Do you ride with a pack?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    211

    Do you ride with a pack?

    I have always ridden with a pack, fast, slow, in shape or sloth mode. More and more I see folks ridding without a pack. I first started using a pack after a ride up Clawhammer Road. At Buckhorn Gap I grabbed for my water bottle and found the valve had cow poop on it. Been using a pack ever since, from races to muti-day rides. I like keeping the bike’s weight light and I really like having what I want/need with me. Plus I hate the feel that stuffed jersey pockets puts on my neck. In a pinch I can see throwing a few things in jersey pockets for an hour or so ride if I have duplicates, but what gives? What am I missing? Is this just another road-a-fication of riding a bike in the woods? I know that may sound odd but I am truly curious.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: upstateSC-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,487
    Can't speak for others but my primary reason is protecting my spine when I go OTB but I also like having the bike lighter. On long or hot rides I'll add a bottle but I never ride without a pack (as un-comfy it may be).
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,334
    99% of the time. May go without on small trail systems where I can get back to the car quickly.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,289
    I ride with a pack, but have a few friends who go without and here's what's changed for them.

    1) It's gawd-damn hot outside. There is no way I can argue with them when they cite how much cooler it is.

    2) Technology has enabled riding without pack. Between Co2's and good mini-tools and backcountry straps and Sawyer water filters and fuel tanks and micro jackets and everything else, it's not necessary anymore.

    So why do I ride with a pack still?

    1) I believe in keeping the 10 essentials with me. I ride by myself around 50% of the time and although I'm not likely to get lost, the best riders (which doesn't include me) get injured. In my mind, I need to be able to survive a night in the woods in whatever the worse possible weather conditions could be.

    2) Cost. Buying all the stuff to enable pack-free riding costs hundreds of dollars. I ain't broke, but I don't like spending money to replace perfectly functioning gear I already own.

    I do ride pack free on the small trail system next to my house, because if I had to I could crawl home with a broken leg or whatever. It's nice.

    Interesting post.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sugar_Brad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,106
    No pack for the win. Granted I have 1lb of tools and tubes in my downtube....

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mikeridesabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,966
    I like going without a pack when I can, but usually that just means fall or winter when I don't have to carry as much water. It's hard to find a full suspension bike that has space for 2 cages. And when riding trails, it is so much easier to drink from that tube rather than trying to find the water bottle and not crash while riding one handed.
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MikeBurnsie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    367
    I find it easier to carry a few cans of adult beverage in a pack than on my person or bike.
    2016 Transition Patrol
    2018 NukeProof Scout
    2019 Ridley X-Trail

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,334
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I ride with a pack, but have a few friends who go without and here's what's changed for them.

    1) It's gawd-damn hot outside. There is no way I can argue with them when they cite how much cooler it is.

    2) Technology has enabled riding without pack. Between Co2's and good mini-tools and backcountry straps and Sawyer water filters and fuel tanks and micro jackets and everything else, it's not necessary anymore.

    So why do I ride with a pack still?

    1) I believe in keeping the 10 essentials with me. I ride by myself around 50% of the time and although I'm not likely to get lost, the best riders (which doesn't include me) get injured. In my mind, I need to be able to survive a night in the woods in whatever the worse possible weather conditions could be.

    2) Cost. Buying all the stuff to enable pack-free riding costs hundreds of dollars. I ain't broke, but I don't like spending money to replace perfectly functioning gear I already own.

    I do ride pack free on the small trail system next to my house, because if I had to I could crawl home with a broken leg or whatever. It's nice.

    Interesting post.
    Not to mention the amount of water one can carry. On a hot summer day, I can consume 3L of H2O when riding 20-30 miles. I have a smaller pack I usually carry, but will take the larger pack when venturing out farther (e.g. Pisgah).

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Two wheels are best
    Reputation: DM-SC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,135
    I've been using a pack 100% off-road since the mid-late 90's. Hard to make myself drink from a crud covered bottle!

    I use a mid-size pack (Camelbak Lobo). I need the 70-100oz of fluids because I sweat a LOT.
    Never be afraid to try something new.

    Remember amateurs built the Ark.
    Professionals built the Titanic.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    78
    Fannie Pack/Bottle on short rides Osprey Zealot 16 on the longer ones.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Banjopickin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    625
    Ive been backpack-less for about 2 years now doing everything from short 10-15 mile Bent Creek rides all the way to PMBAR (72 miles this last go-round).

    I use a small fanny pack... dont call it a "hip pack", "enduro belt", etc. Its a Fanny Pack. Love it, embrace it.... Fanny Pack.

    Its a Solomon running fanny pack and fits enough food, my water filter, and my riding rain coat and even a beer for super long rides. Completely loaded down it still doesnt weigh very much... at least not enough to cause me any issues and is definitely lighter and sleeker than any backpack.

    I recently picked up two sets of Pearl bibs with stash pockets in the legs and back. I can easily do long, multi-hour rides without the fanny pack now. One or two bars, water filter, inflation stuff, tools, spare piece of chain, etc. all fit nicely and are barely noticed.

    Riding with a pack SUCKS... Its heavy, hot, and greatly affects my bike handling. I never noticed how much my handling suffered until I ditched the pack. No more pack hitting my in the head on steep descents or when I pull for a jump, no more shifting around throwing my weight off. Plus a big pack will give you an excuse to carry too much stuff.... most Backpackers know about this.

    Now going packless means you have to run bottles on the bike but 20oz of water on your bike is almost nothing. If you're worried about bike weight lose 5-10lbs. The best way to lighten your bike is to lighten yourself haha. And a little mud on the bottle has never killed anyone (according to google). Just wipe it off squirt a little to clear the valve and drink on my friends.


    Free your back... ditch the pack.
    On your left!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Ive been backpack-less for about 2 years now doing everything from short 10-15 mile Bent Creek rides all the way to PMBAR (72 miles this last go-round).

    I use a small fanny pack... dont call it a "hip pack", "enduro belt", etc. Its a Fanny Pack. Love it, embrace it.... Fanny Pack.

    Its a Solomon running fanny pack and fits enough food, my water filter, and my riding rain coat and even a beer for super long rides. Completely loaded down it still doesnt weigh very much... at least not enough to cause me any issues and is definitely lighter and sleeker than any backpack.

    I recently picked up two sets of Pearl bibs with stash pockets in the legs and back. I can easily do long, multi-hour rides without the fanny pack now. One or two bars, water filter, inflation stuff, tools, spare piece of chain, etc. all fit nicely and are barely noticed.

    Riding with a pack SUCKS... Its heavy, hot, and greatly affects my bike handling. I never noticed how much my handling suffered until I ditched the pack. No more pack hitting my in the head on steep descents or when I pull for a jump, no more shifting around throwing my weight off. Plus a big pack will give you an excuse to carry too much stuff.... most Backpackers know about this.

    Now going packless means you have to run bottles on the bike but 20oz of water on your bike is almost nothing. If you're worried about bike weight lose 5-10lbs. The best way to lighten your bike is to lighten yourself haha. And a little mud on the bottle has never killed anyone (according to google). Just wipe it off squirt a little to clear the valve and drink on my friends.


    Free your back... ditch the pack.
    Sounds great. I hate wearing packs but have been since moving here as I am solo riding. I never wore a pack at my previous home in IL but there is nothing remote there and easy to get by on a water bottle and few items in the jersey pocket.

    What type of filter system do you use? I want to get one but not sure what is best for mountain biking. Sawyer Mini Filtration System? Other?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Banjopickin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    625
    Quote Originally Posted by pryde1 View Post
    Sounds great. I hate wearing packs but have been since moving here as I am solo riding. I never wore a pack at my previous home in IL but there is nothing remote there and easy to get by on a water bottle and few items in the jersey pocket.

    What type of filter system do you use? I want to get one but not sure what is best for mountain biking. Sawyer Mini Filtration System? Other?

    Thanks!
    Sawyer squeeze filter is it. Get the high flow rate one... its nicer but a little more bulky. Get a few bags too cause the will tear eventually.

    Im a camel of a human and can hang a 20 miler in Pisgah on 24oz of water. But for the times I need the filter I have not found anything better.

    There is enough water in Pisgah to never need to carry more than 20oz and a filter. There are plenty of nice clear springs I have drank from unfiltered and been fine. I dont recommend it though... rolling the dice there.
    On your left!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    642
    Been on a few road rides in Norcal this week while visiting, almost downed 100oz of water each time. No way in hello do I plan to stop and refill bottles that much, plus I drink more when I can grab the hose quickly and down a few gulps. I sweat buckets, pack or no pack, so the pack on my back doesn't mean anything to me. May also help that I have a MULE NV, and that keeps it a little suspended, but when I had a non NV MULE, still wouldn't consider riding without it.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Sawyer squeeze filter is it. Get the high flow rate one... its nicer but a little more bulky. Get a few bags too cause the will tear eventually.

    Im a camel of a human and can hang a 20 miler in Pisgah on 24oz of water. But for the times I need the filter I have not found anything better.

    There is enough water in Pisgah to never need to carry more than 20oz and a filter. There are plenty of nice clear springs I have drank from unfiltered and been fine. I dont recommend it though... rolling the dice there.
    My issue is I sweat like a pig and can consume a lot of water, especially on long, hot climbs here.

    Is this the one?
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SO8VAE...a-313019901262

    Or this one?
    https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produc...7P0FSVBD7HQWFE

    Or something different? Please post a link to your recommended one if you don't mind.

  16. #16
    Big Mac
    Reputation: mbmb65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,611
    I ride with a pack, and have for years. I realize the current trend is to not use one, but I'm not trendy and can't fathom not using one. I've been badly hurt enough times in the forest that I well stocked first aid kit is warranted. And I've seen others that have warranted it as well, AND, my wife is a wound care nurse so she builds me these fat ass first aid kits that rival a triage kit. They're a little big, but whatever. And I have a really high metabolism, so I eat a sh!t ton. Gotta have room for sammys. And I do like beer. I'm also prone to mechanicals so I tote a small shop with. Add a jacket, water, and a tube, and a space blanket, and I'm ready to roll. I lived the first half of my life in Alabama, so the heat thing is laughable to me. And I'm slow anyway, so yeah. I was a Boy Scout, and you know the mantra...

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Banjopickin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    625
    Quote Originally Posted by pryde1 View Post
    My issue is I sweat like a pig and can consume a lot of water, especially on long, hot climbs here.

    Is this the one?
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SO8VAE...a-313019901262

    Or this one?
    https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produc...7P0FSVBD7HQWFE

    Or something different? Please post a link to your recommended one if you don't mind.
    The second one is the one you want... the inline squeeze filter..

    They also make this one...
    https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-s...-system-sp131/

    going packless is surely not for everyone. Ride within your comfort zone and carry whatever you feel you need.

    For ridng BC I carry pretty much nothing except a tool and flat repair stuff... just enough to get me out of the woods if needed.

    Long Pisgah rides I carry...

    -Repair kit: tool, flat repair stuff, piece of chain and quick link, small zip ties, etc.
    -Water Filter
    -Clif bar or two and electrolye tabs for long, hotter days
    -Toilet paper and small roll of medical tape (TP doubles as bandage if needed) in a ziplock

    All that fits in my bibs with a bar in my pocket. Works really well...

    If I need more than that Im in serious trouble haha.
    On your left!

  18. #18
    Big Mac
    Reputation: mbmb65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,611
    It's definitely a personal thing. I know a few folks that have either ditched the bags altogether or moved to a fanny pack. I'll soon be ordering a lumbar style pack from wingnut, to move the weight down low.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,334
    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    It's definitely a personal thing. I know a few folks that have either ditched the bags altogether or moved to a fanny pack. I'll soon be ordering a lumbar style pack from wingnut, to move the weight down low.
    I can't even carry a bottle on my Kona Process.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    211
    Interesting stuff. Its still a sanitary thing for me, I had a run in with giardia in a different era when I was really into backpacking, it was no fun at all, the giardia, the hiking was great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    "I believe in keeping the 10 essentials with me."
    May I ask what the ten essentials are?

  21. #21
    Big Mac
    Reputation: mbmb65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,611
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy G. Parrish View Post
    I can't even carry a bottle on my Kona Process.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
    No bottle mounts on the back side of the down tube? It's a great place to collect shit.

  22. #22
    Big Mac
    Reputation: mbmb65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,611
    Tonight I remembered that I carry a pretty large hand saw. And why.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,334
    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    No bottle mounts on the back side of the down tube? It's a great place to collect shit.
    Yeah, but useless. Great place to smash it also.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    What does a bean mean?!
    Reputation: COTarHeel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    175
    Add me to the list of folks who can't imagine going pack-less. Water bottles with mud and horse crap on them don't sound fun no matter how much you rinse them. I need way more water for rides than one or two water bottles can provide anyway and there's no way I'm going to take the time to stop and filter water multiple times when I can just carry all I need. There's nothing about my rides that the "extra" weight of the water will negatively impact.

    I also feel more comfortable with the ability to carry tools and a first aid kit for when the stuff hits the fan, and layers for weather. If you're racing and want to be as light as possible then I can understand going without, but I honestly don't understand what's so detrimental about carrying this stuff. I've never had a pack swing so wildly to throw me off balance but if that happened constantly to me I'd definitely consider other options.

    I also refuse to believe that people's backs don't get sweaty simply because they forego a backpack.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,150
    It really depends on the time of year.

    On nearly every ride out here, I have all my tools strapped to my bike, that's a tube, spare link, co2, tire lever, and multitool. I also always have a satellite messenger with me and something to eat, possibly a windbreaker (although not this time of year). That's a lot of crap to carry without some form of a pack.

    This time of year, I consume about .75-1L of water per hour of riding. I sweat a ton and it's hard to keep up with a bottle or even a fanny pack. I don't like wearing a pack, but it's a necessary evil this time of year, because there is no other way for me to keep that amount of water available.

    When it gets colder, then I'll go with a fanny pack or just a bottle. If I'm doing a 1hr ride or less, then just a bottle is great and works fine when the temps drop down. If it's a little longer of a ride or it's a little hotter, then my fanny pack works well too. The problem is that, with a bottle, I have to carry any food I need and my InReach in my pocket, which can get in the way on longer rides, but for shorter stuff (N Slope, Sycamore), it is manageable.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    17
    Great topic. It sounds like the 100% pack-less are the minority so far in this poll. Essentially whatever makes you happy, comfortable and safe for your chosen riding scenarios and experience level is best, and there is no right or wrong approach. A "good", "better", "best" configuration is up to you, your bike and your budget.

    For the majority of my rides, it's +1 for No Pack.

    Personally, I broke up with my backpack 2 years ago and I couldn't be happier. Accidents, mechanicals and 8 hour epic rides do happen, but these are not scenarios you should anticipate on every ride! Let's be honest folks, the majority of your rides are probably in the 10-20 mile range, and sub 3 hours. I think with proper gear selection and storage, coupled with good hydration practices and bike maintenance, most of you will not only survive but enjoy riding without a body-worn pack.

    What I carry on 90% of my rides, regardless of trail or season...

    - One 26oz bottle of H20 in the drink cage on the down tube
    - Jandd saddle bag with one tube, one set of levers, one 20g C02 canister and inflator
    - Velcro strap on the top tube for stashing layers (I use a Backcountry Research Super 8 strap)
    - Wrist worn GPS (Suunto Ambit)

    What I don't carry....

    - Phone
    - iPod
    - Multi-tool
    - Maps
    - Pump
    - Knife
    - Food
    - Gels
    - Beer
    - Avy Beacon

    Pros...

    ...the overall weight savings achieved from down sizing your carry-on luggage. Well duh! You can go farther, faster and with less effort when your payload is lighter! Some of the bags+gear I see out there should be gate checked! An added bonus...sweat less and require less water.

    ...the increased agility and bike handling resulting from the shifting of your cargo from the rider's back/waist to the bike. Moving a 5-7 lb load from your body to your bike can make a big difference in lowering your center of gravity. And an uninhibited body is better equipped to control a bike, despite the added weight from attaching your gear to the bike.

    Most of the pro-pack arguments presented so far can be countered...

    ..."I can't carry enough water in the summer". Proper pre-ride hydration is a crucial, and often overlooked strategy to reduce the amount of on-board H20 required, especially in summer. If you're planning an afternoon ride, drink lots of water starting first thing in the morning. Better yet, start the day before! You'll be surprised how much less water your body requires during a typical ride. If this strategy makes you nervous, you can also bring some electrolyte tablets to mitigate risk of dehydration.

    ..."I need my full tool set just in case I break something". MTB karma will certainly catch up to me, but I haven't broken or bent a derailleur hanger in 15 years, nor have I broken a chain in 5 years, and I'll go 1-2 years without flatting. Good pre-ride bike maintenance and component inspection goes a long way. Clean, lubed chain? Check. Reliable, unworn drive-train? Check. Tubeless tires, with proper inflation and Stans levels? Check. I just pack enough gear to repair one tire...mitigate the highest risk incident and accept the lowest risk incidents as fate and walk back to the truck if I have to

    ..."but where do I store my first aid kit, knife, lighter, and Avy beacon?". I don't ride anywhere without informing my significant other of my chosen trails and estimated end time. Even with occasional overage time for bear encounters (last week on upper Spencer), post-ride libations and chit-chat...I'm not going to be spending the night in the woods without someone tracking me down before morning.

    Ride on!

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    250
    Good thread and advice/perspectives. I have some goodies on the way for my tentative kit depending on the ride:

    a. 25+ miles in summer: pisgah backcountry stuff- Camelbak 70oz water, tools/aid, map, water filter, energy food. (occasionally)
    b. 15-20 mile rides: EVOC hip pack, water bottle, flat and multitool, sawyer water filter, energy food (most of my weekend rides will be this)
    c. <=10 miles: water bottle, C02, tube, multitool in jersey pocket (after work rides)

    So I will mostly be without a camelbak and only break it out when getting way out there alone on occasion.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,150
    Quote Originally Posted by thatthang View Post
    I don't ride anywhere without informing my significant other of my chosen trails and estimated end time.
    I never really considered this sufficient, especially with the technology these days. If you are on a long ride, it could take rescue hours to get to you, even if they know exactly where you are. If you add in even 10-15 miles route, locating you could be a very long event, even if you give someone a pre-planned route. It's also more work on the rescuers to have to locate you, taking more time and costing more money. It may not generally be as critical this time of year, but during the winter months, that time can be critical to survival.

    Informing someone is better than nothing and I do it even with a locator, but if I'm only carrying a pack so I can carry my InReach, then I'd do it. Not just for me, but for people I encounter trailside that might need help (this happened last week although it was non-emergency, we were able to get the word out).

    As for summer hydration, I drink a large amount of water every day, about 3-4 64oz water bottles. I still get thirsty and dry on short rides. This is also a safety issue for me, I don't want to do the bare minimum to just survive the ride, if I get stuck for one reason or another, having enough water to last a little longer and a little food means I can be out longer with less worries.

    I guess we accept different levels of risk, but given how easy it is to get injured, I'd rather be a little bit uncomfortable and have a higher degree of safety than do the bare minimum.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    104
    I understand racers not wanting to wear a pack. And this definitely isn't an us vs them argument, it's all preference. Personally, I'd feel naked without one. I wear a pack for the spine protection. When I wreck, I usually go into a barrel roll by habit when coming off the bike. It prevents injury by rolling and landing on your back and I'm glad I have a pack on when I do.

    Also, always good to have some first aid with you when out in the woods, doesn't have to be a large kit but at least some bandages and tape for large wounds that might make it an issue to get back to the car without treatment, or at the least, cut your ride short. Maybe a couple butterfly bandages to close gashes as well. Some gauze for stick impalements. All of this is light and could probably fit in a fanny pack or tool bag for those that prefer to go packless. Small band aids, don't bother. Just need stuff for the big things. You definitely want to self rescue as well and not have to call anyone.

    You never know what can happen, you could be the best rider in the world and have your handlebar snap. This just happened in Bent Creek the other day (skip to the 4:45 mark):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2sMFZIB6zA

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,277
    I really really want to try a fanny pack to free my back up on hot summer days but I am hesitant to do so for back protection. I have landed on my back/side a lot over the years and the backpack has taken it in stride. Shoot last fall I flipped over my bars, landed on my back, and bent my shock pump. Shoooooooot that would have sucked bare backed.

    I went to a low-COG pack, Camelbak Skyline last year and it was a good move from my old Mule. I'll consider it a compromise and probably keep rocking it on every ride. I'll blow through 100oz of water in 2.5-3hrs every ride. Here's my Sawyer setup for those interested. Not the fastest, but gives a good reason to break for 10 or so minutes on Pisgah epics.


  31. #31
    Big Mac
    Reputation: mbmb65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,611
    Quote Originally Posted by thatthang View Post
    Great topic. It sounds like the 100% pack-less are the minority so far in this poll. Essentially whatever makes you happy, comfortable and safe for your chosen riding scenarios and experience level is best, and there is no right or wrong approach. A "good", "better", "best" configuration is up to you, your bike and your budget.

    For the majority of my rides, it's +1 for No Pack.

    Personally, I broke up with my backpack 2 years ago and I couldn't be happier. Accidents, mechanicals and 8 hour epic rides do happen, but these are not scenarios you should anticipate on every ride! Let's be honest folks, the majority of your rides are probably in the 10-20 mile range, and sub 3 hours. I think with proper gear selection and storage, coupled with good hydration practices and bike maintenance, most of you will not only survive but enjoy riding without a body-worn pack.

    What I carry on 90% of my rides, regardless of trail or season...

    - One 26oz bottle of H20 in the drink cage on the down tube
    - Jandd saddle bag with one tube, one set of levers, one 20g C02 canister and inflator
    - Velcro strap on the top tube for stashing layers (I use a Backcountry Research Super 8 strap)
    - Wrist worn GPS (Suunto Ambit)

    What I don't carry....

    - Phone
    - iPod
    - Multi-tool
    - Maps
    - Pump
    - Knife
    - Food
    - Gels
    - Beer
    - Avy Beacon

    Pros...

    ...the overall weight savings achieved from down sizing your carry-on luggage. Well duh! You can go farther, faster and with less effort when your payload is lighter! Some of the bags+gear I see out there should be gate checked! An added bonus...sweat less and require less water.

    ...the increased agility and bike handling resulting from the shifting of your cargo from the rider's back/waist to the bike. Moving a 5-7 lb load from your body to your bike can make a big difference in lowering your center of gravity. And an uninhibited body is better equipped to control a bike, despite the added weight from attaching your gear to the bike.

    Most of the pro-pack arguments presented so far can be countered...

    ..."I can't carry enough water in the summer". Proper pre-ride hydration is a crucial, and often overlooked strategy to reduce the amount of on-board H20 required, especially in summer. If you're planning an afternoon ride, drink lots of water starting first thing in the morning. Better yet, start the day before! You'll be surprised how much less water your body requires during a typical ride. If this strategy makes you nervous, you can also bring some electrolyte tablets to mitigate risk of dehydration.

    ..."I need my full tool set just in case I break something". MTB karma will certainly catch up to me, but I haven't broken or bent a derailleur hanger in 15 years, nor have I broken a chain in 5 years, and I'll go 1-2 years without flatting. Good pre-ride bike maintenance and component inspection goes a long way. Clean, lubed chain? Check. Reliable, unworn drive-train? Check. Tubeless tires, with proper inflation and Stans levels? Check. I just pack enough gear to repair one tire...mitigate the highest risk incident and accept the lowest risk incidents as fate and walk back to the truck if I have to

    ..."but where do I store my first aid kit, knife, lighter, and Avy beacon?". I don't ride anywhere without informing my significant other of my chosen trails and estimated end time. Even with occasional overage time for bear encounters (last week on upper Spencer), post-ride libations and chit-chat...I'm not going to be spending the night in the woods without someone tracking me down before morning.

    Ride on!
    Lol. No sense in being prepared, right?

Similar Threads

  1. Enduro Fanny Pack aka "Hip Pack"
    By roknfnrol in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-30-2014, 07:07 AM
  2. using a lumbar pack in addition to my hydration pack
    By androgen in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 09-20-2013, 12:19 PM
  3. Pack it in, Pack it out
    By Swell Guy in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-12-2012, 11:20 PM
  4. Pack In\Pack Out, spider trails on Somo
    By chollaball in forum Arizona
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-01-2012, 04:35 PM
  5. Creative ways to pack your hydration pack?
    By hatake in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 02-01-2012, 01:44 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.