Bikepacking Randoms - Eurobike 2022

Jul 14, 2022 at 12:21
by Travis Engel  
Aeroe
Bikepacking
New Zealand brand, aeroe, had some innovative bag and rack solutions that can fit on any frame, full suspension or not. The Spider rack is meant to work with roll-top or compression bags. The rack itself can carry up to 35 lbs / 16 kgs, with each cradle rated for 9 lbs or 4 kgs.

Bikepacking
Bikepacking

The bracket clamps to the chainstay with a simple system of nylon webbing and rubber pads. It's safe and sturdy. Bag cradles can be positioned on the top or the sides, and can be oriented parallel or perpendicular to the rack tubes. The rack itself is $199.00 NZD and each individual cradle (you can carry up to three) is $129.00

Bikepacking

The handlebar-mounted Spider Cradle uses a similar system, and is also remarkably stable. Impressive for a category of pack that's usually held up by your brake hoses. The Spider Cradle can carry 11 lbs or 5 kgs and goes for $129.00 NZD

Old Man Mountain

If you prefer your racks a little more traditional, Old Man Mountain just released the Elkhorn rack. A lighter-weight alternative to their Divide, the Elkhorn is rated to carry 25 lbs or 11 kgs. The rack itself is 660 grams, over 300 grams lighter than the Divide rack. It also features three-bolt upright mounts for gear cages or water bottles.


The Elkhorn is not quite as adjustable as the Divide. There are two different heights available in the Elkhorn, one that's 390 mm from axle to the bottom of the deck, and one that's 430 mm. Though we found there to be a little extra breathing room than Old Man Mountain claims, the shorter rack is meant for 27.5" mountain tires or 700x50 gravel tires, while the 430 mm rack is meant for just about any 29-inch mountain bike tire. Old Man Mountain racks mount to axles made by sister brand, the Robert Axle Project. The rack struts mount to the frame or fork via thread inserts in Old Man Mountain's plastic "pucks," held to the frame or fork with burly zip ties. Fit kits vary in price, but the Elkhorn rack itself goes for $148 USD.

Ortlieb
Bikepacking

Ortlieb have thoroughly updated their bikepacking lineup, packing in a few more options, configurations and features along the way. The Seat Pack QR is a full-sized, 13-liter, dropper-post-compatible seat bag that uses a clever system that bolts to the saddle rails and post, but allows the bag itself to be snapped off for easy loading and unloading.


Bikepacking

The system offers an impressively robust-feeling connection to the bike. You sacrifice about 40 mm of drop, but there's a far larger purchase on the saddle and post than most dropper-compatible bags. The Seat Pack QR also includes clever features like a bungee net for excess baggage and an air-bleeding port to make it easier to roll everything up nice and tight. The Seat Pack QR has a weight capacity of 11 lbs or 5 kgs, and goes for €159.99.

Bikepacking

Ortlieb's Frame-Pack Toptube carries forward as-is, but they've added a slightly smaller 3-liter version, fitting better in smaller frames or leaving room for rear suspension or extra bottles. It uses an updated waterproof TIZIP zipper that doesn't actually feel like a traditional waterproof zipper. It's bigger and smoother, and should hold up better. But if you just don't trust zippers, there's also a roll-top version of the Frame-Pack Toptube.

Acepac
Bikepacking

Acepac is a Czech bag company specialising in high-tech, lightweight backpacks. Their bikepacking gear follows suit, with simple but smart products that are aimed at the minimalist adventurer or short-distance weekend warrior. Case in point, the Minima Bag Nylon has just enough capacity to carry a cooking set or, frankly, whatever else you can fit in it. It weighs just 85 grams and goes for 670 CZK.

Bikepacking

Of course, if you don't think you could fit enough in a bag called the "Minima," there's also the Acepac Bar Roll Nylon. The double-roll-top bag can be as narrow as 30 cm or as wide as 60, maxing out at a 16-liter capacity. Still, it's a pretty impressive 460 grams, and it goes for 1,900 CZK.

Bikepacking

Bikepacking
Bikepacking

Acepac's frame bags were probably the star of the show, with inside-out seams that add stability and, we think, look really cool. The size-large Zip Frame Bag features a water-resistant YKK zipper on each side, will carry 4.5 liters, and weighs just 265 grams. The Zip Frame Bag Large goes for 1,450 CZK.

Restrap
Bikepacking

Based in the remote Yorkshire Dales in central UK, Restrap got their start making pedal straps for fixed-gear bikes. Fast forward 12 years, and they've moved on to gravel racing which, let's face it, is probably what dethroned fixies as the world's most hipster-friendly cycling trend. But their products, all still made in the UK, are also perfect for the minimalist bikepacker, like the easy-on-easy-off Race Saddle Bag. The lightweight roll bag sits securely in an always-on cradle, making it quick and easy to get your six hours of sleep between 18-hour sufferfests ... or to just carry a few extra layers. The Race Saddle bag can hold 7 liters, weighs 250 grams, and goes for €143.99. Keep in mind, it's not quite dropper-post-friendly.

Bikepacking

The Race Bar Bag uses a similar system up front. But instead of a traditional roll bag, it uses a custom pack that includes some mesh pockets on either side for snacks. The 7-liter Race Bar Bag weighs 325 grams and goes for €131.99

Bikepacking

The Bumper Bar may look like a tiny little Jeep grill, but it's actually a clever way to keep your handlebar bag from doing what handlebar bags do: Droop. It works like it looks like it works. Replace a couple millimeters of headset spacer stack with the Bumper Bar, and your bag will stay upright and locked for €47.99

Evoc
Bikepacking

Evoc made a then-surprising move into bikepacking bags in 2019. It seems they're pretty committed to it, since this year saw a major update to nearly every on-bike bag they make. The Handlebar Pack BOA WP 2.5 and 5 use a double-roll-top bag with a unique harness at its center. The BOA-based system uses two easy-to-detach-and-re-attach clips to hold wrap around the handlebar, while the knob keeps it tight. There's also now a bungee net to add whatever won't fit inside. Both the 2.5-liter and 5-liter Handlebar Pack go for €130

Bikepacking

The Seat Pack BOA WP 6, 8, 12, and 16 also got major updates. They now feature a beefy yoke at the seatpost that holds the pack impressively steady. It's kept tight using a similar clip-and-BOA system as the Handlebar Pack. Evoc also added a bungee net at the top of these full-sized packs. Each goes for €130 There are also more compact 2- and 4-liter versions, which use a more traditional Velcro attachment, but are just as waterproof thanks to a roll-top closure at the rear. These simpler packs go for €60

Bikepacking

Evoc marketing manager, Jan Sallawitz, tested out the new bikepacking gear when he took the over-400-kilometer trek from Munich to the Eurobike show in Frankfurt.

SON Nabendynamo

Last and, technically, least, SON, the premiere German generator-hub manufacturer, was showing off a new hub that's still in the prototyping stage. The game of power generation is one of squeezing out tiny gains in power efficiency without adding friction. Exactly how tiny? Well, SON's existing hubs offer about 65% efficiency when hooked up to a light or charger. And that's pretty good, considering how little of your energy they take in the process. This new design offers a whopping 70% efficiency.


Again, it's still early, and for now, this new design is only available with a USB out, with no headlight option. And it's only available in the gravel-focused 12mm front axle size. But they're learning things in the process, and the concept could theoretically be scaled up to work with a 15mm axle.


57 Comments

  • 13 0
 That Old Man Mountain rack is sick! Very much looking to get some use out of one... Seems like a no-brainer for soft items to be stored, and a decent light mount spot... I worry about a water bottle flying out on router trails though.
  • 4 0
 You can always use a cage that cinches down on the bottle. I run one of the Arundel Looney Bin cages on the bottom of my downtube for an extra bottle, and can put either a standard water bottle or a 32oz nalgene down there securely.
  • 2 0
 @alanbonk: Its about time they did this. In the meantime, it has been proven repeatedly that handlebar bags work well, while allowing your fork to remain fully functional. I don't think a fork would behave the same with 25 pounds of unsprung weight.
  • 1 0
 @VTwintips: I agree that handlebar bags seem like the better option here, but I've never bike packed. Maybe there's some benefit to the rack that I'm not thinking of.
  • 2 0
 Perfect size to strap on a low key dozen
  • 2 0
 @alanbonk: In my mind, this would replace the need for a seat mast bag, allowing for full use of the dropper. I'd much prefer a dropper over "perfect" suspension. When you're bike-packing, nothing is perfect anyways. Strapping 40-50lbs of weight on an MTB is not exactly a quick way to peak performance in any situation, lol. As far as the handlebar bag goes, that's already in use in this scenario.
  • 2 0
 I have one of the Divide racks and have an Elkhorn coming. The Divide is rock solid. I'm not convinced that fork steerers are made to have this much extra crap cantilevered on top of/against them and like the idea of being able to transfer more weight to the wheel instead with the Elkhorn. Plus getting my massive tent off of the handlebars would give me back my Shockstop stem. The 3 pack mounts would be nice to hold cargo as well since my old cx bike turned commuter/camper doesn't have them.
  • 1 0
 @pgm83: What difference does this really make? The steerer is a strong point in the system. Old school steerers were weaker and stems were longer. People put way more force on a steerer than a bag ever would. The weak point is the stem's clamping and its a matter of picking which part is worse. The failure mode is the moment induced on the stem-steerer interface about either the steerer or the moment induced about the stem-bar interface about the bar.

So you get to pick if you want your bars to turn and your wheel to not, or your bars to rotate forward/backward when you want them to stay put. I've never had bars rotate, but it used to be that they'd turn when you had a minor crash all the time, or just went through really rough stuff and they were slightly off afterwards. Having worse suspension and also having your steering basically be at risk is a worse way to do things.
  • 6 0
 I really rate my Aeroe handlebar rack, easy to use and it keeps your roll bag off your brake / shifter hoses. Only downside is that it does need an additional strap over the stem to keep it from slipping down.
  • 2 0
 I love my Aeroe handlebar rack too. I've had it on some seriously rough trails and it never slipped on me. I tighten mine down pretty tight on my bars. I can run it straight out if I want. Hopefully you're able to find a way to not have to put an additional strap over the stem in the future.
  • 2 0
 I have the spider rack and cradle and use it on my Meta HT and also my MetaPower. Fantastic rack. In Canada (at MEC) the rack is CAD184 incl. tax and comes with a cradle. Extra cradles are CAD 100 + tax
  • 1 0
 I had the same problem, what I found is that by putting a piece of inner tube between the straps and the handlebar solves this problem.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: what kind of loads are you using - I'm looking at maybe getting one, but don't need any slipping as sure'y that's the point of it?! Cheers!
  • 3 0
 @hambobet: I'm putting tents, poles, and sleeping bags on the font. Under 10 lbs, but I haven't had it move once. I've had a lot of bar mounts, and this is my favorite. The only downside is it's a little heavy, but it's by far the least-floppy mount I've used. I've had it on 200 miles of the AZT so far and it hasn't budged. The silicone grips on the straps have been great for holding on to bars.
  • 4 0
 Have both the aeroe racks for the front and back and cant rate them highly enough. Super stable, great handling, still use my dropper post option to keep weight low or high depending on ride. Use on my gravel, hardtail and fully.
  • 7 1
 Maybe I'm just too sensitive, but I can not STAND the look of seat bags like that.....get over it, I know...
  • 2 0
 Especially on a dropper............ :/
  • 1 0
 I also wonder how they affect the bikes handling. Are paniers just out of style or has moving all the weight to the top of the bike somehow better? Speaking as a non bike-packer.
  • 2 0
 @diabsoule: Depends on what your riding. I bikepack singletrack heavy routes, so I want a more compact setup. Paniers get caught on bushes and generally get in the way on tight trails.
  • 2 0
 @diabsoule: Personally I really like mini-racks on the back like the Tumbleweed T rack. Strap a dry bag on top and then there are three pack mounts of the rack leg letting me carry extra water or small three pack bags.
  • 2 0
 Maybe not just me then who thinks those strap-on seat bags are completely off the rails. They flap around, destroy handling, and are a total pain to access gear. The best solution is just a simple lightweight rack on seatstays to secure a stuff sack. I get that fabric straps are lighter than metal rods but you try shoving a sleeping bag into a seatpack on a bike leaning against a tree.
  • 2 0
 I bikepack on my mtb and ride proper trails loaded up. Simply because the best way to find a discreet camping spot is halfway down an mtb trail, the bags make the riding itself a lot less fun though for sure

The saddle pack is by far the worse, you either can’t use the full dropper or you buzz the bag with your tyre. You can get it set up well so it’s a good compromise and makes it rideable but realistically it’s almost never going to be perfect

I like the idea of the rack mounted to the lowers instead of the saddle pack, it would throw the weight further forward but I suppose you could load the lighter stuff in there like tarp, hammock, clothes or whatever. Plus it’s unsprung mass so your front wheel would be more planted for sure, whether that ends up in more grip or an OTB I don’t know Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @blackthorne: Sounds like your not using a good seatbag. Something like a Bedrock Dragon is secure, doesn't flap around and still allows use of the dropper
  • 1 0
 +1 for Bedrock building dropper-friendly and stable bags for MTBp acking.
  • 1 0
 @seanwggns: hmmmm their own website show pics of bags on bikes that will buzz the tyre at full compression. Nice bags but as above, it’s all a compromise and you’re not gonna be able to get your seat slammed and bottom out your suspension with a decent size saddle bag, unless you’re running a hardtail or a frame that’s too small of course
  • 1 0
 Never cease to be surprised at the nice gear made for what I think are tiny special interest niche hobbies.

Does anyone bike pack or even knows anyone that bike packs?

Oh yea there’s that young enduro racer that bike packs to each race.
  • 2 0
 I probably know about 15 people who bike pack.

I don’t know anyone who races enduro though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 2 0
 The evoc frame bag with no headtube or downtube strap.... what?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, they could have at least displayed it on a frame that fits it
  • 3 2
 I never understood why people are putting all the weight at the sprung components. Might as well run a hardtail then...
  • 2 0
 I have an idea I’m still yet to build: a full sus with extra tubing that extends off the main frame to hold rear panniers in the usual place. Same thing for the front for a little rack out in front of the head tube.
Won’t be light though.
  • 4 1
 It seems a little difficult to attach the bags to a wheel, or a suspension pivot.
  • 9 0
 bags that fit on the bike you have are going to be cheaper than buying a dedicated bike.
  • 2 1
 What, you don't like massively increasing the inertia?
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised no one has tried to improve on the Trek 1120 ideas, or combine the best of that with the best of the Aeroe stuff.
  • 2 0
 Yes. I can't believe all the racks and bags adding a tonne of non-suspended mass to suspension bikes. Might as well get a rigid bike and put on old school touring racks and panniers as it would be lighter and easier to use in the long run (I guess looking like a bikepacker is cool and looking like a tourer isn't)
  • 2 0
 and if you really want to bikepack on mtn bike trails, hiking trails, or truly off road, you need to have the weight of your bike plus luggage be light enough that you can pick it up to carry it or lift over fences and fallen trees several to hundreds of times a day. If you need all those racks and large bags you will end up carrying to much weight to have much fun riding off of easy roads.
  • 1 0
 Cool idea.
What are going to make it out of?
What type of rear suspension were you thinking of? @dirtyburger:
  • 1 0
 I just don’t think there is a large enough market for it.
And there are many types of styles of bikepacking
It would need to be designed from scratch.
It would probably be too heavy if it wasn’t carbon
Shock placement needs to allow for bags and bottles etc.
And shock needs to handle heavier loads and be easily adjusted
Dropper seatpost use complicates design
Different Reach depending on handlebar preferences
@iammarkstewart:
  • 2 0
 @gcrider: his idea reminds me of a product (Concept? Photo from an article? A pinkbike comment? It may or may not exist, I don’t remember) of a gigantic metal bar that stretches from your front wheel to your rear wheel and acts as front and rear racks, but is only mounted to the frame itself. It looks obnoxious as hell but it totally solves the problems of full suspension racks. (Trying to google it, but I can’t think of the magic words needed to narrow it down, could’ve sworn it was shown on a Santa Cruz full suspension or something)
  • 3 0
 just add extra pressure in forks and all works fine - barely notice the difference - you just pretend you're much fatter on the shockpump
  • 1 0
 I once read putting racks in the fork lowers could could accelerate seal wear. There was a rack that was designed around fixing itself to the steerer tube/crown I think, which avoided this issue.
  • 1 0
 @dirtyburger:
German brand Riese+Müller does that for a couple of their urban ebikes, e.g. the "homage" or "delite"

Not exactly pretty though...
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: Trxstle Geryon is probably what you're thinking about.
  • 1 0
 Makes sense ( heres my non engineer description)
With the added weight on the fork lower , you get heavy wheel flop thing. and there is more twisting forces when trying to upright forks and straighten handlebars @rpnd:
  • 4 2
 No Tailfin???
  • 1 0
 No kidding, take the best aspect of every seat/rear bag here and you have the Tailfin.
  • 2 0
 I have the Tailfin carbon rack and bags - they're unreal good and super light. Can also be installed and removed in seconds. Expensive but ideal.
  • 1 0
 100% prefer the aeroe racks for handling, ease of use, and dropper use etc - and half the price. I had tailfin and had a few issues, then got the aeroe racks haven't looked back
  • 1 0
 So ortlieb now ships a wolf tooth valais with their saddle bag?
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the bikepacking content. Nice job on it, Travis.
  • 1 0
 Now, hook that SON up to an e-bike for super-extended range! /s
  • 1 0
 where's the Portus bike?
  • 1 0
 duplicate
  • 1 0
 Where’s MissGrape ??
  • 1 0
 Ortleib beaver tail





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