About 3 years ago we started looking for new bicycles for our world trip. Not easy. There are lots of good touring bikes on the market these days. We tried many of them but there was one bicycle which stood out for us. The first time cycling away with the Santos Travelmaster 3+ was impressive. Its balance, stability and strength gave an immediate feeling of safety and robustness I had not experienced before. It felt like the landrover of bicycles we were looking for. Previously Santos had made a name with their strong and reliable Travelmaster 2.6 but new ideas and developments have evolved to this versatile Travelmaster 3+. It can be equipped with a variety of bike components. The Santos fits 28 inch wheels or special 27,5 inch with 62mm tires, disc- or rim breaks, a Rohloff Speedhub or a Pinion Gear Box with a Gates belt. Even a conventional derailleur with a chain. This adaptability makes it repairable anywhere in the world.
Now, after two years we have cycled nearly fifteen thousand kilometers and still love cycling on them. Not a thing has changed, same stability, balance, robustness and no break downs. Exactly the bikes we wanted.
Our tent is a Hilleberg Nallo 3GT. We opted for more space and comfort and to be able to store our bags. There are so many different circumstances which have an effect on your comfort when cycling and camping that it is impossible to find a tent which deals well with every one of them. Strength and weight influence each other so it is unlikely to find a tent which is spacious, strong, 100% waterproof, ventilates well and is light as a feather. You can’t have it all. This is what we thought after 7 months traveling with it: Pros: spacious, large vestibule, design, strength, reliability, color. Cons: price, ventilation, weight, zipper on right side dificult to close completely .
Norwegians say; “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.
As you are exposed to sun, rain and wind, good clothing is essential when traveling on bicycles but what is good clothing? Well, for example we think Merino wool is very good clothing. It is extremely comfortable to wear, dries quickly and does not hold body odor. Another material is Gore Tex. Rain gear with Gore Tex is windproof, waterproof and breaths well but it comes with a price-tag. Despite the price we think these are “a must have” when you are planning a long bike trip. It gives such a secure feeling when you know you will stay dry from head to toe once it starts raining. Nothing worse than getting drenched and then have to put up a tent. A good rain jacket ought to have a hood which covers a helmet and a proper cap for keeping your eyes dry. It should properly fit under your face so no water can drip inside and the sleeves should be longer then usual with a wrist closure. Best is to buy a size too big so you can fit “another must have” lightweight down jacket under it when it gets colder. The rain pants should be longer than usual so they still ‘fall’ on your shoes with a bend knee and wide enough with side zippers or velcro to be able to put them on over your shoes or mountain boots. We travel with Gore Tex mountain boots but also have waterproof over-shoes (Gaiter) from Vaude in a bright yellow reflective color. In dark and stormy weather it is essential to wear bright, reflecting colors and have good lights. We have seen unilluminated cyclists in shady clothing which were merely invisible. Dangerous! Be safe and make yourself stand out in traffic!