This was my rig for seven days out of Nome, Alaska. 2010 Giant XTC 1 with Revelate Harness, Revelate Gas Tank, frame bag made by me, panniers borrowed from Mom, and backpack full of food. It was a fantastic trip!
I have not necessarily bikepacked yet, BUT I do ride with a toptube framebag for all my small tools, a custom seatpack (I made) , and a basic rear rack I can strap anything I need to on... I use it everywhere, but want to plan a pack trip soon
when you have a front rack or bag, does is have much more self steer? (I ride a fatbike with 100mm rims and 4.0 tires)
where does everyone get those awesome huge water bottles?
is it more comfortable to do these LONG rides with regular bars? or drop bars?
whats main necessities needed besides tent, food,fishing/hunt gear, and tools?
I think that's all the q's for now... thanks in advance for the response!
Bars are personal preference (comfort is subjective). People do long rides without issue with either type of bar all the time. The one thing you will notice is provisions for different hand positions. Drops have that inherently (but have some geo requirements people tend to over look), but not all MTB bars do. This is why barends, aero bars, and Jones bars are so common on bikepacking bikes.
I have no idea what year the frame is, but it still has cantilever brake bosses, a standard 1 1/8" head tube (non-tapered), and no brace on the head tube end of the top tube. The fork is a Surly Ogre fork, with the extra bottle mounts, and also has cantilever brake bosses. I'm probably never going to use cantis, but it's good to have the option in an emergency.
This was my loadout for a weekend 110-miler with my girlfriend. I'm carrying her stuff and my stuff, so I needed panniers.
Here it is naked, with a front rack and aero-bars.
There's a lot more pictures and a full gear list on my site. Thanks for looking!
Still playing with weight distribution but here's the breakdown so far
harness, sleeping bag
gas tank, sunscreen, chapstick, food
feedbag, beverage, trash/wrappers
anything cage/bags, tent base on one side, tent tarp on the other
frame bag, tent poles/stakes, spare parts, repair kit, hygiene items
saddle bag, (everything inside another stuff sack) sleeping pad, clothing
Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't
I did my first few trips with a BOB. Not my preference now, but it works and it does have some advantages. Most importantly, it`s probably the simplest way to try out packing without dropping a lot of money. You can use whatever rummage sale or Walmart gear you can scrounge up or cobble together and have no problem lashing it all on there. Of course, it`ll weigh a ton, but that gives you something to work on for future trips if you like the first one. And the trailer will continue to come in handy even if you don`t use it again for camping gear- I haven`t camped with mine in several years, but I put it to use every month hauling off the absurd amount of cardboard boxes that my wife seems to accumulate.
PM MTBR member coldbike [aka Doug] for some detailed kid-packing notes.
Doug is one of my Dad Heroes...
We are doing a (flat) Dad and Daughters (2) trip at the end of the month on the Yuba Mundo. 21 miles to a local state park, with a bike ferry trip involved.
Nothing as remote or as interesting as the trip Vik mentioned... but it will be our first try at family camping / tripping.
The Yuba will be close to 500 pounds with dad, kids, and gear on board.
Newbie to bike packing ... putting together my first setup. Looking at an El Mariachi 2 (2013) gently used. Any advice on quality of components, wheels, etc. I like this bike and think it would well for a first timer. ... some concern about the quality of wheels though. Any advice would be appreciated.
Extra stuff to break and maintain. Keeping pivots and shocks functioning properly takes time and money. Blowing a shock halfway to nowhere would be a drag.
Extra weight. Full-suspension bikes are heavier than hard-tails.
Poor climbing. Even a well-tuned full-suspension bike doesn't climb as well as a hard-tail (unless, of course, the trail is reasonably technical).
Expensive. Full-suspension bikes are pricey compared to hard-tails.
Possibly unnecessary. A lot of bikepackers are riding big wheels (29"), with low pressure, high volume, tires (2.4"+)--which provide a lot of "suspension."
Racks don't work as well. While there are some racks that will work on full-suspension bikes, I think that they work better on hard-tails. Of course if you aren't using racks, then this is a non-issue.
I ride a full-suspension bike though. For long days in the saddle on technical terrain, I find that I can go faster, fatigue less, and have more fun!
This could be a big issue. Suspension bikes usually don't have much room inside the frame for a frame bag, and might limit where you can strap other bags.
The only real advantage a suspension bike will have is saving your bones from rattling around over the choppy stuff. Suspension bikes can reduce fatigue quite a bit for just sit-down pedaling, but you're right in that they aren't going to climb as well.
When I'm dirt touring, I'm not really riding trails with much chop anyway. I use a suspension fork, and that is nice to reduce pressure on my wrists, but I'm close to going rigid.
I have been thinking about the suspension issue a lot recently. Part of me thinks it's silly to not have it. I mean, you wouldn't find many other modern wheeled vehicles without. It make a lot of sense from a comfort and control standpoint.
But I can also see the disadvantages, complexity being the big one.
I have actually been doing a bit of research into simply suspension designs and am lusting over a YBB frame at the moment. The designs seems to have a lot of advantage, with cost being the only downside. I also like the Willits B2B design, but haven't herd much feedback. Thudbuster can also be a nice add on, if you not to sensitive to fit issues.
The front seems a little easier. Most coil forks, in my experience, will tolerate a fair amount of neglect. Big tires also work well. The over thinker in me has been designing a fork around a Head Shock/Action Tec type design. Small coil and damper that lives in the steerer, cartridge style assembly for easy replacement, Fargo fork lowers. It'll never get made, just nice to dream.
Summer bike packing kit. If it is not buggy and there isn't a chance of rain, the tent is replaced with a SOL emergency bivy. Rain jacket gets tossed in if the chance of rain is high. Been going back and forth between the Jetboil set up and just the stove with a kettle. Weight is the same, but I think I'm liking the kettle option better.
Rear Sackville has tent (big agness seedhouse ul 2), sleeping pad (big agnes q core), sleeping quilt (jacks r better), and pillow (some rei one that everyone seems to have).
Front rack (top) has tools, headlamps, and misc. supplies
Front left pannier has clothes
Front right pannier has food, beer, and whiskey. Beer is wrapped in this insulating bag I get with my Blue Apron deliveries and an ice pack to keep cool. Canned beer only for the trails!
Plenty of water station fill ups along the way and I didn't end up using the camelbak that was strapped to the rear rack at all. Brought to much stuff in general as per usual. The boyscout has a hard time getting along with the ultralighter in me. Boyscout usually wins. (you know because he brought a gun and plenty of ammo while the ultralighter brought a razor blade that had been cut down.)
Mostly stock Krampus with Jones Loop Bar, Brooks C17 carved, split tube tubeless, Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion V2, DIY frame bag, and cannibalized Bontrager handlebar bag converted to gear roll.
My tent, poles, and sleeping pad go in handlebar the roll under the phone and GPS. The frame pack holds 3L of water, snacks, tools, tubes, and spare parts and batteries. The seatpack has a welded seam drybag so thats where I put the stuff thats ultra crucial to keep dry like spare clothes and the sleeping bag. I can also carry a trail running pack for an extra 2L bladder plus a bottle of sports drink, extra snacks, and carrying stuff when off the bike.
Low slung headlight compliments helmet mount. Only 1 ride (250 miles 3 days) on this setup so far, but I'm super stoked with it.
Doesn't look like much yet... still waiting on zippers by the end of the month.
I have patterns for frame Pack, and seat bag harness. I think the handlebar bag harness will be pretty straight forward. I will be using a 13L dry bag for the seat and 20L dry bag for the bars. I have Velcro, trim, nylon webbing, elastic cord, parachute clips, foam padding, nylon sheets, Codura Nylon and X-21 rip-stop laminated Nylon. I'm just waiting on the zippers. I will also make a pouch for atop the handlebar bag harness.
Photo from my first test ride on my setup for my first bikepacking trip in couple weeks. Frame bag was made by a friend...it is setup with a removable shelf so I can run as one single big compartment for a hydration bladder or have two separate compartments and it will fit both of my 21" frames. Right now running hydration in the bag (need to get a hose extension) plus tubes, tools, and I'll have some other stuff to throw in there. In the seat bag I have my sleeping bag, pad, and contrail. Also have two feed bags (one an older Epic research feedbag, the other the newer Revelate version) and a Timbuk2 fuel tank.