'90s Schwinn Frontier with road tires and a very long seat post.
Gear for a 2 month tour?
I'll be touring through Ireland, Scotland, and perhaps France this summer with a friend. We're planning mostly on wild camping, with perhaps a hostel here and there. I'm riding a NOS '86 Lotus Odyssey. What gear have you used/liked/found useful? I've done some research on panniers, tents, stoves, tools, etc. but I'd like to hear more stories from tourers. Did I mention I'm on somewhat of a tight budget?
Here are some gear I've considered thus far:
- Jandd front and rear panniers, or else something in canvas with rain covers. I've heard water can sit and grow mildew in an ortlieb for weeks.
- Eureka! pinnacle pass 3xtra or Mountain hardware Alcove 2 GT tent
- Trangia stove
What sort of tool kit should I pack for the road?
Which cycle computers work well for long trips?
Any other important gear?
If you pack wet clothes or other wet stuff into an Ortlieb then yes, mildew will grow, especially in a hot climate. I have not had this problem with my Ortleibs, just because I make sure everything is dry before I put it in. Ortliebs will keep rain out more effectively than just about any other pannier, with or without rain covers. They're also very well made, and very easy to put on and take off your bike.
My tent of choice for cycle touring (and lots of other stuff) is the Black Diamond Megamid, but not many people seem to agree with me.
I like ultra compact gas cartridge stoves (MSR Pocket Rocket, Snow Peak Giga Power) for European travel because white gas is expensive and hard to find over there, other liquid fuels are a nuisance in other ways, and a gas cartridge stove without the gas cartridge doesn't seem to excite the airline security people nearly as much as the liquid fuel stoves.
http://www.jastein.com makes a tool that will remove Shimano cassettes without a chain whip, it's a good thing to have. Fiberfix kevlar replacement spokes are useful for emergency spoke replacements when a rear drive side spoke breaks and you don't want to remove the cassette. If your Lotus Odyssey has a freewheel instead of a cassette, consider replacing the rear wheel with one that will accept a cassette.
Go over your bikes, figure out exactly what wrenches, etc. you need to tighten or remove everything on each bike, and bring just those wrenches. Some people bring spare shifter/brake cables, I like to start a long tour with brand new high quality shifter and brake cables. If you pool your tools you save on weight, but you run the risk of getting separated and the person without the tools having a mechanical problem.
You wil usually be about 1 day away from the nearest bike shop, possibly 2-3 in NW Scotland.
If money is tight you could consider making some pannier bags. Use canvas or cordura nylon, some correx for stiffening and Rixen and Kaul style locking clips. You can rivet the bits together as in Carradice bags (which are basically hand made and a good model to copy).
For 2-person camping, an ultralight tent is less of an issue than for solo riders. Midges are a problem, these small mosquitoes swarm in summer so you need good netting in your tent.
Conditions in Scottish summer can be very variable, from quite warm and humid to cool and wet with the occasional frost in mountain valleys. France can be much warmer at night.
Triangia is quite popular in the UK and the fuel , called methelated spirits or meths, is available from village stores, garages and hardware stores.