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    Bike touring gear essentials: our ultimate bike touring gear list

    Robert Ferri
    Robert Ferri
    May 7, 2024 9 min
    Bike touring gear essentials: our ultimate bike touring gear list

    For the best adventures, you need the right bike touring gear. It will keep you comfortable, help you repair your bike, and help you cook meals. However, it can be difficult to know what to take and what to use. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know, from the correct kit you need to take to places where you might want to invest a little bit more money.

    Bike touring gear list essentials!

    Now, the exciting part! Let’s discuss the bike touring essentials you need for your adventures. We recommend these, but the list can easily change depending on where you are going and who you are.

    In each section, we will guide you on where to invest for a potentially enhanced bike touring experience. This more leans to the side of being an ultra-light bike touring gear list which you can add to. It can also be used as a mountain bike touring gear list or a diy bike touring gear list. Let’s go!

    The bike

    bike touring gear
    A robust touring bike can transport you across continents

    A good touring bike

    It goes without saying that a bike is the most important kit to get you going. We recommend a touring bike, but many people use gravel bikes, mountain bikes, or even road bikes. Providing it is comfortable and has rack mounts, anything goes. If you want to learn more about touring bikes, check out our dedicated article "What is a touring bike?".

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    If you are looking for a pre-owned bike from a trusted supplier make sure to take a look at our shop and check out some of the latest mountain bikes, gravel bikes and touring bikes we have in stock.

    We often get asked about a fixed gear touring bike. A fixed gear touring bike is only going to give you one gear, challenging to start and stop and essentially can be dangerous if you do not have brakes. A fixed gear touring bike is not a good solution.

    Alternatively, a gravel or a mountain bike

    bike touring gear
    A mountain bike can also be a good option for bike touring

    A gravel bike or a mountain bike can also do the job. However, not all of them will be suitable a suitable bicycle for long-distance bike touring. In that case, you have to choose your gravel bike carefully. Have a look at our guide on how to choose a bike for bikepacking and our selection of best gravel bike for bikepacking.

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    We have a huge selection of gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes ready for purchase on our shop.

    Carrying

    Racks

    Adding racks to the front and the back will help with carrying capacity.

    Panniers

    For the front and rear so you have a lot of low down space to store kit.

    Frame bag

    For essential items you use throughout the day.

    Top tube bag

    For anything you need access to when riding.

    Bottles or bladder

    For carrying water.

    The best investment you will make when it comes to bags is spending a little more money on waterproof options. Not only do they keep your kit nice and dry, they are a lot more durable than other options available. When starting on bikepacking or bike touring adventures, it is common to initially pack too much gear. However, as you gain experience, you will gradually learn to pack lighter and more efficiently.

    bike touring gear
    Investing a bit more in waterproof bags is key

    Clothing

    Cycling shorts

    Using padded shorts will go a long way.

    Cycling trouser

    For cold conditions if required.

    Cycling jerseys

    When it comes to bike touring, something relaxed or more casual.

    Cycling windproof

    To take the edge off a cold day and for light rain.

    Cycling shoes

    Clip in shoes that you can walk in will improve the experience.

    Base layers

    They are great for keeping you cooler and warmer.

    Cycling socks 

    Sports socks will also work great, go for breathable.

    Gloves

    To keep your hands warm on cold mornings or nights.

    Down jacket

    For casual wear and very cold rides.

    Helmet

    Very important to keep you safe and required in some countries.

    Casual clothing

    For off the bike excursions and relaxing

    Sleep clothing 

    Shorts and a light t-shirt is normally enough.

    We believe you should invest in cycling shoes and clothing, as they are more functional and are what you will spend most of your time wearing. But it is up to you: if you feel more comfortable without it, that is fine too. Oh, and of course, a good helmet, which gets updated every few years to ensure it works properly when you need it.

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    bike touring gear
    Many bike travelers wear normal shoes so they can take breaks without having to change

    Spares and repairs

    Multi-tool

    For on the bike repairs, ensuring a chain tool and screwdrivers if possible.

    Inner tubes + Patches

    For repairing the punctures you are more than likely getting.

    Pump

    To ensure you can keep the pressure in your tires.

    Tire levers

    Tire levers to help you remove a tire from a rim.

    Spare hanger

    Incase the hanger breaks on your bike. Not all bikes need these.

    Spokes and key

    Spare spokes and a spoke to key install and adjust them.

    Chain link and pliers

    In case your chain breaks and it needs repairing.

    Valve core + tool

    To repair valves if required.

    Chain lube

    For keeping the bike well lubricated.

    Brake pads

    If you end up wearing yours out quickly. 

    Spare Cables

    To repair gearing or brake cables.

    Extras

    Insulation tape, cable ties, and a sewing kit will help you.

    When it comes to spares and repairs you are going to want to invest in a really decent multi tool. One with lots of functions and that comes from a good brand. You also need to ensure that if you have a bike with a hanger you must take one as these are hard to get on the road without an address to post to.

    Camping and Eating

    Tent or bivvy

    We recommend a tent for bike touring camping gear.

    Sleeping bag

    For keeping warm in your shelter. The right season bag will make a good night.

    Sleeping mat

    To ensure when you are sleeping it is not directly on the ground.

    Inflatable pillow

    Great for comfort. A lot of people use spare clothing.

    Head torch

    For setting up camp in the dark and as a backup light.

    Stove and lighter

    To help generate heat for cooking.

    Pot, mug, spork

    To help with cooking and also for coffee and eating.

    If you are on a long tour, you need to ensure that you are getting good sleep and the best rest possible. If not, it is going to make you miserable. You can also read our guide on where to sleep while bikepacking. Investing in a good tent and sleeping bag can make such a big difference. Just because bike touring camping gear is cheap and lightweight does not always pay off.

    bike touring gear
    You need to ensure that you are getting good sleep

    Electronics and charging

    Lighting

    One front light, two rear lights for safety. 

    GPS

    A GPS device will help you navigate and save all your ride data.

    Power bank

    Needed to recharge devices on the go.

    Charging cables

    For each device you have and a wall charger.

    Travel adaptor

    To make sure you can plug in at wall sockets where you are traveling.

    Mobile phone

    For emergencies or just to stay in touch with loved ones.

    Investing in good lights is a must. Going for well-known brands who offer long warranties makes riding at night a much better experience. You might also want to consider a dynamo, which uses the momentum of the front wheel to generate power for your power bank.

    Safety and hygiene

    bike touring gear
    Your first aid kit is essential

    High vis gilet

    A great way to make yourself more visible when conditions are not ideal.

    Emergency Blanket

    These foil blankets are great for keeping you warm in emergencies. 

    First aid

    You never know when you might need a bandage or some plasters.

    Whistle 

    In case you need to alert someone or even scare away an animal.

    Toothbrush + paste

    Dental hygiene is easy to ignore while away on an adventure.

    Towel

    A small lightweight towel for washing at campsites really helps.

    Hand wash

    For before eating with your hands or after getting them dirty.

    Sun cream

    For skin protection. Should be applied a few times a day at least.

    Wipes

    In case you need to take a short break.

    Chamois

    In case you need some extra help for saddle pain or irritation.

    Home comforts

    Anything from a sleeping mask to a couple of hot chocolate pouches.

    It is easy to forget to practice hygiene and look after yourself when you are busy cycling all day. One of the nicest feelings is cleaning your teeth in the morning. Many great touring cyclists end up stopping a trip early because they just did not look after themselves. A good mountain bike touring gear list and diy bike touring gear list will come with some things you don’t need but want.

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    We have a huge selection of gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes ready for purchase on our shop.

    Waterproof jacket

    For those days where the weather is really bad.

    Waterproof trousers

    If you have storms coming in and it’s cold they really help.

    Poncho 

    Can be used on and off the bike to avoid getting too wet.

    Camera

    For taking pictures so you don’t forget the amazing memories.

    If you are planning a long tour, make sure to take all the extras you need, as it can be harder than you might think to get certain things when riding in remote places or even in different countries. This ultra-light bike touring gear list is just the basics and it’s important to add things you want. 

    bike touring gear
    The right rain gear can save your cycling trip

    Bike touring rain gear best practices

    When it comes to miserable weather it’s not always planned. Bike touring rain gear practices means you should be equipped for all the wet weather you are going to get. Don’t be shy carrying more waterproofs as they can be the difference between continuing and having to stop until the stop passes.

    Do I need all this for bike touring?

    bike touring gear
    In the end, what you'll bring will be the balance between the comfort you desire and your ability to carry things

    This is the gear we recommend you take on a long trip. Depending on where you are going and how long you are going, this list can easily change. Over time, the more experience you get, the better you adapt your bike touring gear list for yourself. Especially when it comes to bike touring camping gear. This list should be classed as an ultra-light bike touring gear list you add to.

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    Make sure to check out our shop for amazing deals on preloved bikes. You will be able to find the perfect bike for any bike touring adventure you might have planned.