Broken Gear: Almost One Year of Bike Travel

When you use your gear as much as we do, you expect casualties…

Sleeping bag

Our Macpac zip-together sleeping bags have kept us warm in temperatures from around -5c. Apart from the down in some parts of the sleeping bag gathering together (leaving other areas with less down) we have been totally stoked with our choice – in fact it makes our Top-10 Favourite Bits of Gear.

The only issue we have had is that I have managed to twice puncture the foot area of his bag. Given that I am at the maximum height for the bag (my toes press the bottom at night) and it is lightweight, it is not a concern for us. It's an easy fix with a needle and thread.


The wheel that Kat rode for over six months was flawless under Kat's body/bike/bags (~100kg). We then threw it in the back of the tandem – the Mavic XM719 rim was expected to now operate under Tan-nay-nay, her passengers and all their gear (over 200kg). After ~2000km the Mavic rim called it quits and we are now limping towards Tehran where we will locate something more suitable.

It seems the eyelets have proven to do nothing, the sidewall is cracking and there are major cracks everywhere on this wheel! We wouldn't recommend this rim under bicycle tourers with bike/rider/gear weight much over 100kg!

Tent pole

Our poor Mountain Hardwear Skyledge tent has been used very often. It has seen snow, storms and really, really strong wind. It is still going strong, but we did manage to snap a pole a few months ago. I broke it when I was emptying the tent of dirt, holding it upside down in the air. Perhaps I was holding it in an inappropriate way.

In addition, the seam sealing on the floor of the tent has also seen better days – it is starting to flake away.

iPad Screen

I have no idea how my iPad screen got this crack. I can only assume that I stood on its corner, or dropped it from a decent height. Luckily the crack doesn't go over the screen and hasn't grown since the day it occurred.


Our clothing has held together pretty well considering how often we wear it! I have two tshirts which are starting to collect small holes all over them. My three pairs of FAVOURITE EVER Pearl Izumi socks are showing age with holes at the end of the toes, and under the balls of my feet. My undies are getting hole-y too.

Kat has done pretty well so far, just a split in a pair of old jeans.

Exped pillow

My Exped air pillow lost it's form early on in the trip. This is not the first known case, although the sleeping pads are probably more susceptible to damage than a pillow. We were luckily in Germany and found a retailer who could warranty this product for us.

Rear pannier

Our rear Ortlieb Backroller pannier has broken (and been repaired) in two ways. One problem has happened before (see THIS post about preventing it somewhat) but the other is new to us. Our Racktop bag seems to put a lot of pressure on the top clip of the pannier – so much so it split from the bag. Kat sewed the clip back on a few thousand ago and it seems to be fine now.


The musettes get used almost daily, so seeing holes develop in them is no surprise.


  1. Ange’s back rim also cracked the whole way around after about 8000km. It was also a Mavic…

  2. Love that you’ve been busting out the sewing needle and repairing gear. Far too many would use the excuse for new shit.

    32h rim under Tan Nay Nay…. Will be interested in what the stronger alternative is to a XM719! Maybe two 719’s gaffer taped together? Or if you’re running a disc on the back now, some disc specific wheels will no doubt help matters.

  3. JG!

    Kat is a weapon on the needle… she can definitely keep most of our gear going.

    We have a rim on its way that should not have any problems. It’s the Rigida Andra 30 and it’s drilled for Rohloff hubs. It’s over 200g heavier than the Mavic if that’s any consolation…


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