Posted by Lucas Winzenburg
I’m Benjamin (Benni) Splitt. I grew up in the Austrian Alps and very fell in love with the mountains from an early age. My passion for cycling only started when my family moved to Germany, though. I was 11 years old when my dad got me a bike and told me that I’d be cycling to school from then on. No further convincing was required, I loved it immediately. Arriving awake at school, while others where still sleepy, was unbeatable. Since then, cycling has been an integral part of my life: I’ve toured through most European countries, worked as a bike courier, and got into mountain biking as well.
After studying and working for the last eight years, I knew it was time for a break. I set off on a long journey in September 2018 and I’m still on the road. I’ve already cycled through the Balkans, across Turkey, and around Israel and Jordan. I’ve done all this with a bikepacking setup, which allows me to leave the big roads from time to time to discover the hinterlands.
I rode parts of the Slovenian West Loop, Croatia’s Adriatic Crest, and the Holyland Challenge in Israel. Continuing east, I’m always on the lookout for new lonely paths and encounters with people who’ve never seen a cycle tourist in their village before.
I did research over several years in preparing for this big journey, and even visited some German manufacturers. I was on the hunt for a bike that could tackle the most challenging trails, but still roll without too much resistance on asphalt. After visiting Tout Terrain in Freiburg and trying their Scrambler, I was convinced. Its lean geometry makes the Scrambler a perfect hybrid between a touring and a mountain bike.
- Frame Tout Terrain Scrambler (L)
- Rims Ryde Edge 30
- Hubs Shimano SLX Disc
- Tires Maxxis Ardent 2.25″
- Handlebar SQlab 30X 16°
- Aerobar Syntace C3
- Crankset Rohloff Speedhub 500/14
- Cassette Carbon Drive CDX Centertrack 19
- Brakes Avid BB7
- Shifter(s) Cinq Shift:R for Rohloff
- Saddle Brooks C17 Cambium
- Front Bag(s) Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack
- Frame Bag(s) Burgfyr Slotbag Custom
- Rear Bag(s) Ortlieb Gear-Pack
- Accessory Bag(s) Ortlieb Accessory-Pack, misc. Revelate Designs Bag, Salsa Dry Bags
- Rack Tubus Vega Evo
My Scrambler is loaded with a mix of regular bikepacking bags and some special items. I wondered how I could keep water away from my tent and sleeping mat without using a pannier. That’s when I discovered the Gear-Pack from Ortlieb. It’s actually a backpack, but you can remove the straps and basically get a dry bag with some neat eyelets. Attached to the rack with some bungee straps, it works perfectly and keeps everything dry and centered. That leaves space laterally, which I use for a Vargo Bot. And I also attached two bottle cages with insulating tape, which hold quite well.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.