Cycling 12,000 miles from Lisbon to Shanghai
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Our gear

Well, apart from the obvious like clothes and food (and we can’t imagine that you’d be too interested in knowing how many pairs of socks we’ll be taking), here’s a quick rundown of our gear…

(Updated 9 December 2009) Gear Review – see the end of this page.

Gordon’s gear:

  1. 14.5kg steel bike with 26″ wheels, XT 27spd drivetrain
  2. Tubus front and rear racks
  3. Arkel front and rear panniers
  4. Arkel handlebar bag
  5. Hilleberg Kaitum 3 tent
  6. Cumulus 750 sleeping bag (rated to -12)
  7. Thermarest
  8. Primus Multifuel Stove
  9. MSR Alpine stainless steel cooking pot
  10. Various tools and spares
  11. Video camera
  12. Netbook
  13. Guide books and maps

Yie’s gear:

  1. 13.5kg steel bike with 26″ wheels, XT 27spd drivetrain
  2. Tubus front and rear racks
  3. Ortlieb front and rear panniers
  4. Arkel small handlebar bag
  5. RAB sleeping bag (rated to -10)
  6. Big Agnes insulated sleeping pad
  7. Tools and spares
  8. Camera

Yes, as you can see, Gordon is carrying more than Yie (approx. 10kgs more) but he does have longer legs!

Unpacked...

Unpacked...

... and voila, all packed!

... and voila, all packed!

Review of Gordon’s gear:

  1. 14.5kg steel bike with 26″ wheels
    (Front wheel required truing at the start, but bike has since held up well in the first 3000 miles of touring. One Supreme tyre disintegrated after 4,000 miles – sidewall blew out. Replaced with XR tyres.Replaced brake pads after 4,000 miles. Replaced chain and cassette after 5,300 miles.)
  2. Tubus front and rear racks
    (No complaints)
  3. Arkel front, rear panniers and handlebar bag
    (Slight problem with the attachment systems on the panniers – not assembled properly at the factory – resulted in a pannier jumping off the rack during a descent. Half an hour of fiddling with it seems to have fixed the problem though. The bungee cord used in the attachment systems also allows a bit more bounce on the panniers on rough roads, which is less than ideal. Apart from that, they seem very robust and I still recommend them. The zips and multiple compartments are very handy when it comes to packing. The panniers are built to last and bombproof, demonstrated by the one that fell off my bike at 30mph and survived without a scratch.)
  4. Hilleberg Kaitum 3 tent
    (Brilliant so far. Survived a ping-pong ball sized hailstorm. Stood up to high winds. Only down side so far is that the tunnel tent design makes it harder to pitch securely on soft/sandy ground in comparison to a self supporting dome tent.)
  5. Cumulus 750 sleeping bag (rated to -12)
    (Good so far)
  6. Thermarest
    (Good so far)
  7. Primus Multifuel Stove
    (Control spindle seized solidly after we haven’t been using it for a couple of months. The amount of force required to free it twisted the thread, leaving it useless. Had to send it home and get a new stove.)
  8. MSR Alpine stainless steel cooking pot
    (Excellent. Sustained some burnt food but cleaned up beautifully)

Review of Yie’s gear:

  1. 13.5kg steel bike with 26″ wheels, XT 27spd drivetrain, Marathon Supreme tyres
    (First puncture after 4,000 odd miles. Replaced Supreme with XR tyres when 2nd puncture followed in quick succession. Replaced chain and cassette after 5,000 miles. Replaced brake pads after 4,000 miles.)
  2. Tubus front and rear racks
    (Showing signs of wear. Ortlieb hooks have worn away sections of the racks where it makes contact.)
  3. Ortlieb front and rear panniers
    (Front Roller Plus panniers are getting quite faded from the sun and filthy from the rain/mud. The ‘Plus’ fabric is very durable but difficult to clean. The Rear Roller Classic panniers are getting a bit scratched up from being leaned on various trees/fences but still waterproof so far. Classic fabric is easier to clean but seems less durable.  The folding mechanism and single compartment also means that it is a bit of a pain to get things out and takes more time to repack, as opposed to G’s Arkels that have zips and compartments.)
  4. Arkel small handlebar bag
    (Good so far. Not great as a daypack though as its quite cumbersome.)
  5. RAB sleeping bag (rated to -10)
    (So far, warm enough to -2 or -3)
  6. Big Agnes insulated sleeping pad
    (Excellent so far, no leaks. OK in -2 to -3)