Kevin’s Lightweight Gear List For Bike Touring in Europe

lightweight bicycle touring setup and gear list

lightweight bicycle touring setup and gear list

Here is the lightweight gear list for my 2016 bike tour across Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

1. Bike

2. Panniers

3. Sleeping/Camping Gear

4. Cycling Stuff

  • 2 sets bibs (Sub4) and jerseys
  • Ground Effect warm beanie
  • Ground Effect raincoat
  • Ground Effect rain pants
  • Shimano MTB shoes
  • Roeckl gloves x1
  • Assos rain gloves x1, (you never know !)
  • Pearl Izumi gilet
  • Sub4 ¾ length bibs, in case it’s cold in the mountains
  • Specialised helmet

5. Other Stuff

  • Thongs (Sub4) for ‘après velo’
  • T Shirts x 2
  • Shorts x1
  • Sneakers x1
  • Kathmandu long sleeve jersey x1
  • Bathers
  • Microlight towel x1
  • Cap

If you’d like to watch my entire 2016 bike tour across Portugal, Spain and France, please see the following four videos:



14 thoughts on “Kevin’s Lightweight Gear List For Bike Touring in Europe

    • Darren Alff says:

      Well, you don’t actually need electronics, lights or cycling guides to go on a bike tour. All that stuff is optional.

  1. David Hicks says:

    I’m 70+ year-old long distance touring cyclist (solo) who also packs everything into two rear panniers and a front handlebar bag. I’m not ultralight (less than 10 lbs) but go light. I never carry cooking equipment because I eat on the road, my ‘tent’ is a camping hammock with fly, and I wear liner shorts under light-weight casual shorts dispensing with bibs, underwear, bathing suit, thongs(?). I do pack a rain jacket but no rain pants and never pack a pillow (spare clothes in a stuff sack instead). I didn’t notice the gear list including personal products like toothpaste, soap, etc. Also, because of the distance and isolation, I carry a number of tools, spare tubes, patches, a pump, etc. Was there a sag wagon? Keep up the good work and more articles for us ‘Biking Boomers’

  2. Dale Conlin says:

    I echo the focus on baby boomers hitting the road on touring bikes. Sore muscles, aching joints, dealing with loneliness….all subjects we retired dreamers could benefit from.
    We are an age of loyal followers.

  3. Julian says:

    I am 60+, the exercise bike is gathering dust, the “real” bike is nearly ready, researched fuel stoves today, have decided my 40yo Optimus 99 beats them all hands down. Maybe a small, folding chair…. Tas, New Zealand, The USA, etc. etc.

  4. James Wheat says:

    My son and I are planning on self-supported touring/camping in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and wonder about water (drinking, bathing, cooking). I see that Kevin’s list doesn’t mention that aspect.

    • Darren Alff says:

      I’ve never been to Scotland, so I’m not exactly sure what it is like there, but I generally find water by buying it at stores; finding it at churches, cemeteries, libraries, gas stations, etc.; or finding it in nature (in streams, lakes, springs, etc). It’s usually a combination of those three things.

  5. Chris Dieringer says:

    Great article! I am also an over 60 male looking for a bikepacking adventure
    And trying to go light. I am planning a West to east across the US via the Southern route starting March 2019. I have attached a link to my lightpack equipment list. Any constructive feedback is welcome.

    • Eric says:

      I’ve ridden the Transam and several other long tours, just so you know I have some idea of what works, at least for me. I’m in my 50s, 60 next year.
      Other than just some of my preferences, you look pretty well set up.
      The bike you’ve chosen is a bit stiff and lightly built for touring, but if it works for you, that’s what matters.
      I don’t see a handlebar bag on your list. I find them extremely handy for those small items you want available and for your valuables. Mine removes easily and has a shoulder strap, which makes it convenient for carrying into restaurants, stores, etc. It also has a see through map pocket on top to keep your map in view. If you’re planning on using just your GPS and/or phone to navigate, I guess that features not so useful.
      Here’s my 2 cents on only using a GPS. It’s difficult to plan ahead. I find I don’t have any real sense of where I am, which I find a bit annoying/disturbing. You’ll also find that much of the area you ride through has poor to non-existent cell service if you’re planning on using the phone for that broader picture. Electronics die on the road, it’s nice to have that hard copy backup.
      A lightweight long sleeve shirt, like a pull over running shirt, is very handy. You can wear it over your jersey in the morning when it is cool. It’s handy at other times as well. I’m also starting to wear a very light long sleeve biking jersey a lot to protect from sun and cut down some of that sun screen slathering. The skin on my forearms took a beating from the sun on the Transam.
      Some spare parts; like screws for your rack, brake pads (I had one fall off along the road), maybe a spare brake cable. I’ve also found a small roll of electrical tape and a small multi-tool with needle nose pliers extremely handy.
      If you have any questions, I’d be happy to relate my experience.

  6. Tom Sitzman says:

    It looks like Kevin has a fanny pack. I never leave home withou mine. I always have my ID, credit card, cash, med information, emergency phone numbers, etc, in my fanny pack.
    A lifetime in the outdoors has taught me to protect myself. I protect my self from the sun. Always long sleeve UV shirt, with vents, and wear eye protection. I’ m old school and still use toe clips. They work great with my Keene closed toe saddles. If I carry a stove it is a small roar burner Optimus or a Seva 123. They have served me well the past 50 years. They are so superior to the canister stoves. New is not always progress, sometimes it is just change.

  7. Dande Grande says:

    On the Prague to Vienna tour, Kevin appears to be wearing long sleeve “fishing shirts” like those found at Bass Pro Shop or Columbia. What are the shirts he is wearing?

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