Bike tours involve considerable planning, especially when it’s a multi-day adventure. One of the most important things to pay attention to are your bike touring gear. If you are wondering what items you’ll need to pack and bring, you can refer to the bicycle touring gear list and guide below.
1. Touring Bike and Accessories
Your first consideration in terms of bicycle touring gear should be your bike and its associated accessories.
1.1. Touring Bikes
Touring bikes have sturdier frames and touring saddles designed for enhanced comfort on long journeys. They are available in different variants (e.g. road, off-road, etc.) so choose one based on the terrain you’ll be biking in. Check out other bike accessories like mirrors, touring pedals, and others that can make your adventure a lot easier and more enjoyable. There are touring bikes under $1000 which are often enough for the casual rider.
1.2. Bike Pump
The longer you are on the road or trail, the higher the possibility of you getting a flat tire. So aside from your tire patching kit, be sure to bring a mountain bike pump as well. Besides, you’ll need to keep your tires properly inflated at all times, so topping up on air will also be necessary.
1.3. Bike Repair Kit
Even high quality touring bikes will need some repairs every now and then, especially while you’re using them on long and arduous road trips. Thus, make sure that you have your bike repair kit with you for those unexpected mechanical failures. At the least, your repair kit should include spare tubes, brake cables, chain links, lubricants, and a cycling multi-tool. Don’t forget patches as well since you’re touring tires and tubes will be getting a lot of beating during the trip.
1.4. Touring Bike Panniers
While you can bring a backpack while touring, you should also consider bringing a touring bike pannier. Not only will the allow you to carry more items for you adventure, but they also remove the need to bring a backpack, then reduces the strain on your upper body while biking.
2. Cycling Outfit
What you wear during your touring adventure will have a lot of impact on your overall comfort and safety. Below are some bicycle touring gear and clothing essentials to consider.
2.1. Cycling Helmet
Mountain bike helmets is one of the most important bike touring gear you’ll ever own, so you’ll want to buy the best that your budget will allow. Regardless of how careful you are as a cyclist, accidents tend to happen and your helmet can save you from falls and impacts that can seriously damage your head.
2.2. Cycling Gloves
Most people regard mountain biking gloves as non-essential bike touring gear, but they can do a lot in protecting your hands from blisters, cuts, or abrasions, all of which will happen during long bike rides. Besides, these gloves can also help improve your grip on the bike handles and enhance comfort while gripping them.
2.3. Cycling shorts
A pair of mountain biking shorts can help make your touring adventure a lot more comfortable. They’re usually padded on the right areas to add an extra layer of comfort, and they’re also breathable so you don’t feel hot down there while biking.
2.4. Cycling Jersey
Unlike ordinary shirts, cycling jerseys are designed to make riders feel much more comfortable while biking. They are made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials so you don’t have to bother about getting all sweaty and hot while pedaling. Their tight-fitting design also helps reduce resistance and drag.
2.5. Waterproof Socks
Wearing waterproof socks while cycling can help keep your feet dry and comfortable. They have moisture-wicking abilities to draw sweat away from your feet, while at the same time keeping your feet dry from splashes.
2.6. Touring Shoes
Hours of pedaling can make your feet hurt, but you can minimize the effect by wearing excellent quality touring shoes. These shoes are specifically designed for long distance pedaling. It helps your feet stick to the pedal better while protecting them from injury.
3. Camping Gear
If you plan to spend your nights outdoors, then you’re going to need to pack the following camping essentials.
3.1. Camping Tent
For a bike touring adventure, choose a lightweight backpacking tent for your shelter so it doesn’t take too much space. Learning how to properly pack a backpacking tent will help you to further save some space in your backpack or pannier.
3.2. Sleeping bag
Bring backpacking sleeping bags since they are smaller than regular sleeping bags. Also, choose down insulated sleeping bags since they pack down to a smaller size than their synthetic cousins.
3.3. Food and Meals
Many campers and backpackers often bring with them no cook backpacking meals and freeze dried meals, and on a multi-day bike tour you should consider bringing some as well. They are much easier to prepare and many of them actually taste pretty good.
3.4. Camping Stove and Fuel
If you plan to try your hands on some gourmet backpacking recipes, then you’re going to need a camping stove and some fuel. Look for backpacking stoves that are small and compact so they don’t take too much space in your pannier. Be sure to bring enough fuel as well.
3.5. Cooking and Eating Utensils
You’ll want to carry as little weight as possible, so consider bringing only the essential camping utensils. To further reduce the amount of weight you carry, go minimalist by using a pan for both cooking and eating or using a spork instead of a separate spoon and fork.
3.6. First Aid Kit
A small first aid kit is important, and should contain blister pads, bandages, gauzes, and alcohol or disinfectant. Pain-relief pills and antibiotic ointments should also be included. Also, place your emergency contact number and a copy of important medical information about yourself inside the kit.
3.7. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is essential for any physical activity, especially on a touring adventure where you’re mostly be under the sun pedaling; hence the importance of water bottles. Plan your touring route as well so that you pass by water refilling stations along the way. If the water sources along the way are from rivers and streams, consider bringing filtered water bottles.
Q: What do I need for bike touring?
The first thing you’re going to need is a touring bike. These bikes are different from your usual mountain bikes since they are designed for far distances and enhanced comfort during long rides. You’ll also need to bring camping supplies, change of clothes, food, and other essentials for multi-day trips.
Q: What should I bring on a long bike ride?
A long bike ride can be anywhere between a whole day to a week or more. Thus, the bicycle touring gear and supplies you’ll need to bring will depend on how long you’ll be out in the road. Basically, you’ll need to bring your bike, related accessories, and repair kits. Bring enough clothes to change into and some camping gear if you plan to stay outdoors.
Q: How do I pack my bike for an overnight trip?
Your list of overnight bike touring gear should include essential camping equipment and supplies. These include a lightweight backpacking tent, sleeping bag, food, and cooking and eating essentials. Some extra clothes, with warm jacket and beanies are also necessary if you’re spending the night somewhere cold.
Globo Surf Overview
Going on a touring adventure is undeniably fun and exciting, but you’ll need to make sure that you have all the essential bike touring gear on hand before you set off. You can refer to the list above to determine what items you’ll need to bring, and feel free to add or remove some bicycle touring gear to accommodate your specific requirements.