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Bike Camping

skipper_nz's picture

By skipper_nz - Posted on 19 January 2015

Guys and girls

I am starting to set myself up for bike camping either with my girl, or a mate of mine, and also hiking.
Obviously we are going to start with simple over nighters and build up to 3-4 days if we can find the time. We live in East Ryde, so looking at the blue mountains as an easy option to start with

I already own some of the gear required:
Tent, Sleeping mat, sleeping bag, cooker/pots, warm gear, Epirb

I am looking at getting one of these for a Full Suspension 29er:

Rear Rack:

They seem like a pretty good rack, easily adaptable, does anyone use one, what do you use?

I have been looking into how to treat water, filters, tablets, UV sticks??? thoughts and comments

This will be happening over the next 6 months, so no rush, but if you do already go bike camping or want to join in, let me know!!

GAZZA's picture

I've never used any of his products but think he's based in Aus and he makes custom bags to fit all sorts of bikes.

sly_artichoke's picture

I've had one of these for more years than I care to remember. It's had some serious use during the Polaris MTB events of the early to mid-noughties, put on by Huw Kingston (who runs the Highland Fling these days). They were great fun. The rack is very sturdy, but heavy too. It has been used on a 26" hard tail, a 26" dually and now still gets a workout on my commuter (a 29er hard tail), so it'll fit. You'll probably find bike packers tend more towards bike bags as Gazza has suggested.

The site below is the bees' knees.

adam lippiatt's picture

For gear carrying I use a Bob trailer. Easily removed when you just want to ride bike. Big load capacity too. Need a strong rear wheel though.

For water I use tablets - effective and zero taste these days. I use a uv light when overseas to save on bottled water. A few days away is good for light as batteries will last without having to carry replacements.

Have fun.

obmal's picture

I got into researching and then buying all the bits for bikepacking a couple years back, a lot of it still is in the original packaging (so take my words here for what they are)..

If its off road (read more bumpy MTB), then I'd do seat bag, frame bags and handle bar mounted harness, gravel road touring would be different.. then the rack I may consider. I'd not consider that rack for your FS 29er.

Frame bags and bar harness I got from Revelate.

Water purifiers I found were kinda expensive here in AUS (as most of the better outdoor equipment is) there's a lot of them out there I picked up a pump style (Katadyn) cheap at REI while on a trip, there are plenty of reviews and all of them will generally filter water.

The Brown Hornet's picture

I have a seat bag, frame bag, bar harness and assorted other smaller bags from Revelate Designs. It's incredible how much you can carry with these things. I've been using them for about 5-6 years now and they are the biz. Abbotsford Cycles in Victoria have them which saves getting them sent over from Alaska.

A mate has his Surly Pugsley fitted out with a Bike Bag Dude frame bag. He also uses Surly racks with Ortlieb panniers, just because he is a "kitchen sink" kinda guy. I know a couple of people who have fully gone over to Bike Bag Dude stuff, getting rid of their Revelate stuff.

I have a Freeload (now Thule) rack which is great for use on a dually. Check out the "clickbike" website for Freeload stuff. Be prepared for a lesson in frustration though. I believe it is the slowest website in the world!

I use an old Katadyn filter that is prolly 20 years old. I may purchase a new filter in the future as it costs almost as much to replace the element as to buy a new one!

skipper_nz's picture

Why would you not consider rack for a FS 29er? from what i can see/research, the rack fixes onto a custom made 12mm thru axle and bolts onto the 'seat stays', the obvious weak point being the load put through 'seat stays'. The big/bulky items i have to carry would be the tent, 2.9kg, sleeping mat, and sleeping bag 1.4kg total

Frame bags look good, but could be $$$ due to probably have to be custom made for the bike, but they are defiantly an option, especially for water storage.

I am not really considering a trailer, storage is a pain, and that would encourage people to bring excess kit too!

The Brown Hornet's picture

There's nothing wrong with using racks. People have been using them off road for ages. Obviously it depends on how rough the terrain you're riding on is. Just take a bunch of spare bolts etc.

As far as water storage goes, you can fit heaps on the bike. I carry a 3 litre bladder in either of my frame bags, with 2 full sized bottles on the fork legs, one full sized bottle under the down tube, and depending on if I'm using the full or half frame bag another bottle in the main triangle.

Your tent is pretty heavy, assuming it is a 2 person tent. My heaviest 2 person tent is 1.7 kgs, and it cost me $100.

Check out Bike Bag Dude, Revelate Designs, the bikepacking forum on mTBR, and if you're on farcebook the Bikepacking Australia group.

fh6162's picture

This is wot you need bruvver if you want to go with panniers & full susp

I would recommend a Hardtail or rigid fork bike using frame bags over full susp using panniers

if you want to go with panniers I do have some second hand Ortlieb bags I could sell to you if the price suits ?

good luck

Marvin's picture

I was given a favourable rave
about this recently and I must say it looked like an interesting solution:

obmal's picture

Sure a rack will work, but my view is that there is a lot of movement in the rear triangle of a FS bike and that doesn't seem very rigid rack friendly to me? it depends on what I would want to ride and would the suspension even be needed?

My setup is frame bags, steel frame with a rigid fork, this was all put together for a specific bike packing setup after researching bikepacking sites and forums. I didn't intend to use an existing bike.

If i was in your shoes (you have the bike already) there is not a lot lost if you just try the rack and see how it goes, it may just work fine.

skipper_nz's picture

I am not in the position of buying another bike for touring, so trying to make it work with what i have for now.
In my head if something is bolted through the rear axle and onto the 'seat stay' then so long as the pivot point is the rear axle (which it is) there shouldn't be a problem?

The Thule is another option, and is quite a bit cheaper than the OMM racks, so i will look into that thanks!

My tent is a Hilleberg nallo 3 gt, 3 person, 4 season with large vestibule out the front, it is not a ultralight expedition tent, but for me, it is an all in one, go anywhere do anything tent.

Charliepester's picture

sounds like awesome fun!
I live in Galston, am 20 and would love to join in on something like this.

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