Bikepacking

59 posts in this category.
Review: Bike Friday New World Tourist

Review: Bike Friday New World Tourist

By Adam Newman

Fold It

Working in the cycling industry requires quite a bit of travel. We go to press camps, trade shows, bike shows, festivals, and, some- times, just-for-fun trips. Bringing a bike with you on your trip has never been simple. You can box it up and ship it ahead of time, or you can pack it and fly it in an oversize case. Both methods have their drawbacks. Enter Bike Friday.


A beginners guide to randonneuring

A beginners guide to randonneuring

Randonneuring is long-distance, unsupported, noncompetitive cycling within prescribed time limits. The events—called brevets—are 200km (13.5 hour time cut-off ), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours), 600km (40 hours), and 1000km (75 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less.


First Impression: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

First Impression: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

By Justin Steiner

Specialized classifies the Crosstrail series of bikes within the “fitness adventure” category, which is an apt description given their aptitude on mixed surfaces. My Crosstrail Sport Disc retails for $830, making it the second least expense disc brake equipped model in the lineup. Only the base Crosstrail Disc is cheaper at $630.


Review: Specialized AWOL Comp Touring

Review: Specialized AWOL Comp Touring

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in Issue #32 of Bicycle Times. To make sure you never miss a bike review, order a subscription and you’ll be ready for the everyday cycling adventure. The Specialized AWOL Comp ($1,950) is an adventure bike, and a darn good one at that. What’s most surprising about the AWOL ...


Field Tested: Blackburn Outpost front rack

Field Tested: Blackburn Outpost front rack

Since the 1970s Blackburn has been making high quality touring equipment that has traveled the world over. A resurgence in the popularity of touring in recent years has led to a renaissance in products from the brand, including the new Outpost front rack. Unlike traditional low-rider racks that mount to dedicated eyelets, the Outpost can ...


Field Tested: Jamis Aurora Elite

Field Tested: Jamis Aurora Elite

The Aurora series has been part of the Jamis stable of bikes since the late 1990s and has included the Elite build since 2008. The Aurora Elite comes outfitted with all the basic building blocks for a bike that could be used in any number of ways: full aluminum fenders and aluminum rear rack, both painted ...


First Impressions: Trek 720 Disc light adventure touring

First Impressions: Trek 720 Disc light adventure touring

For decades Trek has offered its model 520 steel touring model, specced with bar-end shifters, a rear rack, braze-ons for fenders and low-rider front rack, and clearance for chubby tires to tackle any terrain. For 2015, two new models are joining it in Trek stores: the rugged 920 adventure bike and the lightweight 720, both made ...


First Impression: Novara Mazama

First Impression: Novara Mazama

Every day is a good day for an adventure bike! This one comes to us by way of REI. Say hello to the steel Novara Mazama, designed for bikepacking, grinding gravel and all of your off-the-beaten-path adventures. It seems to work well on the plain-old road too, just in case you were wondering. At first ...


How to make your own DIY handlebar roll harness

How to make your own DIY handlebar roll harness

The market is awash with a huge assortment of very well-made bikepacking bags to fit in every nook and cranny of your bike. One of the simplest, and often over-complicated methods of transport is strapping a load to your bicycle’s handlebars. If it’s a small, light load you can get away with very little: I’ve ...


Feature: No Sleep Till Denver

Feature: No Sleep Till Denver

Words and photos: Montana Miller Originally published in Issue #191 My back just went numb, right between the shoulder blades. Which actually feels a lot better than the shooting pain I had a few minutes ago. I hike slowly next to my bike; hopefully I can make the top of this pass before sunset. I’m ...


Video: Salsa Cycles presents ‘Instruments of Adventure’

Video: Salsa Cycles presents ‘Instruments of Adventure’

In summer 2016, five friends traverse a large swath of southern Alaska by sea kayak, fat-bike, and packraft. Through interviews and footage, shot underway, the adventurers share their experiences and reflections about their journey. Traversing wild landscapes by human-power isn’t a quest to achieve enlightenment. You might, but that’s not the point. Counteracting a cresting ...


Biking Bears Ears: Getting Dirty in a Contested National Monument

Biking Bears Ears: Getting Dirty in a Contested National Monument

By Maureen Gaffney  Clouds indistinguishable from 50’s-style UFOs marched past, a sleek and silent armada against a blue background. Red, pink and sand-hued rock formations towered, bulgy and swirling in the wavy heat. Any vegetation in this stern expanse looked ready for a fight, scrappy little dukes raised skyward, each fist or finger equipped with ...


Unorthodox backyard adventure: Front-country bikepacking in the Sooke Hills

Unorthodox backyard adventure: Front-country bikepacking in the Sooke Hills

Words by Andreas Hestler, photos by Dave Silver Last time I went bikepacking it was with a 50-pound backpack while smashing my personal undercarriage to smithereens on the saddle! It was tough (maybe we were just tougher then), and it gave me reason to pause whenever considering a repeat. Fast-forward a few years, the equipment ...


Almost Dead: Shattered in the Backcountry

Almost Dead: Shattered in the Backcountry

By James Murren We woke inside our tents under a cloudy, early morning sky. Knowing we had a hard ride in front of us and unsure of what the trail conditions would be like on this backcountry route, we welcomed the cover from the sun. The Fiske Peak loop, in California’s new Berryessa Snow Mountain ...


Over the hills and far away: A bikepacking adventure in Kyrgyzstan

Over the hills and far away: A bikepacking adventure in Kyrgyzstan

By Peth Puliti  It’s too early to be awake, but I’m too cold to sleep. I attempt the fetal position in the tight quarters of my sleeping bag, but wince in pain when my weight shifts to my hip bone. Last night was the second spent camped out in the shell of an outbuilding on ...


Me Gusta: Touring Baja by bicycle

Me Gusta: Touring Baja by bicycle

By Montana Miller “We’re going to San Felipe. On a bike tour,” I say to the Mexican border guard, nodding toward my dusty bike. We’re going a lot farther than that, but I’m hoping our first stop sounds more believable. “San Felipe? On bicycle? No.” He looks at me like I’d just told him I ...


Finding enlightenment through suffering (aka bikepacking misadventures)

Finding enlightenment through suffering (aka bikepacking misadventures)

Words and photos by Myke McNoldy  “Koan ˈkōän/ noun a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.” A sandy recollection of images, craggy peaks and rocky singletrack. Jeep roads. Horse flies. The sound of rushing water. Tires crunching against ageless sediment. The trail ...


Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for Bikepackers

Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for Bikepackers

By Helena Kotala  Four gifts that current or aspiring bikepackers – or any cyclist who likes to camp or do long rides – will love. Platypus SoftBottle – $9 Bikepackers have to get creative to save space wherever they can. One of the biggest wastes of space is the air in a bottle after the water ...


Video: Not Far From Home – Destination North

Video: Not Far From Home – Destination North

There’s a common saying that life is like a wave and our existence is essentially surfing whatever kind of water comes our way. Metaphorically, there may not be a better way to justify the ebbs and flows of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ...


Access: Where will the bikepackers go?

Access: Where will the bikepackers go?

Words by Kurt Refsnider, photos by Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle I stood chatting with my friend and trail advocate Tom Riggenbach on the sidewalk in front of a plaza in the Navajo community of Cameron, Arizona. This town, built upon a treeless landscape of colorful rock between the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon, ...


Unprompted Generosities: Being a guest on the Baja Divide

Unprompted Generosities: Being a guest on the Baja Divide

Words by Emma Rehm, photos by Mike Q Roth  Since I finished riding the Baja Divide — 1400 miles of dirt and sand from San Diego, CA to La Paz, Baja California Sur — I’ve been waiting for its lessons to reveal themselves to me. Some are obvious: Don’t be in a hurry. See what ...


Review: Restrap bikepacking bags

Review: Restrap bikepacking bags

With the explosion of bikepacking, the market has become inundated with small bag makers, each with their own take on a relatively simple concept: holding stuff. It seems that each city has its own local bag maker and each maker has its own cult following. Restrap is a small British bag and accessory company out ...


The Spend Cycle: How bicycle tourism impacts small communities

The Spend Cycle: How bicycle tourism impacts small communities

By Jen Sotolongo In 2009, Bill White of Twin Bridges, Montana, began to notice the long-distance cyclists that were passing through the small town of fewer than 400 inhabitants. They stopped for a coffee or burger and then headed on to the next campground. He realized that “all the bike riders passing through were like ...


Preparing for Baja: In defense of the boring parts

Preparing for Baja: In defense of the boring parts

Words by Emma H. Rehm, photos by Mike Q. Roth On the Baja Divide (1,400 miles of dirt and sand down the Baja peninsula in Mexico), my crew was routinely teased by other riders for being so organized. Spreadsheets! Lists! Itineraries! But we love those parts. We love the skill building, the dry runs, the ...


I Caught A Ride With A Stranger To Be Dropped Off In The Desert

I Caught A Ride With A Stranger To Be Dropped Off In The Desert

Words and Photos by Aaron Couch. Imagine catching a ride with a random stranger, being dropped off in a desert town with just your bike and some gear, then heading out on solely your own human power across the red dirt as the sun sets. It may sound appealing to many, as it was to ...


Sheep, Kiwis & RVs

Sheep, Kiwis & RVs

Words and Photos by Colleen O’neil   I’m grinding up the gravel road, sweating profusely in my rain jacket. A sudden summer shower just passed, so now it’s 80 degrees and sweltering again. Drops of water spill from the huge ferns lining the road. My husband Montana stands at the top of the hill, fiddling ...


Sun, sand and border fences: Arizona bikepacking with REI’s Co-op bikes

Sun, sand and border fences: Arizona bikepacking with REI’s Co-op bikes

A few months back, REI took some media folks down to Arizona for a bikepacking trip on new bikes from Co-op Cycles. Last year, Co-op replaced REI’s long-standing house brand bikes, Novara. From the looks of the new bikes, the changes go much deeper than just a new name on the downtube. This is the new ...


Catch 15 Free Shows this Summer on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Catch 15 Free Shows this Summer on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Courtesy of Adventure Cycling Bikepacker, musician and poet Ben Weaver is cycling the full-length of the GDMBR with his instruments strapped to his bike, performing free concerts along the way. MISSOULA, MONT., May 22, 2018 — This year, Adventure Cycling’s Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) — the longest mapped, off-road cycling route in the world — is ...


Chasing the Tune of Kokopelli

Chasing the Tune of Kokopelli

by Maureen Gaffney Riding the Kokopelli, the 150-mile trail between the esteemed mountain bike destinations of Fruita, Colorado and Moab, Utah for a second time is like childbirth. Your mind neatly erases the painful bits, assembles a sparkly highlight reel, and there you are, doing it all over again. But if you’re going to endure the labor involved in 30-mile ...


Hike-a-Bike Diaries: A Tale of Three Ghost Towns

Hike-a-Bike Diaries: A Tale of Three Ghost Towns

Words and Photos by Andrea Wilson I hail originally from the hot, flat realm of Memphis, Tennessee. I moved to the Colorado Front Range almost three years ago, and I’ve been obsessed with finding all of the nooks and crannies of the mountains ever since. When I realized that the population density of the Denver ...


Call of the wild: Sweet Skills teaches women backcountry biking

Call of the wild: Sweet Skills teaches women backcountry biking

by Cassidy Randall photos by Lisa Sumire Ankeny The early morning sun cut through the alpine chill as we assembled with our bikes at the remote backcountry trailhead. We double-checked our gear and sorted through food as the shadows retreated up Sol Mountain, preparing to head out on the heralded new Caribou Pass trail deep in ...


If you think bikepacking sucks, try a guided trip

If you think bikepacking sucks, try a guided trip

Words and Photos by Leslie Kehmeier “Time doesn’t really matter now – we just talk about lunch time, dinner time…” says Beth Roberts. Her tone is soothing. Beth is a guide for Rim Tours, a mountain bike outfitter based in Moab, Utah. She’s leading us on a section of the Arizona Trail on the north ...


WTF Bikexplorers Vermont: Cutest Capital Cruise

WTF Bikexplorers Vermont: Cutest Capital Cruise

Last weekend, I took a scenic drive up to Montpelier, Vermont to check out the unassuming state capitol and spend three days pedaling along dirt roads and single track with a group of Women, Transgender people, Femme-identifying individuals and non-binary folks (WTFs), coordinated by WTF Bikexplorers. I spent a night stealth camping in a bivy ...


Echos of futures past: A 24-hour bikepacking Rawland Ravn shakedown.

Echos of futures past: A 24-hour bikepacking Rawland Ravn shakedown.

Words and photos by Erik Mathy It was Sunday morning and I was running late, as usual. We’d had a last minute change in plans and family had stayed at our place overnight, nixing my ability to figure out what bags would fit where on the new Rawland Ravn. My original plan had been to ...


Review: Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed and Backcountry Bivy

Review: Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed and Backcountry Bivy

This summer, I had the luxury of traveling quite a bit for work and spending most nights sleeping outside, staring lovingly at my bicycle shining under the moonlight in five states. For shelter, I brought a Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy and Backcountry Bed 700/35 degree. In Colorado, I was on a guided tour that provided ...


Review: Big Agnes’s new Fly Creek UL2 Bike Pack tent

Review: Big Agnes’s new Fly Creek UL2 Bike Pack tent

By Zach White MSRP $380($360 for the 1-person version) Weight 1195grams/2.6lbs(actual) Available January 2019 Big Agnes is now offering updated versions of their Fly Creek UL2, including a new Bike Pack model. The biggest new feature that justifies the name designation is that the tent’s poles break down to 12-inches in length, which was primarily ...


Even more sweet finds at Interbike, Pt. 3 – Dakine, Rivendell and Green Guru product

Even more sweet finds at Interbike, Pt. 3 – Dakine, Rivendell and Green Guru product

Dakine has a sick new gravity line called Thrillium, with their partnership with Graham Agissiz and Team Aggy, bringing a very specific “wolf” vibe, which I am not opposed to, into both their men’s and women’s cuts. They have new knee pads and gloves, and their baggies have been redesigned to offer a ton of ...


Making do on the Green Mountain Gravel Growler route

Making do on the Green Mountain Gravel Growler route

Editor’s note: In excitement for our upcoming issue on Making Do, in your mailboxes and select storefronts soon, here is a story from contributing writer Bryan Chambala on his quest to finish the Green Mountain Gravel Growler. For more stories like this, subscribe now to Dirt Rag by clicking this link, to ensure speedy delivery ...


Philly Bike Expo 2018

Philly Bike Expo 2018

OK, so now that I’ve gotten the Pittsburgh tragedy out in the open, let’s move on to the PHILLY BIKE EXPO! Maurice (Dirt Rag’s publisher and mastermind) and I drove into Philly with a few bikes in tow, plus some old copies of Dirt Rag to hand out, socks, pint glasses, hats, t-shirts, frame bags ...


Video: Iceland Divide

Video: Iceland Divide

We’ll just put it out there: Iceland is really affordable to fly to from the United States at the moment, especially from the East Coast. Maybe it’s time to abandon the idea of a warm getaway and go headfirst into the wintry wonderland. Though, we gotta say, from the looks of this video, it looks like ...


New Bikepacking Bags From Revelate Designs

New Bikepacking Bags From Revelate Designs

Revelate Designs ended 2018 by releasing a few new bags geared towards the ultra-endurance off-road racers. Made from lighter materials than previous models but still tough enough to answer the demands of ultra-races, off-road weight weenies will no doubt curious about these new offerings from Revelate Designs. With the rise of ultra mountain bike events ...


Movie time! “Fat Pursuit: The Pursuit of Fattiness”

Movie time! “Fat Pursuit: The Pursuit of Fattiness”

Some people like to envision tropical scenes when they feel cold in the winter. Here at Dirt Rag HQ, I’m trying something different, something a bit closer to schadenfreude: watching a video of someone train for, then compete in, a fat bike race. The training for the race takes place in New Jersey, and the ...


Cnoc Outdoors Vecto 2L Water Container

Cnoc Outdoors Vecto 2L Water Container

If you spend any time in the outdoors, you’ll eventually need to address how to keep yourself hydrated. The first obvious option is to carry water with you, but that source will quickly run out as the length of your activity increases. Conveniently there are several options for carrying and replenishing that water supply while ...


Review: Co-Motion Divide

Review: Co-Motion Divide

The Co-Motion Divide’s rugged looking frame is hand-built in Oregon using oversized Reynolds 725 chromoly tubing. Co-Motion’s tandem expertise is evident in the massive chainstays and the 40-spoke wheels, built using DT-Swiss 540 tandem hubs (with 145mm rear spacing for a dishless wheel) and Velocity Cliffhanger rims. The stout 44 mm-diameter head tube on the ...


Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Rather than a beefed-up touring bike like the Co-Motion Divide we reviewed last week, the Fargo 2 is actually a drop-bar mountain bike, with a lighter compact frame, 2×10 drivetrain, tubeless wheels, and slacker geometry than the Co-Motion. A tall, 44mm head tube means a higher handlebar for comfort off-road, and suspension-corrected geometry allows a ...


First Impression: Surly ECR

First Impression: Surly ECR

Let me answer this question first: no, this is not a Krampus with holes drilled in it. While ECR closely resembles its 29+ brethren, it is a completely different beast. The frame is different, the geometry is different, the build kit is different and the fork is different. Built for loaded touring, exploring and “Escaping ...


Field Tested: Velo Orange Camargue

Field Tested: Velo Orange Camargue

The Camargue from Velo Orange is a bike designed to extend the ride beyond where the pavement ends. Named after an ancient French horse breed, the Camargue is as rugged as its wetland-dwelling namesake and capable of taking you on adventures both near and far and in a style normally reserved for bikes with much ...


SRAM expands 1×11 drivetrain to include gravel, road, adventure and more

SRAM expands 1×11 drivetrain to include gravel, road, adventure and more

What would you say if someone took your favorite bike, swapped out your go-to compact gearing or reliable triple crankset, and installed a single chainring with a ginormous 11-speed cassette? Then, to pour salt into the wound, told you to climb nearly 3,000 feet of elevation on California’s central coast? On nearly 15 miles of ...


Recommendo: Flat pedals for touring and bikepacking

Recommendo: Flat pedals for touring and bikepacking

Like many gear-oriented guys I know, when I first got into cycling I went all in. I bought the spandex shorts, the fingerless gloves, and of course, those wacky clip-in pedals. But now that I’m a little older and wiser, or at least a lot more pragmatic, I’ve taken a shine to flat pedals for ...


Kona adds some sweet road, cross and adventure bikes for 2016

Kona adds some sweet road, cross and adventure bikes for 2016

Kona has been expanding away from its mountain bike background lately, and the sneak peak we got on the 2016 models takes things to the next level. Here are the four models that stood out the most to me. Private Jake – $2,000 An all new aluminum frame offers modern updates like front and rear thru-axles, ...


First ride on the new 2016 Salsa bikes

First ride on the new 2016 Salsa bikes

Deadwood Somewhat surprising is this 29plus touring bike that Salsa says will be produced in somewhat limited numbers. More evolutionary than revolutionary, it’s kind of like what you’d expect to get if a Fargo and a Mukluk enjoyed a little too much bourbon around the campfire before snuggling into a sleeping bag together. It’s built ...


Review: Trek 920 Disc

Review: Trek 920 Disc

From Issue #37 Bicycle touring has changed a lot over the past few years, and while riders once rejoiced for a smooth ribbon of asphalt, a rough and rocky road is now de rigueur. Right on the Trek website you see signs of this preference as the new 920 Disc is classified under the banner ...


Everything you ever wanted to know about titanium

Everything you ever wanted to know about titanium

Originally published in Bicycle Times Issue #31 OF BIRDS AND BIKES Titanium burst onto the scene in the 1950s in military aerospace applications. Favorable ratios of strength, durability and toughness to weight—along with its corrosion resistance and high temperature capabilities—made titanium the material of choice in airframes and aerospace hydraulic systems. The first bird to ...


First Impression: Soma Wolverine

First Impression: Soma Wolverine

The original inspiration for Soma’s Wolverine was “monster cross,” but this frame’s geometry, versatility and even the screaming orange means you shouldn’t save it for just one, specific purpose. This type of bike is becoming more and more common, and we’re out to discover what sets this beast apart. Soma currently sells its Wolverine as a ...


‘I Just Want to Ride’ Lael Wilcox and the 2019 Tour Divide

‘I Just Want to Ride’ Lael Wilcox and the 2019 Tour Divide

The annual Tour Divide event has become almost a right of passage for the bikepacking enthusiast. The route, taking riders from Canada to Mexico through the heart of the Rocky Mountains is a grueling and taxing ride at even a casual pace.  This year Lael Wilcox set out to break records, and while weather and ...


Review: Big Agnes Camp Out

Review: Big Agnes Camp Out

Adventure comes in as many shapes and sizes as the intrepid folks who pursue them. While the resulting pursuits may differ in the extreme, the one constant is the need to sleep outside at some point. Big Agnes sent over a few choice items for us to put to use while endeavoring to find our ...


Sardines and Singletrack Part 1: Re-Discovering Portugal

Sardines and Singletrack Part 1: Re-Discovering Portugal

“Just don’t look them in the eyes.” This was the most memorable moment from my last trip to Portugal in 2008. My husband Chris was staring at a plate of sardines that had just landed in front of him. His vision redirected quickly to anything else on the table once the waitperson gave his advice. ...


Sardines and Singletrack Part 2: Bikepacking the Rota Vincentina 

Sardines and Singletrack Part 2: Bikepacking the Rota Vincentina 

From Setúbal, we took days two and three to get our legs under us and our systems dialed. A simple as bikepacking looks, it takes a bit of organizing, re-organizing, and long hours pedaling to feel balanced and in order. Still, on the pavement, we used the predictable surface to our advantage. It was great ...


Sand and Snow

Sand and Snow

Light and Motion brings us a video to get you motivated to pack up the bike and head out into the wild. Join a crew from Santa Cruz as they ring in the New Year properly on two wheels. Enjoy “Sand and Snow”




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