Equipment 2015

This page presents the updated equipment for our latest journey starting in 2015.

1. Recumbent bike and trike
2. Camping & Life outside
3. Clothes & Accessories
4. Electronic Equipment
5. Pharmacy
6. How much all this weight?
7. Tips and tricks for travellers

1. Recumbent bike and trike

After travelling to Central Asia with a wonderful bike, the famous German bike Touterrain Silkroad, I wasn’t sure about what to choose for my next travel. Would I walk? Would I keep my bicycle or would I buy a recumbent bike? And what about Justine?

Justine wasn’t sure about travelling with a regular bike, so I’ve asked her to try a trike (a bicycle with 3 wheels). From the moment she sat on it, she decided that she would travel with it. I was glad of this choice too because I was thinking from 2013 that it would be nice to travel on a recumbent. These bikes are as confortable as your sofa with all the pleasure and sensations of cycling. From all the recumbents I’ve seen, the one I liked the most were the Czech made bikes from Azub.

In the past 4 years I enjoyed so much riding with the Rohloff Speedhub that we decided to equip both bikes with Rohloff Speedhub. Yo can learn more about our bikes here.

  Bike and equipment (JP)
Bike: Azub 6 (+ Rohloff hub)
26″/20″ wheels, Rohloff Speedhup (14 speed), 34/44 chainring, Suntour Epicon rear suspension, Meks suspended fork, mechanical disc brakes Avid BB7, Schwalbe Marathon tires, SPD pedals, SON28 dynamo with B&M lights and USB output.
Bike computer: VDO MC 2.0
Probably the best bike computer for touring in his price range. I love the altimeter function.
Helmet: UVEX ivo-c
So far the best fit I ever had with a bike helmet, even with my dreadlocks!!!
It’s also reasonnably priced.
Pair of back panniers: Vaude Aqualine (red)
Pair of front panniers: Ortlieb Roller Front Classic (red)

  Trike and equipment (Justine)
Trike: Azub Tricon 26″ (+ Rohloff hub)
26″/20″/20″ wheels, Foldable frame, Rohloff Speedhup (14 speed), 34/44 chainring, Sturmey Archer 90mm drum brakes, rear disc handbrake (Avid BB7), Suntour Epicon rear suspension, Schwalbe Marathon tires (x3), SPD pedals, mesh seat, headrest.
Bike computer: VDO MC 1.0
The first version of the greatest bike computer for touring.
Highest temperature recorded: 59 degrees when crossing the desert in June 2013 in Turkmenistan.
Front lights: Ixon IQ premium (x2)
Because we chose drum brakes, it wasn’t an option to have a dynamo hub on the trike. Instead we chose 2 front lights Ixon IQ premium, 80 lux. They are a bit heavy (because each of them has 4 LR6 batteries) but they last 5 hours and are really strong.
Rear lights: Fibre Flare (x2)
Quite Handy rear lights, work with 2 LR6 batteries.
Helmet: Urban 7 Soft Touch B’TWIN
Hand Panniers: Vaude Aqua handlebar box (black)
This Vaude handlebar pannier is a little bit larger than the Ortlieb one it looks better too.
Pair of back panniers: Ortlieb Roller City Back (white)
Pair of front panniers: Ortlieb Roller City Front (white)

  Tools and Spare Parts
Pump: Blackburn Mammoth 2-Stage
This is a sturdy pump even if I broke once the inner plastic thread.
Multitool: Merida Multitool
This multitool does as well chain remover but it itsn’t premium quality so I rather take a spare one and a set of allen keys as well.
Multitool: Leatherman Tool Lightwave
Spare tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 26″ (rear), Schwalbe Marathon plus 20″ (front).
We need one spare tire for each wheel size plus couple of spare inner tubes and repair kits.
Sprocket: Rohloff Sprocket.
I almost got stuck in Khorog (in the Pamirs) in 2013 because I didn’t have a spare sprocket with me but I was lucky enough to meet Pete and Alice and they had a spare one. This time we both have Rohloff speedhubs so this might be useful 😉

Besides the items listed above, we also carry a whole bunch of tools to repair the bikes and some useful spare parts such as spokes and a piece of chain. Even though our bikes aren’t regular bikes, they mostly use regular bikes parts which allow us to repair them easily when needed. In case of major damage like breaking a rim or the speedhub, we will have to improvise a solution on the way but we can also count on the friendly team of Azub, famous for their nice customer service with travellers.

2. Camping

Camping is definitely one of the aspect of itinerant travel we love the most. It is so pleasant to sit outside and watch sunset while dinner is being cooked…

Camping, sleeping and cooking
Tent: Exped Venus II Extreme
So far I love my Exped Venus II and Exped guys were kind enough to exchange the outer tent for a new one because it got damaged last year. I also use air mats from Exped, they are more comfortable and warmer than the usual self inflating mats.
Sleeping bags: Vaude Kiowa 500 and Vaude Kiowa 900
As we don’t plan to sleep in extreme cold conditions, we decided to travel with simple synthetic sleeping bags. They aren’t so versatile as the down sleeping bags but they are cheaper, stronger and they cand handle humid conditions much better.
Sleeping bag liner: Sea to Summit Thermolight Reactor Compact plus
Sleeping mat: Exped Synmat Basic 5 M
Sleeping mat pump: Exped pillow pump
Tent groundsheet: Exped Venus II groundsheet
Hiking Backpack: Deuter Guide 45L+
Multifuel stove + bottle: Optimus Nova plus
Cooking set: Gelert
Thermos jug: Primus Thermos 75cl
We like tea, and we like our thermos =)
Food thermos: Primus 0,5L lunch jug
Lunch box / plate: Light my fire
Water filter: Katadyn Combi
hydration bag: MSR Dromadery 10L
Great water reserve. The cap was leaking after a while (it was broken) but MSR guys were kind enough to send me a new one for free.
Folding basin: Ortlieb 10L
Headlamps: Petzl Tikka XP
Knife: Opinel #8
Compass: Recta DT 100
Pepper Spray: Sabre Red

3. Clothes & Accessories

Findling clothes for travelling is a headache. You need light, breathable and resistant materials, but most of all you need clothes you feel good in because you’re going to wear them for months every day. There are plenty of amazing stuff out there, but most of the technical are so ugly you hardly believe it is possible. we both hate being dressed like aliens so we tried to find a kind of compromise. Our clothes are a mix of random stuff and technical gears…

Clothes and Equipment (JP)
Waterproof Goretex jacket: Marmot Troll Wall
This is the jacket I was wearing when I crossed the Pamirs. Light, breathable, waterproof, I absolutely love it.
Windproof Light Jacket: Warmpeace Contour
Bought cheap in the Czech Republic few years ago, this is my everyday windproof jacket.
Fleece: Millet Grizzly fleece jacket
It is not so soft as it use to be 4 years ago but that should do it…
Baselayer thermal: Craft Pro Zero
Perfect baselayer, breathable, not catching smell. I wear it as soon as the weather gets cold.
Trousers: Salewa Hubble 2
Waterproof trousers: Vaude
I wear waterproof throusers only in heavy rain if they are not packed in the bottom of my panniers. It takes a bit of courage to put them on but nce it’s done, it does its job well and they pack very small.
SPD shoes: Vaude Kimon TR
I used to cycle only in hiking boots and sandals, but on recumbent bicycle, SPD shoes are strongly advised so that your feet don’t slip from the pedals. Unfortunately SPD shoes are most often ugly and there’s not such a wide choice. The Vaude Kimon TR will hopefully be fine…
Hiking sandals: Lizard Super Hike
These were my sandals in the past 4 years. I bought the Shimano SPD sandals to try them but they were so ugly and unconfortable that I sent them for my money back and bought a new pair of Lizard sandals. They are not SPD sandals but at least, I will feel confortable wearing them.
Socks: Icebreaker Hike Medium
Shoe raincover: Vaude
Because this time I decided not to take my beloved hiking shoes, I think I’ll need these shoe raincover for my regular shoes.
Sunglasses : Julbo Race Zebra
A classic for touring, perfect against cold and the disgusting exhaust fumes. Better to take a black colour. You understand why when you wash it… though, if you take a white one at least you remember to wash it! 😉
Polar Buff
I use to have a cheap fleece band which I used every day on cold weather. This time I’ll try this buff and I hope for the best. This will be my scarf for colder days.
Under-gloves: Odlo silk gloves
Gloves: Sealskinz winter cycle gloves
Waterproof Overmitten: Millet Mountain 3L

Clothes and Equipment (Justine)
Waterproof Goretex jacket: Lafuma Urban Parka
Waterproof Trousers : RAB Cohort Pants
SPD Shoes: Vaude Kelby
Finding nice SPD shoes is complicated, but when your size is 36, it is almost hell ! Even Shimano shoes don’t exist this small. We wrote them an email but they didn’t bother to answer…
Socks: Icebreaker Hike Heavy Crew
Warm socks in Merino Wool
Shoe raincover : Vaude
Buff : Buff infinity

Of course these lists are not exhaustive 😉

4. Electronic Equipment

Most of the cyclists think a DSLR camera is unnecessary luxury and extra weight. I don’t think so. I like taking photographs when travelling and I would feel silly to leave my baby home and take whatever cheap camera to spare few kilos. I also carry a Gopro camera to record videos.

Photo and Electronic Equipment
DSLR Camera: Nikon D610
This is the replacement cam for my beloved Nikon D300 which I had from 2011 to 2014. The D610 is a bit lighter and I hope to make with it some amazing pictures.
All round lens (with zoom): Nikkor AF-S 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR
My everyday lens for full frame SLR. I haven’t tested it so much yet but it’s very promising.
Portrait lens: Nikkor 50mm F1.4
Portrait lens and hiking lens if I have to be light.
DSLR spare batteries: Nikon EN-EL15 (x2)
Memory: Dime card holder for Micro SD and 8x micro SD
I’m planning to use micro SD cards to make backups and from time to time send backup of photos home.
DSLR Tripod: Joby Gorillapod
Even though some balls for broken, it is still the lightest tripod I could find.
Video camera: Gopro 1080
Hiking GPS: Garmin Dakota 20
I mostly use the GPS to find how far I am from my couchsurfer’s home in cities. It sometimes struggles to find sattelites but it is still quite useful.
Laptop: ASUS ZenBook UX302LG-C4027H (13″)
My previous laptop was quite destroyed after being carried in panniers for 3 consecutive years. I hope this one will be as strong as its predecessor!
Laptop mouse: Logitec Bluetooh
Useful to work on photos.
External Hard Drive: 1TB HDD
Ebook: Kobo Aura
Rechargeable batteries (x20) Duracell

5. Pharmacy

Our pharmacy covers more or less everything I might need for the first care in remote areas.

We might stay in malaria areas for long periods, but we decided not to take any anti-malaria treatment and rather avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent and long sleeves clothes. We will only carry one box of Malarone as an emergency treatment for malaria.

If you wish to have a look at a list of medicine you can take for such travel, you can download my 2012 medicine list.

We also made the following vaccinations:
– Hepatitis A & B
– Typhoid Fever
– Rabies
– DT Polio

6. How much all these gears weight?

Since we decided to travel on recumbent bikes, we don’t really know what weight we will be able to carry with us. Ideally, the trike of Justine should carry around 25 kilos and my bike around 35 kilos.That might sound a lot but the most important for us is not to ride fast but to enjoy every moment of the adventure. That’s why we don’t limit ourselve with the necessary items but we also carry some extra stuff.
We like hiking so we bring backpacks.
We like tasty food so I bring a stove, pans and spices.
We like to take photographs so we bring about a lot of photo equipment.
We like to read and write so we bring books and notebooks…
In the end, we’ll not regret it =)
What weights what?
– Our 2 bikes + empty panniers = 45 kilos
– Camping & Sleeping = 17 kilos
– Clothes & Shoes = 15 kilos
– Bike tools & spare parts = 3.5 kilos
– Cooking stuff = 3.5 kilos
– Laptop & Electronics = 3.5 kilos
– Photo & Video = 3.5 kilos
– Pharmacy = 2.5 kilos
– Toilet bag = 2 kilos
– Others (books, maps, papers) = 3.5 kilos
+ Food = around 3 kilos
+ Water = around 3 kilos per bike

7. Tips & tricks for travellers

Coming soon… 😉

By the way, if you are interested in the equipment I had on the previous tour, please check the equipment in 2011, equipment in 2012 or the equipment in 2013.
 Posted by at 8:16 pm

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