Kit - I will gradually add my thoughts on the gear I used
Updated: Mar 31
You’re not going to agree with everything here, and I’m sure you’ll have your thoughts, so add them in the comments to help others
Rims – Ryde Andra
After some pretty harsh treatment, I’m amazed the Ryde Andra rims didn’t fall apart. Seriously, I’ve hammered these rims across all kinds of terrain, and I’ve only had to replace one spoke.
Because the Rohloff 14 Speedhub is quite large, the spokes are shorter than on the front wheel, which added strength to the rear wheel. It was in the rear wheel that I broke that spoke.
The rims are 700’s. I wanted this size because I had expected to be on roads for much of the tour. If I had planned on being on tracks and trails mostly, I would have picked 26” rims for even greater strength, in theory. But I liked the look of a bike with 700’s over 26”.
I was a complete novice when I set out. I was forever catching kerbs, going down holes and cracks in the road. I hit all sorts of hazards that a seasoned cyclist would easily avoid.
A few times I hit holes and ditches so hard that I stopped dead, my gear flying out of my bar bag and me nearly going over the handlebars, and it usually hurt a fair bit too.
I would then inspect the front wheel expecting spokes scattered around the floor like pick-up-sticks. But no, nothing, not even a wobble. I was always simply amazed because the crashing noise was usually quite loud.
Add to my treatment of these rims, the fact that they were carrying more than 200kg with me and my gear, which is a massive amount of weight. I’ve ridden gravel and sandy trails and some of the roughest roads you can imagine. I’ve braked hard and put these rims under tons of pressure as I’ve pushed up hills.
If you’re 100 pounds wet through and carry next to no gear, you might be able to get away with a couple of hula hoops for wheels. At 350 pounds, dry, I needed something more substantial, and these rims were perfect.
I’m just so impressed with the rims. If you’re a bigger rider or you want to carry tons of gear in all sorts of conditions, or you just think you’re going to be giving them some rough treatment, I think you should look into Ryde Andra rims.