Tag Archives: Tour du Mont Blanc

What do you take on for the ride?! essential stuff you should not forget at home

What do you take on for the ride?! essential stuff or waste of weight?!

Last year I helped writing an article about adventure bike packing and the things we should carry on a bike ride, depending and the type, place and length of the ride you are about to take.

The thing is that you have to be dynamic in everything you do, in how you ride, what decisions you make and change you’re track if necessary and also in what you take with you on the ride. Yes, is good to have everything with you and don’t miss a thing when you camp but maybe you will not enjoy the trail that much with a 10kg backpack on you or with lots of stuff hanging from the bike. I for one don’t want to sacrifice the descent as much as possible, I like to enjoy every bit of it and ride it in almost normal conditions not being forced to take it to slowly because of the stuff I carry. That’s why I try not to take unnecessary things with me and I am very pleased when everything in my backpack (except first aid kit) is used and I did not carry anything unusefull with me :).

To help organise you’re backpack, you can use this site i find very simple and practical: lighterpack.com

With this in mind, I wold split the bike luggage in 3 groups, super light, light and bike packing.

  1. “Super light” luggage – for half-day or maximum 1-day ride

These are fun rides, for training in the bikepark or on enduro trails. These are rides on routes that you already know and where no significant surprises can occur. These are rides in which you can leave later in the day and which you can finish without worries over a beer in the evening. In such rides the luggage is super minimal, and many of the objects, such as tools, it is recommended not to be taken in duplicates. For example, a pump is enough for everyone or a single multi tool. The recommendation is also valid for the other two types of luggage.

In a “Super light” ride it is enough to have the things below. Luggage should not exceed 1-1.5 kg.

  • Helmet
  • Snacks (2-3 energy bars / chocolate, a sandwich, possibly 1 energy gel)
  • Spare tire tube, self-adhesive patches, levers, pump, multi tool (except for the tube, the others are enough to be in one for the entire group, spread to other friends in the brat pack :)))
  • Water bottle – with water 😉
  • Hip bag (optional), in which you carry tools and snacks
  • Knee pads (armpads are optional or depending on your experience – the smaller the more
  • ptotections needed)

You can check the representation of this type of luggage on lighterpack here.

2. “Light” luggage – for tours of 1 day or maximum 2.

The 1-2 day tours can be characterized as “short adventures”, in search of beautiful alpine trails. These are rides in which we do some exploration with an average level of “surprises”. It is not excluded to reach unknown areas from which we must get out safely. However, it is important to mention that having this luggage with you, rides should not exceed two days.

For safety we will have several items with us, such as a headlamp, first aid kit or change / sleeping clothes. If the ride involves sleeping in a shelter or an mountain refugee, we must also have a “light” sleeping bag. If we stay at a cottage, no.

For such a ride a backpack of 20-25 L is needed, and the weight should not exceed 3 kg (excluding the weight of the backpack). It is also important to say that the weight of the luggage is directly proportional to the comfort. The larger the luggage, the greater the comfort. I always sacrifice a little of the comfort side of the ride to have a lighter and more balanced luggage, to feel more free on the bike.

  • Helmet
  • Snacks – double the “super light” luggage or the same if you can refuel on the route
  • The same tools (it is recommended to be fixed on the bike and not carried in the backpack)
  • Rain jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Sun lotion
  • Photo / video camera (or phone only)
  • Headlamp
  • 1 liter of water (possibly with hidratation powder if you know it helps)
  • Backpack 20-25L
  • knee pads

You can check the representation of the light luggage on lighterpack here.

3. “Bike packing” luggage – for rides that take more then 2 days

This baggage can be more complicated and certainly harder, but it should not be discouraging. It depends a lot on how you evaluate yourself – whether you are colder or not, whether you eat a lot or not, etc. And that’s because you don’t want to take with you things you won’t use, excluding tools, or first aid kits. During the multi-day tours, surprises can appear on the route, from bad weather to dead ends on the route and you have to make a U-turn or get stuck there. These are reasons why luggage gets bigger, with more food, spare clothes and extra equipment. The luggage must contain food for two meals (evening and morning) as well as snacks during the day, if you know that the route does not go near “civilization”. If you go down to the cottage or a mountains hut in the evening, you can lose food because you will eat there. But if the route is only on top, on ridges, then the self-assessment we were talking about matters a lot. As for the food, in the evening you can be satisfied with “gas station” type sandwiches that withstand a day of heat or you can add comfort if you have small burner and some quick cooking food. But keep in mind that luggage can be shared between members of the ride. The burner can stay with someone, the gas can with someone else, and the dishes with the third riding buddy.

Also, if there is an epic trip and you are going to wild camp, you should have more specific equipment like bivouac bag (in addition to sleeping bag), air mattress or tarp under which 3 people can sleep. Survival foil is very effective, put under the mattress, and do not weighed much. In addition, it is very useful in case of an accident. For a warm sleep don’t forget that the surviving foil must be put with he silver part towards you’re body.

  • Helmet
  • Knee pads (optional)
  • Food for two days – it is preferable for the route to pass through areas with villages, cottages from where you can resupply. Otherwise the luggage is a bit bigger
  • Tea or coffee – for relaxation in the evening and in the morning when you look at the mountain tops 😉
  • Tools (to be shared between members, except for the spare room to be present to everyone)
  • First aid kit
  • Sun lotion
  • Photo / video camera (or phone only)
  • External battery – for phone, video camera, gps
  • GPS or cycling computer (preferably with navigation included)
  • Headlamp
  • Small burner (primus – 110-200g) and gas supply (capacity 100 g or more, 230 g if there are several riders in the lap)
  • Drinking cup for each rider
  • Spork (spoon, fork and knife integrated into a single object)
  • Lighter / flint (if you want a campfire or for the burner)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Wet wipes for intimate care
  • Sleeping bag, bivouac bag, mattress
  • Change clothes, for wet or cold weather – it’s up to you how you can stand the cold
  • 1-2 L of water – depends on whether you still find on the route for resupply (springs, cottages, villages)
  • Tent or tarp. The components of the tent (tent, tarp, sticks, nails) can be divided between ride members. There are also self-supporting tents. They no longer need the inner tent or nails, the upper tent supporting itself using only the sticks.
  • Backpack 25-30 L.

You can check the representation of the bike packing luggage on lighterpack here.

Please find the original article form freerider.ro here.

Also check this clip we made on our last trip to Cindrel mountains bellow or the Tour du Mont Blanc video and article.

Enjoy and ride safe!

Tour du Mont Blanc Enduro Bikepacking Trip #TMB

Tour du Mont Blanc Enduro Bikepacking Trip #TMB, an spectacular track that goes around Mont Blanc (4810m).
We biked around the tallest peaks in Europe that rises between green valleys and white glaciers.
We sow marmots all over we looked, big bearded vulture and ibexs.
We biked around 200km (80% rideable and 20% pushbike) in 3 countries and climbed over 8500m elevation in 5 days, 20% paved, 30% forest road and 50% singletrack !!!
If this not determined you to go on an adventure like this, then maybe the video and pics below will: D.
This is the intro that we had in mind from the start, and what we found there did not let us down :D. It was a trip to remember that just opened our appetite more for this kind of enduro bikepacking trips :D.

As we said, we biked little over 200km, between 32km and 57km per day and with elevations between 1400m and 2100m per day. We started in Courmayeur and did the trip clockwise as we advice you to do.

Trip Journal:

First day we passed thru Col de la Seigne and we slept in Les Chappieux near an abandoned house, after 37km with 1800m elevation and an awesome singletrack on descent. First day track here!

Seccond day we passed near peak Tete Sud des Fours thru Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, it was the highest altitude reached in this trip, 2537m. If the first day descent was flowy and very fun, this one was the most technical and challenging one. We could not do it all on our bikes. We biked around 32km with 1400m elevation and finish the day near Le Champel a little higher on the track. We slept in an abandoned treehouse. Seccond day track here!

Third day we passed thru Chamonix where we washed our bikes and bought some tubes. After, we passed thru Col de Balme and into Switzerland. We took a different descent here than the #TMB route, more technical and with lots of switchbacks, it was nice. We biked around 53km with 2050m elevation and stopped in Trient. Third day track here!

Fourth day we passed thru Col de Forclaz and Champex Lac. We slept in an abandoned animal stable  near La Fouly, after 43km with 1700m elevation. The singletracks this day ware nice, flowy but with rocky parts.  Four day tarck here!

Fifth day we reached again 2500m elevation in Grand Col Ferret and we passed back into Italy. Beautiful view here over Aosta valley and probably the nicest descent in the hole track, technical at start with beautiful alpine landscapes and then with lots of flow and fun. This day we biked 43km with 1800m elevation. Last day track here!

The hole track as we had it at the start of the route you will find in here, #TMB FULL TRACK, but we slightly modified it along the way.

Statistics:

  • 200km  (20% paved road, 30% forest road, 50% singletrack)
  • 80% rideable and 20% pushbike
  • 8500m gained elevation and descent
  • 2537 highest point 900m lowest point
  • 100% trailfun

Costs (starting Romania):

  • 900 EUR total expenses of the trip for 3 persons;
  • 580 EUR for gas and road taxes from Bucharest to Courmayeur and back (4000km)
  • 50 EUR for camping and car parking
  • 270 EUR for food, beer and other small stuff 😀

Equipment and stuff:

  • 1 enduro/trail bike – recommended 150m travel for more trail fun 😀
  • 1 backpack evoc fr trail 20L
  • 1 mattress foreclaz 550 gr
  • 1 sleeping bag milet baikal 750 gr
  • 1 bivouac bag 110 gr
  • 1 knife
  • 1 multi tool cranckrbrothers 19
  • 1 gas cylinder and burner
  • 1 fork and spoon
  • 1 knee protectors
  • 1 gloves
  • 2 spare tube
  • 1 sun cream!
  • 1 first aid kit!

Electronics:

  • 2 powerbanks in total 15000mah
  • 1 headlight
  • 2 GoPro cameras session 4
  • 1 garmin fenix 3
  • 1 phone with good camera (lg g6) and viewranger app having track uploaded
  • 1 mp3 player

Clothes:

  • 1 pair of bike shorts
  • 2 fast dry short sleeve T-shirts
  • 2 fast dry long sleeve T-shirts one wool for sleep
  • 1 wind stopper
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 light feather worm jacket
  • 1 pair of long trousers for sleep
  • 2 neck tubes (Buff)
  • 3 pairs of socks and underwear

Food from day to day:

  • sandwiches
  • 4 energy gels for entire trip
  • chocolate and energy bars
  • 1L of water in 2 bottles
  • coffee and tea for mornings and evenings 😀

*Not all fitted in the backpack so I had a bike bag on my top tube and the mattress was tied up beneath it.

Good to know:

  • Try to do this track off season, around the end of September. In season is very crowded by hikers and you may as well get a ticket for riding the hiking trails… do it in September and watch for good weather!
  • Wild camping is not generally encouraged, but is tolerated so be discreet.
  • Do not worry about food and water. There are many rivers along the way where you can refill your water tanks so don’t carry more then 1L of water. Regarding food, there are many locations (towns and villages) where you can buy food so carry food to last you the hole day and next morning.
  • We recommend to do the trip clockwise. It seems more fun and flowy but you can do it the other way around to :D.
  • Check your break pads before you leave. Long descents and heavy bikes will eat them alive 😀

Riders and content creators:

VLAD BOGDAN, PETRE PARASCHIV and BOGDAN ANDORA