Martin’s favourite items 2023

Martins Lieblingsteile 2023

Please note:

I mention brands and products. Therefore it is advertising.

Traditionally, we take a look back at the end of the year and magazines such as or BikeRumor have been using this opportunity for a few years now to review the year, with a particular focus on the equipment that has impressed. It’s usually called “Gear of the Year” and I took inspiration from that this time.

Because this year I was able to try out some new things that I’m convinced and excited about. And maybe it’s relevant for you too.

And so here are Martin’s favourite items of 2023:


Gerber Dime Micro Multitool

It was a tip from Sebastian Sarx that was as simple as it was obvious: I always try to optimise my tools on the road. At the Silk Road Mountain Race I still had an Opinel knife, Knippex pliers and a small pair of scissors with me, but together they were still lighter than my 25-year-old Leatherman. And then I discovered this Gerber multitool at Sebastian’s.

It has pliers, a small knife, scissors and seven other tools, is very small and compact and weighs just 66g. And at 24 euros, it’s also affordable. Perfect. I could have thought of it sooner.

Now it’s always with me and optimises the size and weight of my tools.



Schwalbe G-One Overland & UltraBite tyres

I have already mentioned here and there that I am very fond of the Schwalbe G-One tyres. This year I was able to ride the Overland, the Ultrabite and the Bite tyres. All in 50mm width, on carbon rims with 30mm rim width. And I am thrilled!

I used the Overland for more than 1,500 kilometres without a puncture. Always tubeless and very easy and tight to fit (hookless rims).

On the Böttcher Evolution Pinion Overlander test bike I then had the G-One Overland in 45mm width and here too there was nothing to complain about. For me, the Overland are the perfect cycle touring tyres and worthy successors to the legendary Schwalbe Marathon Mondial.

I then opted for a stronger profile for the Main Franken Graveller and bought the G-One Ultrabite. I was also very happy with these. They have good rolling behaviour and traction off-road.

After 2,000km tubeless, without flats, a first assessment of the wear:

New tread depth:

  • V/H 2.5 to 2.7mm

After 500km Main Franken Graveller (80% gravel, 20% road):

  • V 2mm, H 1.5mm

After 2,000km (50% gravel, 50% road):

  • V 1.5 to 1.8mm, H 1mm.

For the Bohemian Border Bash Race, I then opted for a combination of Ultrabite front and Bite rear. I continued to use one of the Ultrabites (it has now run more than 3,500 kilometres) and bought a new G-One Bite.

However, it had a lot of wear and tear on the tracks in Bohemia and I didn’t always find the traction good compared to the Ultra-Bite. I didn’t notice any differences in rolling resistance either.

This combination is currently still on my Fargo and will probably continue to roll there.

In any case, I can recommend the Schwalbe G-One Overland and G-One Ultrabite.


Cumulus X-Lite 200

I have been a fan of the Polish sleeping bag manufacturer Cumulus for many years and now own three of their sleeping bags. I bought the Panyam 450 for my Patagonia tour. When I got into bikepacking, I needed something lighter and warmer at the same time.

So I bought the X-Lite 400, which I now use as a sleeping bag when it gets really cold. It has served me very well on nights with minus 10-15 degrees in Kyrgyzstan and weighs just 630g. I particularly like the numerous customisation options offered by Cumulus, so I was able to choose the filling quantity, fabric and down type for the X-Lite 400.

But when it’s not that cold, I don’t need the warming power of the X-Lite 400, so this year I had an X-Lite 200 customised. It is suitable for temperatures down to 0 degrees and is particularly small and even lighter at 350g. I had to get used to it a bit, because the first time I used it was on a bitterly cold night with Nils and Gunnar in the Stone Age. It reached its limits there, but then performed well in the Bohemian Border Bash Race with its hot days and cold nights. And if it gets any colder, I put my Cocoon Expedition Liner over it first.



Tailfin Top Tube Pack-Flip

After a lot of trial and error, I have now found a bag that I would describe as the current optimum among top tube bags: the Tailfin Top Tube Pack-Flip. It is available in various designs and sizes. I have the 1.1 litre version with magnetic closure. This is surprisingly easy to use even while riding and closes very tightly. Even on a rough ride, nothing opens.

The bag has a cable channel at the front and is attached either with screws or straps. I only rode it with the straps attached because it is so good that it simply doesn’t need any other solution. Part of the success is the rubberised underside and the straps made of strong plastic/rubber. This allows the bag to be fixed so firmly that it does not move during the ride.

I have it permanently attached to my bike and use it to transport my USB charger, bars, multitool and other stuff. My absolute favourite!



Nitecore NB 10000 Powerakku

Power supply is always an issue. In the past, I have used two 20,000 mAh batteries from Anker, which are very good, but also very heavy. However, it turned out that I don’t always need that much power, partly because I charge most of my devices directly via the hub dynamo and USB charger while riding.

As my power packs are now being used more by my sons, I have bought new ones: this time two with 10,000 mAh from Nitecore. Not only are they very powerful, they have a USB-C and USB-A port and are also very light and compact/flat.

One pack weighs only 150g, which is already a relevant weight saving with a high charging capacity. The Nitecore has a high energy density, which is also evident when charging. It simply “runs” longer. The reason for the low weight is also the carbon fibre casing. I deliberately bought two, as I only have to take one battery with me on shorter trips and then have two with less weight than my previous 20,000 mAh batteries on longer trips. The battery is also IPX5 protected. Rain and snow, as well as dust and dirt, can’t do it much harm.



Those were my favourite pieces of 2023!

Do you have any? Then let me know in the comments!

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