What do you do with your bike when hammock camping? Do you carry a larger tarp so that you can protect it with you, carry a separate covering, or just let it sit out?
I am kind of curious if it would be possible to use the bike for something beside a support to hang on. The only thing that comes to mind would be using the handlebars as a spreader for a bridge hammock. Dunno what you would use for the other end, though. I guess that if you hung it at the right height, you wouldn't have to remove the bars from the bike (which would be preferable, I suppose).
What I would like to do...
I don't have a hammock (yet) but, when I have been touring before I would just leave the bike out. I have not had any problems before, but the foam seat on my recumbent has forced me to look for ways to keep this bike out of the rain. Plus, the components of the bike are better off out of the flying mud and such that we can get in our beautiful Kansas thunderstorms!
So, I am building a camping system based around the fact that I want to do 40-50 miles, camp at a predetermined location overnight, then turn around and ride home in the morning. This is why I want to use a hammock. I feel that it a very ultralightweight, comfortable, and most importantly compact system. Because the bike needs to be sheltered, and I am going to be exposed with nowhere to hide, I am leaning toward a larger hex tarp.
Also, I am very concerned with weight. I will be arriving at camp with just a few hours until bed, so I am not planning on bringing a guitar and axe so I can build a fire and sing Kumbiya... Basically just a hammock, tarp, bugnet, clothing based on the weather, and bike tools. I know this may sound boring, but I find after 50 miles of riding, I don't want to go do much!
A few things about handlebars as spreaders...
1. When you are talking about using the handlebars, are you imagining straight mountain bars? A majority of tourers are using curved handlebars much like you would find on a "road" bike. The advantage with these bars is multiple hand positions, which are very important on a tour where you are on those hands for 7 hours+ a day. Now, you can add what they call "end grips" on the end of your flat handlebars, but to use them as a spreader, you would have to remove these, as well...
2. Although, that doesn't mean you couldn't use a mountain bike for touring, but the frames are built heavier on mountain bikes, so you are already paying a weight penalty that could be on the order of 4-10 lbs depending on how much you will spend on the bike.
Now, you could look into what they call "hybrid" bikes. These bikes have road components, frames, wheels, but they have flat handlebars and mountain bike brakes and shifters. Nice compromise...And trust me, the skinny, high pressure tires and shedding that amount of weight (compared to mountain bike with heavy frame and large inefficiant tires) is huge!
3. I wouldn't want to remove my handlebar every time I got to camp. But sometimes ultralighters do things like this to accomplish a versitile, lightweight setup...more power to ya!
After thinking about it, I would agree that using the bike itself as a support for the hammock is not something I would do, either! I think it could be a support for a tarp just fine, though. Perhaps someday I will try it, but I would rather not!
I was thinking of straight handle bars, but I was picturing a hybrid bike. Of course, this still doesn't get around the fact of needing another spreader bar.
Are you thinking of buying or making a hammock? (Sorry if you already mentioned this.)
At first, I wanted to buy...then make it...and at this point I am up to my neck in new knowledge so much that I am unable to think! Ok, breathe...
I really would like to make the hammock. It seems like something I could do. As far as the tarp I am also thinking about either making it myself, or finding someone to sew it for me.
I am very interested in cuben fiber. I have seen a few folks here who use it, but not too many. For my needs, it sounds pretty much perfect.
I would like to do a bit more research before I make a final desision...
Coming boss, I was busy out saving the world.
Originally Posted by Cannibal
But no math needed here, not much anyway. IF you could rig suspension lines to a bike there would be a pulling force trying to topple the bike, counter-balanced with lines and stakes on the opposite side. A bike frame is up to that. I'd be concerned about using a highly raised seat post though because you'd be pulling laterally on a lightweight tube that is inside the frame by only an inch and a half or so. You'd have to be really careful that there isn't un-countered lateral force there, or you'd bend the seat post. The downward force on the bike would basically be the same as the downward force of the body in the hammock, and the bike is up to that. But the insurmountable problem I see is that the bike is just too short to pull this off. Unless you happen to be a circus clown riding a tall unicycle, and then there are other issues
ok, back now to saving the world...
Thanks Superman! You're doing a great job.
Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams
Guess those old school bikes with the front wheel taller than the rider are gonna have to make a come-back before this will work.