About the author

Tim Moss

Tim Moss has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He has climbed new mountains, crossed a desert on foot and recently cycled 13,000 miles around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London and a Guinness World Record Holder. He aims to encourage more people to live adventurously. Read more...


  1. 1

    Dorothee Fleck

    good advice, Tom, I agree with almost all of it, but only almost. After cycling around the world, covered only 26 countries, but countries like Mongolia, Australia and Bolivia included I had quite a lot and long off road experiences as well.

    My bike doesn’t have any suspension, because they are heavy and can brake. With steel frame, normally you don’t need suspension.

    When I designed my bike I have only choosen the best components I could get, I thought it’s like a life insurance. I also included Rohloff hub gear and Magura hydraulic rim brakes (HS33). Even the gears got broken, after
    80 000km!!!, I never would go touring again with a derailleur, which always brakes. With a hub gear a chain last longer as well.
    With my brakes I never had problems. I needed just a few brake pads and I had no problems with the rims.

    I doubt it’s always easier with a trailer than with front panniers. On the single trail switchbacks in the forest of Australia I was happy with my front panniers. In general front panniers worked very well with me.

    In Bangkok I got such a nice little EEEPC netbook. Incredible how robust it is. I didn’t count how often it dropped of my bike, it got wet, sandy, have been it frozen nights and in high heat – no problems at all.


  2. 2

    Tom Allen


    Thanks for the feedback Dorothee. I see your point about rigid forks and front panniers if you’re doing a really long journey – 80,000km is really long!!! But the article was really aimed at people doing their first trip specifically off-road. All suspension forks are not created equal, and mine (Magura Odur) have done 22,000km and I have never had to adjust, maintain, repair or even touch them in that time. In fact I would say that they are one of the most reliable parts of my bike – more reliable even than the frame!

    The same goes for my derailleurs – I’ve never had any problems with them. I also take comfort in knowing that if they did break, I could easily convert the bike to single-speed and keep going – but I’ve heard of Rohlhoff hubs breaking and rendering the bike completely unrideable.

    I think in the end it depends on your trip and your preferences – for long mixed trips, rigid forks and front panniers are probably ideal, but for shorter off-road trips I would still choose suspension and a trailer every time.

  3. 3

    Tom Allen

    By the way I completely agree about the EEE PC netbook – I got a 1000H in Dubai and put a solid-state drive in it – now it’s perfect for travelling, and really cheap too….

  4. Pingback: Off-road Riding, How To Stay Safe | Good Sense Tips

  5. Pingback: Shimano XT vs XTR Pedals – Comparison of April 2021

  6. 4

    Kartik Bhatt

    Great tips for newbie biker


What do you think? Please do add your thoughts below...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2015 - Tim Moss - The Next Challenge

%d bloggers like this: