EQUIPMENT LIST

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol


My bike all packed and ready to go

My bike all packed & ready to go for LEJoG.

What to pack for LEJOG?

Some people manage to travel lightly whenever they go away - I'm not one of them! I'm not quite at the point of packing the espresso machine (although that would be nice...) but having to carry all your belongings on a bike for over 1,000 miles - and up hills - certainly makes you think about what you really need.

My bike all packed and ready to go

My bike all packed & ready to go for LEJoG

The list below details the gear that I take with me on a cycle tour, to hopefully give you some inspiration for your kit list. Every time I go touring I learn a little more, so this list below is based not just on my LEJoG tour but also on the various trips I've done since then.

Many decisions about kit are entirely personal and everyone has different ideas and priorities, so I've added comments against each item below to help you decide if you think you'd need it. Of course though, if you have the luxury of a support vehicle, then you can get away with taking a lot more equipment anyway! And for some of these items, such as many of the tools, you only really need one per rider, so if you're riding with others you can always share the load.

If there's anything missing from this kit list that you find useful, or anything you couldn't live without, then please do let us know through the comments section at the bottom of the page. Note that there's no camping equipment included on this page; I stay in B&Bs so don't take camping equipment with me, so I'm unable to advise what works and what doesn't there I'm afraid.

Jump to topic:


Bike & bags

Bike

Genesis Tour De Fer 10 bike

A pretty obvious item to take! The main thing to consider for a bike is making sure that it's comfortable, given that you'll be riding it for 1,000 miles.

Whilst almost any bike can be used, an ideal bike will have low gears for the hills, and have strong, durable components (which thankfully does not mean top of the range expensive parts - midrange is often the best). I'd strongly advise making sure you have good strong wheels with good spokes - remember, your bike will be heavier than normal with all the gear you're carrying.

It can also be worth checking out this great guide to touring bikes. It's written by Tom Allen, a cyclist who's been travelling the world by bike for over 10 years and knows a thing or two about bikes.

Tyres
Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour

Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour bike tyre

Punctures can easily ruin your day and slow your progress down. The 'Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour' tyres are very common amongst long distance cycle tourers thanks to their incredible puncture resistance - in over 5,000 miles of cycle touring I've only ever had 1 puncture using these tyres (and that was only when the tyre was very worn and long overdue for changing).

You might be trading off a little extra weight and rolling resistance by getting puncture resistant tyres (whether it's these Schwalbe ones or others), but in my opinion is easily worth it.

Buy from: Amazon*

Rear Panniers
Ortlieb Rear Roller Pro Plus QL2.1

Ortlieb rear bike panniers

Ortlieb are the most popular pannier brand and with good reason - they're great quality and 100% waterproof. I opted for the larger ones (the "Pro" range) to be able to pack more stuff in; as I said I'm not a light packer! (although I had loads of spare room)

Front Panniers
Ortlieb Sport Roller Plus QL2.1

Ortlieb front bike panniers

For a LEJoG ride then front panniers aren't often needed; you should be able to fit everything you need (and then some) into your rear panniers. If you do need front panniers though, either for the extra space (such as if you're camping & therefore carrying more gear), or simply if you want to balance the weight distribution, then these Ortlieb ones are great.

Handlebar bag
Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Classic handlebar bag (large)

Ortlieb handlebar bag

This handlebar bag is spacious enough to store all the gear that I need easy access to such as my phone, camera, spare battery pack, wallet, inhalers, and suncream. It helps to counterbalance the weight of the rear panniers somewhat, and being quick release with a shoulder strap means I can my valuables with me if I leave the bike somewhere.

Buy from:
SJS Cycles

Top bar bag
Altura Vortex 2 Waterproof Top Tube Pack Bag

Altura top bar bag

I use this bag, which easily attaches to my top tube & seems to be fully waterproof, to keep sweets and energy gels in for easy access throughout the day.

Buy from: Amazon*

Saddle bag
Topeak Aero Wedge Saddle Bag (medium)

Topeak saddle bag

This saddle bag is used for storing all my bike tools (and spare inner tube); it's the perfect size and easy to access when needed.

Buy from: Amazon*

Pedals
Look Trail Grip Pedal

Look Trail Grip Pedal

I prefer flat pedals to clip-ins, although that's a personal choice. For years I was searching for good flat pedals that weren't the mountain bike type with the metal spikes that draw blood whenever I bash my shins into them when walking the bike.

These ones from Look are perfect - they have good grip (even if admittedly they don't have quite as much grip as spiked pedals do), there are no spikes to ruin the soles of my shoes, and they have a large surface area and are strong. I first used them on my round-the-UK coast trip and love them.

Buy from: Amazon*

Kickstand
BV Rugged Adjustable Kickstand

Heavy duty bike kickstand

A kickstand is really useful as it means I don't need to keep putting my (very heavy) bike down on the floor. Whichever kickstand you go for (if you choose to have one) then make sure it's a heavy duty one that's capable of supporting heavily-laden touring bikes.

Water bottles

Water bottle

My LEJoG bike had attachments for 3 water bottles although generally I only ever had two filled at a time; one with just water and one with an energy powder mixed in.

On my European tour in 2018 I had attachments for 5 bottles on my bike. The weather reached over 30 degrees C on many days - and on those days I often drank all 5 bottles dry!

Buy from: Amazon*

Laptop
Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro

I take a laptop with me on tours to be able to do route planning on the go as well as other work in the evening (obviously not everyone takes a laptop though!). The Surface Pro is ideal as it's small and incredibly lightweight - even with the charger it's still under 1kg.

Buy from: Amazon* (Surface Pro 8)

Navigation
Garmin Edge 1000-series

Garmin Edge 1040 cycle computer

I would be quite literally lost without this! The 1000-series (the most recent version being the Edge 1040) have a large screen that's useful for displaying the map. See here for how to upload route files to it.

Buy from: Amazon * (Edge 1040 Solar)

Trip recording
Garmin Edge 500-series

Garmin Edge 530 cycle computer

Having two Garmin's is admittedly a luxury, but whilst I tend to keep my larger Edge on the map display for navigating, I use this one to display various details such as my speed and distance.

It also proved invaluable on my round-the-UK-coast trip when my Edge 1040 broke with a couple of weeks of the trip still to go, as I was able to then use this to navigate with instead.

Buy from: Amazon* (Edge 530)

Battery pack
Anker PowerCore 13000 Power Bank

Spare battery pack

The spare battery pack I take has proved crucial on more than one occasion for powering my GPS when I forget to recharge it, and is also really useful for keeping my phone battery topped up during the day too. There's loads of battery packs available; this one that I took with me on my 2022 trip has a high capacity (13000mAh giving me about 3 charges of my iPhone), is lightweight, and has a fast output to boot.

Buy from: Amazon*

USB plug adaptor
Lencent Multi USB Wall Charger

Multi USB charger

This is an invaluable piece of kit for charging my electronic devices overnight (eg bike lights, phone, camera batteries, and both Garmins); it's much lighter and more compact than carrying several separate plugs. Highly highly recommended!

Buy from: Amazon*

Camera
Sony RX100

Sony RX100 camera

I love my photography and so a good camera is a must for me. iPhones take fantastic photos these days but the photos they take aren't quite at the level of a dedicated camera just yet.

This camera (which took all the landscape photos on this website) is small yet brilliant quality and takes RAW format images too. Don't forget to pack a spare battery and memory card too, as well as any cables or units for charging the batteries.

Buy from: Amazon* (Sony RX100 VII)

Selfie stick

Selfie stick

When doing such a big journey you might naturally want a few photos of yourself for the memories. If you're travelling by yourself then this can be difficult, especially in remote places where no-one is around to ask to take one for you, so a good lightweight selfie can be handy to have. Remember to also get a bluetooth remote shutter trigger too, if the selfie stick you get doesn't already have this.

Buy from: Amazon*

Safety & security

Helmet

Cycle helmet

No explanation needed!

Mirror
Mirrycle Mountain Bike Mirror

Cycle mirror

A mirror is something I won't be without now; I just find them incredibly useful to see what is behind at a glance.

On my LEJOG trip I used these Mirrcycle mirrors; a good alternative that I use now are the bike mirrors from Decathlon. They're cheap and are also a larger mirror for even better visibility.

Buy from: Amazon*

Rear radar
Garmin Varia

Garmin Varia rear radar and bike light

For a long time I'd seen these devices on the market and thought why would I need a rear radar on my bike? But then I tried it, and wow! In the countryside, where you might not see a car for miles and forget to therefore regularly check mirrors, then this device comes into it's own (it's pointless in the city). On my LEJoG ride I once happened to glance in my mirror to find a coach was following me along a country road - it was so silent (even once I knew it was there) that I had no idea it was there or how long it had been following me for!!

If a vehicle is approaching then it sounds a beep and displays a moving dot on the Garmin Edge GPS unit. Handily it also doubles up as a rear light.

Buy from: Amazon*

Front Light
Moon Orion-W

Moon Orion-W bike light

Whilst I only ever cycle on tour in the daylight, a good front light is a must in my opinion for increasing my visibility to drivers in poor weather. This light is fairly cheap and incredibly bright.

Buy from: Amazon*

Rear Light
Moon Nebula

Moon Nebula bike light

I took this on my most recent tour as a backup to my Garmin Varia, not because there was really any need for a 2nd light but simply because I had it already and it's incredibly bright.

Buy from: Amazon*

Bike D-lock
Abus Granit X-Plus 540

Abus Granit X-Plus 540

As far as D-locks go this seems to be the best one out there as a balance between weight and security (although it's still heavy). With the 'EazyKF' bracket it also mounts straight on my bike for ease of carrying.

Buy from: Amazon*

Bike cable lock
Kryptonite Kryptoflex Cable Lock

Kryptonite Kryptoflex 7 Foot Cable Lock

I take this in addition to a D-lock so I that can secure my bike to almost anything (the D-lock won't fit around trees for example!). Whilst I rarely use it, I'm always glad that I have it when I do need it. They come in several lengths; I have a 7ft one which is useful but heavy.

Buy from: Amazon*

Bike cable lock
Kryptonite Kryptoflex Seatsaver

Kryptonite Kryptoflex Seatsaver

This short lightweight cable is useful for helping to secure my panniers to my bike, although the level of security is minimal (thieves could have simply cut the fabric handles of the panniers). I don't plan on taking this again. See the Safety & Security page for more details.

Buy from: Amazon*

First aid kit
Lifesystems Pocket First Aid Kit

First aid kit

Great little kit with all the essentials & very light; luckily I never needed it.

Buy from: Amazon*

Antiseptic wipes

Antiseptic wipes

There's nothing worse than stopping to fix the bike, and not having anything to clean the oil or muck off my hands with! I always look for ones that are antiseptic as well.

Buy from: Boots

Medical supplies

In addition I pack a few other lightweight medical supplies, including:

  • Suncream
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Bite & sting cream (I've needed this several times!)
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Lemsip tablets
  • Inhalers (for asthma)

Clothes & comfort

Jacket
AeroTech Designs Rain Jacket

AeroTech Designs cycling rain jacket

This is superb jacket - not only is it a rare large cycling jacket that I could find that would fit me, it is also lightweight yet warm, windproof, & totally waterproof. My only regret is that it is yellow - a colour that I discovered attracts flies!

Gloves
Endura FS260 Pro Aerogel Mitt II

Endura FS260 Pro Aerogel Mitt II cycle gloves

Gloves are gloves! There's nothing special about these ones except they fit me well and are padded.

I normally ride with fingerless gloves, but also carry a spare pare of full length finger gloves for cold days (a lesson I learnt on my Lands End to John o'Groats ride!).

Buy from: Amazon*

Arm warmers
Arm warmers

Cycling arm warmers

I rarely wear these but they are definitely useful if the temperature drops on days when I'm wearing a short sleeve cycling top. They're also useful when passing through areas of lots of flies for keeping the critters off my arms.

Buy from: Amazon*

Cycling Gilet

Cycling gilet

No not a razor but a lightweight cycling vest. This is the only item in this list that I haven't taken with me on tour - not because I don't want one but because I can't find any that fit my size (manufacturers obviously think only slim people want to stay warm!). There were some days (on all the tours that I've done) where it wasn't cold enough to need my full jacket yet where I'd have appreciated the little extra warmth or wind protection of a gilet.

Cycling sandals
Exustar SS503

Exustar SS503 cycling sandals

For me, the secret for keeping dry feet when cycling in the rain is a combination of sandals and waterproof socks. With sandals the rain just immediately drains way, unlike shoes (even with a waterproof cover) where I find that my feet are soon swimming in a lake inside the shoe, no matter how waterproof the shoe and/or cover claims to be.

Cycling sandals differ from regular sandals in that they have a much stiffer sole to help with power transmission (they're still easy to walk in). They also have a cleat attachment on the sole for if you ride with cleats.

Buy from: Amazon*

Waterproof socks
Sealskinz

Sealskinz waterproof socks

As mentioned above, I ride with sandals whenever I'm on tour. When it's dry I'll just wear normal socks, but on wet days I put on a pair of waterproof socks to keep my feet warm and dry.

Buy from: Amazon*

Trousers clips

Trouserclips

On days that I need to wear waterproof overtrousers then these (distinctly unglamorous!) clips help to stop the bottom of my trousers from catching in the chain as I pedal.

Buy from: Amazon*

Helmet rain cover
BTR Helmet Cover

Cycle helmet rain cover

I'm always extremely grateful for this when it rains, helping to keep my head dry and warm. It even fits helmets with sun-visor peaks.

Buy from: Amazon*

Chamois butter
Chamois Butt'r Original

Chamois Butt'r Original

This is a cyclist's secret weapon. Sore bums go with the territory of cycling but this can help to avoid chafing in sensitive areas.

Buy from: Amazon*

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

These are useful for pretending that I'm Tom Cruise. And for keeping the sun out of my eyes.

Cycling clothes

Some cycle tourists manage to get by on just 2 t-shirts and sets of underwear; I find 4 sets much easier:

  • Cycle shorts (x1)
  • Waterproof over trousers (x1)
  • Cycle t-shirts (x2 short sleeve, x2 long sleeve)
  • Underwear (x4)

I try to wash clothes every evening (using shower gel; it works well) but if it's a chilly evening then items don't always fully dry out overnight (unless the B&B have a radiator or heated towel rail). In these cases I'm grateful for an extra set of clothes to give the damp stuff an extra 24hrs to dry. I also get a bit lazy some evenings and just can't be bothered doing any washing!

One tip I learnt on my LEJoG ride regarding choice of clothes - always test any of your waterproof gear before you set off! I didn't and it seems my once waterproof over trousers (a few years old) had lost their water repelling abilities! Even washing with re-waterproofer stuff during my halfway stopover at home in Leeds didn't seem to have much effect; with more planning I should have bought some new ones.

Compression bags
Spacesaver roll-up compression bags

Spacesaver roll-up compression bags

These are just genius! They'll make your clothes take up less room (simply zip them up & roll to squeeze the air out), keep them dry should your panniers leak, and help keep clothes sorted. I take six - 1 bag for evening wear, 1 for undies, 1 for dirty clothes, 1 for cycling clothes, 1 for wet weather gear, and 1 spare (that I sometimes use for not-quite-yet-dry clothes that I washed the previous night). They make unpacking & repacking bags every night so much easier.

Buy from: Amazon*

Evening clothes

Bringing evening wear is a luxury that some people may choose not to do, however I don't want to spend weeks being in my cycling gear the whole time!

  • Spare shoes (lightweight trainers)
  • Jeans
  • T-shirt

The jeans are a luxury; lightweight hiking trousers might be a more sensible option instead.

Toiletries

Other smaller toiletry items I pack as well include:

  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Travel shower gel / shampoo
  • Hand cream
  • Shaver & shaving cream
  • Mini deodorant

Tools

Multitool
Topeak X-Tool

Cyclists multitool

Multitools are something no cyclist should be without! Allen keys, flat & Phillips head screwdrivers, and a couple of other tools, are things you'll need several times on your trip. This particular multitool from Topeak is lightweight for its size.

Always check what bolts your bike has before you set off and make sure you have the right tools for them (such as if any components use the less common Torx head system).

Buy from: Amazon*

Allen keys
Hex Key Set 2mm-10mm

Allen keys

Even though my multitool has some allen keys I still prefer dedicated ones since they're better for getting at awkwardly located bolts. This set also come with a large 8mm size key, not generally found in multitools, which I've used occasionally to tighten my kickstand.

Buy from: Amazon*

Adjustable wrench
Stanley 150mm MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrench

Instead of a full set of spanners I take this small adjustable wrench for use on any bolts that might need tightening. On my LEJOG trip I used it to tighten my spoke nipples when they came loose, although with them being so small a dedicated nipple tool would have been much easier.

Buy from: Amazon*

Chain tool
Topeak Super Chain Breaker Tool

Chaintool

Fingers crossed this is a tool you'll never need, however if you ever snap a chain you'll be glad you brought it. This one had a dedicated hook to hold both ends of the chain in place while you repair the links.

Buy from: Amazon*

Spare chain links
Bike Chain Split Links

Spare cycle chainlinks

Fortunately I've never needed these - these fall into the category of emergency "get me home" kit that help temporarily replace any links in your chain that may break. Make sure you get the correct type / size for the number of gears your bike has.

Buy from: Amazon*

Bike pump
Topeak mini dual pump with gauge

Topeak mini-pump with gauge

This is another basic piece of kit that needs no explanation! It has a mount for easily attaching it to your frame next to the water bottle holder.

Buy from: Amazon*

Spare inner tube

Tyre innertube

It's so much easier to quickly swap inner tubes rather than faffing around fixing a puncture by the side of a road - leave that until when it's easier. Obviously make sure you get the right tube, ie: diameter, width, and valve.

Buy from: Amazon*

Puncture repair kit

Puncture repair kit

Does what it says on the tin!

Buy from: Amazon*

Chain grabbing tool
Rehook

Rehook chain grabbing tool

This fantastic very lightweight tool is useful for grabbing your chain and putting back on the chainrings if it ever jumps off. It saves you getting oily & messy hands and only weighs 20g.

Buy from: Amazon*

Tyre levers
Topeak Shuttle Tyre Levers

Topeak Shuttle 1.1 Tyre Levers

The tyre levers that come with puncture repair kits are often (in my experience) nasty ones; it's worth making sure you have some good ones on hand for when you need them.

Buy from: Amazon*

Spoke nipple tool

Spoke nipple tool

I didn't have one of these on my LEJoG ride but it would have been really useful when my spokes came loose. Whilst my adjustable wrench did the job, a dedicated tool would have made it much easier and quicker to adjust my wheel spokes. I now carry one of these when I go on a long ride, however it's rare for spokes to come loose so you may reasonably choose to save a tiny bit of weight and not bother.

Chain lube
Finish Line Dry Teflon Lube

Finish Line Dry Teflon Lube

Keeping your chain running smoothly is certainly a good idea when cycling 1000 miles! I made sure to get a bottle with a secure screw lid so that it wouldn't leak; some bottles just have a clip-on lid which are probably only intended for storing on upright on shelves.

Buy from: Amazon*

Cable ties

Cable ties

I took these on my LEJOG trip to help attach my rear light to the bike (long story) but they can be useful in other situations too, eg to secure any loose cables or help tie things down when transporting your bike.

Buy from: Amazon*

Gaffer tape

Gaffer tape

I once read a tip somewhere that gaffer tape can be useful on cycle tours - and so it's often proved! You don't really need a full roll of it; if you wrap some tape around a very narrow tube (eg an old biro tube) then it doesn't need to take up much room and is very light.

Buy from: Amazon*

Energy & snacks

Sweeties!

Haribo sweets

Sweets are a great way to keep getting energy into your body throughout the day - little and often. Everyone has different sweets they prefer for energy; I like Haribo Supermix or jelly babies. Some people prefer raisins or mango slices too.

The great thing is that sweets are easy to restock each day from any corner shop so there's no need to carry several packs that will weigh you down.

Squash
Robinsons concentrated squash

Robinsons concentrated squash

I get bored if I just have plain water in my water bottles so I like to add a splash of flavour. These mini packs of Robinsons squash weigh barely anything at only about 70g each, and are so concentrated that they can last for a couple of weeks depending on how much you use.

Buy from: Amazon*

Energy gels
Torq gels

Torq gel

I've sworn by Torq gels for years, especially for hiking. I've tried other brands but always come back to these - they taste great, are relatively compact, and you really can feel the difference they make. The weight can add up if you're carrying several, so I now only take a few and save them for when I'm facing a steep hill (and re-stock from bike shops enroute if needed).

Buy from: Amazon*

Energy powders
SiS GO powders

SiS GO powders

These powders dissolve in the water in your water bottle to give you a quick energy boost. I really can notice the difference they make, however they weigh quite a bit and can be messy, so on tours I take only a couple with me and save them for when I have a particularly hilly day.

Buy from: Amazon* (similar from High5)


Join the discussion!

What tools do you use? Have you got any tips to pass on to others? Let us know here!


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