Dirt Roads / MTB Touring, Personal setups » Steve’s 3-day off-road not-too-extreme setupby stevage
This is what I used for a recent three day solo off-road tour incorporating geohash attempt, lots of offroad, and some rather extreme mountain biking.
Bike: Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Only significant modification is a 26t granny gear – very useful. Vittoria Randonneur Cross Pro 35mm front tyre, Maxxis Locust CX 35mm rear tyre. (The other way would have made more sense, I was lazy.) 600 mL water bottle underneath downtube, collecting mud.
Front: 1.8kg “2 man” tent stuffed into an old sleeping bag, just hooked over an existing Topeak handlebar bag mount. Cable-tied for a bit of extra security.
Frame bag: Epic Designs bag with internal divider (not used) and left side pocket.
- Main compartment: Exped down mat 7 (bungeed, standing against seat tube), tent poles (along down tube), tent pegs, 2l water bladder, mapholder when not used, some food, softshell jacket, pump.
- Side pocket: GPS, batteries, cable ties, multitool, spare tube, patch kit
Gas tank (sits on top tube): Epic Designs custom extra large size, to fit my SLR (not taken on this trip). Filled with museli bars and other food, and usually my wallet and phone, and sometimes GPS too. I ended up cabletying the flap to the steerer tube, and just using the two zips to get in and out.
Backpack: Dsend back country backpack
- Inside: : Burton Pinnacle gore-tex gloves, Gore City III overshoes, rain jacket, first-aid kit (including anti-inflammatories), snow Skins, 2l water bladder (yes another one), water bottle, maps, more food (mmm biltong), sunscreen
- Outside: Pump sack for exped downmat, containing Icebreaker thermal set, woollen beanie, spare thick socks
How did it go, what would I change? Great, and not much. Although I was never far from civilisation, water is notoriously hard to find in Australia these days – hence the five litres’ capacity. I was very comfortable at night (more than I needed to be), so maybe next time I”ll try just a tarp instead of the full tent.
I used almost everything except the ski gloves, rain jacket and booties – almost no rain. I’d bring repellent next time and a good head torch.
The drybag hooked under the seat almost worked, but I had trouble getting a stable setup where it never rubbed on the wheel. And if I did, it was usually rubbing on my legs. Obviously an Epic/Carousel seat bag is the way to go.
Hanging the tent over the handlebars worked amazingly well – especially considering how little effort it took! It really helped balance the bike, and because it sits lower than a handlebar bag, didn’t cause any new problems, and best of all, didn’t block my sight of the wheel. For one extremely steep technical section, I took it off and attached it to my backpack, mostly to prevent it falling off. The bike of course isn’t suited to steep slippery narrow single track, but it did ok within the limits of its traction.