The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the most famous hiking routes in the world. A circular route filled with spectacular glaciers, breathtaking alpine meadows, grand mountain passes and charming valleys. To do this route by bike I altered the route a little. I kept a lot of the original hiking route, including all the major mountain passes, but added a few more gravel sections, particularly on the ascents to allow for as much peddling as possible. Be warned there is still a lot of difficult hike-a-bike! I would highly recommend you don’t do it in July or August, as the trail is very busy. In June (when I did it) there is still a lot of snow up high, so September might be the best option. You could lighten your load if you stayed in accommodation along the route, but we choose to wild camp due to Covid.
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Overall Kit Weight
The journey took 3 days to complete. The bike loaded with everything, including the two evening meals, two breakfasts, plus snacks for the first 24hrs, weighed in at 16.5kg’s.
In this blog post, I have listed the generic kit I took on the trip. If you want to know some of the specific makes and models of kit I use, then you could take a look at some of my example kit spreadsheets by clicking on the link below.
Bike & Bags
Bike – A hardtail 29er MTB is the ideal choice for this trip in my opinion.
Front Bag – I choose a 20L roll style handlebar bag, to be filled with lightweight items, such as my sleeping bag, so that it did not alter the handling/steering too much and so that I had good clearing above the tyre.
Top Tube Bag – This is where I kept all my electronics so that they were easily accessible, such as my camera, phone, charging block etc.
Food Pouch / Stem Bag – This bag I stuffed full with easy access snacks, as well as sun cream and lip balm etc.
Rear Bag – My 17L saddle pack was home to pretty much everything else, such as clothing, camping equipment, spares, first aid etc.
Power / Battery Pack – I took a large power pack so that I could repeatedly charge my phone, GPS and action camera over the 3 days without worrying about trying to find an additional power supply.
Bike Front Light – This wasnt needed as I did not do any riding in the dark, but better safe than sorry by having it with me.
Bike Back Light – Wasn’t likely to need it so took a small battery-powered light.
GPS Cycle Computer, Mini Bike Lock, Watch (with alarm), Mobile Phone, Action Camera.
Spares & Repairs
Bike Pump, Duck Tape and Electrical Tape wrapped on the pump, Bike Multitool, Tyre Levers, Tubeless Repair Kit, Inner tubes, Tube Repair Patches, Cable Ties, Spare Brake Pads, Magic Chain Links, Dry Lube, Gloves for bike repair/cleaning, Emergency Spoke Fixer, Spare Hanger, Needle & Dental Floss, Tyre Boot, Micro Leatherman, Spare Cleat Bolts, Sleeping Mat Repair Kit.
Everything in this list went for a bike ride and wasn’t needed…the best way! You were also always within a day of a bike shop should you need to replace anything or get something fixed, so it was a slightly more minimalist repair kit than you might take on a trip somewhere a little more remote.
Paracetamol, Anti-diarrhea, Anti Inflammatory Gel, Myofatic Clotting Dressing, Steristrips, Sterile Dressing, Antiseptic Wipes, Antiseptic Cream, Triangular Bandage, Strapping Tape, Medical Tape, Rehydration Sachets, Safety Pin, Tick Tweezer, Foil Blanket.
Civilisation, a doctor and a pharmacy are never too far away on the Tour du Mont Blanc, so I took a more minimal first aid kit than I would normally.
Helmet, Sunglasses, Cycle Shoes, Long Fingered Gloves, Sleeveless Base Layer (Worn on its own when it was very hot), Cycle Jersey, Sports Bra, Quick-Dry Lightweight Shorts, Cycle Arms/Sleeves, Waterproof Jacket, Waterproof Trousers, Socks x 1, Cap.
3/4 Length Thermal Base Layer Trousers for sleeping in, Long Sleeved Thermal Top for sleeping in, Hooded Down Jacket, Sleep Socks x 1, Pants x 1.
We had a good weather window and camped just below 1500m each night, so this layering system of clothes was more than adequate.
Sleeping Bag, 2 Man Tent, Sleeping Mat, Stove, Mini Gas Canister, Cooking Pot Titanium 550ml, Spork, Lighter, Waterproof Matches, Folding Seat Mat, Headtorch, 2 x 750ml Bike Water Bottles, 2L Emergency Water Carrier, Water Purification Tabs.
Mini travel-sized Tooth Paste, Mini travel-sized Toothbrush, SPF 30 Lip Balm, SPF 30 Suncream, Spare Hairband, Toilet Roll, Trowel.
Evening Meals – I am a massive fan of Firepot dehydrated high calorie meals. They taste awesome, proper food, not slop in a bag! I always take the larger bags as need all the calories I can get.
Breakfasts – I make my own homemade high-calorie breakfasts. 800 kcal/bag and costs just £1 a bag.
Ride Snacks – Just took enough homemade goodies for the first 24 hours then topped up the snacks and lunch on route.
Feel free to ask me any questions, happy to help where I can.
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