Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

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  • If you want cheap bikepacking bags just to see if you like using them, I'd consider borrowing stuff first.

    Very much this.
    As you ride more, you'll keep re-evaluating what you want to carry, and how to fit it to the bike. I reckon I've tried at least 3 bags in each of the common positions (bars/frame/seat) for both the MTB and the gradventourer, and even now I chop and change depending on how much gear I'm carrying/where I'm headed etc.

  • You did the ott? Was it good?

  • I've used the Revelate Viscacha I bought off here on almost every big race. I liked it enough I bought another used one off here for the missus. If I didn't like it initially I could probably sell it for what I paid. Even if I used it a few times, could probably sell it on for same price.

  • Agree with the buy cheap, buy twice, and with re-using. I was just wondering if there was a particular brand that was known for being decent and no frills at an ok price, as happens occasionally.
    The stuff on the Alpkit and Planet X websites look pretty good .

  • Deuter and Topeak maybe? Not as sexy as the US brands but do the job.

    I used Deuter on PBP in whatever year I did it and I'm still using their frame triangle and top tube bags.

  • Wiggle/Lifeline do some too and they are usually good for other cheap things.

  • Thanks all for the recommendations.

  • just to counter the above - I bought the podsack handlebar and saddle bags from Planet X. I've ridden the oregon timber trail, two alpine trips and King Alfreds Way as well as a bunch of overnight road trips over the last 3 years. They're still totally fine. So ime it's a case of buy cheap, buy once with them. I'm sure they're not as good as revelate etc but for the money I'm very impressed.

  • The new Decathlon bags look pretty bombproof in the pics, haven't seen irl.

  • Their stem cells are top notch. Got 5 of them across a variety of bikes, slightly tight for a mug, but perfect for a bottle

  • I know podsacss have been discussed before, but any real-world feedback on the fork bags, specifically the 5.5l ones mounted to suspension forks?

    Seems to be a cheap option compared to Versacages and dry bags - and I'll be putting in odd shaped stuff (stove and food etc) which the podsac bags look better suited to over trad dry bags

  • Just had a memorable three day bikepacking trip on the Sunshine Coast in BC. I cobbled together bags by borrowing and hacking some bits and whilst it all worked, it wasn't quite perfect. We took bivvies and a tarp which worked pretty well, and in summer will probably be able to ditch the bivvies and just take a tarp.

    A dropper compatible seatpost bag would be good to replace this borrowed Apidura one, and the bottle on the underside of the downtube didn't really work as the nozzle got filled with mud.

    I'm considering a custom frame bag as there are some cheap local makers, and probably a food pouch, but still haven't figured out how to store water if that was the case. I'm also wondering about trying to strap some cages to the forks, but without mounts that could be a recipe for disaster. Would welcome suggestions and thoughts about options.

    It's amazing how different it feels to cover distance on trails as opposed to road or gravel, our longest day was 43k with 1300m elevation and it took almost 6 hours! The feeling of grinding up hills in the biggest ring on a laden mtb is so different to climbs on a heavy gravel bike, but the downhill trails are definitely a big reward for the effort.

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  • I’ve got the smaller ones (­odsacs-tarpaulin-fork-dry-bag-and-rack-(­4-litre)) which I think are the same? Use them as downtube cages and bags.

    Verdict: seem pretty indestructible. Pretty heavy and stiff (will be the tarp material), feel like a gazebo! Not had them on forks but work well enough for me. Good for soft things I think, as the material is quite stiff but imagine if you got a mug just the right size it’s be pretty rattle free.

  • I guess the A2C is too long on that frame for a rigid fork swap out to work for trips? The Tailfin fork mount hobbies are supposed to be v good

  • Hey Jack!

    We're aiming to prioritise trips that utilise singletrack and take in a bunch of more technical trails along the way, so would want to keep the suspension on either way. Those Tailfin mounts look really well designed, I hadn't seen those!

  • 👋 there's also the King Cage USB which might be easier to obtain over there (not sure what the Tailfin market penetration is like across the pond) but they look a bit agricultural

  • Using Tailfin mounts on my forks with voile straps and Alpkit fork bags. Good so far, see no way for them to go wrong. Got a smaller one under the down tube.

    Having said that I'm riding 95% tarmac and some royal gravel here n there.

  • That looks like a pretty good option! I don't mind agricultural too much, and at that price I could pepper them all over the gaff.

  • Any recommendations for a battery pack to charge Garmin and iPhone for a trip of a few days. Thinking about a gravel/off road trip will run my 650 wheel set but these don’t have a Dynamo. Don’t want to buy another wheel so I think a battery pack might be a very cost effective option.

  • Anker in a size you need/want/can fit.

  • +1 for Anker. Work out what you need in terms of battery capacity x times you'll need to charge things.

  • Anyone used the Decathlon Riverside bikepacking bag range? Looks well thought out and reasonably priced? In the market for a saddlebag for occasional overnight credit card type rides budget up to £80. Looking at this or the carradice bikepacking equivalent­g-saddle-bag-harness/_/R-p-323959?mc=857­9468

  • I’ve not but I’ve got the riverside handlebar food/bottle pouch and it’s entirely up to the job. Reviews on that seem excellent.

  • I've got a OneUp dropper post:­/dropper-post-v2

    Anyone know the diam. of the stanchion bit? I want to buy a Wolftooth Valais for it and don't have it to hand to measure for the size I need.

    25mm or 26mm:­ucts/valais-25?variant=20299520965

    I'm fucking blind...

    "Valais 26mm accommodates posts with 26-26.5mm stanchion diameter. Some known posts of this size include:
    Thomson Covert
    Fox Transfer
    KS eTen

  • Tailfin have announced extremely long watch straps for bikepacking­e-system/cargo-straps

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Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

Posted by Avatar for edscoble @edscoble