BIKE & BAGS

This page is mainly for the other bikepackers, hikers and gear junkies out there, but if you're just curious as to what someone might carry on a five year expedition around the world then you might find it interesting. My priorities are simplicity and durability, as I can't afford to have my kit fail me in the middle of nowhere. Beyond that it's about keeping the weight down and doing away with everything but the essentials. 

Listed below is the full breakdown of what I'm using as of January 2022. Note that I have recently made a few changes to the setup I've been using for the last couple of years. Some of the photos below are of older setups but  the gear list shown is fully up to date. 

For a detailed analysis of my original setup, including gear reviews, see HERE.

For my guide to bikepacking navigation, see HERE.

THE NOBLE STEED ('PANDORA')

Frame: Tout Terrain Outback Explore (Large)

Fork: Cane Creek Helm Mk.2

Saddle: Ergon SM Pro

Handlebars: SQLabs 30X (16° sweep), Ergon GA3 grips. Spirgrips+

Rims: WTB KOM Tough i25, 29"

Tyres: WTB Ranger 29x2.25"

Drivetrain: Pinion C.12 Gearbox, 1:1 gear ratio (32/32), with Gates CDX Carbon Belt Drive

Brakes: Magura MT5 (4 piston front, 2 rear)

Pedals: Burgtec Penthouse Flat Mk.4

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BAGS

Frame Bag: Spoked UK custom roll-top frame bag

Handlebar Bag: Roadrunner Bags Jumbo Jammer

Rack: Tubus Vega Classic 29

Backpack on rack: Sea to Summit Flow 35L  

Accessories: Halawa Jhatun XL (top tube bag) and two Spoked UK food pouches

EXPEDITION KIT LIST (EVERY LAST THING)

BASE OUTFIT

  • Merino wool top

  • Decathlon hiking shorts

  • Merino wool Buff

  • Under Armour original boxer jocks

  • Merino wool socks

  • Specialized Rime Flat MTB shoes

  • SunGod Sierras (best sunglasses I've ever had)

  • Giro Fixture Mips Helmet

  • Gripgrab Progel fingerless cycling mitts

  • Dakine Hot Laps 5L hip pack with Fuji X-T4 camera and lenses (Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 and Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 

  • Wallet, Swiss Army Knife, headphones (in pockets)

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BACKPACK - SLEEP SYSTEM + CLOTHES 

  • Sea to Summit Spark SPIV sleeping bag, rated to -15°c

  • Tarptent Scarp 1 tent

  • Thermarest NeoAir XLite sleeping mat

  • Sea to Summit Aeros pillow premium

  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, mini comb, roll-on deodorant, beard trimmer

  • Sewing kit including curved upholstery needle for tubeless repairs, laundry kit: 3x small clothespegs, universal sink plug

  • Spare merino socks 

  • Long sleeved merino t-shirt

  • Decathlon lightweight trousers

  • 1x spare pare Under Armour original boxer jocks

  • Sea to Summit microfiber towel

  • Arc'teryx Men Atom LT Hoody (synthetic down jacket)

  • MacBook Air in padded case (wrapped in with the sleeping bag for protection)

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FRAME BAG - HEAVY BITS, LONG BITS + FOOD

  • Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HVG Mini Pump

  • 1x lightweight 29er inner tube

  • Small 2oz. bottle of tubeless sealant

  • Poles and stakes for Tarptent Rainbow

  • Kindle Paperwhite, small journal, pens, paperwork documents (all stored in small dry bag)

  • SIRUI Compact Traveller 5c tripod

  • Headtorch

  • Charging plug and cables

  • 2oz tubeless sealant

  • Food

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JUMBO JAMMER (HANDLEBAR BAG) - EVERYTHING ELSE + FOOD

  • Inclement weather gear: Gore-Tex waterproof socks, DeFeet e-touch dura merino gloves, dhb merino leg warmers, Marmot Artemis rain jacket. 

  • Evernew 900ml titanium pot with Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-tri alcohol stove stored inside, along with a small fuel bottle, dish brush, BIC lighter, and mini microfiber tea towel.

  • Pouch with ibuprofen, paracetemol, tenacious tape, cable ties, string, 'shoe goo' glue

  • Food

IN SMALL POCKETS AT FRONT OF THE BAG

  • Toilet paper, titanium trowel (TheTentLab Deuce #2)

  • Sawyer Squeeze water filter, 2L platypus water bladder (rolled up, only stored here when empty, when full moved to frame bag 

  • Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack (packable backpack)

JHATUN XL (FRONT TOP TUBE BAG) - ACCESS + TOOLBOX

  • Mini cable lock

  • Toolkit -  dry chain lube, allen key multitool, tyre lever, patch kit, tubeless repair kit (bacon strips, tyre boot), spare brake pads, valve core remover tool, spare valve core, chain power link

  • Small red light blinkie

  • Snow Peak titanium spork

  • Mosquito headnet

  • Sunscreen

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ON THE BIKE

  • iPhone Pro mounted to handlebars using QuadLock Pro mount

  • Garmin Edge 830 with out-front handlebar mount

  • 2 x 1L wide mouth water bottles on bars in feeder bags

  • 1 x 1.5L water bottle in bottle cage under downtube

  • Spare spokes (taped to chainstay)

  • Sir Gingivere (cat, knight, manager, bodyguard and adventure mascot extraordinaire) securely attached to bars with cables ties and duct tape

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OVERVIEW

After three years of experimenting, I find this setup to be a great compromise between weight, convenience and comfort. The seat pack contains everything that I don’t need during the day (sleep system, extra clothes, toiletries etc.) while the front handlebar bag and my framebag are both mostly completely free for food. Water capacity is 3.5 litres on the bike (in plastic water bottles) as well as an extra 2L in a water bladder, making for 5.5L total capacity, which can be expanded when needed with extra bottles strapped to the bike or stored in the packable backpack. With this setup I can comfortably carry food for more than a week when necessary. Total capacity (with the large frame bag) is almost 60 litres, which is not actually much less than a standard 4-pannier touring setup but in a much more stable, balanced and lightweight package.

 

The bike itself has a weight of around 15kg, and the base weight of all the rest of my bags and gear (everything except food and water) is somewhere in the range of 13kg, making for a total bike + gear base weight of around 28kg. Not the lightest rig, but considering the versatility, convenience and carry-potential I’m very happy with this setup.