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(Wheel Choice) bikepacking on gravel bikes

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

(Wheel Choice) bikepacking on gravel bikes

Old 09-15-19, 10:49 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
What is that rack you have on the rear of bike. Looks like a basic rack that you cut down to support that large seatbag.
It is in fact, an old basic rack cut down. Sort of a stop gap progression as an idea unfolded.

*long answer*

When I originally ordered the Carradice saddle bag (my first expeiment with online orders from the UK) I cheaped out from buying the support rack https://www.carradice.co.uk/products...sport-original and of course, then found the saddle bag rubbing the wheel. So I made a temporary one out of the old rack which did the job for quite a while.







But as time went by I came up with a shared moduar concept between two bikes: this Norco and a fat bike.

It turns out both share the same seat post size so I can swap saddles and (in the mail as we speak) dropper posts and a one bag system (gas tank, frame, HB, saddle and panniers) so I don't have to buy two separate sets of everything for each bike. This (dreaming) will let me buy better quality parts and can be scaled up or down depending on needs.

Because I eventually wanted panniers I bought an Axiom Streamliner for the Norco https://www.axiomgear.com/products/r...iner-road-dlx/

So now I sit with two bikes to cover the gambit of riding/touring from pavement - gravel - singletrack - off road.

I know seat bags are in vogue for bike packing (although many bikepackers use Carradice saddle bags too), and I own one but I find fully loaded there was some sway and I've seen the buckle system fail on another bike in a way that dropped it onto the back tire (quick stop!) so I opted for a saddle bag which has a lot of room and is still aerodynamic in that it tucks behind my hips. It also works well alone for rambles and brevet type rides.

Day tripping


Light touring


loaded (for me) touring


Off road day tripping


Fully loaded


In between

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-15-19 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 09-15-19, 01:56 PM
  #52  
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so don't buy proprietary stuff like Mavic, whoops!!!!! As a consolation prize , I did buy 32 spoke wheels?

Well at least some of you can be happy with the 32 spoke wheels, but I probably won't be bike packing. I am cool with that.

and FUN = FUN

the gravel bike will need wheels though... but buy a whole bike for a little more than the price of a wheelset.

thanks for all your advice guys!

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Old 09-15-19, 02:33 PM
  #53  
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Thanks Happy Feet!
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Old 09-15-19, 02:49 PM
  #54  
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I was thinking a bit more about this today while driving (heavy steady rain is making my usual Sunday ride less attractive).


Equipment choices come from a variety of perspectives so the way we look at research sources will vary as well. No one can say right or wrong but understanding motivations behind choices helps.


To me there are four easily identifiable categories: The professional or sponsored rider, the rider who wants to impress others, the experimental rider and the practical rider.


The professional, team or sponsored rider doesn't need to really worry about cost or replacement of components, may have expedited delivery of replacements in case of failure, a competition motivation to push the envelope for performance and an underlying purpose of showcasing new products for sponsors in order to drive sales. All of that is not to say their choices are wrong but that there is a lot of stuff going on with them that a recreational rider does not experience.


The rider who wants to impress others may buy what the pros use (it's a big part of the sponsors motivation) in hopes of "recognition by association". There's not much to say about that other than this user probably doesn't have the support the pros do when a failure happens or the experience to know when to use or not use innovation.


The experimental rider may adopt less than proven innovation or even apply lateral thinking to flex technology from other genres but they are more committed to the experiment than the image. They probably plan for the higher possibility of failure. Scientists in a sense. Rarely do they exclaim their ideas are bullet proof ahead of time as they really don't know and probably don't want to look foolish if they fail.


I suspect that many recreational bike packers fall into the "proven reliable" "field repairable" and "simplicity over complexity" train of thinking. They have a goal and want to achieve it with the best chance of success. The acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid) applies unless there is a perceived benefit. The "stupid" is self directed to remind the user to not get distracted by new and novel shiny bits.


What moves this user out of simplicity into complexity is either a definite benefit and/or proven reliability for the risk of complexity. Brifters over bar end shifters could be looked at this way as, over multiple generations of development, they have become quite reliable and they do provide a benefit in shifting. The downside is still that you can't field repair a brifter but can with a bar end shifter. The fact that they now rarely fail negates that downside though for the most part. Etap or electronic shifting for off road use is probably closer to the "still proving" end of the spectrum.


So when we look at low spoke count we should ask some very basic questions: What type of user am I? What's my overall objective? Win a race, sell a product, show off, experiment, achieve a travel goal. What real benefit does this low spoke count offer towards that objective? Is it a proven technology in this application. Does it add complexity to the equation for no reason? What happens if it succeeds - what happens if it fails.


If we eliminate winning a race, looking cool or experimenting we are left with practicality. What does a low spoke count offer? minimal weight and aerodynamic gains (largely theoretical when viewed in the overall picture). That's it. What are the cons? Higher chance of failure, less chance of limping home on the remaining spokes, the possible need for tools and spare spokes as a result if going further afield.
Going from proven 32H to now more common 28H is one thing. That's a 4 spoke drop and now has some generations of demonstrated general reliability. Going from 32H to 20H off road is a 12 spoke drop and a huge percentage loss of rim suspension/support (depending on how you look at it). Considering that most people who understand bikes recognize the wheel set as one the most important components in terms of reliability that's really an experimental decision.


Thinking of what Tim said earlier in a post: If a person already has a lower spoke count wheel set and isn't doing isolated tours there really is no reason not to use them. They probably won't fail and if they do you deal with it then, like every other component. But... if someone is custom building a new wheel set and is purposely choosing a low spoke count maybe they should think about why? Even more so if the answer is that modern design has created very strong spokes when those same spokes can be used for the more reliable higher count wheel. That only increases the reliability of the wheel set which, from a practcal perspective is admirable, instead of pushing the envelope to create an expensive yet less reliable alternative.

Ps. You can probably tell it's still raining

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-15-19 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-21-19, 11:18 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
What's amusing is how people are so quick to judge (WWJD) yet don't understand the dynamics of being back stage. I've approached you before on this topic to explain to help you with this. I've even offered you a chance to come and volunteer like the rest of the staff so you can contribute in areas that you feel we are lacking.

As I said before, perhaps this place is not for you.

There are indeed other forums that might satisfy your needs.

By your own mouth.
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Old 09-23-19, 11:57 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
By your own mouth.
Indeed. Keyboard, rather. Hence my posting "I find it amusing"....

Tell me please, do you practice what you preach? Those observing would find your words a solid nail in the coffin in regards to the falsities claimed by those who give promise to be leaders. Just trying to learn more about you other than what I've seen so far. If you hate the moderation here so much or rather, the functions of this site, why are you a member?
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Old 09-24-19, 11:19 AM
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Tim is a friendly, helpful, welcoming person. Here's incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to share. He's been a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie, and great ride photos, and he's helped foster a sense of community. Driving him out is a mistake, this place won't be the same without him.
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Old 09-25-19, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Tim is a friendly, helpful, welcoming person. Here's incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to share. He's been a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie, and great ride photos, and he's helped foster a sense of community. Driving him out is a mistake, this place won't be the same without him.
With all due respect, sir, (and you know I mean that ) you may have missed the now deleted posts that fell out of line with the usual friendliness and welcoming that you and I have observed in the past. Your loyalty is honorable though. Much respect.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-26-19, 06:51 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Indeed. Keyboard, rather. Hence my posting "I find it amusing"....

Tell me please, do you practice what you preach? Those observing would find your words a solid nail in the coffin in regards to the falsities claimed by those who give promise to be leaders. Just trying to learn more about you other than what I've seen so far. If you hate the moderation here so much or rather, the functions of this site, why are you a member?
People sometimes struggle to execute their goals. Many are in a constant state of working on becoming better and its 2 forward 1 back.

Its tough to be perfect, like you and I, since we have to deal with everyone who isnt. You have my empathy.***
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Old 09-26-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
People sometimes struggle to execute their goals. Many are in a constant state of working on becoming better and its 2 forward 1 back.

Its tough to be perfect, like you and I, since we have to deal with everyone who isnt. You have my empathy.***
I am far from perfect, for I do not feel myself superior to others, hence my inquiry to always learn more about others.

Metta.
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-27-19, 09:22 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Tim is a friendly, helpful, welcoming person. Here's incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to share. He's been a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie, and great ride photos, and he's helped foster a sense of community. Driving him out is a mistake, this place won't be the same without him.
Thank you for posting this.

I agree completely.

Something here has gone terribly amiss.
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Old 09-28-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Tim is a friendly, helpful, welcoming person. Here's incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to share. He's been a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie, and great ride photos, and he's helped foster a sense of community. Driving him out is a mistake, this place won't be the same without him.
Sure until you disagree with him.
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Old 09-28-19, 11:01 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Sure until you disagree with him.
I have disagreed with him many times, and he is one of the nicer to disagree with here on BF. At least he has never made things personal, or resorted to name calling or ridiculing. Matter of fact he has probably been on the receiving end of all of that BS just for riding Di2, and RDO, and liking nice & expensive things. and liking "Lighter" bicycles.

this really isn't the place to be for carbon, light, expensive.......
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Old 09-30-19, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
I am far from perfect, for I do not feel myself superior to others, hence my inquiry to always learn more about others.

Metta.
Forgive me for not viewing some of your comments as a genuine interest in learning more about others.
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Old 09-30-19, 02:22 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by seattle forrest View Post
tim is a friendly, helpful, welcoming person. Here's incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to share. He's been a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie, and great ride photos, and he's helped foster a sense of community. Driving him out is a mistake, this place won't be the same without him.
+1
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Old 11-13-19, 01:09 PM
  #66  
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Took a couple months off from BF and man... looks like I missed some fun!
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Old 11-13-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Took a couple months off from BF and man... looks like I missed some fun!
Yeah, timmy was run off. Or he chose to take his ball and go home.
6 of one, half dozen of the other.
Just a matter of perspective.
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Old 11-13-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
I have disagreed with him many times, and he is one of the nicer to disagree with here on BF. At least he has never made things personal, or resorted to name calling or ridiculing. Matter of fact he has probably been on the receiving end of all of that BS just for riding Di2, and RDO, and liking nice & expensive things. and liking "Lighter" bicycles.

this really isn't the place to be for carbon, light, expensive.......
I dont remember him being ripped on for Di2 or the RDO. His RDO build thread was heavily followed- where the RDO and Di2 are featured the entire time.
Yes, he was ripped on for liking nice/expensive things, but not for just the like of them and instead it was due to perceived superiority. Vanity didnt become him well.

His growth in gravel was fun to watch- from yelling that he didnt want anything adventure based at the beginning, to fully embracing bikepacking adventures in the mountains. Its neat to see a timeline of experience so well documented- I liked seeing how human nature and preferences change with time and experience.
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Old 11-20-19, 02:21 PM
  #69  
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He sure came at me one time totally unsolicited and irrelevant to the thread at hand. He was very easy to trigger, you literally didn't even have to try.
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