London to Paris by Tour de France: Gravel essentials
What to bring and how to prepare for the LONDON-PARIS Gravel Edition.
Although you will be supported by roving mechanics and the event team, there are extended sections of trail where vehicle access is difficult or impossible on the LONDON-PARIS Gravel route.
You will need to be carrying some essential spares to keep you going to the next opportunity when the mechanic can assist you. The Hotchillee Ride Captains will be on hand to help you carry out any running repairs, but there may be times when the group is strung out until the next re-gather.
Here’s what we suggest packing:
We’d strongly recommend that all riders run tubeless set-ups with minimum 38mm tyres. This will significantly improve traction and comfort and, more importantly, hugely reduce the likelihood of punctures.
A spare rear mech hanger
Annoyingly there’s no standard rear mech hanger and, with the range of bikes that clients bring to our events, although our mechanics will have some, there’s no guarantee they’ll have yours. Not having one of these is one of the few things that could end your journey to Paris so, make sure you get one.
Multi-tool with chain tool
If you need to tighten a bolt or adjust your saddle height, you don’t want to be wasting time asking around for a tool. If you don’t have a chain that has a quick/missing link or in certain other scenarios a chain tool is necessary for breaking and rejoining the chain.
Chain Quick/Missing Links
These will be specific to the make of chain/number of gears you’re running. Make sure you bring the correct ones and, if in doubt, double check with your local bike shop.
Chain Links tool
Some links (such as KMC) require a special tool (resembling small piers) to open them. Again, make sure you have the correct tool for your chain.
Tubeless repair kit, darts/plug/worm/anchovy
No tyre is 100% puncture proof and, for bigger holes, it can be necessary to use a dart, plug, worm or anchovy to aid sealing. Make sure you have a kit and you know how to use it.
Valve core removal tool
If you need to top up your sealant, you’ll need to remove your valve core. It’s also easier to re-seat a tyre with the core removed. Some multi-tools have one of these but, if not, pop one in your tool kit.
After a puncture, a top up of sealant can aid sealing and replace any lost sealant so that you’re protected against any future punctures. Many brands sell top-up pouches that you simply squeeze through the valve.
A micro-pump is useful for topping up tyres but, for inflating a tyre from flat, especially if it has unseated, the quick blast of a CO2 inflator is far more effective.
Inner tubes and tyre boot
Occasionally a hole may be too big to seal and the only solution to get you to the mechanic will be to pop a tube in. You’ll also need a boot in this situation to stop the tube extruding through the hole/gash. Having some dedicated boots is the ideal but a wrap of gaffer tape around one of your bottles can be pressed into service, a gel wrapper or even a plastic bank note.
Compact power bank and cables
We’ve got some long days on the trail so it’s possible that your GPS unit and/or mobile phone might need so on the go extra juice.
Daytime running lights
With early starts and potentially late finishes and linking road sections, a compact red rear light and compact front white light are important for safety and visibility.
Spare brake pads
Again our mechanic will have most with them but, for reassurance, bring two sets of spares with you. Also sometimes you made need to replace pads on the trail so, having your own makes this far easier.
Click & Collect
Our Retail Partner Sigma Sports are offering a Click & Collect service for any last minute kit needs that you may have. You can order online and your purchases will be waiting for you at the LONDON-PARIS Sign On on Wednesday 20th July.
No postage costs. No fuss. Just place your order before midnight on Sunday 17 July for collection at Esher R&C Point, send your order number to [email protected] and it will be ready and waiting for you at Sign On. Simple!
Plus, Sigma’s Spend and Save offer is on:
SPEND20 – £20 off any order over £100
SPEND40 – £40 off any order over £200
SPEND60 – £60 off any order over £300
See you soon!
Read the advice above and still have questions?
Download the Hotchillee companion app where you can speak to our Ride Captains and staff 24/7.