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Packing list Italy Divide: bikepacking in Italy

door Aniek
Bikepacking setup Italy Divide

Are you going on a cycling holiday or joining a bikepacking race? At the end of April I cycled Italy Divide, an unsupported bikepacking race from Naples to Lake Garda. An important part of the preparation consisted of figuring out what I had to take with me. This is the – extensive – packing list for Italy Divide. And a list of what I would have done differently.

The bicycle

  • Canyon Inflite AL SLX
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss CR 1600 Spline
  • Tires: Schwalbe G-one 35mm
  • Groupset: Sram Rival HRD
  • 40 single chainset and 11-35 cassette
  • Selle Italia Lady flow saddle

Bikepacking bags

  • Apidura Handlebar Pack 9L Backcountry
  • Apidura Accessory Pocket 4.5L Backcountry
  • Woho Saddle Bag Stabilizer
  • Apidura Saddle Pack 14L Backcountry
  • Apidura Top Tube Pack 1L Backcountry
  • Small waterproof bags
  • Apidura Food Pouch plus 1.2L+ Backcountry
  • Light backpack 3T
Apidura bags and Canyon Inflite bicycle
Apidura bags and Canyon Inflite bicycle

Accessories

  • 2 x 750 milliliters water bottles
  • BBB lock microsafe
  • BB Strike 760 Lumen Headlight
  • Mini spare light
  • Rear light

Sleeping gear

  • Hunka Cosmetic Seconds / Lego Bivi
  • Alpkit Numo Sleeping Mat
  • Quechua Forclaz Ultralight sleeping bag
  • Exped inflatable air pillow
Packing list Italy Divide: Bikepacking setup with Apidura bags
Packing list Italy Divide: Bikepacking setup with Apidura bags

Clothing

  • Bib shorts x 2
  • Jerseys x 2
  • Rapha base layer x 2
  • Socks x 2
  • Sports bra
  • Sidi Genius S-Pro mtb shoes
  • Giro Atmos helmet
  • Oakley Radar glasses
  • Castelli Gabba long sleeves
  • GribGrab Progel cycling gloves
  • Summer gloves
  • Arm warmers and leg warmers
  • Castelli rain jacket
  • Sportful sleeveless windbreaker – fluorescent yellow with reflectors
  • Buff
  • Cap
  • Casual pants and shirt
  • Casual shoes (lightweight)

Repair

  • Schwalbe SV17 50mm spare tire x2
  • Squirt Long Lasting Lube
  • Break pads x2
  • Bontrager Air Support High Volume hand pump
  • Tire levers x2
  • Tire stickers
  • Multitool
  • Ty wraps

Food

  • Sis Hydro Lemon and Nuum Boost tablets
  • Born energy Banana Flavour gels
  • Muesli bars
  • ORS
  • Spork
  • Opinel no.7 pocket knife
  • (and lots, lots of food that I bought on the way)

Hygiene & medical

  • Factor 50 sunscreen
  • Hygienic wipes
  • Lip balm sun protect
  • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
  • Small first aid kit
  • Assos Chamois cream
  • Sudocrem
  • Comb
  • Hair elastics
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush

Navigation & electronics

  • Wahoo Element Bolt navigation
  • Sony Cybershot camera
  • ENDU spot tracker
  • iPhone SE (with Komoot app)
  • Explore 9000 Powerbank
  • Cables for telephone, wahoo and camera
  • Spare battery camera
  • SD card

Other

  • ID card
  • Route map per day with distances between villages and towns
  • Bank card x 2 and credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Cash, 200 euros in 10 and 20 bills

What would I change?

What would I have done differently with today’s knowledge? I learned a lot from my first real bike packing race. Also with regard to things that I should or should not bring for bikepacking.

The bicycle

The bike itself? I wouldn’t change the bike itself. The Canyon cyclocross bike was at home in the technical climbs and descents and was particularly suitable for parts in the forest and the Strade Bianche. There were more parts than expected where you had to hike a bike, but with an MTB I probably wouldn’t be able to cycle there either. The relatively light cyclocross bike made climbing easier and the walking parts where you had to carry your bike much were more comfortable. I could also cycle the Via Appia which was epic.

What do I might change? With the gearing I had I could cycle on most of the climbs, but given the number of really steep climbs a larger cassette would probably have been more comfortable. Possibly a flare handlebar is an improvement, so that you can store a little more luggage at the handlebars. I could add suspension at the headset or saddle for a little more comfort. The tires were perfect for the ever-changing surface – from mud to gravel, big rocks and the Via Appia. Maybe next time I’ll use the 40 mm tires.

And for the wishlist: a wheel set with dynamohub. Charging the Wahoo and phone en route with a powerbank works fine, but charging the lights is more difficult. And you don’t want your lights to stop midway (or midnight) through your ride. So someday there is going to be a wheel with dynamohub and better lighting. And probably a new saddle.

Clothing

There was more snow and it was colder at the finishline than expected. That’s why I stopped the race earlier. In terms of clothing, I needed more rain gear and winter clothing. A warmer (rain) pants and jacket, thicker gloves and a lightweight down jacket. And glasses with photochromic glasses since you cycle in bright afternoon light, dusk, darkness, and everything in between. And also important: the Sidis are ideal off-road shoes for me, but they are too stiff and not suitable for walking so many kilometers over rough terrain. So in order to prevent blisters and numb toes, other off-road shoes must be bought.

Are you missing something on the bike packing list?

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