During my training in Spain, I trialled essential equipment that I am planning to use on my around the world ride:
Garmin Edge 810
Before leaving for Spain, I purchased a Garmin Edge 810 based on its reputation for having an excellent navigation interface and good battery life. On all my rides, the Edge 810 performed incredibly well. I never felt lost or worried about the batteries running out. A great purchase! The Edge 810 has routable navigation, just like a car GPS does. It’s worth noting that the device did not come with a map for Spain or any country, but that you can either purchase a map from Garmin or download one for free from Open Street Maps. For super easy instructions to get the maps have a look as DCrainmakers review!
Apidura Saddle Pack
On the longer days, I had my Apidura saddle pack with me for warmer clothes, tools and food. This saddle pack never disappoints! A super piece of kit.
My new Exposure Diablo front light impressed beyond my expectations! It enabled me to set off at 7am in complete darkness. Even on the lowest setting I was able to clearly see the road in front of me, and the battery life was great too.
Castelli Bib Shorts
I tested my new pair of Castelli bib shorts and decided that they were not up to the task. The chamois is super comfortable for long rides, but unfortunately the stitching of the chamois came away after a week of riding. I also decided that bibs, in general, are simply impractical on long rides. Having to take off your tops and jackets every time you need a comfort break is a massive time waster.
Btwin Road Shoes
After 2 consecutive long rides (~220km), my Btwin road shoes, which I thought fitted me well, became very uncomfortable. Some of my toes started swelling due to constant pressure being applied to them, so new shoes are needed! I’m thinking of getting some cyclo-cross shoes with laces. Laces can be easily replaced and I’d be able to walk short, unridable sections in them, if I have to. Anyone got any they’d recommend?
Louis Garneau Course Helmet
My semi-aero Louis Garneau Course helmet was great overall. Unfortunately, I can see the weight (300g) becoming a problem when riding 10 hours a day – day in, day out – and the plastic strap adjusters on my current helmet gave out after 3 months. So, I’m also looking for a new, lighter helmet. Any recommendations?
The Castelli headband is probably the best wee piece of Lycra I’ve ever owned. Being out on the bike all day means that I need to be prepared for quite a range in temperatures. The headband protects my ears from the wind-chill on early mornings and long descents and is small enough to easily put in my jersey pocket when it gets too warm.
I am short sighted and on sunny days I was riding with contact lenses and sunglasses, with the sunglasses not only protecting my eyes from the sun, but also from the wind. This combination works fine on short rides, but on long rides, with either a start or a finish in the dark, my eyes got really dry from the wind. So, for my around the world ride I will get prescription sunglasses as well as a sporty set of clear glasses, to keep the wind out when it’s darker.