Christian Ayoob

- GEAR -

Gear Review As a Blackburn Ranger, I have more responsibilities thanjust seeing the country on bike. I am advocating self-propelled travel as wellas documenting as much as I possibly can. I am capturing videos and picturesthroughout my journey as well as journaling every day. I also have theprivilege to test and review gear along 4,300 miles of constant strain. I amapproximately 2,000 miles into my tour and have a few comments on each piece ofgear. Enjoy!

Blackburn Barrier Handlebar Bag

The Barrier bag is my favorite bag that Blackburn makes. Ithas a solid plastic “box” frame with a removable inner nylon liner. The innerliner has small mesh pockets and has plenty of room for electronic gear (What Iuse it for), days snacks, tools, etc. I keep my electronic gear in here so, Ican easily take it with me into restaurants and with me everywhere. Thestrapping and locking system is incredible and easy to install. It is also madeof larger inner hardware which, makes it easier to work on if need be. The topof the zippered flap is a window for a map or phone. I do not use it but couldbe utilized. The front two knobs on the front of the bag is for a Blackburn Mapholder for easy access to a paper map. The final specification I like is thestrap it comes with. It allows you to carry it over your shoulder or attach itelsewhere.


Blackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag

This little beast is perfect for small, everyday items suchas chapstick, knife, allen keys, earbuds, lock, etc. It unzips with two zipper tonguesso the top cleanly folds over for easy access. The front of the top has a meshpocket and two small side pockets for very small items. There are three pointsof anchoring and it is surprisingly stable. The bag includes a small velcrodivider for you organization junkies.


Blackburn Outpost Frame Bag-Large

This is an incredibly well-engineered frame bag. This bagcan be zipped up and used as a half fame bag or fully unzipped for that extrastorage. It is shown as fully extended here and I use it for my tool wrap,extra maps, jetboil stove system, and my first aid kit. Some people tour anduse it as water bladder storage or to hold their food. It is in a greatlocation as well because it is the ultimate balance for riding. The bag itselfhas 7 anchor points. The three upper anchor points are velcro and can be movedaround while the other four anchors are stationary. Facing the bag, the rightside is a full zipper for skinny objects such as a wallet or papers while theother side is the main large compartment. It also include two mesh pockets onthe side for smaller objects (such as my mini tripod).


Blackburn Barrier Universal Pannier

These two panniers are so waterproof and that is just sonice. That is one of my favorite things about these bags. Each pannier has awindow in the front and rear not only to see your gear but also, to put a lightin it. The light will actually light up the entire window for maximumvisibility. The bags have an outside pocket for smaller objects. They closewith a thick seam that rolls down into a waterproof seal. The main nylon straprunning down the middle is a safety strap. It loops through the top clips soyour bags will not open while riding down the road. The mounting brackets arestandard to most panniers and are very easy to remove. These bags have beentested and put through the strain and they are doing excellent.


Blackburn Cargo Cage

This brilliant cage is steel and is solid as a rock. It uses2 standards threaded cage bolts to mount to the bike of choice. It is designedto hold small lightweight items such as a sleeping pad or tent but, I foundanother use for it...a Nalgene holder. I would not suggest using it as an easyaccess cage (Although I do) because it uses two tightening straps to hold yourgear. Amazing cage that can hold it all!


Blackburn Wayside Multi-Tool

I just want to start off by saying this multi-tool couldalmost assemble my entire Niner RLT touring bike. It has everything from thestandard allen keys to special star bits and a chain break. It is small andcompact and will always ride in my pocket. The actual tool frame is made ofsturdy metal And plastic and has stayed tight throughout 2,000 miles. Favoritemulti-tool I have owned.


Blackburn Mammoth 2Stage Anyvalve Mini-Pump

As many cyclists know, the mini pumpsused for on-the-trail work can be a pain. They are too small and not largeenough to efficiently add the proper air to your tire, they are hard to hold,and the list goes on. This mini-pump from Blackburn has been engineered with aswitch to change between high pressure (for higher psi) and high volume (foradding a larger amount of air per pump). This sleek pump fits on the bike witha standard cage mount. It also features a head that is used for both presta andschrader valves making it easy for anyvalve. No pun intended.


Blackburn Central 700 Light

On my last tour from Canada to Mexico on the Great DivideMountain Bike Route, I was terrified to ride at night due to my lack oflighting. All I had was a Black Diamond Storm headlamp which, was not enough toride with. I have completely opened up to the life of night riding because ofthis Central 700 front light. It is mounted with an allen bolt into the frontleft fork. It is very easy to operate while moving and it is easy to change thesettings. The light runs on a rechargeable battery and spare batteries can bepurchased from Blackburn. Runtime for one charge is about 6-7 hours. It hasthus far held up to many rainy days and humid nights.


Blackburn 2fer Light and Central 100 Light

The smaller light is the 2’fer and the longer light is the100 front light. The 2’fer is a rechargeable light that can emit both red andwhite led lights. You can flip your hat backwards and use it as a headlamp orkeep it on the rear of your bike for safety. It comes with stable mountingsystem so your light stays put. The Central 100 is a white light with threesettings: high, low, strobe. It is perfect to clip anywhere and have a brightLED anywhere you go. I use the central front as a backup headlight and the2’fer as a rear red light.


Big Agnes Fly Creek UL Plantinum Tent

This tent is the most amazing tent I have ever owned. I willsay the same thing about the Big Agnes Sleeping bag and pad.  This tent is just about 1lb 8oz including therainfly. It is the perfect shape when it is staked out to get out of the rainand wind. I have personally been in 35-40mh gusts of wind and this tent satlike a rock. It is extremely easy to set up and has a surprising amount ofroom. I am 6’4’’ tall and I have some inches to spare. There are threeperfectly placed pockets in the tent. One is used as a gear loft and the othertwo on either side of your head, sewn into the mesh. As with any ultralighttent, they can be fragile and need to be handled with some attention but, thistent is an extremely well designed tent.


Big Agnes Mystic UL 15 degree Sleeping Bag and SL Q-Core Pad

As I said about the tent, the sleeping bag and pad system isthe best sleeping gear I have owned. No question. The pad is an insulatedinflatable sleeping pad from Big Agnes and fits into the patented sleeve systemin my Big Agnes sleeping bag. The bottom layer of the sleeping bag actually hasno down and uses the pad as insulation. Along with the temperature insulation,those who toss and turn will never have a problem with this set-up. I constantlymove around at night and I'm never off my pad shivering.


Giro SPD Clipless Shoes

Giro sent out these rugged shoes with SPD cleats. These havebeen a very strong pair of shoes with reinforced toe liners on the outside andsurprisingly breathable. The sole is Vibram and is very thick and supported forthose hike-a-bike miles.


Bell Gage with MIPS Technology

I have not had many road biking helmets but, I have had manyBell helmets. Frankly, I think they have the most comfortable helmets for adecent price. This Gage helmet has the MIPS Technology which, isMulti-directional Impact Protection System. This can help reduce a head injurybecause of a rotational plastic lining inside the helmet. I have long hair andbetween the ventilation system, skeleton-like design, and weight, this helmetis amazing. It has taken one crash thus far and hopefully, not too many more.Highly recommended.


Brooks Colt Saddle

Brooks, Brooks, Brooks, you've done it again. Such andamazing saddle and an enjoyable ride. The main support rods are steel with athick leather stretched over. This is a throwback saddle from 1979 and after ithas been broken in for 1,000 miles, it is an extremely comfortable ride.


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Christian Ayoob

Gear List

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Christian Ayoob
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? The feeling of adventure and seeing new places. On a bike, time seems to move much slower and I would love to feel that again.
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? I have completed the Great Divide Mountain Bike route from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
  • What is your goal for the route? My goal is to diverge from the route off the beaten trail and go find adventure! I would like to be able to gather stories about my adventure in order to motivate others to get out there!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? By the end of this journey, I hope to have collected stories, meet as many people as possible, and all around have fun. Along with doing this, I would love to have a very detailed journal and blog for others to follow and get inspired.

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