In preparing for my upcoming tour of New Zealand, I tried these two different ways of carrying a light-ish load of ~18lbs (photos are below).
Interesting to note:
• I could easily ride no-handed with either setup, even on slight inclines going slowly.
• The rear panniers caused a big no-handed shimmy if they were even slightly behind the rear axle. If I moved them up 5mm to be even with, or slightly in front of the axle, the shimmy stopped completely. Luckily, I don't have any foot strike on the panniers.
Overall, either way would make a good setup for extended inn-to-inn touring, or for S24O's. For this trip, I'm going with the rear big rack simply because it's faster to assemble and disassemble.
What's in the bags?
• 2 pair cycling shorts, 1 Ibex, 1 Pearl Izumi
• 2 wool short sleeve jerseys (one Ibex, one Rivendell/Woolistic)
• Ibex long sleeve micro merino thing
• Wooly warm wool arm warmers
• Ibex wool 3/4 length leg warmers
• 3 pr Smartwool socks
• 2 pair Ibex wool boxer thingies for off the bike
• Ibex wool beanie
• 2 pair Defeet wool gloves
• REI rain jacket
• Puma sneakers
• Portland Cycle Wear knickers
• Patgonia quick-dry pants
• 1st aid kit
• toiletries kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, Dr. Bronners, floss, etc.)
• spare Hetre tire, 2 spare tubes
• cable lock
• saddle cover
• wet wipes!
• silk sleeping sack
• MSR camp towel
• cotton cycling cap
I think that's it. The panniers are about 70% full, and the handlebar bag is mostly empty (it'll be for food 'n whatnot.)
On my body, I'll have cycling shoes, one of the pairs of shorts/jerseys/gloves, a helmet, glasses, and all the regular crap one wears when cycling.