bike touring resources:: get the right gear 

home on the road

If you're planning a long cycling tour,  you'll probably be spending a considerable amount of time in your tent.  This will be your home, and as a home you'll want it to be comfortable. That's why it's best to do some thorough research before you purchase your touring tent.

choosing a tent for your world bike tour

Here are some factors you'll want to consider before buying:
And don't forget about floorplace.  Cyclists tend to carry lots of gear and you won't want to be snuggling up with your panniers.  Maybe you're familiar with the sizing differences between American and European clothing? An American size small is a European extra-small.  And what people in the US buy as a medium is marketed as a small to Europeans.  

The same principle applies to tents.  American-made tents that are sold as two-person tents are generally larger than European two-person tents.  Maybe not as big as a European 3-person tent, but still there is a difference in average floor place so look carefully at dimensions. Most cyclists prefer to carry a little extra weight and have a more spacious tent. So do we.

our choice in tents

Cycling through Africa, our choice was a Big Agnes three-person, double entry tent.  

It is just right for us and our gear. Big Agnes impressed us with their excellent customer service and our tent held up very well under tough conditions in Africa.  Using a footprint (groundsheet) will extend the life of your tent and give you a little added insulation.

recommendations from fellow cyclists

A fine tent for cyclists.There are many tents on the market and obviously we can't test them all, so here are a couple more that fellow cyclists have recommended.

The Vaude Hogan XT 2 Man Tent was designed with cyclists in mind.  The tent weighs less that three kilos and by simply removing the front wheel, two bikes can be safely stored in the vestibule.

Another tent that gets good feedback is the Hubba Hubba from MSR.  It's a highly popular, freestanding two person tent.  At 1.8 kilos it's lightweight and has two full sized doors for good ventilation.

choosing racks for your world bike tour

We recommend the sturdy carrier systems made by Tubus.  Be careful how you distribute weight between the
front and rear racks.  Too much weight on the front racks (low rider ) will make steering difficult and you're liable to wooble around.
A good ratio is two-thirds of total weight in the back panniers and one-third in the front panniers.

choosing panniers for your world bike tour

We recommend Ortlieb front rollers and Ortlieb back rollers.   We're very satisfied with our choice of panniers and the same pair held up well during three years of wear and tear.

Be sure to buy a repair kit (aquaseal works well) and check regularly for any holes.  Some people claim their clothes start smelling musty in waterproof panniers, but we haven't noticed any problems,--or maybe we're just used that smelly-sock odor permeating everything we own.

Some cyclists go for the lighter weight panniers, but this usually turns out to be a mistake for anyone traveling for a long period of time, because the material simply doesn't hold up as well.  Deluxe models with easy access outside pockets might be convenient, but could look tempting to curious children and petty thieves.

Where to buy?

You can save loads of money by buying online through E-Bay, Amazon or a host of other shopping services. 
Spend time researching gear, look for the best deals and then set off on your world bike tour, assured that your gear won’t  let you down.

If you enjoyed this post, you'll like these posts, too:
Getting Started

Choosing the right bicycle:
the most important purchase you’ll make

Female Cyclists
Choosing the Right Saddle:
what you should know about finding the right fit

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What are your experiences with gear that works?  Any tips forgetting the best deals? 
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