Posted by Cass Gilbert
Words by Bas Overbeek (@detour.studio)
Hi, I’m Bas Overbeek. I was born in the Netherlands, which is like being born on a bicycle. I’ve been crazy about riding bikes since I was a little kid riding around the neighbourhood. First on an innocent kids bike and later on a BMX bike, dragging a little kicker ramp around and pulling off all sorts of bike shenanigans while eating some dirt and concrete every now and then.
Cycling kind of faded out of the picture for a few years, but immediately kicked back in about 10 years ago when I stumbled across a fixed gear bike. The bike was so incredibly clean without any brakes, cables, or shifters. It totally blew my mind! So, of course, I had to get one for myself. I gave it a custom paint job and rode around cities, riding alleycat races like a mad man for a while.
A few years later I found myself on a road bike but was always longing for more diversity in road surfaces so I jumped on an XC mountain bike. These bikes are pretty sluggish on the road but fun in the woods.
When I finished my bachelor’s degree in fine art I felt a strong urge to explore the world. On a random night while drinking wine and looking at a star-filled sky with one of my friends, I came up with the idea to go and explore South East Asia by bike for a while. And that’s exactly what I did about a year later. I rode across Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam mostly on quiet roads, but enjoyed the gravel sections the most. My Surly Long Haul Trucker didn’t flinch, but the way it was packed and the geometry weren’t really at home there.
That’s where I started to fantasise about a different setup on the bike, ditching the super classic Ortlieb bag configuration in favour of a more bikepacking style setup. When I met Chris and Amanda in Laos I immediately noticed the framebag that Chris had made himself. Despite being a maker, funnily enough I never really thought about making bags myself. But seeing what he made truly inspired me to explore sewing and give making my own bags a serious go. So I made a porteur style bag to carry my stuff to and from work, the grocery store, and campouts. Making that one bag triggered something within me and snowballed into setting up my own studio and brand to make and sell bags to other people. I’m in the process of setting things up professionally, but I’ve made quite a few bags already. It’s so rewarding to, for example, see some friends exploring the Scottish Highlands with a custom framebag I made.
After finishing up in South East Asia, I took a plane to Madrid and rode home from there. The endless gravel and dirt roads were an absolute godsend over the busy roads filled with honking traffic in Vietnam. This is where my camping gear finally came into good use as I was mostly camping in the woods. And it’s where I fully discovered my love for bikepacking and dirt-road touring.
Just recently I rode the Ardennes Arbalète together with Chris and Amanda (who I met in Laos). Andy and Cass joined in on day three (see here for the route report). This is where everything came into its own. The bike, the bags, the company, the scenery, the adventure. Bikepacking. I absolutely love it!
Cycling really clears and organises my always buzzing mind while the physical element of it grounds me out. Being out in nature with friends seals the deal for me. Bringing some food and coffee supplies on a long ride, having a good time on the bike, and when we feel like it chilling out in a nice spot for some hot food and drinks to me is my preferred way to enjoy cycling at the moment.
About my Ogre: other than many weekend outings, this bike’s real bikepacking baptism was on my recent trip to the Ardennes riding the Ardennes Arbalète route. I put the bike together myself except for the wheels, which I had built by a mechanic. I gutted my Ritchey P-29er for parts (yes, that was painful) and swapped them over to this bike.
Coming from a Surly Long Haul Trucker, I felt right at home on the not-so-twitchy and somewhat tractor-like Ogre. I really love porteur racks for their looks and carrying abilities so I put the oh so nice Soma Porteur Deluxe rack on. It has a great platform for a large bag and also has lower struts to use panniers. I appreciate that kind of versatility and options to pack a bike in many different ways…options to play and mess around with!
- Frame/Fork 2018 Surly Ogre (large)
- Rims WTB Scraper i40
- Hubs Shimano XTR M975
- Tires WTB Ranger 2.8 Light
- Handlebars Jones H-Bar SG Loop
- Headset Cane Creek 40
- Crankset Shimano XT M8000 + Absolute Black Oval 30T
- Cassette Shimano SLX M7000 11-46T
- Derailleur Shimano XT M8000 (rear)
- Brakes Shimano XT M8000 2 Piston
- Shifter(s) Shimano XT M8000
- Saddle Brooks Cambium C17 Carved
- Seatpost Syntace P6 7075
- Stem Temporary one for dialing in the fit
- Front bags Detour Studio Prototype Porteur bag
- Frame bags Detour Studio Custom Frame bag
- Rear bags Detour Studio Early prototype English style saddle bag
- Racks Soma Porteur Deluxe (front), Tubus logo (rear)
- Other accessories ESI Chunky Extra long grips, Shimano Saint flat pedals
I like to keep my setup clean and simple so I opted for a setup with only three bags. The Porteur bag is the first bag I ever made about two years ago and it’s holding up amazingly well. The saddle bag is an early prototype that needs some adjusting and tweaking, but I like how stable it is and how you can load it Tetris style instead of stuffing it like a mad man when using a bikepacking style saddlebag. The framebag was made the day before we set out riding the Arbalette route. It’s amazing! But you probably don’t need any convincing on those.
When I find some time I’ll probably get rid of the canti studs on the frame to make it cleaner looking and make swapping tires a little easier. I’ll go ahead and give the frameset a custom paint job inspired by traffic cones as well. I guess my mind is always coming up with new plans and my hands are always moving, making new things.
You can see more from Bas and Detour Studio on Instagram @detour.studio.
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