Robert Holler shares tips for how to carry gear on a recumbent bicycle tour.
Touring on your recumbent bike can be an amazing adventure. Cruzbike’s S40 and the Q45 are ideal for bicycle touring - the S40 is the ideal fast road touring machine, and the Q45 takes the mantle as the king of comfort on the limestone trails. Each can be outfitted with all the accessories you need to make your tour awesome.
Whether your touring is all back woods or is on paved roads, the one common question is, “How do I carry my stuff?” The answer to this can be a simple one, but here we’ll dig a bit deeper into it.
For carrying your touring gear we have you covered. The Q45 and the S40 allow many great options for carrying gear. A rear rack and an under seat rack can be fitted to both bikes, so loading up your panniers and heading out the door is an easy task.
Check out Cruzbike rack options here.
The next consideration is which rack will work best for your gear. Depending on what you carry, the answer is one or possibly a combination of both.
The most common solution is the rear rack. For light gear this is a great carrying solution. For heavier gear, the under seat rack may be your best option. Having your bags (and weight) in the right place can make your tour much more enjoyable.
Cruzbikes handle best when you keep weight as close to the middle of the wheelbase as possible, and avoid heavy gear at the very back and especially rearward of the rear axle. Too much rear weight bias can adversely affect handling (similar to towing a trailer), particularly when on a faster downhill.
This video is specifically for cars and trailers, but the rules apply similarly to bikes, including using bike trailers and weight on the bike via racks:
The key is: weight distribution matters and the effects will be felt while you are on the road.
The best solution is to split the weight. Place your heaviest gear in the panniers mounted to the under seat rack.
Lighter gear can go on the rear rack. Having the heaviest weight low on the frame and between the wheels will actually act as a centering mass on the bike when at speed and on downhills. You will barely notice it is there when cornering. When the heaviest gear is piled high onto a rear rack, cornering might be noticeably altered as the weight swings around in a different location in relation to the ground contact points of the bike.
On climbs, mid-bike weight will help your traction. Heavy weight on the back may impact traction on steep hills. Mostly climbing while touring on any bike is a great time to contemplate whether or not bringing those extra pants and blankets was a good idea.
Keep it low, balance it out, and have a great, safe tour!