About my Equipment

The cycling- and camping-part of my epic 2018-adventure is over. Time to list and partly review my final tour-equipment.

General

  • Bicycle (2007 KTM “Veneto”, mods: Magura HS33 hydraulic rim-brakes, Brooks-saddle) … the bike is heavy but indestructable; I never rode a Brooks-saddle before and I am so glad that I got it for the tour – no ass-pain at all!
  • Front-rack: tubus lowrider … no complaints
  • Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Evo 622×42 … excellent handling but completely worn out after 6,000 miles
  • Prolonged fender for the front-wheel … no shower for my feet and the chain if rainy
  • Cable-lock … as Gary – one of my hosts – said: never give opportunity! I always locked my bike in front of stores and mostly even on campgrounds; I think a lightweight cable-lock is good enough as it prevents your bike from getting stolen casually; I never parked my bike on a public place over night
  • Small cable-locks for the panniers … never used it and left it behind in Wyoming
  • 2x Ortlieb “Backroller” panniers
  • 2x Ortlieb “Frontroller” panniers
  • 1x Ortlieb “Rackpack” pannier … there is no better than Ortlieb; I use these panniers since many years – there never occured a problem and they still are waterproof
  • Vaude bag for handlebar … ok – I could take my ID, money, glasses and so on very quick off the bike and with me into a supermarket
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Mobile-phone “Samsung J7” … no problems and all the pictures of my tour are taken with it
  • USA-SIM-card AT&T Prepaid (40$/month for 8GB and unlimited texting and calling)
  • Powerbank … 20,000 mAh were good enough for a couple of days w/o electrical outlets, I never loomed to run out of battery
  • Adapter for U.S.-power-plugs (to recharge phone, powerbank, headlamp and electrical shaver)
  • Visa, Passport, credit card, cash … you better always hold some cash since foreign credit cards might not be accepted at gas-stations (U.S.-ZIP-code required)
  • Headphones

Tools

  • Tongs
  • Allen-keys
  • Tire-iron
  • Tube-repair-kit … mandatory!!
  • Tape … I never needed that
  • Hammer … used a leightweight one for applying my tent-stakes to solid ground
  • Lube
  • Lighter
  • Cleaning-brush … for all kind of equipment
  • Spoke-key
  • Zip-ties … never needed them
  • Spare-tubes
  • Mini-floor-pump … a good pump is essential, I had to be able to apply at least 5 bar
  • Preston-adapter for gas-station-airpumps
  • Pressure-gauge

Camping and Kitchen

  • Tent “Hilleberg Soulo” … a very solid freestanding tent; mounting and unmounting goes very easy and fast; it’s a four-season-tent – that’s too warm for crossing north-america in summer and the tent is too heavy (more than 4 lbs)
  • Sleeping bag filled with down feather … small, leightweight and comfortable
  • Sleeping bag-inlay … mandatory because that inlay can be washed easily and keeps the actual bag clean(er); It also enabled me to adjust my sleeping temperature in a wider range
  • Thin inflatable mattress … good!
  • Inflatable pillow … unnecessary, left it behind since some rolled clothes in a dry-bag can do the same
  • Headlamp … mandatory for pitching and setting up your tent in the dark
  • Knife
  • Spoon/Fork
  • Stove … sometimes comfortable but not really necessary
  • Water-bottles
  • Foldable bucket … unecessary, left it behind

Clothes

  • Clothesline … unnecessary as you are not allowed to use it on most campgrounds anyway; I attached my flushed clothes to my bike to get them dry
  • Detergent … for handwash – can also be used with a washing-machine in a coin-laundry
  • Clamps
  • Cagoule
  • Rain-trousers … I used them only twice – but then they were very helpful
  • Over-shoes (for rain) … its a must – one wants to keep dry and warm feet
  • Cycling-shoes with cleats (Shimano SPD) … waaaaay more efficient the using regular pedals with regular shoes
  • Flops
  • 2x cycling-shorts (“pampers”)
  • 1x short cycling-trousers to wear above the pampers
  • 3x pair of microfibre socks for cycling
  • Bathing suit
  • Leg warmers … never used them and wouldn’t bring them again
  • Arm warmers/long sleeves … that’s a must in order to prevent sunburns; even sunscreen with SPF70 is not strong enough for me to allow the total exposure of my arms over so many hours
  • Warning-west (bright yellow with reflecting stripes)
  • Windbreaker-west … not necessary – I used the warning-west all the time
  • 2x regular underpants
  • 1x regular short trousers
  • 1x long outdoor trousers … good for cold evenings in the mountains and for the flights
  • 1x pair of warm wool socks … good for cold evenings in the mountains and even for cold nights
  • Lightweight fleece
  • Lightweight windbreaker
  • Wool-shirt … for me mandatory to maintain a comfortable sleeping-climate in my sleeping-bag; absorbs sweat and regulates temperature over a wide scale
  • Long wool-underpants … was meant for cold nights but turned out to be unnecessary

Personal hyhiene

  • Small mirror
  • Small barber-scissor
  • Electrical shaver … needs no water
  • Toothpaste, -brush and dental floss
  • Wet wipes … kind of substitutes a shower if you end your day somewhere without facilities
  • Microfibre-towell … met some cyclists that used their trikots instead
  • Soap/shampoo/washing-up liquid
  • Washing cloth … really helps to get clean after long dusty days and also very nice if there is no shower but water
  • Sunscrean … started with SPF50 and changed to 70
  • Petrolatum … minimizes friction between butt and cycle-shorts
  • Medication: pain-killer, Betaisodona, Antihistamines, dresses
  • Clippers
  • Tweezers … mostly used them to get tiny parts of wire out of my tires
  • Earplugs and sleeping-mask … safed my sleep on crowded campgrounds or sites close to a busy road

Added on the fly

  • Pool-noodle … attached to the back of my bike it really improves my visibility for drivers; I got a lot of positive driver-feedback
  • Mirror for helmet … I wouldn’t want to miss that for road-cycling
  • Peaked cap to wear it underneath the helmet … prevents sunburn, prevents to be dazzled, adsorbs sweat

My bike including the whole stuff plus water and food was weighed with 105lbs at the American Cycling Association headquarters in Missoula.

After all the whole thing worked out very well. Next time I would reduce it a little bit more in order to not have to take the rack-pack with me. I would also choose a lighter tent … maybe even a lighter bicycle. Having only two water-bottles attached to the frame worked out very well – the rest of the water can always be stored somewhere in or on the panniers.

Ok, that would be a bit too lightweight

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