As an avid reader, you may be aware that Brad embarked on a chilly overnight bikepacking adventure around the Dorset 330 loop shortly before Christmas. The idea behind the ride was to prove that with ample preparation and the right equipment, bikepacking is an activity that can be thoroughly enjoyed all year round and not just something for fairer weather.
Having thawed from his journey, we take a look at the bike, the kit and accessories supplied by ISON that got Brad through the Dorset 330.
Halo Vapour 35 27.5" wheels // £480
For any off-road bikepacking expedition, you'll need reliable wheels to get you there and back again. For the Dorset 330, Brad equipped his bike with a set of Halo Vapour 35s. Although lightweight, this tubeless-ready wheelset is designed for trail action with reliability and stiffness in mind, thanks to the MTC wide-spaced flange hub with 120-point engagement. By utilising a wide 30mm internal width, these rims are ideal for mounting tyres sized from 2.25" up to 2.8".
Passport Cycles bags // From £23
Arguably as important as the bike itself are bags! When packing all your ride essentials, you need strong, secure and robust bags for storing and transporting your kit.
The Passport collection is British made, which means they're designed to withstand the turbulent UK weather, making them ideal for all-day and night rides. Using Velcro straps for attachment, these Passport Bags are tool-free and straightforward to install and use. The handlebar, seat and frame bags are fully waterproof to ensure your kit stays dry, no matter the weather. 3M reflective tape is used across the range with LED light mounts to add extra visibility. For more info, check out our reviews of the Passport Cycles Seat Pack and the Handlebar Bag.
TSG Scope MIPS helmet // £140
Providing headwear protection for the Dorset 330 was the TSG Scope lid with MIPS. Constructed with a shock-absorbing EPS liner and Polycarbonate shell, this trail helmet offers ventilation and a precision fit, thanks to the TUNED FIT SYSTEM. Each helmet includes two sets of pads to dial in the fit and shape to suit your head, giving you the ultimate protection while being 100% comfortable all the time. Read our review of the TSG Scope helmet here.
Drop Rain Jacket // £130
Let's face it, you just never know what the British weather is going to throw at your ride, which is why it's best to be prepared for the worst. Featuring 4-way stretch fabric with 5,000mm water-resistance and 3,000mm breathability, this jacket has Velcro adjustable arm cuffs, rear panel venting, zip pockets, an adjustable helmet-compatible hood and reflective detailing. Finally, the drop jacket is built with zippered underarm ventilation, zipped chest and hand pockets and a drawcord bottom hem to cinch in the fit.
Drop Rain Pants // £120
The Drop Rain Jacket accompanies the Drop Rain pants, featuring 5000mm water resistance with 3000g/M2/24H breathability. These pants use 4-Way stretch fabric, zip-off legs, elastic waist and compression straps at ankle and knee. Finally, a flexible knee panel allows for kneepads to be worn underneath the full trouser without restricting movement or comfort.
Fidlock bottles // From £40
2021 fidlock 450 + bike base hero 2.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Essential for any bike ride is having enough water to stay well hydrated. Fortunately for Brad, he had Fidlock on hand to help. Using the tried and tested magnetic design, Brad managed to equip his bike with bottles and a toolbox, all compatible with the Twist ecosystem. There are three sizes to choose from; 450ml, 590ml and the new 800ml while utilising the same mounts for the super versatile Toolbox. Check out our review of the Fidlock TWIST 450 here.
Surly Karate Monkey // Frame only £850.00
And as for the bike that saw Brad safely through the Dorset 330 winter challenge, that was a Surly Karate Monkey. Originally designed as a 29er, the Karate Monkey is designed to perform just as admirably as a 27.5" x 3" rig as well. It's suitable for dropper posts and compatible with most mountain bike standards, making it the perfect parts bin bike.
So there you have it, all the essentials that Brad used to successfully complete a very chilly winter bikepacking excursion of the Dorset 330. And if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out Brad's account of the trip here.