Bikepacking…What to Get.

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Home Forums Off Piste Bikepacking & Bicycle Touring Bikepacking…What to Get.

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    Nathan M
    BPL Member


    So first thing is first, the bike. I’m considering either the Trek Stache 7 or the Trek Procaliber 9.6. I’m leaning towards the Stache for two reasons. Bigger tires will theoretically make moving gear a bit easier, and it looks like a much more simple bike and simple usually means rugged. I understand the larger tires add more weight and make it harder to get moving, as well as it takes a toll on handling. I’m using the bike up in the Adirondacks and will just be going to base camps with it and day hiking peaks. May have some fun on the trails on a rest day, but not a dedicated race bike.

    For bags there are so many options and I’ll probably wind up owning way too many.

    Totally unsure what I would bring for bike maintenance. I would love to strap a toolbox to the thing, but I know I can’t. This is the area I need the most advice on. Shopping for bags and lightweight gear is easy that’s backpacking. Bike repair? I know I’ll over pack.

    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member


    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Do you want to carry your gear on racks or bags (and no rack hardware) like the Revelate Designs LLC offerings. If racks, then you need a bike you can fit racks on. It took a very helpful conversation with the owner to get the right OldMan Mountain rack for my bike. If you buy your Trek from your local bike shop, they should be able to help.

    You might look at for ideas on tools to carry.  I cannot imagine that you would need much more than what you take for a long day ride.

    Andrew Priest
    BPL Member


    Locale: Fremantle

    Bigger tyres are not going to make a difference in terms of moving gear, rather your choice of bike and hence how wide etc its tyres are is very much reflective of the sort of riding you wish to do with the bike.  So the starting point should be that.

    Then you need consider whether you want to go the bikepacking route and bikepacking bags or whether you want to go the pannier/rack route, i.e., more “touring” style.

    Then you need to consider how far, number of nights you are likely to ride in any one trip and how remote your riding will involve. Given your two bike choices, I note that both bikes have suspension fork without braze-ons so that makes using the forks to carry gear that more involved.  Of course if you are only planning overnighters or the like this may not be an issue.

    I would consider the following before you worry about a few tools. Tools can be sorted later on.  For what it is worth my bikepacking gear list which includes my tools can be found here [needs editing and updating but].

    This is my bikepacking bike so my lighter touring configuration, a Salsa Mukluk

    and my touring bike in remote touring configuration.

    This illustrates to different approaches to “touring”.


    BPL Member


    Locale: The Cascades

    @Andrew: Still riding Brooks saddles? At least that’s what they look like.

    And is that some kind of third wheel on your Surly?

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Tools: Fix it Sticks replaceable version, a small  plier-based multi-tool, tire levers, chain tool, pump, patch kit, spare tube, Kevlar emergency spoke, duct tape, zip ties, and a couple spare 5mm bolts and  8mm/10mm open end combination wrench or one suitable for any standard head bolts on your bike.

    Which bike? The one that fits.

    Nathan M
    BPL Member


    @andrew Only reason I’m looking so hard at Trek vs any other brand is because my local bike shop carries them (not sure what they’ve got from Salsa I know the brand and I know they have it I’ll look next time I’m in). The Trek 1120 looks like a killer touring/bikepacking bike for going base camp to base camp and for longer trips. I love the look and idea. Just haven’t seen any field reports on it yet. Voile straps and dry bags…looks like it can hold so much gear.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice. Lot to learn. If anybody knows any trails in the Adirondacks that are great bikepacking routes let me know where they’re at!

    Bobby Pack
    BPL Member


    Locale: West Virginia

    I got the Trek 1120, lots of fun. the racks make it easy for an ultralight backpacker to just strap on dry bags with existing gear and go.

    The fat tires are awesome for comfort and in 4 to 6 inches of snow it’s a blast.

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