Someone famous once said that it’s not about the bike. After all, there are many different bicycles that could take us from Alaska to Argentina. It is not necessary to spend a fortune, whether it is on a custom touring steed or a Rohloff-equipped mountain bike or lightweight backpacking equipment or top-of-the-line panniers.
We were compelled to build bicycles that suited our purposes. We wanted bicycles that were bombproof, with minimal maintenance and rugged construction. We wanted to have the freedom to safely seek out nearly impassable roads and trails in all conditions, which mandates a bike that more closely resembles a mountain bike with the necessary tire clearances and disc brakes.
We have chosen to pack as lightly as possible, while preserving our electronic capabilities of a DSLR, an iPhone, and an Apple Laptop. Furthermore, due to the incredible climactic variations we will encounter along the way, we must be prepared for everything from deserts to tropics to snowy mountain passes. Space and weight and safety are at a premium on a bike expedition. This page will provide the full accounting of our gear.
We have chosen to build our touring bikes around a Surly Troll Frame and Rohloff speedhub. Our Trolls are painted in Surly’s “Agent Orange” and are really the tractors of the bicycle world. You name it, they can do it. We felt they would be perfect for our journey. Trolls are suited for front and rear disc brakes, easy compatibility with the Rohloff internally geared hub, front and rear racks with good heel clearance, fender mounts, and bombproof 26″ wheels whose tires we can easily replace in any country along the Pan-American highway. See links below for our detailed Gear reviews.
Frame & Fork: Surly Troll with stock, rigid steel Surly fork.
Brakes: Avid BB7
Handlebars: Salsa Moto Ace Woodchipper
Levers: Cane Creek Drop V Levers
Cranks: Campagnolo Chorus 39t Square Taper w/ BBG Bashguard
Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood steel square taper
Chain: Wipperman 808
Front Wheel: Velocity Cliffhanger 36h, Phil Wood 36h disc hub, Sapim Force Spokes
Front Rack: Surly
Rear Rack: Surly
Front Panniers: Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus, Arkel Samurai
Rear Panniers: Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus, Ortlieb Bike Roller Plus
Handlebar Bag: Ortlieb Ultimate 5 with camera insert
Rack Bag: Ortlieb Rack Pack – Medium