Bikes and touring gear

Our set up


Moustache x-Road FS7 and FS5

These are  urban MTBs,  more like a suburban SUV which never sees even a gravel road, but they held up well. One of our bike stands broke, and my front forks developed a rally annoying loud rattle which a bike mechanic assured me was not critical, and eventually fell silent when another part fell off on a demanding off road trail. They continued to act as shock absorbers though which is all that a touring bike needs. And a  crank arm fell off at an awkward place too.

  • 625wH batteries
  • Bosch Nyon controllers and dropper posts on both bikes.
  • They come with 25degree swept back bars and I’ve got Ergon GP1 grips for added comfort and support .
  • We removed the chainguard because I like access to clean and oil chains every day, and also removed the very urban style front mudguards, replacing them with MTB short versions.
  • We’ve replaced the stock 2.1 tyres with 2.25 Hard Skin tubeless for added puncture protection, still the Hutchinson Python 2 because they’re quiet and fast on hard surface, stick like crazy to gravel and rocks and don’t like mud, but neither do I so that works. I still carry tubes for backup.
  • I have a Brooks Saddle that has just had it’s first quarter turn tightening tweak after  9087km
  • Jill’s rear brake needed work so we replaced the  fairly average Shimano M200 calipers with a Deore XT and grip.  Jill loves the new brakes and I’m waiting for the rest to wear out so I can up-spec them too.
  • The bikes have built in pannier racks which are quite strong being integrated with the double skin mudguard, and they say they’re good for 25kg but we have small bags which are only about 7 – 9 kg including chargers. I have a small under the saddle bag for the tools and spares. We prefer to travel as light as possible and buy more if we need it on the way



We have Sena M1 Evo helmets which provide intercom up to 500m in a straight line, maybe 100m around corners. These are the best addition ever to our touring set up, or even our ride around town set up and they are so natural a means of communication that I wish we could wear them in the supermarket. We get some funny looks from people we pass, especially if we are out of sight of each other, and they seem to be quite relieved to find out that we are merely hi tech and not  strange old muttering people. They’re good for phone calls and are commendably useless at playing music so we don’t and why would we anyway? We’re on bikes.

The second best addition only recently has been the Take-a-look clip-on helmet mirrors, especially while biking on roads because the tail runner can warn of cars coming up. We think they make us look like quails, and they attract more comments than anything else we own.

I carry a PLB