The Classic Leh to Manali Mountain Bike Traverse

India, Bike - Semi Slick, 15 days - from $2,260 (land only)

Bike - Semi Slick

(INMB) India–Leh to Manali Traverse

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for predominantly cool climatic conditions and cold evenings. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.



Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s

Neoprene bike overshoes for extra warmth


Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)

Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling top (x 2)

Outer layer - lightweight waterproof jacket

Warm Fleece jacket or jumper

Down Jacket (for evenings)


Regular biking gloves

Winter biking gloves or warm overgloves


Padded cycling shorts (x 2)

Warm Cycling tights or tracksters


Eyewear - Biking glasses

Cycling helmet – mandatory

Fleece headband


Daypack and contents

A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 20 litres carrying capacity is recommended

Water bladder - min. 2 litres capacity

Lightweight waterproof top


Puncture repair kit

Inner tube(s)



Sun cream (inc total bloc for lips/nose)

Small roll of gaffer tape

Warm Fleece Jacket or Jumper

Lightweight loose trousers to wear over shorts for modesty

Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Trek Bag Contents

Travel and apres biking clothes for predominantly cold conditions

Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking

Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash

Warm hat

Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Sleeping Bag - comfort rating (minus -15 degrees centigrade)

Thermarest/Camping Mattress



Note: If you are hiring a bike, you do not need to bring any spares. Although it is still a good idea to take a couple of 26 x 2 inch inner tubes with Presta valves.

You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. changing an inner tube, fixing a puncture. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

Tyres - for this trip you will need: 1.9 to 2.2 inch semi-slick tyres suitable for mostly dry tarmac/dirt road conditions.


Plastic tyre levers

Small tube of grease

1 rear brake cable

1 rear gear cable

Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear)

2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels

Spoke key

4 x inner tubes Spare chain links

Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)

Multi-tool with Allen keys

Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)

2 x puncture repair kits

A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.

Spares specific to your bike**

KE tools and spares

On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike. ** Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares which might be needed - such as disc brake bleed kits (and appropriate fluid), shock pumps etc).

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.

Bike Hire

One option is that you take your own bike on this holiday. After all, it is the bike you know best. However, you can also hire a bike locally. Our local agent has a range of Merida (Matts 40 and Matts 20 hardtails), as well as Trek (3500 / 3700 / 3900 / 4300 hardtails). These bikes generally have Shimano Acera and Altus components. They either have Tektro V-Brakes or, in some cases, Tektro Disc Brakes. They have 100mm front suspension and 26 inch diameter wheels. They are available in a range of frame sizes - from 13 to 21 inches. Please refer to Bike Hire in the trip dossier for an indication of hire costs. You will pay directly for bike hire and the fee does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. Contact the KE office if you want us to reserve a bike for you. Your hire contract will be with our local agent and KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You must also take your bike helmet, which you will wear whenever you are biking. One final issue with regard to the hire bikes is that they are fitted with regular knobbly tyres. If you would prefer to ride on fast-rolling, semi-slick tyres (the great majority of this route is on tarmac) you should consider taking a pair with you. These can be fitted to the bike for you before the first day’s ride.

Please do not hesitate to call us for further advice about what to bring or any other aspect of this trip. We are more than happy to offer you the benefit of our experience. Further helpful information can also be found in the ‘Your Bike’, ‘Baggage Allowances’, ‘Climate’ and ‘Travelling with Your Bike’ sections of the detailed trip dossier.

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KE Adventure Travel, Central Car Park Road, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5DF, England
tel +44 (0)17687 73966 USA/Canada Toll Free 1 888 630 4415

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