Mal & Lee's Round the World Cycling Diary's
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[ HINTS AND TIPS ]
Gear selection is important and it is doubly important you decide what you need and NOT rely on the manufacturer. You WILL make mistakes. These pages may help some of you make fewer mistakes.
THE BEST GEAR SO FAR FOR US HAS BEEN THE FOLLOWING.
Trike – Catrike – Faultless to date 10/8/08. The amount of abuse these Trikes have been able to endure is incredible. The abuse of course is not intentional, simply a result of cycling in some of the more rugged parts of the world.
Rohloff Hub - Faultless to date 10/8/08.
Sclumpf High Speed Drive. - Almost Faultless to date 10/8/08. “Kicker Cup” (To change gear) fell off and was replaced FREE.
Coleman “Dual Fuel” stove (Awesome – NOTHING comes second, anything else is in another league).
Buy only. Quality waterproof lighting for your bike, hunt around for 2X AAA batteries, both front and rear... Easily Charged with solar, & light weight. If you MUST get C or D Cell batteries there is a small adapter available that converts AAA or AA to either battery type.
Sigma bicycle computers. We have found to be VERY durable and water proof, cope well freezing also.
Buy only. Camera with AAA or AA batteries, Easily charged with solar power. Other batteries? consider how they are charged up.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres. Very good value – hard to now consider another brand !!!
Eneloop Batteries – Can be purchased from “Battery World” in Australia. - Totally bloody superb.
Avid Disk brakes (Standard Catrike Component) our lives have depended on these many times - superb.
Trek Lite Tent... Without a doubt the best design we have used.
Asus Laptop – bounced around on a bicycle trailer for 22 months, hard drive fell out, dropped, sat on, you name it and it still works!!! I do not recommend you abuse yours like we have, however, the brand certainly has merit.
Thermarest sleeping mat. Despite my original comments it has proved so superior to anything else we have used, (Three other brands) I would take ONLY this brand on any other trip.
NEXT BEST GEAR
Trailer “Radical Design” Despite my comments here, the trailer has worked with a minimum of problems. A heavily faded bag and slightly porous rain cover, plus the holding mechanism for the wheels has caused them to fall off more than once, is about all. The wheels falling off were probably due to them not being secured fully, in the first place? (we think?). It happened once on “cobbled stones” alongside a canal in Wigan England. We were very fortunate not to have the wheel fall into the canal.
DO NOT BUY or BE CAREFUL WHEN BUYING
Vango Products – The tent we have is poorly designed and outrageously overpriced.
Huffy cycle Products – Junk.
Gas, Gaz Stoves. Those small gas stoves, we found the one we bought useless.
Kmart Alkaline rechargeable batteries. Junk. There may be other good ones out there, but, we will ONLY buy Eneloop – they have been fantastic.
Be careful: When buying anything that carries water. Plastic taste can be foul when drunk or cooked with. Remember if you can taste the plastic you are eating it. We used a “Platypus” bladder in our hydration pack – we modified the pack and threw the original bladder(s) away... The Platypus have a “plastic free” taste and are very durable. We do not use plastic or aluminium biddons, instead commercial bottles of water – neutral taste. WE WANT TO BUY, at a reasonable price. Light, Stainless steel biddons or bottles.
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