Bikepacking the Waterous Trail - A Revisit

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I have been wanting to put my new Tubus Swing front rack on my Giant XTC 2 to the test and also to try out the Extrawheel Voyager behind the XTC 2 so I took the opportunity to revisit the Waterous Trail in October 2012 with rifraf from the Australian Cycling Forums. We completed the trail over two days, overnighting at the Bidjar Ngoulin campsite on the Munda Biddi Trail. In all honesty the Waterous Trail could be completed as a one day ride of about 63 km. That said, it was a nice easy get away into the bush for a couple of days.

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The ride write-up can be found in my blog at Aushiker.com

Regards
Andrew
 

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Location
Brighton
Nice read Aushiker. I take it the bike, trailer and kit stood up to the test okay?
 
Nice read Aushiker. I take it the bike, trailer and kit stood up to the test okay?
Thanks and yes, well with the qualification that the stupidity of the rider managed to cause some damage to my Tarptent Scarp 1 . I didn't stow the tent properly on the Extrawheel's Upper Rack and it managed to slide down to rub on the rear tyre. Being a knobbly and myself taking way to long to register what was going on resulted in the stuff sack taking a hit and the fly of the tent also getting a small hole; thankfully at the bottom of the fly so not a big issue.

I am not overly impressed with the Upper Rack but also should really use much tighter straps, e.g., short ocky straps.

Andrew
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
Thanks and yes, well with the qualification that the stupidity of the rider managed to cause some damage to my Tarptent Scarp 1 . I didn't stow the tent properly on the Extrawheel's Upper Rack and it managed to slide down to rub on the rear tyre. Being a knobbly and myself taking way to long to register what was going on resulted in the stuff sack taking a hit and the fly of the tent also getting a small hole; thankfully at the bottom of the fly so not a big issue.

I am not overly impressed with the Upper Rack but also should really use much tighter straps, e.g., short ocky straps.

Andrew
I don't think these Tubus Swing racks are any good. You want weight on the front to be low down NOT high up as Tubus think you should have it which makes CoG very high, fail. The only down side to low loaders on front is ground clearance but then again you aren't realistically going to be jumping over or around rocks with a full set of 4 panniers and bar bag on your bike. Well you shouldn't be .................

I see from your pics Aushiker that you don't actually have rear panniers on your bike choosing to have them on the extra wheel instead. Why? This does seem a little bizarre IMHO.

The extra rear wheel to carry gear looks an interesting idea on paper but does it work in practice? Are there any problems with weaving, braking or cornering at speed say descending a steep mountain pass? But then again it is better to simply carry less stuff. Simples.
 
I don't think these Tubus Swing racks are any good. ... The only down side to low loaders on front is ground clearance but then again you aren't realistically going to be jumping over or around rocks with a full set of 4 panniers and bar bag on your bike. Well you shouldn't be .................
I can only comment from my limited experience so far with the Tubus Swing and it is stayer for me at this stage given my bikepacking use. Even on the single-track and on the rutted out climbs (8 to 10% grades) it made a difference to the handling of the bike, by having some weight up front. That said I did find it preferable having the front suspension locked as this helped reduce further the front bounce, particularly on the steep climbs in the pea gravel when the back wheel spins.

I see from your pics Aushiker that you don't actually have rear panniers on your bike choosing to have them on the extra wheel instead. Why? This does seem a little bizarre IMHO.
I really have no idea as to why it is a "little bizarre" but I am more than happy with the trailer. It works. I really don't seen the point in trying to get a rear rack fitted to the bike when it has no provision for one; more so when I already have the trailer for road touring as well as bikepacking. I could go with a Freeloader I guess but they don't seem to be available anywhere now that Thule has brought them out. I may go down that path in the future but since I have the trailer and it works it is a low priority idea.

BTW prior to the Extrawheel Voyager I used a BOB Ibex behind this bike. That worked well too.

The extra rear wheel to carry gear looks an interesting idea on paper but does it work in practice? Are there any problems with weaving, braking or cornering at speed say descending a steep mountain pass? But then again it is better to simply carry less stuff. Simples.
Cannot comment on mountain passes; we don't have them here but so far I have found it handles very well both on the road and off the road. I generally forget about it until I have to man-handle the bike over a log or ten but even then it is not a significant hassle.

Carrying less stuff is not always so possible here as often we don't have shops readily available nor water. I have carried 35 + litres at times for example. On this particular ride it was not really loaded up by any means. The panniers where not full with the exception of one stuffed with my bulky quilt.

So far and I have done over 3,000 km with the Extrawheel Voyager on bitumen, dirt roads, single-track, rutted out forresty roads, over logs and rocks and it was performed well so happy to stick with it. Your experience of course may be different.

Andrew
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
I can only comment from my limited experience so far with the Tubus Swing and it is stayer for me at this stage given my bikepacking use. Even on the single-track and on the rutted out climbs (8 to 10% grades) it made a difference to the handling of the bike, by having some weight up front. That said I did find it preferable having the front suspension locked as this helped reduce further the front bounce, particularly on the steep climbs in the pea gravel when the back wheel spins.



I really have no idea as to why it is a "little bizarre" but I am more than happy with the trailer. It works. I really don't seen the point in trying to get a rear rack fitted to the bike when it has no provision for one; more so when I already have the trailer for road touring as well as bikepacking. I could go with a Freeloader I guess but they don't seem to be available anywhere now that Thule has brought them out. I may go down that path in the future but since I have the trailer and it works it is a low priority idea.

BTW prior to the Extrawheel Voyager I used a BOB Ibex behind this bike. That worked well too.



Cannot comment on mountain passes; we don't have them here but so far I have found it handles very well both on the road and off the road. I generally forget about it until I have to man-handle the bike over a log or ten but even then it is not a significant hassle.

Carrying less stuff is not always so possible here as often we don't have shops readily available nor water. I have carried 35 + litres at times for example. On this particular ride it was not really loaded up by any means. The panniers where not full with the exception of one stuffed with my bulky quilt.

So far and I have done over 3,000 km with the Extrawheel Voyager on bitumen, dirt roads, single-track, rutted out forresty roads, over logs and rocks and it was performed well so happy to stick with it. Your experience of course may be different.

Andrew
Thanks for writing such a useful and full reply esp wrt the Woyager extra wheel.

Surely your bike has bosses adjacent to the rear dropouts or on them to accommodate a rear rack?

The "bounce" issues caused by additional weight of panniers mounted at the top of susp forks are one of the reasons I installed a low loader on my forks also handling and high CoG concerns. Any way thanks for your honest feedback.
 
Surely your bike has bosses adjacent to the rear dropouts or on them to accommodate a rear rack?
Having a second look (I haven't really considered a rear rack till now), there are possible mount points at the hub but nothing at the seatpost. I guess I could get some sort of kit for that aspect. Until very recently I had wanted to keep it for mountain biking as well as bikepacking but the chances of mountain biking have pretty much gone by the way now so I could look at a rack but I have the trailer and my touring is hopefully going to be more remote stuff so it will get the usage anyway (see GJ Coop's journal for the sort of riding I hope to do more of). The bike is a Giant XTC 2 hardtail BTW.

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The "bounce" issues caused by additional weight of panniers mounted at the top of susp forks are one of the reasons I installed a low loader on my forks also handling and high CoG concerns. Any way thanks for your honest feedback.
The bounce was a lot worse before I fitted the front rack. With all the load at the rear the front was very light. I first tried the handlebar bag to get some balance but that didn't help.

It may well be better still with a lowrider rack on the front but the setup now works for me and given the amount of usage it gets I will probably stick with the current setup.

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This setup was fine on the road/paths but not on the single track as the front would easily lift.

Andrew
 
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