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Backpack on Bike

Old 11-05-13, 05:17 PM
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milesofsmiles
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Backpack on Bike

I want to started traveling with my bike (26" full suspension mountain bike) and my large 38" tall backpack next spring. I am looking for a way to hall the pack. I have come up with one idea and that is to make or buy a cart (one or two wheels) to pull behind the bike. I figure that would keep the weight low to the ground so as not to effect the balance of the bike so much. Does any one here know of a good premade or homemade one or a better idea?
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Old 11-05-13, 05:48 PM
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Something like this are used by some. Used quite successfully I understand. Or this. Or this. Something for all pocket books.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 11-05-13 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 11-05-13, 06:02 PM
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milesofsmiles
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Cyclebum, I like these. And this, an interesting use of old bike parts, http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ed=0CHwQ9QEwAg.
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Old 11-05-13, 06:22 PM
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Burly Travoy http://www.burley.com/page_12208/Tra...mute%20Trailer

though the suspension single wheel BoB, is good too .. the rear axle is the mount point.

http://www.biketrailershop.com/bob-i...er-p-1365.html

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-05-13 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 11-05-13, 06:25 PM
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At mentioned, the Burley Travoy. I bought one and reviewed it.

http://www.280dude.com/2013/04/24/oobe-burley-travoy/

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Old 11-05-13, 06:26 PM
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And what you are wanting to do is exactly what I do when I bike camp. I put my normal backpack on there, lash it down, and ride like the wind.
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Old 11-05-13, 10:07 PM
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A touring friend noted that when fighting headwinds in Kansas, the folks with trailers did far better than the ones with panniers. Something to do with aerodynamics. Who'd a thought.
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Old 11-06-13, 09:07 AM
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Why have the extra weight and hassle of the trailer...the backpack is meant to be worn on the back. You'd be amazed at how comfortable it is. I've used the backpack on both of my previous trips. The only time I wouldn't want to use it is during the winter months up north. I don't want anything on my back to trap heat in during the cold winter months. When the pack is properly loaded it rides very comfortably on the back.
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Old 11-06-13, 04:39 PM
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Thanks for the input, lots of good ideas. I like the Burley Travoy and the BOB Ibex Bike Cargo Trailer the best so far.

bikenh, I hear where coming from man but I have questions about hauling it on the back, three things, center of gravity, load shift and the bag hitting low things like tree limbs. I want to ride the trails at least part of the time with the pack, that's why I'm thinking of a one wheeled trailer, and low hanging limbs could be a problem. The top of my pack sits about eight inches above my head and that's with out the top bar extended all the way up. Trying to judge this in the woods or being able to lean forward enough to miss a limb could be a challenge. I can just see me flat on my butt on the trail because I misjudged something. Am I over thinking it?
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Old 11-06-13, 06:09 PM
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http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/bi...ring-trailers/ , here's a good link.
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Old 11-07-13, 12:01 PM
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For off road riding...NO, I don't think I would want to b wearing the pack if I as riding of road. The only thing would be to make sure you have decent tires on the trailer and hopefully a pump that will work with both the bike and trailer tires.

As for the center of gravity. I love the backpack on the back. If you have it packed correctly..heaviest items on the bottom, once you put the pack on it fits like a glove. It doesn't swing any at all as long as you have the waist belt and sternum strap reasonably tight. Like I said, it fits like a glove. Running errands locally I've had over 50 pounds in the backpack and rode home with it and it rides like a charm. The big plus comes when you run into an area of high curbs, nothing can beat the backpack for clearance. It happened to me last year in Hagarstown, MD. I was REAL glad to have the backpack and not rack and pain in the arses. I had full maneuverability(sp?) to work may way through traffic that was badly backed up thanks to a fatal car accident on I-81.
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Old 11-07-13, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
For off road riding...NO, I don't think I would want to b wearing the pack if I as riding of road. The only thing would be to make sure you have decent tires on the trailer and hopefully a pump that will work with both the bike and trailer tires.

As for the center of gravity. I love the backpack on the back. If you have it packed correctly..heaviest items on the bottom, once you put the pack on it fits like a glove. It doesn't swing any at all as long as you have the waist belt and sternum strap reasonably tight. Like I said, it fits like a glove. Running errands locally I've had over 50 pounds in the backpack and rode home with it and it rides like a charm. The big plus comes when you run into an area of high curbs, nothing can beat the backpack for clearance. It happened to me last year in Hagarstown, MD. I was REAL glad to have the backpack and not rack and pain in the arses. I had full maneuverability(sp?) to work may way through traffic that was badly backed up thanks to a fatal car accident on I-81.
This is an unusual POV. Most serious people would say that anything on the back should be avoided while cycling for any time or distance. And certainly while touring.

I used a BOB Yak for several multi-month tours and it worked great. Heavier than rack/panniers but less wind resistance. Best yet go rackless - if you can fit all the stuff you want/need to bring.
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Old 11-07-13, 01:13 PM
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If the weight was reasonable, I would far rather have a backpack on my back when riding trails, than pull a trailer. That thing is going to be out there like an anchor. Lets say you had to hop a 5" log. Not a big deal with a pack, Not going to happen with a trailer.

But in every other application I can think of I want a trailer, or I want panniers. Panniers are still the best option. There is no advantage to carrying the weight on your body, physically. Imagine that you have a heavy briefcase, would you rather ride with it hanging from one arm, or well secured on a rack. Control aisde. Obviously holding the weight of the case in your hand is vastly more tiring. In fact, the main efficiency that comes from riding a bike is that one does it sitting down. Would you tour without a seat. Same principle.

As far as Kansas is concerned you are better off if you have panniers and you are going down wind, granted that rarely happens. In the day, they used to say that the tailwind panniers actually faired the bike. That always sounded like a stretch to me, but I do think it is something to think about before you splash out for the 4500 cu in per bag, 900 pocket job. I would like to bring the tailwind idea back, and have a number of ideas for taking it to the next level. Too many project, not to mention, posts.

The whole thing takes on a different aspect if you carry an ultralite pack. It is no longer all that heavy on ones back, a bit like what one carries around town, and it is small enough it can go on a rack if need be:

http://www.rayjardine.com/adventures...Bike/index.htm

The biking action starts around page 55, if I recall correctly.
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Old 11-07-13, 01:15 PM
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This is where Tailwind is today. It is used on recumbents. It used to be a 4 bag set for touring bikes.

http://www.angletechcycles.com/asset...s/techwind.htm

There are some solid options that are pretty aero, though most of them are also aero from behind, which is a mixed blessing.

Trailers are often quite heavy, heavier than most racks, and they have unique rolling resistance issues, and braking issues. A good product but not better than racks on all fronts.

Last edited by MassiveD; 11-07-13 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 11-07-13, 08:42 PM
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If you're thinking you'd like to have the backpack with you for hiking, the Burley Travoy seems like it'd make the most sense. The Travoy would be ideal for situations where you want to ride your bike to a hiking trailhead lock up the bike out of sight and then go backpacking.

If you're not planning on using the backpack for hiking but are planning on riding off road, you might want to look into bikepacking systems.

I think panniers are the ideal for road tours, but trailers work also.

Found this on the BF archives. Looks like trrubicon06
has made a homemade version of the Travoy.

Last edited by mtnbud; 11-07-13 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 11-08-13, 02:40 PM
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mtnbud, If you're thinking you'd like to have the backpack with you for hiking, the Burley Travoy seems like it'd make the most sense. The Travoy would be ideal for situations where you want to ride your bike to a hiking trailhead lock up the bike out of sight and then go backpacking.
That's exactly what I'm thinking. Thanks for the links, I like the homemade Travoy. I was considering doing some thing like that.
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Old 11-08-13, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
If the weight was reasonable, I would far rather have a backpack on my back when riding trails, than pull a trailer. That thing is going to be out there like an anchor. Lets say you had to hop a 5" log. Not a big deal with a pack, Not going to happen with a trailer.

But in every other application I can think of I want a trailer, or I want panniers. Panniers are still the best option. There is no advantage to carrying the weight on your body, physically. Imagine that you have a heavy briefcase, would you rather ride with it hanging from one arm, or well secured on a rack. Control aisde. Obviously holding the weight of the case in your hand is vastly more tiring. In fact, the main efficiency that comes from riding a bike is that one does it sitting down. Would you tour without a seat. Same principle.
Agreed on jumping a log, a trailer wouldn't be ideal.

When it comes to riding with a pack on the back the difference is the pack is on the body and it moves right in line with the body. It doesn't sway from side to side when you stand to climb. It stays right in place on the back. It doesn't affect swaying the bike side to side for climbing either. Go out and try it. Pack the pack correctly, put it on and go ride, stand up to climb and sway the bike. I think you will be quite surprised how comfortable it is and how easy it is to ride with a pack on the back even with 35 pounds in the pack. The only thing you notice after riding a few days is the that you aren't use to riding with the extra weight on your ass. Remember the pack is on the body so now your body weight increases but however much weight you have in the pack. You have that much extra body weight being pulled down onto the saddle with each and every pedal stroke. Yes, you'll have a sweaty back, but your going to have that anyways if you are riding a bike anytime other than during the dead of winter.

I fess I have been looking into homemade versions of the bikepacking philosophy. The reasons I'm looking is for waterproof packing and to reduce the weight the packing device itself. Right now I've been experimenting with the idea of using plastic canister(44-60 oz Animal Crackers/Pretzels/etc). They are waterproof, I don't need any dry bags/stuff sacks. The plastic canisters weighs far less than the backpack and I can attach then right behind the seat and keep them off the legs. I have several other ideas for hooking them up to the bike and just have to find what works the best for me.

I can't use a standard bike rack on my bike and I have used a bike trailer before. I built one right as I was changing over and going carless back in the spring of 2010. In October that year the trailer got stolen after I had a spill, I missed a hole in the pavement with the bike, but not with the trailer. The bolt connecting the two together broke and I had to leave the trailer and go grab a new bolt. By the time I got back, the second time(first hardware store didn't have one), the trailer was going. By the end of the 2010/11 winter I was VERY glad the trailer got stolen. I know I would have been trying to be stupid and use it for running errands that winter instead of being smart and just using a daypack. That taught me the value of using the day/backpacks for hauling stuff around versus using trailers.
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Old 11-17-13, 03:01 PM
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I bought one of these today http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Fixed-Cas...71161256414%26 at Harbor Freight to make my bike trailer. I looked at a used 20" bmx bike to use the wheel and front forks to make it but I chose this instead. I don't know if it will have more cushion than the bmx tire or not but it's smaller round so I am thinking it will help keep the size of the trailer smaller. I will to build it with enough ground clearance. I would have bought just the tire and that kind of hub and made my own axle but they don't sell them that way. It weighs five pounds, don't know it that would have been more, less or the same as the 20" bike tire and forks.

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Old 11-17-13, 06:22 PM
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If you haven't thought of it already, I'd recommend considering panniers and taking along a day pack. I use that set-up and use the day pack as a sort of pannier strapped to the top of the rear rack. When bikepacking, I generally have a base-camp of sorts and do hikes out from there during the day.
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