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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

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I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

3 levels

Three levels of tools to carry on a bicycle tour

Day Rider - Intermediate Tours - Long international Tours - mos common breakdowns

There are a lot of ways of categorizing tool kit but I like to boil it down to three different levels of riders/travelers. 

Day rider and very short tour 1 - 2 weeks on good equipment

This first level applies to anyone riding a bicycle more than walking distance from their home.  I am thinking about the standard ride where you get off work and ride til it starts getting dark and go home or longer day rides on the weekends.  This is a bare essential tool and spare list that avoids carry etra weight and bulk.  I know many bike riders do not have all these things onboard and survive just fine but here is my thoughts

You need to be able to repair flat tires, tighten the occasional loose bolt, and fix a broken chain; especially if we are talking about mountain biking on trails.  Because you will be home at night general mantience and care can be done with tools you keep at home

There are not many pumps that I like for bike touring.  The usual mini pumps that mountain bikers use are meant for lower tire pressure and aren’t any good at getting a 70psi+ tire up to pressure.  A frame pump meant for a road bike is good because road tires require high-pressure 100psi+.

On tour I like a frame pump with a foot peg and gauge.  It is a little bit bigger than most pumps but you can get leverage similar to a floor pump and can achieve enough pressure for touring and even road tires although 120 psi is a lot of work.

Shop for Topeak Road Morph Pump  HERE

See More Bicycle Pumps Here

(Tim's pick) Best Bicycle Touring Frame Pump
Topeak Road Morph Pump

Needing spare tubes for those inevitable flat tires and punctures.  I like to carry at least 3 when touring because some punctures can not be patched.  Slime tubes are a bit heavy but greatly reduce flats and I get them when I can find them.  .   Tubes Tubes        Slime Tubes
Patch Kits Patch Kit and

Uf I am doing day rides from home and get a flat tre I will replace it with a new (or patched) spare tube and patch the hole/s later at home but on a bike tour only a few extra tbes are desirable to be carried.  Tubes are expensive and bulky to carry and a patch kit can stretch your travel funds while reducing the overall weight in your bags.
Tire Levers Tire Levers

Tite levers may seem insignifigent when you first hold them in your hand but nothing else can remove and istall a tire on a rim without damaging the inner tube than these lightweight cheap but essential tools. 
Presta Valve Adapter Presta Valve Adapter If you are using presta valves having one of these tiny adapters will allow you to use gas staion compressors or borrow friend's pumps.
Bicycle multi tools are great for day rides and shorter tours where your tools are for emergencies only and full sized shop tools are used at home.  On a longer tours  where tools are used regularly for maintance and repairs. I find the ergonomics and quality of multi-tools to not be not nearly as usuful as individule tools - best seen as an emergancy tool.

When shopping for a milti tool make sure it has a chain tool included

Multi-Tools Multi-Tools

Bike Chains and Joining Links

Bike Chains and Joining Links

These joining links are the same idea as the old fashioned "Master Link" of days gone by.  If you chain is mangled usually you remove any twisted pieces with a chain tool and rejoing the chain with these links.  A must have even od day rides.  On longer tours you will also want a short section of chain to replace the damaged links so the overal all lenght of the chain does not get shorter. 

pump (my description)
tire levers
patch kits
Presta Valve adapter
multi tool with allen keys, wrenches, chain tool, and screwdrivers
chain link

intermediate bike touring short tours abrouad or 3 to 6 months in first world.

This fits most bike tourist including those crossing the USA starting out with a bike in good shape - especially the tires and rear wheel.  Another way to label it is standard loaded bicycle touring lasting one to six months in a developed country (US/Canada/Europe/Australia/NZ/ect.) or shorter tours abroad.

You need all of the basic list above plus a few extra tools should be added to repair broken chains, spokes, and cables. and more  (see most common breakdown.)

Leatherman style Multi Function Tool Leatherman style Multi Function Tool with Pliers

 /Swiss Army knife (blades, pliers, screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, file, etc.)

 I mainly like this for the screw drivers, knife blades and the neetle nose pliers but a file a little saw occasionally come in heandy


Park Chain Tool Pin - Set of 2 use while still being light and small to carriey on a bike tour or seat bag.

Chain tool

chain links (extra chain?) chain tool

chain link?????????

Park Compact Chain Tool

Twisting or mangleing a chain while mt biking and bike touring is going to happen if you are traviling long enough.  I have seen cyclist try to use rocks and pliers when then did not have a chain tool along but it is almost impossible to cleanly take out bad chain sections without a propper chain tool

Park Compact Chain Tool   This is my favorite chain tool and the only one that give you shop quality durability and ease of

Headset wrench  
On a bike tour I like a separate good quality tire pressure gauge.  Usually when a frame pump has a built-in gauge it is not very accurate and breaks quickly.  Having an accurate gauge and keeping your tire topped off is super important in reducing tire wear and flats, not to mention a noticeable difference in cycling efficiency.

"Shop for Planet Bike Dial Tire Gauge  HERE

 tire pressure gauge

(Tim's pick) Bicycle Tour Pressure Gauge
 Planet Bike Dial Tire Gauge


Finish Line Dry Lube - 2 oz. Squeeze Bottle Bicycle Chain Lube Bicycle Chain Lube

This is essential to clean and lube bike chains and other components. 

  shop rag

Spoke wrench

Park Multi-Spoke Bike Wrench SW-7

Spoke Wrench is the only real wat to turn spoke nipple to true wheels or replace broken spokes on a rim.  If you are using pliers you will round off the fragil nipple in no time ans cause big trouble

A spoke wrench is a tool that can do more damage than good if you do not know what you are doing. 



Cassette tool (also called a cassette cracker or remover)

Stein Mini Cassette Lockring Driver


FiberFix Emergency Spoke Replacement Kit

A folding set of alien keys will be adequate on tour as long as there is an 8mm to remove newer pedal.  Older pedals require a pedal wrench or making due with an adjustable wrench.  I prefer individual allen keys because to fit in tight places much better and make jobs like chain ring bolts or bottle cages much much faster

Pedro's Folding Hex/allen key Wrench Set


Park Head Wrench 32/36mm - HCW-15

cone wrench

Even on a short tour your cones can come loose and nothing really fits in the slim nut's space except a cone wrench.  If you have upgraded to sealed cartridge hubs then this tool is obsolete. 

  pedal wrench(if not using a 8mm allen key)

8 and 10 mm wrenches

Park 8mm and 10mm open ended wrench


an 8.10 mm open ended wrench is perfect for bicycles because these two sizes cover pretty much all the bolts on a bicycle thesebut this odd


pressure guage
chain joining link - extra piece of chain
spoke wrench
better allen keys
cone wrench
8 and 10 mm wrenches
pedal wrench
better chain tool

cassettet remover
temp spoke - real spokes
electrical/duct tape
extra cables - at least one derailer cable
bike grease
chain lube

hard core bike tour - long international - around the world - Full kit for advanced bicycle tourist on long hard trips

For touring cyclists on extended trips through undeveloped parts of the world, riders need a complete set of tools for extensive repairs. Of course, just having a tool is not enough. I recommend taking the time to learn and practice bike repairs before the trip begins. It's much easier to learn to replace a broken spoke in a workshop than on the side of the road.

Because I live on tour, I have a pretty big set of tools and only feel comfortable if I can take my whole bike apart with what I'm carrying.  At one time or another I have used all my tools

real allen keys
chainring bolt tool
cable cutters
bottom bracket tool - can borrow adjustable wrench
brake pads = 4
extra cables = full set

extra tire

International long bike tour

Allan Kays and folding hex head sets

You can get by with a folding allen key set as I suggest for short tour.  But on a long tour where I know there will be regular bike work I like loose allen keys bound together in a set.  One big advantage to this set is there is a big 8mm allen key used to remove most of your newer pedals.

  Pedro's L Hex Wrench/allen key set

Allan keys are essential on bicycles. 

Chain Ring Bolt Tool

Chain ring bolt wrench

Park Chainring Nut Wrench

This little tool is used more than you think on tours where you are cycling enough miles that you can expect chainrings wear out

ther than that it is used for tightening the chainring bolts that often come loose - expecially on new or recently rebuilt cranks

Cable cutter 

Park Pro Cable/Housing Cutter Park Pro Cable/Housing Cutter

On short tours you can cut cable with a Leatherman but if you know your trip will require several cable changes then these cutter get the job done right.  Any kind of regular wire cutters like a Leatherman will fray the cable and take some work to cut it clean enough to fit into the housing - OK for an emergancy but not for regular bike work. 


pick and link to the other type of bb tool

Bottom bracket tool/crank puller (different design for different bikes, heavy thing to carry so make sure you can use it)

crank puller/bottom bracket tool

Park BBT-9 Bottom Bracket Tool

For extended trips through undeveloped countries a tool to remove your bottom bracet  Bottom bracket trouble is rare these days but they do wear out and need to be replaced.  In developing countries with few modern bike shop shipping a new bottom bracked from home is always an option but you will probably need to order or already have

I do not carry a bottom bracket took in developed countries but this is the biggest tool I carry in undeveloped countries that I could possibly live without.  I have learned on a trip as long as mine that I do use it from time to time but, more often than not, I am using it to help out some other touring cyclist I have ne with bottom bracket trouble.



Replacement Brake Pads

Replacement Brake Pads

Brake pads will easily last on 6 month trips but, after that need to be replaced regularly.  On a short tour a spare set can be carried just in case you lose on (it can happewn) or something else damages it.  On long internation tour I would start with 2 pairs knowing they will be used.



Carrying a whole extra chain is only for those who know they will not to be able to buy or mail a chain to themself on their route.  An example is a long trip in India or Africa where recieving mail can cost crazy tax

Brake/Shifter Cable and Housing

Brake/Shifter Cable and Housing

Breaking cables on a bike tour is comon.  Usually it is the rear derailer cable so I recomend having a spare rear derailer cable even on short tours.  For long tour you can expect to need to replace cables and housing at some point so I would carry 1 or 2 full sets. 

Bike Grease

Bike Grease





Brooks Proofide Saddle Dressing

Brooks Proofide Saddle Dressing
Click above to purchase.

A new saddle should be treated with Brooks Proofide leather dressing to help assist the ‘breaking-in’ process. Proofide keeps the leather supple as it is specially formulated from natural ingredients to condition, preserve and shower proof your saddle.

Buy Brooks Proofide Saddle Dressing  HERE

Brooks Saddle Tensioning Spanner
Click above to purchase.

Brooks Standard Saddle Tensioning Spanner

Buy Brooks Saddle Tensioning Spanner  HERE




Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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