Shelter for road bike touring
Sep 29, 2016 at 11:59 am #3428581
My father is a runner and cyclist and has recently gotten the itch to ride across the USA from Virginia to Oregon. He asked me to help him put together a gear list and for a shelter I am thinking the Tarptent Moment. Is there anything that would make it a bad shelter for that purpose? Any other shelters he should look at?Sep 30, 2016 at 3:55 am #3428656edvin mellergårdBPL Member
@edvinLocale: Gothenburg, Sweden
The only thing I would make is that the poles fold down really short.
When I ride with panniers I can fit the poles from all my tents standing inside the panniers but when I’m bikepacking it’s a bit more troublesome. I can fit some tent poles inside the framebag on my hardtail but when I’m on my full-suspension I’m forced to strap them on top of my handlebar harness where I’m afraid they might break if I crash.
You can see the tentpoles in the black drawstring bag. Not an ideal position…Oct 3, 2016 at 7:32 pm #3429210Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I think a bike will fit inside a Black Diamond Megamid. I find that might be very convenient. I have its predecessor, the Chouinard Pryamid and am going to try it on my next long bike trip.Oct 4, 2016 at 8:53 pm #3429403Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
The pole issue has led me to just using a tarp tied off to trees. The megamid pole will fit in a L framebag, but the mid itself takes up so much room when set up. For one person, the tarp is compact both in the bag and at the campsite. However, this is in Alaska where we don’t have any bad bugs or spiders or snakes. The Tarptent would probably be a great bugproof option for the Lower 48. What about strapping the poles to the downtube with Voile straps? That’s a big long flat surface they could nestle against.Nov 27, 2016 at 2:39 pm #3437558Andrea CBPL Member
I too would put the bugs into accounts, if there’s chances to have those encounters then I’d probably go for something like a TT Pro Trail.
Otherwise, a tarp and lightweight bivvy (I like the Sol Lite) work wonders: just put the bike upside-down and use that as support, it’s the strongest pole you can find :-)Nov 27, 2016 at 2:46 pm #3437561
You can tie the Pro Trail to a tree or something like that.
That something like that could be the bike solving the problem of someone trying to steal it.
(I’ll post a photo later on)
BTW, if the Moment is more desirable because of the double wall, side entry or whatever, with a minimum amount of DIY skills you can shorten the pole sections to 15″.
You just order a couple of extra pole segments ($5 each) and cut them down to size with a Dremel or hack saw.
I did three like that for local cyclists a few years ago.Nov 27, 2016 at 3:10 pm #3437566David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I love Andrea’s idea of using the bike as a support. Skipping the poles saves weight, cost, and avoids pole breakage. Let’s the bike and the panniers dry out a little bit, too.
Maybe play with that concept with a cheap blue tarp or some Tyvek. In your backyard or on a short trip. Fine tune it and see how it works for you.Nov 27, 2016 at 4:10 pm #3437578Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
When bike touring I rarely need a shelter, so don’t discount “cowboy camping”Nov 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm #3437579
A couple of ProTrail shots.
First using the bike :
fiddly and because I am missing a couple of inches in height the right side is loose.
Often it should be easy enough to find a tie out point that is a bit higher than 45″ , so it will look like this :Nov 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm #3437894
I knew that there was something wrong with that set up above because I had already done that with the Contrail and remembered it to be a lot simpler than the other day.
Today i noticed that I used my wife’s bike not mine…
OK, now that I have those extra 2″ or so , it looks like this :
it is still fiddly, took me around 10 minutes to do including some re-staking and of course you need to be relatively nimble to get through the small opening but inside there is a lot more room than ,say, a tarp draped over a bike.
Still it should not be too difficult to find something else to hook it up to but the bike would be very difficult to steal set up like that.
BTW, you can stuff it away as you do with a tarp because there are no rigid bits (struts/poles) in the ProTrail.Dec 18, 2016 at 6:25 am #3440872Andrea CBPL Member
Uhm, I won’t sleep at night knowing that the bike is held vertical only by a guyline. Easy to tilt off and get the whole shelter to crash, IMO.
Plus you’ll have those sharp (and greasy) chainrings so close to the flysheet that would be very easy to muck the fabric (as a minimum) if not to tear it.
I’d still prefer to have the bike upside-down. The only downside (pun intended) is that you may need to put a plastic bag on the saddle and the bars, to avoid them going wet overnight.
Or if you are to use the whole bike inside the tarp as support, you may get the tarp muddy from the tyres. Again, two bin liners should cover that.Dec 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm #3440939
There is a lot of tension on that guyline and the brakes are applied on the bike but as mentioned that would be something that one can do, not something that one should do.
(you get less height with the saddle on the ground)
A bit like in emergency I can drink warm beer but not something I do if I have a choice.Apr 24, 2017 at 7:35 am #3464619
Just to follow up, Dad went with a Tarptent Moment and just finished his second 8 day 450 mile bike touring trip this spring and reports back that it has performed great.May 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm #3466391Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
Nice! Thanks for the update. Did he have any other comments?May 29, 2017 at 10:05 pm #3470423Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave DesertJun 20, 2017 at 12:42 pm #3474266
He was(is) really happy with the Moment DW. Since his two different 8 day bike packing trips, he has used it on two weekend backpacking trips. He says it is quick and easy to set up and has held up to some decent thunderstorms.Jun 21, 2017 at 2:35 am #3474372Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
My mate and I used our original TT Moments (single wall) on our biggest tour, from Aus to Sweden. With Recumbents… We both sometimes put them inside a rear Ortlieb pannier (when not carrying much food) but mostly just put them on racks due to pole length as others mentioned. The ability to basically pitch the moment without pegs (quite easily usually you can find something) was great.
Of course that was a while ago now, I’d go with something else myself for touring (and no longer on a recumbent trike).
A WPB bivy or more water resistant bivy than a standard DWR bivy would be a good feature, to assist with cowboy camping in variable circumstances. If you are touring long distance and moving into the tropics, a bug net of some kind is essential. Bivy could be 3/4 bug netting (ideally with plenty of slack to sit up in, if possible…) with maybe a WPB foot. From there add a decent tarp.
Hard surfaces are sometimes the enemy of non-free standing shelters with cowboy/stealth camping and cycle touring. Its why a LOT of cycle tourists tend to pick a shelter that is free standing or mostly freestanding. To be honest, cycle touring in Aus, Africa, Europe, over about 300 nights I’ve only had half a dozen where it was much easier to stealth camp having a freestanding shelter. If you spend more time in cities or probably in dense Asian countries (some countries around the world are harder than others to stealth camp in), then this factor is greater. Imagine if you will, you pass through a big city, but due to various reasons you don’t quite make it out in time to a country area where you can stealth camp more easily. You might have to hole up in a rubbish dump, under a road culvert, under a bridge, in an abandoned petrol station, in a cemetery, on an old piece of bitumen road (all ones I have done…), where the surface is too hard for pegs.
I think a Bivy could open up more options in such cases though, where you might have partial/leaky overheard people built structure of some kind, meaning that you don’t have to break out the tarp, which you do when you are back out in country/rural areas. In a pinch, you can always have a rough night and lay the WP tarp directly on top of you and your not quite full WPB bivy. You could use your bike laid down to raise it haphazardly a bit for increased airflow particularly at the head end. Not the end of the world.
If you are in the tropics in zones with mosquito borne disease(s), there is a lot to gain from having a mosquito proof space to sit up in and work in the evening. Eating, writing a journal, fixing punctured tubes or other bike repairs, etc would be pretty challenging in a standard bug bivy.
Transcontinental bike tours tend to often cross into different climatic zones entirely also. Something to bear in mind.
Other factors related to stealth camping worth considering;
Sep 1, 2017 at 6:26 am #3488277Robert nBPL Member
- Shelter colour. Neutral, earth, or green tones are best. I would avoid actual camouflage print in a lot of places… if discovered it can imply you are trying to hide and could get you into trouble. Forest green excellent. TT’s grey works well.
- Shelter size. Lower shelter height is handy. A tarp facilitates this of course…when you have lots of vegetation cover you can raise it for head room. When your location is dicey, you could lower it to inches above your head.
I have a 10 by 10 etowah tarp and a 90 inch by 50 inch bath tub floor that only weighs about 6 ounces the tarp weighs 1 1/2 lbs simple to set up just find some limbs or broken branches cut 2 to 4 ft and have some cordage if you need stakes just break branches smaller. Or tie a branch to 2 trees fairly close together and make an A frame set up. But really it’s your decision what your comfortable with, tarp tents are good so are tents. I used to have a Sierra designs flashlight tent that would be perfect it rolled up about 3 or 4 inches by about 15 inches, unfortunately someone stole it from me. Just do it when you can. I am 65 and still do a bike and stealth camping in the metro parks around Cleveland Ohio. I’m not recommending that but I’ve never been caught lol. Bobby
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