Fischer Olpin’s Adventure Tall Bike and Fish-Ski Designs Bags
With its integrated tent and table, Fischer Olpin’s self-made Adventure Tall Bike is one of the most fascinating rigs we’ve stumbled upon in a while. See photos of his one-of-a-kind bike in action and get to know the 24-year-old product designer and bikepacking bag maker here…
Photos by Steve Olpin (@thetalkingfly)
It’s been nearly a year since I first came across young Salt Lake City-based designer Fischer Olpin and his absurd and beautiful double-decker bikepacking rig on Instagram, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to introduce him and his work here. A recent graduate of Utah State University’s outdoor product design and development program, his senior project was a bespoke Zenga brothers-inspired tall bike that’s purpose-built for touring.
The Adventure Tall Bike includes a folding table for prepping meals at camp, attachment points for a built-in tent, front and rear racks, and multiple frame bags for hauling gear. And best of all, he built the whole thing for under $500—something that was important to him for reasons he outlines below. Without further ado, read on for my brief interview with Fischer, plus photos of his bike in action, a build kit, and some background on his handmade bikepacking bag brand, Fish-Ski Designs.
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, and how’d you get into cycling?
My name is Fischer Olpin, I’m 24 years old, and I’m from Midway, Utah. I grew up with super awesome artsy parents who helped me find my creative side and raised me to love all things bikes. Coming from a family of six, biking can be a costly sport, but we always made it work—lots of adapting gear and piecing bikes together.
I always remember hearing my dad’s stories of biking from Canada to Mexico along the West Coast and dreaming about adventures like that. I grew up mostly riding mountain bikes on local trails, which has helped me transition into the bikepacking world. I have recently been finding a lot of joy in long bikepacking trips. I love leaving the house on my bike for multi-day adventures; it’s a great way to clear my head and connect with nature.
How’d the Adventure Tall Bike come to be?
This bike was built for my senior project while I was studying outdoor product design and development at Utah State University. I had wanted to build a tall bike for years and loved watching the Zenga Bros and all the wild bikes they build. One day when brainstorming, I thought, “Why not a tall bike I could take bikepacking/touring?” From there I started to play around with the idea more and got really stoked about it.
What was the guiding principle behind its design?
My goal was to make this bike one of a kind. I spent a while playing around with the idea of integrating the camping system into the bike. After many prototypes, I found a solution to use the bike as support for the tent while having a small cook table on the other side.
I love riding this bike, watching people’s reactions, and seeing the joy that a bike can bring to people. I think that there are too many made-up “rules” in cycling, and these rules often keep people from getting on a bike. I love that I could piece this bike together for under $500. No fancy components, just used parts from the local bike collective.
Can you share some details about the bags and the materials you used in their construction?
Building the bags for the Tall Bike sparked my interest in bikepacking and the world of bike bags. Shortly after graduating, I started designing and sewing bike bags as a side hustle that quickly turned into my full-time job. I currently run Fish-Ski Designs, a custom bike bag company based out of Midway, Utah. As much as possible, I try to work with up-cycled materials, using things that would be sent to the landfill and giving them a second life. I work a lot with old windsurf and sailboat sails. Having a bachelor’s degree in outdoor product design and development has helped me gain the skills necessary to start this company.
Anything else you want to add?
As mentioned, the Tall Bike is built with all used parts collected and was pieced together at the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. There is nothing special about the parts on this bike, and I want it to open people’s minds about building and riding bikes and using what they have access to. I want to motivate people to get out and ride and not worry about having the nicest and fanciest components, either.
Adventure Tall Bike Build Kit
- Frames GT Timberline and an old Schwinn
- Rims SUNringlé
- Hubs Shimano Exage
- Tires Continental Travel Contact
- Handlebars Bullmoose
- Crankset Specialized
- Pedals MTP
- Cassette Something 7-speed
- Derailleur SunRace
- Brakes Promax
- Shifter(s) Suntour Pro
- Saddle WTB
- Seatpost Sakae
- Front bags Fish-Ski Designs
- Frame bags Fish-Ski Designs
- Rear bags Carradice Super C Panniers
- Accessory bags Fish-Ski Designs
- Other accessories Milk crate on custom front cargo rack
Fish-Ski Designs Bikepacking Bags
Equally attention-grabbing as his Adventure Tall Bike, the bikepacking bags Fischer has been making as Fish-Ski Designs are something special. Working with mostly upcycled materials, no two are alike, and he’s clearly not one to shy away from bold colors and patterns. Since making the bags for this bike, Fischer has gone on to develop an extensive range of products, including burrito-style bags, feedbags, beverage carriers, cargo cage bags, seat packs, wedge bags, half and full-frame bags, as well as a handful of fully custom offerings.
Prices for Fish-Ski Designs bags range from $55 up to $175+, and Fischer says his turnaround time has typically been around three to four weeks, though you should contact him for an up-to-date estimate as demand for custom bags has been increasing. He’s also doing regular drops of readymade bags, though it appears everything (except for T-shirts and stickers) is sold out at the time of posting.
You can see all of Fish-Ski Designs’ bags at Fish-Ski.com and on Instagram @fish_ski.designs. Folks interested in learning more about the Adventure Tall Bike can also find some research and design notes in Fischer’s portfolio here. Want even more great tall bike content? Check out the features in the grid below!
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