Vanlife equipment check – Bikes.

We leave in one week. It’s getting exciting. In the lead-up to our departure I’m going to give you a little tour of the items we have deemed necessary for our 8-month trip. As this site began as a document of a bicycle journey across America it’s appropriate to begin with our bikes.

Before I make an introduction, I just want to say how much planning to have bikes with us on our vanlife journey has opened up what is possible, it also means we’re taking an important aspect of our “normal” lives. It’s critical to our happiness that we roll around on two wheels whenever possible.

On our last trip we had a folding bicycle, it didn’t work so well on Mexico’s bumpy streets and, of course, it was only one bike when there are two of us. I’m sure you can see the problem. I’ve fixed that with these modern day heroes:

Jo-Roxy’s ’89 Bianchi Tangent

The story goes that Bianchi’s USA product manager, Sky Yeager, had a hard-on for cyclocross bikes and had this model built for a couple of years.

The idea is to have a bike that is suited to as many purposes as possible. The tangent would make an excellent tourer, it should fly in the dirt, and it won’t be sluggish on the streets of Mexico City. We added Origin 8 mustache bars to further enhance the bikes versatility, and they look cool. Jo-Roxy has always loved celeste Bianchi’s, I’m glad she finally has one of her own.

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vanlife with bikes

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Scott’s ’92 Schwinn Paramount PDG90

My first serious bike was a purple Schwinn Dave Mirra BMX. I loved that bike. I think I begged my parents for months to get me that bike. As my years and as my love of bikes grew I became aware of the mythic Paramount, a Schwinn offshoot of premium handmade bicycles using the most cutting edge technology of the time. Unfortunately, for me, they’re collectible and expensive. So you can imagine how excited I was to find this fairly original PDG90 on Craigslist for $40. Someone had changed out the original forks and added suspension, but this bike was made before suspension was a big thing. When built, the PDG90 was a top of the line downhill mountain bike in ’92. Notice how the chain stay is bent because they hadn’t come up with a sensible solution to chain slap. Incredible to think how far bicycle technology has progressed since.

Other than replacing the suspension forks, I also added cruiser tires, and a Carver surfrack. I built this bike with forest trails in mind, it’ll be sluggish on the streets, but I don’t want to miss out on opportunities to ride wherever I want because I didn’t bring a capable bike. FREEDOM BABY!

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vanlife with bikes

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We love talking bikes, so if you have questions about the bikes drop us a comment below.

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