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Still not getting the bikepacking thing

Old 01-31-20, 09:08 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
So Bikepacking is;

Using a flat handlebar bike that is either a 26, 27.5 or 29’er mt. bike.
Yes, as originally envisioned by Revelate Design when they introduced bikepacking bags in 2009. The bags are a compromise necessitated by riding on single track or roads with close vegetation or rocky roads. The bikepacking bags make rough road touring easier because the bags are narrower and more firmly attached. They also don't require racks the mounts for which many dual suspension and even many hardtails lack. Prior to the development of modern bikepacking bags, most backcountry tourists used trailer which are worse than bikepacking bags.

Originally Posted by Steve B.
AND

Not a 700C wheeled touring bike with drop handlebars.
If you are a masochist, you can ride a rigid touring bike on trails but it takes nerves of steel when things get steep and rocky. It's also way slower as you gently pick your way through rock fields that suspended bikes just float over.​​​

Originally Posted by Steve B.
AND

Using bags that are not on front and/or rear racks
As I said before, most bikes that bikepacking bags were designed for don't have mounts for racks of any kind, hence the compromise.


Originally Posted by Steve B.
AND

Riding on some form of other-than-pavement for part of the ride.
Or most of the ride. Or all of the ride. Bikepacking bags are less than stellar as a means of carrying your stuff. Most of the load is too high and most of it is too far forward. The seat bag is a long, high, narrow bag that sways around just because of how it is designed and where it is located. The handlebar bag for bikepacking carries too much, too high and makes endos a bit more likely. A frame bag puts the bulk of its load in front of the rider which, along with the handlebar bar, puts way more weight forward. It's not optimal. It does work because the other options are even less optimal.

A trailer, for example, pushes the rear of the bike upward on steep downhills. That makes the rear wheel lift and turns the bike into a unicycle. The trailer also has rather low clearance so it hits rocks which usually stops your progress when you least want it. Clearing a rock with the bike only to have the trailer hit the same rock and stop the bike dead usually leads to impact of the sensitive, dangly bits on hard parts of the bike (Pro tip: there are no "soft parts" of a bicycle).

Panniers don't push up the rear wheel but they are wide. They are also kind of loosely attached. The wide makes them more prone to hitting that same rock that stopped the trailer. On the plus side, they won't stop you dead after you hit the rock, they stop you dead before you can get over the rock. And they will likely rip open on the rock as well. The loose attachment with only a couple of clips means that they will either flap around on fast downhills or the clips will break and you'll end up chasing the bag down some hill. But, then, how do you carry a pannier with a broken clip?

And, finally, if you are going to ride miles and miles of pavement, panniers are by far the better way to go. They are nice and stable on a smooth surface. They mount low to make the bike stable on that smooth surface. The bike works better on that smooth surface as well since it probably has tires designed for pavement. A short bit on smooth dirt...or even a long bit on smooth dirt...on a touring bike with panniers is doable. I did about 50% of my trip around Lake Erie on smooth dirt trails and roads...dirt roads in Ontario, the Erie Canal, the D&H Canal, the C&O Canal and the GAP.

The panniers did well but those trails and roads are smoother than anything I've encountered here in Colorado or elsewhere in the Mountain West. Even dirt roads in the non-mountainous parts of Colorado aren't all that conducive to touring bikes. Our graded gravel roads tend to have rather thick layers of gravel that suck skinny tires down into them. The dirt roads in the mountains are neither graded nor gravel. They are usually more rock than pebbles. This road is somewhat typical

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Going up it is a chore on a mountain bike. Coming down it is still something of a chore but at least I can do about 10 mph faster on a suspended bike than I can on a rigid bike with narrow tires. And, considering that I can only go down a hill like that at around 12 to 15 mph, a regular touring bike would be slow indeed. It would probably be better to just walk. I walk enough going up. I don't want to walk going down.

And, finally, bikepacking bags open up parts of the world that I would normally avoid when touring on a road bike. I love road touring. I use panniers on road touring because they work well and they aren't much of a hassle. I love off-road touring. I use bikepacking gear because it gets the job done but they aren't as convenient as panniers. They just happen to work better for that application. In fact, bikepacking bags are analogous to touring on a mountain bike. A mountain bike, like bikepacking bags, shines in the dirt. They really suck on pavement.
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Old 01-31-20, 09:19 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by john m flores
A similar phenomenon has happened in hiking. Back in the day, a framed pack loaded up with 30-40 pounds of gear was the norm. But there have been advancements in gear, making tents, bags, kitchen, lights, and everything else lighter and smaller. Along with that, hikers have re-evaluated what they really need to bring, i.e., "Should I bring this 2.5 lb tent with aluminum poles or will this 1.5 lb bivvy sack suffice?"

And there's a trickle down effect. All of a sudden, the gear weighs half as much, so the backpack can be lighter too. And with less weight to carry, the heavy hiking boots can be replace with lighter trail running shoes. I know people that can hike for weeks at a time with trail running shoes, a 1lb frameless backpack, and 10-15 pounds of gear.

Bicycle touring is following a similar evolutionary path. Bikepacking is part of that path.
Exactly!
And while I'm still very much a pannier guy, this is why I like reading about new stuff and ideas. Reducing load weight is always going to be appreciated, trip type related of course, especially as one gets older.
re all the points of lighter hiking stuff, I have a few friends who spend weeks with all the changes you pointed out, pack weight, pack type, shoes instead of heavy boots...
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Old 01-31-20, 09:36 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Yes, as originally envisioned by Revelate Design when they introduced bikepacking bags in 2009. The bags are a compromise necessitated by riding on single track or roads with close vegetation or rocky roads. The bikepacking bags make rough road touring easier because the bags are narrower and more firmly attached. They also don't require racks the mounts for which many dual suspension and even many hardtails lack. Prior to the development of modern bikepacking bags, most backcountry tourists used trailer which are worse than bikepacking bags.



If you are a masochist, you can ride a rigid touring bike on trails but it takes nerves of steel when things get steep and rocky. It's also way slower as you gently pick your way through rock fields that suspended bikes just float over.​​​



As I said before, most bikes that bikepacking bags were designed for don't have mounts for racks of any kind, hence the compromise.




Or most of the ride. Or all of the ride. Bikepacking bags are less than stellar as a means of carrying your stuff. Most of the load is too high and most of it is too far forward. The seat bag is a long, high, narrow bag that sways around just because of how it is designed and where it is located. The handlebar bag for bikepacking carries too much, too high and makes endos a bit more likely. A frame bag puts the bulk of its load in front of the rider which, along with the handlebar bar, puts way more weight forward. It's not optimal. It does work because the other options are even less optimal.

A trailer, for example, pushes the rear of the bike upward on steep downhills. That makes the rear wheel lift and turns the bike into a unicycle. The trailer also has rather low clearance so it hits rocks which usually stops your progress when you least want it. Clearing a rock with the bike only to have the trailer hit the same rock and stop the bike dead usually leads to impact of the sensitive, dangly bits on hard parts of the bike (Pro tip: there are no "soft parts" of a bicycle).

Panniers don't push up the rear wheel but they are wide. They are also kind of loosely attached. The wide makes them more prone to hitting that same rock that stopped the trailer. On the plus side, they won't stop you dead after you hit the rock, they stop you dead before you can get over the rock. And they will likely rip open on the rock as well. The loose attachment with only a couple of clips means that they will either flap around on fast downhills or the clips will break and you'll end up chasing the bag down some hill. But, then, how do you carry a pannier with a broken clip?

And, finally, if you are going to ride miles and miles of pavement, panniers are by far the better way to go. They are nice and stable on a smooth surface. They mount low to make the bike stable on that smooth surface. The bike works better on that smooth surface as well since it probably has tires designed for pavement. A short bit on smooth dirt...or even a long bit on smooth dirt...on a touring bike with panniers is doable. I did about 50% of my trip around Lake Erie on smooth dirt trails and roads...dirt roads in Ontario, the Erie Canal, the D&H Canal, the C&O Canal and the GAP.

The panniers did well but those trails and roads are smoother than anything I've encountered here in Colorado or elsewhere in the Mountain West. Even dirt roads in the non-mountainous parts of Colorado aren't all that conducive to touring bikes. Our graded gravel roads tend to have rather thick layers of gravel that suck skinny tires down into them. The dirt roads in the mountains are neither graded nor gravel. They are usually more rock than pebbles. This road is somewhat typical

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Going up it is a chore on a mountain bike. Coming down it is still something of a chore but at least I can do about 10 mph faster on a suspended bike than I can on a rigid bike with narrow tires. And, considering that I can only go down a hill like that at around 12 to 15 mph, a regular touring bike would be slow indeed. It would probably be better to just walk. I walk enough going up. I don't want to walk going down.

And, finally, bikepacking bags open up parts of the world that I would normally avoid when touring on a road bike. I love road touring. I use panniers on road touring because they work well and they aren't much of a hassle. I love off-road touring. I use bikepacking gear because it gets the job done but they aren't as convenient as panniers. They just happen to work better for that application. In fact, bikepacking bags are analogous to touring on a mountain bike. A mountain bike, like bikepacking bags, shines in the dirt. They really suck on pavement.
Well stated summary. My post was somewhat in jest.

There's a good video from the Bicycle Touring Pro of taking his touring bike, panniers and all, over Rollins Pass. He seemed to be OK with it, other than the need to hike over the tunnel.


Darren also has a couple of good good bikepacking videos in AZ.
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Old 01-31-20, 10:09 AM
  #129  
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It's funny that people keep suggesting the reason you use certain gear is the risk of ripping panniers off on routes. In all the pictures I've seen posted here so far, and the vast majority of those I see posted about bike packing routes online, and my own experience, I've actually rarely seen unavoidable obstacles that will rip panniers off. Most bike packing seems to be done on gravel or dirt roads, or wide enough single track.

Some routes can bounce a pannier off, and you do have to think about how they are secured,but those same conditions also cause a seat bag to sway or break and drop onto the rear tire. The weight of most seat bags are only suspended by a small plastic buckle. I have no doubt that Revelate came up with a configuration to overcome the trailer problem but the genre is not defined by an initial solution to a problem. There developed many solutions to the same problem over time. What defines the genre is the attitude and desire to seek out more off road routes using minimal back packing techniques rather than the more traditional loaded road touring philosophy.















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Old 01-31-20, 10:33 AM
  #130  
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Last year I saw three guys on the C&O Towpath riding with full bikepacking gear on mountain bikes, whereas everyone else was using traditional bike touring gear on a wide variety of bikes. Unless the three guys were heading for some singletrack off the towpath, I would say they were bike touring. They probably thought they were bikepacking. I never spoke with them or saw them again, as we were headed in opposite directions, but it would have been great to let them know they were not actually bikepacking.
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Old 01-31-20, 10:50 AM
  #131  
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Why?

Maybe they had bought into the hype, or maybe they'd just got the gear and were going on a shakedown run, or maybe they were following a plan to progressively increase their abilities... Why would it be great to let them know they were not doing something they thought they were?

Reminds me of a guy I met at the ferry after my Gabriola trip. He kept looking at my fat bike and finally struck up a conversation, mainly to ask why I was riding it. I told him several reasons including the distance I had to ride in a weekend wasn't that far so I could afford the time penalty, that there was a section of trail I wanted to explore on the Island, and that it was just fun to ride. But.. but.. but.. No matter what I said he couldn't get past his preconception of what type a bike one should ride while touring. I'm sure he was still shaking his head when I left.

There is a great risk, once you think you have it all figured out, of no longer being able to understand anything different.
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Old 01-31-20, 11:02 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
There's a good video from the Bicycle Touring Pro of taking his touring bike, panniers and all, over Rollins Pass. He seemed to be OK with it, other than the need to hike over the tunnel
Heh, reminds me of my trip up Schofield Pass CO! The roughest I've ever ridden on a traditional drop bar touring bike (apologies to those who have already seen this photo at other threads). I rode the entire climb with no walking aside from one short portage across a snowfield, slowly weaving through the rubble similar to the rider in Rollins Pass video ...

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Old 01-31-20, 11:28 AM
  #133  
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Bikepacking and touring exist on a spectrum; one might emphasize rough stuff while the other is mostly on roads. But there is significant overlap. I tend to stick to roads as I have 25mm tires on my bike, but there are usually a couple of times on each tour that Google routes me onto some single track and gravel and, obviously, there's usually some road riding for the hardcore bikepackers as they ride to a trail head or out form the wilderness into town. With the advent of gravel bikes and lightweight bags and camping gear it's possible to come up with a setup that's pretty good on or off road giving lots of flexibility and maybe it will become less and less of a distinction.
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Old 01-31-20, 11:30 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Why?

Maybe they had bought into the hype, or maybe they'd just got the gear and were going on a shakedown run, or maybe they were following a plan to progressively increase their abilities... Why would it be great to let them know they were not doing something they thought they were?

Reminds me of a guy I met at the ferry after my Gabriola trip. He kept looking at my fat bike and finally struck up a conversation, mainly to ask why I was riding it. I told him several reasons including the distance I had to ride in a weekend wasn't that far so I could afford the time penalty, that there was a section of trail I wanted to explore on the Island, and that it was just fun to ride. But.. but.. but.. No matter what I said he couldn't get past his preconception of what type a bike one should ride while touring. I'm sure he was still shaking his head when I left.

There is a great risk, once you think you have it all figured out, of no longer being able to understand anything different.
I think you missed the smiley face at the end of my post.
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Old 01-31-20, 12:29 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Well stated summary. My post was somewhat in jest.

There's a good video from the Bicycle Touring Pro of taking his touring bike, panniers and all, over Rollins Pass. He seemed to be OK with it, other than the need to hike over the tunnel.


Darren also has a couple of good good bikepacking videos in AZ.
I've done Rollins Pass many times. I used to do a (Moffat Tunnel) Portal to Portal metric century that started on the east side went to Winter Park and came back. It's only about 30 miles of up hill

I did notice some things in the video. He talks about the rocks. Rollins Pass is actually kind of smooth for a Colorado road in the middle of the forest. The grade is railroad grade but it is at the upper end ~4% overall. It is high as well. It's a great bikepacking ride but I'd take a suspended mountain bike over his rigid with panniers because it's just rocky enough that the suspension makes travel easier and faster. The 9 to 10 miles from Yankee Doodle to Rifle Site are particularly nasty and rocky. I'd hate to be picking my way through the rocks on a rigid bike with lowrider.

I did get a kick out of somethings in his video, however. He is not at 12,000 feet when he sets up camp. The pass tops out at 11,660 (there used to be 3 signs with 3 different elevations within 10 feet of one another on top). He's in the trees so he is below about 11,500 feet. Here's my bike at the top in 1986...pre"bikepacking"...

Rollins Pass, 8/10/85 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The ridge line he points to and says "I'm getting towards the top" is at 12,000 feet. I got a kick out of that statement as well because at the point where you can see that ridge line that he is pointing to, he has another 6 miles to the tunnel and another 2 miles to the top after that...and they are pretty hard 8 miles. He's only about half way to the actual top of the pass. Classic Colorado "I'm almost there" statement.

He's also taking some liberties with the editing. Looking at where he set up the second camp, he's over the pass on the west side. He's gone over the summit because the summit of the pass is only 2 miles past Needle's Eye Tunnel and part of the video shows him climbing past Yankee Doodle Lake which is about at timberline on the east side. The trees are sparse and small from Yankee Doodle to Jenny Lake and nonexistent from there to about Rifle Site Testle which is a distance of about 9 miles. Too bad he didn't show Needle's Eye or Devil's Slide Trestles nor the view across South Boulder Canyon to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Needle's Eye is kind of hoohum because it is blocked. I have ridden through it and hiked over it. Here's what it used to look like when you could ride it

img340 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Devil's Slide Trestle is actually 2 trestles that cling to the side of a mountain. On a bike, they look like you are riding a 2x4. In a car, they looked like you were riding a razor blade.

DSCN0512 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

And the look down

DSCN0522 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

About 1200 feet with very little bounce on the way down

I also happened to have gone fishing on the other side of the canyon last year for the first time and captured what the trestles look like from about a mile away

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

It's even more frightening than being on the trestles because you see how little there is holding you up.

But the views from the trestles (or just above them) are some of the best in Colorado

IMG_3228 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
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Old 01-31-20, 01:01 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
It's funny that people keep suggesting the reason you use certain gear is the risk of ripping panniers off on routes. In all the pictures I've seen posted here so far, and the vast majority of those I see posted about bike packing routes online, and my own experience, I've actually rarely seen unavoidable obstacles that will rip panniers off. Most bike packing seems to be done on gravel or dirt roads, or wide enough single track.
It's front mounted panniers, especially in a lowrider configuration that are most susceptible to damage. I haven't said that the panniers would be ripped off the bike only that an impact would damage the pannier. However, even in your pictures, there are places where the a rear bag could catch on something and be damaged. Not ripped off but ripped open. A bikepacking bag isn't going to get ripped open without the rider suffering significant damage themselves.

Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Some routes can bounce a pannier off, and you do have to think about how they are secured,but those same conditions also cause a seat bag to sway or break and drop onto the rear tire. The weight of most seat bags are only suspended by a small plastic buckle. I have no doubt that Revelate came up with a configuration to overcome the trailer problem but the genre is not defined by an initial solution to a problem. There developed many solutions to the same problem over time. What defines the genre is the attitude and desire to seek out more off road routes using minimal back packing techniques rather than the more traditional loaded road touring philosophy.
Bikepacking seatbags...as well as the other bags...are attached way differently than just a "small plastic buckle". As you can see in this photo

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The bag is attached to the seat post with two 2" Velcro straps on the seatpost. One would probably be enough but two straps ensure that it won't just fall off. I could probably pick up the entire loaded bike with the seat bag if I wanted to. In fact, Revelate has gone to only one Velcro strap on the Terrapin that they offer now. In addition, there are two independent buckles and straps that hold the bag to the saddle rails. The strap material isn't ordinary nylon webbing where it goes over the rails. It's a thicker plastic that wears better than ordinary nylon. Most all of the seatbags of any quality follow Revelate's lead. There are also straps to cinch down the load front to back to stabilize it. That won't keep the bag from falling off but it does help with sway. My Viscacaha sways a bit more than the Terrapin but the sway isn't indicative of it coming off the bike.

I've gone airborne...not much but the bike was still off the ground...without anything coming loose. I can't say the same with panniers...even ones with good locking mechanisms like Ortlieb. In fact, my Ortliebs tend to come loose at the bottom attachment on just about any bump...even on smooth pavement. I still will use them on pavement and smooth dirt but they aren't as good a choice for off-road.
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Old 01-31-20, 01:47 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
It's funny that people keep suggesting the reason you use certain gear is the risk of ripping panniers off on routes. In all the pictures I've seen posted here so far, and the vast majority of those I see posted about bike packing routes online, and my own experience, I've actually rarely seen unavoidable obstacles that will rip panniers off. Most bike packing seems to be done on gravel or dirt roads, or wide enough single track.
Haven't done a lot of routes I would describe as bikepacking. However, two things I did notice:
- Starting the GDMBR I noticed I was more susceptible to heel strikes knocking off the panniers. I already didn't have a lot of clearance, but on smoother pavement/gravel it was consistent enough that I wouldn't heel strike. On the trail from Banff, I knocked them off a few times before stopping and using some nylon line to explicitly tie them to the rack.
- I was on supported ride here but crossing from Chile to Argentina at end of the Carterra Austral is a land crossing of O'Higgins where last 6km is single track. Definitely a few spots that were more deeply rutted. That would have been difficult to have weight down low like front panniers - so at least being able to mount them higher would be helpful.

So I can see places where it would be helpful, but also agree that a lot of the gravel roads and wider trails I've seen not as big of an issue.
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Old 01-31-20, 02:27 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
r

He's also taking some liberties with the editing. Looking at where he set up the second camp, he's over the pass on the west side.
Watch the entire 4 videos in this series and ask again what he did. The video seems to show 1st night was stealth camping on Rt 119 or so. Then day 2 he shows just up Rt 117, then day 3 just before the pass, then day 4 he went all the way into Winter Park and beyond for another stealth camp, then day 5 a full day thru RMNP to Estes Park I assume the reason he used his C-Motion was the trip was mostly pavement mileage and he seemed to do OK with what he used. Having watched a lot of his videos this might have been the highest he's ever been as well as the most remote off-pavement, so lots of reasons to cut him slack on his comments. He does own a bike packing specific bike, just didn't use this trip.
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Old 01-31-20, 02:30 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by mev
Haven't done a lot of routes I would describe as bikepacking. However, two things I did notice:
- Starting the GDMBR I noticed I was more susceptible to heel strikes knocking off the panniers. I already didn't have a lot of clearance, but on smoother pavement/gravel it was consistent enough that I wouldn't heel strike. On the trail from Banff, I knocked them off a few times before stopping and using some nylon line to explicitly tie them to the rack.
- I was on supported ride here but crossing from Chile to Argentina at end of the Carterra Austral is a land crossing of O'Higgins where last 6km is single track. Definitely a few spots that were more deeply rutted. That would have been difficult to have weight down low like front panniers - so at least being able to mount them higher would be helpful.

So I can see places where it would be helpful, but also agree that a lot of the gravel roads and wider trails I've seen not as big of an issue.
The reasons I use what many would describe as a bike packing set up is because I want to keep my touring setup as light as possible and I want to be able to mount my bags to any bike without worrying about whether it has the right mounting points or not. So getting rid of racks was really a matter of comfort and convenience and had nothing to do with the type of terrain I'd be covering. All I need is a bit of room on the handlebars to mount an Ortlieb bag and a Brooks saddle with loops for the saddlebag.
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Old 01-31-20, 02:57 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by alan s
One thing I can say for sure is the C&O and GAP are not considered bikepacking routes. They could be part of a bikepacking route, connecting to singletrack, but with campsites and towns all along the way, you are never more than an hour from civilization. And you have cell phone coverage most of the way. I think bikepacking requires one to be at least a full day from civilization at some point.
Nope, just dirt.
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Old 01-31-20, 03:27 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
It's front mounted panniers, especially in a lowrider configuration that are most susceptible to damage. I haven't said that the panniers would be ripped off the bike only that an impact would damage the pannier. However, even in your pictures, there are places where the a rear bag could catch on something and be damaged. Not ripped off but ripped open. A bikepacking bag isn't going to get ripped open without the rider suffering significant damage themselves.
Bikepacking seatbags...as well as the other bags...are attached way differently than just a "small plastic buckle". As you can see in this photo

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The bag is attached to the seat post with two 2" Velcro straps on the seatpost. One would probably be enough but two straps ensure that it won't just fall off. I could probably pick up the entire loaded bike with the seat bag if I wanted to. In fact, Revelate has gone to only one Velcro strap on the Terrapin that they offer now. In addition, there are two independent buckles and straps that hold the bag to the saddle rails. The strap material isn't ordinary nylon webbing where it goes over the rails. It's a thicker plastic that wears better than ordinary nylon. Most all of the seatbags of any quality follow Revelate's lead. There are also straps to cinch down the load front to back to stabilize it. That won't keep the bag from falling off but it does help with sway. My Viscacaha sways a bit more than the Terrapin but the sway isn't indicative of it coming off the bike.

I've gone airborne...not much but the bike was still off the ground...without anything coming loose. I can't say the same with panniers...even ones with good locking mechanisms like Ortlieb. In fact, my Ortliebs tend to come loose at the bottom attachment on just about any bump...even on smooth pavement. I still will use them on pavement and smooth dirt but they aren't as good a choice for off-road.
That's the funny thing about seat bags. The two velcro straps are situated exactly where they don't count, on the vertical seat post. Not a lot of stress there. Any jarring tends to push the bag into the seat post.
Where all the weight of the bag is suspended horizontally from the rails they are often held on by small plastic buckles. All jarring acts to stress the buckle. I own one, have watched a friends fail and we can see that in your picture. Some examples to consider:

https://www.probikekit.ca/cycling-ac...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.amazon.ca/RockBros-Bikep...51782913&psc=1

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...AaAtMYEALw_wcB

https://www.lightinthebox.com/en/p/r...8aAudgEALw_wcB

All relying on the fastex buckle to suspend the load.

Even the revelate bag , that uses a stiffer plastic to go over the rails, connects that with a plastic buckle, again the same failure mode.

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...rapinSystem14L



And while I'm no fan of front panniers off road, people often load front cargo cages with gear as wide as smaller front panniers. But the argument was really about rear pannier use somehow "not" being bikepacking. That is what I'm responding too.

Even blanket statements like "racks are not bikepacking" shouldn't be used (if one really wants to attempt to understand what it is) as the Trek 1120 is an example of a front and rear rack system perfectly designed for bike packing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is no doubt there are some trails that are so rough that only specific designs can be used to transit them but those outliers do not define what bike packing is, just as a round the world trip does not solely define bike touring. I find the desire to limit or restrict what defines bike packing strange mainly because the central ethos of the activity seems to be to break down preconceived restrictive borders and to explore new terrain - making your own way off the defined path.

Some here would conversely try to create a narrow, black and white concrete paradigm of how that ought to described. It can only be this bike, these wheels, not racks, no panniers... must include this much mileage or this sort of terrain. All the sort of stuff bike packing seeks to avoid. Maybe young people are attracted to it partly because they don't want people telling them where to go or how to go there.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 01-31-20 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 01-31-20, 03:31 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Nope, just dirt.
It's more than dirt. Based on Bikepacking.com remoteness seems a factor. Bikepacking routes

TO NOTE: NO bikepacking routes in the Northeastern US

Last edited by BigAura; 01-31-20 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 01-31-20, 03:59 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by alan s
Last year I saw three guys on the C&O Towpath riding with full bikepacking gear on mountain bikes, whereas everyone else was using traditional bike touring gear on a wide variety of bikes. Unless the three guys were heading for some singletrack off the towpath, I would say they were bike touring. They probably thought they were bikepacking. I never spoke with them or saw them again, as we were headed in opposite directions, but it would have been great to let them know they were not actually bikepacking.
I did the C&O on my fixed-gear and definitely called it touring. Part of my adventure I rode to the C&O Towpath and later off it, on paved & unpaved. As you can see, I used a unique packing arraignment mostly because my old fixed-gear bike had no braze-ons. Additionally I wanted to travel light since I had only a one gear



We all want to pack for our particular circumstance. Certain styles may be functionally superior. Additionally there may be fashion and aesthetics that we find more appealing.

For me it's primarily about adventure-travel --> The gear, discriptive language, and fashion are bit players.
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Old 01-31-20, 05:01 PM
  #144  
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I can't wait until summer when we're all too busy riding to be judging how other people choose to ride...
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Old 01-31-20, 05:20 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I can't wait until summer when we're all too busy riding to be judging how other people choose to ride...
chuckle
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Old 01-31-20, 06:36 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I can't wait until summer when we're all too busy riding to be judging how other people choose to ride...
OTOH, I’ve a much better sense of what works and when. Worth the countless pages of posts.
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Old 01-31-20, 07:07 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
OTOH, I’ve a much better sense of what works and when. Worth the countless pages of posts.
but you know, in the end, you've gotta put in the hours riding on different surfaces and get a real life feel for traction and stuff, and all the bike handling skills that come with riding on more rough, steep, loose, rocky, whatever surfaces.
although sure, its fun reading about what bags work better for this or that.
for also for sure, pannier attachment systems take a heck of a beating on any sort of rough trail, although fatter tires 2.5 and up make a big big difference.

its all fun in the end,
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Old 01-31-20, 08:31 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by djb
but you know, in the end, you've gotta put in the hours riding on different surfaces and get a real life feel for traction and stuff, and all the bike handling skills that come with riding on more rough, steep, loose, rocky, whatever surfaces.
although sure, its fun reading about what bags work better for this or that.
for also for sure, pannier attachment systems take a heck of a beating on any sort of rough trail, although fatter tires 2.5 and up make a big big difference.

its all fun in the end,
I was riding my MTB with 26" x 2.125" knobby tires along a dirt road with a friend. We went around a corner and discovered that fresh gravel had just been dumped and spread on that road for a few miles. Riding that stuff was... Well it was interesting to say the least as we slipped and slid quite a bit.

Cheers
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Old 01-31-20, 10:15 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
That's the funny thing about seat bags. The two velcro straps are situated exactly where they don't count, on the vertical seat post. Not a lot of stress there. Any jarring tends to push the bag into the seat post.
Where all the weight of the bag is suspended horizontally from the rails they are often held on by small plastic buckles. All jarring acts to stress the buckle. I own one, have watched a friends fail and we can see that in your picture. Some examples to consider:

All relying on the fastex buckle to suspend the load.

Even the revelate bag , that uses a stiffer plastic to go over the rails, connects that with a plastic buckle, again the same failure mode.

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...rapinSystem14L
Fasttech buckles are surprisingly strong. The mechanism is rather robust. I’ve not had one fail in any situation I’ve used them in unless the buckle is broken beforehand or not snapped together properly. The plastic that is use to make them isn’t that delicate.

I have had pannier come off of the blue bike I posted above. Granted that was back in the days before locking mechanisms but even the locking mechanisms can fail.

And while I'm no fan of front panniers off road, people often load front cargo cages with gear as wide as smaller front panniers. But the argument was really about rear pannier use somehow "not" being bikepacking. That is what I'm responding too.
Who said that pannier use isn’t “bikepacking”. I’ve said it’s not optimal for the reasons listed above. Bikepacking bags are better for off-road because of the better attachment and the narrower profile.

Even blanket statements like "racks are not bikepacking" shouldn't be used (if one really wants to attempt to understand what it is) as the Trek 1120 is an example of a front and rear rack system perfectly designed for bike packing.
Who made that statement? I said that bikepacking bags were developed for bicycles that can’t be fitted with racks. You might notice that my bike has a rack. It really isn’t designed to take one and I’ve had to kludge the way the rack is attached. I have other bikes that I can bikepack on that can’t take a rack at all even with kludges.

There is no doubt there are some trails that are so rough that only specific designs can be used to transit them but those outliers do not define what bike packing is, just as a round the world trip does not solely define bike touring. I find the desire to limit or restrict what defines bike packing strange mainly because the central ethos of the activity seems to be to break down preconceived restrictive borders and to explore new terrain - making your own way off the defined path.
I would consider the purpose of the original design and original purpose. People can use whatever they want but putting bikepacking bags on a bike and going touring doesn’t mean the person is “bikepacking”. Bikepacking is a subset of touring that is oriented more towards the rough and rugged than smoother travel.

Some here would conversely try to create a narrow, black and white concrete paradigm of how that ought to described. It can only be this bike, these wheels, not racks, no panniers... must include this much mileage or this sort of terrain. All the sort of stuff bike packing seeks to avoid. Maybe young people are attracted to it partly because they don't want people telling them where to go or how to go there.
I haven’t seen anyone suggest the “black and white concrete paradigm” you are describing. Ride what you want. Ride where you want. But like the idea that you can touring on anything, there are some bikes that do the job far better than others.
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Old 01-31-20, 10:47 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Why?

Maybe they had bought into the hype, or maybe they'd just got the gear and were going on a shakedown run, or maybe they were following a plan to progressively increase their abilities... Why would it be great to let them know they were not doing something they thought they were?

Reminds me of a guy I met at the ferry after my Gabriola trip. He kept looking at my fat bike and finally struck up a conversation, mainly to ask why I was riding it. I told him several reasons including the distance I had to ride in a weekend wasn't that far so I could afford the time penalty, that there was a section of trail I wanted to explore on the Island, and that it was just fun to ride. But.. but.. but.. No matter what I said he couldn't get past his preconception of what type a bike one should ride while touring. I'm sure he was still shaking his head when I left.

There is a great risk, once you think you have it all figured out, of no longer being able to understand anything different.
Your last sentance reminds me of a quote from famous UCLA basketball coach.
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”– John Wooden
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