This week’s Debrief features discounted leopard print X-Pac from Dyed in the Wool, a stem bag for kids, a Park Tool factory tour, the quest for the perfect bikepacking rig, an event to follow live, and more. Find it all here…

The weekly Debrief highlights small but important bits of news, products, and things that caught our attention on the website, in the conversation, and elsewhere around the community. These include upcoming events and interesting items our readers shared in the comments. Check out this week’s findings below.

Bits & Bobs

New products that are worth highlighting but didn’t make the Dispatch…

Portland Design Works Wee Sip Bottle Holder

$28 at RIDE PDW

Wee Sip Bottle Holder

The Wee Sip Bottle Holder from Portland Design Works is a simple stem bag designed to accommodate a wide variety of bottles. It has a drawstring closure, an 80mm inner diameter, and there’s an adjustable lower strap to carry bottles of varying heights. It’s made from recycled ECOPAK X-Pac, includes three interchangeable patches, and weighs 50 grams.

Dyed in the Wool Leopard Print

Made in Poland / €50+ at Dyed in the Wool

dyed in the wool leopard

Previously only available as a special request, Dyed in the Wool just added a fun leopard print ECOPAK to its lineup of fabric options. Now, it’s the same price as any other fabric and can be selected at checkout. Plus, until the end of the month, they are offering a promo of 10% off all leopard print bags with the code “LEOPARD.”

Zpacks Altaplex Lite Tent

Made in USA / $669 at Zpacks

Zpacks Altaplex Lite

The new Zpacks Altaplex Lite Tent uses a single trekking pole or optional carbon pole to pitch, has full bug protection, and is long enough to accommodate users up to 6’6″ tall. It requires a minimum of six stakes (10 are recommended), weighs just 374 grams (13.2 oz) without a pole or stakes, and costs $669 USD.

Saris Tailgate Pads

$219.99+ at Saris

Saris Tailgate Pad

The new Saris Tailgate Pads are designed to keep up to five or six of your bikes safe and secure on your way to the trailhead and feature two 11 x 6″ inner storage pockets for tools/accessories, quick-attach/release G-hooks with a curved design to protect bike frames, a fold-up window to provide clear back-up camera viewing, strategic block spacing, and more.

In Conversation

Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…

Hardtail, Gravel Bike, or Drop-Bar 29er?

Kona Ouroboros Review

Neil’s review of the polarizing new Kona Ouroboros stirred up much discussion about preferences for gravel bikes equipped with short-travel suspension forks, drop-bar mountain bikes, full-suspension trail bikes, and the pros and cons of each. What do you think? If you could only have one, what’s your top pick as your dream bikepacking bike?

Around the Community

News from around the bikepacking world…

Spellbound by The Old Ghost Road

Mallika Goel and her husband recently took on the stunning Old Ghost Road in New Zealand, where they spend three days pedaling along the rugged 85-kilometer track and sleeping in huts. They’ll soon be off on a yearlong bike adventure abroad and said it was the perfect way to bid farewell to New Zealand. Watch the short video from their trip above.

Park Tool Factory Tour

Are you curious about what goes on inside Park Tool headquarters in Saint Paul, Minnesota? In their latest video, president and chief mechanic Eric Hawkins leads a tour of their facility, where over 500 different tools are designed, machined, assembled, packaged, and shipped.

Transcontinental Book on Kickstarter

Transcontinental Race Book

To celebrate the 10th edition of the Transcontinental Race, organizers Lost Dot are creating an official book to tell the stories of everyone who has ridden, spectated, volunteered, or sought inspiration. TRANSCONTINENTAL: The Race that Changed Cycling will share stories from the first decade of the event, including stories of determination and perseverance plus in-depth essays from Anna Haslock, Camille McMillan, Josh Ibbett, and more. You can support the project and get yourself a softcover book starting at £38. Learn more here.

Kea Leboha, Lesotho

Pas Normal Studios’ latest short video showcases the rugged beauty of Lesotho, sharing the briefest of vignettes from the mountainous African country. Watch it above.

Events Starting Soon

What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…

RockStar Challenge

RockStar VA 2018

The RockStar VA Grand Depart is an annual challenge to bike from Rocktown (Harrisonburg) to the Star City (Roanoke) along the RockStar TRAIL, GRAVEL, or PAVED routes. The trail route is just under 270 miles, and the grand depart kicks off tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. local time. Follow along live here.

Wish We Were Here

Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…

Neil Beltchenko: Sheltowee Trace

Sheltowee Bikepacking Route Video

This week, I’m thinking about the friends and family who have shaped my life and the experiences with others that have changed me and made me who I am today. The trip on the Sheltowee Trace Bikepacking Route a few years ago was a shift in my ways of bikepacking. It signaled the start having more fun, bikepacking with friends, and caring less about urgency from point A to point B. Who would have thought a trip to Kentucky in April of 2021 would be a trip of a lifetime, but it truly was, and I’ll never forget the memories and friendships made on that trip.

Weekly Social

Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, a random assortment of favorite portraits selected by Lucas, including a recent one from the White Rim…

Further Reading

Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...




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