This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from Damian Bradley in Freiburg, Germany, who shares his Pinion-equipped Tout Terrain Scrambler Explore GT II. Get to know Damian and his super dialed rig here…

Words and photos by Damian Bradley (@damianrides)

Hello, bikepacking world! My name is Damian Bradley, and I am a Canadian ex-pat living in the south of Germany near Freiburg. I have a degree in film studies and information management, a day job in marketing in the manufacturing sector, and I freelance as a German-to-English translator and copywriter for the cycling industry.

Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II

I have been enamoured with bikes for as long as I can remember. I purchased my first real mountain bike in high school in 1996: an entry-level Kona Hahanna. I learned by doing… doing a lot of things wrong, that is. I spent all of my paper route money buying shop tools, breaking things, and mail-ordering anodized everything as one did in the 90s. I started road riding after picking up an old steel road bike that was for sale down the street. When I started university, I had just enough space in my tiny residence room for a single bike. I picked up an early Specialized M4CX cyclocross frameset and bodged it together with parts from my road bike, some bar-end shifters, and knobby 38mm Ritchey Mount Cross tires.

  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II
  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II

I started shredding the local singletrack on that thing and have been riding drop bars on dirt ever since. I am not a particularly experienced bikepacker, but over the last few years have put together some 3-6 day routes consisting of around 100 kilometres of mostly gravel and singletrack and 1,500-2,000 metres of climbing per day. My accommodation of choice thus far has been the typical German Gasthaus to restock, refresh, and recharge. Maybe one day I will “progress” to huts or camping, but for now, I feel like I can plan slightly more challenging rides knowing I have access to good food, good sleep, and power at the end of each day.

I was managing a bike shop in 2017, The Bicycle Tailor in Fergus, Ontario, when my wife and I decided to make the move to Germany. I quickly landed a job in marketing at Tout Terrain and in 2019 actually helped launch the Scrambler II and the Cinq Shift:R Road for Pinion shifters I am riding today. I started building this particular bike at the start of 2020, and after changing jobs that spring, the bike became a pandemic project, a solitary pursuit, and a welcome distraction.

Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II

I experimented with a lot of different components and wheel and tire sizes by buying and selling parts on the used marketplace since everything was in short supply. The highlight of my tinkering was hacking a set of Campagnolo shifter-brake levers to work with the Pinion gearbox—it was a fun experiment! The frame geometry of the Scrambler II is similar to that of a Ritchey Outback but with the benefit of a Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt. It’s a great fit for this kind of bike, and I really appreciate the lack of maintenance. The frame’s 1-1/8” head tube and the Ritchey fork add a lot of comfort to the front end, and with carefully selected components, the weight is actually quite reasonable for a steel gearbox-equipped bike at 11 kilograms (24 pounds) and change.

  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II
  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II
  • Frame Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II
  • Fork Ritchey WCS Carbon Adventure Gravel Fork
  • Rims MCFK MTB 29″ 25mm
  • Hubs DT Swiss 240 Straight Pull 28h
  • Tires Rene Herse Oracle Ridge 48mm / Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Mixed 40mm
  • Handlebars Easton EC70 AX 440mm
  • Headset Ritchey Logic WCS
  • Crankset Pinion CNC 170mm with Gates CDX-SL 39T gear
  • Pedals Shimano XTR M9100 or Tout Terrain 1-sided SPD
  • Cassette Gates CDX-SL 32T
  • Derailleur Pinion C1.12 Gearbox
  • Brakes TRP Hylex RS flat-mount
  • Shifter(s) Cinq Shift:R Road for Pinion
  • Saddle Specialized Romin Evo Mimic
  • Seatpost Ritchey Superlogic Link
  • Stem Ritchey WCS C220 80mm (+/- 6 deg)
  • Front bags Outer Shell Drawcord Handlebar Bag
  • Frame bags Outer Shell half frame bag (M)
  • Rear bags Tailfin Carbon Aeropack
  • Accessory bags Birzman Feex Rolls on Tailfin Mini Cargo Cages
  • Other accessories Fixplus straps, Lupine Rotlicht rear light, Garmin 830 GPS, Spurclyle Bell

The bags provide just enough space for unpredictable weather at elevation during shoulder seasons (like the downpour during the photo shoot) and enough food for a long day without a resupply. For longer trips, the small tool rolls hold the stuff I only use in an emergency and rarely need to take off the bike: one is dedicated to flat/tire repair, one for other tools, and one is a minimalist first aid kit. I like that they don’t clutter up the main bags. Snacks, phone, and sometimes a camera go up front, on-bike clothing layers and meals go in the half-frame bag, and casual clothes, spare cycling kit, Sanük footwear, and extra camera gear are kept in the Tailfin.

Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II

I like supporting local companies like Pinion and MCFK who manufacture in Germany, so I was also interested to learn that the Fix Plus straps (similar to Voile) are actually made from raw material from Leverkusen and produced here as well (despite reading online rumours to the contrary). My latest project is a 3D printed headset spacer mount for my Spurcycle bell that my engineer friend Marko has been helping me with. Feel free to ask me anything about the bike!

  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II
  • Tout Terrain Scrambler Xplore GT II

Full disclosure, while I don’t work for Tout Terrain any longer, I do some translation work for Pinion, and got some small industry discounts on some of the parts I did buy new.

You can keep up with Damian on Instagram @damianrides.

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