This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from Jakob von Berg in Austria, who shares the lovely early 90s Panasonic MC6500 he picked up for 50 euros and has been upgrading piece by piece. Learn more about Jakob, his small handmade bikepacking bag brand, and his rig here…

Words and photos by Jakob von Berg (@von_berg_bags)

Hey, my name is Jakob. I grew up in Germany, but I’ve been living in Austria for quite some time now. I have always been into riding bikes. Growing up in a small village, bicycles were always the best way to get around and explore the surroundings.

Panasonic MC6500

After moving to Austria, I got into hiking and ultralight gear. Back then, I was mainly riding my bike for commuting or shorter day trips. A few years ago, I read about bikepacking and realized it was the perfect combination of the things I love, so I started to do overnighters and multi-day trips and have been really enjoying it so far.

  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500

Being short on money, it was pretty clear that I’d aim for a used bike instead of buying an expensive new one. After doing some research and a proper search on the local second-hand platforms, I found this lovely Panasonic MC 6500 from 1991 and bought it for a thrifty 50 euros. As some of the components had already seen some good use, I changed parts that needed replacement and started to ride it.

  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500

The lugged frame rides like a dream and also fits me very well. Over the last few years, I’ve been changing and upgrading parts every now and then. Last year, I built up a dynamo front wheel and installed some lights. The next upgrade is going to be a system for charging devices.

  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Frame/Fork Panasonic MC6500 from 1991 with Tange Infinity Tubing
  • Rims Ryde Big Bull (front) / Araya CV-7 (rear)
  • Hubs Shutter Precision PV-8 (front) / Shimano Deore LX (rear)
  • Tires Specialized Fast Trak 26“ 2.0 / Maxxis Ikon 26“ 2.2
  • Handlebars Katana Relax 34°
  • Headset Shimano Deore DX
  • Crankset Shimano Deore LX
  • Pedals VP COMPONENTS VP538
  • Cassette 7speed, 11 – 28t
  • Derailleur Shimano Deore DX / LX
  • Brakes Avid SD7
  • Shifter(s) Shimano SL-M310
  • Saddle Brooks Cambium C17 Allweather
  • Seatpost Something from Kalloy
  • Stem Original cromo stem with 2 bolts
  • Front bags Rack / basket bag with rolltop closure
  • Frame bags First frame bag I made
  • Rear bags Saddle bag with a lid and cinch-top closure
  • Accessory bags Two snack-bags and a top tube bag
  • Rack Pelago Commuter Front Rack
  • Other accessories Herrmans MR8 light / Blackburn Outpost cage / Austere manufacturing strap
  • Stickers Studio rook / Billo Bikes
  • Patches Umleitung (German for “Detour”) road sign by Bunyan Velo

As I’ve always been interested in designing and producing things I need for my daily life, and I already had some experience from making my own outdoor/hiking gear, it was also clear that I should make the bags for my bike myself. Today, my Panasonic is equipped with a mix of the first bike bags I ever made and some newer prototype bags I am currently testing under my brand, Von Berg Bags.

Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500
  • Panasonic MC6500

Some of these bags have already seen quite a lot of action, and they are not perfect. Still, they work well and are holding up nicely, just like the bike itself. What has started out as making bags for myself and my friends has evolved into something slightly bigger during the past months, and I’m really happy and grateful for all the lovely people I have met through this process of making and selling bags so far.

You can find more from Jakob on Instagram @von_berg_bags.

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