Cycle-touring in Yunnan and Sichuan, China

June-August 2006

Equipment list

See also: photos, trip report, travel tips, river notes, route map

Cycle-touring in China is quite popular--we saw quite a few other Westerners and even more Chinese tourists on bikes, including a Japanese cyclist (Kakora) on his way around the world!

The Bike-China website is very useful.

We took mountain bikes with semi-slick tyres. Sturdy touring bikes would be ok. NB: Air China don't take bikes--put them in a box and don't tell them what they are. They were ok on buses (including National Express!) and trains; we occasionally paid a bit extra.

Specialized Crossroads EX tyres are great--0 punctures.

Equipment List

  • Panniers*4 (3 would be enough)
  • 2 small rucksacks
  • Bungees
  • Waterproof liners
  • Clothes
  • Zip-off trousers, underwear, T-shirt, etc.
  • Walking boots (we used strap/ladder clips so we didn't need extra footwear)
  • 1 T shirt
  • Cycling shorts
  • Cycling top
  • Thermal
  • Fleece
  • Waterproof
  • Hat
  • Thin gloves (didn't use)
  • Helmets+peak (great to keep the sun off)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping bag+liner
  • Thermarest
  • Small Tent

  • GPS (great for tramping without a decent map, and for deciding which town you're in)
  • Camera
  • Compass
  • Lonely planet
  • Reading books
  • Internet printouts/photocopies (, etc.)
  • Passport
  • Wallet with cards, cash to exchange
  • Cards+cardboard chess set (should have learnt Mah-jong!)
  • Air ticket/printout
  • Passport photocopy, useful addresses, phone nos, internet logins, card cancel numbers, etc.
  • Phrasebook (indispensible!)
  • Bike computer
  • Bottles (2 each, in cages) Went floppy when full of hot water but lasted the trip ok
  • Head torch
  • 1 back led light
  • Open city list (didn't use)
  • Batteries
  • Glasses prescription
  • Watch
  • Lighter + candle
  • Pen+paper

  • 5 tubes (gave 2 away to save weight)
  • Pump
  • Multitool
  • Spoke key
  • cone spanners (also with 15mm spanner) Needed these a lot!
  • Pliars
  • Small bottle oil+vaselene
  • Cable ties+string
  • Penknives
  • 2 sets of brake pads, 4 pairs V brake blocks
  • Syringe+pipe for bleeding
  • PRK
  • Tyre lever(s)
  • Lock

  • First aid kit:
  • Needles
  • Couple of dressings
  • antiseptic wipe
  • Plasters
  • Ibuprofen
  • Immodium
  • Voltorol
  • Paracetamol
  • Bought amoxycillin out there (NB Chinese pharmaceuticals are NOT labeled in English at all!! We guessed the dose and they worked)
  • Nail clippers
  • Mossie coils
  • Malaria pills
  • deet (only used at Emei Shan (in the lowlands))
  • Iodine!
  • Antacids
  • Needle+thread

  • Doxycycline

  • Sun cream

  • Wash kit, Glasses

  • We bought a small pan for cooking instant noodles over a fire. We didn't carry much food, just snacks.

    See also: photos, trip report, travel tips, river notes, route map