Bicycle Touring Equipment List

What you pack for a bike tour will depend on many factors.

Before you fill your panniers, ask yourself how long you will be gone (longer trips can require more equipment, for reasons for comfort, budgeting and self-reliance), whether or not there will be bike shops nearby and what kind of weather you’re likely to deal with.

Your packing list might include some or all of these things…
Equipment List

The packing list below is based on an expedition tour for a couple, going through several seasons with possibly cold rain and nighttime temperatures near freezing. It also contains some equipment which is heavy and could be seen as unnecessary but allows for more independence and comfort, helping to keep you on budget.

View over the Tamar RiverOn The Bike

*Bottle cages and bottles (3)
*Brooks Saddle
*Bar ends
*Tubus Racks (read about Choosing Racks)
*Wide Tires (read about Tires for Bike Touring)
*Good Pedals

Bike Tools & Spares

*Allen keys to fit screws on your bike (they are easier to maneuver than a multitool in tight spots)
*Bike grease
*Chain lubricant
*Touch-up paint for scratches to the frame (you can use nail polish)
*Brake cable
Thin Spanners*Gear cable
*Brake pads (8)
*Bungee cords (4)
*1 Cable lock
*1 D-lock
*Cone spanners for taking hubs apart
*Nuts and bolts (get replacements for all the kinds that are on your bike)
*Proofide (if you have a leather saddle)
*Puncture repair kit
*Rag for cleaning
*Replacement spokes (stored inside the seatpost)
*J.A. Stein Mini Cassette Lock (to take the cassette off when you have  a broken spoke)
*Tire levers First flat tyre
*Topeak multitool
*Topeak Mountain Morph pump
*Zipties (good if your rack breaks)

Panniers & Handlebar Bags

*Ortlieb (incredibly durable – waterproof and we’d say even bombproof)
*Dry Bag (for the tent)
*Cheap dollar-store heavy duty bag (great for storing all manner of extras, bungee corded onto the back)

Bush camping with a rainbow near QueenstownCamping

*Camelbak Unbottle 70 water holders (2)
*Hilleberg Nallo 3GT tent (read more on Tents for Bike Touring)
*Hilleberg XP10 tarp
*Hilleberg groundsheet
*Long life supermarket bags (for shopping or as seats when camping on muddy ground)
*MSR Miniworks EX water filter & maintenance kit
*Petzl Tikka headlamps (2)
*Flip flops for shower
*Down sleeping bags rated to -10C (2) from PHD Mountain Software
*Sleepsacks (homemade from cotton) x 2
*String, 6-10 meters (for a clothesline, stringing food in trees, getting water from wells)
*Thermarest Z-rest mattress (2)

Clothes (For One Person)

*Goretex Jacket
*Goretex Rain Pants
*Waterproof Shoe Covers
*Black fleece
*Cold weather gloves
*Headband (for ears in cold weather)
*Cycling Gloves
*T-shirts (3)
*Long-sleeved base layer
*Merino wool Top
*Cycling shorts x 2
*Long cycling leggings
*Light-weight pants x 2
*Cycling Shoes
*Long Johns
*Underwear (4)
*Merino wool socks (4)
*SealSkinz waterproof socks
*Sunglasses
*Swimming trunks

Friedel gets the stove back from AndrewThe Kitchen

*Stainless steel pots (2)
*Non-stick frying pan (6″)
*Thermos
*Cooking knives (1 paring knife, 1 serrated)
*Dish soap
*Dish Towel
*Lighter
*Film canisters x 6 (for spices)
*Plates (2)
*Cups (2)
*Fork/Spoon
*MSR Whisperlite Internationale Stove & repair kit
*Fuel Bottle (650ml)
*Ortlieb foldable bowl
*Swiss Army knife (corkscrew, bottle opener)
*Wooden spoon
*Screw top bottles for oil, vinegar, honey (2)
*Scrubbing pads

Entertainment

*Books (2)
*Roberts R9968 SW radio

Other random things

*Spare keys (stored in front pocket of one pannier)
*Paper notebook
*Cod liver oil pills
*Lens cleaner for glasses, camera lenses

Personal Hygiene & Toiletries
(We’re sure we don’t need to tell you to take your toothbrush or shampoo, but also consider these things)

*Sunscreen 30 SPF
*First Aid Kit (Plasters, Antiseptic cream, Scissors, Tweezers, Emergency Blanket)
*Mooncup (for women)
*pStyle or other urinary device (for women)
*Toilet paper
*Baby wipes
*Washing powder for laundry
*Travel Towel

40,000kmTechnology

*Digital Camera (we had the Nikon D80)
*Wireless Bike Computer
*Edirol 09 sound recorder
*Kindle (if you don’t want to carry books)
*mp3 player
*Netbook laptop (Asus EEE is good)
*Padded bags for laptop and gadgets
*Spare AA and AAA batteries
*Mini tripod
*Cables and electric plug converters
*USB stick

Comments

  1. Paul and Penny King aka 2Ps
    30th December 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Hi great site. We are about to embark on a year bike tour of Europe starting with the transandalus Spain. All mainly off road stuff. Great to have a reference to check list from, so thanks

    Happy biking
    2Ps on tour

    • andrew
      30th December 2010 at 7:41 pm #

      Hi Paul & Penny, sounds wonderful! We’ve been cycling small stretches of the TransAndalus over the past few days. It’s beautiful and definitely worth the challenges (hills!!).

    • nicola
      7th July 2016 at 9:12 pm #

      Hi Paul and penny just wondering if u still go on tour as I have a Thor touring bike for sale if u or u know anyone who would be interested? Nicola

  2. Paul and Penny King aka 2Ps
    7th February 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi again in Seville organizing gear. What do you guys do regarding data phone cards that work in Europe and are’t to costly? Any ideas.
    Cheers 2Ps on tour

  3. Lesley Buntain
    16th May 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi guys, we’re getting bikes ready for or first short trip of a week ( got to start somewhere! ) and wondered if you have any advice on kick stands? Partner has a Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike and is not sure what to get, or even what works best in your experience. We’re not travelling too heavy with rear panniers only at this stage. Would love to hear from anyone who can give us some advice as you don’t mention these in your list of bike parts.

    • Paul and Penny King
      19th May 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi, we are a couple of Kiwis that have been traveling in southern Spain for 5 months, on two 29’r MTBs and are using “Click Stands”. They are fantastic, light, strong and efficient. Check them out at http://www.click-stand.com/ Our bikes are moderately loaded but heavy enough, yes we do need everything on them! The click stands are a nifty invention, just a single pole that sits under your top frame member (in our case under our seat due to unusual frame shape) and enables you to stand your bike anywhere. There are two short bungy loops on the handle grips that lock your brakes. These locks are used all the time, even with no load on and bikes leaning against a building say. They are really compact, ultra light and simply fit on the bike frame when not in use (in our case under the seat on front of seat post). Ours are also used as extra tent support for our tarp on the tent in rainy weather ( who said the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain?). The guy who owns click stand.com is fantastic, really helpful and made up special ones for our 29R MTB’s. We simply sent him photos of the bikes and he made them to order at no extra cost. He also went out of his way to send them fast post to us to meet our deadline. Nice guy. Hope this of help. If you want to know more , don’t hesitate to e-mail us. We did make one minor modification (but essential) to the bungys. Happy travels. Paul and Penny King (2Ps on Tour)

  4. sz
    17th May 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Some touring bike manufactures tend to like Esge-Pletscher kickstands. A couple of years ago I managed to broke a kickstand (the bike was never fully loaded), then replaced it with an E-P Multi rear kickstand, then got a second bike with yet another E-P Multi, and both of them are going strong, so I agree with them so far 😉

    IMHO rear kickstand is the way to go. Kickstands under the bottom bracket usually interfere with the cranks when opened, so you can’t turn the cranks while cleaning and oiling the chain. However, I googled Specialized Rockhopper and saw that it features disk brake mounting points and reinforcements near the dropout, which might make fitting a rear kickstand a challenging, so try to check it before purchase. But one of my bikes has disk brake mounting points (but not additional reinforcements around the dropouts), and the E-P Multi fits perfectly.

    • Lesley Buntain
      18th May 2011 at 12:13 am #

      Thanks we’ll look into that!

  5. Paul
    6th February 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Thanks guys. Love this site. I’m going away on a 4 or 5 year cycling expedition around the world in August. This site has become my ‘go to’ place for tips, information, reviews and advice.

  6. Karl
    17th May 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    What’s your thoughts on chamois creams to reduce chafing and avoid saddle sores after long hours in the saddle? Or should I be ok with padded shorts and a broken in Brooks saddle?

    I’ve also heard from others that antibacterial, nappy-rash creams such as sudocrem are effective if any discomfort does develop.

    • friedel
      18th May 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Everyone has a different experience with this. We are in the “lucky” category – can ride in normal clothes (no padded shorts) for a whole day and we’re just fine. Neither of us has ever had a saddle sore! We threw out all our lycra quite some time ago…

  7. Dror
    1st April 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Here is a great list!

    http://www.giraffelist.com/lists/bicycle-touring

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