Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

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  • Good deal on a nice and reliable XL bikepacking rig for someone­3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15924

  • For bikepacking throughout South America (Colombia to Patagonia is the general idea, aiming mostly for dirt roads, but probably also some pavement, maybe later turn back towards Brazil), would you consider a drop bar bike like Kona Sutra or a flat bar (Longitude, Big Bro etc) a better idea? All my bikes for the past 5 years have been CX/gravel, no real experience with other types of handlebars/bikes.

  • Is there a recommended top tube bag? I’ve a Restrap one currently but the internal side netting is now collapsed and there is too much interference with the stem fixing bolts.

  • I'd say whichever you find comfiest, but you'll make either work. I'd guess you'd inevitably end up doing quite a few stretches on pavement..

    I did patagonia on drops and was fine, but i didn't put loads of thought into my setup, and i was predominantly on (bad) roads.

    Sounds like an epic trip, enjoy.

  • super flared drops if 'road' geo.
    But set them up high, so hoods only a little lower than saddle.

    personally i am a big fan of hardtail now off road

  • I plan it in more than a year, so still a lot of time to consider my options.
    What wheels did you run (size, tyre width, touring/MTB tyre?)

  • I've never done anything epic like that and my info may be out of date, but I believe 559 would be the most common size available down there in terms of off-roadableness.

  • cyclocross - 35mm. As i say, i was mainly on roads. It was a mistake - go bigger!

  • That for sure, I am mostly wondering whether to go for a gravel bike with capacity of say 2.0 with mudguards / 2.1-2.2 without, or rigid MTB with 2.2 mudguards / 2.4 no mudguards clearances, and if it's better to go as wide as possible (leaving some tolerance for mud) or a bit narrower but with fenders.

  • Sounds amazing. Ryan Wilson had multiple articles on the Radavist with his South America trips. Mostly off road. Looks amazing. He was on a full rigid Mtb.

  • Hey folks,

    I'm looking for packable sleeping bag recommendations.

    Ideally it needs to keep me alive down to around 6degrees at the lowest.

    Any suggestions?

  • I've got a Mountain Equipment Classic 300 which is already quite packable with the supplied drybag but even more packable with a slightly smaller compression bag at 14cm diameter and approx 25cm tall. I got it for €90 mind, there might be better alternatives at its RRP.

    It does not have Rapha written on it anywhere though and I doubt you'd have people referring to your rig with terms like dialed in when using it.

  • Check this thread for a pretty comprehensive discussion (there’s a neat summary half way down the page), then check what @platypus posts say and follow his advice as it seems to be pretty solid (and it’s what nearly everyone else does)­41/?offset=675

  • post Xmas drinks wild camp?

  • It really depends on the route.

    Even the Carrettera Austral has some bits on thick loose gravel that require 2" for comfort riding. If you go in the open flats of the Ruta 40 or even the big plateus of Bolivia and the coast of Peru then expect a lot of wind, for which I'd rather have a wide drop bar with a good flare.

    If you then follow some of the routes that Ryan Wilson or Alee Denham then I'd bring a MTB rig with 2.4"-2.6".

    The best thing is not to overthink it, you will manage it and have an awesome time regardless of what gear you go with. Just make sure it's reliable.

  • I am not going below 2'' for sure, currently still torn between Kona Sutra (could bring 2.2 MTB tyres, 2.15 Almotions, or 27.5x2.6) or Genesis Longitude. 27.5+ setups look appealing for dirt roads, wondering though if scarce spares availability might be a problem in case my wheel brakes, and if those setups won't be too draggy on the roads (though Alee's setup with 2.4 slicks seems especially interesting to me).

  • Spares availability is always an interesting point when planning big trips to remote places.. I met Ryan in Santiago 2 yeas ago as he had been waiting for 40 days for a spare 12s Sram rear derailleur (very bespoke then) to clear customs from US.

    I'd go for custom wheels, triple butted spokes and double walled rims with eyelets, carry some spare spokes, if then it breaks you'll find a way to fix it. Best part of such long trips is that you have plenty of time.

  • I want to make a couple of rolltop bags to go in bottle cages or other holders that can be attached to forks.

    as this will be an experiment i dont want to fork out (ha!) a lot of money - so whats the best value 3 point attachment oversized cage out there?

  • Planet-x? Incl a bag is only £14.99

  • Link? I don't seem to see that on their site

  • There's a lots of aftermarket Voile straps that can be had for cheap (insofar it haven't failed and they're usually from reputable shop like MEC).

    WIth @laner suggestion, and a Wolftooth BRAD system can make it a lots flexible in mounting cages, bottle, bag etc. on your bike;

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Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

Posted by Avatar for edscoble @edscoble