In a few days I jet off to Indonesia to document the mountain biking trails, accommodation and companies associated with bicycle tourism in Bali. I will be bringing with me 2013 MTB World Champion cyclist, Paul van der Ploeg to go on daily adventures through the mountains to find the best roads, tracks and trails on the island. We will be bringing lots of camera gear to provided you with lots of video content along the way – get excited!
You can get to know Paul by reading THIS INTERVIEW I conducted with him while we were in Germany.
For this mountain biking trip, Giant Bicycles Australia have provided us with 2016 Giant Talon 1 mountain bikes. We opted for this mid-range bicycle over the Giant ToughRoad touring bike because we plan to ride as many off-road trails as we can. It is going to be essential that our bikes have mountain bike geometry, a suspension fork and lots of stand over clearance for the rough and technical terrain we are expecting.
The Giant Talon 1 has provision for a rear rack which will carry our waterproof panniers. We made the decision to use panniers over lightweight bikepacking bags as we need to carry a fair bit of camera/computer gear, plus it’s the wet season in Bali so our bags need to be 100% waterproof!
Not only will we be riding the off-road trails, but we will be road-touring between each of the locations. The Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres that we’ve put on the bikes are going to be relatively fast on hard surfaces, but will also give us lots of grip when we hit the dirt. The Talon has a lockout switch on the suspension fork which will stop the stanchions moving up and down when riding on roads.
The 24-36t small gear (18 gear inches) will allow us to climb up almost any incline on the island. We are anticipating some pretty huge climbs given that the highest mountain, Mt Agung is 3148m tall! If the inclines are going to be steep, so are the declines. The Giant Talon comes with hydraulic disc brakes which will hopefully stop us on a dime, even in the monsoonal rain.
You can follow our 16-day mountain biking tour here on CyclingAbout, on the CyclingAbout Instagram, on Paul’s Instagram and on Facebook. If you’ve got any tips for travelling in Bali – we’d really appreciate your input!
We look forward to putting together this great mountain biking resource so that one day, you can follow in our tyre treads.