Bikepacking question….

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  • Bikepacking question….
  • Alex
    Member

    3 weeks today two of us will be riding the classic Welsh C2C (Lon Las Cymru). It’s going to be a pretty lightweight trip packing wise as we’re staying in B&Bs and my better half is meeting us half way through to do a re-supply.

    I did get a 2nd hand seat pack from here but it’s a bit small. I’m hoping to get away with either a big seat pack (13L maybe) or the small one I have and a frame bag. Plus one of those top tube bags.

    Alpkit looks the place to buy (and I like their stuff) but if it might only get used once so questions

    1/ Is the cheaper stuff (like PlanetX) fit for purpose
    2/ Does anyone want to sell me anything instead?

    Packing wise, I guess weather dependant, but really looking to go as minimal as possible. So maybe a smaller pack would stop me throwing stuff in ‘just in case’

    qwerty
    Member

    bikepacking

    B&B

    🤔

    I jest, enjoy your trip 👍

    qwerty
    Member

    PS: I’ve just brought one of these for a planned multi day trip:

    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BAPODSULWTT/podsacs-ultra-lite-waterproof-wedge-tt-bag—black

    It’s ok, I think it’s weak point may be the “loops” that the velcro passes through to attach it to the frame. I’m gonna give it a go, buy cheap buy twice might ring true. I’d probably not want to set off around Africa with it.

    Alex
    Member

    Yeah, yeah that’s fair 🙂 Maybe I should stop trying to be hip and call it what it is ‘touring by bicycle’. There is NO WAY I (or my mate) were going to consider camping.

    I like the idea of long days in the saddle, taking in all the stuff going on and hopefully some sun drenched welsh landscape, and then having a shower and a beer. And sleeping in a proper bed!

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    So what are you taking with you that requires multiple bags?

    bank card, tools, some toiletries and a change of clothes or 2 should do it?

    Alex
    Member

    Probably that plus some form of non SPD footwear. Commuter lights, maybe chain lube. I should lay it out on the bench and work it out from there I guess.

    Alex
    Member

    Depends on forecast as well. If it looks mostly dry then tiny packable waterproof. If it looks ‘challenging’ then a proper waterproof can take up a lot of space…

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    I should lay it out on the bench and work it out from there I guess.

    Probably a good shout, then throw half of it away! 😆

    Alex
    Member

    🙂 There’s that approach or let my wife go through it. That’ll get it ‘value engineered’ for sure !

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    I’ve not done as much as I’d like with the various bags I have; closest I’ve been to your scenario @Alex is last year, train to a B&B but a weekend biking and then c. 50 mile bike back off road.

    I probably overloaded a bit, there was a seat post bag, and a bar bag as well. I abhor travelling when there’s tuff that will likely be needed but might be left behind. Jacket, decent warm clothes for the evening (incl. shoes), change of 3/4 longs as well I think. The forecast was pretty ropey so wasn’t going to be without.

    Verdict – bar bag was good (didn’t use it in anger on the riding days, just to and from home); seat bag needs to really cinched up to avoid wobble – Revelate by preference. Ortlieb and others are adequate.

    I’ll see if I can find a pic and tag you.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I bought and used the On One bundle. Did the Hebridean way last week using the kit and it was great. Loads of room, attached well to the bike, totally waterproof. Big thumbs up from me

    This bundle: https://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/ZXDBABIETAHAWBUN/deluxe-bag-it,-boil-it,-eat-it–have-a-wash-bundle

    Alex
    Member

    Thanks Callum 🙂 For some reason I don’t like bar bags. I’m willing to be converted tho! I’m definitely NOT going to the pub in my riding gear so a change into ‘normal’ clothes will be required. I’m also not cutting my toothbrush in half!

    squealer
    Member

    So what are you taking with you that requires multiple bags?

    I’m going with him. He keeps mentioning some sort of sports sandals that he needs to pack for the evenings so it must be those taking up all the room.

    I have told him that if he brings them I’m setting fire to them.

    whitestone
    Member

    Is Lon Las Cymru on or off-road? If off-road and you are using a dropper then be careful of any saddlebag.

    Depending on how “sensitive” you are, 13L might be a bit big for a saddle bag. You’ll always get some sway with a soft mounted saddle bag but some designs limit it. Does depend on what you take and how you pack it. I’ve never noticed sway once I reduced the load.

    The Planetx/podsac kit seems to be OK, I’ve not used it myself but people whose opinions I trust have. As @qwerty says, OK for testing the water and occasional usage but possibly not for extended trips in the remote wilderness.

    I’ve used this https://www.alpkit.com/products/airlok-xtra-tapered on its own before now. I don’t think it is 13L when the top is rolled up and fastened, more like 10L. I prefer larger top tube bags than the one linked to, the small ones just seem a lot of faff IMO.

    Make a pile of the kit you need then chuck half of it away. Seriously. Most people take far too much stuff*. You only need one set of clothes (t-shirt, shorts, underpants, maybe a warm top) for night time – you’ll be at different places each night so no-one other than you and your mate will know you wore the same t-shirt last night as well. If you are stopping in B&Bs then they’ll have wash stuff so no need to take that, just toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste.

    Share stuff like spares, tools, First Aid Kit. There’s no need to take two pumps, two multi-tools, etc. Your wallet can be reduced to credit/debit card and some cash in a small ziplock.

    * I get bikepacking.com’s journal. In this edition there’s a flyer: “The dumbest things we’ve taken bikepacking”. The list includes: complete works of Ernest Hemingway; sportcoat; musk ox skull; tournament chess set; inflatable pink flamingo; high heels (I know you look good in those); 20 litres of wine.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    3 weeks today two of us will be riding the classic Welsh C2C (Lon Las Cymru).

    I did this last year. Great fun! Still managed to pack pretty light even though we were camping. You really will not need as much stuff as you think! Also – resupply?!

    Just don’t take any luxuries bar maybe one extravagance. Try to avoid doubling up on things if you can. My best purchase was some new SPD shoes (Shimano XM7) – not only are they properly waterproof, the cleat was really well recessed so they were great for off-bike as well. Even if I wanted to look “smart” in the pub in the evening I’d just (after showering!) wear my baggies & XM7s with a cheap, technical check shirt or something.

    scotroutes
    Member

    I’d avoid spending more money on bags that might not be necessary and/or only used once.

    “Proper” roadie-style jerseys can carry quite a lot in pockets so don’t forget that space.

    I like balancing the load front and rear but remember that any sort of bar bag can restrict front light fitment and visibility.

    Alex
    Member

    Thanks all. For some reason Adam (Squealer above) has an issue with my ‘action sandals’ 🙂 Proven on many different terrains over the years, and look good worn with a sock!

    Good advice all. I definitely don’t want to buy stuff to use once. The route is mostly on-road with maybe a few tracks. The resupply was fortuitous as my wife and daughter are ‘in the area’ doing a spa day.

    I only ride SPDs on the Tempest. I am still wondering about riding flats but pretty long days so probably best to stick with an old pair of MTB shoes. I’m not buying new shoes I’ll definitely only use for a week!

    I am intrigued by Whitestone’s list. Although 20 litres of wine doesn’t sound like a luxury to me, more ‘essential medical supplies’

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I definitely don’t want to buy stuff to use once.

    Think of it more as an investment, it will be ace & you will want to do more trips!

    whitestone
    Member

    Not my list (I’d agree about the wine though). Two of the other items were an ex-boyfriend and a bow and arrow. Hopefully not carried by the same person!! Remember it’s a list by Americans.

    Six years or so ago my wife and I went B&B style touring on the Outer Hebrides, Skye, Ardnamurchan and Mull for a week. We both had Carradice saddle bags of less than 15L in volume and that was plenty enough. These days I’d get camping/bivvying kit in that volume as well.

    Make a list of stuff, post it here and we’ll attack it 😊

    Alex
    Member

    That’s my kind of thinking 🙂

    Alex
    Member

    Ah Americans. That explains it 🙂

    Make a list of stuff, post it here and we’ll attack it 😊

    I’ll have a go this evening. It’ll also give the STW audience first sight of the ‘action sandal’ so finally putting to bed Adam’s irrational hatred of this fine and practical footwear 🙂

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    If mostly road then I assume some sort of frame / half frame bag would soak up the pump, tools, tube kind of stuff. That’d be first port of call. Anything to keep weight off your back & shoulders.

    Bike clothes – spare gloves, socks. I guess resupply takes care of spare shorts. Decent but light waterproof jacket (and possibly shorts). Gilet. Arm warmers. Maps likely online but maybe spare paper copies.

    Off the bike stuff – packable trainers / crocs. Warm jacket possibly (depends how much you’ll be outside at the rest stops). Phone battery pack. Toilet bag. Suncream (shared).

    Alex
    Member

    I don’t want to take a camelbak or equivalent. Even tho I have some very light/small ones. Having had a quick look at my STW purchased seat pack, it’s a bit bigger than I thought. I’m now thinking that plus a frame bag and little fuel pod type thingy allied to some judicious packing might be perfect.

    I reckon I’d strap my non riding shoes to the side of the seat pack. Bit of rigidity and save space. I know a mate did that and it worked well.

    I feel a spreadsheet coming on 😉

    ransos
    Member

    Lomo make a decent seatpack, but I always use a rack and panniers for road touring.

    stevious
    Member

    The best bit about credit card touring is how lightweight you can go without being uncomfortable.

    No need for loads of spare clothes – just wash the bike stuff in the sink each night and squeeze it out by twisting it in a towel.

    If you’re going to be doing any self-catering then a wee string backpack (the kind kids use for their swim kit) can be useful. Oh, and flip-flops are the easiest footwear to carry.

    Alex
    Member

    Oh another Q. We’ve go the guidebook, the GPX (going onto a Garmin) but we’re probably not going to take paper maps. I want a backup to the Garmin tho on my phone. Any recommendations for best turn by turn mapping app?

    steezysix
    Member

    I want a backup to the Garmin tho on my phone. Any recommendations for best turn by turn mapping app?

    If you have Android, OSMAnd is great and easy to use. There’s a free version which would be fine for your trip, plus a paid version which allows more map downloads and is well worth it. As others have said, you don’t need a lot of stuff if you are staying in B+Bs, you probably won’t see the same people again so no one will notice if you wear the same t-shirt each night! Easiest option is to get an Alpkit Airlok Xtra and strap it straight to your handlebars. This will hold flip flops, clothes and wash kit and be stable enough. If you decide you like bikepacking/touring you can always invest in proper bags later on.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    you probably won’t see the same people again so no one will notice if you wear the same t-shirt each night!

    Merino is your friend if you’re going to wear stuff repeatedly for several nights. Stick it in a basket on the front of your bike with a toothbrush sawn in half, a credit card and you’re good to go. Maybe.

    shedbrewed
    Member

    In terms of personal hygiene I find that if you go into Lush cosmetics they may give you a sampler of their solid deodorant Aromaco bar, or Guv’nor powder. Both work well and take up much less space than aerosol.
    Friend and I did similar to you a few years back and just used small panniers. I was using just under 18litres capacity and had taken spare tee shirts and riding kit.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A_v4qU7qVxs/UgKnE5izEpI/AAAAAAAACZs/e9yyAJh0Zys/s1600/2_tyre.jpg

    Day 1 https://shedbrewed.blogspot.com/2013/08/holyhead-to-home-part-13.html?m=1

    Day 2 https://shedbrewed.blogspot.com/2013/08/harlech-to-home-part-23.html?m=1

    Day 3
    https://shedbrewed.blogspot.com/2013/10/33-rhayader-to-home.html?m=1

    TheBrick
    Member

    Agree on the flip flops front. I tried to go ultra light on that front once and made some using closed cell foam sleeping mat and duck tape. Very light but usless. Just went without in the end.

    whitestone
    Member

    This would be my kit list.

    Bike wear:
    Whatever you feel most comfortable in.
    Waterproof – lightweight if little chance of rain, heavier model if it’s going to be wet.

    Evening wear and spare clothes:
    T-shirt
    Lightweight trousers, either full or 3/4 depending on taste and how warm it is
    Underpants
    Very lightweight top if it’s going to be cool.
    Flip-flops
    Spare cycling socks

    Personal Hygiene:
    Toothbrush (not cut down) and small tube of toothpaste
    Very small tub of bum cream
    Ziplock bag of talc powder (I prefer this to bum cream for dealing with sweat and subsequent saddle soreness)
    Sun cream, though it is Wales.

    Kit:
    Pump
    Inner tube or two
    Patch kit
    Tyre levers
    multi-tool
    Power plug with USB socket to charge GPS and phone (including leads)
    GPS
    Phone
    FA Kit, mostly to deal with cuts and scrapes
    Credit/debit card and cash.

    That lot would easily go into one of the Alpkit tapered bags I linked to earlier and a reasonable sized top tube bag with room to spare for some snacks. Pump and inner tubes could be frame mounted.

    Alex
    Member

    That’s fairly minimal. I’d be adding my non-phone camera, commuter lights if it all goes wrong and we get lost and run out of light. Pump is already on the frame. Neat little Birzman pump/Co2 combo.

    I’ll pile stuff on the bench later and see how it looks.

    Thanks for the mapping recommendation.

    Will have a read of those blogs later as well. Ta.

    whitestone
    Member

    Ah, forgot about lights, but then they’d be on the bike as well rather than in a bag. Proper camera – never sure these days when phones are so capable. I’ll take mine on off-road rides especially if it’s an adventure rather than routine.

    Minimal but more than adequate.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    my ‘action sandals’ 🙂 Proven on many different terrains over the years, and look good worn with a sock!

    To quote your good self back at you, up until now I had always considered you one of the sensible members of this forum. 🙂

    Alex
    Member

    Every man has his blind spot Martin 🙂 Although my rationale for sporting the action sandal is nuanced

    a) I have already paid for them
    b) they will annoy Adam
    c) see b) and repeat

    🙂

    Didn’t get the chance to assemble kit tonight. Will attempt to do so tomorrow. I am looking at my toothbrush now and thinking ‘that’s bigger than it needs to be’ 🙂

    chevychase
    Member

    Did it a few years back in February just as the overhang of a hurricane blew through. It was grim as **** but I refused to be beat – even when I was riding through the driving snow 🙁

    I’d taken all my camping shit with me. But **** no – I bnb’d.

    If I was bnbing again I’d 1) do it in the summer and 2) take my day pack – a 13l Osprey Raven – and nothing more.

    Couple of t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops (maybe) will fit in a pack. Small waterproof. Cards. Spare tube, pump, tool. Everything else can gtfo.

    It’s not hard on the bike, just the legs. How many days you doing it over?

    The Podsac kit gets a thumbs up from me. I have used it a few times bikepacking, credit card touring ( with Mrs I carried all the kit) and use the seat pack and or frame bag on occasional commute. Wouldnt use it to go round the world but its good for occasional use.

    Premier Icon ibnchris
    Subscriber

    My mates and I did a trip like yours last year and all four of us had the same set up – a large ortlieb saddle bag and bizarrely a swim hat strapped to the bars. All spare clothing fit into the swim hat (and stayed dry) and other bits and bobs (tools, flip flops and waterproof) fit nicely in the saddle bag, with room for sarnies etc. And then you’ve got your back pockets too…

    Alex
    Member

    All good info

    @checvychase – 4 nights based on the guidebook I bought. Middle days look a bit lumpy. Definitely glad we’re doing it in summer. Let’s hope it’s one of those dry and warm weeks…

    I really don’t want to carry a pack. Still dithering on frame luggage. Best get a wriggle on as really need to test it before leaving! I’m not sure about the swim-hat tho…

    Alex
    Member

    Not had time to prep kit yet. But I did end up going for the Alpkit bags. They are just such nice people to deal with.

    I need a two bolt post so I can fit the frame rail I bought which makes the seat bag more secure and easy to slide on and off.

    The quadlock bike mount feels really secure. I’m using ‘BikeGPX’ app which is really basic but works well with imported GPX files.

    Proper test next week. Before which 46T rear sprocket and a crack at tubeless.

    Had a quick ride – too damn hot – and it felt fine. Hardly could tell with a lightly loaded pack. Might need a shorter water bottle for the seat tube as it pushes into the bag.

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