Spring is approaching.
Well, sort of.
So today I though I would share my bikepacking setup with you, in anticipation of great things/trips to come.
I used to have a road bike and a mountain bike. The mountain bike I had for years and pretty much all I did with it was to commute to work. The road bike was purchased on a whim as many of my friends got into racing and touring bikes, so I thought I would join them. Sad thing is, it never got much use.
So, after reading about the Salsa Fargo on sites like http://yetirides.blogspot.com/ and http://www.frontageroads.com/ I couldn`t help but think that this could be the one bike I was looking for (more info here http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/) An all-round bike, which may not be the best in class at anything, but which does not do a bad job either. Which is very similar to my NDK Explorer kayak, by the way.
It also helped that I wanted to reduce the number of items in my possession. Two bikes out,one in.
So far, I really like the Fargo. It is really comfortable to ride, that steel frame and those big 29" wheels make for a pleasent journey. I have commuted to work, ridden singletracks and longer training runs, and it works nicely for all of these endeavours.
But, there is one dicipline where this bike should excel.
I had never heard of that word until it popped up in my research on the Salsa Fargo.
It resonates so very well with my ambition to have at my disposal the best tools for environmentally friendly human-powered transportation, be it on land or at sea. Aka bike and packraft :)
As I want to use this bike for lightweight bikepacking I wanted to kit it out with a frame bag, seat bag etc instead of the usual suspects, the bike panniers.
After a bit of research I ended up ordering a Revelate Designs Harness bag with an extra pocket for the handlebar. This would allow me to use drybags of various sizes ( I have a bucketload of drybags due to my seakayaking background) and also to have a quick and easy way of attaching my packraft to my bike. I am happy to report that my Denali Llama fits like a glove on my Woodchipper bar. Sweet!
My other bags I got from Porcelain Rocket. Scott has made three bags for me.
First of all a custom made frame bag, called the El Gilberto.
This bag has a horizontally divided compartment on the right hand side to make it easier to segregate gear. This inner divider can also be un-velcroed to make one, big inner if that should suit your gear better. The upper compartement may also be divided into three seperate compartements by a bit of velcro magic.The inside is bright yellow to make it easier to find stuff.
The El Gilberto also has a small opening, top front, to accommodate a hydration bladder hose.
The left hand side has one big pocket for maps or thin stuff.
The velcro used to attach the bag to the frame, by the way, is supersticky and takes a bit of strength to handle.
My other bag of choice is the Booster Rocket seatbag. My Salsa Fargo has the Thudbuster seat post and this seat bag works fine with it. It has a capacity of between 6 and 13 liters.
Thirdly I received a top tube bag.
All of this stuff, both Revelate Designs and Porcelain Rocket, seems burly and really well made.
More photos here.
The next step is to sort out some packing system, and go biking!