Looking back over the last 15yrs+ my bike touring setups have steadily moved from heavy to lighter and from paved to dirt. One idea I’m keen on is to be able to tour for a couple days on my FS long travel bike self-contained or many days with resupply stops.
Long travel and slack angles means tackling rough steep techy terrain becomes an option that’s fun…not just survivable. Assuming I can pair down my gear enough to deal with a bike that’s not framebag friendly.
So I’m working on the setup you see above with my Pivot Mach 6.
Of course as I get an even lighter enduropacking rig working well there’s no reason not to go back to the Krampus and put it on a diet for a lot of rides. One thing I can say for sure is that everytime I’ve downsized my gear I’ve smiled more as I pedal.
For my first kick at the cat I didn’t want to go too extreme in terms of minimal gear to see how things would shake out. So I pretty much packed all my usual bikepacking gear less stove/fuel and cooking kit.
I have a complete solo UL tent, sleeping pad and bag. Full set of tools and spares. FA kit + InReach, GPS, headlamp and batteries. TP and toiletries. Enough dry food that I can leave on day 1 ride all day, camp and ride all day 2 before getting back to resupply.
In practice I probably wouldn’t do this kind of tour alone due to the likelihood of injury and/or bike damage in techy terrain. So I can split tools/emergency gear and shelter.
I also wouldn’t likely take a tent. I’d either go with a tarp if I am solo….or the footprint, poles and fly of my 2 person UL tent for a deluxe tarp shelter.
All that to say this is the max I’d ever carry.
I packed the bike and took it on one of my favourite loops that showcases a solid selection of coastal BC terrain….think rocky rooty rolling terrain to start with lots of tight turns in the trees….then a smoother climbing trail to gain elevation with periodic rock features to get up….lots of big rocks at the top to punch over and down…and a solid downhill of steep loose dirt…with lots of turns, small drops, steep rock rollers and roots….with a few wooden structures to deal with.
What I would call middle of the road for our local trails. Not deadly or crazy strenuous, but not easy for very long…especially coming down.
How did it work?
I’m of two minds…on one hand it was so capable I couldn’t help smiling. I rode all the same lines I do unloaded and I made every tech section on the trail. I walked the steepest most demanding climb more for a sense of caution than it couldn’t be done…I’m too old to get hurt on a test run! Looking at it the other way the weight in my pack [which was mostly bulky light stuff other than water] definitely affected my riding. While I rode virtually everything including the drops it wasn’t full attack mode. Perhaps that’s not realistic for a enduropacking setup, but I’m really keen to go through my gear and drop my pack weight significantly [ditch tent, quilt vs. sleeping bag and some cold weather gear] as well as attach more to the bike.
I feel like I am not far off the promised land where I can shred at nearly normal levels [on middle of the road gnar] with camping gear….that will be awesome! I’ve got some local tour ideas in mind to test out a lighter setup and prove the concept further. I know I am not breaking any new ground…..but for me this is pretty exciting.