Bikes from a Texas 600K…

20 04 2011

Photo: Stephen H from BikeFormus.net...

I shared my photos from the recent Eau de Hell Week 600K on BikeForums.net long distance forum. Stephen H took photos of almost all the bikes on a 600K in Texas. It’s interesting to see what they are riding there. Click on the image above to see his photos.


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6 responses

20 04 2011
Dharma Dog

The most marked difference in the Texas bikes from the BC setups is their elegance & simplicity. BC rando bikes by & large tend to be over-equipped, IMHO. They’ll have a rear rack plus a French-look large canvas front handlebar bag. French retro seems to be the BC design imperative. I’ve always eschewed this notion of turning the bike into a burro; I think I got this early in my career when I rode with the Berkeley Wheelmen & was heavily influenced by Noel Charonnat, who also did not like panniers and bags. Also, 35 years of racing turns you into a real minimalist. But not as much as some; I was one of the few racers who still carried a pump and spare in road races & training rides. This minimalism might be another fair-weather US thing; I didn’t start using fenders until I moved to BC, and the only concession I have made to distance-related self-sufficiency was to use a larger expanding seat bag on the 1000. Otherwise, my bike just carries a frame pump, bottle, and small seat bag containing three spare tubes, folded rain jacket (in the extended seat bag), boot material, spare bulb for B&M headlight, and 5mm allen key. Dry t-shirt & socks and fresh shorts are sent ahead to one of the checkpoints when this service is available. Everything else (food, id, waterproof camera, keys) goes into my jersey pockets. So what else would you ever need to carry?

20 04 2011
thelazyrando

Given the performance of the fast BC riders on their french style bikes it doesn’t seem to be holding them back at all.

Personally I don’t want to be stuffing my cargo into my Jersey pockets. So a bar bag is a handy place to put my stuff and provides a convenient spot for my cue sheet while keeping my bars clear of clutter.

I do agree with you that keeping your load down to what you consider essential makes sense. But, that means different things to different people. Assuming they are having fun and completing rides in line with their expectations/goals there isn’t really a wrong answer.

I think you’d see quite a different amount of gear on BC rando bikes in the summer for a 600K with warm dry temps in the forecast. Compared to the essentially winter conditions the EdeH 600K was conducted in.

20 04 2011
Ryan

A lot of people in the BC Randonneurs would be carrying spares for more things like lights, at least. Plus batteries, head lamp, etc. It can get excessive, but one of the first hell weeks had crazy rain that shorted out many people’s lights. Having a spare light allowed these people to continue the ride. There’s tradeoffs to be made, but it seems like there’s a prevelant attitude that redundancy is really good to deal with any mechanical sort of situation so that you may continue the ride.

Also, this time of year, that amount of extra clothes probably wouldn’t cut it. Especially if you were going to ride all night. It was down to -2C over night on the 600, and most of the space in my bag was empty at the time because I was wearing my extra clothes. But into the day time I had to have somewhere to put that stuff.

20 04 2011
greg

I have to say, that is the first recumbenty looking thing that has ever produced the thought for me “wow, what is that?” Looks very slick.

20 04 2011
Randobarf

Greg, that recumbenty looking thing is a carbon fiber Carbent hiracer made by Bent Up Cycles in California. It’s an awesome bike. Here’s the web page on it:

http://bentupcycles.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=890

Willie, the model posing on the web page did RAAM with the Carbent in the picture. Willie is also a randonneur.

28 04 2011
Brian

If you look at Stephen’s photos, close to half of the bikes have Schmidt headlights and/or Son dynamo hubs. I would take a guess that rando riding is rather hard on equipment, so it is saying a lot that so many people choose Schmidt and Son. It would be interesting to hear peoples’ experiences with lighting to see why they use what they use.

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