My first bike packing recce

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Hello!

Might be interesting to some...

I had a lovely shakedown ride from North Manchester to the Seaside on Saturday. My first time out with everything I intend to take on a couple of 3-4 nighters before the year is through.

The route was 50 miles and ~3k feet of climbing. Nothing mega but enough to find out what I needed to change - the first of which being a frame bag and water solution. The bottles fall foul of the frame back and as a result the bottle just kiss the inside of my calf per rotation. Drove me mad!

Secondly is going to be a saddle angle tweak. I really enjoyed the Aero bars but after more than a few minutes I noticed a distinct lack of tickle in my tackle. Completely numb. Fortunately it was repeatedly short lived but not something I want to have to get used to. I typically angle my saddle up at the nose ever so slightly so will level it off and see how I go.

Though I have "gravel" tyres on (GKSK) I anticipate this will be mainly a road based bikebacking job for all but the most forgiving forest trails.

Good fun all round, and looking forward to heading from Manchester to Newcastle in 2 weeks!
 

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Nice set up, similar to my recent trip set up.
You’ve a couple of options for your bottles, smaller bottles or a plate that can drop the position of the cage, SJS sell them.

what tri bars have you fitted, that’s my next purchase for this bike

542105
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Nice set up, similar to my recent trip set up.
You’ve a couple of options for your bottles, smaller bottles or a plate that can drop the position of the cage, SJS sell them.

what tri bars have you fitted, that’s my next purchase for this bike

View attachment 542105
Looks ace that mate! And yeah a lot of similarities!

IT was just some dead simple £35 jobs from wiggle. Token I think. Seem to do the job fine, and avaeraging ~15.5 mph over 50 miles with the added weight was impressive and in no part down to the aero benefits on the flat bits.

Cockpit also looks the dogs.
 

Attachments

Location
London
Liked, and enjoy your trips, but i do wonder about this heavy bikepacking.
Is that any more streamlined than a load all on the back? - am thinking of the bags on the forks.

Do sort that numbness double quick - not good and can turn serious.

It's my underdstanding that saddles should usually be level if at all possible, though I ride flat bars.

oh, where at the seaside?
are you planning to freecamp?
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Liked, and enjoy your trips, but i do wonder about this heavy bikepacking.
Is that any more streamlined than a load all on the back? - am thinking of the bags on the forks.

Do sort that numbness double quick - not good and can turn serious.

It's my underdstanding that saddles should usually be level if at all possible, though I ride flat bars.

oh, where at the seaside?
are you planning to freecamp?
Fair question!

Bikepacking is an interesting phenomenon - I put this much less gently in another thread but I think it's worth answering properly too!

Yes, it is substantially lighter, for me at least. I have a full touring set up with 4x Ortliebs and front and rear pannier bags which is a tried and tested road set up. It's great, I can cart ~2 weeks of crap with me and never think twice on 25mm road tyres.

The Bikepacking seems to have come from more off road, or multi-surfaced journeys, where having something bolted to a frame that might take some gravel or single track abuse would put lots of undue stress on the mounting points and often results in failures.

Bikepacking bags typically have just enough flex in them to not be a nuisance when the going gets rough, and you'll almost always see bike backing bags attached to bikes with 35mm+ tyres that can also handle more fun stuff. The aero bars aren't really for speed, just to mitigate some of the rolling resistance introduced by tyres that don't fall apart when it's not smooth tarmac, in my experience at least.

I'm sure I've seen some studies about having width on the front of the bike being aerodynamically preferable to having them on the back but can't (be arsed to...) quote that as certain. Aero gains aren't really what I'm doing here.

More gravel/adventure bikes, more bikepacking.
 
Just to add to the above, I also have bikes with traditional pannier and rack set up but when the trail im riding on gets narrow or deeply rutted, i like to have the majority of my kit within the same width of the handlebars. the obvious anomaly is the fork bags but they are small and dont contain anything that is solid or easily damaged.

if i was to go away for two weeks, it would likely be the more traditional set up but for overnighters or a few nights out, this works well.
 
Location
London
having something bolted to a frame that might take some gravel or single track abuse would put lots of undue stress on the mounting points and often results in failures.
Good point I had never considered. I did once bust the frame mount for a rack, though this was on an old bike used around town - it was a period where I used to strap two D locks to the top of the rack and far that the vibration/banging may have done for the old mount.
 
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