Posted by Lucas Winzenburg
Words and photos by Ben Kampschöer (@bushtrucker)
G’day, I’m Ben, a Naarm (Melbourne) based designer with a love of bikes and the backcountry. I got hooked on bike travel back in 2014 after buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker and spending seven months cruising the highways of the United States and Canada. During that first trip, I not only realised that bikes are the best way to travel independently, they can also provide you with a deeper understanding of the lands on which you move. My urge to travel and see things on two wheels grew from that experience into a full-blown obsession. These days, I prefer to avoid the highway shoulder to find quieter back roads, and I’m always looking forward to the next ride, no matter how big or small.
Everyone has a dream bike. In early 2017, I was touring New Zealand on my Trucker, wishing for lighter tubing, fatter tyres, taller geometry, and disc brakes. At the time, I had heard about Crust and had seen a few photos of this beautiful, baby blue touring frame they had in the works. A few weeks after I got home pre-sale launched. Small batch, 16 frames, only four in my size. The Dreamer was it! I was pretty broke at the time and so did what any reasonable person would do. I got a credit card and chucked an order in. It took me six months to pay off and then build the bike. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Two years ago, with the encouragement of a mate, I took the winter off and road the Dreamer across the country on a four-month ride from Melbourne to Darwin. For that trip, I had it set up as a proper touring bike, panniers and all, allowing me to carry up to four days of food and water. There were definitely times where I wasn’t sure if the frame was going to hold up to kilometre after kilometre of washboard road, but it definitely did the job. Since then, the Dreamer has seen a few different looks, from flat bar XC trail ripper to chill basketpacker. No matter what the build, this frame has proven to be comfortable, capable, reliable, and most importantly, fun! For me, bikes will always be the best way to get around, and so far my Dreamer is the best bike I’ve ridden.
- Frame/Fork Crust Deamer (Large)
- Rims Mavic EN827
- Hubs SONdelux / DT350
- Tires WTB Bee Line 27.5 x 2.2″
- Handlebars Crust Shaka / VO Curvy
- Headset Cane Creek 110
- Crankset White Industries G30
- Pedals DMR Vault
- Cassette SRAM 10-42T
- Derailleur SRAM Rival
- Brakes Paul Klamper
- Shifter(s) SRAM Rival
- Saddle Gilles Berthoud Aspin
- Seatpost Nitto S83
- Stem Nitto UI-21ex
- Front bags Road Runner Jammer / Terra Rosa Gear Panniers
- Frame bags Terra Rosa Gear
- Rear bags Swift Zeitgeist / Andrew the Maker Dirt Bomber
- Other accessories Lots of King Cage / Klean Kanteen
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.