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Mountain bike equipment required for the expeditions in South America

If you do not have your own bike you may also participate at our mountain biking trips, we can do the renting arrangements for you, there are fine bikes available suitable for these kind of trips. Nevertheless we recommend you to bring your own bike which you are used to ride and it is tuned to your own preferences. Here we offer you according to our own experience the best options in bikes and other necessary gear.

Mountain Bike (specs):

mountain bikebiking expeditions and trip in Patagonia - ArgentinaWe recommend a Mountain bike or hybrid, with gravel and paved road tires and with prior mechanical check up.

Personally for traveling I prefer those with a Chrome-molibdenium frame . This is a strong alloy , stronger than aluminum , more flexible and it can be welded almost anywhere. Nowadays the market has set it aside and has replaced it .

"In the last 17 years I have crossed 5 times Patagonia (Bariloche- Ushuaia), down route 3 and the famous route 40 and I have used different bicycles " Mariano Lorefice says. In 93 I used a cromoly, no shocks , wheel size 27 and although the wheels were thinner , the size of the wheels helped to ease the bumps on the road. Most Europeans still use this kind of bike which I do not recommend because they are too tall against the wind . .

The lower the bike and cargo , the better . Shocks are recommended as long as they can be adjusted. Besides making it easier on the rough spots it also helps to avoid too much strain on the frame.

The use of a trailer is a good idea when carrying a heavy load, that could otherwise damage our bike. It also helps to reduce the wind factor. The “Halawa” trailer has always given me good results.

Bike gear:
Mountain biking trips in South America ArgentinaA standard and simple gear is the best . It is better to have a Shimano Alivio to an XTR, it is stronger and if necessary it can be replaced without spending a fortune . The fact that the bike weighs 2 kgs or 3 kgs more is not important. What matters is that the bike is strong , that we are used to it and that we know how to repair .

As they carry a heavy load the spikes suffer “fatigue” and snap therefore it is recommendable that they are new and of good quality . Once, I widened the holes where the spikes fit and replaced them with spikes from a delivery bike. They did not snap.
A hybrid tires 26 x 1.50 goes well . If we do not have shocks, a thicker one is recommended . A thinner tire makes the ride smoother but on rough terrain the effort increases. On some trips I bring a couple of Kevlar 26 x 1 which I replace on paved roads. Inner side Kevlar bands are good to avoid punctures. One must be careful when putting them. The kevlar sides can erode the inner tube until it breaks. It is imperative to have an extra inner tire.

Handle bar & position:
This has a lot to do with habit and it is not a good idea to change them now. It is always good to have different options to change along the way. I prefer the ones used at Triathlons which help to cut the wind . If I do not set them too low, they allow me to rest while cycling . The horn shaped bar is comfortable and I have seen people turn them upwards and thus ride in a straighter position. The grip must be soft so the wrists do not hurt. Specially for those who are not used to cycling. Some cyclists still can be seen using old fashioned bars on the road.

Again this is a matter of habit. Although you will notice the difference when on a bumpy road. If it is the first time on gravel road lower the height and use a thick and soft seat . If we know how to lean our body on our legs and arms and only ,when necessary, on the seat. We will be fine. I must insist that changing your seat before a trip is not a good idea . No matter how used we are to cycling , a change can be a killer. It happened to us too.

Other equipment for the bike:

Sidebags, saddlebags and bags:
Family vacations mountain biking - ArgentinaIf the trip is a long one the best is to carry 4 sidebags and a front bag and another one at the back. In Patagonia it is best to replace the front sidebags for a trailer. Long time ago we used to have a homemade metal bag carrier. If it broke we welded it but nowadays there are aluminum ones which are easy to repair with “Silver tape”, an old inner tube, scotch tape or a good piece of wire . It is not so difficult and the need teaches you how to become an expert in repairing all sorts of things. Always carry spare screws, nuts and bolts to hold the bag carrier. The waterproof Ortlieb o Vaude sidebags are the best. Otherwise always have a waterproof cover for your bags . They also help to compact your luggage in a better way. The tighter your luggage is the better. Argentine cyclists are well for been disorganized with their luggage and can be spotted on the roads carrying a huge tower of luggage, plastic bags and a camping kettle.

Most of our trips provide a support vehicle where we transport our luggage so there is no need to have a saddlebags unless you want to carry your camera and warm clothing.

Individual equipment:

  • Helmet

  • 2 Water bottle or water backpack (Camel bag)

  • Mountain bike trips &tours South AmericaSleeping bag and thermarest or similar

  • Tent (only for those who want single tents)

  • Head lamp or flash light with spare battery

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal medication

  • Sunblock lotion and lipbalm

  • Photo camera (optional)

Recommended clothing and footwear:

  • Bike pants short & long
  • Running pants
  • Windbreaker
  • Synthetic long sleeve shirt
  • T-shirts
  • Polar fleece jacket
  • Gloves, synthetic and wool socks
  • Sandals or spare tennis shoes
  • Fleece turtleneck
  • Rain poncho (optional)

Patience: Is the most important ingredient when traveling through Patagonia and it is the best gear in the world that you can count on.

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Patagonia Mountain Biking Expeditions
Phone: 011 155-604-1404 from abroad: (++54-9-11) 5604-1404 - e-mail:
Ciudad Autónoma Buenos Aires - Argentina

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