Saturday, May 16, 2009

Here is a list of my equipment

Tricycle :

- ICE QNT 20", with rear suspension, fully equipped with front mudguards, headrest etc

- Transmission Shimano XT with bar ends. Triple cranset (22/24/44) with short cranks (152mm) and 9-32 cassette

- Sturney Archer drum brakes

- Marathon Plus 20x1.75 tyres. First, I considered using a BMX tyre at the rear for a better traction on tracks, but after trying Schwable Jumping Jack and Maxxis Max Daddy, I found that drawbacks on road (friction, noise) outnumbered advantages on tracks. I will see after this summer's test if changes are needed.

UPDATE after one summer cycling in Ladakh : I am satisfied with the Marathon Plus. Though they look thin, they do a good job.

- ICE rack :

- 1 side bar with 1 handlebar bag on the left + 1 side bar with airzound and a bottle holder on the right :

- Tools and spare parts : nothing original here. 1 pump, 1 inner tube, 1 kit with patch and glue, 1 tyre-lever, 1 chain-tool and a few chain-links, 1 brake cable, 1 derailleur cable, a few allen keys, 1 spoke wrench, 1 light screw driver, 1 Leatherman multi-function knike CS4, 1 hypercraker custom-made by ICE, some screws and bolts, a piece of metal wire, duct-tape and bits of old inner-tubes to make straps, 2m of dynema thin cord, 1 derailler hanger.

Luggage :


1) carry about a 40 litre backpack that I need for treks
2) everything must fit in the panniers so as not to have a mess hanging here and there on the rack
3) the weigth must be correctly balanced on the left and on the right, and split between rack and seat to avoid putting too much strain on the rack.

Hence the solution :

Left side :
- 1 fully waterproof MSX pannier (20 litres)
- 1 Alkura handle-bar bag on the side bar (papers, small snacks, compact camera, emergency medecine to avoid having to dig in the rear panniers looking for ventoline or paracetamol)

(photo source :
Right side :
1 40l backpack inside a home-made side pannier. As it's a 1st try, I used cheap tarpaulin (150 gr/m2), sewned and reinforced with duct-tape to have something stiff and waterproof. Hermetical roll-on closure system at the top (making it possible to reach the content of the bag without undoing everything). The pannier rests partly on the rack thanks to a quick-lock system hijacked from a pair of Ortlieb frontrollers, and on the back of the seat with a big elastic strap. The back of the pannier (esp the part where the quick lock is screwed on) is reinforced with plastic ( a piece of crazy carpet cut and screwed inside the pannier). In order to be able to lock the bag, I added 2 small metal rings, making it possible to use a padlock. Also possible to pass the cable of the cycle-lock thru the rings.



The pannier is bigger than the backpack alone, so I'll be able to fit in the handle-bar bag and have only one single piece of checked-in luggage in the plane (+ MSX pannier as a hand baggage).

In the backpack : camping and cooking stuff, hiking boots, crampons, ice-axe, harness. Bike tools and spare parts in the upper part of the bag, easily accessible while on the road.

UPDATE after one summer cycling in Ladakh : This tarpaulin pannier proved both good and bad :

Good because it did the job it was supposed to do (carry the backpack and the junk stuff that didn't fit anywhere else...)

But :
- it wasn't fully waterproof. Ok for rain, but water got inside from the bottom when we crossed rivers.
- the cheap tarpaulin isn't strong enough (I knew it wouldn't, it was just a proto)
- it was too big
- I actually needed 2 straps to hold it (1 horizontally, 1 vertically) which wasn't very convenient (takes too much time to attach and undo + makes it impossible to reach the content of the bag while riding), otherwise it would touch the wheel and derailleur and even touch the ground at some point.
- the weight was actually not properly balanced (this is a pb I have to tackle)
- and it looks very ugly on the photos ... ;-(

Now I consider the following solution :

2 MSX rear panniers (40 litres) + 1 fully waterproof backpack tied on the rack, lengthwise. The French compagny Crazy Fish makes an interesting model that I might be able to use ->

The only trouble with this solution is that the whole weight will be on the rack. According to what ICE told me, this shouldn't be a pb as long as I don't have more than 25kg.

I'm also looking at Ortlieb's recumbent panniers which are fully waterproof, but way above my budget :

Other solution that I'm seriously considering :

Extremtextil has in its catalog some fully-waterproof heatsealable TPU coated fabric that would be perfect for a pair of home-made panniers (480 gr/m2 black/silver et 370 gr/m2 orange). I have received some samples which look very good, and I am working on a tarpaulin prototype.

Camping :

- Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 tent, slightly modified (lighter version). Not fully satisfied with this one (it's good and light, but the inner room is not very practical). Still thinking about what I should do for thee "bigger trip".
- Thermarest Prolite 3 (120cm), perfect !
- Vallandré Swing 900 down sleeping bag which has done its time. Gotta find a new model for the big trip, looking for something slightly warmer (Rab Quantum Endurance ? Valandré Freja ? Triple Zero Astagou 1000 ?)

Clothes & co :

- 2 technical short sleeve tee-shirts
- 1 long sleeve merino tee-shirt
- 1 windstopper sweat-shirt
- 1 down jacket (UPDATE : finally didn't take it)
- 1 goretex jacket
- 1 pair of ultralight hiking trousers
- 1 pair of warmer windstopper trousers
- 1 pair of goretex overtrousers
- underwear
- 2 pairs of trekking socks (1 merino, 1 light)

- 1 pair of merino gloves
- 1 pair of waterproof gloves
- 1 pair of waterproof sealskinz socks with merino inner (to wear in the sandals)
- cycling gaitors (Decathlon)
- 1 hat

- SPD sandals
- helmet
- 1.8m cable-lock for the bike (with alarm)

Toilet bag and medecine :


For trekking :

- hiking boots
- 1 aluminium ice-axe
- aluminium crampons
- Camp ultra-light harness
- a pair of walking sticks (can't walk without them. Too bad, it implies carrying an extra 400gr!!!)

Misc :

- Nikon D90 + 12-24mm + 85 f1.8 + 1 spare battery + 1 charger
- Compact Panasonic LX3 + 1 spare battery + 1 charger (same cable as for D90)
- 2 4 Go SD cards
- 2 16 Go SD cards
- 1 gorillapod
- 1 eeppc 701 + 1 external drive
- 1 Rhodia A5 style netbook + pen
- some photocopies of maps (Nelles India North, Ladakh Olizanne) (the rest is scanned)
- 1 book (this year, it'll be Lolita by Nabokov, which I'm supposed to read for my studies...)

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