This week’s Debrief features the Big Lonely Ochoco, One Minute on the Rennsteig, the new Kinesis Fernweh, two events to follow live, and a whole lot 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…

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag Gets Redesign

2023 Sea to Summit Dry Bag

The rugged Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag has always been a good choice for use as a cargo cage bag or a rack top bag. The system just got a complete redesign this week featuring a new multi-lashing point daisy chain and new colors that include Gold Brown, Picante Red, and Surf Blue. The Big River Dry Bag is made from a burly 420D TPU nylon and comes in 5, 8, 13, and 20-liter sizes with an oval base.

160 grams (8L) / $40-50 at REI 5L 8L 13L

Shovel Research Rod Steward in Black

rod steward black

The Shovel Research Rod Steward is a minimal and elegant 6061-T6 aluminum bag support system designed to fit the Ron’s Bikes Fab’s Chest bag, although likely works with other bags as well. They just added a small number of black anodized supports and light mounts to their web shop, and they look pretty slick.

Made in USA / $100 at Shovel Research

7mesh Spring ’23

2023 7mesh Line

“Higher Ground” is the theme of 7mesh’s Spring 2023 apparel collection, with several new styles and a variety of new colors throughout the range. We’ve been pretty impressed with 7mesh’s apparel over the years, with favorites like the Farside short, the Northwoods Windshell, and the Glidepath pants. Check out the new lineup in the links below.

New 2023 line in Men’s 2023 and Women’s 2023

GS1 Evo Now Available in the US

Ergon GS1 Evo

The wait is over. Back in the summer, Ergon announced the 100% made-in-Germany GS1 Evo combining winged grip from the best-selling GP1 and the sleek profile and off-road grip of the popular GA3. As of today, it’s now available for purchase in the US.

Made in Germany / $37.95 at Ergon

Kinesis Fernweh

Kinesis Fernweh

Working closely with ambassador Emma Osenton on the design, the new Kinesis Fernweh is their take on a do-it-all bikepacking frame for the toughest and most challenging conditions. It’s built using lightweight cold-drawn seamless 3Al/2.5V titanium tubing, an optional Columbus Futura Adventure carbon fork, boost hub spacing, clearance for 29 x 3.5″ tires, and lots of mounting points. The Fernweh comes in five sizes and is currently available as a frame only or frame and fork.

Made in Taiwan / £2,400 at

Backcountry Expands MTB Apparel Lineup

Backcountry MTB line

Backcountry just announced a number of updates and additions to its popular MTB gear and apparel collection for the season ahead. They’ve added multiple lengths of their best-selling Slickrock trail shorts in men’s and women’s sizes, introduced a new hip pack, and more. See it all below.

$39 to $129 at

In Conversation

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

Poop or Plastic

The Best Wag Bags

There have been quite a few comments both on the YouTube video and our post on the same subject regarding the implications of packing poop out of the backcountry. Several folks have posed the argument that it just means more plastic. As one reader put it, “I’m curious what’s better for the long term welfare of our world. Some poop buried in the desert for a few years, or more single use plastic in our landfills for decades-or longer.” Obviously, it’s a necessary task in some locations, such as Moab. But are there other solutions that don’t involve using more plastic? Reusable peanut butter jars and biodegradable wag bags come to mind, but if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please leave a note in the conversation below.

Around the Community

News from around the bikepacking world…

One Minute of the Rennsteig Express

This new video shared by a reader features one minute of footage from a solo ride on the Rennsteig Express, a 109-mile bikepacking route traversing the Thüringer Forest on the historic Rennsteig Ridge Trail.

Kentucky Cycling Podcast covers Sheltowee Bikepacking Route

Kentucky Cycling Podcast interviewed route creator Austin Render to take a deep dive into Kentucky’s newest (and most rigorous) bikepacking route, the Sheltowee Bikepacking Route.

Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act Reintroduced

Eastern Divide Trail Segment 2 Tamarack

On March 3, 2023, leaders in Congress reintroduced the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act (H.R. 1319/S. 605). The BOLT Act builds on the success and momentum of the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020 by recognizing the importance of long-distance trails to inspire backcountry discovery while supporting small rural communities. Learn more about the BOLT Act here.

The Big Lonely Ochoco

Back in May of 2022, Chris and Rob attempted to combine the Big Lonely bikepacking route with the Ochoco Overlander. They experienced uncooperative weather, detours, a late start, and good fun, as usual with this duo.

Events Starting Soon

What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…

The Drift 100

The Drift 100 Event

The Drift 100 is a self-supported winter race in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, the largest mountain range in the state. Much of the course is along the Continental Divide. As Drifters will be both navigating back and forth over the Divide itself and traversing it, they’ll reach elevations just shy of 10,000 feet. The race takes off this morning at 9 a.m. from Pinedale, and you can follow along live here.

Cloudride Prologue

Cloudride Prologue

The Cloudride Prologue is a long-weekend “flashpacker” for riders to get some fitness and experience tough racing conditions over similar terrain to the full Monaro Cloudride in three weeks’ time. The intention of the Cloudride Prologue is to provide an entry level for first time bikepacking riders to test gear, navigation, and themselves over two or three days. The ride starts from Bentspoke Brewing Co. in Canberra, Australia, on March 11th, 6 a.m. local time. You can follow along here.

Wish We Were Here

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

Zahir Nayani: New Forest Gravel Taster

I had the recent privilege of spending 24 hours in the New Forest with my Rivendell Susie W. Longbolts riding a truncated version of the New Forest Gravel Taster. Bracken, wild ponies, and the scent of petrichor are a restorative tonic for those of us with demanding professional lives. The evening’s gastronomical delights comprised a hearty fish supper in Lyndhurst followed by a fun group ride hosted by The Woods Cyclery on Sunday morning. I left feeling rejuvenated and wistful for my return in the summer.




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