Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My touring rig

Over the course of the last several months, I have been getting things together for my trip to the Grand Canyon.  I recently did a test fit of my bags on my touring bike.  Here are the highlights of what I'm using.

The bike is a 2008 Fuji Touring (it's name is Alan, but I never actually call it that).  It's my daily commuting bike, and until recently was also my weekend recreational ride.  In general, it has been very reliable.  I'm using the stock rear rack and mostly stock components (Shimano Tiagra/Deore drivetrain, Tektro breaks).  The pedals are Shimano PD-A530s - SPD on one side and platform on the other, which is nice when you sometimes need to ride in normal shoes (like during winter commutes).

The one persistent problem I had with the Fuji was breaking spokes on the rear wheel.  So I replaced the stock wheels with Vuelta Corsa HD wheels.  They weren't my first choice, but they were more economical than a pair of Velocity Dyads from Peter White.  So far, the Corsas have performed well, but Nashbar sent me wheels with a 125mm rear hub.  I decided to just make it work, even though my bike has 130mm spacing.

The front rack is made by Jandd Moutnaineering.  I wanted something that could take some gear on top as well as hanging my panniers nice and low.

The kickstand is a Porteur double kickstand from Velo Orange.  When a bike is really loaded down, it's nice to have a kickstand that keeps the thing upright on its own.  That said, this kickstand has proven a little bit difficult to fit onto my particular bike.  I'd prefer a bit more clearance on both sides for the cranks and chain.

The front panniers are Axiom LaSalle bags.  I've been using these every day for commuting for about a year, and they've performed admirably.

On the rear I've got a pair of Axiom Champlain panniers.  They're very big, so fitting my sleeping bag and tent in there is no problem.  This will be my first time taking them out, but if they're anything like their smaller siblings, I'll have nothing to worry about.

The handlebar bag is a Detours Shuttle.  It's also new, but for the short time I've been riding with it, it's working pretty well.  The rain cover has already been put through its paces, and the mounting system is user-friendly and sturdy.  My bike has an extra set of brake levers on the top position of the bars, so I was a bit worried about getting a bag to fit.  This one limits my access to those levers somewhat, but it seems like a workable solution.

The small bag on the top tube is also made by Detours.  I keep my camera in there for easy access.  I've had it for a while now, and I'm honestly not too impressed with it.  It mounts by way of a rubber strap that wraps around the tube, and the bag snaps onto that.  Getting the bag on and off of the mount is easy enough, but it tends to move while riding, rotating around to hang off the side of the tube.

Mounted to the down tube is my Topeak Road Morph pump.  I love this pump.  It gets up to road-bike pressure without any trouble; it braces on the ground during use like a floor pump; and anyone who has ever ripped a stem off of a tube when using a direct-attached pump knows how valuable it is to have a hose between the pump and the valve.  With a built-in pressure gauge thrown into the bargain, there's very little room for complaint about this thing.

Finally, the fenders are SKS Chromoplastic.  Fenders are indispensable for a commuting or touring rig, and these look nice and are light-weight.  I've attached an adhesive strip of red highly-reflective road sign material (donated by my good friend and neighbor, M.) on the back for better visibility.

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