Words and photos by Tijs M.
Hi, I’m Tijs from The Netherlands. My earliest cycling memory is riding around the neighborhood as a kid, wearing a white construction helmet backwards, pretending to be a time trialist. Fast forward to my early 20s when a friend convinced me to buy a second-hand Trek 5000, and my fascination with bicycles really started to pick up. Nowadays, I mostly like to ride mixed terrain, and am getting more into long-distance road cycling.
In 2016, I decided to build up a touring bike, pack my bags, and see how far I could make it into France. Three weeks and 2,000 kilometers later, I returned home exhausted and excited. The days on the bike are simple yet incredibly rich. You’re wonderfully alone, and at the same time, you meet a lot of different people. I encourage everyone to try bicycle touring for a week, a weekend, or even just for one night. The only regret I have is not doing it earlier.
Of all the frames I’ve built up over the years, my 1989 Muddy Fox Pathfinder is the only one that has stood the test of time. This bicycle is heavy, doesn’t feature any chips you can flip, and it will have to snap in two before I retire it. It has been my faithful do-it-all bike for the last six years and hopefully many more to come.
- Frame/Fork Muddy Fox Pathfinder
- Rims Ryde Andra 40
- Hubs Shimano 105
- Tires Panaracer GravelKing SK
- Handlebars Velo Orange Nouveau Randonneur
- Headset Velo Orange
- Crankset IRD Defiant 46/30
- Pedals MVTE Reach
- Cassette Shimano Deore XT 11-40
- Derailleurs Shimano 105 (front) / Shimano Deore XT (rear)
- Brakes Shimano Deore XT
- Shifter(s) microSHIFT Shimano MTB
- Saddle Gilles Berthoud Aspin
- Seatpost Kalloy Uno
- Stem Velo Orange
- Front bags Ortlieb Back-Roller
- Frame bags Topeak Midloader
- Rear bags Custom Wit Slingers (@witslingers)
- Accessory bags Btwin feedbag
- Other accessories Velo Orange Campeur front rack
Over the years, the bike has seen a lot of changes. From its humble beginnings sporting a 3×9 groupset and a beat-up Rigida DP22 x Deore XT wheelset to its current more modern 11-speed configuration with brand new wheels built by a friend of mine. At the moment, it’s actually undergoing a 650b conversion with 42mm slicks and fenders. The only part that remains from the original build is the seat post; I have no reason to change it.
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.
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