No, we are not replacing any of our bikes with an E-bike.
In support of our 2021 Challenge, whereby we try to move towards a car-free life, we have been able to borrow 2 E-bikes from Santos bikes. While the E-bike models were decided upon by Santos, we were able to add some personal touch,
like the new frame colour Indian Curry for Linda's bike and Cool Petrol for Dirk's bike.
It's for us also the opportunity to try out the Rohloff gear in combination with the new Pendix motor.
We were looking for a bike which would allow us to go more off-road and which we could also use when our Santos Travelmasters were somewhere else, waiting for us to continue a trip. We opted for the same technology and stayed with Santos and the Pinion drive.
Our 4.29 mtb's are just like our Travelmasters virtually maintenance free.
The gearbox is again the Pinion P1.18 with a gates belt.
The Pinion gearbox has a range of 630%, each step being an 11.5% increase.
One crank rotation covers a distance of a little less than 1.5 meter upto more than 9 meters per rotation.
To attach an extra bottle holder or small luggage on places where there are no bolt holes in the bike's frame, we use the TwoFish Quick Cage adaptor.
(on the photo with the Santos hold-all)
It's a removable holder with 2 or 3 bolts which can be strapped on the frame with 2 velcro straps.
We bought the new 3 bolt version directly from the factory in the US as it was not available in Europe yet.
Attaching stuff to the Lauf fork
Just make sure that you do not load the cage with a total weight over 1kg as this may create wobble. Also, try to have approx same weight for both cages.
Brompton foldable bike
The Bromptons are used when we need to be somewhere by car or on citytrips. They fit nicely in the trunk of the car and we save a lot on parking fees by always parking the car outside the city.
Vincita makes handy and lightweight carry bags for the Brompton. It includes a clothing poach which you can use to protect the bike. You can as such check in 1 bag of 20 kg which contains both bike and luggage.
Santos Travelmaster 2.9
Our requirements were pretty simple, we wanted a bike which :
- is as maintenance free as possible (otherwise, we would get in trouble anyhow)
- would allow us to ride up a mountain with a smile on the face
- could take a big load of luggage, as we like our gadgets
- is going to last for a lifetime
When we are on a day-trip, we take the following:
- inner tube (different type per bicycle)
- self adhesive patches, pen and tire levers
- Silca T-Ratchet set
- Leatherman multitool
On a long trip, we take the following in addition:
- spare drive belt + drive belt care stick
- a pair of shift cables
- small pots with ball-bearing grease and assembly paste
- pinion lockring tool
- 2 fiberfix spokes + spoke wrench
- repair patches for outer tire
- pincet + small cleaning cloth
- heavy duty masking tape and tie wraps
- spare parts for the panniers
- some spare screws of different length
- 10mm hex key for crankshaft + some shortened hex keys for places where ratchet cannot reach.
- spare rubber for kickstand
- rescue blanket
Burley Flatbed Cargo Trailer
We were looking for a multi-purpose bike trailer. While we were perfectly happy with our panniers for our daily shopping, touring and bike-packing trips, we also frequently were missing the possibility to transport a bigger load when it comes to the more bulky stuff.
When it comes to bike trailers, there is of course also a wide variety of possibilities but looking at our specific needs, we decided that we wanted a 2-wheel trailer and we came to a short list of 3 brands, whereby the Burley seemed to deliver the right mix of quality, affordability and multi-functionality.
Specifically for our shopping, we made a wooden crate which fits perfectly on the frame and between the side bars.
To secure the trailer while left alone, we use the long version of the Tex-Lock eyelet with U-lock. It secures both the bike and trailer and the lock is ART2 approved.
No lock can withstand the professional thief but we try to adhere to the basic rules, being attaching the lock correctly (sufficiently documented already on many websites and Youtube channels) and choosing the right place to park your bike.
This last one is probably the most difficult as you do not always know the local circumstances.
When the bikes are in sight or we are just briefly away on a well known place (like our local supermarket), we would only lock up a with lock on the frame. We want to avoid that someone jumps on the bike and speeds away (while waving at us).
For longer periods, we will always use 2 locks and secure them to a fixed point. This certainly prolongs the time a thief needs to steel your bike and we hope that in this case, there are enough "easier to steel" bikes in the neighbourhood.
Linda discovered some nice looking locks for the bikes. A little bit suspicious, Dirk checked out the tex-lock website to discover that they were not only nice but also practical and secure. Having the ART2 label, they are also approved for our bike insurance against theft.
Except for the frame locks which are bolted to some of our bikes, we have changed all our different locks in to the tex-lock locks in combination with the tex-lock eyelet.
The locks are textile based and are very flexible and easy to use. They are not damaging the bikeframe and still provide the same type of security.
To us, the major advantage is that we can use the lock in different combinations depending the circumstances, while keeping the same lock cilinder for a specific bike (which is a requirement for the insurance).
80 cm eyelet
120 cm eyelet
160 cm eyelet
Panniers, Bags and Straps
It's a constant struggle to decide what we will take along on a bicycle trip. While we want to reduce weight and volume,
the essential things are usually ok for a short trip but when we are on a longer voyage, the criteria change and the "nice to have" list becomes longer and longer.
What we use as pannier or bag usually depends on the final packing list and we of course always need to leave some space for provisions and whatever we still may buy while on the trip.
We do not have specific bags for tour biking, bike packing or e-biking, we just mix and match.
Functionality or the looks are to us more important than the brand name and we try to only buy panniers or bags which we can use on all our bikes. We also moved away from putting everything in big bags and we are now using straps to attach stuff on the bike.
Panniers : the traditional panniers seem to us still the best solution if you have lots of things to carry, they are handy and waterproof. Most of the ones we have are made by Ortlieb and so far, even the first bags which we bought more than 10 years ago are still in perfect condition.
Handle bar bags : we moved away from the traditional square and sturdy handle bar box and are now more inclined to go for food pouches and a handlebar harness with a dry bag.
Dry-bags : we use dry bags whenever something needs to stay dry and does not find it's place in a pannier. Again, this varies per trip, sometimes our down jacket is in a pannier, sometimes it's in a separate dry bag.
We are not using frame bags as we like to have our water bottles in this area. The typical saddle bags always seem to small for us and we have a rack on all our bicycles anyhow.
Straps : learning from the bike packing world, we now attach several things with rubber straps to our bike. Just like a belt, they have several holes to tighten the strap perfectly with varying loads during your trip. It's also super handy to have certain things immediately at hand when they are not in your bags. As far as we know, there are 2 major players, the American Joie and the German Fixplus+. While they both are similar, we opted for the German brand as it seemed more logical to get products manufactured close by.
Other cycle things
When we started bicycle touring, we were looking for a GPS holder which could be used as well on our bicycle as on our motorbike. After seeing a review on Youtube of a Ram Mounts set up on a dirt motorbike, we were convinced that this would be perfect for as well GPS, mobile phone and GoPro.
Ram Mounts work with a standard ball mount or claw to which you can attach different holders.
We have the ball mounts standard on all our bikes and use the claws if we need an extra temporary holder.
One of the benefits of the Ortlieb waterproof bags are that you can buy different accessories and spare parts.
We added extra anchoring hooks (on the front pannier with an extra anchoring bracket) and extra bottle holders on the back pannier, also convenient for your fuel bottle.