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Bikepacking with Ride Studio Cafe


For the next two months, we’re talking even more about bikepacking than usual. Now is a great time to be working on a bikepacking bike project with us! We have a lot of expertise to help introduce you to bikepacking, and we’re here to help you get a bike and equipment together.

  • Bike Promo – Details of the promo are found below
  • Every bike is a bikpacking bike, read on
  • Overnight Bikepacking Microadventure Trip – Join us for a local bikepacking trip to test equipment, and learn a lot by trying it out, October 28-29
  • A large, very special selection of Revelate Designs frame, handlebar, top tube, saddle bags and more are found in-store
  • Full display with gear, and Packmule bikepacking bike packed, see how the bags & gear fits
  • Travel S&S coupled bikepacking bike available
  • Bikepacking photos, get inspired!

We have an extensive bike display set up in-store with much of the equipment we use when bikepacking. Come in to take a good look and to talk with us more about this wonderful sport!

What is Bikepacking?

Bikepacking is like backpacking except you’re riding your bike instead of hiking. Bikepacking is also like bike touring except some, or all, of the riding is off paved roads. We camp in the woods and ride in the woods. Much of the equipment one would use for backpacking is useful in bikepacking considering the common need for shelter, preparing food on the trail, and being ready for the elements.

Why Bikepack?

Bikepacking is a whole new way to see the world and experience riding a bikeBikepacking is what you make of it. You can see so much, experience the world in a very different way, and be so much more mobile than if you were on foot. Bikepacking can be done locally and internationally. It’s something you grow into as you do it more, adjust the equipment you bring, figure out how you like to pack your bike. We’ve bikepacked overnight starting from home and staying at a local campsite. This type of trip can be just as fun and fulfilling as a multiple-day, hundreds-of-miles away from home expedition.
We’ve been bikepacking for years because it’s one of the best ways we know of to connect with cycling, commune with nature, and reflect on life.

Equipment: The Bike

Bikepacking is made possible by a well-built, well-thought-through bike designed with bikepacking in mind.

We are one of the top bikepacking retailers in the country. We have the widest array of bike designs created with bikepacking in mind.

We mentioned that all bikes are bikepacking bikes. Technically, that’s true. There’s just optimal and sub-optimal design. Almost any bike can have bags strapped to it and it can be ridden anywhere. However, optimizing the design means comfort for the rider, hassle-free gear carrying, no mechanicals on the trail, and proper gearing on the drivetrain to get to the destination.

Factors that bikepacking bikes need to consider that a typical off-the-shelf bike doesn’t are:
  • Clearance for adequately wide/knobby tires for the terrain
  • Low enough gearing for steep climbs and for easy spinning even when the bike is loaded. There are many ways to achieve lower gearing than the typical compact crank and 11-32 cassette, while not having to sacrifice using modern shifters/derailleurs.
  • Big enough triangle for a frame bag/top tube bag/large bottles, depending upon where the rider wants to carry stuff
  • A third bottle cage to allow for more water portage
  • Will gear need to be carried on the fork? Will you be using cages attached to the fork?
  • Is the bike going to be packed/shipped to get to the ride start? Should the bike be S&S coupled for easy travel?
  • Is the bike designed to handle well with loaded handlebars, saddle bags, frame bags and/or fork-mounted bags?
  • Are you riding in a position that’s comfortable for really long miles on rough terrain?
  • How well does the bike damp the vibration from the trail and protect you from jarring?
  • Are the wheels built to last under load and over any terrain? Do they roll well, and do you trust the hubs to last in all weather?

These two S&S coupled, titanium Evergreens demonstrate the qualities of great bikepacking rigs.

Some bikepackers prefer mountain bars and a more upright position. Some use platform pedals with sneakers so as to more easily assimilate into the community in which they’re riding. This is the perfect time to introduce you to Joe Cruz, one of the sport’s legends, if you haven’t seen his images of bikepacking yet or heard of his expeditions. He rides a Seven Treeline fat bike as shown here for very long bikepacking adventures.

Joe Cruz rides a Seven Treeline, which we worked with him to design, and this is how it came together – all loaded during his Kyrgyzstan trip. Photo by Joe Cruz.

As Joe says, “I don’t care about the equipment, I just want it to be perfect.” For him, bikepacking is about traveling, seeing people, places, and experiencing the world. His bikepacking goals don’t center around the bike, but the bike allows him to get to his destination and everywhere in between. It needs to work, and he needs to not have to think about it.

Photo of Joe Cruz, from his website: joecruz.wordpress.com

The Gear

After perusing our Packing List appropriate for 2-4 day trips in the U.S., you’re likely to get excited to make a list of your own. The bags and equipment built for bikepacking and lightweight backpacking is very well thought-out, and things that used to take up a lot of space – like sleeping bags, crash pads, and tents – are now tiny and very light.

With gear, small things add up quickly in size and weight. Being careful not to overpack is one of the most important parts of bikepacking.

Fundamentally, we recommend starting with properly designed and durable bags created to carry most of the gear. Revelate Designs makes very tough bags that aren’t too heavy.

From there, it’s about trimming down to what is, truly, essential.

Remember that you’ll need to:

  • Navigate. Usually a Garmin is the right choice for getting to where you want to go with the least energy being used.
  • Be safe. Bring what you’ll need – and not more – where it comes to sunscreen, bug spray, water sterilizer & the obvious like helmet, cell phone, money. If you’re in bear country, bring bear spray. Know what to do if you see wildlife – and be aware of what wildlife lives where you’re riding and camping. Consider your distance to civilization. If you’re going off the grid, your cell phone is useless. Take a SPOT tracker so others can find you, and basic first aid items in case you need to care for a wound, or keep a cut clean.
  • Cook. One pot can go a long way. Cups and bowls are useful to eat out of. Be prepared to re-use everything many times. A spork is your best friend. A sharp knife is important for cutting veggies, opening packaging, cutting firewood. Bring fire-starting equipment.
  • Clean. Soap is needed for your dishes. Chamois cream, baby wipe, tea tree oil – keep your shorts clean. Stay clean, then you don’t need to do laundry. Don’t forget: there isn’t room for much of anything in the way of a change in clothes.
  • Sleep. Crash pad, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping bag liner are essential. Depending upon your traveling companions, your needs will be slightly different. Do you need a pillow? Consider a using your jacket. There are some lightweight blow-up ones, too.
  • See. Bring a headlamp because you’ll need light when you’re starting a fire and navigating camp at night. Bring front & rear lights for your bike, even if you won’t be riding at night – because you just never know what your adventure will require. If you need glasses to see, bring a backup.
  • Fix your own bike. What if your bike needs something? Know enough to be able to fix the basic problems on the fly. Bring backup spokes hidden in your seatpost or taped to your seat stays, bring extra tubes, a power link for fixing a chain, have a multi-tool with chain breaker, tire levers, patch kit, extra $1 bills (for booting a tire). Extra duct tape, electrical tape, zip ties are your on-trail insurance. Tune up your bike prior to your trip. Have new brake pads, chain, and tires installed. Why have a mechanical that is preventable?

Try it out! Ride Studio Cafe Microadventure Series: Starry Night Bikepacking October 28-29

The best possible way to learn about bikepacking is to go bikepacking. We’re offering an overnight bikepacking adventure under the stars with friends, fires, and food. This is a supported and low-risk opportunity to have a chance to load up your bike, go on a ride, try your hand at camping, preparing food, learning how to make a great cup of coffee at camp, and talk with others who are very experienced, as well as those who are just starting out.

Register now and start getting your bike and equipment together for the Starry Night Bikepacking trip with Ride Studio Cafe!

Here’s what it entails:

When:  October 28-29, Saturday and Sunday

Departing on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

Returning on Sunday at about 3:00 pm

Where:  Riding into the sunset from Ride Studio Cafe, camping at a nearby campsite, we’ll share the location with those who register, then return to Ride Studio Cafe on Sunday

How:  Any bike will work.  The ideal bike is a true bikepacking bike but even if you don’t have that, or don’t have time to put it together you can join us; we can even carry your camping gear.

Why:  More microadventures are better! Learn about bikepacking and do more of it if you’re already into it!

Only have a road bike? No problem!

For the bikepacking trip, we’re offering a road route for those who want to see what the world of bikepacking entails before investing in the bike and bikepacking-specific equipment. We’ll bring your stuff to the campsite and back again to RSC if you don’t have room for all of it on your bike.

Register Now

The Bikepacking Bike: Very Special Promo

We think bikepacking is great fun, and we want to help you be successful at it – such that you have as much fun with it as we do. Therefore, we’ve prepared two very special offers for you to help you dive into bikepacking! We have more details in-store, come visit us to talk much more about this terrific way to spend time outside and on your bike.



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