I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on two wheels this summer, whether it’s riding around the Bay Area, bike touring around Europe, or mountain biking through the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The following gear joined me along all those miles, with many of the items set to join me again on some more bikepacking adventures this fall.
I am all about frame bags these days, whether I am bikepacking or just out on a long training ride. I find it so much easier to reach down to grab a snack or store an extra layer rather than having to reach behind my back. Seriously, I don’t know why I waited so long to put frame bags on my bikes. I now reserve my jersey pockets for overflow items that I carry for just-in-case purposes like tools or a spare tube.
My two current frame bags are a custom one from Thief Bikepacking for my adventure bike and a Rapha Waterproof Frame Pack on my road bike. Thief is run by my friend Mike Gurnham out of his home in Jasper, Alberta where he creates bike bags of all sorts by hand. One of his most popular items is a Bear Spray Holder for your bike — an essential pice of kit for anyone who rides in the Canadian (or American) Rockies.
Rapha’s Waterproof Frame Pack is not a full frame pack like my Thief one, but the four liters of storage space is perfect for holding snacks, layers, tools, and my phone on longer training rides. The full length waterproof zip on the drive side of the pack gives access to the main compartment while the corresponding zip on the opposite side opens a hi-vis pink-lined pocket for smaller items. The medium size frame pack fits perfectly on my 54cm road bike frame.
Helmet and Apparel
POC Omne Air SPIN Helmet: This road and gravel workhorse features a low profile to keep down weight and give it all day comfort chops. Ten wide air channels across the front, side, and back of the helmet ensure your head stays well ventilated and cool during hot weather riding. In addition to EPS foam, the helmet uses POC’s SPIN technology — a silicone gel-like membrane inside the pad that sheers away in any direction upon impact, absorbing rotational force to help limit head and brain injury.
Velocio Recon Micromodal Jersey: Our summer is just getting started here in the Bay Area, with 90 degree temps forecasted for the next couple weeks as the fog moves out and the heat moves in. I am currently living in Velocio’s Recon Micromodal Jersey. I like the lightweight zipperless design and the beech-tree/carbon mesh fabric is super soft and stretchy while cutting down on stink-causing bacteria build up. The perfect jersey for all your warm weather riding adventures.
Wild Rye Kaweah Bike Short: With a couple trips to Northern Wisconsin and my favorite CAMBA trails, I have been on the mountain bike more than usual this summer. I love all Wild Rye apparel but especially love these thistle-print Kaweah bike shorts. These knee-length mountain bike shorts are made from a durable polyester/elastane blend that is both breathable and DWR treated to repel dirt on those muddy rides. And since these shorts are designed by women for women, you can be sure they fit through the hips and there is no dreaded waist gap to leave you hanging as you ride. You get two front pockets and my favorite side zip pocket that perfectly holds my iPhone 7+ and keeps it out of the way as I ride.
Deerfly Patches: The local bike shop in Hayward, WI introduced me to these miracle patches. The mountain bike trails through the Chequamegon National Forest are full of annoying deer flies that leave the most painful bites should they get you. The little buggers can’t really be repelled by any spray and who wants to cover themselves in DEET anyway so these ingenious sticky patches catch them as they attack your head and before they have had a chance to strike. On a single ride, I caught five deer flies and remained bite-free. They really work.
Quad Lock iPhone Bike Mount: For my Germany and Slovenia bike tours this summer, I used Ride with GPS to navigate each day. That meant I needed to see my phone at all times. Before the trip over to Europe, I bought a Quad Lock phone mount and found it so easy to use. The mount attaches to your stem or handlebars via simple rubber o-rings and moves easily from bike to bike. The mount comes with a corresponding protective phone case and slip-on waterproof cover for when it rains. To attach your phone to the bike, you simply push down and twist to lock it into place. To unlock, pull down on the release lever and twist off.