Year by year we produce more and more bikes for long distance tours and expeditions. We hope that this is because our bikes are durable and we have lot of options for the travelers and we can really build a bike that suits their needs. Thanks to all those people riding our bike in the world and around the world, we have a lot of feed back and many experiences and based on that we can improve different details and complete bikes.
There is always a question, what to take to a long tour. Some of the travelers have experiences, some not. SoI come here with some suggestions of what to take with you. It is based on my experiences, and if you have different thoughts, please, write a comment so people can read also experiences to from other experienced riders.
So here is what I take with me for very long tours. For shorter, you can remove some items based on your experience or courage:
– 1 spare tyre for each tyre size. I usualy take some light ones just to survive to the next city where I can buy a new one. 26″ tyres are available everywhere aroud the world as same as 20″ tyres as it is a children size. For my AZUB MINI I usualy have a Schwalbe Durano or Kojak tyre as a spare in their folding version. Of, course you can use also any other light tyre. As a tyres on your bike for long distance tours I recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Mondial for 26″ and Schwalbe Marathon Plus for 20″.
– 2 tubes for each size. If you have more than two wheels of one size (trik, trailer or so), bring three.
– At least 3, better 5 spokes for each size. At least three more for the cassette side of rear wheel as there is more tension and spokes break more often on this side. Same amount of nipples.
– Derailleur hanger. This part of the bike is exposed a lot when you fall down. It can also happen that a stone or so hit the derailleur and the hanger is demaged than. There is no chance you find this part anywhere on the world. Sending any part to you is possible, of course, but time to time it is difficult to find a good and trustful address where to send them. We do have three derailleur hangers somwhere in the South America in an envelope, but they never met their owners…
– 1 or 2 pairs of brake pads. It is better to have the version of brake pads where you can change just the shoes itself. We do not recommend discs for long tours, but if you have them the amount is basicaly the same.
– 1 spare brake cable and 1 spare derailleur cable.
– About 20 cm of chain.
– 3 spare o-rings for pulleys. (Valid for AZUB MAX, 5 and Mini).
– Some screws and nuts.
– I use a multi tool from SKS, which almost all needed tools incl. the chain tool and integrated tyre levers and spoke key all that packed in nice neoprene pocket. I recommend to try the chain tool couple of times before you go as I had couple of them where the pin broke pretty soon. You should also learn how to work with this one correctly as it can cause many problems.
– A small adjustable spanner is also useful. I have one up to 13 mm (Important for adjusting the front boom on AZUB recumbents), but I would prefer to have it up to 15 mm so I can remove the pedals (Some pedals can be removed by allen key. Much better!)
– For very long tours I also take a Leatherman-style multi tool. Some light version of full-size multi tool would be good, but I use a pocket size as they call it in Leatherman. Important are pliers and in the multi tool you have them combined with knife and many other tools.
– Cassette lockring tool is very important when you need to remove the cassette (usualy when you break the spoke on the cassette side). t requires usualy some large spanners like 24 mm or so which would be non-sense to carry, but it is usualy not really necessary to remove the casette immadiately so you can wait until you come to the first village/car service or till you stop first truck which will have spanner of needed size. There is normaly also another tool needed called chain whip, but again, this would be too heavy to carry it. I have tried to find a video or description how to use a piece of the chain on the road to replace to tool, but I could not find anything, so I made one for you which you can find here under the text.
– It is also good to have a piece of bended spoke that helps you to connect the chain together.
– Some zip-ties.
– Some duck tape. Tip: Either remove all the paper from the roll inside to make it lighter or cut a piece of flat plastic or cardboard and re-reel it on it. I would take like 2 or 3 meters.
Well, some of you may think about far more things to bring with you, but you have to consider that you will usualy appear on roads where there is at least any traffic. In the worst case you can always hitchike to the nearest village or city and find a bicycle or car service there. Or simply somebody with some tools. BTW: This is one of the nice way how to build relationships with local people. They are so friendly and always helpful. And if you are going to spend a lot of time out of such roads, you should look for tips elsewhere. I have never been in so remoted areas where no traffic was present or was further than 40 km or so which I could walk in the worst case.
Written by Honza Galla, our marketing and sales manager and also a test rider. See his web on www.galla.cz