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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Best Front and Rear Bicycle Touring Racks for Panniers and Camping Gear: Chromoly, Stainless Steel, and Titanium Bicycle Tour Racks

Lower Prices on Tubus Racks at CycloCamping

Tubus Logo Evo Rear Rack

Breaking a front or rear touring bicycle rack is a common problem for cyclists on long bike tours.  Rear bike racks are often overloaded with heavy panniers and camping gear. Inferior cycle racks can crack, separate at the welds, or snap mid tube.  Front touring bicycle racks have the same problems plus fork clamps can loosen and fall off. A cheap bolt can strip the threads in the frame on front braze-on mounts. This is why repair kits always include common automotive hose clamps, as they're the universal field repair for broken racks. Obviously any touring equipment trouble or  failure detracts from an enjoyable trip. Traveling with cheap gear is always a recipe for disaster.  Since the start of my trip in 2002 I have never broken or had a rack fail but I have always been very picky about my bicycle touring luggage racks. See my picks

Besides special Titanium racks, there are two basic kinds of touring bike racks and carriers. Chromoly, steel and, the more common, aluminum.  Before my current trip, I cycled around North America solo for a couple years.  I used common aluminum racks, found in American bike shops, which worked well for the first few months but eventually broke on a dirt road in Colorado.  I patched it back together using hose clamps and splints until I could find a bike shop in Telluride, CO and buy a new one.  Nothing is cheap in a mountain resort ski town. In order to afford it I had to take a job washing dishes, which essentially ended my trip and I tried the ski bum life for awhile before returning to cycle touring.  Years later, I was on the hunt to buy cro-moly steel racks, like I had seen several European cyclists using.  I thought the racks would be even harder to replace in developing countries in South America so I wanted stronger equipment for the long trip.  Chromoly steel touring cycling racks are a bit heavier but a lot stronger compared to aluminum ones.  Stronger is a huge advantage when hauling heavy loads, touring off-road, long multi-year bicycle tours, or if you just want to substantially reduce potential problems while riding and touring.

Buying Good Bicycle Touring Racks in the USA, Europe, and Canada

The problem with high quality bike racks is they are a little hard to locate in the USA. For years Europeans have been bicycle touring with Tubus touring racks but only hardcore American bike travelers are familiar with this brand and know the specialty niche shops that cater to bicycle touring equipment and gear where they are found.  Below are the racks I recommend and use on a daily basis.

Tubus Cosmo Stainless Steel Rear Rack Tubus Cosmo Stainless Steel Rear Bicycle Touring Rack: The best on the market and what I trust in even the roughest bike touring conditions.

My years of fully loaded bicycle touring experience have taught me several things about racks and the Tubus Cosmo rear rack is what I use and recommend to other professional  touring cyclist.  Stainless steel is incredibly strong, will not rust, unlikely to ever break, or require regular applications of touch up paint but the Cosmo's unique lower pannier mounting option is the part I like best.  Depending on the configuration of your rear load the pannier bags can be mounted the old fashioned way high on the rack platform tube or lower on a second horizontal rail.  I like the lower position because it lowers the center of gravity for better balance and handling but the lower position also allows a flat surface for hassle free mounting of my tent, sleeping bag, and pad.  The Cosmo also solves the problem of heels hitting the rear pannier because of big feet or short wheelbase (chain stay) and will work with just about any pannier set made.Stainless steel is never cheap but always worth it in the long run.  Simply put; this rack is a top pick of serious long distance touring cyclist

  Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping



Tubus Logo Evo Rear RackTubus Logo Evo Chromoly (cro-moly) Steel Rear Rack

 By far the most economical rear rack that will not let you down on a fully loaded bicycle tour. It has the same high / low mounting rails as my stainless steel bike racks. (above) but is made from  tubular chromoly steel for a super strong bullet proof rack at about half the price of the Casmo.  I used one of these racks for over 7 continuous years of on and off road conditions without any problem but Tubas asked me to switch to the Casmos to field test it for several years.  Otherwise I would still be using it.  Sure there are cheaper racks but I have seen dozens of them break. 

Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping



Tubus AIRY Titanium Rear RackTubus AIRY Titanium Rear Rack

If light and fast bicycle touring is what you are looking for then the AIRY  rear rack is your answer.   Minimalist design, ultra light weight, and able to circle the world with a light load. 

(from vender) With the AIRY, Tubus introduces the first carrier made of titanium. With a maximum load of 30 kilos and a Tara weight of 230 grams, the AIRY breaks every record. The material titanium is extremely corrosion resistant and strong, which makes the AIRY carrier nearly indestructible. Due to its limited length, the AIRY works best with front panniers. The Airy is not compatible with the Ortlieb-Backroller-pannier.

Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping



Tubus Chromoly (cro-moly) Steel Racks:  The economical choice for moderately loaded bike tourist

(from vender) The heavy-duty rear rack from Tubus features tubular chromoly construction for significant fatigue resistance and load capacity. Stable and durable, this rear rack will work with just about any pannier set made. Unique mounting system makes it compatible with almost any braze-on configuration. Braze-on reflector bracket and fender stay eyelets are standard features; powder-coated finish resists corrosion.

  Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping



Tubus NOVA LOWRIDER Front Rack Tubus Nova Stainless Steel Front Rack

This is my front rack of choice.  Stainless steel will not rust and the low-rider design improves center of gravity and bike handling which reduces riding fatigue caused by spending hours in the saddle with a high center of gravity load.  The best mounting hardware in the business insures the rack stays on the fork without problems and makes it easy to mount and use. Fits wheel sizes 26 in. or 700c and includes hardware for bikes with mid-fork braze-ons.  The best front bicycle touring rack on the market.

  Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping



Tubus Tara Front Rack Tubus Tara Front Bike Rack

(from vender) The simple design of the Tubus Tara lowrider tubular front carrier makes it easy to use and mount. Fits wheel sizes 26 in. or 700c and includes hardware for bikes with mid-fork braze-ons.


  Tubus Bike Racks Sold at CycloCamping


Bicycle Touring Panniers and Waterproof Bike Tour Bags and Ortlieb Waterproof Panniers




eXTReMe Tracker

The bikes below are sold online and shipped to your address.  Online bikes are a very good value but hard to find so I have rounded up my favorites.
Shop All Touring Bicycles Here

This is the type of bike I have done most of my traveling on.  Great for road and off road with an agile geometry and accepts wide or narrow tires.

REI brand Touring and Trekking Bikes

This is the bike I am buying next. I am tall and recently bought a mountain bike with 29er wheels and really like how it rides and would like to try this in my next touring bike.

Salsa Fargo

If comfort is your first priority check out these great bikes.  I have never toured this light but I know a ton of cyclist who like this style of bike.

Salsa Marrakes


The new breed of off road bike packing and snow bicycle. I have never owned a bike like this but I bet someday I do.

Fat Bikes


Seasonal - Surly bikes are not always available on line but they are a great deal. 

Surly LHT touring bicycle

Camp Stove
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping pad
Water Filter
Camp Cooking
First Aide
Touring/Utility Bikes
Solar Charging
Tools and Repair
Topeak Deluxe Kit



Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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