On One Scandal Bikepacker Redux…

Porcelain Rocket framebag at the heart of the rig…

Back in 2012 I wanted to try out some “bikepacking” and decided a low cost 29er would be a good place to start. So I ordered a $250 frame from On One USA and built it up with an Alfine 11 IGH and RockShox Reba fork. I rode it through the rest of 2012 on all my dirt camping adventures.

Scandal 2012 bikepacking setup…

In early 2013 I got enamoured with 29+ tires and wanted a bike with a more relaxed geometry for techy singletrack bikepacking missions. That train of thought resulted in my Surly Krampus being built up. The Krampus has been great as a bikepacking rig. So great in fact that it occurred to me to get a second Krampus and keep it setup for chill forest service road style trips aka Gravel Pimping.

Front view…

I’m both lazy and finicky so after I get a bike setup just how I want it for a certain kind of riding I am loath to go and mess with it. My Vancouver Island Tour in 2015 reminded me that a bike setup for techy singletrack wasn’t ideal for sitting and spinning all day on a dirt road.

29+ tire and carbon fork…

Of course in Jan 2016 I decided this year would be the Buy [almost] Nothing Year! A second Krampus definitely doesn’t compute when you are just repairing what you already own. Luckily I had that Scandal frame hanging in the garage and a pile of spare parts I could throw at it. Boom! 🙂

All day grinding comfort friendly cockpit…

With a rigid Whisky carbon fork, a Jones Loop H-bar and a comfy Selle Anatomica saddle the Scandal started to look like a very nice dirt road machine. I had some light-ish Velocity Blunt 35 rim + Hope hub wheels I could use and a 1 x 10 Shimano drivetrain. I stole the Shimano SLX brakes off the Krampus as they had never rocked my world with amazing stopping power. For this application they’d do just fine.

SA leather saddle to keep my butt happy…

I own a set of Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29 x 2.4″ tires and I was going to use them, but on a lark I threw a spare Surly Knard 29 x 3.0″ tire on the front on the Scandal. I’m not sure it’s a keeper, but I hope it will provide some of the comfort and surefootedness I love about riding the Krampus without slowing things down noticeably. If I don’t really dig the Knard I’ll just roll on two Racing Ralphs.

1×10 gears for reliable shifting and enough range to get up mountains…

I already had a Porcelain Rocket framebag so it was easy to add luggage to the Scandal.

From the rear…

All in all I’ve got a nice and lightweight alternative to the Krampus shod with fast rolling rubber. I’m looking forward to riding it this weekend on the first bike camping trip of the year.

6 thoughts on “On One Scandal Bikepacker Redux…

  1. I like it. I suspect you may find the knard out front very much to your liking if there is any coarseness to the gravel you encounter.
    I think you will dig what Tadhg is going to be ‘packin on this summer. It was built on a similar budget.


      1. I can’t say for sure, but i might be inclined to put 27.5+ in there if they fit. That way front and rear would match. Fat front on the Mukluk did work pretty well for me though.


  2. I doubt a I’d fit a B+ in the rear and I’m not excited about lowering the BB with some puny B+ rubber that might just barely fit. I also don’t have a spare set of 27.5 wheels and B+ tires to use. With the no buying plan in place that means it’s a no go.

    I’d much rather just run the tires the frame was designed to run with if my 29+ front tire experiment isn’t successful.

    This bike is not going to get used on singletrack….just dirt roads.

    And to be honest I’m not much a fan of B+. If I was building a custom bikepacking rig it would be 29+. I can think of virtually no circumstances where I would want a small wheel touring on rough terrain. The one exception would be a long-travel FS bike, but touring on one seems pretty unlikely.


  3. Awesome! Just don’t sit down too hard. Those saddle rails are made of cheese – never seen one that wasn’t brand new that wasn’t bent or broken… I personally also think the Knard is a death trap as a front tire on loose-on-hard surfaces (many gravel roads). All the notable crashes I’ve had in the last three years, if which there are too many, can be attributed to that combo. That includes losing a tooth (after some expensive dental bills), destroying a helmet, hardshell jacket and several shirts (separate occasions), and summer physio. Be safe!


    1. I’ve used SA saddles for years…even on my 6″ travel FS bike when clamped at a reasonable point along the rails I have yet to have an issue with them. The saddle in the photos is at least 3yrs old…possibly older and not bent.

      I’ve also found the Knards to be great on gravel. I’ve got a few thousand Kms on them and not one bad moment. The two places they have let me down is once things get muddy or slippery/loose off camber trails. The Chupas are better in those conditions, but I don’t want to ride hundreds of Kms of gravel on Chupas.

      Sorry to hear about your crashes. Getting hurt sucks!


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