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…
New Randi Jo Fab Bartender Bags
Made in USA / $65 at Randi Jo Fab
Oregon-based Randi Jo Fabrications just added some new waxed canvas color options to their bag lineup, and they’re too beautiful not to share here. They are calling the new color combos Paisley Park, Lucy in the Sky, and Unknown Solider. The new colors are currently available in both their Bartender and Bartender Plus, which are among the nicest stem bags we’ve used.
Sklar Bikes Titanium Seatposts
$289 at Sklar Bikes
Teased at the inaugural MADE Bike Show this fall, the new Sklar Bikes Titanium Seatpost is now available to purchase. Titanium is a great seatpost material as it naturally absorbs road chatter, is flexible, and is strong and lightweight. “Discomfort in your saddle-area can cause you to hold your hips and butt in an odd position that can cause fit issues across your whole body, so we love Titanium seatposts for keeping our butts happy,” said founder and designer Adam Sklar.
Wolf Tooth Morse Cage Ti Gold Are Back
Made in USA / $90 at Wolf Tooth Components
After a long hiatus, the Wolf Tooth Gold Morse Cage Ti is back in stock. The Ti-Nitride coating on these cages is ultra-durable and gives them their distinctive gold hue. They feature our Morse dot-dash mounting pattern that allows for 32mm of vertical adjustment, which is perfect for making room for bigger bottles or other bags.
Close The Gap Hide My Bell
Made in The Netherlands / €42 at Close The Gap
While it’s not technically new, we stumbled upon the Close The Gap Hide My Bell and thought it was worth sharing. Hide My Bell is a nifty little bicycle computer mount for your handlebar that integrates a sleek bell onto the bottom. The design keeps your handlebar clear of accessories, the bell is easily accessible, and it weighs just 47 grams.
Cedaero Trek 1120 Bags
Made in USA / $169+ at Cedaero
Minnesota-based Cedaero Bags is now offering front and rear bags designed specifically for the Trek 1120’s integrated rack system. The bags are made from a burly 1000D Cordura fabric with a nylon liner, have foam stiffeners on all sides, and features interior mesh pockets to help keep small items organized. For now, they are offered in two stock color options: Mandarin/Grey and Bluestone/Barn Red.
Campfire Cycling Make it Mine Configurator
Campfire Cycling in Tucson just launched a nifty online bike configurator tool called “Make it Mine.” The new tool allows you to completely customize a bike before purchasing it, including everything from tires, grips, and splashes of color for a personal touch. You can save 20-30% on upgrades and an additional 10% on accessories. See the tool in action at CampfireCycling.com.
Lifesaver Wayfarer Purifier
$105 at IconLifeSaver.com
The new LifeSaver Wayfarer water purifier uses a hollow fiber membrane that physically traps contaminants, eliminating 99.999% of bacteria, cysts, and viruses. The purifier weighs just 323 grams (11.4 oz), has a 1,320 gallon lifespan, and boasts an impressive initial flow rate of 1.4L per minute. It uses a 4.2-foot scavenger hose to draw water directly from the source and a 1.6-foot out hose to fill your bottle or bladder. Replacement filter cartridges and carbon discs are available once they need replacing.
Rogue Panda Leopard Prints
Made in USA / $75+ at Rogue Panda
Rogue Panda Designs just added Leopard and Leopard Tie Dye print options to their top tube and frame bag lineup, which are both customizable using their online web shop tool. Rogue Panda offers a variety of other options, such as bolt-on or strap-on bags, different shaped frame bags, and more.
Ultra Cycling & Bikepacking: All you need to know
$29 at Amazon
Ultra Cycling & Bikepacking is a new book by Stefan Barth, founder of SBU Coaching, for anyone planning to go on a long-distance ride. The book contains insights from exclusive interviews with Christoph Strasser, Lael Wilcox, James M. Hayden, Jenny Tough, Pierre Bischoff, Mareile Hertel, Jochen Böhringer, Anna Bachmann, Matti Köster, Meaghan Hackinen, Kai Saaler, Eduard Fuchs, Josh Ibbett, and Ulrich Bartholmös.
Pre-Orders Open for Wren Perseverance Front Rack
Made in Taiwan / $180+ at Wren Sports
Now available for pre-order, the Wren Front Suspension Rack is designed to work with any Wren inverted suspension fork. The large platform was made intentionally for hauling packrafts, Wald-style wire baskets, large top-loading handlebar bags, and whatever else you want to strap on. Wren is offering a 10% pre-order discount on the rack and a 20% discount if you purchase a rack and inverted suspension fork together. See more photos from our MADE Bike Show coverage here.
Buffalo Bags Packing List Tee
Made in Thailand / $30 at Buffalo Bags
You’ll never forget your lamp or soul again when packing up for your next bikepacking trip with Buffalo Bags’ new Packing List Tee. The design is printed on a soft 100% cotton t-shirt, unisex fit, four sizes, and Buffalo Bags offers free worldwide shipping via Thailand Post Worldwide.
Exchanges and ideas that caught our attention in the site’s conversation section…
Budget Bike Survey Results
Thanks to everyone who participated in our Bikepacking Budget survey last week. It was interesting to see the numbers from nearly 1,000 entries. Perhaps the two most telling metrics where what’s shown above. 70% of the survey participants bought their bikepacking bike new, and well over half spent less than $3,500 on it. The other two questions were very scattered, but it was interesting to see that over half the participants spent less than $500 on their camping gear and less than $400 on bags and racks. This shows that there’s not much of an appetite for actually buying ultra high-end stuff, but we think folks still like seeing/dreaming about it. Either way, we love creating these surveys and seeing your feedback. It helps shape the content we create on the site, and we plan on doing more. Let us know in the conversation below about what you’d like to learn from our audience.
Around the Community
News from around the bikepacking world…
Dyed in the Wool AI-Designed Bags
Since the introduction of AI tools in the design world, Dyed in the Wool (DITW) has been busy experimenting with it and looking for ways to incorporate it into their bag designs. Javier from Amapola Cycles asked DITW to make some bags to match his beautifully painted new frame for this year’s Bespoked event, and they used AI to create a bag pattern to match the abstract, watercolour, ink-splatter paint job of the frame. Read more here.
Black Metal Bikepacking
In preparation for the Bright Midnight event in Norway, ultra endurance athlete Sofiane Sehili takes us on a tour in Norway. Watch the entertaining video he made along the way above.
Istra Land 2023 (Video)
More than 400 riders showed up for this year’s Istra Land event, following a 400-kilometer route between Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy, across Istria, a triangular-shaped peninsula in the turquoise Adriatic Sea. The first finisher was Gregor Lah. Gregor completed the loop in just 17 hours and 12 minutes. The first female finisher was Hannah Ghazi-Idrissi, arriving back in Sežana in just over 22 hours.
Blue Lug Visits Rivendell Bicycle Works
The crew from beloved Japanese bike shop Blue Lug recently visited Rivendell HQ in Walnut Creek, California, and they put together a video tour of the shop and a look at several interesting staff bikes. Find the 70-minute video above.
Lost Dot launches The Accursed Race: a no-fly, off-road, fixed route race in the Balkans
Lost Dot, the organizers behind the Trans Pyrenees and Transcontinental Race, are officially launching a new off-road event called The Accursed Race (TAR). Named after the mythical Accursed Mountains in the southern Dinaric Alps, the off-road, fixed-route race will take riders through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Scheduled to start in Shkodër, Albania, on May 14th, 2024, the inaugural edition will be 1,600 kilometers long, boasting 37,000 meters of climbing. It will also be a no-fly event, a move that Lost Dot says will help offset the carbon footprint of folks flying all over the world for events like these. Follow The Accursed Race on Instagram to learn more.
Bikepacking the North Coast 500 Alone
Tom Wall from the Cycling366 YouTube channel recently went bikepacking in Scotland following the North Coast 500. Tom put together a stunning video showcasing the world-renowned route packed full of incredible scenery and breathtaking landscapes. See the 25-minute video above.
Events Starting Soon
What to watch this weekend and bikepacking events starting soon…
2023 Tassie Gift
The Tassie Gift is a relentless 1,800-kilometer bikepacking event along roads, trails, and goat tracks on the island of Tasmania. There are 30 riders registered for the grand depart, which took off from Hobart early yesterday morning. Follow their progress live here.
Wish We Were Here
Shedding a little light on a route one of us is dreaming about riding at the moment…
Lucas Winzenburg: Baldy Bruiser
I’ve been in sunny Southern California this week, and as I prepare to leave, I’m already eager to return. My sights are set a little further north on the Baldy Bruiser near Los Angeles, which I hope to tackle with a local friend later this winter. It’s held my interested since we first published it and later shared a highly entertaining story from the route in the fifth issue of The Bikepacking Journal.
Some things we found around the ‘gram and elsewhere. This week, a handful of photos from this year’s Japanese Odyssey…
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