Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

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  • Cheers folks. It's a little wonky, but I'm pretty stoked with it.


  • Current bikepacking setup on my salsa fargo. A mismatch of second hand carradice and planetx bags. Holds up really well on singletrack and the handling of the fargo feels unaffected. It gives me plenty of room for short bikepacking trips, but since I've got lots of space up front, i might get a decaleur to fit a randonneur bag for that epic long trip that won't happen.

  • Anyone have an unwanted Alpit Joey or recomend any other simple harness systems?

    Edit: tempted by a more secure system like..
    https://wildcat.cc/collections/accessori­es/products/dewidget-strap-deck-large
    https://wildcat.cc/products/drj0ns-bagwo­rks-g-funk

  • Make it even more simple. Just use straps straight on the bars. A friend does it with those voile straps. £25 for a bit of plastic is nuts.

  • Make it even more simple. Just use straps straight on the bars. A friend does it with those voile straps. £25 for a bit of plastic is nuts.

    I'm a sucker for neat solutions but you are right.. and it's £45 for clamp and said bit of plastic!

  • Genuinely outrageous. I'm with you on the tidy solutions though. You could definitely make something that would be more custom to your bar/frame geometry. Cut and smooth a bit of plastic and drill some holes. Done :)

  • Anybody here a member of the Nearly Wild Camping Club? Just had an advert pop up on IG, had a look and it seems like it might be a good way of avoiding the fear of getting booted off a farmers field at the end of a shotgun, but also all the locations might be shit and you don’t know until you’re a member

  • Anyone looking to shift a saddle bag and half frame bag?

  • .

  • interesting, this could be a solution for a front bar bag on a small frame..

  • Exped Downmat Light turned up. Nice and comfy but the thing I'm most impressed with is that it packs back into the stuff sack with no swearing. I didn't know that was allowed.

  • Tent & sleeping mat currently in the saddle pack, space for a very few items of clothing.
    Nothing in the frame bag
    Sleeping bag in the front - no space for anything else due to narrow bars

    I need to increase space a bit and have a few options:

    1. Ideally I would like to fit the tent in the frame bag, but im not sure even with a full frame bag it would fit leght wise (x-small frame), need to measure up. I could also currently put a tool bottle in the second cage mount.

    2. Somehow mount a second drybag to the top of the rear saddle pack for all clothing

    3. Buy stem with rise and wider (flared?) bars to increase space up front.

    Thoughts? It needs to be enough for long weekend excursions.

  • Tent poles on the top tube enough to allow tent between bars or in framebag?

    Get a rack :)

  • That’s why you need the smallest tent/ bag possible. Is there no way the bag can go in the saddle pack then clothes/ mat in the front bag.

  • possibly, going to give it a go.

    I have a bike with a rack that I commute on if I wanted to go down that route, but I just dont enjoy riding it as much, steel frame, extra weight of racks. Weight definitely makes a difference when you're 60kg yourself.

    @MicroDosed™ Ive actually made a fair amount more space in the saddle bag by removing two of the support poles, I can strap them to the frame. Length was the issue. Bag should fit in there too now. Still a tight fit for everything else in the front.

  • Arm chair thoughts so apologise if I'm teaching you how to suck eggs.

    You could get a snack bag that goes on the front roll, stem bag or a fuel tank style bag for a bit of extra capacity but it probably won't go beyond snacks and gadgets.

    You don't mention what tent, mat and bag you have. Could be good potential for an upgrade maybe. Moving the tent poles to the frame is definitely the way to go though.

    Another alternative would be something like a Carradice style saddle bag, you can get pretty spacious ones. They might need a bag support but they attach and detach pretty easily (one bolt).

    Bike packing dot com have kit lists and tend to specify how they've packed things, could help though they are mostly for "endurance racers".
    https://bikepacking.com/plan/gear-lists.

    There's also many " how I've packed" type videos on YouTube you could look at. I like this one https://youtu.be/qIbF8h_IBzM

    because it seems pretty down to earth, UK centric and budget friendly.

  • no, thats all good info!

    I've watched a few videos but like you say, mostly focused on racing, wouldnt mind a few luxuries. The video you posted seems good.

    Tent is a Terra Nova Zephyros, I guess a laser would be an upgrade but not sure how big the difference is, pack size wise.

  • Find it boring that so much bike packing information is focused on what sponsored riders are packing in their ultra rides when there's obviously loads of people using the gear who just don't want to put a rack onto their bike because they normally use it for something else.

    That tent seems fine, maybe you can get a smaller bag? I'm assuming you're quite a small person so maybe...?

    Some sideways thinking, but if you're carrying food, but have decent resupply you could take a packable backpack (decathlon have them cheap) for the distance between resupply and camp.

    If you're amenable to spending money there's also that tailfin rear rack thing. It looks a bit funny but apparently is well engineered and is very easily removable.

    Alternatively find some giant with a 62 inch frame and loads of seat post and get them to come with and carry everything...

  • you could take a packable backpack (decathlon have them cheap)

    That's what I've done before (with the £3 decathlon packable rucksack); musettes may be more traditional, but if I'm carrying stuff more than a mile I prefer the extra stability. The decathlon ones are ideal for carrying ingredients for a meal and a couple of beers.

  • The decathlon packable rucksack is great, even if its just to get from till to bike.

    @apc you could probably get a bit of room by going for full framebag and bladder?
    But my experience with a setup a lot like yours was not great.
    The moment all the warm clothes were in the bags, and I had food and maybe some cans it was not fun anymore.

    Unless I was racing (ha) or riding a lot of singletrack a pair of small panniers and a rando bag is way nicer in my opinion.

  • If you're amenable to spending money there's also that tailfin rear rack thing. It looks a bit funny but apparently is well engineered and is very easily removable.

    https://burlycross.wordpress.com/2020/06­/11/tailfin-rack-trunkpack-review/

  • I'm pretty sure I read some positive reviews but I have no horse in this race so I'm glad you posted this.

    At least if it's easily removable it's not much work to remove to put it in the bin?

  • I don't like buying things that just get dumped. Now I have actual real proper money I'd rather pay extra for quality. I never looked seriously at Tailfin anyway but I remember reading this review and being a bit disappointed - there was a fair bit of hype around them for racers.

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Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

Posted by Avatar for edscoble @edscoble

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