Turkish Gear Drop

posted by: Justin

As we mentioned a few weeks back, we have a lot of gear to be fixed overTurkish gear drop the coming winter. I still say “coming winter” as here in Istanbul its 20 degrees and sunny most days at the moment… Great! Our very good friends Cat and Graham have again come to the rescue, like they did with our Italian gear drop, but instead of posting our supplies this time they also came to visit us in Istanbul bringing a suitcase of bike bits in tow.

New supplies

We investigated getting our new supplies from bike stores in Istanbul where most things are available if you have the time to search them out. However the cost was so much more we think we have saved upwards of £200 by buying our new gear in the UK. So what did we buy and why?

  • One pair of Smartwool micro-weight base layer bottoms for Emma. Her old leggings had a few holes.
  • A cable each for our Ortlieb handlebar bags. I don’t know if we carry extra heavy loads in our bags but the cables seem to wear through kind of fast and are pretty much impossible to find in Turkish bike stores.
  • Two 16GB SD cards for backing up our precious photos and data
  • A pair of Endura Humvee shorts for Justin. I love my shorts for all the reasons mentioned on our cycling gear page but they had faded to grey and somehow I’ve grown or the shorts have shrunk around the waist.
  • Two Deore M590 chain sets 22-33-44
  • Two XT 9 speed Cassettes  11-32
  • Three XT HG93 chains. We like rotating our chains every 1500km to reduce wear on the other drive train components.
  • A full set of brake and gear cables for each bike
  • Five Schwalbe MTB 26” Schrader inner tubes for our recently drilled rims
  • One four litre Ortlieb water bag. This gives us one bag each which will give us extra flexibility for some of the drier cycling ahead.
  • A replacement Ortlieb map case. Our previous case lasted about three years but the plastic had perished and our repairs to it were also failing.
  • Four spanking new Schwalbe Marathon XR Travelguard MTB tyres. Our Panaracer tyres served us well with 12,000km cycled on them but they finally started giving up on the puncture filled road to Cappadocia.
  • One alloy bottle cage for Emma’s bike
  • Two packets of Park Tool Super Patches. We used up a lot when our tyres began to fail along the road to Cappadocia.

Turkish gear drop


We actually had our new gear delivered in two different ways. The tyres were vitally important as without them our bikes were unusable so we ordered these as soon as we returned from Cappadocia to Istanbul. They were shipped out tTurkish gear dropo us in Turkey where we had expected to have to pay some kind of import duty but luckily avoided any extra charges.

The remaining gear we ordered from various UK websites and had delivered to Cat and Graham in London. They were planning to visit us in November and we offered to pay for the cost of checking a suitcase into the hold of their Easy jet flight. The suitcase cost us £18 return and fitted all our various bits and pieces inside. An unexpected benefit was that on the return journey they were able to take our tent back to the UK where it is being repaired for us. Thanks Cat and Graham!

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4 responses to “Turkish Gear Drop”

  • Hi Ya
    Couldn’t leave a comment on the equipment bit – but I am interested to know more about why you chose the new Schwalbe tires?
    I need to buy a new set, ready for my own tour – so want the best – and you guys have the experience!

  • matthew on November 27th, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  • Hi Matthew – When we came to choosing new tyres the main thing we considered was where our travels will take us next year. We are expecting to be cycling on a much wider range of surfaces through parts of Mongolia and rural China, and to be honest if Bulgarian roads are anything to go by the road surfaces may deteriorate well before then. We did some research and quickly found that most cycle tourists recommend the Marathon XR as their tyre of choice e.g. http://travellingtwo.com/resources/marathonxr. We also found this useful site where a few people commented on the lifespan of a Marathon XR tyre http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_xr_home.

    The main problem with the discontinued Marathon XR model is getting hold of them but now we have them fitted to our bikes they feel rock solid. We have yet to ride fully loaded with them but they certainly provide a real sense of grip and stability when unloaded. We went for the wide 26″ by 2″ model which we have noticed gives us a bit more resistance than our old Panaracer 1.75″ but this would be true of most wider tyres.

    If you want any further details at all just let me know.


  • Justin on November 28th, 2010 at 5:04 pm
  • Hey guys, great trip!
    Just wondered if you knew that there’s another long-distance rider in Istanbul right now – http://theadventuresofjimmyrathbone.blogspot.com/
    Sure he’d like to meet for a chat and some chai!

  • Alastair Humphreys on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 am
  • Thanks Alistair, we’ll get in touch. Istanbul isn’t short on international cycle tourists – I think we’ve met six in the past week alone…

  • Emma on December 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

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