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Bikepacking The Bikebacking forum is for discussion that relates directly to bikepacking (also known as bicycle camping). Subject matter should involve the backpacking/camping/bike gear and trip planning as it relates to mountain biking and bicycle touring.


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  #1  
Old 08-24-2013, 11:04 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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Do you carry more weight when bikepacking vs backpacking?

I just did my first bikepacking trip. ~50mi out to the state park, 3 days, 2 nights. My thought was that since I'm not carrying the weight, it's not as big of a deal to have more. While I certainly think the weight doesn't affect you as much, I later started wondering how much it does still affect you.

Do you still try to cut as much weight as possible while bikepacking, or do you allow yourself more convenience items since you can carry more weight on a bike and still move along efficiently at a decent pace?

I think my load was ~30lbs.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:47 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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I do pay attention to the weight and try to get as close to what I would carry for backpacking.

However, I do carry more in my first aid and repair kits. I might also carry a little more electronics.

I'm likely to carry more fresh (heavier) foods too.

Reality
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2013, 12:12 AM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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I added an extra set of clothes, a pair of camp shoes, and a larger knife. I also took my heavier, cheaper sleeping bag, simply because it's thicker and slightly more cushion/comfort. I would never take that backpacking now that I have a better bag. My repair kit is also bigger to deal with the potential bike problems.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:11 AM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Hmmm. I ride a road bike, and I've always thought that weight was critical on a bike --even more so than when backpacking.

So I tend to credit card camp on my bike: just a credit card and a change of clothes. I buy everything else as I go. And I don't camp--I stay in motels.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:56 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balzaccom
Hmmm. I ride a road bike, and I've always thought that weight was critical on a bike --even more so than when backpacking.
There are exceptions to everything, but in general it's much easier to carry a load on a bike than it is one's back. It certainly stands to reason that there are limits to what a person should tote on a bike, to maintain efficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balzaccom
So I tend to credit card camp on my bike: just a credit card and a change of clothes. I buy everything else as I go. And I don't camp--I stay in motels.
Yeah, that's more about traveling on a bike (i.e. a bike ride) than it is bikepacking. Nothing wrong either way, to each his/her own.

Reality
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2013, 02:28 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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I've found that I only lose ~2mph average on my 25lb+ touring bike with cheap, heavy, slow rolling tires vs. my light weight, narrow tire road bike on the same 22mi loop. I'd bet I could maintain 10mph+ average on the bike loaded with 50lbs of gear and ride for hours if need be. No Way I'd want to lug around 50lbs+ of gear on my back while hiking for hours. Basically, to me, 10lbs extra on the bike isn't going to slow me down too much even over a 50mi ride. An extra 10lbs on a hike and I'm going to start feeling it pretty quickly. I'm not saying I wouldn't want to reduce my bike weight if I can, but it matters a lot less than my hiking weight.

Last edited by FirstRWD : 08-26-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:38 AM
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RicemanDan RicemanDan is offline
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It was 4 years ago, but I remember reading a copy of Rails-to-Trails or ACA, with an article on weight effects for cycling. Going into the physics, It summed up:

-- For every 5lbs of weight you are 2 minutes slower for every 2 hours climbing a 4% gradient hill.

So 30lbs = 12 minutes slower? I can't remember if it was that simple/linear, as I only jotted down the above point from the article into my journal. I do remember thinking that the weight issue was far less severe than I thought. Whilst BMC, SKY or Astana may not agree, we are touring, going at slower speeds -- we're not racing!
I was cycle touring at the time of reading the article-- hence curious -- (and people kept giving me things). It changed my conception of weight and from there I didn't worry about adding to my gear. I came back (the UK) with a nice pair of Keens, some Teva sandals and lightweight convertible trousers, all slashed in price and combined with my Warm Showers host's discount REI card Those items have since had years of use, so In the end I was very glad to come across that article.

Once you have panniers and get on the road -- getting used to carrying weight -- adding bits and bobs didn't affect speed. That was my overall non-physics sum up.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2014, 12:27 PM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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THE healthiest weight loss for some people (and maybe the easiest for many ?) could be to shed some of their own bodyweight...

I KNOW that I could easily afford to lose 30-40 lbs of excess weight myself at the moment (obviously I haven't done anywhere near enough walking or riding over the last couple of years !).
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2014, 01:54 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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Just thought I'd come back to this now that I've gotten a number of trips under my belt these days. I still don't think that the weight affects you that much on a bike(within reason). A couple of things that I do notice is that the weight does affect bike handling. That's definitely a factor to consider. It also makes a little bit of difference when handling the bike at pit-stops, camp, etc. Overall I'm still much more likely to carry more stuff on the bike. Even maybe 10lbs more due to choosing better food that might weigh more, a couple extra comfort items, more water, etc.
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2014, 02:48 AM
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KBob KBob is offline
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I once did three weeks on the roads of England and Wales, using rear panniers and a large handlebar bag. Tricks is to carry only what you near, one man tent, down bag, propane stove, one light pot. Spare jersey and bike shorts, one pair socks. Carries two spare tubes, hand pump, allen wrenches, etc. Watch the ozs. and the pounds will take care of themselves.
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