The Bike


Some of the boring stuff for anyone interested…
The Bike

Simplicity, endurance, and comfort was the aim of the game when putting the bike together – Thorn are one of the best in the business for touring bikes and being Somerset-based, I was keen to support a local company. Derailleur gears and V-brakes should be simple enough to fix when they inevitably break as the miles tick on… Setup should also make the bike comfortable to handle on different terrains!

Make/Model: Thorn XTC Touring bike (second-hand)

Frameset: Size #91 490M/L Reynolds 853 tubing

Brakes: V-Brakes; Shimano LX M570 front/rear

Transmission: 9-speed Shimano Deore; 22/32/44 chainset (170mm cranks) with 11-32 cassette

Wheels: Front – SP PV-8 dynamo hub in 26″ 36 hole Ryde Sputnik silver rim; Rear – Shimano Deore XT M752 hub in 26″ 36 hole Ryde Sputnik silver rim. Tyres – Schwalbe Marathon Plus (HS440) 26 x 1.5

Other: Brooks Champion Flyer saddle, flat handlebars, three bottle cages

The bike weighs around 11kg sans any gear…

The Gear

I wanted to try and get away with rear panniers only, forcing myself to pack light (ish); what I gain in visibility and a hopefully lighter load, I might lose in handling with poor weight distribution – only time will tell!

Luggage: Ortlieb handlebar bag, Restrap frame bag, UPSO rear pannier (recycled from old lorry canvas), Ortlieb dry bag, Osprey dry bag

The Bedroom: MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent, Thermarest NeoAir sleeping mat, Mountain Equipment Helium 400 sleeping bag, Sea to Summit Aeros pillow

The Kitchen: MSR Whisperlite Universal stove, Sea to Summit pot set, Aerobie Aeropress coffee maker

Clothes: 2x change of cycling clothes, 1x casual clothes for evening

Other: Garmin Edge 25 GPS, Sony compact digital camera, small laptop, Kindle – little annoyed at myself for bringing so many electronics but I think everything has a purpose.

Altogether the gear weighs just shy of 25kg! Whether you think that sounds like a lot or not, I can assure you it feels like an absolute tonne when it’s all loaded!