A bike and a tent you say? … Well, there’s a bit more to it than that! Six months prior to the launch, gear had to be hunted down and parts sourced. Literally hundreds of hours were spent trawling the net, writing to potential sponsors, reading reviews, deciding one way and going another. It’s been a journey in itself and I had no idea how time consuming it would be. I spent months debating what gear to take. I convinced myself I would splurge in some areas and cut back in others. There were some areas that could be compromised and other areas I was adamant couldn’t. In the end it all came down to a trade off of cost and functionality.
3 years and almost 40,000km later I wanted to try and capture what worked for me and what didn’t. Here’s a list of the gear I took with comments in italics! Non essential items got tossed, expensive gear that I find isn’t necessary was put on eBay and a happy equilibrium was found … eventually. Here is the continuation of a list of items that I carry. Hopefully these will give an insight into the expedition’s inner workings and help any others that are planning a cycle touring adventure for themselves.
If you feel inspired by the expedition and would like to contribute see the support section, otherwise I would encourage you to donate to Oxfam! All donations over $2 are tax deductible and you’ll be helping the expedition help Oxfam. Alternatively, if you feel you would like to sponsor the equipment directly, you can do so via the items marked as a ‘wishlist‘. Please contact the expedition to arrange any equipment sponsorships.
[ ( = Not Recommended = Disappointed with performance = Recommend ) = Highly Recommend ]
- Frame: Surly Troll Frame and Forks: (Donated by Veolia) Started on a Surly Karate Monkey but had difficulty fitting the rack/disc/Rohloff setup. Getting a new TROLL frame from Surly. )
- Rims: 32h Sun Rhyno Lites: (Donated by Veolia) On the heavy side but bombproof!
- Spokes: DT Swiss double butted (12-13-12) front, DT Swiss straight gauge (12) on back: (Donated by Veolia) Make sure you use a good wheel builder!
- Hubs: DT Swiss 340 with quick release (front): (Donated by Veolia) Exceptional! After 40,000km not a single problem! )
- Gears: Rohloff 14 EX speed internal geared hub system with torque arm mount: (Jo Noble) Can be a little hard to setup so make sure you consult with Rohloff. I had some ongoing issues with minor oil leaks, but if you’ve for the cash it’s a far superior system for touring!
- Sproket: 38T reversible single speed chain ring and 16T Rohloff Sprocket on back: (Donated by Veolia) I’d go a 36T on the front for a 700c setup (for the heavy load and steep rocky roads of the Pamirs!)
- Tyres: 26 x 2.0 Schwalbe Marathon XR’s (when available): (Donated by Bike Box) Expensive! Didn’t last as long as I’d hoped (<8000km!) and failed every time from the inside. The foldable version is nice to pack for a spare and if you run 700′s in anywhere but Europe, America and S.E. Asia I’d pack 2!
- Brakes: Avid BB7 disc brakes 160mm Rotors: (Donated by Veolia) Prone to heating up when fully loaded. I’d go a 180mm rotor on the front.
- Headset: Threadless FSA Orbit XL II : (Donated by Veolia) No Problems!
- Seat: Pro seatpost with Brooks B17 saddle: (Donated by Veolia) Seat post broke and was replaced approx 5000km. ( Brooks saddle was replaced under warranty. )
- Crank: Saint FC M810-1 Crankset: (Donated by Veolia) Replaced bearings approx 18,000km. Lost tightening bolt on non drive side twice! But they have taken a beating!
- Pump: Topeak Mountain Morph Turbo: (Donated by Catherine Mjobo) Great! Lasted far longer than expected )
- Computer: Garmin Edge 305 Sold in Darwin (<3000km). Expensive, poor battery life, better off with a cycling computer and a map! (
- Racks: Surly front and rear Nice racks (Donated by Olaug, Roland, Marit and Gjert) Great, especially the front rack with all that top space! heavy duty but heavy
- Panniers: Ortlieb Rear Rollers all round (QL2 mounting), Ultimate 5 Plus bar bag and large saddle bag (for tools) Take repair kit(s). Rear Roller: Poor mounting system. Easy to steal but also easy to remove. Great for waterproof-ness which I highly value. Durable in your prepared to repair them: Ultimate 5 needs extra outside pockets. Hmmm Ortlieb… the jury is still out on this one.
- Pedals: Simano 340′s On the heavy side. Replaced after 25,000km when bearings started failing.
- Handle Bars: Modolo Butterfly: (Donated by Anna Braithwaite) Great! Will try with the Ergon Bar grips on new bike )
- Lights: Rear tail light (Donated by Beau Frazer)
- Cages: Topeak Large 1.5L and 2 x Topeak adjustable bottle cages (Donated by Mel and Dave)
- Horn: Air Zound bike horn (Donated by Ansco Australia)
- Helmet: Zefal (Donated by Olaug and Roland)
- Security: 7 foot Kryptonite bike lock (Mel and Dave)
- Bike tool: Alien bike tool (Donated by Alyson Roach)
Spares and Assortments
Folding Schwalbe Marathon XR (Donated by Michelle and Ed), lube for chain, spokes, nipples, assortment of nuts and bolts, Rohloff rear sproket key, Rohloff oil kit, tubes, brake pads, Ortlieb repair kit, tyre repair kit, headset bearings, tyre irons (Donated by Anna Braithwaite), spare ortlieb straps, electrical tape, zip ties, 6m rope, small sewing kit, presta adapter, stove repair kit, tent repair kit, spanners.
- Tent: Vango Tornado 200 (Donated by Vango Australia) with lightweight groundsheet
- Sleeping Bag: Vango Viper 750
- Sleeping Mat: Thermarest Prolite 4 Regular
- Sleeping Liner: YHA Approved Silk Liner (Donated by Wilderness Wear)
- Cooking: MSR XGK Stove, MSR stainless steel pot and Silva storm proof lighter
- Water: Katadyn Pocket Water Filter with 6 L Dromedary Bag
- Lights: Silva Headlamp torch: (Donated by Silva) and Maglight (Donated by Beau Frazer)
- Tools: Gerber all purpose multitool (Donated by Gerber)
- Misc: Ortlieb folding bowl, extensive first aid kit, matches, whistle, small mirror, microlight towel (Donated by Wilderness Wear)
- Wet Weather: Sealskinz waterproof gloves and socks (Donated by Shaun and Melissa Hayles), Goretex jacket and pants
- Summer (Donated by Wilderness Wear): 3 Peaks Explorer Lightweight Trekking Shoes, Flip flops, 3 Peaks cycling gloves, Adventure Merino long sleeve shirt, Adventure Merino short sleeve shirt, Short sleeve collared shirt, zip off combi pants, merino sleeveless T shirt, Polar fleece, V neck T shirt, 2 x crew neck T shirt, Shorts, socks
- Winter (Donated by Wilderness Wear): Polar Fleece Gloves, Duotherm thermals, Headband, balaclava, heavy duty Merino socks,
- Cycling Gear (Donated by Skins): 2x Bike pants, 2x bib and brace, long cycle pants, recovery tights.
Gorilla Pod, MP3 Player, Canon Digital Camera, Canon Digital Video Camera, Asus EEE Laptop, Nokia Phone, Brunton Solar Panel (Donated by Brunton), AA Recahrgable Batteries.
Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses, Contacts, suncream, toilet paper, plastic bags, maps, toothbrush, Diary, telescopic fishing rod (Donated by Peter Drinkwater), passport, ID, Vaccination Certificate, Waterproof document holder, Credit cards, Approx $500 USD for emergency.