Riding one bike; I really planned doing this. The Trek Multitrack I own can take big tyres as well as a drop bar and I was going to use it for my daily commute to work as well as the odd bike trip off road. But then a wild On One Inbred frame appeared on ebay, and I had to have it.
The frame set was a bargain, never ridden and half the price of a new set. I found a donor bike with a crack frame for cheap as well and planned on using the parts to build the Inbred to safe money. It was still going to be a cheap bike, at least I promised myself. But the donor wheels were worn, the On One fork didn’t take racks, the cranks were beyond saving, and the chain and cassette needed replacement. The brake levers and calipers, derailleurs and shifters, and seatpost I salvaged from the donor bike.
So I accidentally build a new bike, more or less. But it is a bike with which I am really happy. It fits well with my style of cycle-touring, which is halfway between pannier touring and bikepacking to remote places.
Frame: Inbred 26, dropout/derailleur version, size Large
Fork: Surly ECR (447 mm axle-to-crown / a2c)
Front wheel: SunRingle MTX 29, with 32 Sapim Race double butted spokes and a Shimano XT hub.
Rear wheel: SunRingle MTC 33, 36 Sapim Race double butted spokes and a Shimano Deore hub.
The route I planned in advance turned out to be overly ambitious. It was March when I started, so basically still winter. The days were a bit short and cold. Combined with the lack of training that caused for a rather painful double knee injury. The injury forced me to skip the hilly route through the south of Serbia and Bulgaria, I opted for the flat Danube river route instead. …
Traditionally, cycle touring is seen as a relatively cheap way of spending a holiday. However, if one has the ambition of going faster, further, and higher, this will demand more of your gear. Light and strong gear often has a price tag. Often, not always. There are ways of saving some money. Let me give you two tips.
The dry-bag pictured above is an Ortlieb 13 litre, PD 350. It contains a sleeping bag, down jacket, wool longsleeve, a pair of socks and three pairs of underwear. I use a harness I made myself to strap it under the saddle:
To add some rigidness I used a section of a normal household bucket I had laying around. In order to prevent the dry bag from slipping down, I put a screw through the eyelet (pictured on left of both pictures) and into a zefal bottle cage mount. This system is very cheap and works really well. When strapped tight the bag has no tendency to wiggle. After my girlfriend gave me a crash course on how to use the sewing machine, I was able to get it done myself. It ain’t pretty, but if you ride your bike the right way, this piece of equipment will get covered in dirt to hide any cosmetic flaws.
Timontyres Anything Cage
A bottle cage, even an aluminium one, can easily be bended to contain much larger items. In my last trip I used one to carry my pans and stove. Although I needed to add some straps so my stove kit wouldn’t fall out, it worked just fine.
Sometimes I want to make stuff myself because what I need can’t be bought. Sometimes I make stuff myself because what I need is too expensive. Sometimes I do it just for the fun of doing it. But always I learn something new along the way, skills that can be important when something breaks down when I am in the middle of nowhere.