Bike, Bags & Weight 2017

Bike 2017

Rose Cyclocross Pro-DX 4400

cyclingtourist.com Rose cyclocross touring bike
cyclingtourist.com Rose cyclocross touring bike

I deliberately chose a cyclocross bike. NOT because I actually intended to go into the woods or off road. The main reasons for a cyclocross bike and against a common type of road-bike were:

  1. frame geometry allows for a more relaxed riding position, which is crucial on very long non-stop trips. The frame is shorter than usual road bike frames.
  2. the steering tube is more angled, meaning that the front wheel is more guided and less easily distracted. for the original purpose of a crosser this means more stability in rough terrain. For me it means: calmer stearing, even with a heavy handle bar bag installed
  3. the frame is made for rough conditions. I assumed that would make it more reliable; also for the once-in-a-while use of bumpy (off-)roads
  4. disk breaks for additional safety in bad weather conditions. Because on long tours you cannot always pick the weather you desire.
  5. the gearing is ideal for me: the chainrings are 46/36, so quite small. Since I usually cycle by myself (= no drifting), have luggage, do long distances, my pace is quite stable at 25-35 km/h. I see no need in still pushing at 45 km/h but see a lot of value in keeping a high enough cadence at lower speeds while still making use of both chainrings. I view both chainrings not so much as “two modes” but rather as a continuum; as a fluent gear range. In combination with the 11 gear-cassette this allows for very nuanced gearing.
  6. potential to use thicker tires. Since I only use solid roads, I have 28mm-Schwalbe Marathon-tires installed. But it’s nice to know that my bike could handle much thicker tires for off-the-road, in case I’d ever feel the desire.
  7. I LOVE the design of this particular ROSE-Bike! So clean, straight, black and white, no useless aerodynamic looking prints.

ROSE allows you a lot of freedom in choosing your components. This is a major advantage, because with the following pieces I customized my bike to an extent that it is ideal for my purpose (which is, as mentioned above, not off-road cycling). To choose the components and the right bike size I went to the ROSE-store in Bocholt; there I got excellent advice and could try the bike.

  • Continental 4-seasons tires, 32mm: perfect for a smooth and comfortable but high-pace ride. They can also handle rougher terrain and sandy paths.
  • SRAM Force 22. Front: 46/34 (or 36) Back: 11-32. I love the fact that the brake-handle is fixed and the double-tap shifters are extremely handy.
  • Gel-pads under the handle-bar tape. This makes long rides a lot less tiring for my hands.
  • Aluminum seat post (instead of carbon). This allows me to install my seatpost rack without worring about the tube’s stability.
  • Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL pedals. Since I am used to SPD-SL. The Ultegra version is equivalent to my Force 22 group in terms of quality and weight.
  • Specialized Power Expert saddle since recently. Will have to form an opinion.

Bags 2017

(Especially this “Bags” section does not apply to my Transcontinental Race 2018 setup anymore. A 2018 update will follow!)

cyclingtourist.com 2017 setup
cyclingtourist.com 2017 setup

From back to front:

  • Pletscher Orion rack
  • drybag (with tent)
  • drybag on top with items that are not regularly used
  • Vaude triangle frame bag
  • Blackburn fuel tank bag
  • 2 Revelate Designs Mtn Feedbags to store energy bars, cashews, etc.
  • drybag (with sleeping bag/mat) Sea to Summit
  • Vaude Bike Alpine 25+5 backpack

System Weight 2017

[TCR setup will be much lighter (about 35%). Updates will follow…]

  • Bike + attached bags + content + empty bottles: 19,7 kg
  • Backpack without food: 5 kg

Total: 24,7 kg