Some things to consider:

1) You are on a supported holiday, so do not burden yourself with tools and spares that we provide!

Tools: Marmot Tours has track pumps, a full workshop tool kit and a torque wrench available for your use. In addition there is a work stand attached to one of your support vehicles.

Spares: Our vehicles are well stocked with basic spares including: Front and rear wheels (Shimano and Campag), tyres, tubes, brake pads (for alloy rims), cables, rear derailleurs (shimano and SRAM), chains (9, 10, 11 speed). These items can be borrowed or purchased from us. If we do not have a particular component we know where the local bikes shops are, so will hopefully acquire the appropriate part fairly quickly. There are some spares that you MUST bring with you listed below.

Gas cylinders: Airlines do not allow these to be transported. You can get around this by ‘renting’ them from us on arrival. We charge you 3 Euros per cylinder at the start of the holiday and any unused cylinders can be sold back to us (for 3 Euros) at the end of the holiday!

2) Nutritional supplements

Breakfast: We supplement the hotel breakfasts with fruit and a selection of Dorset cereals. If you like porridge, then please bring your own that can be prepared simply with hot water (Ready Brek) or in a microwave (available in most hotels).

Cycling Snacks: We provide fruit, cereal bars, crisps, nuts, raisins, jelly sweets and M&M’s. We suggest that you bring your own supply of energy bars / drinks as the variety and makes available locally are a bit limited. Please note that we highly recommend that you stop for a proper lunch, so there is no need to bring too many gels.

Recovery drinks / bars: Dinner at the hotel is served from 19:30, we suggest your bring recovery drinks / bars with you to bridge the gap from when you arrive at the hotel.

3) Luggage / Kit.

Van Bag: Please bring with you a small rucksack or extra bag to use as a ‘day bag’ or ‘van bag’ (something similar to the maximum airplane hold luggage allowance. Into this you can put all the things that you are likely to need to have access to during your day ie spare clothing, warm clothes, waterproof layers, sun tan lotion, spare bike parts, gels/drink powders etc. This bag will be easily accessible on the back shelf of the van that is supporting you. You may not see your other bag at all during the day.

Hotel Bag: These go direct to the hotel and should contain recovery drinks / bars, evening cloths and shoes! This bag should be fairly light – you do not need a different set of evening cloths for each day of the trip!

Storing stuff in the Van: In order to save you lugging lots of stuff into your hotel room, you can leave it in the van for the week and just take what you need, when you need it.

4) Unpredictable weather.

In summer we can expect to be cycling in just shorts and a short sleeved top but we also have had snow on the cols in August (both in the Pyrenees and the Alps). Descents in low temperatures and rain can be miserably cold… It is best that you come prepared for all eventualities.

5) Packing List

The list below is for a week long trip so please adjust quantities as necessary.

If bringing your own bike please bring the following kit:

  • Helmet (must be worn at all times when on the bike)
  • Water bottle (we will provide you with one on all our trips)
  • Saddle bag
  • Biking Shoes
  • Lights (for use in poor weather and tunnels! ESSENTIAL in ALPS / DOLOMITES)
  • Mini-pump (we expect you to be independent in mending punctures)
  • Spare tubes (4 if you have deep section rims)
  • Tyre levers
  • Multi tool
  • Bike lock (optional). Every night the bikes will be put in a locked garage/hotel room, but you may wish to make doubly sure…

Spare bike parts:

  • 2 sets of spare brake pads (suitable for your rims)
  • Rear derailleur hanger that fits your frame. We can fix most things with the spares carried by the van, but these things are ALL different and tend to get damaged in transit or in the event of a crash.
  • Chain connector / chain link to suite your chain (there are so many types / sizes, we cannot guarantee to have one that fits your chain)
  • If you have 650c wheels you will need your own tyres / tubes (note that we do not carry 650c spare wheels)

If hiring a bike you will be provided with the following:

  • Spare inner Tube
  • Mini pump and
  • Tyre levers
  • Saddle bag
  • 2 bottle cages (we will provide you with one bottle)
  • Pedals (standard). If you wear shoes with cleats, please bring your own pedals
  • Saddles: If you have a comfy one then do bring it along – no need to bring the seat post.

Please bring the following:

  • Helmet (must be worn at all times when on the bike)
  • Water bottle (we will provide you with one on all our trips)
  • Bike computer or GPS (both optional)
  • There is no need for you to bring any tools with you. All bike mechanics to do with the hire bikes will be managed by the Marmot Tours team

What to carry on the bike during your holiday

  • Snacks
  • Spare tube
  • Tyre levers
  • Mini-pump
  • Mobile phone
  • Money
  • Windproof top

If the weather is looking as if it is going to get worse (or you are at high altitude), you will also need to carry the following at times. The vans will aim to take these off you when you don’t need them anymore e.g. on the climbs!

  • Long fingered gloves
  • Hat that fits under the helmet
  • Thin fleece
  • Waterproof

Bike Clothes:

  • 3 / 4 biking tops
  • 3 / 4 padded cycling shorts
  • Long sleeved biking top (for sun protection), arm warmers
  • Long legged cycling trousers / leg warmers
  • Short fingered gloves
  • Long fingered (warm) gloves
  • Hat that fits under the helmet and covers ears
  • Windproof top
  • Waterproof top
  • Thin fleece
  • Thick fleece

General Items:

  • Camera
  • Currency
  • Mobile phone (if you have one) – make sure it is unblocked to work in France / Italy / Spain.
  • Personal medication / creams (not first aid – this will be carried in the guide)
  • Sun lotions / sun block / after sun
  • Insect repellent & bite/sting cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Evening clothing / shoes or sandals
  • Swimming costume – some of the hotels we use have a swimming pool
  • Insurance
  • EHIC card (UK residents only)