Our 12 Most Popular Articles of 2019
Looking back, 2019 was another amazing year for bikepacking. There were more interesting new bikes, events, stories, and gear than ever before. We rounded up the articles that grabbed the most attention for this list of our 12 most popular posts of the year. See them all here…
Last year was our biggest one yet, and we shared more than 600 original articles and bikepacking routes on the site. That number doesn’t even include the hundreds of entries on our bikepacking events calendar or the essays and stories we published in print in The Bikepacking Journal. In taking a moment to look back and reflect on what you found most interesting, we put together a list of the dozen most popular articles of 2019.
We’d like to thank our readers for all of your comments, clicks, and feedback on everything we shared last year, especially our Bikepacking Collective members, who support the work we do and make this resource possible. Without further ado, here are the 12 most popular posts of 2019:
Launched at the start of the year, our Gear Indexes were by far our most engaging posts of the year, taking the first several spots. If you missed them, they’re our comprehensive reference and comparison tool for various types of popular bikepacking and bike travel gear, such as 650B gravel bikes, forks with bottle cage mounts, and hip packs. Our list of Gear Indexes is always growing, so be sure to check back for updates and use the comments below to let us know what types of bikes and gear you’d like to see in future Indexes. Here are the nine most popular posts in this category:
- 650B Gravel Bikes
- Drop-Bar 29ers
- Ways to Attach Bottles/Cages
- Cargo Cages and Anything Bags
- Rigid Steel Plus Bikes
- 29+ Bikes
In keeping with tradition, we rounded up as many rider-submitted Tour Divide rigs as we could for the 2019 running of the event, which kicked off on June 14th, 2019. Our gallery featured a diverse array of around 80 bikes and kits. Here’s hoping the 2020 Tour Divide will bring our biggest gallery of bikes yet!
Logan spent several months riding the Santa Cruz Carbon Chameleon in both 27.5+ and 29er mode for his comprehensive review of this classic do-it-all hardtail that first debuted back in the 90s and has gone through several revamps and reiterations over the years.
Cass spent a winter riding Surly’s Bridge Club, a bike that comes at a reasonable price point and was more than capable of handling the dirt road touring, bikepacking, commuting, and trail riding he threw at it. In his own words, the Bridge Club is “a resounding success.”
Lael Wilcox shared a video overview of her bike and everything she carried for her 2019 Tour Divide attempt, and we checked in with her for a short Q&A to explore a few of her more interesting gear choices.
In May, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy unveiled their plans for the ambitious 3,700-mile Great American Rail-Trail route, a multi-use trail that’s already more than 52% complete and will span the United States from coast to coast, connecting Washington, D.C., to Washington State.
Alexandera Houchin was the first woman to finish this year’s Tour Divide, and she also set a new women’s singlespeed record while she was at it. We shared details of her time and photos of her personalized Chumba Stella. And her impressive Tour Divide finish was only one of many reasons we named her our 2019 Bikepacker of the Year…
The second annual PEdAL ED Silk Road Mountain Race took place in August, and we shared a wide range of more than 40 rigs and kits from participants who headed to Kyrgyzstan to take the 1,700-kilometer route through the beautiful Tian Shan Mountains.
The only route to make our 2019 top 12, the GB Divide is a new bikepacking route that runs the length of Britain, linking its wild places with its rich industrial past. It was also used as the course for the GBDURO stage race, and captured the imaginations of viewers who watched Lachlan Morton set the course record in the excellent short film that was made about the race.
Shimano jumped into the gravel market when they introduced the first gravel-specific groupset, Shimano GRX. We shared the news when the new group first launched, which features unique ergonomics, wider chainline for added tire clearance, tuned gearing options in both 1×11 and 2×11, and gravel-specific brakes with improved modulation.
As part of our 2019 Sea Otter Classic coverage, we shared our first look at Niner’s new MCR (Magic Carpet Ride) 9 full-suspension gravel grinder, a bike that certainly turned a lot of heads and had others asking but why?!
We took several Salsa Journeyman 650B bikes to the wilds of Montana on a scouting mission for our new Prairie Breaks route to see how this budget-friendly rig would perform on the rough stuff, and shared our thoughts in an in-depth review.