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I recently bought BTWIN Triban 520 (drop handlebars) for exploring into road biking and decided the best way to do it would be probably touring.

BTWIN Triban bike

I'm not looking to race but probably for endurance and planned this small tour of about 500km biking through Netherlands & Germany. The route map can be viewed here https://goo.gl/fKlehW

The bike without anything extra weighs about 10kg. It's size L (58cm).

  1. I don't plan to take much stuff, but what are the essential things which I shouldn't miss?

  2. I bought this https://www.decathlon.de/gepacktrager-pletscher-wersa-fur-26-28-zoll-id_8336145.html for bag. Anyone had any experiences with such holder? How does this affect handling of bike.

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    More information needed. Are you planning on camping, or staying in hostels, or in hotels? – Penguino Jun 6 '16 at 21:42
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    There are quite a few questions here, if you try "lightweight touring" in the search box you could be entertained for hours :) – Móż Jun 7 '16 at 1:25
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    500 km is a lot of riding for someone who just bought a bike. Maybe you want to offset this ride a bit? – Batman Jun 7 '16 at 3:28
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    That bike can take proper racks (front and rear apparently). A decent rear rack would be worthwhile (and quite possibly no heavier or more expensive than the setapost rack you're looking at. – Chris H Jun 7 '16 at 10:27
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    @renesis I looked at that I assumed the OP would ride bike routes nearby rather than the default google driving route. But that is worth mentioning. – Móż Jun 7 '16 at 23:35
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You need to be very careful with the weight limit on that rack, it will flop about if overloaded a little, or break if overloaded too much. But you're riding short distances in heavily populated areas, so presumably you're staying in buildings and buying prepared food, so you don't need to carry much. If you can afford to spend a little extra money on buses etc, there's very little risk so the best bet is to try it and see.

As Renesis pointed out in comments, while google maps is pretty good at navigation, you do need to select the "bicycle" option rather than the default car one. Otherwise you'll be stuck at the first autobahn you come to when you get to the "no bicycles past this point" sign :) But your route is likely to be somewhat longer than 500km, but significantly more scenic.

I would take a windbreaker, long pants and a shirt, underwear, toiletries, phone charger, phone and wallet. That's about it. Wash your cycling knicks every night and dry them on the end of your bed if there's no other facilities. If you have light cotton pants and shirt they crumple up to very little space.

The main thing with your first tour is that you get out and ride. If something goes wrong jump on a bus and either continue your tour as a bus-traveller, or go home. It's no big deal, the idea is to learn what works. The big planning exercise is probably going to be booking accommodation :)

I suggest reading random cycle touring sites and travelogues to get an idea of what people do and how they travel, in the area where you're likely to be riding. You have everything from the Paris-Best-Paris style randonneur "carry nothing" tourists to four wheel "bicycle campervan"travellers in the low countries of Europe, so there's a lot of different options you can choose. But the easy one is definitely how you're starting - get a bike, pack a change of clothes, and ride.

  • I ended up buying normal rack decathlon.de/… which according to specs can take upto 25kg. I won't load it that much, max 7 kg maybe. – xyztud Jun 19 '16 at 14:14
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That carrier is lighweight and puts all the load on your seatpost. I'd be surprised if its rated for 10 kilos, probably as low as 5 kilos.

You want to carry stuff on the bike, not on your back so that means a decent carrier/rack that has strong struts down to the rear axle mounts.

That plus panniers may be all you need, but it may make the bike rear-heavy. Do carry standard bike tools and spare tubes too.

If you can go with someone else, it makes the risk that much less all over. You need carry half the shared gear, and you can share time on the front.

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    Most seatpost racks I've looked at have been rated to 20lbs or 10kg depending on where the manufacturer is based. I did find a 12.5kg model once. You can get away with a little more on good roads though. +1 – Chris H Jun 7 '16 at 10:24
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    @chrish Good proper racks are rated to 20 or 25 kilos, they have vertical supports that bear the main weight straight onto the axle. However they weigh a bit more due to more materials, and require either mudguard mounts, axle mounts, or P clips onto the stays. – Criggie Jun 7 '16 at 19:52
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    @Criggie yes, I have proper racks on both my bikes (though mine mount to the frame rather than the axle). My tortec doesn't weigh much more than the topeak beam rack I have spare, and can carry nearly 3x as much. I couldn't tour in 10kg but maybe some people could. – Chris H Jun 7 '16 at 20:57
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    @ChrisH but that's very "define touring", if you couldn't fit a credit card and windbreaker into 10kg I'd be really curious to see the windbreaker. But if you could ride from, say, Singapore to London with 10kg of luggage I'd be fascinated. – Móż Jun 7 '16 at 23:34
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    @MÒŽ, of course. I was mainly agreeing anyway, just pointing out that there's a little room for shopping around if the OP is set on a seatpost rack. – Chris H Jun 8 '16 at 5:49
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For 5 days with couch surfing and a good weather forecast in the summer you don’t need more than arm and leg warmers. Use your smartphone for navigation (using e.g. osmand). A spare tube, pump and the most basic tools never hurt either. Use a saddle bag or frame bags to carry a short and shirt so you have something to wear when you’re not sitting in the saddle.

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