As the maximum amount of bags is almost reached with my composition, some bags I left out in my arrangement.
There is no front bag that gets fixed at the handle bar.
Furthermore I left out the bag between the front tube and the seat post. All other standard bags are being used in my standard configuration.
I have seen very special combinations of bags, e.g. Frank, he used two bags at his handle bar and a special bag, where I have located my third bottle, between front wheel and bottom bracket.
My configurations as follows:
- Frame bag from Revelate safe storage for all important documents, maps, manuals, money, batteries and cables. And tons of food, such as power bars and sugars.
- Top tube/ head set bag stores cables, knife, phone during the rain
- 2 chalk bags from Mammouth for food (Haribo and any kind of nuts) and coke or coffee cans
- Saddlebag from Ortlieb. This bag just came out. By chance I read about it as I was searching on the Ortlieb website, ordered immediately and arrived in time. It can be quite huge, but it is waterproof. The first of its kind that I found. After two days in the rain with my revelate bag, thing got wet inside, which was not nice at all. After 13 days with this bag in the hills, I can confirm that this bag makes sense. On top you can wrap some food, which also was important for myself as I always need some stock!
- 2 bottle holders that allow you to access the bottles from the side.
- 1 bottle holder next to the bottom bracket as third bottle, I needed this one every single day. Getting this bottle out and back in is a little tricky, but you have to get used to this bike anyway.
Saddles did not give a huge variety for me, as I swear on Brooks
Brooks B15 Swallow Ti Black
Lightest version, extremely beautiful and really functional. Chosen for this bike from the first moment. After the first test ride in March, I had to send it in, as a rivet was already broken. Weak point of these saddles are the chrome coated rivets, as soon as they are installed and get in contact with water, they start to rust. For such an expensive saddle, no nice thing. As my Ti saddle got a scratch in the leather and I did not trust in his durability for TCR, I sent it in again, to the German Service station from brooks. Unfortunately this time I received the saddle back with some copied information that this saddle is not covered by warranty. As I was asking which of the listed issues are covered by warranty, I was pretty unhappy. This is again time consuming and I am going to discuss this with Brooks directly.
Brooks B15 Swallow Select
As rivets and thickness of the leather seem to be weak points for my riding style, I decided to get a new Brooks saddle in the very last moment. Copper rivets and a leather that is meant to be used for endurance rides. Still there is no clear information about the difference between the three different B15 saddles. Anyway, this one arrived pretty late and I decided not to use it, as I still had another B15 in “sometimes” use.
Brooks B15 Swallow Black
One of my Factory Five bikes from Shanghai, wears a B15. I decided to take this one off and put it on the final composition for the TCR. This was a good choice. Only on the two last days I kind of felt that my ass wants to go on holidays now. The saddle excellently coped with all requirements, from TT-riding to regular riding. Luckily the new saddlebag from Ortlieb kept away any rain that was usually put from the road to the bottom of the saddle.
I took Rapha’s chamois cream with me and used it every day, as a prophylaxis. Never used it before. I am sure it supported my comfortable ride, together with the BIB from Rapha for Brevet rides. I tested several BIB’s and only Assos F.Mille and Rapha Brevet fulfilled my requirement to be seated comfortably for longer times.
Shifting with SRAM eTap was also quite a risk, as the max. allowed size of the rear cassette was 28 teeth. I tried to install the GOAT LINK, that lowers the position of the rear derailleur but also further out. That means the reach of the derailleur was taken further out so that the 10th and 11th cassette gear could not be reached anymore. So, the GOAT LINK was no option anymore. I took the risk and ordered a cassette with 32 teeth. The required 6mm between derailleur and cassette could not be realised anymore, but it worked.
Chainrings came in 50/34, rear cassette with 11-32.
Although Jeff and Josh were coming with 42 teeth in the rear, I was confident to get through any conditions with my ratio.
I only had to walk twice, once 20meter in Italy, getting out of a village on a mini small and stiff road towards passo di san pellegrino.
Second time had been the border crossing from Bosnia into Montenegro on the R432a, as it was my initial idea. too stiff too much gravel.
I brought two spare pairs of cleat, one I returned back home!
I brought four fully charged batteries and the charger for eTap. I did not recharge any after I replaced the batteries, a risk, but also some time saving as I did not stay at places for long enough time to charge anything. After entering into Turkey one of the two installed batteries gave up, so I have to kill my front derailleur and keep the rear one going. This one lasted until Canakkale.