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. Smaller Front panniers mounted at rear.

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. This roll + two small panniers at rear + handlebar bag makes this something mid-way between a ‘bike-packing’ set-up and a full four bag touring rig.

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. Thereafter, a great saddle.

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial (Evo): THE Standard for bike touring. Great. No punctures.

DT Swiss: 26” Very trong and never had one fail.

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 comfort and minus 15 C emergency. Best bag [and importantly comes with a large bag that eases the frustrations with bag-stuffin’..].

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 very good travel camera.

Showers Pass ‘Refuge Jacket: from Oregon. Just a 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 but this plus the Allen Keys (below) does pretty well all on the bike..

Cook Pot: The culinary magic doesn’t happen unless you have a pot. The taste bud torturing crimes that have been prepared in this pot do not bear recalling.

Katadyn BeFree Water filter: Better than the pump filters and lighter. Screws onto a flex bag.

Multitool: Allan keys and ‘torx’ keys

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

Petzl Camping Head lamp: rechargeable, 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 it can do most of what the bike computer does.

Bike Computer: Garmin Edge 800.