Looking for some advice on how to set-up my bike for some light road/path touring.
Light touring will mean 3-4 days, 60km's per day, staying overnight in B&B's or like, so no outdoor camping requirements. No need to carry food (other than snacks for the day). Just carry enough clothes for the trip and toiletries.
In the past I've used a Carry freedom Y-frame trailer with a duffle bag, which has been more than adequate for such light touring. But we have a new addition to the family and the Y-frame will have to give way for a Chariot Cougar 1 trailer, so we can take the wee bairn.
Thus the question becomes with a child trailer on the back, should I be looking at a rear rack, front rack or both (I'm guessing both will be overkill). Mainly concerned about getting the balance of the bike right, but also not putting to much weight through the rear (I'm a big lad, 95kg).
The bike is a Specialized Sirrus Expert.
My wife uses a rear rack and panniers, but isn't the strongest rider, so will only carry her own gear.
Any suggestions will be helpful.
I would ran both if I could on my bike for touring as I fill that another 10kg's or so on the front wheel would help my setup when fully loaded to the max just to put / keep the front wheel load up for some grip
Go both but ran front pannier bags on both front and back as Smaller size bag
I'm jealous Mark! I haven't been touring for a little while, but I'm still using 25 year old rear pannier racks with cheapo panniers (gear goes in plastic bags first). Over the front wheels I have Blackburn low-riders with old Karrimor bags.
That rig did well for a 9 month tour of Europe BC (Before Children) and then worked fine AC for tours in SA towing 2 kids in a trailer - including up over Mengler's Hill and up Corkscrew Rd. OK, it was 18 years and 18 kgs ago, but with ultra low gears, anything is possible! Have a great trip.
Should have mentioned, the forks are carbon (aluminium steerer). They have fender eyelets at the drop outs, and there is a fender hole in the fork crown. There are no mid fork bosses, but there are bosses for the linear pull cantilever brakes.
Or as a complete alternative a rear rack with handle bar bag? I will only need a small amount of luggage space, it adds some weight to the front, can be used on it's own for day touring, gives easy access to maps etc.
If your headtube angle and fork rake/trail is not designed for carrying front panniers, the steering will be compromised. A handlebar bag will change the steering as well, so be conscious not to put too much weight there. I would stick to rear panniers, put a bigger bag rear tyre on, and check that your rear wheel is up to carrying the extra weight.
I haven't been cyclo-touring for a while, but I did about 12,000km around Europe with 2 rear panniers, 2 front panniers, a handlebar bag, and a tent and sleeping mat on top of the rear rack on a custom built 700C touring bike. I think all up it weighed more than me!
I have also done a small amount of riding with the same bike pulling a Croozer - you need to be conscious of how wide you now are, and your increased turning circle - otherwise you'll jack-knife! You get a bit of a springy concertina effect as you accelerate and decelerate.
If you are having hotels then you won't need to carry much more than a change of clothes each. Just slap a rack on the back with a school bag strapped securely down. I used that for Adelaide to Perth trip and was camping each night. Around 3kg of luggage weight not including food and water.
PS: Make sure your wife's bike set up is sweet then mark the seat height/angle etc with a white out pen so if anything slips you have a reference to go back to.