If you're new to the concept of bikepacking, then you may not know what to look for when you start shopping for a new bike. Or, if you already have a bike that you think can handle the task, you may be wondering what, if any, additional essentials are required to make it safe.
No worries, we've got you covered! This handy guide will help you learn everything you need to know about your new favorite hobby.
Table of Contents
- Choosing the Perfect Bikepacking Bike
- Final Thoughts
So, let's get down to the nitty-gritty about what to look for in the best bikepacking bike.
Choosing the Perfect Bikepacking Bike
The best bikepacking bikes are made to handle both the roughest terrain and the easiest bike paths you can find. The main thing to consider is your own comfort and ease of use so you can completely enjoy every outing. Here are a few things to look for.
Bikepackers everywhere swear by drop-bar mountain bikes with back-swept handlebars. They allow for multiple hand positions and better riding posture.
The frame is perhaps the most important aspect of your new bikepacking bike because this is where all the weight is carried. Remember, you're going to be carrying your bike sometimes, so the lighter it is the better off you'll be. Choose from steel, carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium. Carbon fiber is by far the most popular option.
Gearing is really up to preference depending on the type of bikepacking you will be doing. We recommend a 1x setup which requires less maintenance on and off the trails.
Most bikepacking bikes have either 700mm, 27.5 or 29-inch wheels with tires that are up to 5 inches wide. Many bikepackers will also consider setting up their rig with tubeless tires because they're lighter weight and less prone to flats.
Full suspension bikes include rear shocks while some hardtail bikes will have an additional suspension fork to help you navigate better. Bikes with little or no suspension are often lighter to carry but don't handle as well on rough terrain.
Of course, bikepacking bikes wouldn't be very useful without proper racks for all of your traveling gear. You'll want something that allows the bike to handle well both while you're riding and while you're hiking. Also, look for racks that allow for side bags to carry food, water, cameras, and all of your other off-roading essentials.
An off-road touring bike is built to handle all types of terrain, but it's important to consider where you'll be bikepacking the most. If you plan to be on gravel or forest roads more often, you'll want a gravel bike or a mountain bike. Most mountain bikes will be sufficient for single tracks as well.
Tricking out your bikepacking bike or finding a new one doesn't have to be difficult or confusing. Just pay close attention to the logistics and consider where you'll be riding when making your selections.
Don't forget that bikepacking is supposed to be fun! Choose a bike you really love and you're already half-way there.
We hope you found this post helpful and informative. Check back soon for future updates all about bikepacking bikes and bikepacking adventures near you!