e.g. a tent and sleeping bag). I had 3.9 kg of stuff and 13.8 kg including the bike. You can see the list of things in the blog. Starting from the African setup in 2010, I made the following changes: 
  • The bike: tires were lighter, 240 g each (-340 g) and also lighter tubes(-50 g). Lighter seat (-34 g) and different seat-post (-60 g). Only one bottle cage (-25 g). I cut off the rear struts (legs) of the rack (-80 g). 
  • Camping: I had new, aluminium tent poles instead of original fiberglass ones (-98 g). Also I used a different bag for a tent (-10 g). I didn't take a spare tent spike (-12 g). Lighter sleeping bag (-300 g). Lighter front/camping light (-70 g). Just a plastic bag instead of bubble wrap (-50 g).
  • Containers: lighter main storage bag (dry-bag) (-76 g) and lighter front (handlebar) bag (-52 g). Just one water bottle (-45 g).
  • Lighter camera and charger (-206 g). 
  • Different set of tools, no chain oil (-50 g), lighter spare tube (-48 g).
  • Clothes: overall, I had about 50 g more, because of cold weather clothes. 


In summer 2016 I was on a two week tour in Caucasus region, cycling from Erzurum to Yerevan. The bike and stuff was much the same as in the tour in 2013 in Vietnam and China (the list of items is there). The change worth mentioning was a lightweight T-shirt (104 g) rather than cycling jersey in combination with lightweight waist bag (36 g) which I used also as a handlebar bag. Read more in the equipment review page. The weight of the stuff was 3.7 kg or 13.8 kg including the bike. The weight of the stuff was less then on the last tour, mostly because I didn't take cold weather clothes. The total weight was about the same as on 2013 tour, so I guess I reached the limit for cycling tour with camping.


In december 2016 I was on a two week tour in South America, cycling from Bogota to Quito. The bike and stuff were much the same as in the summer tour in Caucasus. The weight of the stuff was 3 kg and 13 kg including the bike. This was 750 g less than previously, becouse I didn't have the tent this time. I had only a sleeping bag (500 g), and even that I never used. Few other changes: a lightweight backpack as a main container on the rear rack, 40 g lighter then the stuff sack (84 g); lighter pump (I reverted to the good old light SKS sub-40 g pump instead of Lezyne Road Drive pump with which I had a lot of problems on a previous trip).




33 comments:

  1. Do you find there's a trade off with the superlight pumps in that your tyres are maybe not at the best pressure due to the pump's limitations? I'm sometimes tempted by 160g mini floor pumps (e.g. topeak road morph) which would allow me to use lighter inner tubes (which require pumping up every few days but run very well supposedly).

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  2. I'm very happy with the small SKS pump I have (only 22 g, picture above). The trade off is it takes quite a lot of time to pump to high pressure. But I can live with that. Undamaged tires need a bit of re-pumping maybe once in 2-3 weeks. It's a neccessary workout for the arms, which are notoriously underdeveloped chez les cyclistes.

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  3. Congrats with your PBP2011! I see you did it in 72h with a very steady tempo (http://shprung.com/pbp/?mode=info&frame=5498).

    Have you tried a tarp instead of a tent? My tarp weighs under 400gr and gives shelter for two people. An additional nettent adds another 400gr.

    Greetings,
    _6424

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  4. Hi 6424,
    thanks for that link. Is that your frame number? I see you made PBP in 53h with recumbent. Impressive.
    I haven't tried the tarp yet, I'll put it on "to-do" list!

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  5. hi,
    thanks for your blog, it's very instructive (and impressive)
    I need your opinion: I couldn't find a light road bike that would accept more than 700x25c tires.
    Do you think it's acceptable for a 3000 km trip across India (gravels roads, potholes, etc...)? And if you do, any advice for the tires?
    thanks again

    greetings,

    jarbowski

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  6. ...and what do you think about cyclocross bikes (still under 10 kg)?

    jarbowski

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  7. Hi jarbowski,

    I had a 700x25C tire at the back in Indian Himalaya and in Pamir, so I think you shouldn't have problems with these tires in India, if you go lightweight.
    I suggest some thicker tires from the Continental or Schwalbe range (Gatorskin, Durano, Marathon).
    I haven't tried cycloross bikes, so I can't comment, but I think they have rather high gearing, lowest 36/28. If that suits you, then they should be OK.

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  8. thank you for answering, I'll go with the road bike (700x25c schwalbe marathon plus).

    greetings,

    jarbowski

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  9. Hey Jarbowski,
    You can't go wrong with the schwalbe marathon plus. Been doing lots of km in the last two months with those on and I have gone from an average of 3 punctures a week to zero. FTW!

    Emanuele @ http://cyclinginsicily.blogspot.com/

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  10. Btw..Have you ever tried a hammock instead of a tent/bivy bag? Some of them can be very light coming in at around 700g and you get to sleep really comfortable and you are covered from the rain and nasty mosquitoes.

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  11. hammocs, tarps, ... haven't tried yet. I'd like to try them out - if some manufacturer would give me one for a test. I can't buy everything myself.

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  12. Well, in April I am going to do a trip with a friend around Sicily and I am thinking about purchasing a hammock so I will let you know how that goes!

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  13. What size stuff sack is that on your France trip? I just finished a long tour with just a carradice, and would love to go even lighter with just a stuff sack, but not sure if a 6L or 10L is good...just credit card touring to get longer distances on the road bike.

    Thanks, love your site! great info.

    Dave

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  14. My stuff sack was about 5 L. Another L was in a small stuff sack in the bottle cage.

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  15. Does the stuff sack sway around much? Have you ever used a traditional large saddle-bag (not seen much these days) to compare it with?

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  16. Mark, the answers are: no and no. The stuff sack does touch the back of my legs sometimes, but it's not disturbing.

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  17. Hi,do you ever use mudguards? Regards malcolm

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  18. Malcolm,

    I used them ages ago on my fist bike, not because I'd thought I needed them, they just came with the bike. I might use them on brevets, such as Paris-Brest-Paris.

    regards, Igor

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  19. Hi:
    I'm retired and touring in Thailand. I know what is on the roads here and I don't want it in my face. Mud guards are worth the weight for my money. Thanks for all the great ideas. G

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  20. I use a goretex bivy sac with an xped sleeping mattress inside. Take a line from a tree over the bikes top tube and stak to hold bike up, keep bike about 4' from tree and hang the bivy loop above your head from the line. It keeps the bivy thing from smothering you and stops cars from driving over you in camp sites. I have a light down bag inside bivy.

    Carry goretex socks. After the rain soaks your shoes, put on goretex until shoes dry out. Lose the socks. Tape the vents on the shoes with eletrical tape if your feet get cold. Layering is always the answer. Use a vargo titanium stove to cook on and boil water in titanium pot carry a spirit stove and 70% ethly alcohol in a bottle at the bottom bracket. You can cook, clean yourself, disinfect wounds, boil water to put in bottle into bivy to warm the place up and so on. I think you can even drink it or just get everclear booze it will do the same and you can drink it as well if you get lonely. Carry red pepper powder for the racoons. You can get a $10 flash klight now from China on Ebay. Flashes in day, is a steady flasdh light at night and top pulls out as a lantern, weights a couple oz without batteries.

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    Replies
    1. Hey - your post is SO helpful. I'm looking at crossing from Indonesia to Greece via the Himalayas, the 'Stans etc and am wondering - is it pretty easy to find shite spirit for the stove everywhere? Probably a stupid question so please excuse!

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  21. You could save even more weight by switching to one wheel! It's like cutting your toothbrush in half but with your bike! Lighter frame, one wheel, and you would'nt need to carry as many tubes, brake pads, and you'd have less rolling resistance !

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  22. Poster above is the only one with a sense of humor. "like cutting your toothbrush in half but with your bike!" You just made my day haha.

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  23. Hi,
    Firstly, thanks for your instructive blog!

    I have a road bike I want to take on light-touring trips. It's got front & rear carbon forks and fairly used but still good condition Mavic Ksyrium Elites. Do you recommend these for light touring?

    Also, I believe there isn't clearance for 700-25mm tyres, so I guess I should get by with the 23mm ones...

    Thanks again in advance.

    Regards,
    M.

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  24. I toured in France on Mavic Ksyrium Elites and Conti Grand Prix 4000 in 23 mm. I had no problems, but I noticed that few spokes on the rear wheel changed the angle, were no longer perependicular to the rim. Therefore I wouldn't trust theese wheels 100%. I wouldn't tour too far from good repair shops.

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  25. Wow, that's some pursuit of lightweight touring. I cycled to the end of the Tour de France this year and carried more than you do for a month! I thought I was travelling light (and clothes-wise I think I was) but I did seem to have a lot of bits and pieces when I unpacked fully - phone charger, camera charger, large suncream bottle, ebook reader, ... I think I need to review the 'extras' that I take in future.

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  26. Hi iik. Really, really good information. Thank you for sharing your knoledge. I am preparing a tour to Patagonia (carretera austral), and I like the idea to cycle with lite packaging. When I see,where you has been with your race bike, I have a lot of questions about the bicycle. should I take a mountain bike to Patagonia because al the gravels roads? or a race with resisten tires?
    thanks for all
    Javier

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  27. Javier,
    I've cycled Caretera Austral (from Chile Chico up) with a road bike, so that's possible.

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  28. I think you manage to store quite a bit on your seat post because you are quite tall. I'm 5.8 feet, so don't have as much. So I guess it is a rack (I am looking at riding UK-Southern Italy).

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  29. Hey Igor,

    been following your whereabouts for years, now got bitten by the ultralight bug recently myself.

    2 questions:

    Have you ever considered a different bike, such as a cyclocross bike for gravel roads? If not why not?

    2. I'm rather on the heavy side, 100 Kg plus, so I'm a bit concerned about the wheels of a racing bike going over dirt road considering my weight. I know how to build wheels and what makes a strong wheel, but then race-bikes/wheels are usually not made for heavy guys going off road ...

    Would be interested in your pick on this.

    Cheers,
    Andy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andy,

      I haven't considered different bike, because the current one was suitable enough for me. But if I'd start from scratch, I would consider a cyclocross bike as my only bike. Some of them have low enough gears nowdays (50-34 front and 12-32 cassette), room for wider tyres and rack eyelets - all you need for touring. I don't fancy disk brakes, but that just because I never had them.

      I guess cyclocross bike could be answer to your second question too.

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  30. For carrying stuff in water bottle cages I use the tubes you buy tennis balls in as the lids are the full diameter of the tube. Gordon

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