Me, the bike and the luggage
near the Karakol Lake in Tadjikistan.
In the last few years I have been cycle touring extremely lightweight. I made a philosophy out of it which is best described on one of my pages: ultralight cycling, where I collect tips about lightening the load. I may seem fanatical about this lightweight bussiness, but in fact I don't take it too seriously and to those of you who wish to follow, I suggest that you don't either.
The bike used on this tour is Giant's OCR3. It's an entry-level road bike with aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork, with Sora group, triple chain ring (50/42/30 teeth) and 8-speed cassette (11-26 teeth). The wheels are built on 32-hole Alex road rims DA22 and "noname" hubs. The back tire is Kenda "noname" 25-622, the front one Schwalbe Marathon 32-622. The rear rack is simple aluminum Bor-Yueh - a copy of Blackburn's MTN-1. It is intended for 26" wheels, so there was a tight clearance to the tire - the reason that I had thinner tire at the back. I covered carbon fork with electrical tape to protect it from scratches. I didn't make a science of configuring the bike: it was essentially the same as it came off the peg three years ago, except for wider front tyre, brake pads and worn chain and cassette, which I changed after ~12000 km for the same brands as originally.
I don't use classic panniers, in fact I think they are inapropriate to carry things on a bicycle, just another unfortunate transplant which came from motorcycling along with suspension and disk brakes. Instead I have a 30 liter stuff bag which I keep on the rear rack together with the tent and modified underseat bag on the handlebar. In the stuff bag I have sleeping bag, warm clothes and few miscellaneous items, all wrapped in body-sized strip of bubble wrap which functions as bag water-proofing as well as a sleeping pad. In the front bag I have few things: camera, overshoes, towel and skin ointment. Jersey pockets are filled with minor but frequently used objects: a distance card, notebook, pencil, money, snacks. I don't carry cooking equipment, (guide)books and usually not even the map. For more detail about this approach, go to the site mentioned at the top of this page.
The weight of all of the equipment, not including the bike, water or food, was 6.7 kg. With the bike and maximum amount of water and food it was 19.8 kg. The packing list is in another post.

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