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Going the Distance

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Touring 18,000 miles around the world in record time is tough on both bike and equipment. Rob Ainsley asked Mark Beaumont, James Bowthorpe and Julian Sayarer what they used and how well it did.

These days you can hardly check into a Kiwi hostel or camp by a Turkish roadside without bumping into a British cyclist trying to break the round-the-world record. Mark Beaumont set a record of 195 days in 2008, followed in 2009 by James Bowthorpe, who logged 176. Julian Sayarer then claimed a circuit of 165.

Why the sudden rush? Because Guinness World Records recently set new rules. Fancy it yourself? Simply do a round trip of at least 18,000 miles in a constant direction, on the same bike, riding through two antipodal points – which on our wet planet usually means Spain and New Zealand.

Few would contemplate that at audax pace, though many of us might relish the circumnavigation at a little more leisure. But would our kit be up to it? We asked Mark, James and Julian about their bikes, parts and equipment, and how their gear fared in the most intense reviewing regime imaginable.

Click on the PDF below to find out what they told us…

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