The Complete Bicycle Touring Gear List

You’re going on a bike tour, but you’re not sure what to take. Or perhaps you’ve already been and want to compare what you lugged around the world with what we did.

This is a section by section guide to what Joe and I take on a cycling tour. We go on a tandem, so we have significantly less rack space than other tourers on solo bikes. However, after 40 days on the road and observing other tourers (dogs in trailers, ukuleles…) we figured we’d probably got it around about right.

You might have to adapt this list a little if you’re going somewhere really remote, or with quite extreme weather, but otherwise it’s a good guide to what you should think about taking.

 

Panniers

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Back Panniers x 2 (Black) – Ortlieb Back Roller Plus 40L RRP £127

Front Panniers x 2 (Orange) – Ortlieb Front Roller 25L RRP £81

Rack Pack (Yellow) – Ortlieb 31L Rackpack RRP £59

Saddle Pack (Containing repair kit, see below)

Bungee cord (Not pictured)

 

On the Bike

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Map case – Ortlieb

Maps to get us to the next country!

Helmets x 2

Water bottle (1 Litre capacity) x 2

 

Camping

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Tent – Vaude Taurus 2

Tent Repair kit (somewhere in the picture!)

Tarp (including guy lines, pole and pegs) – Homemade £40

 

Sleeping

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Emily’s Sleeping Bag – Mountain Equipment Helium 600 (in generic stuff sack)

Joe’s Sleeping Bag – Alpkit PipeDream 200 RRP £120

Emily’s Sleeping Mat – Alpkit Numo RRP £45

Joe’s Sleeping Mat – Thermarest NeoAir XLite RRP £130

Emily’s Liner – Cotton, Cocoon

Joe’s Liner – Silk, Mountain Warehouse

 

Cooking

 

Emergency Ration packs x 2 – Wayfarer’s and Adventure food

Electrolyte Tablets – Science in Sport

A lonely Frusili bar

Stove – Primus EtaPower (including improvised chopping board) RRP £100

Sponge

Cooking oil

Lighter

Washing up liquid

Cutlery – teaspoon, fork, 2 sporks and 2 sticks (don’t ask…)

Gas bottle with adapter attached

Campingaz adapter – Edelrid £22

 

Joe’s Clothing

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Base layers x 2 – Rab Aeon Tee RRP £30 x 2

Bibs x 2 – Altura Raceline RRP £90, Castelli Evoluzione RRP £70

Jerseys x 2 – Castelli Prologo 4 SS RRP £70, Castelli AR FZ RRP £95

Shorts x 1 – DHB Flashlight RRP £45

Fleece – Mountain Hardware Microchill RRP £50

Socks x 2

Boxers x 3

Trousers – Rab Vector RRP £80 (Not pictured)

Cycling shoes – Mavic Cruize MTB RRP £68 (Not pictured)

Flip flops (Not pictured)

 

Emily’s Clothing

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Strappy top – H&M

Shorts – Karimor Run

Trousers – Craghoppers Kiwi Classic

Fleece – Berghaus

Socks x 4 pairs

Buff

Jersey x 2 – Rivelo

Base Layer – Helly Hanson Merino

Shorts – Kilpi

Underwear x 4

Leggings – generic

Flipflops (Not pictured)

Trainers – New Balance (Not pictured)

 

Cold Weather Gear

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Emily’ Belay Jacket – Rab Photon Jacket

Joe’s Belay jacket – Rab Generator Smock RRP £80

Emily’s Waterproof – Moutain Hardwear Epic Jacket

Joe’s Waterproof – Mountain Equipment Ogre

Buff – Polartec

Gloves x 2 – Extremities and generic

Cycling fingerless gloves – Lidl £2.50

Joe’s Hat – ME beanie ~£15

Emily’s Hat – Rab

 

Washing and Hygiene

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Shampoo (2 in1) – buy along the way

Laundry soap – buy along the way

Suncream (50+ water resistant and sensitive) – buy along the way

Washing Soap – Dove

Tissues – for the awkward moment when the campsite doesn’t have loo roll…

Travel towel x 2 – Lifeadventure and Gelert

Nail scissors

Hair scissors (for cutting Emily’s fringe)

Toothbrush x 2

Joe’s travel shaver

Toothpaste

Water purification tablets

Anti Histamine tablets

Sewing Kit – pinched from a 4* hotel in the Dolomites…

First Aid Kit – Lifesystems Trek

Emily’s hair brush (with 4 hair ties)

 

Electronics and Miscellaneous

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Wallet x 2 (inc. money in several currencies and card)

Watch – Argos (Umbro) RRP £10

Pen knife x 2

Notebook x 2 (plus pencil or pen)

Passport x 2

Joe’s Kindle + charger (micro-USB) – £80

Phone + charger (Nokia small-pin)

Headtorch x 2 – Petzl Tikka XP and Petzl Tikka

Sunglasses x 2

GPS Tracker

Camera

Plug Adapter

Wooden Pegs x 10

Belt

Keys

Dry bags/plastic bags (Not pictured)

 

Bike Stuff

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Bike Oil (in Eau de Cologne bottle!)

Spoke key

Break pads (cantilevers and disc – spares for all breaks on the bike!)

Dumbbell spanner

Repair kit including patches and glue

Tenacious tape

Quick links

Spare inner tube

Allen Keys

Chain Tool

Eccentric Bottom Bracket tool

Spare rear mech hanger

Locks x 2 – Oxford cable lock ~£20, Abus Granit XPlus 540 RRP £85

Tyre Levers

Rear light (Not pictured)

 

That seems like a lot!

When we piled it all up on the floor before packing, it looked colossal. But at the same time, there was a little voice in the back of my head saying, “Only two t-shirts for over a month – that’s nothing!”

My only piece of advice is: don’t pack until your bags are full. You need to leave space for food and souvenirs. Whatever you decide to take, you’re the one carrying it, so ultimately it’s your problem… But you’ll save massively on postage if you get it right to start with and don’t have to post a load of gear home.

Happy packing!

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  • This is amazing! I had always wondered what in the world you’d pack on a bicycle tour. Now I know!

    • Glad to be able to help 🙂 What else do you need to know before you go? Happy to answer any questions.

      • We don’t have any plans to go on one anytime too soon, but will let you know when we do!