The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
Photo by Adam Coppola
I'm often asked by touring cyclists about tools. They are generally heavy, so you don't want to carry more than are necessary, but at the same time, not having the correct tools can leave you stranded. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when packing for the road. Terrain, climate, and bike setup can all influence your tool selection. To take some of the guess work out of the equation, here is my general roster of tools that keep me rolling with confidence.
While I don't recommend riding at night, there are times when it's simply unavoidable. For us eight-to-fivers, night rides are the only way to get out during the work week. There are those moments where a wrong turn or mechanical issue will set your arrival time back, and there are other times where you just don't want to finish your ride. Whatever puts you in the dark, you want to make sure you're safe, and prepared.
When touring loaded, your braking distance is increased. Making sure that your brakes and pads are in proper working order is always important, but having quick and easy access to your levers can also prove to be very beneficial.
August is a huge month for the bike industry, and for consumers as well. Manufacturers everywhere are starting to hint at their 2010 lineups, and closeouts on 2009 gear mean incredible deals for you. This leaves many cyclists asking themselves, what's the hottest item out there? Well, sit back and let me tell you. It's not a sleek, lugged steel frame, or a bombproof set of touring wheels. It's far from puncture proof tires, or an indestructible helmet. It just so happens that the biggest thing going on for cyclists right now is the weather.
You already probably know about bamboo shirts, skirts, socks, underwear, furniture, floors, paper, sheets, towels, plates, bowls, spoons, kitchen utensils, cleaning wipes, etc. But you may not have heard of the bamboo bicycle.
The Power Grip pedal strap is a great addition to just about any bike. Simple design in motion, it consists of a single strap, and just a few nuts and bolts. The strap attaches to most standard platform pedals, and installs in a matter of minutes. The tools needed for installation consist of a small Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers (to secure the nuts while turning the screws), and a 3mm allen wrench.
The Brooks B17 saddle is an excellent upgrade for any touring bike. Providing cyclists with miles of comfort for over 100 years, it's sure to receive respectful nods of approval from fellow riders. This handmade, leather saddle is made in England, and is one of the best selling saddles in their lineup thanks to its versatility. It will be right at home both on and off road. For all of you seasoned cyclists out there, this is old news to you. This post is for people just getting into cycling, and for those of you who have known about Brooks saddles, but for whatever reason, haven't made the jump.
We have seen riders aboard standard touring bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, recumbents, and tandems. Of all these bikes, there has been one make and model that has stood out as the clear favorite amongst tourists
Welcome to my weekly column. My name is Joshua Tack, and I'll be posting gear reviews and advice here every Saturday. When it comes to the best bikes, components, and accessories, there are no right answers, and you shouldn't expect to find them here. My aim is to provide you with useful information on touring equipment that will help you decide what will work best for you.