Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Help an old tourer understand something

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Help an old tourer understand something

Old 12-04-23, 12:13 PM
  #26  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by robow
I for one will never be a "bike packer", not because it's not cool, but because there is no way in hell that I can swing my leg over that seat pack in order to mount the bike, as I can barely just clear my saddle now. I would have to lean the bike way over and step over the top tube which can't be fun. Ha
I can swing my leg over the seat pack without much issue. If I can’t, I just lift my leg over the top tube. I have to mount my tandem that way. It’s not my favorite but swing a leg over the tandem would probably be frowned upon by my stoker.

I have toured with a couple of individuals who "bike packed" and it seemed that they had every inch of bag space accounted for, such to the point when we stopped at a grocery store to pick up food for that evening's dinner, they had no where to stuff it, so a friend and I carried their food for them to the campground.
That can be an issue. But most of my bikepacking is done in remote areas where I have to carry everything I want or I go without. There aren’t any grocery stores on Hagerman Pass.

​​​​​​​I think it's a great way to go if you're a minimalist, or off road, or you're race touring and want to be more aero. And I do appreciate all the new gear that's getting created for that group, where maybe I can eventually come to make use of some of it.
I use mine for the purpose they were designed for…remote touring. If the roads look like this…



I’m using a mountain bike with suspension and bikepacking bags.


For pavement or even smooth dirt like this


I choose panniers. I prefer panniers but they just don’t work all that well when the going gets rough.

Originally Posted by BobG
At 5'5" a high seat bag would be out of the question for me also. The only way I can mount a bike is cowboy style. Left foot on the pedal for a 4" boost, swing the right leg over from the rear. Same for dismount.
My 5’ tall wife has thrown a leg over the top tube forever. She simply can’t get her leg up high enough to get over the saddle even without anything on it.

​​​​​​​I don't tour on single track. I prefer the weight low and on the side even on rough gravel. I abandoned handlebar bags years ago.
I don’t really tour on single track but that’s just semantics. This is ostensively a “road”. It was so rough even on a full dual suspension bike that I couldn’t ride it much faster than 10 mph on a pretty good downhill. It was about 15 miles of rocks.


I do bikepacking (original meaning) because it lets me go to places where most tourists never go.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 12:44 PM
  #27  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,374
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 464 Times in 246 Posts
Meh. To me anytime you transport yourself and spend the night away it is all touring. Whether is months, or credit card touring, or going to a campground overnight, same same. What bike and how you wanna strap your load, also a big fat whatever.

This guy knows what I'm talking about:

abdon is offline  
Likes For abdon:
Old 12-04-23, 12:57 PM
  #28  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Originally Posted by robow
I for one will never be a "bike packer", not because it's not cool, but because there is no way in hell that I can swing my leg over that seat pack in order to mount the bike, as I can barely just clear my saddle now. I would have to lean the bike way over and step over the top tube which can't be fun. Ha
....
It is not that bad. I described in this post how I get on and off a bike and the reason why I started doing it that way decades ago.
How to dismount a loaded tour bike?

And for my example, I used a horizontal top tube bike which makes it much harder.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 01:08 PM
  #29  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Originally Posted by abdon
Meh. To me anytime you transport yourself and spend the night away it is all touring. Whether is months, or credit card touring, or going to a campground overnight, same same. What bike and how you wanna strap your load, also a big fat whatever.

This guy knows what I'm talking about:

...
Your photo of the Penny Farthing reminded me of a bikepacker I saw in Iceland nine years ago.

But, since he only has one wheel, maybe he was a uni-packer instead of a bikepacker?



He has racks, but no panniers on his single speed, so I would call that ___-packing, not ___-touring
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 12-04-23, 01:22 PM
  #30  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,374
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 464 Times in 246 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Your photo of the Penny Farthing reminded me of a bikepacker I saw in Iceland nine years ago.

But, since he only has one wheel, maybe he was a uni-packer instead of a bikepacker?

He has racks, but no panniers on his single speed, so I would call that ___-packing, not ___-touring
To me anybody who carries all their gear on a bike and go overnight somewhere is touring. The rest is style, not substance. Heck when I was credit card touring Japan I could have packed all my stuff without paneers, the experience would have been 100% the same.
abdon is offline  
Likes For abdon:
Old 12-04-23, 01:28 PM
  #31  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 116 Times in 81 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
My 5’ tall wife has thrown a leg over the top tube forever.
I don't have the flexibility to kick over the top tube. The cowboy mount with 4" pedal height boost is the only way I can do it.

Originally Posted by MarcusT
Seems, in order to call themselves bikepackers, they must avoid rear panniers at all costs.
I had no problem with panniers on Schofield Pass CO (yes, wider tires and suspension would have been nice!) Had road toured all the way from Canada and didn't want to bring a MTB just for one pass.

I did "ride" the entire pass, picking my way up slowly through the rubble. That said, I had to carry the bike across a lingering snowfield up high and come back for the bags. So yes, I actually did some "bikepacking"! Wouldn't want to ride westbound down it on a touring rig though.

Pictured below are old, discontinued "Kangaroo Baggs" panniers. Designed for the 90s MTB crowd to not bounce off. Previously posted at other threads but here it is again ...


Schofield Pass CO

Last edited by BobG; 12-04-23 at 07:45 PM.
BobG is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 01:31 PM
  #32  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Originally Posted by abdon
To me anybody who carries all their gear on a bike and go overnight somewhere is touring. The rest is style, not substance. Heck when I was credit card touring Japan I could have packed all my stuff without paneers, the experience would have been 100% the same.
Noted, not disagreeing.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 05:38 PM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,673

Bikes: N+1=5

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 875 Post(s)
Liked 244 Times in 181 Posts
Originally Posted by rivers
I think it's the perception of some that in order to go bikepacking you must shun panniers at all costs. But more manufacturers are making small "gravel" panniers, and then there are the like of the aeroe spider rack and everything coming out of Tailfin.
I have moved over to Tailfin for everything on the rear of my bike (as well as a few of their other bags), and have restrap front harness/handlebar bag and a custom frame bag.
Prior to getting a Tailfin Aeropack and a selection of their panniers (5 litre mini and 22 litre), i jad a 15 litre saddlebag. But, my bike is only 46cm, so it needed to be packed just right so it didn't bounce off my rear wheel. And it got a bit time consuming packing/re-packing the saddlebag on trips. Enter the Tailfin- it is absolutely rock solid, doesn't move, rattle, sway, etc. I put my tent, cook set, and Microfiber towel in the aeropack and use the 5 litre mini panniers for my clothes (spare set of kit and extra layers on one side, sleeping/camp clothes in the other).
I'm a big fan of Tailfin. We've switched over to mostly Tailfin too for our credit card touring trips. The Aeropack is genius and the racks are awesome. I sort of sense that they're working on some frame bags after they did their top tube bags. I think that with their panniers on the back and then a frame bag below the top tube for some of the heavier stuff, and that would be a really nice setup.
JohnJ80 is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 06:28 PM
  #34  
Senior Member
 
mtnbud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Salem Oregon
Posts: 1,030

Bikes: 2019 Trek Stash 7, 1994 Specialized Epic 1986 Diamondback Ascent 1996 Klein Pulse Comp, 2006 Specialized Sequoia Elite

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
Liked 521 Times in 290 Posts
When I tried using a rear rack offroad, the metal in the rack fatigued and broke. I'd be okay with using a metal rack offroad if I had some kind of guarantee that the rack wouldn't break. I do think bikepacking bags are set up so they're not bouncing and jostling around as much as panniers would be bouncing offroad.
mtnbud is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 06:47 PM
  #35  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 764

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 372 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Your photo of the Penny Farthing reminded me of a bikepacker I saw in Iceland nine years ago.

But, since he only has one wheel, maybe he was a uni-packer instead of a bikepacker?



He has racks, but no panniers on his single speed, so I would call that ___-packing, not ___-touring
I wonder if that's Ed Pratt's, the guy who unicycled around the world. He's made some great videos on YouTube
john m flores is offline  
Old 12-04-23, 09:10 PM
  #36  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Originally Posted by john m flores
I wonder if that's Ed Pratt's, the guy who unicycled around the world. He's made some great videos on YouTube ...
I stopped to see the sights and saw the unicycle leaning against the sign, snapped a couple photos. Then went to take a few photos of the scenery, when I came back to my bike the unicycle was gone. June 19, 2016 in Iceland. I never had a chance to see the rider.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 11:05 AM
  #37  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by mtnbud
When I tried using a rear rack offroad, the metal in the rack fatigued and broke. I'd be okay with using a metal rack offroad if I had some kind of guarantee that the rack wouldn't break. I do think bikepacking bags are set up so they're not bouncing and jostling around as much as panniers would be bouncing offroad.
Get a better rack. An aluminum one isn’t going to last long. A steel one like a Tubus, on the other hand, is certainly up to the job.

That said, the bouncing around of a pannier off-road is going to put a lot of stress on the pannier hardware which is another point of failure. With all the warts that bikepacking gear has…and they have a lot of warts…they do well for their intended purpose. I like to say that bikepacking gear is the best of the bad solutions for off-road touring.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!




Last edited by cyccommute; 12-05-23 at 11:14 AM.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 12-05-23, 11:39 AM
  #38  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
That said, the bouncing around of a pannier off-road is going to put a lot of stress on the pannier hardware which is another point of failure.
Some things can be done to reduce the bouncing around.

I've installed an extra lower hook to my four ortlieb panniers (bike packers at the rear and sport packers up front) and two extra upper hooks each to the rear panniers).
I added neoprene tubing to the rack rods to which the panniers attach for a snug fit.
I also added some adhesive foam pads between pannier and rack wherever there was still some movement.

Probably doesn't do much for overall stress on the racks, but gets rid of percussive type stress and the rattles that go with it.

Ortlieb make it easy by selling extra parts.

One day I'll get a steel rack, when I can afford it. I'm very limited in choices for the front since I have to be able to remove the front wheel to park my bike in my appartment stairwell, not to mention that I have a suspension fork.
Paul_P is offline  
Likes For Paul_P:
Old 12-05-23, 12:01 PM
  #39  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
Some things can be done to reduce the bouncing around.

I've installed an extra lower hook to my four ortlieb panniers (bike packers at the rear and sport packers up front) and two extra upper hooks each to the rear panniers).
I added neoprene tubing to the rack rods to which the panniers attach for a snug fit.
I also added some adhesive foam pads between pannier and rack wherever there was still some movement.
The issue isn’t necessarily the panniers “moving around”. The contact points…rank hooks and lower attachments…that are the weak point. On Ortliebs, the rack hooks and lower attachment are just plastic that really can’t take too much stress. On the road, the bike and, more importantly, the panniers aren’t bouncing around a lot so the plastic hooks are adequate. Off-road, the load in the panniers is constantly bouncing up and down which unloads and then loads the hooks. It wouldn’t take too long to start cracking those hooks. I use Ortliebs QL1 anchor on my panniers and have found them bouncing out of especially the front on gravel roads and bumps. Someone used to make a metal hook with a locking mechanism for the upper attachment (can’t remember who) which would be better but most panniers now have plastic fasteners which are just fine for smooth travel.

Probably doesn't do much for overall stress on the racks, but gets rid of percussive type stress and the rattles that go with it.

Ortlieb make it easy by selling extra parts.
Ortlieb does a very good job of maintaining parts for which I’m thankful. However, if I’m half way down a rocky jeep road 30 miles from the nearest cluster of cabins, that doesn’t do me much good. Bikepacking bags are going to handle the job better. Again, I’m not huge fan of bikepacking gear and would prefer to use panniers but I’ve used panniers in the past and they have fatal flaws for off-road use.

​​​​​​​One day I'll get a steel rack, when I can afford it. I'm very limited in choices for the front since I have to be able to remove the front wheel to park my bike in my appartment stairwell, not to mention that I have a suspension fork.
Fork leg bags are a solution to front suspension and carrying stuff. They do have the same problem as low rider panniers, however. They can scrap on stuff. I wore a hole in them on a particularly rugged trail.


__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 12-05-23, 02:10 PM
  #40  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Since we are getting down to the details of Ortlieb hooks, on my front panniers on a Tara rack, the Tara has unusually large diameter tubing. And I made it worse by putting plastic hose over the tubing to prevent chaffing. So I made some aluminum bar stock hooks for the lower hooks, 3/4 X 1/8 inch aluminum and stretched some innertube rubber over the aluminum.



In the photo above, that was after two weeks of touring and the electrical tape I put over the hose to keep it in place was coming unglued, next time will put some small zip ties over the tape. Slit the hose lengthwise so I can put it over the tube.

One of my DIY hooks is below.

Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 02:38 PM
  #41  
Punk Rock Lives
 
Roughstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Throughout the west in a van, on my bike, and in the forest
Posts: 3,305

Bikes: Long Haul Trucker with BRIFTERS!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 39 Posts
Photos photos photos! You can never have too many photos! Keep 'em coming.
Roughstuff is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 04:14 PM
  #42  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Photos photos photos! You can never have too many photos! Keep 'em coming.
Say no more. These are from various trips I’ve made.


Cripple Creek. Trip detailed in Gold Fever. Rode from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek to Cañon City back to Colorado Springs via Cripple Creek.


A trip into deep south eastern Colorado. Picture Canyon is almost to the Colorado/Kansas/Oklahoma line. In fact, the Colorado/Oklahoma border is only about a mile south of this point. I was going to ride from Picture Canyon to Carrizo Canyon which is about 40 miles. Unfortunately, the “trail” is a suggestion at best and it took way too long to find my way out of Picture Canyon. Will try it again someday.



Hagerman Pass. Rode from Frisco, CO to Leadville to Glenwood Springs.



Weston Pass. Fairplay to Buena Vista.



Crested Butte. Gunnison to Crested Butte to Carbondale to Glenwood Springs.



Rollins Pass. Winter Park to Boulder.



Cowboy Trail in Nebraska.



My very first “bikepacking trip” although we didn’t call it that then. 1984. Rode from Rollinsville over to Winter Park to Dillion to Woodland Park and back to Denver.

__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 12-05-23, 04:20 PM
  #43  
No Pain, No Pizza
 
Thigh Master's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Above Jamestown, CO
Posts: 297

Bikes: 2015 Tarmac Pro Disc, '99 Burley Duet, '10 Velo Vie Vitesse 300R, '94 Trek 2120, '90 Cannondale SR 600, '79 Ross Super Gran Tour, '76 Raleigh Record

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 23 Posts
Great topic. CYCLINGABOUT has a decent YouTube on this…
Thigh Master is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 07:02 PM
  #44  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 28 Posts
I can't get my head around having so much weight above the wheels in the bikepacking setup. I get that any lower down and you'll hit rocks and roots and stuff, but in tough, narrow conditions where nimble control is paramount the last thing you want is a high center of gravity.

I did many trial day runs with my 4-pannier, 1-handlebar bar bag equipped montain bike with a lot of weight in the panniers and the bike rode pretty well (bike path and mostly smooth gravel). I actually preferred the slower steering up front. Before setting out on a real run, I added maybe 8 lbs of food and a couple of light things on top of my rear rack not thinking that the extra weight would make that much of a difference overall being a small percentage increase in total weight. When I set out I couldn't believe how bad the back swayed. It was awful and disheartening. I admit I was carrying way too much overall and will be paring down quite a bit, but that weight placed above the wheels made a huge difference.

So the bikepacking setup may be necessary to be able to get to where you wouln't be able to otherwise, but handling must be awful.
Paul_P is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 07:44 PM
  #45  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,210
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 969 Times in 792 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
I can't get my head around having so much weight above the wheels in the bikepacking setup. I get that any lower down and you'll hit rocks and roots and stuff, but in tough, narrow conditions where nimble control is paramount the last thing you want is a high center of gravity.

I did many trial day runs with my 4-pannier, 1-handlebar bar bag equipped montain bike with a lot of weight in the panniers and the bike rode pretty well (bike path and mostly smooth gravel). I actually preferred the slower steering up front. Before setting out on a real run, I added maybe 8 lbs of food and a couple of light things on top of my rear rack not thinking that the extra weight would make that much of a difference overall being a small percentage increase in total weight. When I set out I couldn't believe how bad the back swayed. It was awful and disheartening. I admit I was carrying way too much overall and will be paring down quite a bit, but that weight placed above the wheels made a huge difference.

So the bikepacking setup may be necessary to be able to get to where you wouln't be able to otherwise, but handling must be awful.
Not at all, I'd say the main reason is not having that much weight overall. My bike has dropbars and it still handles really well on single track.
djb is online now  
Old 12-05-23, 11:15 PM
  #46  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 765 Post(s)
Liked 615 Times in 343 Posts
Some interesting posts here and completely agree about not wanting panniers when riding trails for clearance, but what about those who never leave the road?

Is there a purpose or is it just fashion?
MarcusT is offline  
Old 12-05-23, 11:33 PM
  #47  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
I can't get my head around having so much weight above the wheels in the bikepacking setup. I get that any lower down and you'll hit rocks and roots and stuff, but in tough, narrow conditions where nimble control is paramount the last thing you want is a high center of gravity.
Nimble handling doesn’t mean anything if your bike is being stopped by those rocks and roots grabbing stuff hanging off your bike. My picture from Picture Canyon is one where I used fork legs and it happened to be the closest trail I’ve done. “Trail” is probably too specific for the route that I was attempting to follow. The post in the picture below is the way that they mark the “trail” and you can see that the trail kind of disappears.


The faint path is the established trail.



You can see the trail and marker below. Behind me, the trail just kind of disappeared.


And the picture I originally posted was the actual trail. I eventually found that I could follow cow paths and get more of where I needed to get to. The fork bags dragged everywhere and eventually wore a hole in them. While they were bad, panniers would have been worse.

I did many trial day runs with my 4-pannier, 1-handlebar bar bag equipped montain bike with a lot of weight in the panniers and the bike rode pretty well (bike path and mostly smooth gravel). I actually preferred the slower steering up front. Before setting out on a real run, I added maybe 8 lbs of food and a couple of light things on top of my rear rack not thinking that the extra weight would make that much of a difference overall being a small percentage increase in total weight. When I set out I couldn't believe how bad the back swayed. It was awful and disheartening. I admit I was carrying way too much overall and will be paring down quite a bit, but that weight placed above the wheels made a huge difference.

So the bikepacking setup may be necessary to be able to get to where you wouln't be able to otherwise, but handling must be awful.
Handling isn’t great. The yard sale picture in post 6 is far too common for me in off-road touring. Even when I am aware of the problems, endos keep catching me off guard. But it’s better than just about any other alternative.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 12-05-23, 11:39 PM
  #48  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,203 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by MarcusT
Some interesting posts here and completely agree about not wanting panniers when riding trails for clearance, but what about those who never leave the road?

Is there a purpose or is it just fashion?
That’s the point where it gets silly. You are trading a reasonable low center of gravity, ease of packing, ease of moving the luggage off the bike, ease of mounting the panniers on the bike, and improved handling for a bit better aerodynamics in a situation where you really don’t need better aerodynamics. If you need to go that much faster, why not just have someone follow you around in a sag wagon. As I say about most large group sponsored “tours”, they are too much de France and not enough Tour. It’s not a race.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 12-06-23, 06:25 AM
  #49  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,177

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3453 Post(s)
Liked 1,452 Times in 1,131 Posts
Originally Posted by MarcusT
Some interesting posts here and completely agree about not wanting panniers when riding trails for clearance, but what about those who never leave the road?

Is there a purpose or is it just fashion?
I met a couple from Utah when I was in Iceland. They were touring with bikepacking gear on their road bikes for two weeks. And they clearly were very minimalistic in their packing.





Their bikes were Ritchey Break Away frames, so they could pack the bikes in small cases. This trip for them would have cost $300 more each if they had to pay the oversize fees that Delta charged at that time if they did not have coupled bikes.

My point is that not only was their luggage minimalist, the packed bike luggage was minimalist at the airport too.

***

And I know a gal that was trying to figure out how to set up her bike for a week long credit card tour, she asked me about front panniers. I suggested she try the anything cages on her fork instead since she was looking at only a tiny volume. That is what she did. No racks on her bike. She later ditched the bikepacking saddlebag and went with a Carradice Nelson Longflap saddle bag.

Speaking of the Nelson Longflap, someone on this forum has toured with very minimalist camping gear, I think it is Nun?
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 12-06-23, 06:55 AM
  #50  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 764

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 372 Posts
Met this fellow last year as he was riding cross country in about 6 weeks, a healthy pace. He stuck mostly to asphalt but was using bikepacking bags.

john m flores is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.