Essential Gear for Your Gravel Biking Trip in Cambodia
Embarking on a gravel biking trip through Cambodia's diverse terrains, from its ancient temple ruins and lush jungles to the tranquil countryside, is an adventure of a lifetime. To fully enjoy the experience and tackle the challenges of the varying landscapes and climate conditions, having the right gear is crucial. Here’s a rundown of essential gear for your gravel biking trip in Cambodia, ensuring you’re well-prepared for whatever the journey throws your way.

1. Gravel Bike

Choosing a robust gravel bike that can handle both the smooth and rough terrains you’ll encounter is foundational. Look for features like a comfortable geometry for long rides, wide tire clearance for added stability on loose surfaces, and durable components that can withstand rugged conditions. Additionally, a bike with mounts for water bottles and gear can be very useful for longer or more remote segments of your ride.

Mr Biker Saigon, Trek Checkpoints ALR 4, A Perfect Biking Companion
Mr Biker Saigon, Trek Checkpoints ALR 4, A Perfect Biking Companion

2. Helmet and Safety Gear

A well-fitting, breathable helmet is non-negotiable. For additional safety, consider packing lightweight knee and elbow pads, especially if you plan to tackle more challenging off-road sections. High-visibility clothing or reflective vests, along with front and rear lights, are essential for early morning starts or late finishes, increasing your visibility on the rural roads.

3. Hydration System

Given Cambodia's hot and humid climate, staying hydrated is crucial. A combination of water bottles mounted on your bike and a hydration pack gives you ample water storage for longer rides. Electrolyte tablets or powders can also be a lifesaver, helping to replace salts lost through sweat and prevent cramps.

4. Navigation Tools

While part of the allure of gravel biking is exploring off-the-beaten-path, having reliable navigation tools is essential to stay on track and safe. A GPS bike computer with pre-loaded maps of the area can be invaluable, especially where mobile service is spotty. Always carry a traditional map as a backup and ensure your phone is fully charged.

5. Repair Kit and Spare Parts

A basic repair kit should include tire levers, a multi-tool with chain breaker, spare tubes, a pump or CO2 inflator, and a patch kit. Considering the remote nature of some Cambodian trails, also carry spare parts that could be harder to find locally, such as chain links, brake pads, and additional tire sealant if you’re running tubeless.

6. Appropriate Apparel

Lightweight, breathable clothing is a must to cope with the heat, along with a waterproof jacket for unexpected downpours during the wet season. For sun protection, consider long-sleeved jerseys, UV-protective leg and arm sleeves, and a neck gaiter. High-quality cycling gloves can provide comfort on rough terrains, and a good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from dust and glare.

7. Footwear and Pedals

Comfortable, durable cycling shoes that offer good grip and are compatible with your pedal system will make a big difference. Shoes with recessed cleats are ideal, as they make walking easier during off-bike explorations or when navigating particularly difficult sections of trail.

8. Riding Backpack or Bikepacking Bags

For carrying essentials, a lightweight backpack designed for cycling, or bikepacking bags (frame, seat, and handlebar bags) distribute the weight evenly on your bike, keeping you balanced and preventing strain. Waterproof bags or covers are advisable to protect your gear from rain and dust.

9. First Aid Kit

A compact, travel-friendly first aid kit should include essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, blister pads, and basic medications for headaches, stomach issues, and allergies. Add insect repellent and sunscreen to your list to ward off sunburn and bug bites, common in Cambodia’s rural areas.

10. Personal Items

Include personal items such as a lightweight towel, multi-purpose tool or knife, emergency food (like energy bars), and a filtered water bottle for purifying water if access to clean drinking water becomes an issue.


The key to a successful and enjoyable gravel biking trip in Cambodia lies in careful preparation and selecting the right gear. By packing thoughtfully, you can ensure that you're ready for the adventures ahead, leaving you free to soak in the stunning Cambodian landscapes, rich culture, and memorable experiences that await on the road less traveled.

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