Theatre Thursday: Dirty Kanza


A bit of gravel – and a nice knee wound

My buddy Nico invited me to do the Dirty Kanza, a 200mi GRAVEL race through the Flint Hills of Central Kansas. I’m never one to turn down a challenge so I accepted, and I’m still mad at him for it.
Let’s start off with the weather: 90 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Normally my dream weather but in this case? All sunburn and dehydration party time.
Then there’s the wind, the dust, the never-changing green&blue scenery (just the occasional river crossing). “FUN” is not the word I would use to describe racing for 10+ hours in these conditions. But would I do it again? Probably.
Nico was aiming for the single speed record. Tim Johnson was aiming to finish his first go at this event and to support his wife (former Olympian Lyne Bessette) but she had a mechanical early on in the race. Rebecca Rusch, former Kanza winner, rode the 100mi and then announced the winners of the 200mi. Her advice to get through it? Don’t Stop. Seemed simple enough for a girl nicknamed “nonstop”.
I was just aiming to have a good time and finish. And I did (till the end). I guess there’s always next year? Big props to Nico for bonking and then getting through to the other side.

I want to do events like this ….


This type of racing is taking off in the good old trump of ASS

Would be good to do something like this in UK (race event not the buffoon poiliticians like trump and Boris)

 

Sonder bum parts


Loving the Sonder Camino ti but the stock Saddle and seatpost for me is the weak point so far.

 

Love Brooks but dont really want leather on the ti gravel bike so today I ordered a Cambium C15 saddle in mud happy black.

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review to follow – the ones I have read have been pretty outstanding

reblog Radavist: Karoobaix


from the land of my birth – epic adventure

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

Photos and words by Stan Engelbrecht

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

On the third morning we came across two kudus, dead, and partially eaten. During the intense drought in the area over the last months, many animals had been breaking through fences to get to this dam, only to find it completely dry. In their search for water, these kudus tried to cross the dried dam floor, and got trapped in two mud sinkholes. They must have struggled there for days, before dying of thirst and starvation. And maybe something had started eating them while they were still alive.

It was a stark reminder that the Karoo is a dangerous and remote place. This semi-desert region near the Southern tip of Africa is known for its searing beauty, but also its harsh and unforgiving environment. Get caught out here without water or shelter at the wrong time of year and it can be the end of you.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

We were on a 4-day recce for a route that might become South Africa’s first true gravel grinder style race. I foresee a gruelling 400 kilometer blast over 3 days, through little towns and along some spectacular but testing all-gravel back roads. Rules will stipulate simply – ride what you want, but strictly no suspension and drop bars only. There will be sunburn, loose sand, and sore muscles in the day, good food, plenty of wine and local culture at night. And I’m thinking of calling it Karoobaix. Karoo, in honor of this very special place of course, and Roubaix because of the arduous cobblestoned 1-day classic that is famous amongst cyclists as one of the hardest, most challenging races in the history of the sport. It’s an homage, but also a cautionary warning – it will be tough. This idea started a year or so ago while working on my other race, the Tour of Ara – a 6-day all-gravel stage race only open to pre-1999 steel road bicycles. The Tour of Ara is an intimate race only open to 40 riders, and racing an old steel road bike in the dirt probably has limited appeal. So with the sudden worldwide popularization of gravel or all-road bikes, I thought it was maybe time to do something a bit more inclusive here – an African style gravel grinder race.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

It was decided we would wild camp, and carry whatever we could in terms of food, water, and shelter. The route we followed didn’t offer much of any of these, and with winter approaching, hot meals and warm beds would be welcome. We left from Montagu, a small picturesque town where the Cape winelands meets the Karoo, on the Sunday following the inaugural Eroica South Africa. Still pretty exhausted from all the action leading up to Eroica, the ride, and of course the festivities the night before, we bought our last supplies and headed out of town. And straight up the Ouberg Pass. Steep, and long. But we made it to the top before sunset, and while Cameron, Bregan and Werner found the perfect wild campsite for our first night, Sven and I went to search for water. We got lucky and found a farm labourer living a few kilometers away, and after chatting to him and his young son for a while, we got our water and headed back to find the guys. They’d found a good hidden spot and were already collecting firewood. Soon the fire was burning, dinner was being prepared and wine and bourbon was being passed around.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

The next morning we rode our 100 kilometers to Ladismith, on varying condition dirt roads. On a rough section Sven’s pannier bag got pulled in the spokes of his rear wheel, and it dragged him to a skidding stop. The bag had been running too close to the wheel, and now that it had been caught by the spokes, everything was dangerously bent in. I hunted around the fence running along the road, and found some discarded fencing wire. With some zip ties and a bit of ingenuity we fashioned a brace to keep it all straight. Let’s go! It was hot and dusty, and a few hours later when we saw a river flowing out of the mountains near town, we knew it was time for a bath. We stripped down, waded into the shallow water and soaped up – much to the amusement of some locals watching all this from a distance. By the time we got into town it was getting late. Sven and I headed straight into the hellhole that is the Ladismith Ladies Bar while the other guys grabbed some supplies around town. After two huge beers, and getting shouted at for riding my bike on the dance floor, it was nearly dark. We headed straight to the mountains as quickly as we could. And we found a secluded little valley not too far from town. It was bushy and not exactly flat, but we managed to pitch our tents out of sight, and got straight onto dinner. In the morning we woke to see Sven on top of the hill above where we camped, and we hiked up to join him with all the equipment we needed for our morning coffee. From up there we saw that we were much closer to the town that we realized, and could look over the entire Ladismith laid out in front of us in the sleepy morning light.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

After breakfast we rolled out through town along a bit of tar before turning north onto the dirt road leading into the beautiful Seweweekspoort Pass. It’s not steep, but it’s definitely a steady climb before you exit the Klein Swartberg mountains almost 20 kilometers later. And this is where we stopped for lunch, at a sign pointing east to Gamkapoort. Now, the thing about traveling by bike, any traveling really, is that you have to be flexible. If an interesting opportunity presents itself, why not take advantage of it. Obviously none of us had ever been down to Gamkaspoort, since it’s a very remote outpost, and supposedly a dead end. But the urge to just go and see what was down there overwhelmed all our other plans, and by the time lunch was finished and we’d enjoyed a few sips of whiskey, we were heading east. We detoured from our Karoobaix recce into the unknown. After a few kilometers down the road between the Swartberg and Elandberg mountains, we suddenly started dropping down a long, steep and rocky pass. The view along the Swartberg mountains to the east was nothing short of spectacular, but it was dropping fast out of view as we were heading down into a deep valley. It dawned on us, all separately, that riding back out of this would be seriously hard work, and we silently wished the unknown would present an alternative to get out. By the time we reached the bottom, it was getting late. The light was beautiful, and we encountered a lot of antelope seemingly headed the same way we were going. An hour later we’d reached our dead end. Gamkapoort Dam.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

The dam is normally closed to the public unless previously arranged. But two things conspired to make our impromptu visit okay. Fox, the custodian, is a cyclist himself. After weighing up our ‘story’ about wanting to see Gamkapoort and not really having much of a plan after that, and the fact that the dam is totally empty – surreally bone dry – Fox suggested a possibility. He graciously offered for us to camp near his cottages on the edge of the dam, and proposed we cross the dry dam floor in the morning to meet a road on the other side that would take us to the little village of Prince Albert. This happened to be where we’re headed on our Karoobaix recce, and will be where the race concludes. Of course we loved the idea of crossing the dam, and gratefully accepted his offer. Thanks Fox! We got to have a welcome cold shower outside, and the view from where we pitched our tents outside the empty cottages was breathtaking. Dinner was salmon and tomato gnocchi, and of course wine and whiskey.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

A breeding pair of fish eagles woke us in the morning, with their sad cry. There were three pairs living on the edge of this dam, but since it’s dried, there is only one pair left. As the sun rose we made coffee, and watched the light reflect in the little pools of muddy water here and there below us. The light was unbelievable, and my old Nikon FE film camera was working overtime. Because we were traveling so light, I unfortunately only brought my lightweight Series-E 50mm. Something wider would have been perfect here, but then working with what you’ve got has a certain poetry to it. Sven pulled yet another grapefruit out of his bag, and we got onto cooking breakfast. Over the years of bicycle touring, we’ve all developed our little tricks to be able to eat something fresh every day. It’s always surprising how long you can carry cheese or coriander or tomatoes. And what’s better than pulling off an amazing campfire dinner or breakfast. Bicycle touring is as much about good food as it is about adventuring.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

By the time we rolled down onto the dry dam floor it was already heating up. It was going to be a hot day. The dried mud was rock hard and smooth in places, in others it was rough with deep dark cracks, and of course there were sandy and muddy spots too, where you loaded bike could suddenly just sink as it broke through the surface. Many years ago there used to be a ferry that took the occasional traveler across the dam, but nowadays it’s impossible to cross, and not allowed without explicit permission. We got lucky. We had a rough idea where to pick up the old road on the opposite side, and proceeded cautiously as Fox had warned us about muddy quick-sandy sections.

We approached a rocky outcrop, with many beautiful striations marking the diminishing water level. We stopped to catch up to each other and take a few photographs. Cameron stepped off his bike and to the side, and his shoe broke through the mud and he sank down to his knee, into the sticky, clayey mud. The surface looked completely solid. We had to watch out step. It was then when we saw it. The gruesome sight of two animals, partially protruding from their muddy graves and their exposed half-eaten flesh covered in flies. Somberly, we moved on.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

Our old road was rough and sandy, with sharp rocks sticking up through the sand everywhere. Within the first few kilometers we had thankfully our first of only two punctures on the trip. Sven had a long cut in his sidewall, and the sealant was leaking out. We repaired the gash, fitted a tube, and siphoned as much of the sealant we could save into the valve. What followed was more rocks, steep undulating hills that eventually gave way to nearly unrideable soft sand. As we rolled into Prince Albert a few hours later we headed straight to the hotel for beers. Since we were effectively a day early because of our adventurous shortcut through the Gamkapoort, I suggested we ride up the historic Swartberg Pass not too far from town to camp on top of the mountain. We loitered around drinking beers for a bit too long, and zipped out of town a little late. The Swarberg Pass is spectacular, but long, steep, rough and tough. It took us much longer than anticipated to reach the top, and we still had a way to go down to where we would camp. We were tired and hungry, and there was a freezing wind blowing. It was nearly completely dark, and Cameron and I speeded off to where we would camp. He would start setting up camp, and I would ride further to a little river I know to get water for the night. As we were dropping down I realized something was wrong. There had been a fire here, and the veld was destroyed – a sooty exposed mess. I was hopeful that the tree I had in mind to camp at might be okay, but as we rolled up to it my fears were confirmed. The tree was bare, and all the shrubby shelter around it had been burnt away. We couldn’t camp there, especially not so exposed in this icy wind. We had to make a call. We turned back and picked up Sven and Bregan on their way to us, and Werner who was still heading up the pass. After some discussion, we agreed to go and camp at the bottom of the pass, and we rode down the Swartberg in complete darkness. Haunting, and an experience in itself. At the bottom we searched around for a while and started dinner the second we found a good spot. Bregan whipped up a fantastic lemon and parsley couscous to go with the rich stew we made out of chickpeas, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, plus everything we had left over. Along with the wine and the last of our bourbon, it was the perfect meal on such a freezing night in the wild.

South African Dirt and the Karoobaix

At sunrise we dried and packed our tents in the beautiful morning light, and headed back into Prince Albert for a huge breakfast. The Lazy Lizard served us coffee and rusks, delicious hot breakfasts (I think Werner ate a hamburger), and cake. We hung around town for a bit waiting for our pick-up. We checked out the local dairy and bought some cheese, skulked around town and seeked out some more beers at the Swarberg Hotel. Mishaq arrived in town with the van just in time for lunch. We loaded our bikes and bags, and ate another great meal at Lazy Lizard, while idly chatting about everything we experienced over the last few days. And then we were gone, on our way back to Cape Town, and off to our respective lives. The rest of the Karoobaix route will have to wait unexplored for now…

Wednesday night Riding


As I am working full time on this TV show it means daytime weekday rides aren’t happening so I have gotten into the habit of Wednesday Night Rides, Thursday and Friday a.m. swims and thursday pm 5-a-side footie. Then as much as i can cram into the other days of the weekend or nights.

So tonight out on the canal to Dumbarton and took a detour up the Kilpatrick hills

Screenshot 2016-06-22 22.39.35

there are some seriously steep hills – this one makes me use the bottom of my 1×11 SRAM gears – that 50chainring to 36tooth large cassette ….

i am not sure the mapping on Strava is accurate – it feels like a steady 18-20% hill – that false flat before the very steep isn’t there – it is just all steep.

Screenshot 2016-06-22 22.35.35

Went over the back to the reservoir – its over flint forestry road then suddenly the rear tyre felt softer. Sidewall had a slight tear and sealant was oozing out. Luckily with a shake it sealed again and I put some more air into the tyre.

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And then retraced my route. Pretty impressed with this bike and abilities so far. Sonder Camino ti gravel bike ….

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Running Dynamo hub driving USE Exposure Revo light – trying to link up battery recharge with the port out but not sure it works – more experimentation required.

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and the view looking down from the top of the wee hill is very pretty too

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Theatre thursday: Grasshopper series


Over the past 18 years, a small training ride has grown into a coveted mixed-terrain race series: the Grasshopper Adventures. Ranging in length, terrain, and difficulty, the Hoppers have become a staple of early season California endurance racing, with many of regions fastest pros coming out to push themselves on the remote routes. During the spring of 2016, Kitsbow followed series founder Miguel Crawford and his Sonoma County clan on a discovery ride for the new Skaggs route. In final form, it covered 97 miles and over 10K feet of climbing, finishing on 10-miles of brutal single track around lake Sonoma. The scouting was beautiful and tough, but the Skaggs race day itself proved to be an incredible test of stamina and in some cases, self preservation. We’ll plant this firmly in the center of Type-2 fun. We hope you enjoy.

Sonder Camino ti – first ride review


Sonder Camino titanium gravel bike


Now I grew up in South Africa and the word sonder is Afrikaans for ‘without’ but this bike is definitely ‘with’

I pedal home today with a new bike came into the flat changed and went out for a first shakedown ride on the bike – these on my quick impressions after just 30 km

Very quickly I came to think that this bike might be one of those fabled you can do it all bikes. I went down the canal which is gravely with occasional small potholes on to cobbles and then later on into singletrack path weaving through the forest – the bike seem to handle everything with aplomb 


My only niggle was perhaps that the seatpost or saddle was not as comfortable as it could be but still good for the price point. I will be changing out the seatpost for something made of titanium or perhaps something like the Ritchey flexlogic and the saddle well that’s always down to the user and I have a preference for Ritchey WCS or specialised ronin

The bike is quick very quick even on this first exploratory ride I seem to have come home and found out that on Strava I have a King of the Mountain on one section over cobbles – Paris Roubaix might be a walk in the park


The discs brakes mechanicals from avid – I’ve not used avid mechanicals before they seem to do very good job of slowing the bike with excellent modulation when braking, the tires are WTB nano 40 mm tires and the seem to be quite progressive in grip and feedback. This was in the dry and this review is just the 1st (one hour ride) review and shouldn’t really be taking for a long-term review but so far I am completely stoked by the ride of this bike. 


Brandt Richards who is also been behind some of on-one’s bikes in the past seems to have finally nailed it – this is everything I wanted it to be perhaps more than I hoped and definitely a lot lot better than I ever expected it would be

I came home and looked in my cupboard to see four other bikes standing there looking slightly forlorn.

Alpkit give the bike a 10 year guarantee which is amazing considering it’s the first bike that they are doing. this bike is built so beautifully the weld is excellent and everything seems to be is put together as well as any of my Lynskey bikes
Now if only work and kids didn’t get in the way of me doing another ride tomorrow but I will post further reviews once I have a few hundred miles in on this bike

Camino ti


Taken the plunge on a new bike finally after a bit of toing and froing with various companies trying to get the build I wanted. Well alpkit Sonder bikes have finally risen above the rest and got my pennies. i am getting the front wheel build up with a dyno hub and will use my USE Revo light for adventures.

The Camino Ti, a mix of a cyclocross, gravel, and road bike. The Camino seems to be designed for an adventure, when you don’t know what to expect of the road ahead. Designed for even longer tours, the drop bar bike can take on rough roads and rugged paths with its all-day, long wheelbase stability and a more comfortable upright position.

Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_Rival1-complete-angle

Sonder specs the Camino with flared bars for flexible riding positions and less stress on the back, no matter the terrain. They see the bike as a mountain biker’s road bike. As we can attest, it’s nice to have a bike that can handle the rough stuff when its rider has the uncontrollable urge to venture down every dirt track that a smooth asphalt road crosses.

Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_frameset-angle Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_frameset-front

The 3/2.5 titanium Camino again builds up with wide, flattened tubing to balance stiffness and comfort, and gets a disc brake only build. It does however stick with standard quick release axles, and an external headset (although still a 44mm headtube for a tapered steerer.) In a bit more of wheel flexibility, the frame gets clearance for both 650b x 48mm or 700c x 44mm tires.

Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_bottom-bracket-detail Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_brake-dropout-detail

The Camino is also offered in 4 sizes as a couple of SRAM builds with hydro brakes, as well as a standalone frameset. The frame and full carbon monocoque fork sell for £1000. A Rival1 build adds just £500, while the Force1 completes the build options

Gravel bike time 


So N+1 time ….. The latest itch is to get something between the titanium 29er and my titanium road bike ….. So titanium gravel grinder surely.

Pickenflick currently hitting the value for money button and a moots routt 45 hitting the silly sausage spend part of the brain.

As for bits I have been looking at tyres and this road.cc tyre review looks spot on.

 

Schwalbe G-One tyre.jpg

The lack of a tube means no pinch punctures, which means you can drop the pressure for more grip and comfort. Schwalbe states a range of 45-70psi but for the most part I ran them at the bottom of that range, or below. On the road, 50psi was good for back lane riding and 60psi was the most I ever put in them. For off-road and mixed surface rides I ran them at 30psi with no problems at all.
And they’re fast. I mean, really fast. Not just fast for a big tyre, fast full stop. If you’re battering around on well-surfaced A and B roads then you’d expect them to be a fair bit slower. In reality, they’re not: my best time on this 50km/h smashfest of a segment (link is external) on a proper road bike on 25mm tyres is just under four and half minutes. My best time on the G-Ones was only 15 seconds off that. And that’s on a gravel bike with a more upright position – you could argue that the extra drag from the rider is easily worth the difference.
Once you’re off the good roads and onto the average ones – and we have plenty of them – any conceivable difference in rolling speed is easily outweighed by the comfort of the big air chamber, and the fact that you don’t have to ease off and pick your line: just batter on through. I’ve not managed to put a hole in them that the sealant hasn’t immediately coped with. And that’s with some deliberately risky line choices through all kinds of back-road detritus.
I’ve taken them off road too, and they’re great for unsurfaced fire roads and farm tracks, blasting along with aplomb. The more technical things get, the more you’re thinking that a bigger air chamber might give you a bit more margin for error, but even crashing into rocks with enough force to ding a rim didn’t manage to flat them, and on most off-road surfaces they still offer fantastic levels of grip. Once things start to get really claggy the tread fills up and you’d be better off with a proper off-road tyre, but you can get away with most conditions.

The only downside, really, is the wear rate, but that’s a double-edged sword: it’s the soft tread compound that gives the excellent grip and it’s not as hardy as some. Personally I’ll take the longevity hit for the feel and grip while they last. And it’s not like they’ll be done in a couple of weeks, I’m six months into this test pair and they’re still going strong.
I know plenty of people who’ve tried these tyres now, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. Try them. You’ll love them.
Verdict

Fantastically capable all-rounder tyre for roads, ruts and rocks

Make and model: Schwalbe G-One

Size tested: 700x38C

Tell us what the product is for, and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Schwalbe says: “The Schwalbe One family provides the perfect tire for the latest gravel bike trend. The smooth rolling G-One profile and Tubeless Easy technology make it a pleasure to ride over forest paths and rolling fields.”
If your frame has enough space, select the 40mm version. Larger volume is always an advantage when riding off-road.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tubeless Technology
We at SCHWALBE believe that tubeless is the tire technology of the future!
Tubeless Easy MicroSkin
Tubeless is the tire technology of the future. Tubeless tires bring clear advantages in speed, comfort, grip and puncture protection.
Triple Compound
Our best and most sophisticated compound.
Triple compound. Perfectly adapted to the specific purpose. MTB (PaceStar, TrailStar, VertStar), Roadrace (OneStar), Tour (RoadStar, TravelStar)
EVO Line
The very best possible.
Highest grade materials.
Latest technology.

Rate the product for quality of construction:9/10

Rate the product for performance:9/10

Rate the product for durability:7/10

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)7/10

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)10/10

Rate the product for value: 8/10

 

 

Tools for Gravel rides and tools for MTB adventure


Interesting tech tip article reblog: check out their site if gravel riding is your thing

From a very early age, I equated bicycles with freedom. With the aid of my two-wheeled companion, I was free to explore the seemingly endless collection of trails and dirt roads that were so plentiful in my youth. At the same time, that freedom instilled in me the importance of self-sufficiency. I learned firsthand that something as simple as a flat tire often meant a verylong walk home. It didn’t take me long to figure out that carrying even the barest of necessities could eliminate those unplanned walks home.

As an adult, I’m surprised at how often I encounter stranded riders who are carrying no tools or spares. While they may have cell phones, their mechanical issues can usually be fixed in less time than it takes for them to be rescued by a friend or partner–if they had the necessary equipment. I’m not advocating that riders should be able to overhaul a cup-and-cone bottom bracket in the field, but carrying even a bare bones repair kit can mean the difference between riding and walking home.

After several years of fine tuning and experimentation, I’ve found that having two separate repair kits works best for me. I use a smaller kit for road and gravel riding, and have a second, larger setup for mountain and adventure-type riding. While each kit is a compromise of weight and size, I’ve never had to abandon a ride because I wasn’t carrying the necessary tools or spares. Having tools without knowing how to use them won’t do you much good, though. If you’re not sure how to fix a flat or adjust your bike’s brakes or derailleurs, see if your local bike shop offers maintenance classes or clinics.

Road / Gravel

Even though road and gravel makes up the majority of my riding, mechanical issues are few and far between. Problems are usually limited to the occasional puncture, or the need to make a minor adjustment. My road/gravel kit reflects those needs, and it gets tossed into whatever panniers or pack that I happen to be using at the time.

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  • Hold Fast canvas tool bag
  • 700×28-32 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Blackburn Grid 13 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Pressure Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Prestacycle mini ratchet with 8 mm and 10 mm sockets
  • Tubeless Presta valve and Presta adapter
  • CO2 cartridge and Lezyne Trigger Drive inflator

While the majority this kit’s contents are old favorites, the Blackburn multi-tool is a relatively new addition. Thanks to the Grid 13’s extensive set of features, it actually replaces several individual tools. The sturdy, all-in-one design is definitely more convenient, and reduces the likelihood of losing one of the smaller wrenches on the road or trail.

Thanks to tubeless tire technology, I experience very few punctures. Tubeless sealant tends to dry out quickly here in arid Colorado, so I do carry a small bottle of sealant in case a tire needs topping off. The inner tube is backup in the event of a slashed sidewall (or if a puncture is too large for sealant). Although not shown in the photo, I wrap my tubes in repurposed Tyvek shipping envelopes, which can be used as emergency tire boots.

MTB / Adventure

Looking at all this gear, you might get the impression that mountain biking or adventure riding is a lot harder on equipment than road or gravel riding. The truth is, most of what I carry in this kit is for fixing other people’s bikes on group rides (or helping stranded solo riders). Some folks might argue that being a rolling bike shop discourages other people from being self-reliant, but I don’t mind lending a helping hand when it’s needed.mtb_gravel_kit-min-624x452

  • CamelBak tool wrap (included with their Skyline 10L hydration pack)
  • 27.5×2.25 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Topeak Mini 9 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Alloy Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Tubeless valve and valve core tool
  • CO2 cartridge and Silca EOLO III inflator
  • Wippermann Connex chain tool and quick link

Most of the above items are what you’d find in a mountain biker’s or adventure rider’s hydration pack. The 27.5″ tube can be used in 26″ or 29″ wheels in a pinch, and the Presta valve is also compatible with Schraeder-drilled rims. Wippermann’s Connex chain tool may not be the smallest or lightest, but it’s one of the most reliable and it comes with a reusable quick link. Why carry a multi-tool and Fix It Sticks? The multi-tool is fine for most adjustments or repairs, but sometimes you need a little extra leverage for components such as single-bolt seatposts or crankarms.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve fine tuned these repair kits to reflect my particular needs and conditions. Think of these lists as suggestions or starting points, but don’t hesitate to add–or remove–items that will make your bike more reliable–and ultimately–more enjoyable.