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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 April 2023. Note that I do tend to make small tweaks to my setup from time to time, and on some shorter trips I use a lighter setup incorporating a seat pack instead of a rear rack. Some of the photos below are of older or different setups, but the gear list shown below is fully up to date and reflects what I consider to be my 'expedition' setup for long-term, round-the-world bikepacking. 

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

For my guide to bikepacking navigation, see HERE.

For my full review of my bike and a breakdown of component choices, see HERE.

For a video breakdown of everything I carry, where I carry it, and how I pack for bikepacking, see HERE.

THE NOBLE STEED ('PANDORA')

Frame: Tout Terrain Outback Explore

Fork: Fox 34 Float Factory SC 100mm

Saddle: Brooks B17 Narrow Carved

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

Spirgrips+ inner-bar-ends for comfort (for a 10% discount use the code 'TristanPlus')

Rims: WTB KOM Tough i25, 29"

Tyres: Vittoria Mezcal 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: Spoked UK custom handlebar bag

(previously Roadrunner Bags Jumbo Jammer)

Rack: Tubus Vega Classic 29, ROK motorcycle straps

Backpack on rack: Exped Black Ice 30  

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

EXPEDITION KIT LIST (EVERY LAST THING)

BASE OUTFIT

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BACKPACK - SLEEP SYSTEM + CLOTHES 

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

  • Durston X-Mid 1 Solid tent, groundsheet & pegs

  • Durston Z-Flick Tent Pole x2

  • Thermarest NeoAir XLite sleeping mat

  • Sea to Summit Aeros pillow premium

  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, mini comb, roll-on deodorant, beard trimmer, mini nail clippers, dental floss

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

  • Spare merino socks 

  • Spare Isobaa long-sleeved merino wool shirt

  • Isobaa merino joggers

  • 1x spare merino boxers

  • 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

  • Rarely used repair parts - tyre levers, spare bolts, Tubolito ultralight 29er inner tube + patch kit

  • Small 2oz. bottle of tubeless sealant

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

  • SIRUI Compact Traveller 5c tripod

  • DJI Mini 3 Pro drone in hard case, with RC controller and Fly More kit

  • Merino Buff

  • PETZL Actic headtorch

  • 2x 20,000mAh Power banks, charging plug and cables, all stored in a small dry bag

  • Pinion sprocket remover tool

  • Small can of lubricant spray for belt drive

  • Food (heaviest, non-bulky items here)

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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

  • 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

  • Abus Bordo Lite 6055 (85cm)

  • Wallet

  • Toolkit -  Park Tools AWS10 multitool, tyre lever, tubeless repair kit (bacon strips, tyre boot), spare brake pads, valve core remover tool, spare valve core

  • 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 Platypus water bladder, making for 5.5L total capacity, which can be expanded when needed with extra bottles strapped to the rack or stored in the frame bag. With this setup I can comfortably carry food for more than a week when necessary. Total capacity (with the large frame bag) is almost 70 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 14.5kg, and the base weight of all the rest of my bags and gear (everything except food and water) is somewhere in the range of 16.5kg, making for a total bike + gear base weight of around 31kg. Not the lightest rig, but I'm hauling a laptop and a fair bit of camera equipment, so considering the versatility, convenience and carry potential, I’m very happy with this setup.

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