Why by bicycle? After the first journeys the wish became bigger and bigger for the own form of transport. Because of my antipathy to motorized vehicles the bicycle was the choice. This form of traveling offers a lot of advantages, you can go where you want, stop where you want combined with an ecologically friendly and nonpolluting way. You are closer to the people (sometimes to close) and its easier to get the taste of a country. And by the way it keeps fit, what a great side effect. Personally I do not have any sporty achieves while traveling by bike, the destination will be reached in any way maybe it will take more time, but there is enough time we only have to grab it…
During my tour in 2K8- 9 my VSF T-400 (left pic below) did an excellent job. Unlucky to say that I need to built a new bike. But here I will give some tribute to my ´yellow mule´.
- the frame is based on an Intec M1 cromo frame and fork (right pic). Steel is the choice, if it breakes it could be easier fixed by any backyard welding shop than aluminum ones (and for personal reason I don’t like the oversized pipes of aluminum frames).
- gearing system is a simple Shimano
LXXT derailleur system. Still working fine, XT is lighter and softer while changing gears. I use it with a mix of Shimano Deore front derailleur and Deore rapid- fire shifterSunrace Thumb Shifter.
- the crankset is a Shimano LX Hollowtech2. Hollowtech is a simple and fine technology but needs some carefully assembly (I killed one set after less than 2000km in the Himalaya, but still rode with it many kilometers more till I had the chance to replace it, made an interesting sound…).
- V- brakes are number one. Easy, cheap and available around the world. I am using the Avid Single Digit 7. On the VSF bike I had the Magura HS11, also working fine but somehow I couldn’t get used to that hydraulic thing also finding brake pads eg is a big challange in some parts of the world.
- the racks are a Tubus Cargo rack in the rear and the
Tubus TARABlackburn MTF- 1 in the front. The blackburn gives more space for the bags to the ground which is a big advantage in rough terrain, with the Tubus Tara where the bags hang very low I was fed up with patching holes in the front panniers after riding in difficult terrain. And it doesn’t make a big difference to ride with high hanging bags as always stated…
- the 26” wheels are made of M-ZX 19 rims with Shimano LX hubs and DT swiss spokes.
- for tires I am still sticked to the Schwalbe XR tyres (the XR is replaced by the Schwalbe Mondial, a really expensive one, therefor I will look for cheaper alternatives but have to finish my present XR’s before…). Think I will take a closer look to those…
- my saddle is an old Selle Royal Freccia, looks unconfortable but I never had sore problems with it, so why to change…
- as tools I use a Topeak bikemultitool in combination with the Swisstool and is a trusted combiantion with provides most of the needed things on tour. Also a cassette remover nut was always in the bag, happily never needed it.
- spare parts I only carry some spokes, brake pads, spare inner tube, patches for punctures, a chain and on long trips mostly a foldable spare tire.
- for the luggage Ortlieb panniers, I never used other and see no reason why, they are strong long lasting and waterproof, so no need to carry about the stuff inside…
- Tent I am still using the Salewa Micra.
- Sleeping matress I am using a Therma a Rest inflating one, also have an Evazote mat in stock which I am also very satisfied with.
- my sleeping bag is a cheap down one once bought in Nepal, for the price it is working very well, but have to replace it soon after a permanent use over several years now.
- the stove is the long time proved MSR Whisperlite Internationale, mostly used with local bought cheap pots.
- the Clothes are a mix of hightech stuff and local bought things (since I spend a lot of time in Nepal, Kathmandu is a source for cheap outdoor stuff, but before buy one need to check the quality carefully they have a lot of crab also in stock)…
more other stuff:
note: I am neither sponsored nor do I get any support of any company listed above. I only list stuff I used in the field. I make no claim to be complete thus all is based on my personel experience and beliefs… but if you want to support me don´t hesitate to contact me and we will find a way what I can do for you.