Definition of 'Light Tourer'

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by yello, 19 Jun 2008.

  1. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    I'm thinking of using my audax bike for touring (i.e. rear rack, loaded panniers, tent) but it is classed as a 'light tourer'. I have no idea what that phrase really means, and the more I think about it the more ambiguous it seems!

    Bottom line is; will it take the weight? It's a steel framed Aravis 631 so I reckon it should be up to it.
  2. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Probably a question of whether the wheels are up to it rather than the frame itself.
    Any possibility of spreading the weight around a bit more, say with four lighter/smaller panniers.
    You might also want to check whether your current gear ratios are adequate.
    Anyway: that's my sixpen'orth!
  3. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    Should do but what are the wheels like?
  4. OP

    yello Legendary Member

    Um, round. :smile:

    36 spoke Mavic A719, again up to touring I would have thought
  5. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I'm not sure if there's a precise definition, but I'd say it would be the kind of touring where you stay in B& two panniers at the back rather than loaded down with tents, camping equipment etc.

    I agree with Betty that it's the wheels that count, so maybe upgrade if necessary?

    I have a 'lightweight tourer' but I can't help but think she'd be strong enough to carry front panniers with camping equipment as well. Haven't tried though...
  6. OP

    yello Legendary Member

    That's what I thought too Cathryn. Also, like you, I can't help but think my bike would be up to taking the weight... hence my confusion!

    Doing a few searches has shown the Mavic's are actually some people's preferred touring wheel but maybe they are lacing with a heavier gauge spoke.
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I have Mavics but I don't know much more than that. Can you get them with a high number of spokes? I expect so.

    I weigh about 8 1/2 stone so I'm not that heavy but I honestly think that Liesl would be strong enough to take me and front and back panniers. However I'd want to try that out before launching off anywhere exotic. And whether or not I could move her would be another issue!! If/when we do Transamerica, we'll need to camp so it's worth trying.
  8. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    Mavic 719s are strong enough for cycle touring. Bearing in mind that I could comfortably lose Cathryn's body weight and still be overweight for my height, my 719s cope well with me and a full camping load.

    The frame might be the thing that's the weakest link. I know that Thorn, for instance, specify a maximum load for the forks of their Audax/light weight touring frames. I don't know enough about 631 tubing to comment on it's tolerance of abuse.
  9. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    719's are tough (touring) rims - certainly not lightweight race ones.

    Have you got sufficient rack mounts !
  10. Alves

    Alves New Member

    I agree with Vernon, that the frame may be the weak point. Not the actual 631 material but the frame design.
    Heavy tourers are designed not to flex with a lot of weight on the back. My Audax bike is supremely comfortable but wiggles it's rear dreadfully with a lot of weight on the back esp high up in a saddle bag. It wasn't designed for this and I'm not complaining. It really feels like the frame is going to get metal fatigue and I'll separate the stays from the seat tube.
    I suspect the only way to fnd out is to load it up and then ride hard out of the saddle and see what it feels like.
  11. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    I don't think I've ever heard of a frame failing.......I'm sure they have. I've heard of plenty of wheels failing though.
    Wheels are funny things: even though the constituent parts may be strong enough, they must be put together properly. So, my first suggestion would be to get your wheels checked out by a competent, experienced wheelbuilder.
    And as I said above, with a light touring bike I'd be inclined the spread the weight a bit, rather than having it in two large and heavy-ish panniers at the rear.
  12. OP

    yello Legendary Member

    I think you're right. I have rack mounts etc so it's only a matter of bolting the rack on, loading up the panniers and giving it a go.

    I've just looked at the frame specs on Byerscycles website. There are Aravis audax and touring frames - the frame sizes are the same but the tourer has 6cm top tube slope back compared to 4cm on the audax frame. The dropouts are 135mm and 130mm respectively. So there is a difference in frames.

    I'd might change the cassette but otherwise I reckon it'll be okay for touring. Maybe front panniers to spread the weight (taking up betty's suggestion).
  13. OP

    yello Legendary Member

    B) Which just brings me back to the question of what a 'light tourer' is? Does it mean light weight touring, or a light bike that you can use for touring?

    Tbh, I don't carry that much stuff. Certainly, I can fit it comfortably in 2 panniers. I don't do 'round-the-world' stuff... just a couple of weeks away on European camp sites.
  14. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    It'll be OK, keep the weight low and accept you'll have more flex than a tourer but it won't feel twitchy or dead like a race bike would if you toured with that.
  15. JackE

    JackE Über Member

    I have a Dawes Audax and from reading various contributions on the CTC forum over the last year or so, the maximum weight suggested for an audax is, apparently, 10 kgs. The max tyre size I can get on mine is 28mm and I wouldn't want to carry more than the "limit" on these.

    I have just bought a second-hand Airborne titanium audax/tourer (a dead ringer for the Van Nicholas Amazon) which takes 28 and 32mm tyres. This covers me for fast and loaded touring (I hope). The Dawes is up for sale!!!
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