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Bikepacking the new Touring?

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Bikepacking the new Touring?

Old 04-11-18, 04:24 PM
  #1  
TiHabanero
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Bikepacking the new Touring?

In the 70's we toured by bike. 2 days, 5 days or a month, we toured. Today it is called bikepacking. Not sure why they changed the name. Anyone out there care to make a case for the name change?
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Old 04-11-18, 04:56 PM
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It's typically done over unimproved road/trails off the grid. I've always associated 'classic' touring as road / improved campsite based while 'bike packing', much in the same way as proper back backing is generally unimproved road (gravel) or mtb based with ad-hoc camping. There is a lot of cross-over (obviously).....
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Old 04-11-18, 04:58 PM
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There hasn't been a name change. Bikepacking is a subset/style of bike touring. It generally encompasses non-road touring, often with minimal gear. Like backpacking, only on a bike.
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Old 04-11-18, 09:54 PM
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Undt it is verbotten to use panniers, so frame bags, large seat bags, bar roll bag thingees and you name it to make less stuff like panniers sticking out and catching on stuff like trees and whatnot, and makes it easier to manhandle your bike over stuff. Lighter also which combined with the manhandling, makes riding on rough and loose surfaces much more enjoyable.

Looks like it would be fun as heck, different riding experience, and going places I wouldn't venture on a heavy donkey panniered touring bike.

Gotta be more minimalist though. And spend more on lighter and more compact stuff.

But hey, it's all cool, still having fun bike traveling.
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Old 04-11-18, 11:14 PM
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I think the simplest explanation; When you use panniers, it is just bike touring, when you use packs it is bikepacking. I'm not sure it is new, but it has taken off and the bike bag companies are making more and more packs.
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Old 04-12-18, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by nickw View Post
It's typically done over unimproved road/trails off the grid. I've always associated 'classic' touring as road / improved camp-site based while 'bike packing', much in the same way as proper back backing is generally unimproved road (gravel) or mtb based with ad-hoc camping. There is a lot of cross-over (obviously).....
This is my take as well. This what I do bikepacking ...


Two Peoples Bay Beach - {Day 11- 16** by Andrew Priest, on Flickr

whereas this my approach to touring ...



Mind you even touring I like to chase the dirt. The difference is I can do more off-road and/or remote bikepacking than I can do with my touring bike, my Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Last edited by Aushiker; 04-12-18 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-12-18, 07:26 AM
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And Surly have just released the bike I've been waiting for, perfect for both panniers and bike-packing or both. https://surlybikes.com/bikes/bridge_club
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Old 04-12-18, 08:11 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I think the simplest explanation; When you use panniers, it is just bike touring, when you use packs it is bikepacking. I'm not sure it is new, but it has taken off and the bike bag companies are making more and more packs.
Not sure it is that clear of a line. I considered it bikepacking when I packed 10 pounds of gear in small panniers and a little backpack for an off road tour. I'd still consider it bike packing if I carried more.

For me the primary thing that makes it bikepacking is the off road element. For bikepacking I do usually expect UL backpacking gear. Then again some bikepackers don't pack all that light, so I think the best distinction if you must make one is off road vs on.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:21 AM
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Bike packing is bike touring for hipsters.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:27 AM
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#1 - bikepacking is to strap packs onto your bike and go wherever you want to go.

#2 - if you have racks and hang panniers off racks then it's NOT bikepacking

#3 - if you have racks and hang panniers and strap a framepack in the middle with a seat post pack and a handlebar roll in the front then you're 'OVERPACKING'

#3 was a joke. :-)
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Old 04-12-18, 08:38 AM
  #11  
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So far I've done bike packing in wilderness areas and full-pannier touring. I tend to like something in between. I don't deprive myself of comfort, but I don't drag it all with me. Some people just bring way too much crap.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:48 AM
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The bottom line is bike packing is trendy, and bike touring is for old geezers.
Sort yourselves accordingly.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:52 AM
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Bike packing is what they did before the hipsters called it bike touring.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Lenz_(cyclist)


Seriously, It doesn't matter what you call it. Some people try to define what they do by the equipment they use as if that means something and some people just use equipment to get the job done. My foray into bikepacking has been a hybrid experience started by Max the Cyclist who talked about what he was doing here a while ago. I decided to buy some kit when the opportunity arose and liked how it performed.

I call what I do Bike "trippin" - best performed with paisley pants and tie dyed shirts.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

I call what I do Bike "trippin" - best performed with paisley pants and tie dyed shirts.
For that you need shrooms.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:22 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Bike packing is bike touring for hipsters.
But I got no neck beard. It's surface that you ride. Bikepacking combines the best camping and mt biking. I've always gone with wider tires for " mixed" surface rides. A steel 29er hardtail with 3 " tires lets you go just about everywhere. Dirt, singletrack, off road, all good. And as said, lighter frame bags for less weight and more agility.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:41 AM
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It does get interesting, even for the road.

The single biggest change for me was starting to use a frame bag. Before that a traditional HB bag of some sort was pretty well required to carry the day to day stuff I wanted easy access to. When I added a FB and it's accompanying gas tank bag I had all that there and the bars became free real estate. No HB bag meant I could also use aero bars.

from there I found I could put my sleeping bag/bivy in a HB roll instead of on the rear rack. Less on the rear rack meant I could get away without panniers if I used a saddle bag until my current iteration for this summer looks something like this

https://flic.kr/p/23aJTjW

Last year I touried the Rockies with this

https://flic.kr/p/23jivpV


Last edited by Happy Feet; 04-12-18 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:47 AM
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Yea just a different way of carrying your stuff, not going to make panniers on racks touring disappear..

the racing each other touring folks doing the transamerica trail route, in june, seem to favor the bikepacking luggage, for its aerodynamic advantages.

front bag fits, just between your handlebars, rear bag in your slipstream ..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-12-18 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Yea just a different way of carrying your stuff, not going to make panniers on racks touring disappear..
Panniers and racks will disappear when the old guys (and gals) die off.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Yea just a different way of carrying your stuff, not going to make panniers on racks touring disappear..

the racing each other touring folks doing the transamerica trail route, in june, seem to favor the bikepacking luggage, for its aerodynamic advantages.

front bag fits, just between your handlebars, rear bag in your slipstream ..

....
True, but the principles of bikepacking shouldn't be looked on as a fad either. Almost all early bike touring used HB rolls as standard kit and a lot used frame bags, including the Swiss and American Army corps.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:59 AM
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Stay in Hotels and you wont need any camping gear at all , stay through 3 seasons camping , hostelling , B&B, that might need more kit.










...

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-12-18 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 04-12-18, 10:02 AM
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Sure, if that's your thing.
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Old 04-12-18, 10:32 AM
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i always thought bike packing is strictly camping while touring, while bike touring is touring and staying at hotels or people's homes such as using couchsurfer or warmshowers. and mostly being supported by someone else (typically a service you pay for). while bikepacking is not supported (or self supported) touring.

but i guess that's wrong?
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Old 04-12-18, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Stay in Hotels and you wont need any camping gear at all
That's great if you're credit card touring. The idea of bikepacking IS to get out in the woods and countryside to explore. I don't think you will find bikepackers looking for turndown service and continental breakfast, imho. Anything good on two wheels is great, cheers.
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Old 04-12-18, 10:39 AM
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Touring is touring. Bike packing is bike packing. No renames. Bike packing may be new and hip...but for manufacturers what it is mostly is more markets to sell product into that piggy-backs on the surge in the "adventure bike" market. In other words, it provides one solution to the manufacturer's question of how do we sell more of the same(similar) stuff to the same people? (think, 'remastered/remixed' CDs of that same album you've had since it came out in vinyl so long ago, then bought the CD, then the remastered CD, then the hi-res digital download.........all on the same product..though if you're young..you haven't realized all this yet..you will at some point..maybe)

This is not to say that bike packing isn't fun..but, like many things, it's another niche-market to sell specialized (aka higher priced) product into once traditional niche-markets..like touring panniers..become commoditized.

That's the money end of it..of course one can hang all kinds of other fruit on the tree if they choose to.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by snow_echo_NY View Post
i always thought bike packing is strictly camping while touring, while bike touring is touring and staying at hotels or people's homes such as using couchsurfer or warmshowers. and mostly being supported by someone else (typically a service you pay for). while bikepacking is not supported (or self supported) touring.

but i guess that's wrong?
There is no hard and fast definition, but that's generally accepted as incorrect. Bike 'touring' was huge in the 70's, camping, road riding, a bit of gravel, short denim shorts, tall white socks, panniers and the whole deal, much before the Bikepacking term was used.
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