Cycling Kit

Many people send cards and letters asking about the best equipment for bicycle touring. Well, I will tell you. None of the below is sponsored but if any company wants to give me stuff then feel free.

Hilite: Handmade in Switzerland.
26” wheels; Pinion 18-speed gear box; and Gates belt drive. The ultimate touring machine.

Pinion: 18-speed gear hub at the crank with a twist shift on handlebar

Gates Belt Drive: Light weight belt is very smooth. No more mucking around with oil etc. A belt will last approx 8,000km in my experience on a fully loaded touring bike.

[It is essential to keep the tension correct to avoid ware on belt and pulleys].

Ortlieb: Front panniers mounted on the back of bicycle

Ortlieb: Handlebar Roll: for tent and mattress.

Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Compact: Big enough for an SLR and zoom lens and has transparent lid for map viewing.

Son Dynamo Hub: Light and keeps lights on all the time.

USB Charger: Runs off the dynamo and can charge gyzmos as you go.

Seat, Brooks B17. Best to wear this in before starting out.

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial. Standard for touring. Great. No punctures.

26” and as strong as possible. Paired with the Rohloff large hub on rear wheel makes the spoke length very short and therefore very strong.

NEMO’s Hornet 2P is light and good for one cyclist. Smaller interior than the MSR HubbaHubba and only has two (half-zipper) doors. But very light at 910g.


Sleeping Mat: Exped ‘SynMat’ UL LW
Throw the Thermarest. The EXPED mat is great. Ultralight and compact is warm and comfortable. ‘Anti-slip GripSkin’ honeycomb-pattern coating. Laminate is air tight and impervious to hydrolysis.  The air-fill bag works perfectly so camp set up is quick.
Temperature: -4 °C
R-Value: 3.30
Thickness: 7 cm
Length: 197 cm
Shoulder Width: 65 cm

Sleeping Bag: Marmot Helium 300 3-season sleeping bag. Minus 1 with cofort and minus 15 C emergency. Best bag [and importantly comes with a large bag that eases the frustrations with bag-stuffing].

Camara: Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera with a 16-55mm lens. Lovely. A bit of a luxury to carry this on a bike but a lovely camera. Smaller than an SLR and sealed for dust etc so a good travel camera.

Showers Pass ‘Refuge Jacket: from Oregon. Great great cycling jacket for inclement weather.

Leatherman Surge Multitool. (200g) The Surge is a bit of a luxury as it is not the lightest.

Cook Pot: The culinary magic doesn’t happen unless you have a pot

Multitool: Allan keys and ‘torx’ keys

Katadyn Water filter: that is ‘mini’ but not the smallest out there.

MSR Stove: (73g) about the lightest stove fitting out there.

Petzl Camping Head lamp: rechargable, but you will lose the cable.

Rode Microphone: Great light mic and comes with the dead kitten wind reducer.

GoPro Black7: Video Camera Has image stabilisation that is very impressive so fitted to the handlebars it presents smooth video images.

Garmin Fenix5+: Big face and all the data. I use the heart rate and elevation most often but can do most of what the bike computer does.

Bike Computer: Garmin Edge 800, This is the old one I had from previous travel