Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from Daniel in San Francisco, who shares the Rohloff-equipped Tumbleweed Prospector he built up in anticipation of a long tour through South America. Learn more about Daniel and his Andes-ready rig here…

Words and photos by Daniel Lawrence (@brokenalarms)

Hi! I’m Daniel. I’m originally from Perth, Western Australia, but am now based in San Francisco. I started casually biking when I lived in London (the Dunwich Dynamo being my highlight there), but had never been camping, touring, or bikepacking until I moved to the USA. The beauty and accessibility of the surrounding Bay Area nature got me into it, and learning about the Swift Campout is what provoked my first overnight trip!

Tumbleweed Prospector

My adventure bike has been through many different iterations since I first put it together about six years ago. Originally, it was a drop-bar gravel bike, based around a Soma Wolverine frame with Rohloff hub and belt drive. This was my first “Frankenbike” build and reasonably unusual for the time. One local bike shop owner called it “the weirdest bike I’ve ever seen.” It got me through my first fully laden, dual-pannier tour down to Los Angeles, but I then dropped the front rack for the next tour in Taiwan.

  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Tumbleweed Prospector

Besides many other things going wrong for us on this trip (including a knee injury, food poisoning on Christmas Day, teeth extraction on New Year’s Eve, and a trip to the ER in between), and despite much experimentation with load placement, the Wolverine frame wobbled like a wet noodle due to the thinner tubing and XL triangle not being suited for this kind of baggage. As my lanky height requires the biggest frame sizes, I decided I’d need something stiffer (though heavier again) for future adventures, and so I opted for a Tumbleweed Prospector.

  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Tumbleweed Prospector

This current form is heavily inspired by Ryan Wilson (@rmdub) and his rig, since I’ve been planning a longer South America tour for which I also want to take a camera and laptop. I’ve always loved creating slow travel videos to document my experiences, which I’ve recently started sharing through my YouTube and Instagram. The Pass and Stow rack enables me to carry a backpack that I can use to grab all my valuables at once and for overnight hiking as I go. Taking on even more weight here was inspired by my friend’s experiences schlepping through Chile on a Surly ECR with a full-size hiking backpack on a rear rack. He said that it was totally worth it, as his days off the bike doing multi-day hikes were the highlight of his trip.

Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Frame/Fork Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Rims Velocity Cliffhanger (rear) / Velocity Blunt 35 (front)
  • Hubs SON28 Fat Bike dynamo (front) / Rohloff (rear)
  • Tires Surly ExtraTerrestrial
  • Handlebars Jones Bars + Ergon Rohloff grips
  • Headset Cane Creek 40 + Sineway Reactor USB charger
  • Crankset Shimano XTR
  • Pedals Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Evo
  • Cassette Rohloff + Gates Carbon belt drive
  • Brakes Shimano Tiagra MTB levers + TRP Spyke calipers
  • Shifter(s) Rohloff twist shifter
  • Saddle Brooks Cambium
  • Seatpost Some Fizik post
  • Stem Specialized
  • Front bags Porcelain Rocket Microwave Panniers
  • Frame bags Rogue Panda custom
  • Rear bags Revelate Terrapin
  • Accessory bags Revelate feed bag, Revelate Egress
  • Fenders SKS Bluemel
  • Other accessories Pass and Stow rack, Son Edelux II light, GoPro + Quadlock mounts

I also wanted fenders but had to modify the SKS Bluemels to fit. They are fiddly, so I may well ditch them when I start (or experience bad weather and be thankful for them—it just depends which happens first).

  • Tumbleweed Prospector
Tumbleweed Prospector

The whole setup without food or water is about 65 pounds. It’s not the most svelte, but the bike alone is about 44 pounds. Since the custom frame bag from Rogue Panda is covered in T-Rexes, I’ve embraced the weight and just call this guy the DinoBike!

You can follow along with Daniel on Instagram @brokenalarms.

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