Category Archives: Hardware

Eight useful cycle-touring items

Here’s my list of eight really useful cycle touring items that are sometimes overlooked. They’re the kind of tiny understated bits and bobs that make life on the road that bit easier or better but aren’t always significant enough to make it onto the average kit list:

Colour Zip Ties
The simple zip tie has a thousand uses

First up are zip ties; zip ties are perhaps an obvious tool for the cycle-tourer, but in case you didn’t know these cheap and tough little fasteners come in handy for all sorts of repair jobs. I’ve seen racks and bottle holders reattached, cycle computers re-secured and they can be even used as anti-theft devices by securing the wheels of the bike to the frame, or the frame to some other fixed object. That’s quite wasteful though and wouldn’t really be good environmental practice but it may get you out of a fix if you had no alternatives. I also use them for binding parts of the bikes together before taking them on a flights, such as the pedals, handlebars and seat posts and a really clever thing I have seen others do with them is tie them around the tyres and rims of their bike wheels to help with traction in snowy and icy conditions, brilliant! Continue reading Eight useful cycle-touring items

MSR AC Bivy Review – Updated

It’s time for me to update my MSR AC Bivy review. I’ve spent quite a few nights in this yellow cocoon and have formed some new opinions on it.

MSR AC Bivy Review

The MSR AC Bivy is generously sized, it’s the kind of bivy you can place a full-sized ground mat, a large sleeping bag and a daypack into and still have room to shuffle, it opens from the top with the zip going straight across the width of the upper side at about eye level. I’m only a mere 5ft10 or so but this bivy would be fine for people bigger than me as the pictures hopefully show. Continue reading MSR AC Bivy Review – Updated

Racks and Suspension

There are specific racks that can be found for use with suspension bikes, I had to find one for my own bike but it was quite a challenge. There’s little choice when it comes to racks designed for suspension bikes and the available options are usually heavier, more difficult to repair, have lower carrying capacities and are more complicated and so more prone to breaking. In the end my front rack has been OK; it’s overcomplicated, very heavy and is incompatible with all but the most diverse pannier mounting systems, yet it’s one of the best I have ever seen for use with front shocks. Continue reading Racks and Suspension

Cycle Touring Handlebars and Rider Comfort

Cycle Touring Handlebars can include any common type of bicycle handlebar but there are also some more specialist options.

Riding a bike with straight handlebars for long durations can become uncomfortable due to placing your wrists and palms in the same weight-bearing position for too long. Discomfort can even turn to numbness by affecting nerves and circulation.

Unfortunately if you’re upgrading from straight handlebars to drop bars, including aero bars, you will need to buy different gear and brake levers too. Continue reading Cycle Touring Handlebars and Rider Comfort