Gear

 

My current set-up (2018)

My set-up has changed considerably since I first started touring. It is obvious that the recent explosion in lightweight bikepacking has influenced how I now carry my gear. This is by no means an ultra light setup and thus I wouldn’t lump it into a true “bikepacking” category. I have gone for a bit of a hybrid method by not eliminating panniers altogether. I simply took my smaller panniers that used to be in the front and moved them to the rear. My current tour of the Western USA and Canada will be my trial period for the new set-up. With a bikepacking setup the weight is spread more evenly across the bike, with the heaviest stuff being concentrated in the centre, the frame bag.

In terms of dropping weight, I mainly did this with the clothing I was carrying. I now only have one pair of shoes, when I used to carry three pairs (yes, three!), one 3/4 biking shirt, one off the bike t-shirt etc. instead of having two (or more) of everything). In terms of electronics I haven’t downsized much, if at all, but I carry fewer spares – no folding spare tire, no Ortlieb oil change kit, for example. My cooking kit is still fairly bulky and heavy and my -18C/0Fsleeping bag takes up almost a whole pannier (I am quite a cold sleeper). While there were some new additions to my gear, I have decided to reuse what has worked on past tours instead of replacing it with ultra light stuff. I already spent too much on the new bike packing bags!

I am using the same bike, Thorn Nomad MK2, because I love it. I switched from Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 2.15 tires to Schwalbe Marathon Extreme 2.25. I have absolutely no complaints about the bomb proof Mondials but I wanted a slightly wider, more aggressive tire for off-road riding. 

                                         What my old set-up looked like…
IMG_0880

Here are some details…

Bike: Thorn Nomad Mk2

Brakes: Shimano Deore V-brakes

Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Extreme 26X 2.25″

Rims: Ryde Andra 30

Pedals: Shimano A530

Grips: Ergon GP-1 with Cane Creek Ergo bar ends

Racks: Thorn Expedition rear carrier

Dynamo hub and accessories: Schmidt Son 28 Silver, Sinewave Cycles Reactor USB charger (I rarely use it)

Saddle: Women’s Brooks B17

Baggage:

2 X Ortlieb front roller classic panniers (used on the back)

Porcelain Rocket Vera Seat Pack

Revelate Designs Egress Pocket

Revelate Designs Sweetroll

Rogue Panda custom rolltop frame bag

Rogue Panda Alamo Top Tube Bag

Rogue Panda Rincon Top Tube Bag

Mountain Equipment Co-op 10L dry bag used on back for food overflow

Clothing 

  • Kitsbow Women’s A/M Jersey
  • Pearl Izumi cycling overshorts 
  • -2 pairs padded liner shorts (Pearl Izumi and Louis Garneau)
  • -Prana Monarch Convertible pants
  • -Mavic MTB SPD shoes
  • -Shower’s Pass Elite 2.1 rain jacket
  • -Mountain Equipment Co-op Revolution rain pants
  • -Icebreaker sports bra X 2
  • Specialized Body Geometry fingerless cycling gloves
  • Gore Bike Wear warm cycling gloves
  • Mountain Hardware Phantom down jacket
  • Icebreaker t-shirt
  • Icebreaker long underwear top and bottom
  • Icebreaker tank top/undershirt
  • Icebreaker long sleeve zip hood
  • merino buff
  • wool toque (beanie in Non-Canadian speak)
  • 2 X merino wool ankle socks
  • 1 pair Smart Wool thick socks
  • Oakley sunglasses 

 

Camping + Cooking

  • MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent
  • MSR Hubba Hubba footprint
  • Go Lite Adrenaline 0F/-18C down sleeping bag (in Sea to Summit compression sack)
  • Thermarest Neoair X lite sleeping pad
  • Trekology inflatable pillow
  • Petal Actik Core headlamp (USB rechargeable)
  • GSI outdoors mug
  • GSI pot scraper
  • scrubber
  • MSR stowaway pot 1.2L
  • Bottom half of pot cosy (toque/beanie will be used as the “top”
  • Humangear Gobites Duo fork and spoon
  • Campsuds soap
  • lighters (one wrapped in Gorilla tape)
  • MSR Whisperlite International stove
  • MSR 1L fuel bottle
  • MSR stove maintenance kit

 

Tools/Maintenance/Spares

  • spare spokes and nipples
  • many zip ties
  • 2 inner tubes
  • inner tube patch kit
  • Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump (wrapped with Gorilla tape)
  • Leatherman Wave
  • Topeak Alien multitool 
  • A few spare Allen keys
  • Brake pads
  • Brake cable
  • Bag of spare nuts + bolts 
  • chain links
  • Chain lube
  • Small bottle of grease
  • Park Tool spoke key
  • Rohloff sprocket removal tool
  • Spare piece of tent pole (in case of a break)
  • Gore tex repair patches
  • Toothbrush for cleaning chain and rag
  • Small pieces of sandpaper for cleaning brake pads
  • Coffee filter papers for cleaning chain (rolling up a small piece and threading it through each link, it works really well!)

Hydration 

  • Camelback All Clear UV water purifier + pre filter (for getting rid of sediment)
  • 2 X 750mL Camelback bottles (one for All Clear)
  • 1L Nalgene bottle
  • Ortlieb 10L water bag
  • Aquatabs for water purification as back-up

Navigation 

  • Paper maps
  • Compass
  • Garmin GPS 64st (specific holder mounted on handlebars – Ram Mount)
  • Kindle with guidebooks, Cycling the Great Divide by Michael McCoy for Western USA/Canada tour

 

Hygiene/Medecine

  • Sea to Summit organizer bag
  • Soapworks Shampoo and Conditioner bar
  • Soapworks Old Fashioned Laundry Bar for washing clothes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • dental floss
  • tweezers
  • nail clippers
  • portable hairbrush/mirror
  • SPF 30 lip balm
  • razor
  • ibuprofen
  • DivaCup (Girls, get on this!)
  • First Aid kit
  • wet wipes

Some other stuff…

  • whistle
  • bear spray, contained in Kodiak Singletrack Bear Spray Holster mounted to fork with zip ties
  • rope for hanging food (bear country)
  • small lightweight, low-grade cable lock (for opportunistic thieves)

Kodiak Singletrack Bear Spray Holster

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