This week’s Debrief features new saddles from WTB, Ortlieb Mustard Bags, Crust ScapeTORCHED, rear rack load limits, what happens when your Tour Divide doesn’t go to plan, two events to follow live, and much 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…

Ortlieb’s Limited Edition Mustard Bags

Made in Germany / $140-185 at Ortlieb: Frame Pack Handlebar Pack Seat Pack

Ortlieb Mustard Bikepacking Bags

ORTLIEB just released a limited edition run of three of their bikepacking bags in a Mustard color. The three bags are available now on ORTLIEB’s site, but we’re not sure how many there are or how long they’ll last.

New WTB Silverado and Volt Saddles

$48-$250 at WTB

WTB 2023 Saddles

WTB has updated their Silverado and Volt saddles with a new look and improved comfort thanks to their Fusion Fork technology, allowing WTB to fine tune the flex profile of each saddle. The new Silverado has a slightly flatter profile, shorter 265mm length, and is offered in a traditional wrapped-and-stapled version in medium (142mm) width and steel or chromoly rails for a more affordable price point. The Volt’s shape remains the same but has an updated look thanks to Fusion Form.

Fernweh Kimchi Rice Bowl

Made in Oregon, USA / $14 at Fernweh

  • Fernweh Kimchi Rice Bowl
  • Fernweh Kimchi Rice Bowl

The Oregon-based camping food brand Fernweh introduced a new plant-based meal recently. The Kimchi Rice Bowl is a Korean-inspired dish with lots of veggies and a jasmine rice base. We gave it a try and were impressed. It needs a little salt but the flavor is rich and it packs a nice heat. And like the other Fernweh meals we reviewed, it comes in a compostable bag.

Chris King Factory Finds Program

Made in USA / $150+ at Chris King

Chris King

Chris King Precision Components is launching a new initiative called Factory Finds, a program offering a curated selection of products in sunset colors from past seasons. These products, while no longer part of the 2023 product offering, are first quality and present a unique opportunity for cyclists to acquire what are now, essentially, limited edition items.

In Conversation

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

Rear Rack Weight Limits

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

A couple of readers asked questions and mentioned rear rack load weight limits in our review of the Ortlieb Quick Rack earlier this week. As you can see in the comparison chart on that post, there is quite a bit of variation. But, as several of us here were discussing, even the ones with the lowest load limits are rated over what we’d need, even when maxed out. What are your thoughts, and how much do you usually carry on a rear rack?

Around the Community

News from around the bikepacking world…

OMNIUM – Bike Park Day

Jumbo, the founder of Copenhagen, Denmark-based Omnium, makers of some of our favorite cargo bikes on the market, recently took his Mini-Max to the Vallåsen Bike Park in Sweden for some highly scientific testing to see how it’d handle flying over jumps at speed. See how his experiment fared in the highly entertaining and beautifully shot video above.

Fairlight Cycles Framebag Dimensions Lookbook

Fairlight frame bag lookbook

If you ride a Fairlight Cycles frame and have been thinking about getting a custom frame bag made, they just made that process far easier by releasing a lookbook for frame dimensions for all models and all sizes. It includes all front triangle inside dimensions and angles as well as downtube safe zones for straps for full frame bags. Check it out here.

Crust ScapeTORCHED

Crust ScapeTorched

Tin Ojeda from Crust recently lit his Crust ScapeBOT frame on fire and shared some photos of the finished product over on the Crust Bikes blog, Dropped Chain. Check out the Crust ScapeTORCHED here.

Scratched. When your Tour Divide doesn’t go as planned.

Julie Labrecque was the first pink dot to scratch on the 2023 Tour Divide. She set out on the Grand Depart with an L5 S1 herniated disc that wasn’t fully healed, which inflamed on the very first day. Things got really bad on the second day as she was pulling her bike up “the Wall.” She eventually scratched on Day 9, but had an amazing time.

Shovel Research “Rod Steward” Manufacturing Process

Shovel Research published this video earlier in the week that takes a look into the production process behind their Rod Steward, a bag support designed for the popular Ron’s Bikes Fab’s Chest and other top-opener bags.

Events Starting Soon

What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…

Dead Ends & Cake

Dead Ends and Cake 2023

Dead Ends & Cake is a self-supported and self-navigated bikepacking event in eastern Switzerland with fresh cake at the checkpoints. Each checkpoint is located at the very end of a dead-end road and the event starts and finishes in St. Gallen. There are nearly 100 riders signed up for the event, which took off at 6 a.m. local time. Follow their progress live here.

BC Epic 1000

2018 BC Epic 1000

The BC Epic 1000 follows a 1,040-kilometer mix of service roads, doubletrack, and singletrack along a good portion of the Trans Canada Trail from Merritt to Fernie. There are over 50 riders registered for the grand depart, which takes off tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Follow along live here.

Ascend Armenia

Ascend Armenia

Ascend Armenia is a self-supported ultra-distance bikepacking race following a 1,100-kilometer route over a diverse and challenging mix of terrain and surfaces. The inaugural event takes off from Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, on Sunday at 8 a.m. local time. Follow along live here.

And many more…

There are several other events going on this weekend, including the Kenai 250, Veneto Trail, Hell(ish) of the North West, Transpyrenees, and others. Head over to the Events Calendar to check them all out.

Wish We Were Here

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

Lucas Winzenburg: The Lesotho Traverse

Lesotho Traverse Bikepacking Route

Every now and then, I’ll open up our global route map and have a peek around to catch up on new routes I’ve missed and revisit classics that I’ve had my eye on for some time. My most recent visit to the map turned up The Lesotho Traverse in southern Africa, a mesmerizing route across the Mountain Kingdom that I’ve flipped through on more than a few occasions. The tiny high-elevation country has long held my interest, and seeing photos from regular contributors such as Johan Wahl, Leo Brinkmann, and our own Logan Watts has earned the route a top position on my bucket list. Someday!

Weekly Social

Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, a handful of updates from the 2023 BT 700 event in Ontario, Canada…




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