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Thread: Bikepacking

  1. #1
    trash bike tinkerer marty_mcfly's Avatar
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    Bikepacking

    I have always loved backpacking, so why not combine that with bike touring and go BikePacking?

    My dream touring bike would be a vintage model like a Peugeot PX 10 with sick parts. Zipping around on a real gem of a bike like a PX 10 would be so gratifying. I'm torn between that and buying a cyclocross bike. I like the idea of cyclocross becase when I do go touring, I can see myself succumbing to the urge to get on some dirt/gravel roads.

    What do you experts/veterans recommend?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    What's the difference between bikepacking and cycletouring?

  3. #3
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Get a mountain bike I guess. If you want to cover long distances, then hook up a bob yak trailer for your stuff.

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    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty_mcfly
    My dream touring bike would be a vintage model like a Peugeot PX 10 with sick parts.
    Huh? Parts with the flu? Are you talking about fire roads, or all-terrain? If you're really wanting to go all-terrain, I would say get an old-school rigid mountain bike for the job.
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  5. #5
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    I have some buddies who use their Mtn bikes to go "bikepacking." They load up their backpacking pack, strap on skis or climbing gear, and use their bikes to ride 20-30 miles in on fire roads and logging roads to access remote areas for climbing.

    In the PNW this makes a lot of sense--several passes are closed during the winter, but the roads often become snowfree before they're opened again in the summer. Throwing everything on your bike to get to the trailhead you'd normally drive to provides access to areas too remote to walk in to, or too crowded in the summer. It's also the only way to access some of the best spring backcountry skiing in the North Cascades.

    If this is the kind of thing you're thinking about, I'd recommend going the mtn. bike route instead of the vintage route. Cyclocross would be fine, but most cyclocross bikes only use a double up front instead of a triple, and you'll appreciate the lower gearing when you're slogging along with 60 pounds of camping and climbing gear. Something like the REI Safari or Koga Miyata seem like they'd be perfect for what you're describing.

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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    This must be bikepackin'....
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  7. #7
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    This must be bikepackin'....
    What's your final verdict on the BOB trailer, Fixer?
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  8. #8
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson
    What's your final verdict on the BOB trailer, Fixer?
    Nothing wrong with it, but I think I prefer panniers both on and off-road.
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  9. #9
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I am here to definitively state that there is no such thing as "bikepacking"

  10. #10
    trash bike tinkerer marty_mcfly's Avatar
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    Portlandia

    [QUOTE=mycoatl] In the PNW this makes a lot of sense--several passes are closed during the winter, but the roads often become snowfree before they're opened again in the summer.

    If this is the kind of thing you're thinking about, I'd recommend going the mtn. bike route instead of the vintage route. Cyclocross would be fine, but most cyclocross bikes only use a double up front instead of a triple. QUOTE]

    I'm moving to Portland next year for school, and this is exaclty what I'm talking about. I will be doing at first shorter touring trips, maybe out to the coast, but eventually I know I'll head into the mountains.

    Do you think a cyclocross could handle fireroads? My buddy has a Lemond Poprad that he fit with a 3 ring crank up front. I could try something like that and use it for the long tours AND the shorter, more rugged trips in the mountains.

    I just need versatility--that's why I'm leaning away from a MTN frame--I don't like putting in long road miles on them as commuters.

  11. #11
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    You're going to love Portland. Best city on the planet as far as I'm concerned. Coincidentally, I'm here for school also--law school at Lewis & Clark. Where are you going to school?

    A cyclocross bike with a triple would be fine for the fire roads out here. You could also get along fine with a touring frame that would allow room for 700x38 or higher tires. Lots of touring frames are designed to accept large tires with clearance for fenders, so whether you're on a cyclocross frame or a touring frame you'll likely end up running similar tires. Cyclocross frames often lack braze-ons for fenders and racks, though. Don't underestimate the necessity of fenders in Portland, so make sure it'll be relatively easy to mount fenders and racks on whatever you buy. Other than that, it really comes down to preference on what kind of riding geometry you like, fit, price, options, etc.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Long Haul Trucker + 37 and above fat tires =sublime fire road touring MACHINE.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty_mcfly
    Do you think a cyclocross could handle fireroads?
    Depends on how rough those roads are. More and larger rocks, ruts, mud pits and holes in the road will demand wider knobbier tires. Think of the pounding your arse, back and arms are going to take while you're out there for hours on end. Will you need 2" tires to smooth out the road? Depends what roads you plan on riding.
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  14. #14
    trash bike tinkerer marty_mcfly's Avatar
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    I don't think I'll be going over any lava beds. Although in Oregon you never can tell. I just need versatility. I think a cyclocross with gnarly tires would do the trick. Then I can switch out the tires for road-exclusive tours.

    Mycoatl, I'm going to Lewis and Clark as well, but for undergrad. Thanks for the tips on Portland and fenders--I had that suspicion when I visited the school earlier this year and they had had rain for 30 straight days. I hear they call the rain "liquid sunshine" up there.
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BikePackin's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=marty_mcfly]I don't think I'll be going over any lava beds. Although in Oregon you never can tell. I just need versatility. I think a cyclocross with gnarly tires would do the trick. Then I can switch out the tires for road-exclusive tours.
    QUOTE]
    If you have not already done so, you may wish to take a look at the REI Novara Safari. www.rei.com.

  16. #16
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Don't know if this is watcha mean equipment-wise, but check this out:

    http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/bac...?fl=0&site=cdn
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  17. #17
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Take a BOB trailer, replace the dry sack with an internal frame backpack loaded with your gear, and you're ready to bikepack. Ride up to where you want to hike, strap on the pack, and go.

  18. #18
    trash bike tinkerer marty_mcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    What's the difference between bikepacking and cycletouring?
    Ken Kifer patiently describes and distiguishes among the many nuances of touring on his bike pages. http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/camping.htm

    For him, "Bikepacking" referred to his own version of bicycle touring, where he camped in the woods and prepared his own meals. Off-roading wasn't necessarily a part of it for him, although he did always camp off the road.
    As far as I know, Kifer is the one who coined the term "bikepacking." At least, he is the person from whom I lifted the phrase. If Mr. Kifer were still around, I'm sure he would have lots to say in these touring forums.

    In reading Kifer's down-to-earth excerpts like "College Camping vs. College Football" and "Our Estrangement from Nature," it's weird how much I can identify with Kifer and his ideas about modern society and how cycling fits into people's lives.
    Last edited by marty_mcfly; 04-17-06 at 07:17 AM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member BikePackin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty_mcfly
    Ken Kifer patiently describes and distiguishes among the many nuances of touring on his bike pages. http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/camping.htm
    For him, "Bikepacking" referred to his own version of bicycle touring, where he camped in the woods and prepared his own meals. Off-roading wasn't necessarily a part of it for him, although he did always camp off the road.
    I came across a definition of 'bikepacking' once in the Adventure Cycling Association published text, Cycling the Great Divide (ISBN 780898-866988, page 13): ".... the activity of riding .... as a blending of the three sports of bicycle touring, mountain biking, and backpacking."

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