Bicycle touring equipment that I need on a bicycle tour. I have crossed the United States three times and have learned more than a few lessons. Sometimes I skimp and get stuff from a thrift store and then there are times when I bite the bullet and buy direct from retail/adventure stores. If you are going on a bicycle tour you need this equipment!
1. Tire Liners
My first cross country trip from NYC to LA resulted in almost 40 flats. The one thing I learned on that tour was what tire liners are. On my next two cross country tours I had 6 flats. One of these was a broken stem valve so it doesn’t count. These will add a little weight to your wheels, admittedly the worst place to add weight on a bicycle; however, they will keep you riding.
I will not tour without these, in fact I use them 100% or the time on tour, commuting, or on pleasure rides.
I have used Slime Bicycle Tire Liners and Mr. Tuffy Bicycle Tire Liners.
Click to search Amazon for a complete product listing for Tire Liners. They will all work.
2. Thermarest Mattress
My first tour was just me and a sleeping bag and a musty old tent. On my second tour my riding buddy bought us both a 3/4 length Thermarest mattress. talk about a room upgrade. These things fold down small, are easy to inflate, help keep you warm, and are comfortable. I once moved to Arizona on a 8 month contract and used a Thermarest as my mattress for the whole 8 months. I prefer the old school 1 inch thick Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad.
Thermarest has released a new line of pads marketed under the ‘NeoAir‘ line. They pack smaller, have a higher warmth rating, and are much thicker than the older models.
Regardless of the model you choose you will get a quality product. I have bought other brands but have always come back to Thermarest.
Click to search Amazon for a listing of all Thermarest Mattresses.
3. Topeak Road Morph Pump
There are pumps that are smaller and lighter. There are no ‘portable’ pumps that mimic the standard bicycle shop pump the way the Topeak Road Morph does.
On tour I use my pump every morning. Making sure your tires are properly inflated goes a long way in preventing flat tires. I have had flats in the rain. I have had flats with a desert sun beaming down on me at 114 degrees. Flats suck!
I gave up struggling with a pump years ago. This thing is worth it’s weight in gold to the bicycle tourist. It comes with a gauge that I find to be accurate enough to use and it makes my life a little easier when I am suffering through a flat.
Click to search amazon for a complete listing of Topeak Road Morph pumps.
This is the missing piece of the puzzle for those who take their adventure photography and video seriously. Back up photos and video on the road to your android or iOS device, publish to the web, and or share with friends.
AirStash works with any SD Card and allow interactivity between gopro, canon, sony, or whatever camera you use with your smartphone and/or tablet. If you use a smartphone as your main camera capture device back everything up to an SD Card.
This also allows you to access media: books, movies, and music to a device that has no memory available. Stream to many devices at once.
Get an AirStash and back up your important photos and videos.
5. Leatherman Wave Multitool
This is one of those things that I hope I never have to use for it’s intended purpose but it’s my goto when doing chores around camp or removing fishooks.
It has so many uses I keep it in an easy to reach spot and not just with my tools. I also bring it’s little brother the Leatherman Squirt
I have owned many multi tools and I don’t even want to think about the competition. They just don’t measure up to the quality of the Leatherman Brand. Sharp enough to fillet a fish and if you break it…send it back and they will fix it or replace it for free.
Search Amazon for all Leatherman products.
6. Suntactics 14 watt Solar Charger – iPad, iPod, iPhone and Android
This solar panel was designed for use with tablets and I love pairing it with my ipod touch and cache batteries. It eats sun and puts out POWER. The output is spectacular when compared with some of the competition. Solar can be a hassle when you are on the road so I make it count with this monster.
I have used some products from Brunton and GoalZero and they do not have the ability to charge a smartphone as quickly as this item. Expensive yes but when you are on the road it’s worth it.
Suntactics 14 watt High Performance, Dual Port, Solar Charger for iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, Samsung Tablet and Smartphones, eReaders, and Many Other USB devices.