Category Archives: Hardware

Proof That Cyclocross Bikes Would Make Great Touring Bikes

In this video Chris Akrigg shows why cyclocross bikes make excellent touring bikes. As he bounces and slides over rocks and branches and into the occasional mud pit, he proves that cyclocross bikes are lightweight, capable machines that can take a great deal of abuse. Coupled with an ultralight, sub 6kg, bundle of touring gear there would scarcely be any terrain out-of-bounds. Cyclocross bikes also have the added benefits of being fast on roads, unlike mountain bikes, low maintenance and have a huge potential to take cycle touring adventures to new places.

If you’re wondering how you might equip a bike like the one Chris is riding for cycle touring, then you may like to take a look at my Ultralight Cycle Touring Guide book.

Continental Travel Contact Review – Destroyed!

I have finally squeezed the last mile out of my Continental Travel Contact tyres (Twice!). I can now give you the grim specifics on how long they lasted, how well they performed, and how gracefully they failed. Consider this the Continental Travel Contact review; tested to destruction! Continue reading Continental Travel Contact Review – Destroyed!

Choosing a Lightweight Sleeping Bag

Today’s sleeping bags offer a huge and growing variety of features and designs. Even the least kit savvy person could point out that they come in two varieties; synthetic or down insulated, but, even though this may be one of the most important choices to make, it’s by no means the last. For ultralight touring in particular there are many variables that can add or reduce weight to your bag beyond the filling type and quantity. Here is a breakdown of of what I think are the most salient.
Continue reading Choosing a Lightweight Sleeping Bag

Ultralight Bicycle Tools For Cycle Touring

Ultralight modified cycle multitool
Ultralight modified cycle multi-tool

When looking at ultralight bicycle tools for ultralight cycle-touring there is one main debate I’ve seen thrashed out on forums and blogs; ‘should I use a multi-tool or separate tools?’ Is it lighter to use separate allen keys, chain tools and screwdrivers or to use a multi tool with all of those features combined?

The answer usually comes down to how ergonomic and usable you want your bicycle tools to be. As a guideline, I would suggest that a tool kit (minus, puncture repair and spare parts) that’s less than 120g, easy to use and robust is an achievement. If you want ultralight bicycle tools and don’t mind modifying your multi-tool, perhaps even chopping parts off that you don’t need, you might be able to get that weight down to 80g or less and still have a reasonable level of functionality and ergonomics. Continue reading Ultralight Bicycle Tools For Cycle Touring

Cycle Touring on a Road Bike

My new book; ‘Ultralight Cycle Touring Guide‘, which is available on Amazon, deals with the subject of using a road bike, and a very carefully chosen selection and arrangement of equipment, to make an ultralight touring setup.

Road bikes have many natural assets; they offer precise handling at high speeds, are lightweight and aerodynamic. But, on the other hand they are less capable on rough surfaces, have a more fragile frames and often don’t have attachment points for racks.

To make your road bike work as a touring bike you will have to make some fundamental changes to the way you tour as well as a few compromises. In return, you’ll be able to build a sensational lightweight touring bike and enjoy the freedom of easy miles and easier hills. Continue reading Cycle Touring on a Road Bike

What You Need To Know About Brooks Saddles [Video]

Worn Brooks B17 Special
My Worn Brooks B17 Special

Brooks saddles, made in Birmingham, England, are the de-facto bicycle saddles for touring. They also have a stronghold in the commuting markets and the… erm… cool types. You know the ones, they have (at the moment) long sleeve shirts, skinny trousers and crepe soles. It strikes me as unusual that what suits the terminally trendy also appeals to the nomadic traveller as well as the cantankerous, heritage supporting, northerner (such as my friend Adam) and even the casual cyclist, father of three, who just wants to ‘pop’ to the shops to replenish his secret stash of Werther’s Originals in his shed. Continue reading What You Need To Know About Brooks Saddles [Video]