Touring Bicycle Upgrades for Iceland

Cyclist and thermal pools

In preparation for my upcoming tour of Iceland, I wanted to make some touring bicycle upgrades to my Surly Ogre. To start, I wanted power. I wanted a solution for charging electronics while touring. I also needed more gear storage. Unlike my previous tour of Southeast Asia, I will need to carry a tent, food, fuel, and other camping supplies.

Following is a list of all the significant upgrades I’ve recently made. By significant, I mean expensive.

Schmidt Son 28 Dynamo Hub

I needed a way to generate power while bicycle touring. There aren’t a lot of players in this market. I explored my options, and after reading a very informative post on Cycling About, I decided on the Schmidt Son 28 Dynamo Hub.

Now here’s a perfect example of the type of thinking that quickly puts you over budget. It went something like this: If I’m getting a new front hub, I might as well get a new wheel. If I’m getting a new front wheel, I might as well get a new rear wheel.

I ordered my new wheels through prowheelbuilder.com. The site was easy to navigate; they had a ton of product options and were extremely helpful over the phone. Click here for full details on my custom touring wheels build.

Cinq Plug5 Plus

The wheels were on the way, so now I had to find a way to use and store the power I would be generating with the Schmidt Son Dynamo Hub. After some research, I decided on the Plug5 Plus by Cinq. It’s an ingenious design that includes a rechargeable battery pack that mounts inside your headtube. You access the battery and charge your devices through a USB port on the stem cap. A USB Port on your touring bicycle, how cool is that?

If you are in the United States, you will find there are not a lot of purchasing options for the Cinq Plug5 Plus. The only source I was able to find was through Peter White Cycles. I placed my order over the phone and couldn’t be happier with the service.

Speaking with Peter, I described my build, and before shipping my Cinq Plug5 Plus, he precut all the wires and soldered all the necessary connectors. He also attached the wiring to power an Edelux II headlight that I also ordered from him.

A nice feature of the Plug5 is the automatic power routing via the battery. With lights on, all generated electricity is routed to the headlight. With lights off, everything goes towards battery charging and the USB.

Cing Plug5 Plus Review

Update: Here’s my review of the Cing Plug5 Plus.

After spending two weeks cycling Iceland’s Ring Road, I put together a video review for the Plug5.

Edelux II Bicycle Headlight

Ortlieb Back-Roller City Panniers

Ortlieb Panniers

Ortlieb Panniers

As I previously mentioned, I will be hauling a lot more on this trip, so I bought a set of the Ortlieb Back-Roller City panniers.

I love the streamlined look of a bikepacking set-up, but when it comes to convenience, nothing beats panniers. Unbuckling and unrolling a drybag every time you want to access something can be a real pain in the ass.

I found the panniers on Amazon for $120. They were priced 70 dollars less than the Ortlieb Classic. The only difference I could see was the strap.

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