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Thread: Bikepacking

  1. #1
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    Bikepacking

    I don't really know that this belongs in this sub-forum exactly, but it will have to do.

    While browsing the new Bike magazine, I found a story about two guys who went bikepacking in remote Alaska. The story was cool and all, but what caught my eye was their bikes: singlespeed Surly Pugsleys with (what looked like) an almost 1:1 ratio. They had stripped the bikes down to be as simple as possible, since they were going to be in the middle of nowhere.

    Now, I'm not cool or manly enough to go on a remote bikepacking trip in the Alaskan wilderness, but I do think it would be cool to have a bombproof singlespeed bikepacking bike. It wouldn't get me anywhere fast (the mountains in Utah would force really low gearing, especially with a loaded bike) but I'm imagining it would be a blast to just pack up some camping stuff, and go riding for 3 days without having to worry (much) about my bike breaking.

    Has anyone done this? If so, I'd really like to see pictures of your setup and hear how your bikepacking experience went.

  2. #2
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    My bro-inlaw and I do this trip every year:

    here

    I'm on a rigid 29er (Soul Cycles Dillinger) with 32x18 gearing. My bro-inlaw rides an old school Voodoo Bizango 26 with 32x17.
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  3. #3
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    Bike Packing Blog

    This is a cool blog on bike packing. It's well written with info on equipment and gear.

    http://lightpack.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    http://www.bikepacking.net is also a great read for routes and setups. TONS of information and links to other blogs within the forums.

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    too bad this info isn't accessible on MTBr, unlike electric bikes

  6. #6
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    I prefer to just camp and not carry all the extra **** with you. Then you are not limited on food because you also want a six pack.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I prefer to just camp and not carry all the extra **** with you. Then you are not limited on food because you also want a six pack.
    Whiskey is my bike-packing beverage of choice, for this very reason. A few overnighters with a 30 of Pabst instead of a sleeping bag (dang those things take up liquor space!) has convinced me.

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    My experience with SS bikepacking is this: no matter what gear you choose, by the end of day 2 it is NEVER low enough. Plan on walking... a lot. Know your route well, especially the elevation profile. It doesn't make sense to gear for 10 miles of steep climbing if there's 100 miles of relatively low angled trail or road. The Pugs that were used on the Alaskan Lost Coast trip were geared insanely low, but appropriately for riding on beach sand, over huge fields of rocks, bushwacking through dense brush for miles, and generally going where no bike has gone before.

    You want to put much much more time into evaluating packing lists, taking what is necessary, but being ruthlessly minimal. Leave comfort stuff behind and take food instead. Calorie replacement is much more important spending long days on the SS.

    Go over the bike and address any possible point of failure, providing a redundant backup if possible. Bring a chain tool, a dozen links of chain, and a couple quick links.

    Take your initial mileage/day estimate and reduce it by 20%... work on being happy with getting half of this figure. Maybe its just me, but I usually find a huge disparity between my planning when looking over topo maps and route profiles versus actual experience with tires on the ground. This effect is magnified on a SS.

    Have fun! Its a whole different trip bikepacking and offroad touring on a singlespeed bike. It does take a certain amount of crazy and a willingness to suffer. I don't do it anymore, pure SS that is, I wanted to at least have a bailout gear... damn steep around here. Still suffer a bit, but ride more and walk less.
    For me, riding bikes is not a hobby, it is a way of life.
    http://natureofmtness.blogspot.com

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    I have done extensive bikepacking over the years. As much as I like single speeding, I don't think I would ever attempt bikepacking with a SS bike. I rarely have problems with a geared drivetrain. For climbing at altitude with a loaded bike you really need a geared bike with a super low gear. My feet particularly with biking shoes are not up for miles of walking.

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    I would never consider using a geared bike for bikepacking but I think thats more that I would prefer to ride singlespeed all the time..



    Bikepacking for me seems to be a never ending constant refinement of kit... with a little bit of extra kit on top of day riding gear the possibilities just open up immensley and when packed right the bikes don't ride too bad at all.
    shoestring-racing.blogspot.com

    Derailleur? No thanks.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the responses! I'm really tempted to load up my Kona Big Unit, and head out riding for a weekend now.

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    I like biking, I like camping. However, putting both together just doesn't intrigue me. My 29er supposedly handes like a boat as it is. Adding 20lbs to it probably doesn't help, and to me, would probably take the fun out of riding the bike. How about driving to the trail, set up camp, ride, camp, sleep, ride, driving home?

    I will try it once, though. But like barefoot running, I think it's something I'll try once and be done with it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    I like biking, I like camping. However, putting both together just doesn't intrigue me. My 29er supposedly handes like a boat as it is. Adding 20lbs to it probably doesn't help, and to me, would probably take the fun out of riding the bike. How about driving to the trail, set up camp, ride, camp, sleep, ride, driving home?

    I will try it once, though. But like barefoot running, I think it's something I'll try once and be done with it.
    Try it, you will probably like it. The freedom you feel is incredible. The handling may feel funny at first but after a while you get use to the additional weight and you adapt.

    Barefoot running? I knew that was a bad idea from the start! I saw a guy doing it down in San Diego. He looked totally uncomfortable. A short lived fad in my opinion.

  14. #14
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    Paul 78 are those CDW bags? I was looking into getting some of their gear for bikepacking. If it is do you like them? They seem like they hold a lot of stuff. I want to do the Tour Divide race soon and wanted some input on CDW gear. I think I was going to end up with their gear as it seems to be the norm for the Tour Divide participants.

  15. #15
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    Monize, check out Eric's bags at www.revelatedesigns.com. I have bags from him on my rude and I love them. Details here: http://lightpack.blogspot.com/2011/0...frame-bag.html

  16. #16
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    monzie, the main frame bag is a Revelate Tangle bag.. but the seat pack and the handlebar harness/pocket were made by a new guy .. Jeremy Cleaveland.

    Jeremy's work can be seen here..

    http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/ind...ic,2005.0.html

    The quality of all the bags I bought was superb.. Jeremy was able to deliver very very quickly and i'm really happy with the work he did for me
    shoestring-racing.blogspot.com

    Derailleur? No thanks.

  17. #17
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    I certainly think you need to do one bike packing trip to see if you like it. If you bring beer, do cans cause you can crush them and not deal with dead space. Some people like it. I'd prefer to haul balls. Whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    Barefoot running? I knew that was a bad idea from the start! I saw a guy doing it down in San Diego. He looked totally uncomfortable. A short lived fad in my opinion.
    Trick please. Most good runners use racing flats, which the current trend emulates. Track coaches have had barefoot running a part of training for decades. While the Vibram 5 toe thingy might soon be a stupid notion of the past, training miles in a low to non supportive shoe might become more of a norm. We all win here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I certainly think you need to do one bike packing trip to see if you like it. If you bring beer, do cans cause you can crush them and not deal with dead space. Some people like it. I'd prefer to haul balls. Whatever.



    Trick please. Most good runners use racing flats, which the current trend emulates. Track coaches have had barefoot running a part of training for decades. While the Vibram 5 toe thingy might soon be a stupid notion of the past, training miles in a low to non supportive shoe might become more of a norm. We all win here.
    I coach cross country at our local school. We do not train barefoot or in flats. We race in flats but that is it. I know lots of other coaches, and barefoot running and training in flats is also not part of their program.
    I use to run a bit and whenever I ran on the beach barefoot, I always had issues.
    We stress proper running technique (pose and chi running) ramp up the miles slowly and use the easy hard approach to training with good results.
    In track where I assistant coach, we get a lot of injuries with athletes running in spikes. Athletes need to be moved slowly into running flats and spikes and young athletes are particularly prone to injuries from improper running technique, ramping up their training too fast, plyos etc.

    A link to an interesting web site on barefoot running: http://www.runningbarefootisbad.com/...-injuries/381/

    A good discussion on barefoot running:

    "Unfortunately, as the barefoot craze grows, many advocates are taking a stand against shoes, and they’re not promoting the practice of barefoot running properly or safely. These barefoot activists are avoiding major safety concerns, making claims based on no expertise or evidence, and putting runners at great risk. Recently, I was approached by Michael Sandler, a barefoot running advocate, who wanted to have a meeting with MRC. I was open to the idea, but, of course, I had questions. When I asked how he addressed safety concerning the unavoidable risk of puncture wounds, he responded by saying they’re not a problem because the skin on your feet toughens up over time. I found his response completely negligent; there is no way that your skin will toughen up enough to avoid a nail or very sharp glass. Barefoot running doesn’t make us develop hoofs. My concerns were again solidified when I read Sandler’s book and found many irresponsible recommendations with no reference to the many medical and safety issues of barefoot running. My thoughts immediately went to yet another book, The Perfect Mile, which has reference to a very famous puncture wound. Wes Santee was picked to beat Roger Bannister in the sub 4 minute mile, but the day before the race, he cut his foot during a training run on the grass inside of the track. Santee lost his chance to run that race and reach his dream, demonstrating the significant risk for disability associated with barefoot running even for the elite runner.

    Although we don’t have rigorous scientific studies on shoed vs barefoot running, we do have years of expert experience. As mentioned before, throughout the history of running coaches have progressed their athletes to training barefoot. “Progressed” is the key word. Coaches would never immediately begin training unfit runners barefoot. Coaches have always initially placed athletes in a protective training shoe and lightened the shoe as the runner gets more fit. Eventually, when the runner has reached optimum fitness and strength, they progress to training barefoot and racing in flats or spikes. Spikes actually enhance the foot for performance but offer no protection. No shoe is faster than a track spike, but no shoe rips up your foot as much either! The runners I treat often have the worst running fitness of their lives due to injuries and previous mismanagement. It would be malpractice to run with them barefoot or in a racing flat, they need a shoe for protection!

    False information and disregard for safety are putting many barefoot runners at a higher risk for injury. Running barefoot is fine with proper training and technique for runners with optimum running fitness and strength. However, it is not for unfit, injured runners. It’s simple. Always begin training your running injury in a protective shoe, and when you’re fit progress to less shoe for performance!"

  19. #19
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    Thanks you all for the information. I now have several hours of reading and research to do. How do you even find out about these people/ companies? I looked all ove and seriosly only came across CDW.

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