Eurovelo 6: Crossing Europe on a bike - Bikes & Equipment
We are rather people of action than some professional bikers.
We are amateurs, but we have the guts.
Without hesitation, I decided to cross Europe on my 10-year-old mountain bike - Specialized Hardrock size L, wearing my old fitness track pants.
My Specialized Hardrock sports original Alivio set, with Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes. For this type of travels, this bike is inappropriately equipped with a non-lockable RST 12cm fork (spring, oil) and small 26" wheels. I swapped my original 2,1" slow mountain tires for much faster 26x1,75 Schwalbe Range Cruiser tires - they are just amazing, I definitely recommend buying these! In Decathlon, I purchased a steel rear rack for disc brakes (500 ONESEC 26-28) and again I was completely satisfied.
FELT Verza Speed 50 2016
Magduš decided to get a brand new bike but didn't want to spend a fortune on that either. In the end, she went with this nice trekking Felt - a model from the previous season, which she got at a discount for 7,000 CZK (305 USD, originally 480 USD). The bike sports front derailleur Altus, shifter Altus, and rear derailleur Tourney. This inexpensive Felt's biggest advantage is for sure its rigid fork and low weight of a mere 12 kg. For more info click here. For the next trip, we would swap the existing 700x35 tires for something a bit wider.
On the back of the bike, we mounted the Sport Arsenal SNC aluminum art rear rack. 215.
Arsenal 445 klickfix handle bag
Triple bag Arsenal 465
We purchased these new cycle bags Arsenal with a bit of initial mistrust, which was after short time replaced by pure enthusiasm and satisfaction. Bags are abrasion resistant and mild rain resistant, and their size was completely satisfying (35l rear & 7l front).
The Decathlon's Quick Hiker 2P (link) tent has been excellent and has survived all the type of bad weather condition. Rainfalls, strong winds, and thunderstorms have kept us company regularly throughout our travels and never has happened that the tent would leak or get torn. Wonderful product! However next time I would opt for its more expensive, 700 grams heavier and more spacious alternative for 3 people (link). Overall, I have a very good experience with all Decathlon products.
I recommend this extremely light and sturdy Kilimanjaro Superlight sleeping bag (link). At a good price, you will get an excellent quality product for summer use.
As you can see, our equipment is far from a professional level. In the end, we have completed a total of 3,100 km without any accidents or defects. Each of us got only one flat tire, and that's all. I have serviced and lubricated our bikes regularly every day.
At this moment, I would like to emphasize that such a long journey can be made on cheap or old bicycles too - as long as you regularly service them. You don't have to necessarily spend heaps of money on superbikes and professional equipment. Most likely, the only most important thing to beat the EV6 is your unceasing motivation and inner strength that will keep you going forward.