Cycle touring kit list
Some help, perhaps, in response to:
I need to address the luggage thing. Anyone fancy putting a 'What you should bring on a cycle tour post' please.
It depends on length of tour, whether abroad or not, and camping, but here is what we are taking to Holland on our forthcoming 2-week cycle tour (camping):
Ridgeback Panoramas (2) * Low Rider front racks (Tubus Tara, 2 per bike) * rear racks (Blackburn expedition, 2 per bike) * Altura Orkney 34 Panniers (4 per bike) * mini pump * lights (minimum legal requirement)
Multi-tool (Crank Bros 17-tool with chain tool) * spare brake cables (2) & gear cable (1) * spare tubes (2) * puncture repair kit * tyre levers * connecting links (4 KMC, easy to undo) * small tube of lithium grease * spare spokes (1 drive side & 1 non drive side) * spoke key * disposable gloves (6)
Garmin GPS * bike computer * cameras (2) * mobile phones (2) * European adaptor plug * chargers for: mobile phones (2), cameras (2) * spare AA batteries for GPS (12 Energizer Ultimate Lithium) * Amazon Kindle with guide books and reading books * cable ties (various sizes) * Kryptonite D-lock * cable & padlock * spare keys for locks * Halfords 2-bike cover * Brooks saddle cover * Stanley knife blade * small scissors * Bungee cords (2 x 800mm) * spare specs * head torches (2) * plastic food box * waterproof stuffsacks (2, for tent & Thermarests)
Toiletries & first aid
Microfibre body towels (2, 120 x 60cm) * small shampoo & conditioner * wet wipes * small soap * tooth brushes & small toothpaste * disposable razor * Lipsyl * band-aid plasters * gauze bandage (tourniquet) * painkillers (Aspirin) * anti inflammatory tablets (Ibuprofen) * antiseptic cream (Germolene) * antibiotic cream * Assos Chamois Creme * small sun cream * insect repellent
Tent (Hilleberg Nallo 2 GT) * Thermarest sleeping mats (2) * sleeping bags (2) * sleeping bag liners (2) * Lifeventure Microbean pillow * inflatable pillow * cooker with one pan (Primus EtaPower) * gas canisters (4) * survival tin opener * knife, fork, & spoon (2 of each) * spatula * plastic eating bowl & 2 plates * Berghaus insulated mugs (2) * water bottles (5 on bikes) * washing-up scrubber/sponge (wash in shampoo if required) * string washing line
Clothing (each, approximately)
Breathable waterproof hooded top * fleece * long-sleeved cycling top * T-shirts (2-3) * bib shorts (2) * overshorts (2) * "best" shorts or trousers * trainers or sandals (2 pairs) * socks (plenty in sandwich bags) * cycling gloves * a few other bits and pieces
Passports (2) * E111 cards (2) * Snowcard travel insurance * ferry tickets * accommodation booking confirmation emails * currency * notebook & pen
Important! Check cables before departure. If you have STI shifters this includes making sure the gear cables aren't frayed inside the actual shifter: inspect with a torch by applying the brake lever and looking inside with the gear in each position.
I hope that helps. This is not so different from what we took on our first cycle tour of Denmark in 2009 (camping). A few items have been dropped off the list; none added. It works well enough. On our most recent Holland trip we didn't camp so took less, and only 2 panniers each. I'd much rather have four panniers as the bikes are far better balanced. You soon get used to the extra weight.
Altura Orkney panniers are pretty much waterproof but just in case, clothes, sleeping bags, cameras etc (non wettables) are packed in the rear panniers inside bin liners. Wettables such as tools, cooking gear, locks, food boxes, bike cover etc are packed in the front panniers (they've never got wet). The tent and sleeping mats go on top of the rear racks.
I suppose we all have our foibles. The plastic food box is filled at the start with my favourite bran-muesli mixture. It's a big one and lasts two weeks, with daily portions pre-loaded into sandwich bags. Also, we are not equipped to cycle in a continuous deluge of rain over many days (I forgot to mention the credit cards).