Gear that broke

Don't necessarily be too put off something just because it broke for us. Our gear (particularly Mark's - I was never very good at looking after things) got quite a hammering, used everyday and shoved into a tightly packed pannier every morning.


Two of these delaminated in the first six months of our trip, one ultralight and one standard. Shame because they pack so nice and small and are much more comfortable than a single sleeping mat. See Ju's gear for details of how to cut up an abandoned sofa to make something better.

Shimano chainrings

New chainset every time you change the chain (6000km) ?? Not my idea of hard wearing. But you can get steel inner chainrings or file the teeth back into shape and keep going. See the bike maintenance page for details of how long everything lasted.

SPD shoes

These leak, see Ju's gear for a good rant! So far I find that they last about a season, ie. the sandals last a summer. For Ju of course things last longer, her sandals have done two summers.

Scott USA SPD shoes

Not only do these leak, the sole snapped after about six months use, long before they were worn out.

North Cape silk sleeping bag liner

These simply wore out, disintergrating after about 400 nights use. Maybe they were washed too hot at some time, but I don't think so.

Sun Ryno rim

They may be one of the strongest rims available, but after 18,000km my front one simply wore through and split. It wasn't catastrophic (I could still ride the bike) but I had to partially deflate the tyre and find a bus. See Rim Wear.

Geax Hubi tyres

Ju bought three of these in Ufa, Russia. They punctured frequently (in one case on a blunt stone!) and the tread cut easily. Not suitable for heavy touring!

MSR Mini-works water filter

The only problem with this was that it is hard to dry out and must not be allowed to freeze when wet. Of course the time you need it most is at altitude because then boiling cannot be relied upon to kill bugs, and at 4000m+ it's cold! So it froze and the ceramic cartiridge cracked. I glued it back together with epoxy and we haven't died of cholera yet.

St Johns heavy duty front rack

This cracked after about 19,500km. The pannier weighed about 7kg. Oddly the crack was to the part that stops the bottom of the pannier swinging about, and didn't actually stop the rack carrying the pannier. The other side front rack cracked too a little later so it wasn't a freak event. Ju's light duty front racks also (from St Johns) carried about 4kg per side all the way without trouble.

Schmitt dynohub

This developed slightly loose bearings in Thailand, after about 22,000km. It could still be ridden but we posted it back to Schmitt who replaced the bearing unit free of charge because the unit was just within the three warranty period. It can't be serviced on the road. Schmitt quoted a design life of 50,000km but I guess that is unladen and on tarmac.

Lowe Adrenalin and Marmot Precip lightweight waterproof jackets

These stayed fully waterproof for the first year but by the end of the second year my Lowe jacket was a sieve. Ju's Marmot jacket faired rather better but she is gentler on her gear. By the time we reached Australia she was getting damp in heavy rain.

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