In this week’s Debrief, take a close-up look at some brazing, find new French-made oversized bottle cages, highlight a plant that one reader thinks is the best toilet paper on the planet, follow two upcoming bikepacking events, and much more. Check it all out here…
We started “The Debrief” on our YouTube channel last year as a way of highlighting the week’s news and things that caught our attention on the website, in the conversation, and elsewhere around the community. To take this a step further, we’re posting a weekly Debrief here on the site to highlight all of those things and more, including upcoming events and interesting things 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…
Stomplox for Europeans and Americans
Stomp Lox is a cycling shoe brand with a focus on casual, everyday use. The shoes are handmade in Shizuoka City, Japan, and up until recently they only offered an “Asian-fit” that didn’t match up well with European or North American feet. According to Stomplox, Asians tend to have wide feet and a high instep, while Americans and Europeans have narrow feet and a low instep. They just announced the new fit is now being produced and will be available soon. We’ll be sure to update everyone when we know more.
Made in Japan / Details
Canyon Grizl Rack by Reframe Steel
Daniele at Reframe Steel specializes in custom stainless steel bike racks that are handmade by him in Brescia, Italy. A pair of snazzy custom racks for two Canyon Grizls caught our eye, and we reached out to learn more. Daniele opted for a fixed lightweight structure that follows the frame’s curvy chainstays, M5 holes for attaching a bottle or cargo cage, and a minimal design that matches up well with the Grizl’s sporty demeanour. See more on Instagram @Reframe_Steel.
Atelier Medium Biggy Cages
The latest product from Atelier Medium in Paris is the steel Biggy Cage, which is designed to fit most 1-1.5L bottles and is available in six colors. They measure 20cm x 9.5cm and look to be a great option for European bikepackers looking to expand their water-hauling capacity. Atelier Medium also recently launched the Big L (notice the theme here?) cargo cage, which will accept a wider variety of payloads. They say their goal is to “make commuter bikes more friendly and try to convince people that they don’t really need an expensive bike to start an adventure, but they can start with a vintage MTB, upgrade it with modern parts, and get started with only basic knowledge,” which we can certainly get behind.
Made in France / €35 / Details
Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…
Verbascum Thapsus Makes Good Mountain Money
While this comment wasn’t new to the conversation this week, it appeared on our newly redesigned and updated Leave No Trace for Bikepackers: Ride. Camp. Respect. piece we published on Tuesday. According to commenter Larsislost, “Another alternative to using manufactured items (toilet paper, bidet) to clean yourself in the woods is to use natures toilet paper, common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) which is an invasive plant and an ecological threat in much North America. Common mullein has a wonderful fuzzy texture and is a pleasure to use for this purpose. As part of LNT, disturbing plants is very rarely a good idea unless you can be 100% sure in your plant identification and you are using an invasive plant to clean yourself after going to the bathroom. Using the leaf of the plant does not assist in spreading the plant, which spreads by seed. Removing some or all of the leaves, especially in the basal rosette first year stage you can help stop its spread. I have used common mullein in the field to clean myself, dress field wounds, dry myself after a swim, washing dishes, clean my bike and many other uses. IMO there are very things more satisfying than using an invasive plant as toilet paper and helping to save ecosystems at the same time.” Find the original comment here with a couple of links to help you identify it.
Around the Community
News from around the bikepacking world…
Preorders Open for Buckhorn Bags Waxed Canvas Panniers
New Mexico-based Buckhorn Bags let us know that they’ll be opening up preorders on their handmade Waxed Canvas Panniers, with three times as many available as their first run. They are planning to ship all orders by the third week of April, and these are expected to move quickly, so jump on it if you’re looking for some quality panniers. Preorders open Monday the 28th at 8 a.m. MST.
$295 / Details
Cycles Khelys: Under The Shell
Remember Cycles Khelys from our coverage of the Concours de Machines last year? This small frame builder from Vosges, France, just released a beautiful up-close look at their process with some really neat footage. Give it a watch.
Events Starting Soon
What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…
2022 Stagecoach 400
Starting this morning, the Stagecoach 400 is California’s longest mountain bike route highlighting Southern California’s geographic and cultural diversity. The route illustrates the area’s unique proximity to mountains, desert, and ocean… and likewise stands out among peer events for its challenges. Check out our Rigs of the Stagecoach 400 for a look at more than 40 different rig setups at this year’s event.
2022 Florida Divide
This year’s Florida Divide takes off tomorrow at 9 a.m., following a 1,500-mile route across the state from north to south. The organizer, Karlos Bernart, describes the route as the “ultimate long-distance bikepacking route in the Southeast,” where riders can expect to ride miles of off-road terrain ranging from forest roads to remote singletrack. 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…
Virginia: Costa Rica
It’s getting a bit warmer here at home, but not fast enough for my liking. I prefer it hot and, unlike most folks, I like some humidity thrown in for good measure. I also love the opportunity to view amazing wildlife from the saddle. As such, Costa Rica seems like just about the perfect place to visit right now. La Gira de Costa and the Nicoya Peninsula Traverse both look like great options, and not only for cycling—the surf is awesome too.
This “Rouleur” from Clandestine Cycles caught our eye… with those Cleland vibes, it looks like an ATB to me. Find more on Clandestine Cycles at our Field Trip post here.
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