Posted by Lucas Winzenburg
Words and photos by Daniele Carletti (@becycling)
Hi, I’m Daniele Carletti from Rome, Italy. Engineer by education, globetrotter by vocation. In 2014 I quit my job and, driven by curiosity, ventured out into the world with my companion Simona. We headed east from Italy, riding through Europe, Central Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. We spent about a year in Australia and then flew to the very north of Canada to pedal to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. We are currently in Peru on our way south.
My odometer says I’ve cycled about 35,000 miles, but I still don’t consider myself a cyclist, just a traveller who found out that the bicycle is the best means of transportation to move around. I used to work as a bike mechanic and I’m obsessed with the research of perfection. Whenever I’m not riding, you can find me wrenching or fixing something on the bike. I love to set up my mobile bike workshop wherever I am, from a public park hanging the bike on a tree branch, to a hotel room with the bike standing upside down on the floor.
When I started this trip almost six years ago, I was riding a Cinelli Hobootleg, a classic road-oriented touring bike, fast and comfortable also with the heavy load I used to carry. In 2016 in Australia, I replaced it with the Cinelli Hobootleg GEO, more appropriate for bikepacking and off-road riding, but unfortunately I got that bike stolen in 2018 while in Mexico City. That’s when I had the chance to test the prototype of the new Hobootleg GEO 2019 version, the bike I’ve been riding for the last 7,000 miles. Its geometry is inspired by mountain biking, with a sloped top tube, high figure trail, suspension-corrected fork, and clearance for plus tires. It’s designed around 29 x 2.25” tires, but I set it up with 27.5+ without problems. The drop bar is also optimized for off-road riding: wide, shallow, and flared.
Compared to the model currently on the market, my set up is completely custom specced, prioritizing durability and reliability for long-distance touring. The drivetrain is 1×11 with an XT rear derailleur, a 28T steel chainring and a fully steel 11-46T cassette. It might get short on flat, paved terrain, but I’m more into climbing and the highest gear is enough to get you anywhere. Mechanical disc brakes instead of hydro, brake and shift levers are the bombproof Gevenalle GX. I like to use the Vittoria Mezcal 2.6” tires, even though the bottom bracket height drops a tiny bit. They are actually wider than many 2.8” tires, and they have enough grip on dirt but they’re also very fast rolling on the occasional paved stretch.
- Frame/Fork Cinelli Hobootleg GEO 2019
- Rims WTB Asym i35
- Hubs Shimano HB-M8010 (front) / XT FH-M8010-B (rear)
- Tires 27.5 x 2.6” Vittoria Mezcal
- Handlebars Cinelli Bootleg Drop-Touring
- Headset Cinelli 1-1/8”
- Crankset Race Face Aeffect with 28T steel chainring
- Cassette SunRace CSMS8 11-46T
- Derailleur Shimano XT RD-M8000-GS
- Brakes TRP Spyke
- Shifter(s) Gevenalle GX
- Saddle Brooks Cambium C17 All Weather
- Seatpost Cinelli 6061
- Stem Ghost 70 mm
- Front bags Miss Grape Tendril 10.7 + Porcelain Rocket pocket bag
- Frame bags Miss Grape Internode custom full frame
- Rear bags Crosso Dry 30L panniers on Tubus Logo rack
- Accessory bags 2x Miss Grape Bud, Miss Grape top tube Node, 2x Miss Grape Tank on fork
- Other accessories Cycle computer VDO M4, 5x Blackburn Outpost cages, and too many Voile Straps
I started travelling with a traditional (and heavy) pannier setup, hauling about 60kg (132 lbs) without food and water, but I’ve slowly lightened up over the last few years. I currently use a hybrid solution, with bikepacking bags made in Italy by Miss Grape, and mini panniers on the rear rack. The bike plus accessories alone weighs almost 15 kg (33 lbs), and the luggage is around 23 kg (50 lbs). I find it hard to go lighter than this, but I know I carry way too many tools, camera gear, and I also like to cook gourmet food on those long and isolated desert stretches. Don’t ask an Italian to leave behind his olive oil!
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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.