Weight weenie dream tourer

Posted on
of 8
/ 8
Last Next
  • The ultimate goal is a touring bike, loaded with comfy camping gear, which is as fun and responsive as an unladen race bike. It should also be comfortable, aero and light enough for climbing. This may be unattainable. I need to win the lottery. Compromises will have to be made. But I have to try because the best roads are the ones I go to when touring, and it's tragic to ride them on a 70 lb donkey. Very occasionally I have enjoyed such roads to the full by hiding my bags under a bush before going up and down a mountain. Or leaving the bags at a hostel and having a day ride. But it would be so much better to do a proper journey on a light bike, with the freedom to stop anywhere. And I want to be comfy - I won't do it like that madman who sleeps on a scrap of bubble wrap. http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.com/

    The first compromise is that I have to take my cat, who weighs 5 kilos. She hasn't tried cycling yet, but I reckon she'll love it. Her bulk endangers the whole project, but I'll still have a go. My starting point was a used Parlee Zero I bought a few weeks ago. It weighed about 6.5kg, with Etap 11, Lightweight Meilensteins for tubs and Enve bars and stem.

    The frame was custom made for somebody not that differently shaped to me, and it's a great fit and amazingly comfortable, even on gravel with 22mm tyres. I've changed the saddle to an Infinity one and I'm halfway through changing the brakes for some carbon Zero Gravity things, 138g per pair, which are being sold off cheap on Aliexpress by the Chinese manufacturer https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10050030­81042664.html because Ted Ciamillo, the Zero Gravity proprietor, has run out of money and pissed off everyone in the industry. They seem to be an unreleased narrow rim version of the Lekki8 https://www.lekki8.com/product-page/copy­-of-lekki8-black https://www.roadbikereview.com/threads/c­iamillo-lekki-8-brakes-review.381565/

    I've also swapped the bars for a pair of Haero H.380TR https://haero-carbon.com/shop/h-380-tr/ which I've flipped and chopped into bullhorns. I have to tour on TT extensions for comfort, and clip-on fittings usually add 250g or more, but the Haero ones just have sleeves to stick the extensions in. The extensions aren't adjustable and they're almost flat, so I'll probably chop them up and make some custom angled ones. The new riding position is bloody fantastic, much safer in town because I'm covering the brakes all the time. I wish I'd switched to bullhorns decades ago. Dropped bars are stupid unless you're in the pro peloton.

  • This is why I love LFGSS, because eccentric types like you will just pop up and announce plans to go touring with a 6kg bike and a 5kg cat. Utterly bonkers.

    So... frame bags rather than racks,I guess? Can you fit mudguards on the Parlee? Have you had a good trawl through the lightweight tent thread? And what wheels will you tour on?

  • All this with a 5kg cat sounds absurb and I'm all for it. Keen to see how this progresses

  • why don't you use a capable bike and buy some ultralight camping kit instead?
    not sure how you'll be riding that bike in the rain

  • I reckon raceblades might fit. But tyres would have to stay skinny.

  • I'm glad you like it! I was going to put it on Another Forum, but I flounced from there a fortnight ago.

    I like frame bags but I would rather have a sort of giant tail pack, partly to be aero and partly because it's nice to have empty space for shopping. Partly for use in London and partly when touring because sometimes you have to buy bulky things from supermarkets which don't fit anywhere until you've spent ages faffing with the packaging and rearranging all of your bags to make a little bit of space here and a little bit of space there. So I'm thinking I could make a Dyneema tent with carbon poles (which I was going to do anyway) and the poles could double as a rear rack. I imagine it as a bunch of triangles made of thin carbon struts, held together by rubber fittings. (The tent would be single skinned and it ought to be quite a bit lighter than anything commercially available.)

    I've got some ultra skinny carbon mudguards, which should be easy to squeeze in. I'll probably use the Meilensteins. The only tyres which don't break the 105% rule are Conti Comp 19s. It would be great to use those for the aero benefit of the wheels, and their light weight. On the other hand I could use Dugast 27s or something, for comfort. The deep rims would be dead weight, but the wheels only weigh 1040g, so it's a bit academic. And the Lightweights are bombproof, can't go out of true and are very stiff, so there won't be any brake rub from the ridiculous Chinese calipers. I've also got some 80mm Lightweights which I haven't tried. I know they sound stupid to tour on, but...we'll see.

    Edit: The mudguards are Gilles Berthoud https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/berthou­dinst.php 25mm wide, 170g inc struts. That could probably be reduced a fair bit.

  • How about a trailer? Allows you to keep the bike as is, safer for the cat and easy to remove.

  • Where is the cat going? In front of you or on the rack made of tent poles? I'm here for the journey.

  • This is amazing, I hope the cat will be into UL touring as much as you are. Some tent inspiration:


  • which is as fun and responsive as an unladen race bike

    Don't wanna be too negative about your project, but I just like to warn you that this is impossible.

  • I admire your ambition and optimism this is crazy. Good crazy i think and you'll have an amazing bike unladen after your trip but so many risks being taken. How many spare tubs are you taking? And I'm pretty sure lightweights can go out of true if you break a spoke.

  • Thanks for the AliExpress tip !!

  • I have to take my cat, who weighs 5 kilos.


    Spotted this dude on a train to Barcelona. The trailer in the picture housed a dog and its food.

    (he's on the 'bent in the background, that's my Mason on the right)

    1 Attachment

    • 20210811_073319.jpg
  • I'd like to see this take shape as ultralight cargo bike

  • Now you started a thread about going touring with your cat... and there are no cat pics? outrageous! :D

  • She hasn't tried cycling yet, but I reckon she'll love it

    Not the first time i've heard this. Good luck.

  • This shall be a good thread.

    I suggest you need it to fold.

    Edit: realised it may fold anyway whether you like it or not.

  • Maybe you just need a big backpack.

  • 10/10 would read again (have read again, many times, albeit through tears that are streaming down my face)

    One question: where do you plan to store the cat?

  • The ultimate goal is a touring bike, loaded with comfy camping gear, which is as fun and responsive as an unladen race bike.

    Perhaps the closest you'll get is with a single wheel trailer for the cat carrier and gear, leaving you with your choice of a nice light and sporty bike without additional encumbrances, e.g,. BOB Yak or Topeak Journey trailer. There are several YouTube videos of folks with this arrangement, though not specifically for cats...

  • Trailer and sack off the camping and just stay in hotels and hostels.

    My 2p.

    You could commission a custom carbon aero cover for the trailer. Also shave the cat.

  • Here's one we prepared earlier...


  • 'shave the cat' - did lol

    sub'd, this is madness

  • "If you just wait for the cat to have a shit, you'd save those 26 grams anyway"

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Weight weenie dream tourer

Posted by Avatar for nick_h. @nick_h.