Having booked ourselves a series of flights from the UK to the tip of Norway with the aim to cycle a very long way south, both Sam and I decided that now might be a good time to get ourselves an actual bicycle to ride on. A little backwards, we know.
Whilst we do both own road bikes of sorts, neither were suitably up to a ride of this scale. In short, hopping a curb on Sam’s current wheel set would result in his wheel enthusiastically try to become a taco. My commuting bike on the other hand only has one gear and when it comes to Norwegian fjords, this is not the gear I want.
As we were both looking for a bike at the same time we saw good reason in buying the same bike in the hope that it might reduce the quantity of spares we need to carry. After much research, the Marin Gestalt 2 was our bike of choice, here’s why.
With a robust and lightweight aluminium frame paired with a bump-absorbing carbon fork, the bike utilizes a standard but very capable composition of materials. The geometry of the tubing means the front end is higher than usual generating a more upright position which is preferred over serious amounts of time in the saddle. Slightly fatter 30mm tyres allow for just a touch more give in the ride. TRP have the brakes covered with their dual action Spyre-C mechanical disc brake. Lastly and possibly most controversially, the bike comes with a 1×10 drivetrain: 11-42t at the rear with a 42t ring up front. Having got both bikes from Knobblies Bike shop in Exmouth, the guys in there were fantastic and almost worryingly enthusiastic to talk about chain rings for half an hour. After a long discussion and a cup of tea, or two, 38t was deemed the magic number.
To distinguish between the two, we have both made some small alterations. Sam fitted a Brookes B17 saddle which should be extremely comfortable. Sam has his bars tilted up slightly compared to mine, he prefers to be more upright. I have swapped in some green grip tape to really get the camo going when camping in the woods and I have swapped in some 28mm Continental Gatorskin tyres.
So there you have it, these are the bikes the two of us will be sat upon, staring down at and cursing at, for 40 consecutive days. Let’s hope we come back with them both!
Oh and the chickens in the shot won’t be joining us unfortunately, despite their photogenic attributes.