My Bike Touring Setup (2022)

File under: Bike Touring, Cycling

2022 was the second year I went on any multi-day trips on a bike. This post outlines the gear I used on these trips, in hopes in might be useful to someone.

This post is part of a series:
  1. My Bike Touring Setup (2021)
  2. My Bike Touring Setup (2022) (current)
  3. My Bike Touring Setup (2023)

The Bike

2022 Touring Bike Setup
My 2022 touring setup—still the Giant Rapid 3 hybrid bike, with some improvements from 2021 (apologies for the bad photo).

Bags & Accessories

  • All of the same gear I used on my 2021 touring setup, plus:
    • Bungees to strap my camping stuff to the front of my bike, instead of strapping it to the back.

Camping Gear & Extra Clothing

Overall Review of This Setup

My 2022 setup was very similar to my 2021 setup, and shared many of the same issues and benefits. I’ve outlined some minor differences between the two setups below.

The Bike

The only thing I changed about my bike in 2022 was that I upgraded to wider tires. 700 x 32 in front, and 700 x 35 in back. This improved the ride quality a bit and made me less nervous about a tire having issues under the weight of carrying touring gear.

I also strapped my camping setup to the front of the bike in 2022 instead of stuffing it in the back like the previous year. This helped to distribute the weight I was carrying a bit more evenly, although it was slightly less aerodynamic.

Ride Quality

The wider tires did improve my ride quality; small bumps were slightly less annoying and my hands went numb less frequently than in 2021, when I was riding 700 x 28 road tires. However, it wasn’t enough to totally mask the same issues I felt from the previous year due to the Giant being an aluminum, hybrid bike meant for short-distance, city riding.

Geometry & Seat Position

I tweaked my seat positioning for 2022 given the knee pain I experienced the previous year. It helped a bit, but I still had knee pain. I found myself fiddling with the seat position and height mid-trip, to try to find a more comfortable position. At this point I think I was able to conclude the stock Giant saddle that came on the Rapid 3 was not comfortable for regular tours. However, I stuck with it for the remainder of 2022.


I used the same pedals as in 2021, but I did not use the toe clips at all on my tours, even though I still had them in case I felt like I wanted to use them again. I tried briefly, but again I felt like they caused my knee pain to get worse, so I stuck to the flat side 99% of the time I was riding.

The Additional Gear

A few of the cheap Amazon items I bought in 2021 and used again in 2022 started to show their design flaws more after two seasons of use:

  • Roswheel Rear Panniers
    • I still think these cheap panniers are good value for what they cost, but in 2022 I had a few issues with them:
      • Both of the water bottle holders on the back of each pannier, which are made of a cloth mesh, ripped open by the end of the season. They are now unusable.
      • When the panniers got really wet (we had one day of almost 24 hours straight of rain one trip), the cardboard material within the pannier to keep the back “stiff” started to soften. When I was biking hard up a steep hill and moved my bike a bit more from side-to-side than I do when riding on flat, the corner of one of the panniers stuck into my wheel spokes and nearly broke them, because it had started to curve into the wheel due to the moisture it had been exposed to.
      • The zippers on each pannier would tear open when the bags were very full. I now understand why expensive panniers use the fold and clip system instead of zippers.
      • They felt too small.
  • Baleaf Padded Bike Shorts
    • These shorts felt even more uncomfortable my second season using them…probably because I rode more total distance. After 2022, I decided I would try a better pair.

Items I Wished I Had

  • A normal tent
    • I stuck with the Hikant camping hammock again in 2022 but it still felt less than ideal given how I prefer to sleep. I decided I would switch to a normal tent for 2023.
  • A waterproof phone-mount
    • I was unable to properly navigate using my phone in a group effectively because I would constantly have to remove it from one of my bags, instead of having it constantly in view.
  • A bike more suited to touring
    • This is a big one. By the end of the 2022 season I decided that I liked biking enough that it was probably worth it for me to invest in a better bike, or at least one that is better suited to long trips.

Items I Wished I Left at Home

  • None, I was better prepared in 2022 than I was in 2021.
This post is part of a series:
  1. My Bike Touring Setup (2021)
  2. My Bike Touring Setup (2022) (current)
  3. My Bike Touring Setup (2023)
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