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Can a bike be a Hexamid tent pole/

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Can a bike be a Hexamid tent pole/

Old 05-06-11, 06:16 AM
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Can a bike be a Hexamid tent pole/

Hey Folks: Anyone use their bike as a tent pole. In efforts to go as ultra-lite as possible I have been looking at the Hexamid tent. The tent and stakes weigh 12oz I am hoping to eliminate the pole. Looks to be a single pole in the front. I ride a touring bike and don't want to turn it upside down due to the brakes. I don't use a kickstand. I'm thinking the bike is not that stable without the tent so how can it be stable holding up the tent. Remove the front wheel perhaps? I know I'm splitting hairs over the weight of a pole but trying to get lighter than my commuting setup Check out the tent and see if you can find a solution. One suggestion from the ultralight guys was to get the tent maker to add a loop for the bike. Not certain how that will help but am pursuing it. Thanks Charlie
Here's the tent
https://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid.shtml
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Old 05-06-11, 07:05 AM
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Sounds like a bad idea. The bike would essentially be inside the tent with you, taking up the already small space. And if you set up your tent and then want to ride to the store/beach/shower house/whatever, then you have to collapse your tent. Plus, I don't understand how you get the bike to stand up, right side up, with no kickstand.

Also, there are so many things excluded from the weight they list - is it really that much lighter than a regular super light one person tent, like the Big Agnes Fly Creek for example? the net floor sounds pretty bad too - I doubt that would hold up very long.
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Old 05-06-11, 07:39 AM
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not that tent, but i've used a bike with a kickstand as a tarp support.

you could get and carry a click-stand, turn the bike into a tripod, and hang it off that.

I'm working on an extension to raise a pole off a bike parked with a click-stand to use it for a larger pyramid tent.
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Old 05-06-11, 08:18 AM
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I wouldn't do it...

Zpacks actually sells poles for their tents that are very light--no reason not to get them.

https://www.zpacks.com/accessories/tent_pole.shtml
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Old 05-06-11, 08:19 AM
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I take that back...I guess they've recently discontinued them. You may want to email Joe and ask if he has any suggestions for alternatives. He's really easy to deal with and usually responds very quickly.
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Old 05-06-11, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
Sounds like a bad idea. The bike would essentially be inside the tent with you, taking up the already small space. And if you set up your tent and then want to ride to the store/beach/shower house/whatever, then you have to collapse your tent. Plus, I don't understand how you get the bike to stand up, right side up, with no kickstand.

Also, there are so many things excluded from the weight they list - is it really that much lighter than a regular super light one person tent, like the Big Agnes Fly Creek for example? the net floor sounds pretty bad too - I doubt that would hold up very long.
The weight I stated(tent/stakes) is everything I was hoping to use. I will include very lightweight ground cloth 1.5oz. So the entire deal is less than 1 pound(12-14oz). I believe the BA goes 2+lbs so a saving of ~1.4lbs plus it packs much smaller. I am also hoping to get away from racks and panniers. The mesh floor has me a little concern but the reviews seem all positive. Reviewers were also afraid of that but the floor had no problems. The bike used as a pole might be a bad idea for the reasons you stated. Once I make camp I am usually done for the night and in the wilderness nowhere near a town. Perhaps a kickstand is in order as you and Bikeologist state. I was hoping to keep the bike out of the tent for sure thus my question initially.

Originally Posted by Bekologist
not that tent, but i've used a bike with a kickstand as a tarp support.

you could get and carry a click-stand, turn the bike into a tripod, and hang it off that.

I'm working on an extension to raise a pole off a bike parked with a click-stand to use it for a larger pyramid tent.
You're probably right about the kickstand. I can't see how I can keep most of the bike out of the tent. I like some pictures I have seen turning a bike upside down and tying the wheels to the tarp(they used a mnt bike). I was thinking about removing the front wheel then plant fork"into" the ground! With regards to your setup, how about using a bike pump to extend the bike. I love using a single piece of gear for multiple uses.
Originally Posted by ollyisk
I wouldn't do it...

Zpacks actually sells poles for their tents that are very light--no reason not to get them.

https://www.zpacks.com/accessories/tent_pole.shtml
They had issues with their poles. I have aircraft aluminum TNF poles I could use. I plan to pose this question to him once I hear some feedback from y'all.
Thanks everyone, please post more thoughts. Charlie
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Old 05-06-11, 11:39 AM
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Ti Goat makes CF three part poles of various diameters and lengths that would work with the Hexamid.
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Old 05-06-11, 11:51 AM
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Sorry but the stuff on that site seems like a waste of money and time to me (8 week waiting period for a fricking tarp?). There's tons of lightweight options out there why get that thing. I would get an ultralight 1 person or a bivvy sack. You are on a bike not backpacking, you don't need to count ounces that extreme, even if you are bikepacking.

And am I seeing right? People are paying $55 for what looks like a garbage bag around his waist?

Last edited by Aquakitty; 05-06-11 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-06-11, 11:56 AM
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Don't those have a loop on top to throw a line over a tree branch to support the canopy?
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Old 05-06-11, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty
Sorry but the stuff on that site seems like a waste of money and time to me (8 week waiting period for a fricking tarp?). There's tons of lightweight options out there why get that thing. I would get an ultralight 1 person or a bivvy sack. You are on a bike not backpacking, you don't need to count ounces that extreme, even if you are bikepacking.

And am I seeing right? People are paying $55 for what looks like a garbage bag around his waist?
A lot of UL companies are small "cottage" businesses, run by one or two people. Joe, of zpacks, is known for making extremely high quality stuff, with a nice warranty behind it--there's a reason he has an 8 week wait for his shelters and packs.

The "garbage bag" you're referring to is made of cuben fiber, which is extremely light weight, mostly waterproof, and tough. The downside is that the raw material is quite expensive. Zpacks pricing is very reasonable.

Think of bigger companies as fast food, and smaller companies as fine dining. Bigger companies have lots of stock on hand, and can send out your tent in a business day, while a lot of these lesser-known companies make your stuff after you order it because they can't afford to make 500 tents up front. Plus these are made completely in the USA.

If you think that's crazy, go over to backpackinglight.com and check out peoples' gear lists--the UL backpacking market is very niche, but people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to save a few extra ounces here and there, and a lot of people there are willing to forego things you'd probably find essential in the name of a few grams.

In fact, the UL crowd is not much different than weight weenies in the cycling world. Touring is a unique beast because touring bikes, by nature, aren't necessarily built with weight savings in mind, and most people who tour aren't concerned with the weight of their bicycle, so long as it's dependable. However, while their bikes may weigh a lot, most bike tourists don't want to lug around a 10 pound Coleman tent on their tour and are looking for light weight solutions.
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Old 05-06-11, 12:50 PM
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The tent pole is inside the tent when the zipper is shut, so your bike wouldn't work. Also if you use your bike as part of any tent structure you don't have use of it after you set up camp. How do you go for groceries, cycle to the shower house in a park, sight see in the area your camping in???
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Old 05-06-11, 12:51 PM
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Oh, forgot to say I have this tent, it's awsome!
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Old 05-06-11, 06:20 PM
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I've used a bike to set up a square tarp in a kind of flying diamond shape; the front wheel was removed and the low rider rack was staked to the ground, then the saddle was used at the pole for the head end, with the front wheel at the bottom. It actually worked out very nicely; My fiancée and I had plenty of room to sit up, lots of space for gear, and it kept my bike pretty dry during an unexpected rainstorm (sadly, her bike wasn't so lucky).

I think you could adopt something similar, stake down the wheels with the bike parallel to the tent (or tarp, let's not get in to semantics here) and then run a guyline over the saddle (or through the rails) and into a third stake.
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Old 05-06-11, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty
And am I seeing right? People are paying $55 for what looks like a garbage bag around his waist?
Took me a few minutes to find the garbage bag, but yes, you are seeing it correctly. I don't know that people are paying $55 for the garbage, but he is asking $55 for it.

https://www.zpacks.com/accessories/cloudkilt.shtml

Having joined Aquakitty in the derision, I must now confess that I could see that "kilt" as a useful item paired with lightweight gaiters on long, wet hikes. I am sure I would find it more comfortable than rain pants. Perhaps made of Tyvek or lightweight polytarp, the cost could be brought to $2 for a weight of about 2 to 3oz.
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Old 05-08-11, 07:03 PM
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The cloudkit is kinda funny looking.
But back to my tent: The tent in question will be saving 3.5 lbs which is huge. The pole in question not as huge. I'm seeing backpackers getting under the 5 lbs gear weight(no food or water). My day rides have that much gear. So practicing their methods should significantly lighten the load while keeping comfort in mind.
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Old 05-08-11, 07:19 PM
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I'd say just pony up for the CF pole. It's 1.5 ounces, well worth any space savings and convenience of sticking your bike inside.

Oh, and try to lose about 10 pounds before you go on your trip, assuming you aren't already at the lowest possible healthy weight. Unlike UL backpacking, it doesn't matter if you cut weight from your gear or your waistline....
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Old 05-08-11, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie
Hey Folks: Anyone use their bike as a tent pole. In efforts to go as ultra-lite as possible I have been looking at the Hexamid tent. The tent and stakes weigh 12oz I am hoping to eliminate the pole. Looks to be a single pole in the front. I ride a touring bike and don't want to turn it upside down due to the brakes. I don't use a kickstand. I'm thinking the bike is not that stable without the tent so how can it be stable holding up the tent. Remove the front wheel perhaps? I know I'm splitting hairs over the weight of a pole but trying to get lighter than my commuting setup Check out the tent and see if you can find a solution. One suggestion from the ultralight guys was to get the tent maker to add a loop for the bike. Not certain how that will help but am pursuing it. Thanks Charlie
Here's the tent
https://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid.shtml


Why not just make a different tent pole every night out of a tree branch, then toss it in the morning?
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Old 05-08-11, 07:44 PM
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I have used my bike as a support in the past without a kickstand. All you have to do is lock up the front brake and guy the seat down like a radio mast. I used some webbing to tie down the front brake lever. Then I tied a clove hitch around the saddle rails and guyed down each side to tent pegs. The bike was as stable as a rock. If your tarp is tight enough, the tension in the tarp might be enough to lock the bike in place.

If you get a quick release seat post clamp you could probably jack the seat up to get a reasonable amount of clearance inside your tarp.

For ultralight camping, it is hard to beat a hammock though.
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Old 05-08-11, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan The Man
For ultralight camping, it is hard to beat a hammock though.
Depends, in a hammock you still need top and bottom insulation, like in a tent, and you still need protection from the rain, only you also need something to keep you off the ground. The basic 9X9 tarp that just covers my hammock is a palace for two set up on the ground. Hammocks are great, they are really comfy and a lot of fun, but when I want to really count grams, I leave mine at home.
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Old 05-09-11, 01:22 AM
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Unless I missed something, it sure looks like a fair weather tent, with out any rain experienced, the net floor may hold up well, but what will keep you dry during even a light rain shower? I know I'm not addressing your question, sorry.
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Old 05-09-11, 10:10 PM
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You could add a couple velcro loops under the tarp,that wrap around the toptube,then use the whole tarp as a guy for the bike and tarp.Not as is, with your tarp,but I could see doing something along those lines,with a tarp.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:31 PM
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Then there is this - https://www.topeak.com/products/Tent/Bikamper
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Old 05-11-11, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
All that trouble just to avoid carrying a couple of alum. poles? I don't get it. The tent still weighs over 3-1/2lbs and it's only a 1-man. You could do the same thing with a Hennessy hammock, which is a pound lighter, and still have the option of sleeping in a hammock when convenient.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:54 AM
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I wouldn't wan to get caught in a really bad down pour in that tent so no thank you.
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