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Is this also the forum for “bike packing” ?

Old 03-10-23, 08:47 AM
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Is this also the forum for “bike packing” ?

Just wondering if the touring sub forum on this site is the place for “bike packing” discussion/questions ?

Sorry admittedly I’m one right now who “blurs” the divide between “bike packing” and “touring” - I think If you are travelling somewhere you need a bike equipped for places you ride and might go but it is an evolving and ever popular area of cycling that seems to lack a specific area on this site. Wondering if this should be renamed the “touring / bike packing” sub forum ? or does bike packing require it’s own sub forum or is it already served by another sub forum in your mind. I say this as someone who owns a dedicated road touring bike who is also in the Preliminary stages of building an “all road” bike per se. And yes my “all road” will have a pannier rack on it.
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Old 03-10-23, 10:01 AM
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I don't know what bucket I fit in...

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Old 03-10-23, 10:04 AM
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yes.
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Old 03-10-23, 10:09 AM
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Short answer: You will find plenty of conversations here about bikepacking including equipment, routes, bikes, etc.

Longer reply: This "bike touring / bike packing" semantics conversation comes up periodically here, e.g. in threads like this - https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...packing-2.html You aren't the only shifting between uses of the term or having mixes of panniers and bike packing bags. So rather than getting too caught in the semantics meta-discussion I find it more interesting to just go directly to the questions...

What are you thinking for your all road bike?
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Old 03-10-23, 10:28 AM
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In my opinion there isn't and has never been a clear divide between the two. Ask your questions or make your comments here. No need to get too hung up over the label. Some folks may be less tolerant of the style they don't care for, but for the most part we all get along. I tend to blur the line a bit myself. I call what I do ultralight touring, but usually do not use panniers these days. I have used some unconventional baggage, but have been gradually shifting more toward bikepacking style bags.
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Old 03-10-23, 10:52 AM
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There have been suggestions over time that there should be two separate forums, but that has not happened. But as you readily show, there are enough people that mix bikepacking gear (like your saddle bag) with touring gear (your panniers), that it probably does not make that much sense to separate them.

On the rando forum last month, someone started a thread titled "Randonneuring vs Bikepacking; Can they be the same thing?", thus things can get complicated pretty fast around here.
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Old 03-10-23, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
In my opinion there isn't and has never been a clear divide between the two. Ask your questions or make your comments here. No need to get too hung up over the label. Some folks may be less tolerant of the style they don't care for, but for the most part we all get along. I tend to blur the line a bit myself. I call what I do ultralight touring, but usually do not use panniers these days. I have used some unconventional baggage, but have been gradually shifting more toward bikepacking style bags.
With respect, I disagree. There is (or was) a clear divide between the two back when Revelate Design introduced their bags for rough off-road and winter travel. But people have hopelessly blurred the line when discussing the differences. I do both and, more importantly, enjoy both ways. But I do keep them totally separate. I would never, for example, do a weeks long, mostly paved or smooth road tour with bikepacking bags. The organization of those bags and the need to drag every damned thing out of the bags every night to get out that little item I need that only fits in the very bottom of some triangle in one of the bags would drive me crazy! It’s bad enough for up to about 5 days which is about the extent of my bikepacking trips.

I also wouldn’t want to try riding a road bike on any number of routes that I have traveled in the Colorado mountains. I use a soft tail mountain bike (a Moots YBB) for my high pass adventures. Bikepacking bags work better there since they attach to the bike more securely than panniers but, like freeze-dry food, there’s only so much of that kind of travel I can endure.

There is also a matter of loading and bicycle handling. Just about every bikepacking trip, I expect to go over the bars because the load…me and extra camping gear…is much higher than one even a normal mountain bike. I endure that issue…and packing issues…for the narrower profile and more robust attachment. But on the road, panniers and a long wheelbase road bike are hard to beat for superb handling.
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Old 03-10-23, 11:26 AM
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Bikepacking is the child of touring -
Kinda like the movie "Son of Frankenstein" with Boris Karloff.
And the great Bela Lugosi, too!
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Old 03-10-23, 11:30 AM
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I would argue that as things stand today, there isn't enough traffic on this sub to justify further distinctions. Moreover, as should be clear from the comments in this thread, there's no clear distinction between packing/touring. Some refer to the equipment (frame packs vs panniers), others to courses (off-road vs roads). Preferences may suggest off road == frame packs, but one can certainly ride EV6 with frame packs, or ride off-road with panniers.

Backpacking sometimes refers to spending a summer in Europe travelling from one train station to the next and spending nights in youth hostels, The same word can refer to AT/PCT/GDT/etc. thru hikes. Totally different types of travel/crowds, somewhat different equipment. Enough people interested in both/either types to support distinct subs. It just takes a minute or two to figure out which crowd is which. In comparison, bike travel is marginal.

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Old 03-10-23, 12:10 PM
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Touring is racks, panniers, handlebar bags, and saddle bags on touring bikes, which are beefed up road bikes. Some people also tour on cyclocross bikes, which are an intermediate between road bikes and touring bikes.

Bikepacking was originally invented by mountain bikers who wanted to tour offroad, but couldn't install racks onto their suspension mountain bikes. They came up with a system of strapping a ton of pouches all over their bikes. The saddlebags and handlebar bags used in bikepacking are not the same as those used in traditional bike touring. Traditionally these are box shaped bags with lids. The bikepacking version is nothing but a strapped on pouch. However, some bikepackers dislike pouches and choose to use traditional saddlebags and handlebar bags instead.

Then at some point in the mid 2010s, bicycle manufactures realized that boomers are starting to die en masse and they are running out of middle aged white men to sell overpriced road bikes to. Panicking, they invented a whole new bike category which does not need to exist, "gravel". Gravel bikes are simply the same old touring and cyclocross bikes, but with that road bike styled marketing bling applied on top. The instagram generation immediately ate up this marketing like Moses under the tits of God. The original mountain bikers were exiled into obscurity and the "bikepacking" moniker was bastardized into an overpriced lifestyle label. Nowadays gravel bikes are the hottest new thing. Anyone getting into cycling will say to himself, "well I want to go fast on the road, but what if I also want to go offroad? I will get a grave bike which can do both." Gravel bikes have entirely subsumed the old hybrid bike (flat bar road bike) category from 20 years ago. Tolerable for all, master of none. Vanilla ice cream Subaru car. You get the idea.

With the bike difference between touring and bikepacking effectively wiped out, today the difference between bikepacking and touring is entirely in the choice of luggage. If you use racks and panniers, you are bike touring. If you use strapped on pouches without racks, you are bike packing. Bikepacking has lower carrying capacity, but is lighter and more aerodynamic. Touring has larger carrying capacity, but is heavier and catches the wind more. Touring luggage also has better ease of use. Those numerous pouches in bikepacking are an absolute pain to pack and unpack on a daily basis.

Final summary: if you can get by with carrying only a little bit of luggage, consider bikepacking. If you want to carry more luggage, consider touring. I don't think there is a need for a separate forum.

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Old 03-10-23, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
If you use racks and panniers, you are bike touring. If you use strapped on pouches without racks, you are bike packing.
And if you pull a Bob trailer on the GDMR? or a Bob trailer on the Transamerica route Does it matter if your companions on the GDMR have bags and companions on the Transamerica route have panniers?

Can you do both if you use both strapped on pouches without racks and paniers on racks - and ride this bike down parts of the GDMR and parts of the southern Tier and then through the Andes on both paved roads and gravel roads - all part of the same expedition?
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Old 03-10-23, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
And if you pull a Bob trailer on the GDMR? or a Bob trailer on the Transamerica route Does it matter if your companions on the GDMR have bags and companions on the Transamerica route have panniers?

Can you do both if you use both strapped on pouches without racks and paniers on racks - and ride this bike down parts of the GDMR and parts of the southern Tier and then through the Andes on both paved roads and gravel roads - all part of the same expedition?
The distinction is getting more and more blurry. Even the rack definition is starting to disappear. Ultralight racks such as the Tailfin carbon fiber rack are starting to get more popular with the bikepacking crowd. This particular rack is $400. The fact that things have come full circle at this hilarious price just goes to prove what I wrote in my previous post. The entire movement in the bicycle marketing industry over the last 10 years has been a complete farce. All these people getting into "bikepacking", and then realizing what they really wanted was the same old touring experience, so of course let's spend $400 on a carbon fiber rack that let's us pretend we are still "bikepacking".

Not that I'm complaining. This gentrification has driven a huge amount of product development that everyone benefits from. For example the Redshift suspension stem has been a major game changer for me. I'm also using a nice Revelate frame bag. The touring product segment was always neglected and it's nice to see some real money being poured into it.

As for your photo, wow that's a lot of stuff. Sounds like it was a great tour.
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Old 03-10-23, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
. I would never, for example, do a weeks long, mostly paved or smooth road tour with bikepacking bags.
Last Summer, I met a guy riding cross country (primarily paved roads) with bikepacking bags. I believe he was credit card touring.

That actually makes sense, since bikepacking setups are typically more aerodynamic.
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Old 03-10-23, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
With respect, I disagree. There is (or was) a clear divide between the two back when Revelate Design introduced their bags for rough off-road and winter travel. But people have hopelessly blurred the line when discussing the differences. I do both and, more importantly, enjoy both ways. But I do keep them totally separate. I would never, for example, do a weeks long, mostly paved or smooth road tour with bikepacking bags. The organization of those bags and the need to drag every damned thing out of the bags every night to get out that little item I need that only fits in the very bottom of some triangle in one of the bags would drive me crazy! It’s bad enough for up to about 5 days which is about the extent of my bikepacking trips.

I also wouldn’t want to try riding a road bike on any number of routes that I have traveled in the Colorado mountains. I use a soft tail mountain bike (a Moots YBB) for my high pass adventures. Bikepacking bags work better there since they attach to the bike more securely than panniers but, like freeze-dry food, there’s only so much of that kind of travel I can endure.

There is also a matter of loading and bicycle handling. Just about every bikepacking trip, I expect to go over the bars because the load…me and extra camping gear…is much higher than one even a normal mountain bike. I endure that issue…and packing issues…for the narrower profile and more robust attachment. But on the road, panniers and a long wheelbase road bike are hard to beat for superb handling.
Of course you do.
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Old 03-10-23, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Touring is racks, panniers, handlebar bags, and saddle bags on touring bikes, which are beefed up road bikes. Some people also tour on cyclocross bikes, which are an intermediate between road bikes and touring bikes.

Bikepacking was originally invented by mountain bikers who wanted to tour offroad, but couldn't install racks onto their suspension mountain bikes. They came up with a system of strapping a ton of pouches all over their bikes. The saddlebags and handlebar bags used in bikepacking are not the same as those used in traditional bike touring. Traditionally these are box shaped bags with lids. The bikepacking version is nothing but a strapped on pouch. However, some bikepackers dislike pouches and choose to use traditional saddlebags and handlebar bags instead.

Then at some point in the mid 2010s, bicycle manufactures realized that boomers are starting to die en masse and they are running out of middle aged white men to sell overpriced road bikes to. Panicking, they invented a whole new bike category which does not need to exist, "gravel". Gravel bikes are simply the same old touring and cyclocross bikes, but with that road bike styled marketing bling applied on top. The instagram generation immediately ate up this marketing like Moses under the tits of God. The original mountain bikers were exiled into obscurity and the "bikepacking" moniker was bastardized into an overpriced lifestyle label. Nowadays gravel bikes are the hottest new thing. Anyone getting into cycling will say to himself, "well I want to go fast on the road, but what if I also want to go offroad? I will get a grave bike which can do both." Gravel bikes have entirely subsumed the old hybrid bike (flat bar road bike) category from 20 years ago. Tolerable for all, master of none. Vanilla ice cream Subaru car. You get the idea.
um.
I do enjoy the various takes on the history of gravel bikes. So many are almost entirely biased takes with just enough of a sprinkling of truth to let others think its actually true, and then that BS story grows. Its funny to see and very closely mirrors so much else in society right now.
It would be amazing to finally meet these genius marketers who had the foresight to create an entire category of bike without prompting or interest.
...or what actually happened was that gravel riding existed before brands got involved, it was growing in popularity, and there was a very clear need for more appropriate components(flare bars, gearing, clutch, etc) so bike brands began to try and meet that need.
Was it push or pull? Was it proactive or reactive?
Ill answer- the gravel market very much grew out of a reactive approach by bike brands.
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Old 03-10-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I don't know what bucket I fit in...

Rebel!!!!!
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Old 03-10-23, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Touring is racks, panniers, handlebar bags, and saddle bags on touring bikes, which are beefed up road bikes. Some people also tour on cyclocross bikes, which are an intermediate between road bikes and touring bikes.

Bikepacking was originally invented by mountain bikers who wanted to tour offroad, but couldn't install racks onto their suspension mountain bikes. They came up with a system of strapping a ton of pouches all over their bikes. The saddlebags and handlebar bags used in bikepacking are not the same as those used in traditional bike touring. Traditionally these are box shaped bags with lids. The bikepacking version is nothing but a strapped on pouch. However, some bikepackers dislike pouches and choose to use traditional saddlebags and handlebar bags instead.

Then at some point in the mid 2010s, bicycle manufactures realized that boomers are starting to die en masse and they are running out of middle aged white men to sell overpriced road bikes to. Panicking, they invented a whole new bike category which does not need to exist, "gravel". Gravel bikes are simply the same old touring and cyclocross bikes, but with that road bike styled marketing bling applied on top. The instagram generation immediately ate up this marketing like Moses under the tits of God. The original mountain bikers were exiled into obscurity and the "bikepacking" moniker was bastardized into an overpriced lifestyle label. Nowadays gravel bikes are the hottest new thing. Anyone getting into cycling will say to himself, "well I want to go fast on the road, but what if I also want to go offroad? I will get a grave bike which can do both." Gravel bikes have entirely subsumed the old hybrid bike (flat bar road bike) category from 20 years ago. Tolerable for all, master of none. Vanilla ice cream Subaru car. You get the idea.

With the bike difference between touring and bikepacking effectively wiped out, today the difference between bikepacking and touring is entirely in the choice of luggage. If you use racks and panniers, you are bike touring. If you use strapped on pouches without racks, you are bike packing. Bikepacking has lower carrying capacity, but is lighter and more aerodynamic. Touring has larger carrying capacity, but is heavier and catches the wind more. Touring luggage also has better ease of use. Those numerous pouches in bikepacking are an absolute pain to pack and unpack on a daily basis.

Final summary: if you can get by with carrying only a little bit of luggage, consider bikepacking. If you want to carry more luggage, consider touring. I don't there there is a need for a separate forum.
I own a Subaru and love a good vanilla ice cream, like the kind Breyers used to make. It had real vanilla beans in it.
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Old 03-10-23, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I own a Subaru and love a good vanilla ice cream, like the kind Breyers used to make. It had real vanilla beans in it.
There are 5 different Breyers Vanilla ice cream options at our grocery store.

If it isnt this, my wife wont touch it.
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Old 03-10-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I do enjoy the various takes on the history of gravel bikes. So many are almost entirely biased takes with just enough of a sprinkling of truth to let others think its actually true, and then that BS story grows. Its funny to see and very closely mirrors so much else in society right now.
It would be amazing to finally meet these genius marketers who had the foresight to create an entire category of bike without prompting or interest.
...or what actually happened was that gravel riding existed before brands got involved, it was growing in popularity, and there was a very clear need for more appropriate components(flare bars, gearing, clutch, etc) so bike brands began to try and meet that need.
Was it push or pull? Was it proactive or reactive?
Ill answer- the gravel market very much grew out of a reactive approach by bike brands.
Looks like we found a butt hurt gravel bike owner hehe.

Ask and I shall deliver. Allow me to school you on the marketing history of gravel bikes. First, let's use Google Trends to determine when the term "gravel bike" came into existence. As you can see this happened in 2014 / 2015.



It's not possible to identify the first commercially available "gravel bike", because as discussed previously, gravel bikes did not begin as a legitimately distinct category of bikes. The term was simply an artificial moniker slapped on previously existing cyclocross bikes for the purpose of driving sales. Some of the first commercially available bikes which can be described as "gravel" under today's understanding, as vaguely defined by being broadly similar to road bikes, with wider tire clearance, disc brakes, and certain geometry tweaks, were the Kinesis Tripster and Kona Rove, released in 2013. Kinesis is a Taiwanese OEM manufacturer that also sells under their own name. Kona bikes are manufactured by Kinesis, so it is not an accident that these bikes were released together.



The marketing genius behind Kinesis is a Taiwanese guy named Tom Jeng (meet him above). Before he founded Kinesis, Mr. Jeng was formerly an employee at Giant. Apart from Kona, Kinesis was also the OEM manufacturer for Jamis, Redline, and Santa Cruz. If you recall from the period of the late 2000s, these brands had all leaned heavily into the cyclocross-commuter-tourer segment first made popular at the beginning of that decade by the Surly Cross Check. During this era, this category of bikes was invariably described as cyclocross bikes with a utility and touring lean. Now returning to the Kinesis Tripster and Kona Rove of 2013, here are the early reviews of these bikes from that era. Note the focus on cyclocross, commuting, and touring.

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/2013-...ed_slideshow=1
Quote: "Great handling in a quality package, but too heavy for ‘serious’ crossers. Kona have a long history in cyclocross, from pioneering affordable commuter/CX crossover bikes to their sponsorship of British cyclocross star Helen Wyman. With their all-new Rove, they now claim to have created the ultimate crossover bike – one that’ll tear up the trails, smooth out the road and speed along towpaths and byways."

https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bi...ed_slideshow=1
Quote: "The standout bike on the Kinesis stand at the Core Bike Show was the stunning new Tripster ATR (that last bit stands for Adventure Tour Race). The drawn 3AL/2.5V titanium frame is designed for enormous versatility, to satisfy riders who want a bike for almost any purpose. With disc brakes, clearance for 40mm tyres, 45mm full mudguards, a rack, a mudguard and bottle mounts, a low bottom bracket height and a head angle that’s been relaxed a little for stability, it can be a tourer, sportive or cyclocross bike or all-round adventurer."

Another similar bike from the same era was the Salsa Warbird, possibly the first ever to be specifically marketed with the word "gravel". Salsa is another brand known for its Surly Cross Check knockoff (the Salsa Casserole).
https://www.waltsbikeshop.com/blog/2...0cross%20frame.

____________________

Leaving aside the earliest "gravel" bikes (cyclocross bikes). Let's fast forward to 2015 and beyond, at which time bicycle industry marketers commit to the term "gravel bike" and begin deploying massive advertising investment to aggressively push product under this category. (refer to Google Trends chart above)

By 2018, several years of marketing budget investment has succeeded. "Gravel bikes" have finally taken off and reached your non-cyclist idiot cousin's ears. Below is an article in Outside Magazine describing the state of gravel cycling in 2018. Notice the hilarious rejection of hyper marketed road cycling and the praise of gravel being "grassroots chill". With hindsight in 2023, we know how much of a farce this turned out to be. Today, gravel bling is way, way worse than road bling ever was. Also notice that even during that era, the focus was dominated by products and money making.
https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoo...-cycling-gear/

Quote: "I had come to assess the growth and trends in cycling’s fastest-growing segment: gravel. Gravel riding—or all-road, or mixed terrain, or even (dreadfully) road—is basically drop-bar cycling for anyone who doesn’t discriminate between pavement and dirt. And it is growing fast. In 2017, while the number of bikes shipped in the United States fell by 4 percent from the previous year, including losses for traditional mountain and road models, shipments of gravel bikes continued to grow, adding $26.9 million of new business—more than any other category. Scores of new mixed-terrain events are cropping up around the country, and manufacturers continue to expand their gravel bike and gear offerings. “Gravel has been growing for years,” says Nick Legan, author of Gravel Cycling, the first authoritative book on the subject. “But I would say that now, this year, is the watershed moment.” A convergence of factors has fueled gravel’s growing popularity. For one, interest in road riding is waning.” Thanks to its grassroots heritage, the gravel scene also serves as an antidote to the high-tech, supercompetitive mentality of road riding. Gear has improved exponentially in response to the gravel boom. On my first visit to the Dirty Kanza, four years ago, bikes were a hodgepodge, from steep carbon road racers with 30c tires shoehorned into a frame with poor clearance to 20-year-old mountain bikes with clip-on aero bars. “Part of the appeal of the scene has always been that you can run what you bring,” Cummins says. But at this year’s event, almost everyone was riding a purpose-built gravel bike. Bikes aren’t the only products getting upgraded. At this year’s Dirty Kanza, Enve released two new wheelsets dedicated to gravel: the G23 (700c) and G27 (650b), Maxxis showed off its bigger, tougher 40c Rambler tire that was tailor-made for a harsh course like the Dirty Kanza. Shimano launched a clutch version of its Ultegra rear derailleur, intended to reduce chain slap when riding off pavement. Many riders were on gravel-savvy gear like the Redshift Shockstop Stem and the Lauf Grit leaf spring fork.

If there is any remaining doubt in your mind about the power of marketing, let's look at the ridership in the Unbound Gravel race (formerly Dirty Kanza), the so called "premier" gravel race in the United States, and according to the organizers, "the world". This race was first organized in 2006 with 34 registered riders. For years this event languished in obscurity. In 2012 there were only 261 riders. Soon after this time, bike manufacturers started to market under the "gravel" name. The race immediately exploded in popularity. In 2015 there were 1500 riders. In 2018 there were 2500.

Hope you enjoyed this class on how marketing and capitalism work. You're welcome.

Last edited by Yan; 03-11-23 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 03-10-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
Last Summer, I met a guy riding cross country (primarily paved roads) with bikepacking bags. I believe he was credit card touring.

That actually makes sense, since bikepacking setups are typically more aerodynamic.
I’m not unfamiliar with credit card touring but if (and when) I do it, I find a set of panniers on a front rack to be far more convenient than bikepacking bags. It’s far easier to organize panniers than it is to organize bikepacking bags. It’s also far easier to deal with panniers if you have to move the bike and panniers separately. For example, my bikepacking adventures usually include a bus ride to the start and at the end. I usually have to unload the bike before putting it on the rack of the bus. To get on the bus, I have to juggle a harness with my tent and sleeping bag, a seat bag, leg bags, gas can bag, micro panniers and, on rare occasions, the triangle bag. That’s in addition to my helmet and Camelbak. None of the bags are the same size or weight and are difficult to maneuver down a narrow bus aisle. Most of the same equipment could be carried in 2 front pannier bags which are far easier to deal with off the bike.


Aerodynamics are way down on my list of things to consider while on tour.
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Old 03-10-23, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I’m not unfamiliar with credit card touring but if (and when) I do it, I find a set of panniers on a front rack to be far more convenient than bikepacking bags. It’s far easier to organize panniers than it is to organize bikepacking bags. It’s also far easier to deal with panniers if you have to move the bike and panniers separately. For example, my bikepacking adventures usually include a bus ride to the start and at the end. I usually have to unload the bike before putting it on the rack of the bus. To get on the bus, I have to juggle a harness with my tent and sleeping bag, a seat bag, leg bags, gas can bag, micro panniers and, on rare occasions, the triangle bag. That’s in addition to my helmet and Camelbak. None of the bags are the same size or weight and are difficult to maneuver down a narrow bus aisle. Most of the same equipment could be carried in 2 front pannier bags which are far easier to deal with off the bike.


Aerodynamics are way down on my list of things to consider while on tour.
I agree with this completely and also want to add airports as a place where having to juggle all the little bike packing pouches will seriously ruin your day. Any trip where you plan to put your bike on another form of transportation, forget it. Save yourself the headache and just take a couple of panniers.
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Old 03-10-23, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Hope you enjoyed this class on how marketing and capitalism work. You're welcome.
Gravel riding existed before the popularity explosion. Many small gravel races existed before the explosion. Marketing departments didn't create anything- they saw something growing in popularity and latched on because there was money to be made.
This is reality based on actually experiencing it.

My issue with your prior post, the red highlight, was your skewed take on why companies have jumped in on gravel. You claim it's because we'll off white guys are dying- that's just a bitter and jaded way of looking at things. I also disagree that geavel bikes are just touring and cross bikes- those can be ridden on gravel, sure, but it's hardly that cut and dried. My gravel frame geometry is nothing like a classic touring bike or a classic CX bike.
The issue is that as a cetrgory the bike spectrum is quite wide so some gravel bikes can closely mirror old touring geometry...but that doesn't mean all gravel bikes are the same. Apply that to CX too.

As usual, you made some over the top broad sweeping generalizations and they aren't defensible because they are so vague.


Gravel as a category has absolutely exploded since bike brands bought in on it. Once again-reactive.
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Old 03-10-23, 05:43 PM
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Gravel/packing/touring whatever, I agree with the above and appreciate Yan's accounting. It is also true that the advances of the last 40 years by rails-to trails (US) has made the gravel thing possible. I wonder if the "Gravel" division of Shimano appreciates this. Many times I prefer to ride nearby backroad roads over gravel, but many times the converse is true. It is has been great to see the expansion of more route options over the past 40 years. Hopefully it continues. One of these days I might buy a gravelly component for the bike, maybe I have already
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Old 03-10-23, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Gravel riding existed before the popularity explosion. Many small gravel races existed before the explosion. Marketing departments didn't create anything- they saw something growing in popularity and latched on because there was money to be made.
This is reality based on actually experiencing it.
I totally agree with this statement. Heck, I was riding gravel as a kid in Utah in the 60's to camp in the Wasatch mnts. Not ultra light at all and onmyback!! Before the gravel rage took place I was riding road and offroad regularly.

I saw this post early this morning and was thinking how best to answer BUT I was not thinking about gear but where to tour. Where to go is always my most important thought. So here is a nice site to visit IF gravel touring destinations are your desires.
​​​​​​https://bikepacking.com/bikepacking-routes/
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Old 03-10-23, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I’m not unfamiliar with credit card touring but if (and when) I do it, I find a set of panniers on a front rack to be far more convenient than bikepacking bags....

Aerodynamics are way down on my list of things to consider while on tour.
Here's the guy I met, riding cross country in 6 1/2 weeks. That quite fast, particularly without support.

So while aerodynamics aren't a concern for you, perhaps it was for him.
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