This is what we ride on. It took us one year to gather the information on what we need and what we could get. Next we were searching for the needed parts on the German Ebay and spent 2 months in Anna’s parents garage assembling it all together. The result is more than good. Everything works as we planned and so far we cycled over 2500 kilometres and had no problems with the bikes.

1. Mat.

Frame: I have found an old German Patria “Terra” on Ebay (4 years old) in 2011. It was almost ready to go cycle touring as it was, only a few parts were missing. As I searched for the frame for Anna, I slowly started to modify my own bike. The result was that I changed most of the things – the only parts that remained were: the Rohloff gear hub, Magura HS 33 hydraulic brakes, the mudguards and the fork. Even the frame itself was severely modified.

The frame is cro-mo steel, hand made in Germany, lugged (brazed, not welded), built for Rohloff hub. It was modified by a previous owner (Magura firm-tech brakes brackets brazed on, rear brake hose guiding pipe installed in the top tube) so it was not really a Patria “Terra” any more. Later on I had decided to have S&S Bicycle Torque Couplings installed, new bottle holder holes drilled and Rohloff cable guides removed (to keep it simple and easy to disassemble). The last thing I modified was a bottom bracket shell – I chamfered it to fit the Schlumpf Speed Drive in it.

It is a great frame, with semi-relaxed geometry, lots of possibilities to fix your gear on (3 bottle holders and lots of extra holes for further additions), holes to put rear light’s cable inside the frame and so on. I kept the original colour (Ral 7005) but asked to remove all the original stickers when it went for powder coating after S&S couplings were installed – to keep a low profile and thieves away. Now, with the couplings covered with pieces of old inner tubes it looks like an old mountain frame from the 90′! And I love it!

Fork is also cro-mo, from German Norwid, 1 1/8, with firm-tech fittings and braze-ons for racks and mudguards and holes for front light cable. The fork tube was cut (no way back) to fit the Speedlifter – I can adjust the height of my handlebar now, and it only takes seconds. I have bought a second hand Chris King NoThreadSet, cleaned the bearings and filled them up with Super Web Grease.

A bottom bracket and cranks are replaced by Schlumpf Speed Drive with EasyShift plates, 34t chainring, no chainguard.

Pedals are Ergon PC2.

Handlebar and Stem: Syntace VRO. Handlebar is VRO ultralight aerospace 7075-T6 aluminium, Stem (size S) and clamps allow me to adjust the position of a handlebar, from more relaxed, to more hardcore. Together with Speedlifter the adjustment range is enormous!

Front and rear brakes: Magura HS33 Firm-tech, filled up with Magura Royal Blood. The cable for the rear brakes runs inside the frame and can be disconnected – I used special coupling, more will be revealed in the future. Brake pads – Koolstop, for Rigida CSS.

On the handlebar, beside brake levers (Magura HS33) and Rohloff shifter (a new, lighter model) I keep Ergon R2 Magnesium grips, CatEye mirror and a holder for both cycle computer and smartphone (for navigation).

Saddle and seat post: Black Brooks B17 Imperial on Cane Creak Thudbuster ST. Secured with Pitlock.

Wheels (26 inches): Front – Black SON Delux dynamo hub, Rigida Andra 30 CSS, Carbide coated, unbeatable rims, Triple-butted, DT Swiss Alpine III spokes. Rear: red Rohloff, EX gear change, 17t sprocket. Foss rim tapes, Foss tubes (MTB, thicker version, with NoTubes Sealant). Schwalbe Dureme 2.0 tires. Both wheels are secured by Pitlock scewers. I built the wheels myself, and had it trued in Germany. No problems so far.

Chain: Sram PC850 – will be replaced soon.

Mudguards: SKS

Racks: Front – custom made platform, stainless steel (my design), back – Tubus Cosmo stainless steel.

Bottle holders: Topeak Modula Cage XL, Scott stainless bottle holder.

Lights: Supernova E3 Triple on the front (dynamo powered) linked with E3 Rear; all cables running inside the frame (from the hub to the fork, out to front light, back into the frame, through the rack’s tube, to the rear light).

Cycle computer: VDO MC 1.0

Additional gadgets: E-werk from Busch und Muller – for charging batteries of our cameras and phones as we cycle; home made carbon fibre stand.

2. Anna.

The frame: We bought Thorn Nomad Mk2 S&S frame for Anna (comes with the fork and Orbit headset, seatpost and super tough fork) in the UK. It is more sturdy than it needs to be, but it is good, it will definitely serve her well. It has way too many labels – Anna covered them all with black tape.

Seat: Brooks B17S

Bottom bracket: Shimano UN72 (we were lucky to find it!), eccentric bottom bracket

Cranks: Truvative Isoflow, 38t, chainguard

Chain: Sram PC850, will be replaced soon

Pedals: Ergon PC2

Wheels: same as mine, only difference: rims are Mavic xc717 ceramic cated, Rohloff is black.

Front and rear brakes: Magura HS33 with boosters, secured with Pitlock screws

Handlebar and stem: Syntace VRO (Stem size M), Ergon R2 Green

Mudguards: SKS

Racks: front – platform (same as mine), rear: titanium Carry by Tubus

Lights: Edelux and Blackburn Flea on the rear mudguard

Bottle holders: Topeak Modula Cage XL