Cycle gear list

Quite a bit of my backpacking kit is used for cycle touring too.  Here are the notable items other than conventional gear, including the bike:

  • Thorn Sherpa 600L  – in red.  Bomb proof round-the-world capable 26″ wheel 30-speed derailleur wonder fitted with sturdy racks.  No real modifications other than an Alpkit frame bag to carry long tent poles and T-bar stem mount to carry my old Ortlieb bar bag
  • Ortlieb panniers – Back Roller Plus with inner pockets removed and Front Roller Plus, also with inside pockets and extraneous outer straps removed. Gear packed in colour code Exped drybags
  • Bordo 6000 bike lock and cable – this took ages to decide upon, light and secure doesn’t compute, but the lock is compact and straps nicely behind the seat down tube
  • MacPac Microlite tent, replaced with a Hilleberg Soulo tent – my old friend is just too long in the tooth now, nothing has broken, but the inner tent is sagging badly.  Now using a Terra Nova Competition 2 (second hand bargain) for summer and Hilleberg Soulo for autumn/spring
  • Shimano SPD Touring Shoes – with good Vibram soles, so I am not going to slip on a ferry loading ramp, and can walk up nearby hills if I have to, when the lowest gear defeats me.  I use Pearl Izumi Ex-Alp Drift IV in summer, great hot weather SPD shoe
  • Alpkit Balance Jacket – this is the best waterproof jacket I have ever owned, it breathes so well I forget I am wearing it, even when it is raining cats and dogs. Matching trousers likewise
  • Garmin Edge 520 GPS – horrible user interface, but after careful configuration works well in practice.  Just about 2 days of use before the battery runs out, easily recharged with my Anker 20000mA battery pack.  Don’t bother trying to use it to navigate over long distances, I gave up loading custom maps
  • AeroPress Coffee Maker – a bit of luxury, but works really well.

That’s the interesting stuff, perhaps of less interest, but to complete the list:

  • Cateye Volt 800 front and Cateye TL-1000 rear lights – blindingly good and long lasting, front light doubles as a torch of course
  • Alpkit Stem Cell ditty bag on the handlebars to carry Mars Bars and Smartphone (Google Pixel)
  • Super strong light weight bike stand – a piece of para-cord wrapped around the handlebars and secured with two tent pegs, works well, amazed most campers how this simple method helps unloading and loading the bike, plus provides a good washing line
  • KASK Rex Helmet – fits beautifully and good quality, snapped up on a bargain rail, sure this was priced in error, but I’m not complaining. So comfortable I have often gone to sleep in it
  • Feathered Friends Flickr UL30 Sleeping Bag/Quilt – just love this, augmented with a Jagbags silk liner to stop my smelly body contaminating the bag and so reduce washing too frequently
  • Vango sleeping mat – as used by Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) campers, cheap and works very well
  • Alpkit Koro Stove (Butane/Propane) and HAAP cookset – works well.  I also took a trimmed down Trangia set, but always used the Koro.  Fast, clean and powerful
  • Madison Recon Glasses – work really well in overcast conditions, or under tree cover, to fend off flies and bugs, but improving visibility of track hazards on towpaths and old railway routes.  Lost a pair, bought another pair without hesitation after trying on fancy expensive fashion brands.

Clothing is quite different from my backpacking gear, other than the ubiquitous Icebreaker Merino wool long sleeve base layers.  I take two kits, one to wear, one washed and ready. Consisting of:

  • Cycle jersey – colourful and brash, who wants to wear boring gear. Worn over the base layers when cold
  • Cycle gloves, fingerless and full fingered, plus a pair of light waterproof gloves. Index finger tip cut off so I can operate a Smartphone
  • Endura cycle shorts – very good
  • Endura leg warmers – used when cold
  • Buff (worn around the neck) and Bandana (worn under the helmet) – very comfortable, even in hot weather and stops sweat contaminating the helmet.

Plus campsite/airport/ferry civilian clothing.  A Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover a particular favourite, found at a bargain price.


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