Sarn Helen Kit List

There are some out there who want to know all this, so I may as well pop it down. Words about the ride itself are here (or will be).


I am lucky enough to have got my hands on one of the two fully build Salsa Spearfish that came into the UK. Major thanks to the folks at Keep Pedalling for sorting this out – and Ison Distribution for playing ball price wise.


I’ll be doing a separate post on this which I’ll link here. Suffice to say, I put 500km on the demo in a month in before I asked to buy it. Bar the Avid Elixr 5 brakes – which are rubbish – this bike is perfect.

Addition of a pair of Jones bars and some XT brakes with Ice-tec rotors and it is the perfect bike. For me anyway.

Front Bags:

My front bags are two fold – a Wildcat Mountain Lion harness with an Alpkit double sided entry drybag, and a prototype Wildcat Lioness pocket that goes over the harness and bag. They work well together and hold the minimal kit I need up here.

The Alpkit drybag contains:

  • Patagonia Torrentshell waterproof jacket – pitzips, big hood, light weight. Perfect on and off the bike.
  • Showers Pass waterproof trousers – they pack small, I’ve only had to use them once.
  • RAB Nutrino 200 down sleeping bag – small pack-size, light weight, I sleep warm so it is perfect.
  • Outdoor Designs Xchange Gore-tex bivi bag – I’ve had this 10’s a bit bulky but it works. I’ll possibly change it at some stage.

The Lioness contains:

Food and stuff. It mostly contains food. I tend to just cram things in here – spare batteries, sunglasses, suncream, money, a fold down Camlebak bottle – all the bits you need to get to in a rush. Beside it is an Alpkit Stem-cell, this tends to get my camera and food put into it. It also tends to clip my knee when I climb…so it’ll maybe not get used on a “proper” MTB style route again. However, you can cram a lot in it, including 1L Evian bottles 🙂

Rear Bag:

My rear bag contains all my bits and pieces as well as acting as spare food storage. The bag I used for this trip was a Revelate Designs Pika – nice, but not light. I normally use a Wildcat Tiger harness, but decided to try something else.

  • Patagonia Nanopuff jacket – without a doubt the best synthetic jacket I’ve owned. A staple for the past year on every bike or climbing trip – I love this jacket.
  • Repair kit – tube, patches, cables, multitool and some other bits.
  • Pump – shock pump from Topeak as I’d not rode the Spearfish with this much kit on it, and a real pump from Lezyne.
  • Sportful “no-rain” legwarmers – they go on at night if I need more kit.
  • Spare Sportful shorts.
  • Long sleeve merino baselayer – also doubles as clothes to wear home.
  • Lowe Alpine windproof hat.

Clothing on me:

The easy bit as this never really changes. Links for the kit I think is worth looking at.

  • Lazer Ultrax helmet – possibly the most orange helmet in the world.
  • Endura Equipe custom team kit* – fits well, has pockets for stuff and my SPOT.
  • Sportful shorts – best chamois I can find that work with my bits.
  • Sportful baselayer – looks like something Rab C Nesbit would wear, but it works. No slevees, it stays on start to finish.
  • Garmin HR monitor strap – gets taken off at night.
  • Morvelo team arm warmers – in rear bag if not in use.
  • Raceface team gloves – no padding, very light vented top, perfect.
  • Patagonia Nine Trails gillet – my most loved piece of kit. At 90g it weighs nothing and packs super small. Not sure if it’s made any more.
  • Specialized BG Comp shoes – meh, they fit well, but they’ve worn out after 4 months use. Wouldn’t buy again.
  • Specialized socks – they are socks…
  • Fake Oakley Jawbones – I lost them somewhere.

*Note: I did have the shorts to go with this jersey, two pairs, both fell apart, both had a terrible chamois that bunched and never felt right from day one – almost crunchy. Terrible shorts.

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