Archive | gear RSS feed for this section

Flying with a bike: What to know and how to prepare

We’ve flown with our bikes a lot. Throughout the years, our bikes have been boxed up dozens of times and then carefully unboxed in exotic locales like Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, and Alaska. Through all that boxing and unboxing, we’ve learned a few things about flying with a bike. If you and your family have bikes [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Hero Kit: For all those roadside bicycle repairs

Whether you are mountain biking, bicycle touring, on a training ride with the local race club, or just out for a day ride, some kind of emergency repair kit is a necessity.  For most of us the lighter, simpler and more versatile this kit is, the better.  Getting stuck miles from home and having to [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }

How to perform regular bicycle maintenance while on a bike tour

I know a lot about riding a bike around the world. I can figure out a route and know what to look for in panniers. I know a lot – and I know when I’m out of my league. Bicycle maintenance is one of those areas where I will readily admit my ignorance. Yes, I [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 6 }
cycling when it’s cold

How to carry clothes for every weather condition Mother Nature can throw your way

There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing. We experienced it all. Sweltering heat. Bitter cold. Freezing rain. Hail, fog, wind. You name it; we battled it. And we had to be prepared for it all. So how, you ask, does one carry clothes for four seasons in a small [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 6 }
cycling in Rio Gallegos rain

Clothes for bike touring

What do you need in terms of clothes for bike touring? It’s hard to say. One thing I’ve noticed consistently is that each cyclist has his/her own preferences for clothes, so it’s hard to say what you should take with you. All I can do is give some idea about what we packed (and each [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }
salomon shoes

What kind of shoes do I need for bike touring?

The shoes you wear while touring on your bicycle will dictate a lot of your tour and will be one of the most basic decisions you will need to make. Do you want dedicated, hard-soled cycling shoes? Or will regular sneakers work for you? Depending on what kind of tour you are planning, you might [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }
Nancy Sathre-Vogel author

Steel or aluminum bike frame for touring?

One of the current debates about touring bikes is whether an aluminum or steel bike frame is a better choice. In the end, it comes down to personal choice. Aluminum is more rigid, which some people prefer. Steel flexes, which leads to a more comfortable ride for many. There is, however, another consideration that needs [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }
bike touring in argentina

Which is better for bike touring: a trailer or panniers?

While bike touring, we needed to carry everything on our bikes. Everything. If we had it with us, it had to be somehow strapped, lashed, and buckled onto our bicycles. One of the most common questions potential cycle tourists ask is:  which is better – a bike trailer or panniers?  My response is – it depends [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 13 }

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Bike Racks

I’ve had quite a few people write to ask me about bike racks to use to transport your bike on the back of your car. And my response has always been that I know next to nothing – we either ride our bikes to our destination or box them up and fly with them. Knowing [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

Bike touring: Do you really need waterproof panniers?

I’ve heard from cycle tourists the world over and many feel that waterproof panniers (saddle bags for a bicycle) are essential. I feel that maybe those cyclists are simply on a bandwagon that may be better left alone. It seems I’m the lone voice of dissent – I don’t like Ortliebs waterproof panniers. I don’t [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 22 }

When the unreasonable makes sense

If I’ve learned anything from pedaling thousands of miles around the globe, it’s that sometimes the unreasonable actually makes sense. A few years ago if you had asked me if it made sense to fly back to the USA in order to pick up a bicycle wheel, my response would have been along the lines [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

Rodriguez tandem: A review

Ah, the tandem.  I will always have fond memories of riding our Rodriguez tandem 17,300 miles down the length of the Americas.  I developed a unique relationship with my son, the stoker, as our lives were inseparable for almost three years. Together we faced the trials and tribulations of this wonderful adventure, but this is [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 3 }

REI Novara Randonee: A review

I love my bike – I really do.  My REI Novara Randonee served me well for 17,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina.  It got me there through thick and thin, over mountains and through valleys, through blowing sand and pouring rain.  It carried an enormous amount of gear and barely uttered a moan – well, [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 3 }

REI Novara Transfer: A review

I stepped out of Rediscovered Books in downtown Boise the other night to discover a crowd around my brand spanking new REI Novara Transfer commuter bike.  I had ridden  it to the bookstore to attend a book talk by Rob Penn, author of It’s All About the Bike – a story about his love affair [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 7 }
family cycling in bolivia

26″ vs 700c wheels for a touring bike: The definitive answer

The other day, a group of friends was sitting around talking about mistakes we’ve made over the years.  My first reaction was that we didn’t make any mistakes – uh uh – not us! But that may not be entirely true… Maybe we did make a mistake or two at random points along the line… [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 42 }

Pannier Review – Overland, Jandd, Ortlieb

One of the first things any bike tourist discovers is that we all do things differently.  Some of us like large panniers, others small.  Some want lots of pockets, others prefer one big bag.   Waterproof or not… Easy removal or made to stay on… heavy and durable or lighter weight but won’t last as long…  [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 14 }