|Ok. I'm not really a specialist when it comes to the equipment. You're probably better off searching for useful tips somewhere else. Just a few things from me
Yes, you need a bicycle. A bicycle, not a tractor (MTB). A tractor is for dirtroads and offroad riding. If you're going on long trip more than 70% will be on paved roads. At least. On my trip in 95-97 I don't think more than 6000 Km were dirtroads. 6000 Km would be 15%.. So what do you need that ugly tractor for? I've heard the most ridiculous claim about real bikes and dirtroads. You can't cycle in Tibet with a touring bike! Why? Dirtroads! Off course there were people cycling around the world even before tractors were invented. I wonder if those poor guys know that they couldn't do what they did!!! Or you'll have more flat tires! Tractor tires are larger, so the chance to hit something on the road is greater. Stupid comments deserve stupid answers.The fact is that you'll do fine with a bicycle on dirtroads. I cycled through Tibet (dirtroads) with the thinnest 'Schwalbe Marathon' (32mm?, or 28mm but in fact around 30mm? Not sure anymore)and had no problems. I had to walk exactly twice: The first time for maybe 500 meters, on a pass that was very sandy. The second time for less than 20 meters on another sandy pass. Otherwise no problem, except that I was a bit slower than others (good excuse!) But then most of the time I was cycling on paved roads, and more than made up the time lost on the dirtroads. Still wasn't fast, but that has nothing to do with the bike. So if you are going to do a normal Tour, why do you need a tractor?? Yes, I know, nowadays you can buy tractortires that aren't that wide and are made for roads. But you can buy wider 28" tires as well. Face it, from a cycling point of view, tractors give you no advantage at all. That said even I have to admit that unfortunately it's much easier to buy tractor tubes and tires in many parts of Asia. Still, usually the quality will be so bad, that you'll be better off doing the same thing cyclists do. Carry your spare tires with you and let somebody send you tires from time to time. (My father in my case, thanks!) What about those so called hybrids? They are like kids. Mix a male and a female, what comes out, a hybrid? No, it's a boy or a girl. Same thing with 'hybrids' Mix a bicycle and a tractor, the outcome will be another tractor or a bicycle. Most of the time a tractor. My wife has a 'hybrid'. To me it just looks like a tractor, can't see a difference. Just get yourself a real bike! But there are excpetions: If more than 50% of your trip will be on dirtroads, ok a tractor is acceptable. A bike would still be better, after all most dirtroads I cycled on were good. If more than 70% is on dirtroads, then it's a draw. And if more than 90% is on dirtroads, even I would take a tractor (maybe). There are no other exceptions! I already had a tractor before I started my trip! Why spend money to get a bike? What did you have that tractor for in the first place? Riding offroad? HAHAHAHAHA! Still have to meet the tractor owner who actually rides offroad! Already having a tractor before leaving is definetly no excuse. Just take an axe, hack it into thousand pieces, buy a bicycle and have fun cycling!
I probably have to write some more about equipment, otherwise people will think I only wrote this equipment page because of the tractors (true) and that I hate tractors (not true! some of my best friends are tractors! Eh ride tractors!" So here we go:
Yes you'll need a tent. I've always had the same type of tent. With just one pole, in the middle. 2 entrances. Fairly big for one person, on the long term too small for 2. If I find a good picture I will post it. Most important thing is not which type of tent, but that it's rainproof. Of course all tents are sold as rainproof, just to be sure test it before you go. My last tent wasn't 100% rainproof, and on my tours I occasionally met cyclists with leaking tents. Expensive ones or cheap ones, some tents just seem to leak for no reasons. But as I said, if you're looking for good infos about equipment, wrong place!
Ok, for once I'll admit that my solution wasn't the best. I had a gas stove. Gas stoves are pretty useless in Asia, can't find gas! But who cares, only place I really needed a stove was in Mongolia when it was fairly cold at night and nice to have something warm to eat. Still had gas there, and even without it wouldn't have been a big problem. Actually I don't think I really need a stove. Don't drink coffee, don't need to eat warm food every day. But if you need a stove, don't take a gas stove!
Absolutely useless. Heavy, and the only place you'll use them is in big cities, looking for cheap hotels.
Very useful! Make sure it has not only the pronunciation and the translation but the indigenous scirpt as well!