Equipment

Bike

My bike is a Sonder Camino Al gravel bike purchased from Alpkit back in June 2017 and well used since. I’ve been very pleased with the bike and the only changes I’ve made to the original specification are to change the saddle to a Spa Cycles leather one (copy of a Brooks saddle) and to add accessories such as bottle cages, pump, mudguards, computer mount, etc.

The bike I purchased is no longer available but a similar spec is here The option I choose is that with a 1 x 11 SRAM Apex1 groupset.

Gearing is a 40 tooth chainwheel and 11-42 sprockets giving a range of 3.64-0.95 ratios and a gear size (assuming 28.2inch wheel) of 102.5-26.9 inches. Tyres are WTB Riddler 700 x 37c TCS Light Fast Rolling which have been good but seem to wear out quickly. I’ve tried to run them tubeless but struggle to get the new tyre initially seated and sometimes lose patience and use an inner tube. For the Pennine Cycleway ride, the front was tubeless, the rear with fitted with an inner tube (plus Stan’s fluid to reduce punctures). I had no punctures on the ride (or at least ones that weren’t automatically sealed without me noticing).

The gearing was sufficient to cycle up most of the hills that I wanted to cycle up. Some were just too steep and I found that walking and pushing was just as quick as trying to cycle up (and would have been quicker if there had been lower gears that I could still turn).

Luggage

Second hand Ortlieb Bike Packer Light panniers mounted on a rear rack. With hindsight this was too much weight mounted just at the back of the bike. For future trips I will be considering a bar frame bag for some of the heavier luggage.

Also have a small Alpkit bar bag for snacks and to hold my spare battery in case it is needed for the Wahoo GPS (as the cable will stretch to the Wahoo mount and be generally protected from the weather).