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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

(see all 3 book)

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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

Australia
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


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 Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
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.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
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

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here

Touring Bikes Frames, Best Framesets, and Bicycle Frame Geometry.

The bicycle frame is the most critical component of any cycle.  A touring bike frameset is the heart and soul of the machine.  It determines the bike's handling, feel, and comfort.  Once a frame is purchased and components assembled around it, the frame is difficult to change.

Touring bike frames can last for decades.  You will replace worn out parts and upgrade components on your bike.  A frame can be used for years unless you make a  mistake in frame selection.  These mistakes include buying the wrong size or the inappropriate type of frame for the intended use (road, mountain, touring).  In short, if you buy wisely you have just added another member to your family.

Frames with Bicycle Touring Specific Geometry

Many different types of frames have been retrofit for touring.  I have seen cyclocross, hybrid, triple ring road bikes, and lots of mountain bikes carrying people in their travels.  If you mostly use the bike for something else and only occasionally tour then this may work well.  The best bicycle for travel is an actual touring bike.  Touring bicycles are designed from the ground up for the specific purpose of traveling with loaded panniers.  This is not to say that a touring bike could not be used for other applications like commuting, dirt roads, and recreational road riding.  By nature, touring bikes are multi-use.  Touring bicycle geometry has many unique details that make it best for travel but the key features are described below.

- Long Wheelbase:  Bicycles meant for loaded touring have a long wheelbase (the distance between the two hubs).  This is beneficial in many ways.  This keeps the bike steady for all-day riding.  It takes less effort to balance and hold the bike up.  A long wheelbase reduces the agility necessary for road racing but is much better for long distance cruising.  A long wheelbase carves turns instead of being jittery.  Sure, you can not turn as tight as a road bike but most public roads are not like a race course.  A long wheelbase provides plenty of room so heels to not hit rear panniers and toes and fenders do not collide.

- Low center of gravity:  Lowering the center of gravity by lowering the bottom bracket (crank set) of a touring bike is essential to all day comfort.  Lowering the bike makes loads noticeably easier to control with less effort.  Lower cranks also means that pedals will be closer to the road and even gentle turns can not be pedaled through.  Because road racers often pedal through turns, road bikes do not have a bottom bracket as low as a touring bike.  Mountain bikes are designed to clear logs or rocks in the trail.  Mountain bikes need high clearance just like a 4x4 truck.  For this reason they have the highest bottom brackets of all bikes.  This is the exact opposite need of a touring bike which is low to the ground for cruising.  This is like the difference between a four wheel drive truck and a luxury sedan.  Both can be driven across USA but the sedan is much more comfy.

- Designed to carry heavy loads on racks:  Touring bike frames must be strong.  They will usually weigh more than a road or mountain bike frame.  Because of the extra weight carried on racks, touring bikes experience different forces and stress points compared to other bikes.  Touring bikes are specifically designed to deal with these forces just like a pick-up truck is made to carry a load.

- Attachment points:  Built-in attachment points and brazons for racks, fenders, extra water bottles, pumps, lights, and more can be retrofitted onto some bikes.  These adaptations are usually much weaker than an eyelet designed specifically for attachment.  If you want to be sure you can mount all your stuff to your bike, get a touring bike.

Return to main bike menu Custom Touring Bicycle and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide


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Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice 
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Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
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Fenders
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Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Helmet
Bike Shoes

Much MORE Gear Here!

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Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


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