Low-cost Bicycle Touring Gear – How To Gear Up For Much less Than $2,000 – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Gearing up for a self-supported bicycle tour doesn’t need to value so much cash. In case you are like most individuals, you already personal a lot of the objects it’s worthwhile to conduct a multi-day bicycle tour of just about any kind. And people objects that you just don’t already possess could be bought inexpensively if you understand the place to search for.

On this article I can be sharing with you an instance packing checklist that you should utilize to equip your self to your first bicycle tour for lower than $2,000 USD.

I’ll additionally share with you a lot of totally different methods you should utilize to scale back the price of your bicycle touring tools much more (permitting you to equip your self, in some situations, for as little as $500 USD or much less).

Earlier than we start, you need to know that the fundamental bicycle touring gear consists of:

A bicycle
A way of carrying your belongings (whether or not it’s in a trailer or a set of panniers)
Tenting tools (equivalent to a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat.)
Bicycle instruments (equivalent to a multi-tool, spare tube, patch package, and so on.)
Clothes (i.e. shorts, shirt, sneakers, helmet, and so on.)
Meals and water
And a lot of extra miscellaneous objects.

For the needs of this text, I’ve chosen a number of the extra cheap bicycle touring merchandise you should utilize to gear up for a conventional self-supported bicycle tour. I picked merchandise which might be of high-quality, but in addition have a low to reasonable price ticket. As well as, I’ve chosen gear that goes effectively collectively and appears good each on and off the bike.

Whereas the merchandise featured on this article are actually not the one bicycle touring merchandise obtainable to you (there are literally thousands of other ways you can equip your self for a bicycle tour), the objects featured right here provide you with a superb baseline as for what to search for in a bicycle touring gear guidelines.

Every product listed comprises a hyperlink to a web page on the Web the place that merchandise could be bought. The costs listed right here had been the costs on the time of this text’s publication and costs are positive to range.

After wanting by means of the pattern bike tour packing checklist beneath, make sure you learn my feedback on the finish of this text to study how one can cut back the price of your tools even additional!

Fuji Touring
Fuji Touring Bicycle

The Fuji Touring bicycle is certainly one of a number of cheap newbie touring bikes. The rear rack and pedals will most likely should be changed fairly shortly, however the body and primary parts ought to final for a number of years. Learn my full overview of this bicycle proper right here.


Be sure you learn this earlier than you buy a touring bicycle.


SPD Pedals

Most touring bicycles don’t comes with pedals of any form. In the event that they do include pedals, you’ll normally wish to substitute them with one thing higher, like these SPD pedals which let you clip your sneakers to your bicycle and pedal with better energy and management.



Voyager Low Rider Entrance Rack

The Fuji Touring bike comes with a rear rack, so that you solely have to buy a entrance rack, like this cheap Voyager Low Rider Entrance Rack, and also you’ll be all set to hold 4 bicycle touring panniers in your bicycle.



Entrance & Rear Fenders

Fenders shield you, your bicycle and your gear from rain, mud and different street particles. Whereas fenders will not be 100% essential (particularly when you don’t thoughts getting moist), they’re good to have on any correct touring bicycle. Fenders are virtually at all times bought in units with each the entrance and rear fenders included. These Planet Bike hybrid/touring fenders are the proper dimension for pairing with the Fuji Touring bicycle’s 700c tires/wheels.



Water Bottle Cages
Water Bottle Cages

The Fuji Touring bicycle is provided with mounts for 2 water bottle cages, however doesn’t include the cages themselves. So that you’ll want to purchase two cages to your new bicycle.

$5.70 USD (That is the worth for two cages) – BUY HERE


Water Bottles

You possibly can spend some huge cash on fancy water bottles, however you don’t really want something particular. Use white or clear water bottles (quite than black or darkish coloured bottles) with the intention to hold the temperature of your water down when biking in sizzling climate.

$9.98 USD (That is the worth for two bottles) – BUY HERE


Axiom Champlain Deluxe Rear Panniers

Whereas these Axiom panniers will not be completely waterproof (like a number of the higher-priced bicycle touring panniers available on the market), they’re water resistant and are available outfitted with two rain covers that you may slip over the outside of the baggage when it rains to guard your gear inside.



Axiom Lasalle Deluxe Entrance Panniers

A completely-loaded bicycle vacationer might want to buy two bigger panniers to hold on the rear rack of his or her bicycle and two smaller panniers to hold on the entrance rack. Most panniers are bought in units of twos, so that you’ll want one pair of panniers for the again and one pair of panniers for the entrance of your bike.



OnGuard Doberman Key Cable Lock

There are a variety of various bike locks to select from. Whereas this lock won’t hold your bicycle secure in New York Metropolis (or comparable large cities around the globe), it’s gentle sufficient to hold in your panniers with out weighing you down and powerful sufficient to maintain most would-be thieves from stealing your bike.



topeak bicycle pump
Topeak Mini MasterBlaster Bike Pump

Any small bike pump will most likely do, however having a pump that you may rely on is vital. You’re positive to get a flat tire sooner or later in your journey, so ensure you’ve gotten a pump that you may depend on… like this Topeak Mini MasterBlaster bike pump.



Mini Bicycle Device

You wish to have the smallest, lightest multi-tool yow will discover that additionally has all of the instruments on it you’ll need to restore and/or preserve your bicycle on the street. There’s no level in carrying a heavy multi-tool that comes outfitted with a bunch of instruments you might be by no means going to make use of.



Patch Equipment

It is best to at all times be carrying a tube patch package in your bicycle excursions. For those who get a flat, you want to have the ability to take away the tire from the wheel’s rim and you need to possess the abilities to patch a tube if essential.



Spare Tube

I like to recommend you carry no less than one spare tube in your bicycle excursions. In case you are touring in an particularly distant a part of the world, the place bike outlets are few or far between, you would possibly wish to carry two spare tubes. Be sure you get the suitable dimension tube to your bicycle.



MSR Hubba 1-Man Tent

There are a variety of cheaper tents obtainable, however you’ll be onerous pressed to discover a lighter or extra compact tent than the MSR Hubba. This 1-person tent is the proper dimension for bicycle touring and can hold you secure and dry throughout your cycle touring adventures. Learn my overview of the MSR Hubba tent proper right here.



Huge Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad

For those who plan to camp, your sleeping mat performs a serious function in how effectively you sleep at night time. Foam sleeping mats are cheaper than the inflatable form, however they’re bigger, don’t final as lengthy, and so they aren’t almost as snug.



Marmot Mavericks Sleeping Bag

Most bicycle vacationers journey through the heat summer season months. Which means that carrying solely a light-weight summer season sleeping bag is important. Get the smallest, lightest sleeping bag yow will discover. Be certain that it compresses right down to a really small dimension, however can be heat sufficient to maintain you snug at night time.



Shimano SH-MT33G Sneakers

If you wish to dramatically enhance your energy and efficiency on the bicycle, take into account investing in a pair of SPD sneakers. Any such shoe has a small metallic clip on the underside of it that you should utilize to clip into the pedal of you bike (type of like a binding on a pair of skis). SPD mountain bike sneakers like this one are well-suited for bicycle touring as effectively.



Giro Hex Helmet

You’re going to want a helmet. Virtually any outdated helmet will do. Search on-line for good offers or strive your native bike store within the winter/low season to see if they’ve any large helmet reductions.



Fox HC Undertow Jersey

The clothes you put on on a bicycle tour is basically a private selection. You possibly can select to decorate up in Tour de France type lycra, or you possibly can put on one thing extra informal, like this Fox Racing mountain bike jersey.



Fox Head Males’s Demo Match Cargo Quick

The shorts you put on are extraordinarily vital on a bicycle tour as a result of they’re certainly one of three components of your physique that come into contact along with your bicycle. Get the mistaken shorts and you should have an uncomfortable bicycle touring expertise. However get the suitable shorts and also you’ll by no means have to fret about your backside getting sore. These Fox Racing shorts are made for mountain biking and include a detachable padded inside.



So, there you’ve gotten it! That’s a really primary pattern bicycle touring tools checklist.

For those who had been to buy each merchandise on this checklist, you can equip your self with a pleasant bicycle touring setup for less than $1,893 USD. However as you will notice in only a second, there are a selection of issues you are able to do to scale back your bills much more.

Save Cash On Your Touring Bicycle

For instance, chances are you’ll wish to begin out through the use of a bicycle that you just already personal, as an alternative of buying a devoted touring bike straight away. Whereas I don’t suggest you trip a mountain bike or a street bike on most prolonged bicycle excursions, these sorts of bikes can work on shorter bicycle touring adventures.

After I performed my first bicycle tour on the age of 17, I didn’t have any cash to purchase a touring bicycle, so I used my father’s outdated mountain bike as an alternative. There have been some particular downsides to touring on a mountain bike (i.e. sore palms and neck, it was more durable to pedal, it wasn’t outfitted to hold the gear I used to be hauling, and so on), however utilizing that outdated bike did save me some huge cash. And after two years of bicycle touring I made a decision that I needed to make bike journey an everyday a part of my life, so it was then that I lastly purchased a correct touring bicycle.

Utilizing a touring bicycle (as an alternative of a street or mountain bicycle) on a long-distance bike tour won’t appear that vital, however it actually does make a serious distinction within the total ease and pleasure of your bicycle excursions. However as I stated earlier than, if you’re simply beginning out and wish to do some quick bike excursions close to your house, it’s completely okay to begin out with no matter bicycle you’ve gotten available after which improve to a correct touring bicycle when you turn into extra devoted to bicycle touring.

For added recommendations on methods to save large quantities of cash when buying a brand new or used touring bicycle, see my e-book: The Important Information To Touring Bicycles.

Save Cash On Your Sneakers & Pedals

One other factor you are able to do to scale back your start-up prices is to trip your bike in a pair of standard tennis sneakers, as an alternative of utilizing the SPD mountain bike sneakers and pedals I like to recommend on this article.

Whereas the SPD pedals and sneakers I like to recommend do certainly make a dramatic distinction within the energy, effectivity and management of your bicycle, they don’t seem to be 100% essential.

Like with the bicycle you select to trip, strive conducting a bicycle tour in common tennis sneakers whenever you begin out… and as you turn into extra severe, take into account upgrading to a pair of SPD sneakers and pedals.

Save Cash On Your Panniers

Bicycle touring panniers will not be precisely low-cost. The Axiom panniers I featured on this article are the least costly panniers I might suggest. There are actually not the most affordable bicycle panniers obtainable, however something cheaper than that is normally a chunk of junk.

Prime of the road panniers can value as a lot as $500 USD, so take into account the $100 – $120 panniers featured right here an actual cut price!

Like lots of the objects on this article, you possibly can at all times begin your bicycle touring endeavors with a cheaper set of panniers after which improve to a higher-quality set at a later time limit.

One other method to save cash on the price of racks and panniers is to hold such a light-weight load that you just solely want to make use of two rear panniers, as an alternative of the normal 4 panniers which might be carried on the entrance and rear racks of a touring bicycle. Utilizing solely two panniers will lower your rack/pannier prices in half, however it additionally means that you’re going to need to watch out about what you select to hold in your bike tour. Pack gentle!

Save Cash On Your Bike Instruments & Equipment

For those who trip a bicycle in any respect, you’ve most likely already bought a pump, lock, patch package and multi-tool. You don’t have to exit and purchase all new objects simply since you’re occurring a motorcycle tour. Use what you’ve bought and, if essential, improve to higher-quality objects at a later time limit.

Save Cash On Tenting Tools

Simply since you’re planning a bicycle tour doesn’t imply you must camp. Whereas many self-supported bicycle vacationers select to camp (as a result of it’s cheaper than staying in a hostel/hostel and since it offers you the liberty to sleep virtually wherever), you would possibly select to choose out of tenting completely… and there’s nothing mistaken with that!

Opting out of tenting will prevent a major quantity of upfront prices and it’ll tremendously cut back the load of the gear you must carry in your bicycle, however it is going to most likely value you extra in the long term as a result of the price of staying in resorts, hostels, flats, and so on is a lot dearer than tenting.

Whereas there are a whole bunch of tenting merchandise obtainable to you, I like to recommend you keep away from the tremendous low-cost tenting gear you discover at Walmart and comparable low-priced shops. These low-priced tenting objects are sometimes fairly massive and heavy… and subsequently tough to hold on a bicycle of any form.

However, you possibly can actually go loopy with tenting tools if you wish to. Tenting tools ranges from very low-cost to very costly. You don’t need to lay our a fortune, however I like to recommend you get the perfect, smallest, and lightest tenting tools you possibly can afford.

Simply bear in mind this: Low-cost tenting gear is normally massive, heavy and simpler to keep up. Costly tenting gear, nonetheless, is small, light-weight, and requires extra upkeep to maintain it in good working situation.

For those who can’t afford the costliest tenting tools, then go for one thing within the center, however keep away from the tremendous low-cost stuff in most situations.

Save Cash On Bicycle Touring Garments

One other beauty of bicycle touring (versus so many different sports activities and actions that exist) is that you may select to decorate nonetheless you please. If you wish to gown up in skin-tight racing Lycra, you are able to do that. If you wish to put on looser mountain bike clothes, that’s completely tremendous. And when you simply wish to put on a T-shirt and an everyday common pair of shorts, that’s okay as effectively.

On my first a number of bicycle shorts I simply wore a pair of standard shorts and a T-Shirt. Even now, after 13+ years of bicycle touring, I nonetheless solely put on common shorts  and a light-weight, but unfastened becoming bicycle jersey.

If you wish to lower your expenses on clothes, simply put on the garments you presently trip in. If the garments you’ve gotten now work effectively for you, there’s a superb likelihood they may work effectively for you when you get on the market in your first bike tour.

For those who spend any cash on clothes in any respect, spend it on a superb pair of shorts. As a result of your bike shorts come into contact along with your saddle, they play a serious function in how snug you (and your butt/crotch) can be when you hit the street in your bicycle tour.

Different Notes About Packing & Saving Cash

It needs to be famous that along with the objects listed above on this pattern bike touring tools checklist, there are a selection of extra objects I didn’t embody right here. Issues like:

A digicam and charger
Cellular phone and charger
Socks and underwear
Maps & different paperwork
Journal & pen/pencil
Rain garments
Off the bike clothes (equivalent to denims, T-shirt, and so on.)

A completely-detailed packing checklist could be discovered inside my e-book, The Bicycle Traveler’s Blueprint.

I didn’t embody these extra objects within the checklist above as a result of these are issues that you just seemingly already personal and/or these extra objects will range tremendously from individual to individual.

It is best to bear in mind although that the price of these extra objects will add up and enhance the general whole value of your bicycle tour gear.


With a little analysis, yow will discover high-quality, but low-priced bicycle touring tools that won’t solely make you look good, however will efficiently ship you to your ultimate vacation spot.

Mix the money-savings ideas on this article and you can be able to go in your first bicycle tour for lower than $500 USD.

When you’ve got questions on any of the objects listed on this article or about the way you would possibly be capable of affordably equip your self for a bicycle tour of any form, don’t be afraid to depart a remark beneath. I’m completely happy that can assist you out in any method that I can and I’ll reply to all feedback at my earliest comfort.

Thanks for studying… and I hope to see you out on the street in your first bicycle touring journey very, very quickly!


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