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Is this also the forum for “bike packing” ?

Old 03-10-23, 09:52 PM
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There is a difference between traditional touring and bikepacking. I do agree that with the popularity of bikepacking and the bikepacking-specific gear and the improvements in same, the difference is getting blurred.

Where I live there are long 100+ mile trails/routes in the mountains that traverse both road, gravel road, dirt road, single-track, technical single-track, stream crossings, fast descents and steep ascents in all terrains, etc all in the same tour. What would we call that? Biketourpacking? lol
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Old 03-10-23, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Of course you do.
What a boring place this would be if we all just said “Ditto.”
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Old 03-10-23, 10:42 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by drlogik
There is a difference between traditional touring and bikepacking. I do agree that with the popularity of bikepacking and the bikepacking-specific gear and the improvements in same, the difference is getting blurred.

Where I live there are long 100+ mile trails/routes in the mountains that traverse both road, gravel road, dirt road, single-track, technical single-track, stream crossings, fast descents and steep ascents in all terrains, etc all in the same tour. What would we call that? Biketourpacking? lol
Just bikepacking. I could probably put together a 200 mile that would be mostly off-pavement but would be difficult to avoid pavement entirely. This ride is 160 miles but is 49% pavement. Oddly enough, I could put together a much more dirt oriented route if I stayed on the plains.
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Old 03-11-23, 02:57 AM
  #29  
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I think the lines between traditional touring and bikepacking are getting blurred more and more these days. I think what draws people to bikepacking is that it can be done on any bike. You just buy some bikepacking bags, strap them onto whatever bike you have, and off you go (yes I know it started as off road, but these days the mantra is the best bikepacking bike is the one you already have). My first bikepacking trip was on my aero road bike, not the most ideal of bikes, but it worked. Then I bought a CX bike, mainly for winter riding and commuting because it had disc brakes. But, I started to venture off-road a bit and my trips became more mixed terrain. That bike was stolen and now I have a gravel bike. Which is a totally different beast than my CX bike. And I'm probably Yan's worst nightmare because I recently invested in the (alloy) Tailfin. And it is an investment, but it gets used everyday for daily commuting as well as however many bikepacking trips I manage a year. My main trip this year will be on Dartmoor here in the UK, and will be a varied mix of terrain from roads, to gravel, bridleways, single track, fields, etc. Hopefully I've managed to plot a route that avoids most of the technical terrain, but it's part of the fun. Gravel bikes are great for bikepacking in the UK. While we don't have miles and miles of forest roads like you do in the US, we do have some cracking off-road connected by roads.
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Old 03-11-23, 05:48 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
There are 5 different Breyers Vanilla ice cream options at our grocery store.

If it isnt this, my wife wont touch it.

I grew up near a plant in Philly where it was made. One day during the summer of ‘86 a couple of worker came into a nearby deli where I was working. One of them bought a crack pipe, which we sold on the DL. After they left the manager said “I’ll bet you never look at a pint of cherry vanilla the same way again.”
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Old 03-11-23, 07:38 AM
  #31  
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I met this guy and his wife about seven years ago, they were riding their Break Away road bikes for two weeks in Iceland and having a great time. He somehow had lost his water bottle, was looking for a replacement when I talked to him.

I consider what he and his wife were doing to be bikepacking, total lack of racks. But I am sure many of you would disagree since they were staying on pavement.





I met them at a campground, so I assumed they were camping but I have no idea how they could camp with that little bit of gear unless they were using bivy sacks instead of a tent. But I did not think to ask about their camping, instead I was interested in their Break Away bikes. I have since bought a Break Away too.

One other thing that was different about them, all of the bike packers that I have met that were doing real bikepacking off road or on road wore small backpacks to carry the overflow that did not fit on the bikes, but this couple did not have backpacks.
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Old 03-11-23, 10:30 AM
  #32  
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IMO Bikepacking should include some roads without tarmac, it has more of a wilderness vibe. You can use bikepacking setups and bags to tour, but touring panniers etc would not work well for off road bikepacking routes.

Of course people have been strapping things to bikes and traveling places ever since the bike was invented, but one organization that should be included in any history is the "Rough Stuff Fellowship"

https://www.rsf.org.uk/

As a kid in the UK their approach to travel with a bike and how to pack was the default which is why I still use a lot of that equipment and think gives the Carradice saddlebag a good shot at being one of the first bikepacking bags.

Last edited by nun; 03-11-23 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-11-23, 10:37 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I met this guy and his wife about seven years ago, they were riding their Break Away road bikes for two weeks in Iceland and having a great time. He somehow had lost his water bottle, was looking for a replacement when I talked to him.

I consider what he and his wife were doing to be bikepacking, total lack of racks. But I am sure many of you would disagree since they were staying on pavement.





I met them at a campground, so I assumed they were camping but I have no idea how they could camp with that little bit of gear unless they were using bivy sacks instead of a tent. But I did not think to ask about their camping, instead I was interested in their Break Away bikes. I have since bought a Break Away too.

One other thing that was different about them, all of the bike packers that I have met that were doing real bikepacking off road or on road wore small backpacks to carry the overflow that did not fit on the bikes, but this couple did not have backpacks.
The developments in ultralight backpacking equipment have made it possible to fit tents, mats, sleeping bags, cooking equipment etc into some pretty small volumes and I can imagine your couple having room for all of that, particularly as they could share the load. I use a 15L saddlebag and a 7L handlebar bag and managed to squash all that stuff in, plus off bike shoes and clothes.
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Old 03-11-23, 10:40 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN




.
My goodness, if she's camping and traveling for even just a week, I'm amazed at how little she's carrying. Giving ultralight staehpj1 a run for his money.
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Old 03-11-23, 11:23 AM
  #35  
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So how different is bikebacking than touring with a large saddlebag and the TA handlebar bag with a sleeping bag and tent strapped to a rear rack? Like many of us did 50-60 years ago. It never occurred to us to cal that anything but touring.
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Old 03-11-23, 11:57 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rivers
I think the lines between traditional touring and bikepacking are getting blurred more and more these days. I think what draws people to bikepacking is that it can be done on any bike. You just buy some bikepacking bags, strap them onto whatever bike you have, and off you go (yes I know it started as off road, but these days the mantra is the best bikepacking bike is the one you already have). My first bikepacking trip was on my aero road bike, not the most ideal of bikes, but it worked. Then I bought a CX bike, mainly for winter riding and commuting because it had disc brakes. But, I started to venture off-road a bit and my trips became more mixed terrain. That bike was stolen and now I have a gravel bike. Which is a totally different beast than my CX bike. And I'm probably Yan's worst nightmare because I recently invested in the (alloy) Tailfin. And it is an investment, but it gets used everyday for daily commuting as well as however many bikepacking trips I manage a year. My main trip this year will be on Dartmoor here in the UK, and will be a varied mix of terrain from roads, to gravel, bridleways, single track, fields, etc. Hopefully I've managed to plot a route that avoids most of the technical terrain, but it's part of the fun. Gravel bikes are great for bikepacking in the UK. While we don't have miles and miles of forest roads like you do in the US, we do have some cracking off-road connected by roads.
My approach to touring was to get rid of racks to save weight and allow me to use any bike that I wanted. I'd used Carradice saddlebags in my youth so that was my solution along with the handlebar mounted Ortlieb Classic. At first I used small rear racks to lift the saddlebag off my rear tire and had to strap my sleeping pad on the outside, but improvements in gear have allowed me to make my gear smaller and lighter and now I don't have any racks and just hang my saddlebag from my saddle. I also try to avoid the "mulytiplying bag" syndrome so common in bikepacking where lots of small bags are used. The Klick Fix mount for the Ortlieb handlebar bag is a bit tricky as you have to get the right diameter for your bars and some bars have weird changes in diameter, but once on it's very convenient. I can now use any bike that I have to go touring; I'd definitely say I go touring as any off roading that I do is because of poor Googlemaps or RidewithGPS routing. Here is the setup on a Specialized Diverge on a recent snowy day test ride.


Last edited by nun; 03-11-23 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 03-11-23, 12:02 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by nun
...
As a kid in the UK their approach to travel with a bike and how to pack was the default which is why I still use a lot of that equipment and think gives the Carradice saddlebag a good shot at being one of the first bikepacking bags.
I recall several years ago someone asking about where to buy a good saddle bag. I commented Carradice was an option. He really made a lot of disparaging comments about how stupid I was to suggest such a crazy idea, the Carradice bag was oriented sideways instead of fore to aft. I did not take offence, asked him what was wrong with that? And he again suggested I was an idiot for not realizing that when you ride downhill on a trail at high speed, you would catch the bag on trees as you went past because it was so wide. I then pointed out that the biggest Carradice bag was quite narrow compared to his flat handlebars that were quite wide. He stopped commenting once he realized how stupid his comments were.

Every time a Carradice bag comes up when bikepacking is being discussed, I think of that forum exchange a few years back because I think a Carradice bag makes a lot of sense, more so than some of the fore and aft oriented bags I occasionally see.

Right now I have a Pendle on my rando bike. Have a few other Carradice bags too. I might do a brevet in about three weeks (if it warms up and the snow melts) and the Pendle is the perfect size for an extra liter of water, rain gear and my warm layers as I shed them. For something like that the big flap on it makes much more sense than a harness to carry a long narrow dry bag.

I have several other Carradice bags too.
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Old 03-11-23, 12:05 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
So how different is bikebacking than touring with a large saddlebag and the TA handlebar bag with a sleeping bag and tent strapped to a rear rack? Like many of us did 50-60 years ago. It never occurred to us to cal that anything but touring.
The marketing staff hate people that say that.
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Old 03-11-23, 12:13 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
What a boring place this would be if we all just said “Ditto.”
I agree.
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Old 03-11-23, 12:15 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by nun
...The Klick Fix mount for the Ortlieb handlebar bag is a bit tricky as you have to get the right diameter for your bars and some bars have weird changes in diameter, but once on it's very convenient. ...
You might have seen this before, but maybe not, I use a second stem and a stub of handlebar or tubing to mount my handlebar bag lower and more rearward. I just commented in a recent post on my Pendle saddle bag, that is also in the photo. This is my rando bike.



I used a stem on my seatpost (with appropriate shim) to push my Pendle back further so it does not hit my legs as I pedal.

A closeup of the second stem.



I have done that on several other bikes too, if you are curious.
https://www.bikeforums.net/21946274-post4.html
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Old 03-11-23, 12:57 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by nun
My approach to touring was to get rid of racks to save weight and allow me to use any bike that I wanted. I'd used Carradice saddlebags in my youth so that was my solution along with the handlebar mounted Ortlieb Classic. At first I used small rear racks to lift the saddlebag off my rear tire and had to strap my sleeping pad on the outside, but improvements in gear have allowed me to make my gear smaller and lighter and now I don't have any racks and just hang my saddlebag from my saddle. I also try to avoid the "mulytiplying bag" syndrome so common in bikepacking where lots of small bags are used. The Klick Fix mount for the Ortlieb handlebar bag is a bit tricky as you have to get the right diameter for your bars and some bars have weird changes in diameter, but once on it's very convenient. I can now use any bike that I have to go touring; I'd definitely say I go touring as any off roading that I do is because of poor Googlemaps or RidewithGPS routing. Here is the setup on a Specialized Diverge on a recent snowy day test ride.

Before buying a Tailfin, I used standard bikepacking bags for both commuting and bikepacking (7 or 10 litre saddlebag for commuting. 10 or 15 litre saddlebag for bikepacking + frame bag and handlebar bag). I have a few reasons for moving over to a Tailfin (I have the Aeropack). First, my bikes are 46cm,and while I have a decent amount of seatpost showing, the 15 litre has to be packed exactly right (and everything has a specific order to be packed in, way/size it needs to be rolled, etc) in order not to bounce off my rear wheel in rough terrain. And it's a bit of a ballache when you just want to get on the road and realise you need to re-pack your bag for the 4th time. Second, if I needed to take anything extra to work (tools, steelies, a hoodie), then I needed to take a backpack instead of a saddlebag, which I never liked doing. And if my 7 litre wasn't packed exactly right, I couldn't fit my low top converse. With the tailfin, I just pop my clothes, shoes, and whatever else in, and off I go. Same for when I'm bikepacking. Plus, it swaps easily between bikes by using the tailfin axle.
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Old 03-11-23, 01:05 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I recall several years ago someone asking about where to buy a good saddle bag. I commented Carradice was an option. He really made a lot of disparaging comments about how stupid I was to suggest such a crazy idea, the Carradice bag was oriented sideways instead of fore to aft. I did not take offence, asked him what was wrong with that? And he again suggested I was an idiot for not realizing that when you ride downhill on a trail at high speed, you would catch the bag on trees as you went past because it was so wide. I then pointed out that the biggest Carradice bag was quite narrow compared to his flat handlebars that were quite wide. He stopped commenting once he realized how stupid his comments were.

Every time a Carradice bag comes up when bikepacking is being discussed, I think of that forum exchange a few years back because I think a Carradice bag makes a lot of sense, more so than some of the fore and aft oriented bags I occasionally see.

Right now I have a Pendle on my rando bike. Have a few other Carradice bags too. I might do a brevet in about three weeks (if it warms up and the snow melts) and the Pendle is the perfect size for an extra liter of water, rain gear and my warm layers as I shed them. For something like that the big flap on it makes much more sense than a harness to carry a long narrow dry bag.

I have several other Carradice bags too.
The original Carradice saddlebags are a bit quirky and you have to be prepared to ride a saddle with saddlebag loops and also wheel rub can be an issue without a support. The width isn't much of an issue as they don't stick out much past your legs and I like that when traditionally mounted they put the weight under your bum rather than having it sticking way out in back, although I think the newer bikepacking saddlebags have largely solved the "wagging" issue if you mount them carefully and pack heavier stuff at the bottom. Carradice bags are heavier than more modern bags, but they are tough and can be easily carried off the bike if you are traveling on a bus or plane. The flap opening is also better IMO as I can get at stuff a lot easier than having to reach down into a dry sack. My setup is really nice for the way I tour which is on roads with a fair amount of hotels and eating in restaurants. I can quickly remove the Ortlieb to take with me when I go into a shop or cafe and so I always have my valuables with me and the saddlebag gives easy access to clothes tools etc. When I'm camping I can quickly set up and heat some soup or water for things like couscous and tea. I'm not going to be out in the wilds for multiple days.
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Old 03-11-23, 01:17 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by rivers
Before buying a Tailfin, I used standard bikepacking bags for both commuting and bikepacking (7 or 10 litre saddlebag for commuting. 10 or 15 litre saddlebag for bikepacking + frame bag and handlebar bag). I have a few reasons for moving over to a Tailfin (I have the Aeropack). First, my bikes are 46cm,and while I have a decent amount of seatpost showing, the 15 litre has to be packed exactly right (and everything has a specific order to be packed in, way/size it needs to be rolled, etc) in order not to bounce off my rear wheel in rough terrain. And it's a bit of a ballache when you just want to get on the road and realise you need to re-pack your bag for the 4th time. Second, if I needed to take anything extra to work (tools, steelies, a hoodie), then I needed to take a backpack instead of a saddlebag, which I never liked doing. And if my 7 litre wasn't packed exactly right, I couldn't fit my low top converse. With the tailfin, I just pop my clothes, shoes, and whatever else in, and off I go. Same for when I'm bikepacking. Plus, it swaps easily between bikes by using the tailfin axle.
Yes wheel rub can be a big issue with saddlebags, particularly on small bikes and particularly with the transverse Carradice type, so support can be a necessity. I was always very close to my back tire with the Carradice Camper on my 56cm bikes and how I packed the saddlebag was important. However, I've gone over to the smaller Nelson Longflap and there's about an inch of clearance now. I also have to pack very carefully to fit everything in and there is a specific order. I have the option to extend the flap on my bag to allow me to carry extra stuff and also to strap things to the outside and I also carry a 2oz nylon backpack to carry extra food, or more often than not, beer for a short distance. So while my default setup has very little spare space I have options if necessary.

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Old 03-11-23, 01:57 PM
  #44  
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More on wheel rub from saddle bags:

Staehpj1 on this forum has commented in the past that if you have canti brake posts on your seatstays, you can mount that small little Nashbar fork mounted platform rack on the rear to support a bag. If Nashbar does not make it any more (I have not been on their site for years) Sunlite also made similar racks.

A friend of mine was commenting on needing a support for a saddle bag. And soon after he commented, I saw a bike with a DIY support so I took a photo to send to him. Photo below. If I was going to try to build something like that, I would have done it a bit differently, but not that different. I probably would have used P clips instead of the angle aluminum bars, etc.




Happy Feet who used to post on this forum used a small aluminum rack that he hacksawed down to a more compact shape to support a saddle bag but not be any bigger than the bare minimum for that.

Happy Feet also used a Carradice rack that hung from his saddle bag loops, but it only worked with some Brooks saddles, not all saddles.
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Old 03-11-23, 02:08 PM
  #45  
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I try to avoid any racks or supports for saddlebags if only because it's one less thing to carry and worry about. This is where I think modern bike packing bags have the advantage as they are mounted "up and back" rather than "down and across". Carradice have long been aware of the issue and do a Nelson Lowsaddle bag that is cut to give more rear tire clearance.
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Old 03-11-23, 02:35 PM
  #46  
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So, bikepacking: High-mounted forward bag, vertically mounted rear bag, no racks, surface anything from pavement to singletrack. See Rough Stuff Fellowship for early history. Got it.

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Old 03-11-23, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by speyfitter
Wondering if this should be renamed the “touring / bike packing” sub forum ?
May 1973 National Geographic:

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Old 03-11-23, 05:14 PM
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Carradice
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Carradice

Lest anyone think Carradice 'heavy' waxed cotton transverse saddlebags are the only saddlebag game in town, here are lotsa saddlebags, including the Carradice Lightweight:

https://bikepacking.com/index/saddlebags/

In addition to that list, Dill Pickle, Donut, Ostrich, Sackville, Shore and Zimbale are also purveyors of traditional transverse saddle bags.

Besides the much-derided Carradice Bagman support (shrug - I have one and like it), Carradice offers a seatpost quick-release system* and a 'Classic' bag rack, and Frost&Sekers offers a transverse saddlebag support with quick release.

Whether one is bike touring or bikepacking when using a transverse saddle bag is beyond my purview.

Fun fact: Sheldon Brown's Bicycle glossary calls the transverse saddle bag a "touring bag".


*With this, you don't need a Brooks saddle with loops. It also holds the saddlebag several inches higher, so it's not going to contact the mudguard (or tire).

Last edited by tcs; 03-12-23 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 03-11-23, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Aerodynamics are way down on my list of things to consider while on tour.
Conversely, Jan Heine in 'The All-Road Bike Revolution' has two separate sections on the most aerodynamic way to schlep your dunnage, plus suggestions to wear form-fitting, non-flapping clothing.

I don't think anybody is wrong here, but I could be wrong.
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Old 03-11-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
...
I don't think anybody is wrong here, but I could be wrong.
I will have to think about that one for a bit, I might be wrong.

***

My road bike lacked saddle bag loops, used my own DIY saddle bag mount and support, but the idea of the stem was not mine, I saw that years ago somewhere on the internet. The aluminum rod for support is 5/16 inch and is strong enough for my Pendle bag but probably not for a larger bag. I had one of those older type handlebar bags that hung from a steel bracket that hung over the handlebar, that is where I got the idea for bending an appropriate rod as support.




I mentioned above in a previous post that I bought a Break Away bike, the photo above has two seatpost clamps, that is an identifying characteristic of a Break Away bike. Made by Ritchey and the Ritchey clamp is visible there, but mine is badged as a Raleigh.

Below, this is not a "bike" so not bike packing, and with racks it must be touring instead of packing. I saw this and had to take the photo, but I did not have a chance to meet the owner.



No panniers, probably did not have heel clearance if panniers were installed.
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