Gear

Equipment List

I’ve recently updated my gear and have been touring on a Cervelo RS without a rear rack. I’ve changed out the stock Shimano wheels for beefier Mavic Open Pros with 32 spokes and I’ll probably go from the stock 11/25 cassette to a 12/36 to get a lower gear, but the current setup was very successful touring around Massachusetts for 10 days climbing some steep gradients in the Berkshire Hills.

Item Description and Discussion oz Location
Bike: Cervelo RS. This is a relaxed geometry carbon bike. Gearing is 46/34 with 11/25 cassette although I intend to go to a new rear derailleur and 12/36 cassette to give me some lower gearing. Mavic Open Pro rims on Dura Ace hubs with 25mm ultra gatorskin tires. Brooks Swift saddle 304 N/A
Rear Bag: Carradice Camper Longflap. Traditional saddlebag with 24 litre capacity and an extending flap for oversized loads. The weight includes two nylon cam-straps that can be used to lash stuff to the outside of the bag (although they are mostly used as a carrying handle or shoulder strap) and a red blinky light. 31 Behind saddle
Front Bag: Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Classic Large. 9 litre capacity. The bag has a single compartment that stores all the stuff I need to take with me when I’m off the bike. 20 Handlebar
Tent: Tarpent Contrail Single walled tent with sewn in bathtub floor and bug netting. I pack the poles in the bottom of my saddlebag and the fly goes in a small REI compression sack. 28 Saddlebag
Sleeping Bag: Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 30F sleeping bag. It’s comfortable into the 40Fs just wearing a T-shirt, and with a jacket and long-johns you can be comfortable into the 30Fs. This is packed into an REI small compression sack. 25 Saddlebag
Compression Sack: REI Light weight and used to compress then fly and sleeping bag so they’ll fit in the saddlebag. (Weight is 2.5 oz, but weight is included in tent and sleeping bag weights so is given as 0 in table). 0 Saddlebag
Sleeping Pad: Thermarest NeoAir, Regular, (original) Light and warm inflatable sleeping pad 14 Saddlebag
Stove: Evernew Titanium Alcohol Stove This is Ti version of the Trangia stove. It doesn’t have a simmer ring or a screw top, but I seldom used those on the original Trangia so I went to the lighter Evernew stove. Additionally the Evernew stove has two sets of jet holes and I’ve found that it works most efficiently with my TI mug when I just place the mug directly on the stove, blocking the upper holes so that it’s just heated by the lower ring of holes. This also means I don’t need a pot stand. 1 Saddlebag, inside my TI mug
Pot: Evernew Titanium Mug This is my only cooking pot. I use it to boil water for tea, porridge, soups and couscous etc. My cooking kit fits inside. 2.5 Saddlebag
Windscreen: I use a simple piece of aluminum foil. I fold it in thirds across its width. This gives the screen some strength and makes it the right height for my cooking set up. I hold it together with a paper clip. 0.5 Saddlebag inside TI mug
Lighter: Bic lighter: Simple, inexpensive and light. I carry a spare in my handlebar bag 0.5 Saddlebag inside TI mug
Cup: Sea to Summit X-mug. Collapsible silicone mug. 1.5 Saddlebag inside my TI mug
towel Dish cloth: REI LightLoads mini towel. Used to clean and dry pot and to pick hot pots/stove up. 0.25 Inside Ti Mug in Saddlebag
bottle Water Bottles: Maxi Cincio one liter capacity. these are ok bottles, but the thing I like about them most is that they are one liter capacity and fit in a standard bottle cage. I carry two of them. 7 Cages on bike
Shirt: Patagonia Capilene 2 with long sleeves and a zip neck. This is great for warm days. The zip allows for good ventilation and the long sleeves stop my arms from getting sun burned. The shirt is lighter and quicker drying than a merino one. It’s not a cycling specific shirt and there are no pockets on the back, but I don’t miss those much. 7 Saddlebag
Trousers: Ex-Officio Convertible Long Pants Lightweight trousers with zip off legs so they can be turned into shorts. 10 Saddlebag
Underwear: Rapha Merino Padded Boxers These are very comfortable. I use padded underwear rather than having a pad in my cycling shorts so I can wash them out at night and they will dry before morning. It also allows me to keep wearing my cycling shorts at night. 4 Saddlebag
Socks: Smartwool PhD Good comfortable socks. 2 Saddlebag
  Long Underwear: REI Basic Running Tights I wear these when it gets cold. They fit easily underneath my trousers or my riding shorts and they can also be worn on their own. 8 Saddlebag
Shoes: KungFu Shoes These have a hard rubber sole and are good for relaxing in after a day on the bike, going to the showers and walking around town. They pack very flat and take up very little room  11  Saddlebag
Pillow: Exped Air Pillow This is a lightweight inflatable pillow that is actually quite comfortable.  3.5 Saddlebag
Backpack: Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Day Pack This is a small backpack that I take if I need to carry stuff on a day hike. I don’t usually wear it while riding, but can if necessary.  2 Saddlebag
 cord Cord: Basic Utility cord. Used as a clothes line etc etc  2.5 Saddlebag
 spork Spork: Snow Peak Titanium Spork. This works well for eating just about anything, noodles, soup, couscous etc.  0.5  Saddle bag side pocket
 PRST-fuelbottle300 Fuel Bottle: Antigravitygear 8 fl oz fluid bottle. I use this to carry ethanol for my stove. It holds enough fuel for 20 meals, this means heating 2 cups of water; one for tea and one for soup or cousous.  1  Saddle bag side pocket
Wind Jacket: Marmot Catalyst. This is my 3 season insulating jacket. It’s surprisingly warm and has a thin, soft lining so it can be worn comfortably next to the skin . When worn with a couple of base layers I’m comfortable into the 30Fs. It has a two hand pockets and a chest pocket too and it’s great for wearing around town or at night around a camp fire. It will deal with a light shower, but not heavy rain.  11  Saddlebag
 ALiEN_II Tools: Topeak Alien II. A good multi-tool with everything you need to keep the bike on the road.  10 Saddlebag side pocket
Parts/Spares: Brake and gear cables, AAA batteries, duct tape, cable ties, Fiber Flex spoke, patch kit, 4mm SHC screws, chain link. 6 Saddlebag side pocket
 tube Tubes: Continental Race 28, 25mm inner tubes, I take two. 6 Saddlebag side pocket
 balaclava Balaclava: Smartwool balaclava. I wear this when it’s cold, it works as a beanie too.  2 Handlebar bag
  Rain Jacket: Marmot Mica This a great light weight waterproof jacket with two hand pockets and a hood with a visor. The hood is a bit large for everyday wear as it’s intended to go over a helmet. The material feel nicer than most water proof jackets, but I still like to ear long sleeve shirts under it.  8  Handlebar bag
 juice-cs4-clsd-th Multitool: Leatherman Juice A good pocket sized multitool with a knife, various screwdrivers, can opener and pliers.  5 Handlebar bag
 umbrella Umbrella: Totes micro umbrella. I’ve used this many times. It’s just wide enough for one person and the locking mechanism isn’t the best, so you might find a better one out there, but having an umbrella is a nice little luxury. If it starts to rain I usually stop riding and if there’s no suitable shelter I wait it out under the umbrella.  6  Handlebar bag
 wash Wash Kit: Toothpaste and brush, comb, shampoo, DEET, sun screen. lip balm, razor, medium REI camp towel  9 Handlebar bag
 150 Sunglasses: Julbo race.  1 Handlebar bag
 1staid First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical 0.5 First Aid Kit I’ve never used this, but obviously you need to include one in your gear. This kit has enough to patch you up if you cut or scrape yourself. I’ve added a few more ibuprofen tablets to it.  3 Handlebar bag
 shoes Overshoes: Castelli Pioggia over shoes These shoe covers work well in the rain, but aren’t great for touring as my touring SPD pedals rip the bottoms. I’ve sewn them together a few times now and they have kept my feet dry, but they are not really rugged enough for multiple tours.  4 Handlebar bag
 iphone4 Smartphone: iPhone4, but obviously take what you like. I use mine for email, to take photos, maps, blogging with WordPress, books and for music and podcasts.  6  Handlebar bag
 HJ72-ORANGE-2T iPhone External Battery: HyperJuice mini. This will recharge my iPhone 5 times. I bought it for my trip to Iceland and it worked really well. Whenever I have access to mains electricity I plug it in to charge. I allows for pass through charging of the iPhone too.  8  Handlebar bag
 radio Radio: Sony Walkman SRF M37W So Smartphones are great, but if you want to listen to the radio they don’t work well over 3G and you’ll use a lot of battery life. So a small radio still works best. This Sony uses one AAA battery and has good FM and AM reception. 4
 cables Cables and earphones: iPhone AC adapter, iPhone charging cable, Hyperjuice USB charging cable.  5 Handlebar bag
 tikka_xp2_orange_3_1 Head Lamp: Petzl headlamp. This is great hands free lighting around camp and for on the bike. It straps around the head and has several different modes and lens configurations.  3 Handlebar bag
wallet Wallet: I just use my regular wallet. I carry 2x credit cards, bank cark, health insurance card, driver’s license, stamps and money.  4 Handlebar bag
 lenzyne Pump: Lenzyne Presure Drive. The hose and screw thread on this pump makes it easy to pump up a tire. It’s also small, light and will get a tire up to 100psi.  3 Saddlebag side pocket
 kryptoflex Lock: Kryptonite Kryptoflex 815. A basic lock that won’t stop the serious thief, but is good for locking the bike up in busy areas and at night.  10 Handlebar bag
 manzella Gloves: Manzella Windstopper.  2 Handlebar bag
Total Weight 601 oz 37.5 lbs

Below are the items I wear and the consumables that I carry

Item Description and Discussion oz Location
 cap Cap: Rapha is a bit pricey, but this cap is excellent. Mine is now sun bleached gray rather than black, but that’s only because I wear it all the time. It has a good stiff brim, high quality elastic at the back and the cotton is a bit heavier than the throw away caps you get in many bike shops. 2
 bandana Bandana: REI basic cotton bandana. Worn around the neck on hot days to keep me cool and used to wipe away sweat, or dry dishes. 1
 techwick Shirt: EMS Techwick Midweight with long sleeves and half zip. This is slightly heavier than my Capilene 2 shirt and good for all but the hottest of days. By layering it with the lighter weight Capilene 2, my marmot Catalyst jacket or my Marmot Mica rain shell I can be comfortable in a wind range of weather. 11
 shorts Shorts: EMS Touring Shorts These shorts are simple and just right for touring. They are light and have good pockets. I don’t use the liner they come with as I prefer the Rapha Merino underwear. For touring in cool weather I’ll substitute Rapha’s 3/4 length pants. 6
 boxers Underwear: Rapha Merino 4
 socks Socks: Smartwool PhD Good comfortable socks. 2
 shoe Shoes: Shimano M076 These are a great compromise between walking and riding comfort. The SPD cleats are recessed enough so you can walk normally, but the shoes are stiff enough to work well on the bike too. They have good ventilation to keep your feet cool on hot days, but your feet will get wet in the rain unless you wear overshoes. 22
Food and Water: Raman, couscous, stock cubes, candy bars, dehydrated veggies 100
Fuel: Denatured alcohol 7

Credit where credit is due, my touring equipment inspiration has come from the ultralight hiking community, and a small picture blog, http://milly.org/rambouillet/index.htm, that Henry Kingman put together for a ride from Vancouver to San Francisco. The approach is to only take what you really need, take the lighest stuff that’s available and try to take items that have multiple uses. My target equipment weight is 25 lbs. Below is the Kingman Rambouillet set up for touring.

bike_rock

And here’s my interpretation, I have my quilt, clothes, food and bike stuff in the Carradice Nelson Longflap saddlebag and my tent is under the saddle. My personal effects are in the Acorn bag on the handlebars, stuff like wallet, phone and passport and my sleeping pad and cooking stuff is in the orange stuff sack on the front rack. I use 2 x one litre “Smartwater” bottles to carry water as they are larger than cycling water bottles, but still fit nicely in a regular cage and have a third water bottle under the down tube

Rivendell Rambouillet set up for long distance touring

Rivendell Rambouillet set up for long distance touring

If you are interested in lightening your touring load even further an excellent site is http://www2.arnes.si/~ikovse/weight.htm. This gives lots of practical advice to reduce weight, although I probably won’t put all my equipment into a stuff sack, as it recommends, as I like the convenience and strength of purpose built cycling bags.

Another blog that I have to give a nod to is this one:

http://pompinos.blogspot.com/

These folks go one step further by using singlespeed bikes, hats off to them.

And finally the amazing ride of the Crane brothers

http://web.archive.org/web/20041211045554/http://www.koopmann.lightup.net/crane/

Even though I’m usually traveling during the summer I think its wise to plan for temps down to 32F particularly if you’ll be in the mountains. My camping gear is ultralight and includes a Tarptent Contrail which is a single walled tent that weights 24oz and a 15oz sleeping quilt by Jacks R’Better. My stove is a classic Trangia that burns alcohol and is as rugged no nonsense as a stove can be.

The Tarptent Contrail is amazing and provides good shelter with enough room for me to sit up in the entrance.

EQUIPMENT LIST

CAMPING

  • Tent, Contrail by Tarptent http://www.tarptent.com
    Summer down Sleeping Bag by Jacks R’Better, http://www.jacksrbetter.com
    Sleeping Pad by Big Agnes
    Trangia stove, http://www.trangia.se
    Antigravity gear solo pot set plus Trangia frying pan, http://www.antigravitygear.com
    Denatured Alcohol
    Ti Spork
    BIC Lighter
    50′ Cord

    CLOTHES CARRIED

    Convertible Long Pants by Exofficio, http://www.exofficio.com
    Touring Shorts, by Rapha, http://www.rapha.cc
    Wool Long Underwear by Smartwool,http://www.smartwool.com
    Padded cycling Underwear by Andiamo
    Wool Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Smartwool
    Long Sleeve “Adventure” Shirt, Rivendell http://www.rivbike.com
    Stowaway rain jacket by Rapha
    2 x wool Socks by Smartwool
    Tai Chi shoes, http://www.gungfu.com/htm-apparel/shoes/apparel-shoes-kung-fu-basic-tai-chi.htm
    Gloves by Pearl Izumi
    Neck gaiter, Smartwool
    Beanie wool hat, Smartwool

    TOILETRIES

    Mounthwash
    Razors
    Skin Cream
    Sunscreen
    Microfiber Towel
    Shampoo
    Toothpaste and Brush
    DEET
    Dental Floss
    Toilet Paper

    BIKE STUFF

    Bike Cable Lock
    Multitool
    Leatherman, Juice
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    Chain Lube
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots, Park
    2x Powerlink, SRAM
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Brake Pads
    Misc Nuts and Bolts
    4x AA batteries
    Plastic Bags
    Duct tape

    MISC

    Wallet
    Map
    notebook and pen
    First Aid Kit
    Sewing kit
    small FM radio
    iPhone

    Emergency Food

    Dehydrated soup and Raman noodles
    Honey
    Jerkey
    Couscous
    Energy bars
    Tea bags

    Clothing Worn, not included in weight

    Padded Underpants, Andiamo
    Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Smartwool
    Cycling Knickers, Rapha
    Socks, Smartwool
    Cycling Shoes, Shimano MO76
    Cycling cap, Rapha
    Bandana, REI

    BAGS

    Nelson Longflap saddlebag by Carradice, http://www.carradice.co.uk
    Acorn handle bar bag, http://www.acornbags.com
    2x silnylon compression sacks

    The total weight of my gear including bags is about 20 lbs. I carry 4 lbs of water and 2 lbs of food including dehydrated soup, chocolate, honey, instant oatmeal, couscous and beef jerky making my total touring gear weight 26 lbs. The bike weighs 27 lbs so the total is 53 lbs. If you exclude food and water the gear comes in at 47 lbs.

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6 Responses to Gear

  1. Henry says:

    Nice setup! Especially like the big water bottles. Also, thanks for the link to the Koopman story. Good one!

    On that ride (Vancouver Island to SF), all of that stuff (Rambouillet, 2-lbs tent, handlebar bag, etc… ) except maybe the sleeping bag and shortwave was borrowed from Grant, a very generous guy. It was about the nicest rig I ever toured with. Grant always has the best things, the niftiest tents, the nicest wool. The (old style, no longer available) Walrus Zoid tent was really snazzy (if coffin-like). But, the $30 China-made tent I later bought from rivbike.com is (almost) just as good!

    Me, I’m lucky to start each tour with a functioning bike. My tour prep list usually goes, you know, rebuild rear wheel, replace bottom bracket, new chain and cogs, replace tires and pedals… then, I’m leaving in an hour, and still need to pack. Sigh.

    Fortunately, I’ve found “Oh well, I’ll buy one on the road” usually works out ok. The last tour, I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way out of town and bought an $8 child’s backpack to use as a saddlebag, with the straps laced through the saddle rails. (The Carradice didn’t fit my full-sus rig.)

    I remember another tour in the early 90s where I took some Tai Chi shoes as a backup to full Look road shoes. Wound up walking all over Europe in those things… wonderful minimalism!

    -Henry

    • cstandley says:

      Hi Henry,
      It’s great to read your comment and thanks again for that blog. I read it maybe five years ago and it got me off the four panniers, fully loaded bandwagon. Back then I was getting back into touring and and your blog was inspirational. Technology keeps moving on and I’m a bit of an equipment geek so tweaking my setup is something I enjoy. I was going to test it out in Iceland this summer, but those plans are on hold because of the volcano.

      Yeah Tai Chi shoes are a great second pair of shoes. When I as in college I did some kung fu and we would go running around the city parks so they seemed like the obvious choice for shoes to wear off the bike.

  2. Dave says:

    Hello,

    I came across Wheels of Chance purely by, er, chance while searching for the perfect balance of light weight and comfort/accessibility for touring. Hopefully you don’t mind my reading your blog.

    This post and the video detailing your gear are both utterly fantastic, and have been so hugely helpful to me that I just had to comment here to thank you for sharing this, and for your clear, detailed explanations.

    Before your blog, I struggled for a long time with planning the ideal setup for the tours (long and short) that my girlfriend and I will begin taking soon. While I may be slightly biased since I already have several similar equipment pieces (similar bike, Carradice saddlebag, and a Rainshadow 2 tent currently on order from Tarptent), I believe your approach provides the internet’s most sensible and enjoyable approach to a touring setup for developed locales. Great job!

    I would love to continue reading about your experiences with all of this in the future. Please keep posting!

    Best,

    Dave

    • cstandley says:

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks for the compliments. I’m planning a trip to Iceland this summer and I’ll be posting about preparation for that and also blogging daily as I ride. I’d be interested to see your setup once you have it set.

      Clive

  3. Jim says:

    I love your new bike. I’m suprised though that you are sticking with the heavy Carradice luggage and the Brooks saddle though.
    In my mind the jury is still out on the use of Carbon. After hearing so many horror stories of injuries and deaths caused by carbon failures I am currently switching my bikes over to steel and living with the weight penalties.
    Be interesting to view your comments on your new ride.
    Jim.

    • cstandley says:

      The Cervelo is great, it’s a joy to ride.

      I use the Brooks to carry the Carradice, but mostly because of comfort. I would ditch the Carradice if there was a lighter alternative that did the job as well. IMHO the bikepacking bags are just not as convenient. The Carradice costs me 1 to 1.5 lbs. I’ve looked into using dry sacks instead and they do work, but once again they just aren’t as convenient. As a piece of luggage a cotton duck sdddlebag works very well on or off the bike

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