Forum Index » Bikepacking & Bicycle Touring » Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking? on 01/27/2013 12:27:32 MST Print View

Thanks to some great BPL advice http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=71874 it looks like I have a Surly Ogre coming this week. A bit nervous as I haven't seen one in the flesh, but I did find the nearest bike I could get to it in terms of frame size and geometry to help with deciding on the frame size.

So now I am thinking what else do I need to get out on my first bikepacking trip? Thoughts so far as below, comments or specific suggestions very welcome. As I said before a lot has changed in the 20 years I have spent away from cycling, I couldn't believe the selection of pumps!!

1. Helmet - The cheapest one that gives a good fit.
2. Pedals and shoes - I've never used SPDs so I am thinking flats with toe clips and straps or power grips. Also like the idea of using my backpacking shoes. Open to ideas on SPDs though.
3. Puncture repair - I am assuming that this is still down to carrying a repair kit, some tire levers and a spare tube :).
4. Pumps - OMG so many choices now. Any recommendations?
5. Tools - What do people carry when out on a trip?
6. Spares - What do people carry when out on a trip?
7. Bags -was drooling over a Revelate bag today in store. But to start with I am going to try and strap some stuff sacs to my seat post and handle bars and put the rest in a backpack. Will get bags when I am sure I am going to be doing regular trips, as it is a sizeable investment.
7. What else apart from my usual backpacking kit have I forgotten?

Thanks.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: bikepacking gear on 01/28/2013 10:12:21 MST Print View

1. Helmet - The cheapest one that gives a good fit.

--Yes, light colors preferred if you ride in hot weather.


2. Pedals and shoes - I've never used SPDs so I am thinking flats with toe clips and straps or power grips. Also like the idea of using my backpacking shoes. Open to ideas on SPDs though.

--I'd start with flats and upgrade to clipless if you get into riding. Good, stiff bike shoes are essential for long days riding with clipless, especially on rough terrain. I still think Time pedals are better than anything else.


3. Puncture repair - I am assuming that this is still down to carrying a repair kit, some tire levers and a spare tube :).

--One or two extra tubes, good patch kit, tires levers (Pedros plastic), and a pump. Perhaps a tire boot depending on terrain.


4. Pumps - OMG so many choices now. Any recommendations?

--A larger one with a flexible hose, much easier to use. Topeak, Bontrager, and Lezyne (sp?) make good ones.


5. Tools - What do people carry when out on a trip?

--In addition to the above and below, a Crank Bros Multi-17 has everything you'll need.


6. Spares - What do people carry when out on a trip?

--2 power links, 3 complete links of chain, spare cleat bolt.


7. Bags -was drooling over a Revelate bag today in store. But to start with I am going to try and strap some stuff sacs to my seat post and handle bars and put the rest in a backpack. Will get bags when I am sure I am going to be doing regular trips, as it is a sizeable investment.

--Yep. One of the cheaper, partial framebags is a great investment and handy for day and multi-day rides.


7. What else apart from my usual backpacking kit have I forgotten?

--Good shorts.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking? on 01/29/2013 02:00:25 MST Print View

@ Dave. Thanks - good advice as always. On the shorts front is a liner short with my backpacking shorts OK, or is it just best to go for the full lycra option for the most comfort? I have seen baggy shorts with a built in liner, but they potentially look like they may be too hot.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking? on 01/29/2013 04:14:36 MST Print View

I find that I much prefer to wear regular bike shorts on the bike, but get out of them and into running shorts in camp to air out. I am sure the baggies with a liner work well for some though.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: shorts on 01/29/2013 06:50:42 MST Print View

Full lycra is probably the most comfortable, you can always put conventional shorts over them (a good way to get a bit more rain and wind resistance).

I forgot: a small bottle of chain lube is mandatory on all multi-day rides with gears.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
+2 What Dave said, plus what he forgot on 01/29/2013 10:12:46 MST Print View

And also for parts:

Fiberfix spokes, so you don't need 4 different lengths and so you can install it without removing your cassette.

Small pliers (I use a Leatherman Squirt PS4), used for many things, like turning a valve(core) or pulling a cable tight. These also have scissors which I want for non bike use.

Derailleur hanger for your frame

Brake pads

As far as the other items you asked about:

Pump: mid sized, to balance pmuping effiency and weight. Flexible hose to prevent ripping off a valve stem. Gauge so you know when you can stop pumping.
I use the Lezyne Alloy Drive, with replacement gauge hose, it works well for me a in serious comparison tests.

Go with flat pedals. With modern flat pedals you won't need any sort of strap of cage.
Make sure they have a 6mm hex head in the axle to install them, since you won't be carrying a pedal wrench or 10mm hex with you!

Shorts:
Traditional lycra shorts are the most comfortable, get some good ones. Then if it's cold, wet or you go into civilization, you can add something over the top.
Combo shorts have lousy cheap pads, and they are not multi-use. Great for a quick mtb ride or commuting, not for bikepacking.

Helmet:
All helmets are safe, the price difference reflects weight and venting. Get the best helmet you can afford. All that weight is up on top bouncing around with only your neck muscles holding it up, lighter is a lot nicer. Same for venting. A helmet is the one piece of bike gear you will wear all the time, every ride, so it's one of the best places to upgrade for more comfort.

You can find my gear list from my last trip here .

Edited by Tjaard on 01/29/2013 21:04:17 MST.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
repairs on 01/29/2013 10:51:44 MST Print View

Think about it this way: what issues are most common, and which of those can be fixed on the trail?

-Punctured inner tube

-Cut tire(which leads to a puncture)

-poor shifting due to dirty/dry chain

-broken spoke/out of true wheel

-loosened bolts/pedals/cranks/saddle clamps

-broken chain

-worn brake pads

-bent derailleur hanger

-mis-adjusted derailleurs/brakes

-broken brake lever > there usually is no on-trail fix for this, minimize the chance of it happening by keeping your brake levers loose on your bars, so they can rotate in case of a crash.

Greg Wheelwright
(gdw) - M
A few more items on 01/29/2013 13:23:36 MST Print View

Don't forget to bring a chamois cream of some sort and Neosporin, you'll really appreciate them if you're spending a lot of time in the saddle. Add some duct tape and 550 cord -paracord- to the list if you don't already carry them.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking? on 01/29/2013 14:58:10 MST Print View

Tubes? Who's running tubes anymore?

Kidding aside. If you go tubeless, which I suggest you do for the weight savings and better ride, then bring along a small 2-4oz bottle of your preferred sealant (*mine happens to be Stans, hard to beat it). Its not a gimmick and you may find yourself rarely reaching for a tube out on the trail.

Btw Jason, finally made time last night to rebuild my Surly Karate Monkey with a Sram X9 in the back for a 1x9 setup. Simple. Having been riding solely singlespeed and grinding it out the past few months my legs are going to be happy. It feels like cheating.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
bike tech on 01/29/2013 15:49:53 MST Print View

If you live anywhere like the southwest, with tons of spiky stuff everywhere, tubeless is indeed a no-brainer. The setup learning curve isn't exactly friendly, and you can't/shouldn't use just any tire.

Repair stuff beyond the basics gets into the degree of paranoia you have, the remoteness of your trips, and the components on your bike. For example, I'm confident in my slightly overbuilt custom wheels and therefore don't bring spoke replacements. In the past I've been confident enough in various tubeless setups to only bring one tube on big rides.

Look forward to the day you blow up a freehub and have to ziptie the cassete to the spokes.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
bike on 01/30/2013 13:34:22 MST Print View

lezyne pump is my favorite as well...the flexible hose makes a world of difference. Roadmorph by topeak is another that's even better but it's heavier and quite large but fits the frame nicely, usually.

I'll go against the grain and say clipless pedals all the way. they are far superior in every way. If you go back and forth between boots and cycling shoes you could opt for something like the shimano 530 which has a flat pedal on one side and a spd clip on the other.

for tires, check out schwalbe marathon plus. they are pretty much flat-proof, last a VERY long time, ride quite nice and have enough tread and volume so they are quite safe on trails and fire roads. they are heavy though and slightly slower rolling than a typical 23c road tire.

most importantly make sure you know how to use all those new tools so you can actually fix the bike. I've seen a few people on my daily commute looking at their tube and tire lever like it's the first time they handled it and they are totally clueless how to even remove the wheel from the frame/fork.

for bags, try to find one that clips on instead of velcro if you think you are going to be taking it off all the time.

Mitchell Rossman
(bigmitch)

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Bike Tech on 01/30/2013 13:42:47 MST Print View

Regarding bags: you can make a decent frame bag yourself after a couple of attempts if you are handy with a sewing machine and like to do such stuff. Plenty of advice on DIY bags on Youtube or bikpacking.net. Otherwise, open up your wallet and by the Revelate Designs frame bag. You won't be disappointed.

The Revelate Designs Viscaha Seat pack is well worth the money. The RD Sweet Roll and Gas Tank are ok too.

Regarding pumps: By the best pump that you can, and if you are doing anything in the cold, buy two of them. Plastic parts like to crack in the cold. I like Tjaard's brand of pumps (Lenzyne).

Mitchell Rossman
(bigmitch)

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Follow up on pedals on 01/30/2013 13:51:40 MST Print View

I have used both clipless and bmx pedals on tours.

Although clipless pedals are more efficient for pedaling, they are inefficient in the sense that you need to pack a second set of shoes or sandals.

Now, I leave the clipless pedal at home and just take BMX pedals and one pair of 5-10 freeride shoes. That combo gives the best of both worlds: efficient pedaling and comfortable walking with minimal weight

Greg Wheelwright
(gdw) - M
Bikepacking.net on 01/30/2013 15:30:44 MST Print View

You can learn a lot over at Bikepacking.net. The Personal setups section provides a pretty good overview of what other riders use.
http://www.bikepacking.net/category/individual_setups/

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Follow up on pedals on 01/30/2013 17:43:58 MST Print View

"Pedals and shoes - I've never used SPDs so I am thinking flats with toe clips and straps or power grips"
Jim and I both love our Power Grips, and also love being able to walk around when off the bike without fussing. Other people love being attached to their pedals. IMO, it's worth trying the power grips before you rule them out, as there's no way to know what you'll love most until you try.

Mitchell Rossman
(bigmitch)

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Follow Up on Power Grips on 01/31/2013 11:52:03 MST Print View

I am glad that at least someone like Power Grips.

I hate mine! The pedal does not provide much support with the thin sharp edge and I don't enjoy trying to put my foot in them, even with the large straps.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Bike's on the way - what else do I need to get Bikepacking? on 01/31/2013 20:53:08 MST Print View

Tjaard -Many thanks. Some web research had led me to the Lezyne Alloy Drive, so good to have that choice backed up. I think I am going to go all out and get some bib shorts. Finally I will have another look at helmets and see how much weight is saved for the dollars.

Greg - I am going to try my Guerney Goo to keep me comfortable in the saddle. I have also been poring over bikepacking.net.

Eugene - tubeless is just a bridge to far into the world of modern cycling for me at the moment :). The Karate Monkey set up sounds sweet.

Sean - I used to tinker with bikes a lot back in the day. However, I will need to practice with the rear drop outs on the Ogre.

Mitchell - Am definitely going to start out with flat pedals and see how it goes.

Amy - will give power grips a try some time.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
bib shorts on 02/04/2013 11:25:22 MST Print View

bib shorts are the way to go. good choice. if you want to just cut to the chase and get the best and most comfortable available get the FI.UNO s5 by assos. size up from the typical USA sizing. I wear M in everything but L from them...

they cost a lot but they last a lot longer than any bib I've ever worn and are also more comfortable.

I spend many, many miles riding (pro road racer) and they are the only ones that I've used that do not have issues falling apart. I wish I could always wear them but the team obviously won't let me. Every other brand I've tried is always a big downgrade even brands costing the same or more...

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
chamois cream on 02/04/2013 11:28:23 MST Print View

the guerney goo looks interesting, but it's really easy to make your own as well. It's A LOT cheaper and will work just as well if you use the right stuff.