This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from Philippe Robin of Montreal, Canada, who shares a look at the custom Memento Gecko he’s currently riding south across the Americas. Learn a little about Philippe, his motivations for taking on a multi-year bikepacking journey, and his one-of-a-kind rig here…

Words and photos by Philippe Robin

Hello, I’m Philippe. I am a young journalist from Montreal, Quebec, and I am hoping that bikes can make our world a better place. I see bikes as fantastic tools that allow us to see, share, and experience the great world we live in. I am not into speed or competition, but I am fascinated by the freedom that bikes provide those who have the patience to pedal for long enough.

Memento Gecko

I left my small Montreal apartment on June 10 of this year. I rode west across Canada until I reached Banff, Alberta. From there, I started riding south along the Great Divide. I am hoping to make it to Argentina around Christmas 2024.

  • Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko

The Memento Gecko is a hybrid between a touring and a mountain bike. It was handmade in Montreal with adventure in mind. It allows me to carry anything I need while taking on any road. It was designed in collaboration with Ronny Perez Jaramillo and Éliane Trudeau from Memento Cycle, who were fantastic partners in the preparation of the trip and are offering me great support during the journey. It is called the Gecko because I hope to cycle across the Americas like a small lizard would. I want to be discreet and hard to notice while observing and appreciating everything around me.

Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko
  • Frame/Fork: Memento Gecko custom frameset 34/30
  • Rims: Velocity Blunt SS 29″ 32 spokes
  • Hubs: Shimano Dynamo (front) / Hope PRO4 (rear)
  • Tires: Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2 (front) / Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.1 (rear)
  • Handlebars: Shimano Explore 42cm
  • Headset: Wolf tooth Performance EC
  • Crankset: Shimano XT Crank paired with a Unite 32T chainring
  • Pedals: Shimano XT
  • Cassette: Shimano XT 11-speed 11-42T
  • Derailleur(s): Shimano XTR 11-speed
  • Brakes: TRP Spyre
  • Shifter(s): Microshift bar-end
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Endurance Saddle
  • Seatpost: Easton EA70
  • Stem: Shimano Pro Vibe 110cm -10°
  • Handlebar bag: Atwater Grafter
  • Front bags: Ortlieb Sport-Roller Plus
  • Frame bags: Atwater Custom
  • Rear bags: Shimano Messenger 23L backpack
  • Racks: Surly (front) / Memento custom (rear)
  • Accessory bags: Blackburn Outpost Carryall Bag

One of my main motivations to make it to Ushuaia, Argentina, is the Sablon Foundation. I am raising funds for this fantastic organization that helps children from poor Montreal neighborhoods practice the sport of their choice by providing sports equipment and infrastructure. If I had not had the chance to be active during high school, I would have certainly dropped out. But because I was able to be active, I made it to university. I think every kid should be able to play the game they choose. If this cause sounds important to you, please consider donating to the Sablon Foundation.

Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko
  • Memento Gecko

You can follow Philippe’s journey on Instagram.

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