Here’s a detailed look at each and every item I packed and carried with me on my 2018 summertime bike tour across Central Europe (including the week-long stretch I did from Prague to Vienna).
As I’ve said with all of my previous bike tour packing lists, I encourage you to use this packing list as a rough guideline for your own bicycle touring adventures… or (better yet) see my book, “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint“ for more information on what to pack, how heavy your bicycle should be, what type of bicycle and gear you should be using, how to get yourself and your bicycle/gear to the start of your bike tour, what to expect once you hit the road, how to find free and cheap places to stay each night, plus a whole lot more!
My Central Europe Bike Tour Packing List
This is my third major bike tour that I’ve done with my Co-Motion Cycles Sisikyou touring bicycle. This bike is made for road riding, but can handle dirt roads and gravel surfaces quite wonderfully. It was perfectly suited for my bike tour in Central Europe.
SPD pedals allow you to now only apply pressure when you are pushing down on the pedals, and in an upward direction direction as well. Not only that, but they lock your feet to the pedals, providing you with more stability when pedaling on fast descents. In other-words, you’re feet aren’t going to slip off the pedals as you ride.
The Axiom DLX Streamliner is an inexpensive rear bicycle rack with a narrower profile than many other rear bike racks. I’ve used this rack on several of my previous bike tours and it has held together just fine, so I used it again for this bike tour in Central Europe.
The Arkel AC Lowrider is the same front bicycle rack I’ve been using on my bicycle touring expeditions all around the world for the last 14+ years. The Arkel AC Lowrider rack is a very good front bike rack that I would highly recommend. However, it was not designed to go with the Co-Motion Cycles Siskyou touring bicycle, as it doesn’t fit well on the front fork. I would opt for a Tubus front rack in the future.
I used a set of inexpensive 26 inch fenders produced by Planet Bike for this particular bike tour. These fenders are inexpensive and they work extremely well. I would recommend them!
I’ve got two of these water bottle cages mounted to the frame of my touring bicycle. I wish there were room for three water bottle cages on my bike, but because of the Pinion gearbox and S&S couplers I have built into the frame of my bicycle, there simply isn’t room for a third water bottle.
Inside the two water bottle cages on my bicycle, I’ve got two standard-sized bicycle water bottles.
The Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus panniers I used on this trip are my absolute favorite bicycle touring bags. They’re large enough to carry all my gear, completely waterproof, and good looking. The pannier is shown here with a shoulder strap, but I don’t pack or carry that strap with me when I’m touring.
Ortlieb Sport-Packer Plus panniers are high-quality, waterproof bicycle touring panniers for the front of your bicycle. Once again, the product is shown here with the included shoulder strap, but I do not pack or carry this strap while I am on the road.
The Ortlieb Ultimate6 Handlebar Bag is one of my most-commonly used pieces of gear. I use this large handlebar bag to carry my wallet, cameras, and various bicycle tools. When I go into a supermarket or leave my bicycle for any length of time, my handlebar bag comes with me.
The Blackburn Central 50 rear bicycle light has worked well for me on previous bike tours, so I opted to bring it with me on this bike tour as well. The battery lasts quite a while and the light doubles as my nightlight when I am inside my tent. I was not carrying a front light on this particular bike tour.
The Blackburn Atom SL 4.0 bicycle computer is a very basic wireless bicycle computer which will tell you your speed, distance for the day, maximum speed, average speed and overall total distance. It doesn’t do much more than that, but I’ve found that that’s all I really want or need in a bicycle computer.
I use this short bungee cord to carry my tripod on the top of my rear bicycle rack.
The Lezyne Sport Drive HV hand pump is an inexpensive bicycle pump, but it has worked flawlessly for me on several different bike tours over the last two years, so I decided to bring it with me to Central Europe as well. It’s compact, lightweight and easy to use.
The Origin 8 wooden multi-tool is a little on the heavy side, but it has all the Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and such that I need for a short bicycle touring holiday of any length.
This is the same small (but not very light) pedal/S&S coupler wrench that I’ve been carrying with me for the last seven years. I use the wrench to install and remove my pedals, as well as to tighten and loosen the S&S couplers that allow me to split my bicycle in half. See my review of the Co-Motion Co-Pilot travel case for more information on how this works.
Rack, fender and water bottle screws are notorious for wiggling loose during the long days of cycling on a bicycle tour. That’s why I always carry at least two or three extra rack screws with me – just in case.
I’ve used the same keyed, cable lock on almost all of my bicycle touring adventures all around the world. The lock has worked well for me over the last 18+ years, so I continue to use it on my current expeditions.
In the event of a flat tire, I always have at least one spare bike tube on me at all times. I wasn’t actually able to find a 650 tube for my new touring bicycle, so for this particular bike tour I carried a 26″ tube with me – just in case (for emergencies only). I never ended up using this.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1-Man Tent is a small, lightweight tent that feels pretty big inside once you set it up and crawl inside. I bought this tent several years ago because of how small and light it is and it has turned out to be my favorite bicycle touring tent ever. Highly recommended!
This was my first major bike tour using the REI Flash sleeping pad. I bought this sleeping pad to use on my lightweight bikepacking trips, but wanted to test it in Central Europe to see how durable it was on a longer cycling adventure. I’m happy to report there were issues at all.
This small, lightweight sleeping bag is ideal for a summertime bicycle touring expedition. The Marmot Always Summer sleeping bag is insulated with down, so even in the cooler nights of spring and summer, this sleeping bag will likely keep you warm.
The MSR PocketRocket is a small, lightweight camp stove that is perfect for those who have the option and ability to travel with a propane/butane fuel canister. The stove is compact, lightweight, easy to use and allows you to control the temperature of your food with a simple twist of the nozzle.
If you opt to carry a camp stove like the MSR PocketRocket (listed above) then you’ve got to pick up one or more of these fuel canisters for your travels. I burned through two of these fuel canisters during my month-long bike tour in Central Europe.
In addition to the camp stove and fuel canister, I carry a small titanium cook pot and pan from Toaks. This pot and pan works well for any meal you might want to prepare for yourself after a long day on the road.
This small folding knife is carried in my handlebar bag and can be accessed quickly if need be. Would I use it to defend myself from a bear attack? Hell, yes! But realistically, the main purpose of this knife is for food preparation.
A lightweight titanium spork is the only kitchen utensil I carry with me on my bike tours these days (unless you count my folding knife, of course).
The Giro Revel isn’t a high-end bike helmet, but it fit my head well and is relatively comfortable. I wish the visor were a little bigger (to help shield me from the sun), but otherwise it’s a nice, inexpensive bike helmet.
I packed two of these Utilizer polo shirts from Columbia on my bike tour in Central Europe. They are loose fitting shirts that work well both on and off the bike, don’t get too smelly when sweat on and are stylish enough to be worn in nice restaurants, etc.
I don’t ride in a pair of special bicycle shorts. I just cycle in a pair of black Hurley shorts – like the kind you might find at your local surf/skate shop.
The Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket is lightweight, super compact, waterproof and great for blocking out the wind. It can be squeezed into any empty spaces you might have inside your panniers, but it isn’t very warm, so it needs to be used in conjunction with a warmer, insulating jacket.
In addition to the two polo shirts I was carrying with me, I also had two lightweight T-shirts, which I used to either sleep in or wore both on and off the bike.
My main insulating layer is a fleece jacket from Columbia. I can wear this jacket when I’m cycling, when I’m walking around off the bike, and even when I’m sleeping.
For sleeping in cold weather, I pack a small, light and compact pair of fleece pants. These pants are great to wear inside my tent in the evenings and were on my body almost every single night as I lay inside my sleeping bag.
I had three pairs of underwear with me on this particular bike tour. That was more than enough. I could have gotten by with just two and will pack fewer underwear next time.
As soon as my bike helmet comes off my head, I immediately place this black baseball cap onto the top of my head. It helps to cover my helmet-hair.
I packed three pairs of black socks on my bike tour in Central Europe. Two of the pairs I used to cycle in during the day, and the third pair of socks I used to sleep in at night.
While on the bike each day, I was wearing a pair of SPD cycling shoes made by Shimano. I’d recommend these shoes if you want a pair of SPDs that are both comfortable and don’t necessarily give away the fact that they are cycling-specific shoes.
A quality pair of sunglasses are essential on a long-distance bike tour. My sunglasses are prescriptions, so I wear them almost all the time.
All of my toiletries are carried in this single REI toiletry case. I have not listed the individual toiletries that I carried, but I will tell you that for this particular bike tour I did not pack a camp towel. I basically just had a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, tweezers and nail clippers.
The Chums Surfshorts zippered wallet is the best compact travel wallet I have found… and I would highly recommend it as a lightweight wallet for any outdoor adventure.
As an international traveler, I don’t go anywhere now without my passport. If you’re planning to cross international borders, you need to make sure you have your passport with you at all times!
For mapping out my route, listening to music/podcasts, learning foreign languages, flying my drone and simply entertaining myself, my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone is one of my favorite bicycle touring essentials.
When I crawl into my tent at night, the first thing I usually do is plug my earphones in and start listening to a podcast. Therefore, these small, lightweight earphones are an absolute must!
To charge my various electronics, I carried two different USB charging cables. One cable was used to charge my smartphone, camera batteries and bike lights, while the other was used to charge my GoPro video camera.
To charge my various electronics, I packed this small dual USB European wall charger. I used this mainly to charge my smartphone, bike lights, GoPro video camera and my drone.
The Anker PowerCore 26,8000mAh External Battery is a big, heavy power bank that you can use to power or recharge a wide variety of electronic devices via USB. I use this battery to charge my smartphone, USB bike lights, my GoPro video camera, my drone and occasionally some of my larger Canon camera batteries. This thing is essential if you’re traveling for multiple days on a bike tour and won’t have access to electrical outlets on a regular basis. Plus, you can use this battery to charge up to three different devices at once!
The audio on the Canon G7X Mark II isn’t the greatest, but this is my go-to camera when I’m shooting my video blogs for the Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube channel. Any shot that you see of me talking to the camera while I ride my bicycle was shot on the Canon G7X Mark II.
I packed a GoPro Hero video camera and used it to get a few action shots on my bike tour. Watch my videos from this bike tour in Central Europe and you’ll see a few GoPro shots mixed in with the rest of my footage from the tour.
The DJI Spark is a compact drone that is so much smaller and lighter than my old one. For this bike tour I brought the DJI Spark, the optional controller (which is an absolute must), three total batteries and I packed everything inside the carrying case that comes with the drone.
In order to charge my larger camera batteries, I needed to carry this small USA to European power plug adapter. this would allow me to use my camera chargers in any standard European power outlet
Finally, because I take great pride in documenting my bike tours, I travel with a Sony VCT-60AV tripod. Having a tripod like this allows me to setup my DSL camera and get some quality shots of me actually riding my bike (something that would be difficult to do without a tripod of any kind).
There you have it! That’s my detailed packing list for my 2018 bike tour across Central Europe (including the week-long stretch I did from Prague to Vienna).
Want To See More Bike Tour Packing Lists?
If you want to see more bike tour packing lists like this one, click here to see how this bicycle touring gear list compares to what I carried on my 2015 bicycle touring expedition, my 2016 bike tour in Europe, my 2017 bike tour in Ecuador and Colombia in South America, my cycling adventure in Sweden, Finland and Norway or my most recent bike tour in Northern California.
If you want to see a good lightweight packing list, please see this article I’ve written on the subject or pick up a copy of “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint,” which contains several different packing lists that you can use to plan and prepare for your own incredible bicycle touring adventures – wherever they happen to be in the world.
DO YOU LIKE WATCHING VIDEOS? Well, now you can learn more about how to pack, prepare for and execute your dream bike tour anywhere in the world by signing up for the Bicycle Touring Pro video training course. If you like to learn by watching videos, this is one of the fastest and most fun ways to learn how to travel by bicycle.