As I write it has occurred to me I will be twenty-nine for the majority of 2015 when I’ll be journeying through what I hope to be a bunch of Countries at this stage, on a 29er mountain bike next year. A more apt name for this blog might be 29BY29 perhaps, although it would have an expiry date of December 2015, my birthdate, the blog that is… not me.
MY Bikepacking Setup
With the current choice of bikes in the market, it might seem odd not to go with a Salsa, Surly or locally made Muru frame. At least it does now that i’ve committed to a frame from Lynskey, a titanium frame builder in the USA. Alex found a discounted Lynskey Ridgeline 29er frame and jumped on the deal early on in my research, so now it’s a case of make what you have work for you. It was at this point of purchase I was a little caught up in travelling ultra-light, a titanium bike was a definite, steel seemed heavy and slow, although I’d never ridden a steel bike, let alone a bike setup for such an adventure. I also didn’t want to be burdened by panniers (perhaps this will be my undoing), I’d like to be able to take the side roads and dirt trails when I come across them, not look at them longingly and be constrained to bitumen. The Lynskey Ridgeline 29er I picked up has no hardware to mount a rack for panniers, I was happy with this at the time as I didn’t want to go down the route of a loaded up bicycle, able to only conquer bitumen (tarmac) roads.
After looking into various ways of touring, tradition touring with front and rear panniers, backpacking without panniers or limited panniers and fat biking I found myself leaning towards ‘Bikepacking’. Bikepacking is a term which loosely describes travelling by bicycle with ‘bags’ attached to it, usually no pannier racks and often no weight on your back, sometimes a small pack. Your bike is your backpack and the setup is lightweight enough to enjoy singletrack without fear of things breaking or the bicycles handling being overly compromised. As of writing, I’ve only owned two bikes, an entry level Giant and my current Specialized Stumpjumper FSR of the dual suspension design, I do feel like I will learn a lot from my gear decisions, time will tell if I find out I need panniers… 🙂 I’ve never been bikepacking so I’m yet to discover what bicycle and type of riding I will get most enjoyment from on an extended tour. What I do know is I love riding dirt trails and roads so decisions are based on trying to hold to this love.
The Current Build LIST
XL 2013 Lynskey Ridgeline 29er
Salsa Firestarter Fork with 15mm Maxle
Shadow RD-M786 SGS
CN-HG95 HG-X 10-speed chain 116 Links
38-26T with BB
Still swapping in/out some of this
Cane Creek ZS44-28.6 & EC44-40
Truvativ Team Stylo 110mm
Low Rise XC Bars
XT RT86 160mm
Lynskey Titanium Set-back
Brooks B17 Imperial Laced
Saint MX-80 Flat
Built by LBS For The Riders
SP PD-8X 15mm Dynamo Hub
DT Swiss 350 IS RW, 32H with thru-axle kit
DT Swiss Champion
Stans NoTubes Arch EX 32H
Schwalbe Smart Sam 29 x 2.10
I’m running a set of bikepacking bags by Revelate Designs.
These include the following:
Revelate Design Gas Tank
Revelate Design Viscacha Seat Bag
Revelate Designs Handlebar Pocket, Large
Revelate Designs Harness
Revelate Designs Sprocket
XL Ranger Frame Bag by Revelate Designs
Revelate Designs Saltyroll