Apidura is one of the longest standing makers of bikepacking luggage out there – and can maybe credited as being the first to really bring mass-production to what was previously a bit of a niche industry. It’s range has remained largely stable over the last few years, so it’s interesting to see some new products – this time focussed on the racers out there.
Apidura Racing Series
The Apidura Racing Series is a set of three packs, designed for ultra-distance racing and audax riding. In Apidura’s own words, “the packs unite minimal weight and optimal performance in an uncompromising package – for racing across continents, participating in audax and randonneur events, and for fast-paced, long-distance rides.”
Each of the three packs (a bar bag, frame bag and saddle bag) is constructed from “Hexalon”, which is a bespoke laminated fabric developed specifically for Apidura. The company says that after testing 15 different commercially available materials with riders and ambassadors, none were met its design brief based on the demands of ultra-distance competition. The new material designed and developed by Apidura is waterproof and lightweight, with strong tear and abrasion resistance.
“Before Hexalon, there was no fabric in existence that met each and every one of the qualities we required. It was possible to have a lightweight, waterproof and durable fabric, but not one that was also weldable. A durable, waterproof, and weldable fabric was also possible, but it wouldn’t have been very lightweight. We needed something that did it all, without compromise.”
All the packs are titchy – Apidura says “capacity volume has been based around an ultralight packing philosophy”. We say take less
sh… stuff if you want to ride fast. As fitting for kit that is as likely to see as much use in the hours of darkness as the middle of the day, each pack features high visibility design elements.
We welcome the smaller size packs, and not just for bikepacking racing at the sharp end. Minimalist overnighter or even being fully prepared on long day rides usually needs a small amount of kit and we’ve sometimes found that larger bikepacking bags end up partially empty (and less stable or lose their structure as a result).
Here’s a run down of the specs of each of the bags:
- Racing Saddle Pack (5L)
- Price: £125
An ultra-compact saddle pack designed for the rigours of long distance competition and audax. Featuring a sleek design with a compact 5L capacity, the pack is ideal for storing light, compressible items over vast distances. It’s designed to fit ergonomically under the saddle with a sturdy three-point attachment system, minimising sway and reducing drag.
Light attachment points are laser-cut into the fabric, increasing rider safety without adding unnecessary weight. A high-contrast reflective feature is specially designed to enhance visibility in all light conditions.
The attachment points are reinforced with Hypalon, a durable rubberised nylon that provides extra protection against friction and puncture. For the fastening system, Woojin buckles have been chosen for strength and proven reliability.
A roll-top closure provides adjustable capacity, and tailored webbing, straps and buckles shed extra weight, while ensuring the simplest setup for ease of use, when every second matters.
- Racing Handlebar Pack (5L)
- Price: £115
An easy-access, convertible storage space that fits directly to either regular handlebars or aerobars.
Designed with long distance competition in mind, the Racing Handlebar Pack uses the space beneath the handlebars to provide flexible storage and allow easy access to items on the go. The pack consists of a large storage chamber and inspired by Apidura’s ambassadors’ use of twin food pouches, two easy-access, removable side compartments. The large chamber can be used for bulkier items such as a bivy bag, while the side compartments provide space for water bottles, snacks or small electronics. The side compartments can be opened or closed with one hand, and fold over securely to protect from rain. The pack also features a stretchy upper pocket, designed to hold a SPOT tracker (the most common way of tracking self-supported and ultra cycling events) securely in place.
The pack attaches via reinforced lightweight velcro straps that are versatile enough for aerobars, drop handlebars, and all other bar shapes.
- Racing Frame Pack (2.5L)
- Price: £90
An easy-access storage space with a universal fit, the Racing Frame Pack is geared for pure performance.
The Racing Frame Pack utilises the area inside a bike’s main triangle, creating a lower centre of gravity and enabling more neutral handling. This makes it useful for storing heavier, bulkier items, as well as items that need to be accessed on the go.
The four velcro straps are lightweight, easy to use, and can be set in multiple positions to ensure compatibility when used alongside a top tube pack. An integrated thermoset structure adds stiffness and allows the pack to be exceptionally minimal and lightweight, and a flexible pocket divider securely holds contents in place. For added convenience, a protected cable port enables charging of devices on the go.