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.
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
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
Other equipment for the bike:
Sidebags, saddlebags and bags:
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.
- 2 Water
bottle or water backpack (Camel bag)
bag and thermarest or similar
- Tent (only
for those who want single tents)
- Head lamp
or flash light with spare battery
- Sun glasses
lotion and lipbalm
clothing and footwear:
- Bike pants
short & long
long sleeve shirt
synthetic and wool socks
or spare tennis shoes
- Rain poncho
Is the most important ingredient when traveling through
Patagonia and it is the best gear in the world that you can count
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