So a few people have been asking me about the equipment i’ll be taking for my coast to coast cycle and I thought I’d give you a run down. Over Christmas I decided to cycle to Paris to test out my camping equipment and came back with a huge list of improvements and tweeks I needed to make, read the Paris blog here.
So this is near enough what my full set up looks like:
- I now have a Brooks saddle, despite being solid leather its pretty comfortable and good for all day cycling.
- I’ve replaced my tri bag on the on top frame, This is smaller and holds in place pretty well. It also has a waterproof clear case for my phone so I can see it whilst cycling. I’ll be keeping my electrical’s in there with the odd energy gel and passport.
- Front a rear dry bags, held on with bungees. The one under my saddle keeps all my camping equipment whilst the front has a change of clothing, food and my toiletries.
- Helmet with head light.
- Triangle frame bag. Where I keep my tools, 3 x inner tubes and puncture repair kit.
- 2 x 1litre water bottles. I might need more for some long dry patches and I’ll keep that on a bungee at the back.
- Combination cable lock, for running in shops and whilst asleep.
- SPD MTB pedals, I’ve changed over to MTB so I can wear walkable shoes with a stronger cleat in the hope it doesn’t break like it did in Paris.
- Specialized MTB cycling shoes. Ok these are my third pair of cycling shoes and now I’m happy. They are stiff but allow me to fully walk around and not feel like I’m wearing cycling shoes. It means to world to be able to walk normally after 10 hours on a bike. I also have some waterproof overshoes to help keep my feet dry.
- Front Dynamo hub, for giving me electricity.
- E-werk power converter, which turns the electricity from the front hub into usable USB energy for charging my camera, sat-nav, phone and external battery pack.
- Gore-tex cycling jacket, breathable, waterproof and light.
- Full finger and normal padded cycling gloves. I’ve been through so many pairs. A lot rub and I’ve settled on a pair of Specialized sports cycling gloves which so far seem comfortable.
- Front and rear dynamo powered lights by B&M. These lights are constantly on and powered from the dynamo on the front wheel. I love having these lights on all the time as I know I should always be seen.
- Cat eye rear light. This is literally the brightest rear light I could buy, will come in handy if I have to do a few miles when the daylights against me.
- Finally my WarChild Cycling Jersey. Got this printed especially. I really like it considering I asked the guy to make it up in the shop. It needs an iron but I guarantee it’ll come back in a far worse state.
So that’s it on the surface, now to dive into the bags and see what’s going on:
To the left side of the maps we have all my camping kit and right all my tools and accessories.
- Karrimore sleeping bag, 1 season with Alp Kit Hunka waterproof bivi. This is the lightest combination I could find. The bivi is so small you can put it around the sleeping bag and still fit it into it’s sack. I’m choosing a bivi over a tent as the tent was too comfortable in Paris and I didn’t want to get up in the morning, now I think I’ll just get up and go.
- The little brown bag under sleeping bag is my sleeping mat. It’s the worlds smallest and lightest sleeping mat made my klymit. It’s the X-frame lite which is a half length sleeping mat. I love it.
- Tarp sheet, to cover either my bike or me in a downpour and use as a ground sheet if needed.
- Space foil emergency blanket. Incase it gets really cold I’m hoping this will keep the heat in.
- All the US Southern Tier maps courtesy of James Ketchell.
- Cycling glasses, I’ve been through so many pairs and these are great. Come with 5 lenses and only £20 on Amazon. Don’t fog up and feel really comfortable on.
- Scabs puncture repair kit. I’ve never successfully repaired a puncture until I got these. Literally just stick it over like a plaster and you’re good to go.
- Basic watch with alarm and light.
- Garmin edge 705 Sat nav. It’s let me down a few times but I think this used in conjunction with my maps and I’ll be ok, I hope.
- Multi tool, has everything I think I’ll need from Chain tool to tyre irons and full set of allen keys.
- Leatherman’s wingman. Hand’s down my favourite Man-tool. Has pliers with wire cutters, scissors, bottle opener and a really sharp lockable knife.
- Electrical tape. To seal off exposed electronics.
- Handle bar mirror. So I can see cars approaching from behind.
- External battery/ torch. Love this thing. Will change my iPhone twice and doubles up as a bright torch.
- I also have my iPhone packed with audiobooks and music and a first aid kit with plasters, antibiotics and water purification tablets. My passport, money, credit card and paperwork for insurance which will all be kept in a waterproof folder.
So that’s it for a brief tour of my bike set up. Feel free to ask any additional questions if you require more detail about certain equipment. My clothing will be basic, 2 shorts, tights, base layer, socks, hat and fleece. I intend to take this for a last minute test ride in a couple of weeks to test out the camping equipment and hope that the weight is to my liking.
As you can probably tell this equipment has set me back a small fortune and I’m now from the school of thought about buying good quality equipment. I’m definitely over budget from my initial projection for the trip but i’m sure I’ll feel better about that with some sponsorship from you guys 🙂