Ask Pinkbike: Ditching the Pack, Wheel Trouble, and Prototype Tires

Oct 20, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.





How To Be A Pack Rat

Question: Pinkbike user fcmisc asked this question in the Mechanics' Lounge forum: I have a 2014 Specialized Enduro Expert that has a side-load water bottle cage on it. I'm wanting to ditch the backpack for shorter rides and put a tube, tire levers, C02 and a multi-tool on the bike. What's the simplest and lightest way to do this?

bigquotesI usually try to put everything I might need on my bike rather than carry it in a backpack, starting with the idea that it'd be perfect for short rides but now running the same setup on some pretty long adventures. Yes, the overall combined weight of myself and the bike doesn't really change, and it can actually be more inconvenient than reaching into a bag to grab a tool or tube, but it just feels nicer to not have a backpack on. Also, the tools and supplies are always there when you need them - you literally can't forget them at home. There are some easy solutions to carrying what you need. Specialized's EMT multi-tool bolts to the bottom of their Zee bottle cage, and it includes a flat-blade screwdriver, T25 torx, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex keys, as well as a clever 8mm that's been chopped down to only the bare minimum to take up as little room as possible. I've found the tool bits to fit a bit sloppy, to be honest, but it's fine for on-trail adjustments. It doesn't include a chain tool, but Specialized also makes a nifty version that's part of headset preload assembly. Again, it's not shop quality and it's a little finicky, but it gets the job done, which is exactly its intentions.

When it comes to air, I prefer to bring both a small pump and a C02. I save the latter for myself because I'm an a*shole like that, but the pump is for everyone. SKS makes a nifty carrier for both that fits under your bottle cage, carrying the pump and C02 on either side. Attaching a tube to a bike is a little trickier and not nearly as clean looking, though. I fold up a tube so it ends up being a nice, tight little rectangle, and then I use a ski strap to hold it onto my bike. The strap, which is basically a short, plastic belt, costs only a few dollars and is way less ghetto than using tape. You can even stuff some tire levers in there as well. The alternative to all of the above is, of course, a saddle bag, although I know many riders who are too proud to be seen with one under their seat. There can also be clearance issues with your rear tire buzzing it when your seat is lowered.

With all of the above and one bottle on the bike and another in the back pocket of my Race Face STASH bib shorts, I can be out for three or four hours without a backpack. Weather permitting, of course, as warm temps require more fluids, and questionable weather might call for a jacket on the descents but not on the climbs, which is where a pack comes in handy. Some of those ideas won't work for every rider, but you can use them to come up with a solution that works for you.
- Mike Levy

Specialized SWAT
  The tiny EMT tool attaches to the back of Specialized's Zee bottle cage, and it's ideal for on-trail adjustments.



Wheel Trouble

Question: Pinkbike user VladMTBR asked this question in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: Please help a desperate rider. When I'm slowing down from a reasonable speed with the front brake, the top of the front wheel deflects sideways toward the left leg of my fork (brake side). If I'm going downhill and I hit the brake hard, the tire even grinds the fork. This is causing several handling problems. I already checked hub tension, spoke tension, QR skewer tension (9mm) and all of them seems to be fine. I ran out of ideas of what could be happening. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

bigquotesFirst off, I'd recommend against riding very far until you have this resolved. Those "handling problems" you mention could cause serious injury, especially if your tire rubs the fork hard enough to stop the wheel from spinning and tosses you over the bars. Depending on your mechanical abilities I'd recommend heading down to your local bike shop to have them assess the situation, but in the meantime here are a few suggestions you can try at home.

Although it sounds like you already spent some time checking over your wheel, my initial thought is that the front axle could be broken, something that's more common when combining a disc brake with a quick release axle. Take the wheel completely off the bike, and give one side of the axle a tug. If it's broken, you'll probably end up with a snapped piece of steel in your hand and a bunch of greasy bearings on the floor, but at least your problem will be solved.

Another possible reason for this problem is if the quick release is slipping in the dropouts, either due to a faulty quick release or from dropouts that have become worn and wallowed out. With the wheel still on the bike and the quick release secured, stand on the left side of the bike and give the wheel a firm tug towards yourself. Is there any movement? If the dropouts are worn, or if the knurled part of the quick release isn't gripping as firmly as it should, then the force generated when applying the front brake could be forcing the axle to shift downwards, which would cause behavior you described.

If the wheel's not to blame, then an issue with the fork, possible extremely worn bushings or even a cracked or broken arch would be my next guess, but in any event I'd imagine a trip to your local bike shop will still be in order, either for the parts or service necessary to get you safely riding again.
- Mike Kazimer

Tech Tuesday
  A broken axle may be the cause of VladMTBR's wheel deflection woes.



Michelin Prototype Tires

Question: Pinkbike user beerhunter commented in the Lapierre Spicy First Ride article: Some of the French riders have been on Michelin prototype versions of the Wild Rock R and Wild Grip R. Showing them without mentioning them is a good teaser advertising strategy.... I take it that they will be lighter than the current production versions. If so I might give them a go. I'm a bit of a Maxxis fanboy, but it's always worth looking at alternatives..

bigquotesI spent a day testing tires with Michelin earlier this year and discovered there is far more to their development program than weight savings alone. Some of the prototypes are lighter than production tires for sure, but there are plenty of other things they test and try. Everything from rubber compounds and carcass thicknesses to different plys and tread patterns. After these basic elements, things can start to get really complicated. Some of the tires have a dual compound and then you have the two main compound types available to the consumer - the softer Magi-X and marginally harder Gum-X - that's four different types of rubber and each of these compounds can have different rebound speeds within the rubbers properties used.

Engineers and riders also try to figure out how the thickness of different rubber plys work with each other as the friction created between the layers can give a different feel and level of support, which then has to be compared to pinch flat and cut resistance. Tread patterns change rolling speed, braking traction and cornering grip, but then these are also affected by all of the above as well. Oh, and then there's rim width, tire pressure and rider weight to take into account on top of all that... It's really interesting to see how much testing they do with their athletes and it seems to be helping them get back into the game after their Comp 16 glory days.
- Paul Aston

EWS Pro Rides 1 - Prototype Michelin s
There's more than meets the eye when it comes to tires, lighter might not always be better.



Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


150 Comments

  • 128 13
 Am I the only one who feels naked without a pack?
  • 53 1
 Granted, I have t1 diabetes and shouldn't go anywhere without sugar, blood sugar meter and other crap at all times, so I bet that's why.
  • 37 1
 Agreed I like the back protection when I fall. I tend to drink a lot of water so I always carry a 70oz Camelbak too
  • 39 2
 I only started wearing a pack because apparently it's "not cool" to ride completely naked. So yeah, I hear ya.
  • 21 1
 I have become so conditioned to riding with my backpack, it drives me nuts NOT to have it on, even for short rides. Heck, I even wear it during races and at lift-assisted bike parks.
  • 28 3
 Ahhh how I remember that feeling of helplessness when riding without a pack...until I discovered the more wonderful feeling of freedom that riding without one gives you...seriously..try it
  • 7 0
 Same boat here with diabetes, and also a talented hydrator while trail riding. I will say however that my days at the bike park are blissfully spent with a gallon of water at the base area. I've never found a bag that felt "good" while jumping.
  • 11 5
 Camel backs are always such a pain in the ass. When i want to get out for a ride quick i don't want to worry about cleaning out bladders and drinking tubes, re assembling packs and packing gear. Now i just fill the water bottle and go. everything is on my bike ready to roll. best of all no more sweaty back and way more freedom to move around!
  • 13 0
 I've ridden with and without a pack. Yeah I can get by with a water bottle and some snacks in my pockets but I prefer the comfort of knowing I have first aid in my pack. Once you've dealt with severe lacerations and dislocations a few miles out you realize the value to that extra weight.
  • 14 1
 I hate to say it, but getting a fanny pack was probably the best bike related purchase I've made in a while. Works great for shorter rides when you still want to carry a little food and phone
  • 3 2
 the realtyleedurden- no, you are not.
  • 11 0
 @nismo325 - I use a Camelbak and never clean it. The newer ones have some coating that prevents crap from growing in the bladder. I drain the hose back into the bladder after each ride and I swish some new water in it once in a while and no probs. No black stuff growing or strange smells. The pack I use is enormous but affords back protection and extra warmth on those really cold days and hot days too.
  • 11 0
 Glad I'm not the only that doesn't clean their hydro pack. Had no issues.
  • 3 0
 I've found that using R.O. water in the bladder keeps anything from growing in there.
  • 2 0
 I put a tool and CO2 in my pockets (on the outside of my wallet and phone so if I crash they don't mess me up) and a tube on the frame. I put a bottled of actual bottled water in my waistband because I don't have frame mounts
  • 2 0
 I'm a pack man myself but might try a few shorter ones without. I gave up on blatters for bottles. Drink, crush and toss into recycle bin when I get home. I like to stop, drink and take in the sights. Packs give a lil security by holding my just in case goods and a bit o back protection. Biggest downer is the waist strap, not so flattering for a larger fella.
  • 3 0
 For 1.5 hr rides I skull a couple of pints of water eat some toast and get on with it. My bike is in good working order and tyres tubeless so unlikely to puncture or tear on my local loop. Always carry a phone and some money in case it back fires but touch wood so far so good. I love riding without a pack. But it is an xc loop and on the whole my chances of something going south a fairly outside odds. I do fancy one of those stash shorts tho
  • 3 0
 Have they stopped making pockets in shorts or something.... For short rides it a folding tool in the pocket and water bottle. If I get a flat I walk and curse myself for not taking a pump, tube and levers...
  • 12 0
 And in the UK you're no more than a mile from a pub
  • 3 0
 @ski-or-die reppin t1 as well! nothing is scarier than going low and runnin out of carbs. But I try to stay as light as possible at the same time
  • 3 0
 Totally! I actually like having the extra weight, especially the way my osprey raptor 10 kind of hangs low on your back, very comfortable. Also I love drinking water out there, with some ice cubes in the bladder it's nice!! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I have fallen hard many times and my pack has taken the sting out of those impacts more than once. Yes, it feels great with no pack and I go pack free on technically less demanding trails, but for DH tracks and black routes, my pack is may back protector.
  • 5 0
 When you get home, drain the reservoir and then stick it in the freezer until the next ride. Nothing has grown in my hydration pack for 4 years and no funky smells either.
  • 2 0
 Depends on the trail, if the trails are only a mile or two long and all off a hub I don't bring anything not even water sometimes. If it's a long out and back, I'll do water bottle and saddle pack, if its longer I'll do the camel back.
  • 3 0
 Riding pack-less feels wrong now that I've used one for the last 10 years. Means I get all funky in the air without one! Plus I'm an asthmatic so need to carry a pointy inhaler which would be lethal in my pocket if I fell off at the right angle. Oh and I'm in Wales so you always need to carry a jacket so a pack is perfect.
  • 2 0
 How funny! In the community I know wearing a pack is usually a negative thing. I cant stand wearing one. However, I typically downhill or incorporate jumps into my trail rides. Could be the difference.
  • 1 0
 I just upgraded my packs after 4 years to two new camelbaks w lumbar bladders. My 2L is the Octane and 3L is a Volt. Both are GREAT for jumping, they don't move at all compared to my Osprey viper 10 and CB Rouge they replaced.
  • 1 0
 I have the Volt. It's fine for trail riding, but nothing feels good to me on a proper jump line.
  • 1 0
 The volt is pretty bulky, same here use only for trails. The Octane I got for park riding is barely anything there but the water bladder.

www.mtbtime.com/outdoor-gear/p/camelbak-octane-lr-hydration-backpack-330cu-in.html

Looks bigger than it really is in this pic, probably is stuffed with newspaper. Empty it's totally flat and you don't feel like its there.
  • 50 9
 Hate me if you like, but a phanny pack has been the absolute when it comes to dropping the back pack, no weight on your shoulders or back and you can carry more stuff. Just don't call it a hip pack or e word pack.....
  • 72 7
 I hate you.
  • 9 2
 I call mine a lumbar pack. Is that wrong terminology too?
  • 5 1
 As an aside, this type of pack is definitely the way to go, imo.
  • 26 2
 I just feel that calling it anything other than a butt or phanny pack is just trying to church it up....just embrace it....
  • 2 8
flag hamncheez (Oct 20, 2015 at 14:10) (Below Threshold)
 but then then I road bike it hits my gut
  • 51 1
 your problem here is that you road bike....
  • 8 1
 MAN pack.
  • 1 4
 I use one of these water bottle* tool boxes. encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcRewWvnYBDmF9vHZFxkiEuJ5Vm5EIbzsSYQya0vgIZIwU1SjqP17X0ck_UQ7hX5-uNrDtvW6zCa&usqp=CAY

I can carry 2 C02 cartridges, a tire lever, a multi tool, zip ties etc. Plenty of room, weighs no more than a bottle of water. Spare tube gets zip tied under the seat.
Weight is off my back, I'm happy.

*helps to have two water bottle cages if you want to completely eliminate the back pack. I'm going full fanny pack (who spells it phanny btw) as soon as an Enduro specific one comes out. Wink
  • 2 0
 there you go buddie already out.
www.mounttamapparel.com/#!endurobelt/c1ser
  • 2 0
 sarcasm

But road biking is good for fitness. I can squeeze an hour ride in on my lunch break, whereas the nearest trails take 10 min to get to, so only 40 min if I mountain bike (which I do, but less often during my breaks)
  • 2 0
 If anyone's looking for a larger ass pack for longer rides or rides with more exposure, I use a Mountainsmith Day TLS with shoulder straps. I find it to be a delight, and it's a super durable material. I use it for day hunting and hiking as well.
  • 1 0
 Fanny. FTFY
  • 2 0
 Similar thing, but RaceFace Stash Bibs. Love them.
  • 3 0
 @biking85 I'm with you on that set up for short mtb rides and around town riding.
  • 13 0
 In Australia a fanny is a vagina, not a bum
  • 8 0
 Cool. Doesn't mean it's spelled phanny though.
  • 3 0
 Dude I got a Mountainsmith TLS this year an I'm never going.... BACK (get it?). Even with water bottles in it it feels very stable.

If I really need 3L of water I'll use the pack. But the fanny is the jam.
  • 7 0
 I use a satchel made from recycled inner tubes and fill it with stripped out cranksets to pummel hipsters on the fly!
  • 2 0
 Ass bag for sure. Pouch in back, ass bag. Pouch in front, just an ass.
  • 1 0
 Camelbak have a range of new fanny packs coming out. They tip them to be the future.
  • 1 0
 I'm still waiting for the Race Face rip strip...
  • 2 0
 I kind of want to know what happened to his bike!!! This can't be the end of the story. Who would keep riding it that way...
  • 28 0
 Am I the only one seriously worried about Vlad?! Dude, stop riding that bike!
  • 11 1
 Right? Take it to a shop and they will diagnose whatever catastrophic failure is certainly imminent in seconds.
  • 3 0
 no big deal, if there is a real problem, the bike will pull over and let him know. I'm also assuming that Vlad and the rest of you are proficient with your judo tuck and roll.
  • 3 0
 Be careful Vlad! You don't want to be known as "Vlad the Impaler (of tree, dirt, etc...)".
  • 3 0
 I kind of want to know what happened to his bike!!! This can't be the end of the story. Who would keep riding it that way...
  • 2 0
 He commented below. His QR was slipping.
  • 2 0
 Hey I'm still "alive"!! (will be completely alive when I am back riding though)... @casedogsupreme One of my fork dropouts has worned out... My mechanics shop will try to save the fork lowers by filling it with an aluminum weld and then have it CNCed... I hope it works
  • 3 0
 Is that cheaper than new lowers?
  • 1 0
 @tinfoil new lowers from Fox are about US$ 200.... the repair should cost me about US$ 15 considering the local exchange rate.
  • 4 0
 Wow. Nice. I'd be shocked if you could find someone here who would turn on a CNC machine for less than $200.
  • 24 3
 I won't drop my backpack for fanny pack anytime soon. Having lived through that late 80's embarrassment I'd rather carry a mechanic on my back than give the fanny pack a chance at rebirth. So so wrong, no matter how practical it is. Take a lesson from history. Better idea, get a dog and have it carry your tools for you Wink
  • 3 0
 But then you have to wrap up the dog sh!t in a little Baggie and leave it stashed on the trail. North shore trails are littered with lags discreetly hidden by dog owners.
  • 8 2
 That was the past, this is the future. Fanny packs rise and will backpacks fall. Embrace the evolution of mountain bikes and gear
  • 5 1
 It is done. Fanny packs rule.
  • 2 1
 Yep, that's the thing with our generation, we just don't care enough to care, we're just like "whatever feels good man"
  • 14 1
 I like wearing a backpack to protect my spine, i feel exposed without it unless i wear armour. at the same time thanks for this, i think these are good tips and try to will unweight the backpack by putting some stuff on the frame.
  • 2 1
 On rides that are within a few miles from my car, I will just wear a runner's fanny pack. It will hold my water bottle and one tool. If I get a flat, it will take 20 minutes to walk back to the car.
  • 2 0
 trifecta- That's a great point, I've had my Dakine hydration pack do a lot to save me in a decent crash in an enduro race when I went down hard on my side/back, and it's essentially a 6 inch thick pad that carries my junk. Works all around!

abzillah- Dakine makes a nice fanny pack for biking that carries a water bottle, phone, wallet, hand pump, multi tool, tire levers, tube, snack, etc. without being obnoxious, but during a crash it hasn't provided me with the same padding that my full pack has.
  • 2 0
 Sussed it, im going to drink more water before i go out, and put every thing that can puncture my backpack and/or damage my spine on the frame, and only carry dry clothes, a phone, and (a lesser amount) of water in a much smaller lighter spine protecting pack.
  • 14 0
 Maybe the comments will be more inspiring...
  • 7 0
 Nonono! You should totally go buy a bunch proprietary stuff that apparently doesn't work well and stick it on your bike!
  • 8 1
 I tried the switch from SG Magic Mary to the new Nobby Nic up front and I found it to be too light and I could feel the casing roll. Ive become very used to the Super Gravity casings and actually prefer a stiffer heavier tire in the front, feels more planted and predictable. Am I the only one? I also try and ride DH stuff on my all mountain bike, not so much XC.
  • 4 0
 You not the only one. Generally I find any tire under 900g to be too soft and unstable, without increasing pressure too much. I think once you get used to heavy, stiff and soft tires it's really hard to go back to less grip and stability along with the increased amount of deflection on rocks and roots.
  • 1 0
 I'm experiencing this right now. Even my 900gram Highroller2s are borderline too light. I just keep on putting the pressures up until they feel stable.
  • 1 0
 These new michelins could be the best tyres in the world whilst riding, but if they're still as tight fitting as other models, I'll never buy them. Nothing worse than getting a flat and breaking tyre levers, hauling and fighting a tyre to get back onto the bead.
  • 1 0
 @iian I never had too much trouble with my wild grippers. If worse came to worse I would put a new one out in the hot sun before I tried to mount them up.
  • 7 0
 I have an old sleeveless jersey from my spandex/roadie days that has 3 rear pockets in it. Living in colorado most of my rides are not blazing hot so I can get away with wearing it under a baggy jersey. If you don't want to shell out a bunch of cash for one of these "enduro" vest systems it's a decent hack for carrying supplies and not having a pack.
  • 1 0
 You need a pair of Specialized SWAT bibs.

velonews.competitor.com/2014/04/bikes-and-tech/reviews/reviewed-specialized-mountain-bib-short-liner-with-swat_323619

I have two pairs and honestly they are the best shit ever. Good light chamois and wicking light material. Beyond just the back pockets, there are also super handy hip pockets ffor keys, cellphone, co2 etc
  • 1 0
 The SWAT bib pad/chamois is more like one-ply sandpaper. Horrific low end aspect of an otherwise great bib. The Pearl Izumi liner bib is night and day better in terms of quality; PI started a marketing campaign aimed at Big S but it just disappeared. Three rear pockets and a "pad" that doesn't make me want to rip out my taint after an hour.
  • 6 0
 One day I'll have a pack drone that follows me videoing everything + plus a security drone watching over my car if I've driven to the trail head that will blow up thieves trying brake into my car and have a cold beer (in a glass) waiting for me when I get back to the car.
  • 11 2
 If you don't need a bag, you're not riding long enough
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer , thank you very much for choosing my question and giving such an experienced answer. Indeed, the QR is slipping in the dropout. I did the test that you mentioned, and the QR slipped all the way to the bottom, stopped by the protruding edge of the dropout. After inspection, I noticed that the surface of the dropout is smooth and it is not gripping properly. I am heading to a mechanics shop to find out if something can be done or i'll have to replace my fork lower leg assembly. Thanks again!
  • 3 0
 No problem @VladMTBR - I'm glad I could help.
  • 5 1
 I carry a pack always, but I do long cross country rides (20-30 km). Given that I sometimes ride and explore BC's backcountry for 1-2 days at a time, I carry a survival kit and other basic supplies (bike tool, pump, spare tire). Typically, my pack weighs 20 lbs, but I weigh 230, so carrying that weight is no problem. I feel naked without survival gear--I live in a remote community so there is no quick rescue.
  • 3 0
 I don't mind riding with a pack at all. Also a bigger guy, (205lbs) and have big shoulders so maybe that's why I don't notice it. I carry 1-3L water depending on how long I'm out for, 2 tubes, levers, multi tool, pump, energy gels, trail mix/snack and maybe a shell if there's rain. I also stuff my knee/elbow pads in it for the climb up.

I ride without a pack in the bike park and while I prefer that feeling, it's not a night and day difference.
  • 4 0
 I can't for the life of me get over my keys and phone jangling around in my shorts. It's far more distracting to me then wearing a pack.

Anything over 2 hrs I'm camelbakin' it. Anything under I'm taking my Dakine "Enduro Hip Pack." Enough room for everything you'd need, and much more comfortable than a full pack and definitely preferable to landing on my iPhone and smashing it.
  • 8 0
 Crashing on my pack instead of my spine is a good thing
  • 4 0
 I hope that the Pinkbike crew read and answer this one (or someone that knows):

After reading some positive review I bought a fannie pack from a certain well known backpack manufacturer with an affinity for dromedaries. It hold 1.5 Liters of water as well as some gear.

No matter how tight I pull the strap or how much gear I leave at home I just can't get it to sit comfortably and not bounce around. Am I doing it wrong or is there a pro-fannie pack conspiracy trying to brainwash us?
  • 1 0
 Define "bounce around" and give us an example of when it does this, and you might get some answers. I don't wear my pack very tight at all, and don't use a waist strap and it only comes up off my back when I am hitting jumps at a bike park. Otherwise, it certainly moves around back there, but I don't even notice this anymore. How long have you been riding with it?
  • 11 0
 You seem to have hit upon a fundamental flaw in fanny pack design. Perhaps if it was a little taller and had a sort of shoulder harness to keep it in place...
  • 4 0
 tinfoil, I get that you are being sarcastic while taking a (deserved) jab at fanny packs but someone actually did what you mentioned:
www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2016-Mountain-Bike-Apparel-Protection-at-Eurobike,9338/Source-3,97226/bturman,109
Words fail me...
  • 3 0
 YES! Finally all the downsides of a backpack with none of the benefits!
  • 1 0
 kabanosipyvo: It's a fannie pack, not a backpack. So it has no shoulder straps, only waist.

It bounces up and down, even when only lightly packed. I was surprised because I'd read so many good reviews of different Fannie packs like it. But I think the whole concept is flawed (unless I'm doing it wrong, or have just bought a crap design).
  • 1 0
 Oops, missed that part. My bad. That would really be some Jedi sh!t if I could wear the fanny pack without a belt!

Have you tried packing all of the heaviest/most dense objects (multitool, etc) closest to your body with lighter items on the outside? No guarantee that this idea will help, but it does make a huge difference in the way the load handles when skiing with a pack....
  • 1 0
 I'll give it another go next ride. thanks for the help guys!
  • 4 0
 Maybe it's just because I'm a skinny bastard and subject to hypothermia, or maybe it's because I grew up reading all the horror stories in old back issues of Outdoor Life and Reader's Digest, but I carry a pack with a jacket, food, water and fire any time I'm going more than about a mile from my front door. Yeah, it's nice not to carry anything and just ride, but both shit and weather tend to happen, often without warning.
  • 4 0
 My pack has been very helpful in situations , always ride with it, downhill, xc, all mnt. It's helped a lot of other people to on the trails with the people that " don't need to ride with a pack " !!!
  • 3 1
 For those who don't want to run a saddle bag or tape a tube to their frame, Backcountry Research makes a pretty nice strap that cinches to the saddle rails (and therefore doesn't get in the way of a dropper post). Getting your tube muddy is probably the only downside, and that really isn't an issue. I stuff a tube, CO2 cartridge and two levers in mine. No rattling or rubbing.
  • 3 1
 This! For short weekday loops, 2 CO2s, a tube, and a lever go into the Awesome Strap. One bottle goes in the cage. Happy camper. Pack for longer weekend rides.

*And for all you super mega extreme riders out there, if you think you charge hard enough to shake the strap loose and lose your goodies, you don't. You'd have to be reentering the Earth's atmosphere to do pop this thing off.
  • 2 0
 Two water bottles in the jersey. Tube taped to the frame. Co2 and multitool in a small pouch stuffed in my water bottle holder. I could prolly fit the tube in there if i wanted to. Cell phone and pocket knife in the jersey pocket.
  • 2 0
 Paul,

Thanks for picking up the comment.

Are you able to say how the prototypes rode, or is Michelin wanting to wait for product launch day?

I've always liked the look of the wild rock'r 2 advanced reinforced, but it is a bit too much tyre for most of my riding.

Cheers
  • 1 0
 We were meant to be testing the new Wild Race'r, but they got blocked at customs. So we went through the motions of a test day to see how they do things. The point I was trying to make was that Michelin try out many different things. If it has a 'Prototype' tag on it, any of the factors I mentioned above could be different.
  • 2 0
 Am I off my rocker or are people packing WAY to much stuff?
A tube, a multitool, spare master link and a little pump or C02 cart....What else is there?
I fear people are not maintaining and prepping their bikes well enough if they're bringing more than that.
  • 3 2
 Ditching the pack was the best decision I ever made. My riding got better without the cumbersome weight and the limitations it put on my movement.

I usually tape a tube to my frame, and keep a small C02 pump and 2 canisters + a tire lever in my pocket. I won't wear a pack unless I have to now
  • 3 2
 I have a half dozen NOS hutchinson prototypes/team only tires from the Sunn-Chipie team era when Miguel Martinez was the big name in world cup racing. They're leftovers from the world championships and world cups at Saint Anne and Bromont. I even have a couple of used ones raced by Miguel himself.
  • 1 0
 Sick
  • 1 0
 Everything I need is strapped to my bike and I leave my keys in a combination safe attached to the tow hook of the car if i drive.. I hate falling on my keys!! While writing this I realise I need to strap by phone to my arm for music/photo/emergency to free my pockets completely from sharp objects Smile
  • 1 0
 There is no better tyre made than the Michelin Comp 16, the 24 and 32 were also amazing! Im surprised Michelin don't just start making these tyres again in 27.5" and with the advancement with rubber compounds and so on they would sore even higher again than that of the glory days! #michelinbringbackcomp16
  • 1 0
 I carry a small hipsack with a tube; pump; zipties; chainlinks; chainbreaker, money for a coffee and pastry; ID; phone; and a multi-tool in my pocket. If my ride is short enough that a bottle is enough water, then this is all I have ever needed out on the trail for 99% of my rides. My trails are in an urban area (Don Valley Toronto!) so if I shred a tire or destory a wheel I can walk to civilization. If I had my way, I'd always ride without a pack, but on longer & hotter rides I just can't carry enough water. Right now the weather is great, cause I sweat way less and have pockets in my vest which help lighten my pack even more.

Hipsacks seem really passe, but the things are damn convenient. They can hold a lot, are easier to get into than a backpack, and leave you feeling so much lighter. I don't know why so many people need big packs for shorter rides.
  • 1 0
 Real talk. If I had a contract that let's me give input and ride the latest and greatest stuff and maybe get paid for it, and in return all I have to do is not advertise the stuff that I get. Fu(k breaking that deal, time for poor riders to get a bike shop job or something.
  • 2 0
 What happened to the old idea that you are more manuverable with the weight on your hips and spine then floating on the stricture your riding. Ride your bike...Dont let it ride you!
  • 1 0
 Haven't entirely ditched the backpack but I've been keeping tube/tool/co2/etc. in one of those triathlete snack bags strapped to my frame at the downtube-seattube junction. Works pretty well and keeps the COG about as low as possible. Also been thinking about giving the Revelate Designs Jerrycan a try in that position.
  • 1 0
 I'm alright with my pack, except when hitting a jump and having the pack ride up which is distracting. I sometimes wish I had a pack with a parachute harness type of thing to keep the pack in place, but that seems restrictive. Not sure that a hip pack would be much better.
  • 1 1
 I use a Camelbak Mule, which has a sternum strap and a waist strap, in addition to the usual shoulder straps. I never notice it. And jumps are the whole reason I ride bikes, without them I wouldn't even bother.
  • 2 0
 I agree totally. I had a bad dream once where I put on a bunch of spandex and go ride a skinny tired bike in traffic. It was very disappointing.
  • 1 0
 Would you ride your bike without clothes, your balls exposed to the wonders of nature (and the horrors of your saddle) for a chance to Win the bike of your own choice and your dreams?

sorry this came up when I read the comment about being naked without a pack.
  • 1 0
 Short local rides during the hotter months, no back pack, no water bottle. There is free flowing drinkable water at 2 or 3 spots where I ride and my tires are tubeless. Just keys, phone, minitool and some money. When elevation gets higher, distances longer and the weather cooler I use a camelback. Usually carry a spare baselayer and a packable jacket. I hate the high centre of gravity and the sweaty back it gives me though.
  • 1 0
 "I save the latter for myself because I'm an a*shole like that" NO, the real a*sholes are the the guys who ride around unprepared, just expecting help when something goes wrong.

Don't be afraid to leave some dude to walk back to his car if the alternative means you could be in the same situation further down the trail. Perhaps then they will learn.
  • 3 0
 No one uses the bags that go under the saddle cuz they look dumb, but they work the best.
  • 2 0
 The total weight may be same but if i attach tools, water, tubes , etc. to the bike i feel it handles worse than when i have everything in my pack.
  • 1 0
 I've been searching for a great no-bullshit way to store stuff on my bike, too. Finally found it.

www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/review-backcountry-research-minimalist-mountain-gear
  • 3 2
 I would love to know how you guys keep a water bottle clean while riding. Mine starts to condensate and does nothing but collect dust/dirt. Gross.
  • 14 1
 Dirt's good for you. You're mountain biking, not eating fine cuisine.
  • 2 2
 @bishopsmike dirt is not good for you.....to ingest. You're right, I'd like to mountain bike and not eat something. "Eating dirt can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea."
  • 7 0
 You can buy water bottles that have a lid over the mouthpiece.
  • 2 3
 @HankBizzle but the dirt still gets all over my hands!! =)
  • 6 0
 I had dogshit fly onto my bottle once. Couldn't figure out why the shit smell was following me around, till I realized it was right next to the mouth please. A pleasant experience overall.
  • 1 0
 Most of the parks I ride have fountains so getting water is no problem, and my '15 stumpy has storage in the frame so If I can ride with out a pack I do.
  • 1 0
 I used to ride with one water bottle with fluids and a second "dummy" bottle to carry my keys tools tube and ID/cc for shorter rides. Camlbak for longer ones
  • 2 1
 I like my pack, though I almost bought an emt and cage until I realized the combo cost $80 before tax.
  • 1 0
 Try jerseys that have pockets. Extra water is uncomfortable, but tools and food are fine.
  • 2 2
 About that braking issue, I wonder if VladMTBR's wheel is not laced properly with respect to braking forces? Maybe give that a look.
  • 1 0
 I use the pockets in my jersey and shorts. The only issue is it hurts when I land on multi tool after coming off.
  • 1 0
 backcountryresearch.com I love these straps to mount tubes and tools to my frame. very secure and easy to use.
  • 2 1
 Man... that's a lot of work to look cool on the trail.
  • 1 0
 Have people never heard of pockets?
  • 5 8
 I hate it when people make a hole on brand new tyres and leave them hanging like a trophy after worlds or wc like at andorra not to carry them.
  • 18 0
 Huh?
  • 4 0
 I think he means leaving them on the course and not taking them out, leaving trash on the course.
  • 4 1
 tomorrow Marty Mcfly will shuttle me back to the future
  • 1 1
 no I mean teams heading back home after worlds or wc deliverately destroying brand new tyres not to give them away to bankrupt riders that could use them because they dont want to carr them back home. tahts what prototype tyres reminded me. duh
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