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Old 08-10-17, 08:16 AM   #1
revcp 
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Bikepacking Setup

I've done four short tours over the last year as I tweak my setup for a longer door-to-door tour the summer of 2019 (Minneapolis/St Paul area to Santa Fe to Yellowstone and back to the Twin Cities). Thought my learnings might be of interest to others. This posting is about what I use to carry things, not what I'm actually carrying, which will be the subject of a later post.

I'll start briefly with the bike, a Surly Troll. A few years ago I purchased an unused 2011 frame and built it up. I did a tour on that in the spring of 2016. After using Salsa Anything Cages on my Salsa Mukluk for the Arrowhead Ultra last January, I decided I needed those on the Troll as well, but the "older" Troll forks didn't have the mounts for them. I purchased a new Troll fork, which has two sets of Anything Cage mounts on each side. This was a bit of a risk, as the axle to crown distance with the newer fork is about 20mm less (off the top of my head), but it actually helped rather than hurt the handling of the bike, making it feel a bit more sprightly. So...

Salsa Anything Cages allow me to carry a dry sack and a water bottle on each side of the fork. I'm astonished by the proliferation of dry bags these days, and I have many, but mine were either too big, 25 and 30 Liter, or too small, 5 or 6 liter, so I got two 10 L Barlii DrySaks. As a happy accident, these are oval, so they work well to strap them into the somewhat forward facing Anything Cages, which are shaped such that round 10 L bags would not have fit as snugly. And then a water bottle behind each of those.

Anything cage.jpg

dry bag.jpg

I am using three Revelate Designs products:


gas tank.jpg

Gas Tank, for carrying bars and other small items that need to be handy.



bar harness.jpg

Handlebar Harness. I use a 20 Liter Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag for sleeping bag, light weight 1/8" all purpose foam pad (20"x30") and hammock underquilt (for the 2019 trip I'll be switching to a tent, as much of the trip will have few if any trees). I can also use this bag in transit for clothing that dries on the bike. I simply undo and unroll the buckle, stuff in clothes, roll and buckle back up. The straps are also useful for drying clothing while riding or holding smaller items that might be needed frequently during the day (for example, I'll usually ride in lycra shorts, but when going into a grocery store I'll pull "regular" shorts on over them. I keep the regular shorts strapped to the front bag.)


frame bag.jpg

Frame Bag. This carries all the maintenance and repair gear, toiletries, various personal items, etc. in the large portion of the bag accessed through the zipper on the right. In the small pocket accessed through the zipper on the left I carry my wallet and phone.


Coconino.jpg

For my Saddle Bag I'm using the Bedrockbags Coconino. It's just the right size and uses a system with the saddle rails so that it doesn't sway back and forth. I have put shock cord and cordlocks through four small webbing loops on top of the bag for carrying rain gear or for strapping on washed/wet clothes for drying while riding. For a few years I used the Revelate Terrapin with a dry bag. I could fit more in it, but it was just not as stable.


pump.jpg

My pump (Lezyne HV) I've anchored to the right seatstay using pieces of folded up tubing, electrical tape and cable ties.


And here's the whole thing. This was a "drying" day for clothing I washed the night before.

bike.jpg
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Old 08-10-17, 10:41 AM   #2
Rob_E
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We have similar set-ups. Did you switch from a suspension-corrected fork to a non-corrected fork? My World Troller has one set of triple bosses on each fork. Two would be nice, or even one, but placed more towards the front. Where they are placed now, it's easy for the load in my Anything cages to reach high enough to bump the downtube and limit my turning radius. Seems like using the more forward position would address that problem. As it is, I use the cages when I need them, but if I could store the same gear elsewhere, I think I would. I feel like my two, front-roller panniers on a rear rack could hold about as much as my seat bag and the two Anything cages, but on my last trip, I couldn't fit the rear rack into my luggage.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-10-17, 12:11 PM   #3
revcp 
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
We have similar set-ups. Did you switch from a suspension-corrected fork to a non-corrected fork? My World Troller has one set of triple bosses on each fork. Two would be nice, or even one, but placed more towards the front. Where they are placed now, it's easy for the load in my Anything cages to reach high enough to bump the downtube and limit my turning radius. Seems like using the more forward position would address that problem. As it is, I use the cages when I need them, but if I could store the same gear elsewhere, I think I would. I feel like my two, front-roller panniers on a rear rack could hold about as much as my seat bag and the two Anything cages, but on my last trip, I couldn't fit the rear rack into my luggage.

Thanks for sharing.
Yes, the new Troll fork is not suspension corrected. My understanding is that Surly saw that few Troll owners were putting on suspension forks, so they ditched it. And, yes, it is helpful to have the load rotated forward. I had to install the bottle cages on the bottom two holes, because if installed on the top two the bottles did restrict turning.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:06 PM   #4
NoControl
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Nice setup. I have both the Revelate Harness and the Sweetroll. I like the Sweetroll with the Jones bar adapter kit much better than the Harness. I've got the RD Vischacha seat bag, but I have to use a Portland Design Works Bindle rack to keep it off the rear tire. I have a medium frame ECR, but the seatpost just isn't high enough. I'm of the opinion that RD designed their seat bags with true MTB geometry in mind.

I like those Salsa Anything HD racks, and those will be my next purchase. Thanks for the tip on the Barlii bags because I knew that I didn't want the heavier Salsa bags, but was uninformed about what bags would fit.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:48 PM   #5
alan s 
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Looks like a lot of weight up front, but centered over the axle, which is good. Any handling issues? I've run the Revelate harness only on my Troll, but not the Salsa cages and water bottles, and it handles great.
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Old 08-11-17, 07:16 AM   #6
revcp 
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Looks like a lot of weight up front, but centered over the axle, which is good. Any handling issues? I've run the Revelate harness only on my Troll, but not the Salsa cages and water bottles, and it handles great.
No, no handling issues. At times there's a bit of a wobble when climbing, but it's solid at speed. There's really not that much weight up front. The bag in the harness weighs 5 lbs at most, the Anything Bags are holding maybe 3 pounds each (hammock on one side, tarp on the other). Most of my weight is in the frame bag and saddle bag.
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