Dorset Equipment Testing / Getting Muddy


We headed out on a wet and gusty morning to get in a bit of riding in preparation for our Dorset trip this February. Suited and booted in a few new items of clothing, more suitable for adverse weather, the ride was not as bad as it could’ve been. It was a good test of equipment and rigs for our week-long trip, putting a few things into perspective whilst casting aside a few doubts. Here are a few photos of our latest bikes, equipped with some new kit.


In these Apidura bags Joe has managed to fit all the essentials for a short bikepacking trip.

  • The handlebar bag carries a sleeping bag and air mat.
  • The accessory pouch on top of the handlebar bag is set aside for essentials such as wallet, phone (In waterproof pouch), food, and beanie.
  • The frame bag consists of tent poles, tyre levers, multi tool, inner tubes, and a tube repair kit.
  • The saddle bag is used to store his tent and some other items of clothing.
  • Also he will be carrying two roll-up pannier bags on top of the rack for when we stock up with food at the end of each day.

The Surly Knard tyres have proved a good purchase for shorter rides and quick blast in the countryside but may be swapped out for something more robust. Anyone who might recommend something, feel free!

We gave the bikes a full test on surfaces we expect to encounter in Dorset. In most respects the bikes stood up to the challenge but we are considering a few things to make the trip that little bit smoother. We covered 30 miles on a combination of b-roads and bridleways in wind, rain and mud, having very few problems along the way.


My setup with the Croix De Fer is slightly more traditional from a touring perspective, using a rack and panniers to store my equipment. I use two waterproof Ortlieb City Rollers, which have proven themselves over the last tours we’ve done.

Another new addition to this bike is the adjustable stem, giving me options to position myself differently on the bike.

Inside the Panniers I will be keeping everything from clothing, bike repair essentials and camera equipment. On top of the rack, in a dry bag, I’ll be storing my sleeping bag with an air mat rolled inside it. On top of that will be my tent (attached with bungee cords). This may change slightly before we leave, as I plan on replacing my existing tent.

*Please note the badly beaten Brooks B17, it’s definitely seen better days now and might end up getting replaced soon.





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