Summer season Editor’s Dozen 2023 Bikepacking Gear

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After a half-year of day rides and bikepacking journeys in Oaxaca, Colorado, and the Japanese US, Logan and Virginia shine some gentle on a number of standout items of drugs. Listed here are a dozen merchandise which have change into their summer time favorites, together with a superb new stem, purple cogs, light-weight sandals, an answer for slipping seat posts, and extra…

This 12 months has handled us nicely to this point. We spent the start of 2023 rambling concerning the Oaxacan backcountry on the San José del Pacifico and a number of other different rides within the space. After that, we caught round our dwelling within the southern Appalachians using acquainted turf within the spring, then went to Colorado to scout and work on a brand new route we’re excited to unveil quickly. Alongside the best way, we examined a number of new gear.

For this installment of the #editors-dozen collection, we chosen 12 objects which have already seen a ton of use in 2023, turning into our newfound favorites within the course of. A few of these objects had been resurrected from the components bin and others are comparatively new to the market this 12 months. Every is in a mini-review format with a fast writeup, photograph gallery, and impressions. Be aware that each one of those had been picked as a result of we’re actually having fun with them, so the professionals unsurprisingly outweigh the cons throughout the board.

Rogue Panda Bismarck Bottle Bucket (V2)

112 grams / Made in Arizona, USA / $65 at Rogue Panda

I reviewed the Bismarck a number of years in the past, however final 12 months, Rogue Panda gave this useful little bag a makeover. It nonetheless has the identical options: a built-in light-weight bottle cage, helpful mesh pockets, and a entrance “balloon” pocket. They made two wonderful modifications, nevertheless. The earlier Bismarck had a left and a proper model, every with the mesh pockets reversed and a decrease strap oriented accordingly. The brand new Bismarck has only one possibility and will be reversed and used on both facet of the bike by altering the decrease strap mount. Additionally, as an alternative of getting a single strap that fixes the bag to the handlebars, the most recent model has two, offering an area in between them that may accommodate a handlebar strap from one other bag, reminiscent of a harness or roll, making it friendlier to be used with different luggage. Lastly, Rogue Panda modified the fork crown strap to make use of a Voilé Nano Strap as an alternative of mounted webbing. This not solely helps protect the end on the fork, but it surely’s additionally simpler to make use of.

  • Rogue Panda Bismarck Bottle Bucket V2
  • Rogue Panda Bismarck Bottle Bucket V2

There’s a cause why the Rogue Panda Bismarck Bottle Bucket is the primary merchandise on this Editor’s Dozen listing: it will get moved to no matter bike I’m using, and apart from my One Up pump, it’s the one piece of drugs I take advantage of on each path trip and bikepacking journey. It’s in contrast to the rest in the marketplace, and its main objective is to maintain a water bottle in an easy-to-access location. Nevertheless, it’s additionally notably useful as a result of it has 4 tremendous helpful stash pockets which can be good for chapstick, snacks, trash, and different objects which can be greatest stowed inside attain. Be aware that there’s a more recent model of the Bismarck that makes use of Voiles for the handlebar straps. I’m betting it’s even higher than this one, which I didn’t suppose might be improved upon.

Hope Seat Publish Clamp

~20 grams / Made in U.Okay. / $28 at REI

I’ve managed to have three metal hardtails that developed the dreaded “slipping seat submit” situation during the last couple of years, a tragic affliction the place the seat submit slowly slides down as you’re using, regardless of how tightly it’s clamped. Sadly, this isn’t all the time simply remedied. Widespread options embrace cleansing and greasing the clamp bolt or making use of carbon paste to the seat submit. Most not too long ago, this manifested itself out of nowhere on my Pipedream S5 when utilizing a regular Wolf Tooth seat submit clamp. I attempted cleansing out the seat tube and clamp bolt, greasing the bolt, and retightening. That didn’t work. Then I attempted utilizing carbon paste, but it surely nonetheless slipped.

Hope Seat Post Clamp

  • Hope Seat Post Clamp
  • Hope Seat Post Clamp

A mechanic buddy beneficial switching to a Thomson seat submit clamp, which he claimed remedied this concern for him on a few events. The native store didn’t have one in inventory, so I opened up my spares drawer and located a Hope Seat Publish Clamp. Inspecting it carefully, I spotted it was deeper than most others. It additionally has a novel bolt and triangular nut that seems to be designed to offer an excellent clamping pressure on the rear. After putting in it and tightening accordingly, there was no extra slippage, and I’ve since put a ton of miles on the S5 whereas coaching for a race and using in it. I’m now utilizing the Hope collar on two different bikes and am fully offered.

The Hope Seat Publish Clamp is constituted of 2014 T6 Aluminium and Brass and is available in quite a lot of diameters (28.6, 30, 31.8, 34.9, 36.4 and 38.5mm) and colours (Black, Silver, Crimson, Blue, Purple, and Orange).

Smith Photochromic Glasses (Wildcat)

Made in China / ~$190 at AMZN

Eye safety is a vital summertime accent right here within the Southeastern United States, whether or not it’s vibrant or not. Bugs and gnats can play hell on eyeballs and even destroy a superbly good afternoon trip when pedaling by way of the woods, particularly close to water. Sun shades work nicely to guard your peepers on a sunny day. Nevertheless, should you’re using within the deep darkish woods through the afternoon round nightfall, or on a cloudy day, gentle modifications and visibility can change into a problem. Previously I’ve used sun shades with interchangeable lenses, switching them mid-ride, or I’ve simply eliminated the sun shades fully and put them on my helmet when visibility diminishes. Not too long ago, I noticed the sunshine when a buddy was sporting a pair of glasses with lenses that regulate their tint relying the sunshine stage. Shortly thereafter, I picked up a pair of Smith Wildcat glasses with photochromic lenses.

  • Smith Photochromic glasses
  • Smith Photochromic glasses

Smith Photochromic Lenses

Neil sporting his beloved Smith Shift Magazine glasses with Photochromic lenses

I’ve been tremendous impressed with these glasses. They’re comfy, and the lenses are improbable. They don’t get as darkish as my beloved Frogskins, however they get darkish sufficient for a lot of the using I do. Smith claims a variable 20-85% vary, however they seem virtually fully clear when it’s getting darkish outdoors. Higher but, these lenses among the greatest I’ve used on the path and don’t obscure options and terrain like different glasses I’ve used. In addition they keep that readability after they get soiled or it’s misting or drizzling, which is kind of spectacular.

Randi Jo Portage Hip Pack

362 grams / Made in Oregon, USA / $130 at Randi Jo Fabrications

Randi Jo Fabrications has been stitching high-quality biking equipment from a small store in Elkton, Oregon, for years. In actual fact, method again in our Pedaling Nowhere days a decade in the past, we had a customized run of her beautiful Bartender stem luggage made. These days, Randi Jo and Eric make every part from handmade biking caps to buy aprons to waxed canvas bike luggage. This previous spring, we had been excited to see Randi Jo launch her tackle a bum bag with the brand new Portage Hip Pack. We’ve been testing one for a pair months and adore it.

Randi jo Fabrications Hip Pack

In true Randi Jo style, the Portage Hip Pack is elegantly minimal with a traditional aesthetic. The Portage physique is constituted of 10.10oz waxed canvas and it has a thinner 6.25oz waxed canvas roll high with a single snap to maintain issues from flying out if it’s not secured with the strap and Fidloc magnetic buckle. The bag has a diamond ripstop-coated lining all through. There are two flat zippered pockets: one on the within entrance and one on the outside that has an expandable inverted pleated pocket. The bag makes use of 1/8″ closed cell foam on the physique to assist it hold its form. Moreover, the waist strap will be tucked into the area behind the two-layer again, and a daisy-chain permits it to double as a small handlebar bag.

  • Randi jo Fabrications Hip Pack
  • Randi jo Fabrications Hip Pack

The waist strap is easy too, with unpadded two-layer waxed canvas wings and two adjustment factors. The strap system was designed with pictures in thoughts utilizing a ladder lock compression buckle on the precise facet of the strap. This allows it to be shortly loosened to swing the pack to the entrance for quick entry. Then it might probably simply swivel again and be cinched down utilizing the tail of the strap. Equally, the magnetic Fidlock buckle and roll-top closure make accessing contents fast and simple. My solely grievance is that the strap is a bit of quick when the bag doesn’t have an excessive amount of stuff in it, and it’s laborious to get tight. That’s removed from being a deal-breaker, nevertheless.

It’s a very nice design that’s labored very nicely with my Fuji X100V. We additionally used it on a latest scouting journey in Colorado to haul an additional lens, swapping out a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/4. It had loads of room to spare and might simply carry a full-frame mirrorless digicam with an honest dimension lens.

Tailwind Endurance Gasoline

Made in Colorado, USA / $40 at Macha Mandarin

Apart for the occasional must pack in as many energy as attainable into small areas, I’ve by no means been one for bars, gels, or different athletic dietary snake oil. For large day rides, I normally toss a peanut butter sandwich in my body bag or some path pizza and a beer. Bikepacking normally includes comparable fare or meals which can be extra tasty and rewarding than they’re nutritious. Nevertheless, I began coaching for a race earlier this spring and circled again to Tailwind Endurance Gasoline, an engineered hydration combine made for large endurance efforts.

I first heard about Tailwind Endurance Gasoline a number of years in the past when a buddy described it with the phrases “Colorado magic powder.” That appeared like a lofty tagline for this made-in-Colorado product, however Virginia and I attempted the Inexperienced Tea system (now referred to as Macha) and located it provided a pleasant caffeine enhance throughout a protracted trip. Quick ahead a number of years, and I used to be speaking with a buddy who engineers his personal hydration combine for ultra-running races and discussing how one can not cramp up or get dehydrated throughout a extremely troublesome trip. After listening to about his combination of sodium and minerals, I knew I used to be heading in the right direction with Tailwind and determined to make it a part of my diet plan throughout coaching rides and through the occasion.

Tailwind Endurance Fuel

The Pisgah Mountain Bike Journey Race (PMBAR) is a grueling day on the bike that normally includes about 70-80 miles and 10,000-12,000 toes of climbing on largely rugged singletrack. My parter and I had been doing it on singlespeeds. I knew that using on this specific race could be powerful, particularly if we had been to attempt to compete. Staying hydrated and avoiding cramping had been my two greatest issues. That being stated, one concern I’ve when placing in a tough endurance effort is the shortcoming to eat.

  • Tailwind Endurance Fuel
  • Tailwind Endurance Fuel Review

Other than offering important cramp-preventing vitamins like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, the great thing about Tailwind Endurance Gasoline is that it additionally supplies some caloric worth—two scoops of the stuff comprises about 200 energy. I rotated it between common water bottles and completed every combined bottle in about three or 4 gulping periods. In the long run, I didn’t have any severe cramping through the occasion however had a extremely laborious time consuming. I in the end used about 1,200 energy value of Tailwind through the race and tried to scarf down a few bars, a bag of potato chips, and some different snacks intermittently. In hindsight, I might have left nearly all of meals at dwelling and used Tailwind virtually completely had I recognized. I alternated between the caffeinated Macha system and my favourite, Tangerine. If you happen to’re searching for a hydration resolution in your subsequent race or huge trip, I extremely advocate these things. It appears very nicely balanced, retains the cramps at bay, and maintains the engine.

Quoc Lala Slide

287 grams (pair/dimension 42) / Made in TBD / £39 at Quoc

Multi-function Bedrocks are good and all, however I’m not a full-time convert to toe-thong Jesus sandals simply but. I want off-bike consolation slip-ons, which my buddy Jess Daddio affectionally calls “old-man sliders.” My newest footwear on this style are made by UK-based QUOC, who’re higher recognized for his or her gravel sneakers. As Lucas put it within the press launch, the Quoc Lala Slides had been “created to carry minimalist class and informal consolation to the common-or-garden bathe slide, the QUOC Lala Slide is a handsome, light-weight flip-flop constructed with an anatomically designed footbed that boasts wonderful cushioning and airflow, extra-thick microfiber straps, and an anti-slip out of doors tread.” The Lala Slide is the QUOC’s first providing of their new “Athleisure” class.

Quoc Lala Slide

  • Quoc Lala Slide
  • Quoc Lala Slide

I’ve discovered myself sporting the Lala Slides day by day since they arrived a number of months in the past, each with socks and with out. They aren’t probably the most sure-stay-on sandals I’ve used—as in, I can’t jog in them with out one flying off mid-stride—however they positive are cozy. I’ve additionally pedaled a bit of in them and there’s probably not any indicators of damage and tear. A pair of QUOC’s Lala Slides weigh 287 grams in dimension EU42 and can set you again $50 USD (€45 EUR/£39 GBP). They arrive in complete sizes from EU38-47 in Amber, Dusty Pink, Black, and Sand.

Outsized tire plugs

Made in TBD / $20 at Backcountry

A number of of us bought flats whereas out using the San José del Pacifico route again in February. That wasn’t shocking contemplating the route takes in an array of goathead-littered filth roads and cacti-spine-infested sandy tracks. In actual fact, after I bought dwelling from that journey and eliminated my tires, the within of them virtually resembled one thing out of the Hellraiser film franchise, with quite a lot of thorns poking by way of. It was on that trip that I got here to understand outsized tire plugs.

Oversized Tire Plugs

Lengthy story quick, I bought a foul 2-3mm tear someplace on the latter half of the route. I attempted to plug it with a double serving of normal-sized “bacon strip” plugs. That lasted for all of half-hour earlier than blowing out. A second strive yielded the identical consequence. Luckily, certainly one of my compadres had a Lezyne outsized plug capsule. One plug did the trick, and I continued to make use of that tire at some point of the route and a pair hundred subsequent miles of day rides and overnighters. Professional tip: as an alternative of plugging it so the “tails” are poking out, insert the plug all the best way into the tire, then pull it partway out so the bend of the “U” is protruding and take away the plug fork. This creates a bulbous knob and the 2 tails get glued into place with sealant contained in the tire. This creates a greater long-term seal.

Profile Racing Helm Stem

202 grams (60mm) / Made in Florida, USA / $121 at Profile Racing

I’ve been a PAUL Boxcar stem diehard for years, primarily for his or her traditional machined aesthetic, sturdy clamp space, and the truth that they’re made within the USA. However like most stems, the Boxcar requires a bit of thought once you’re clamping down the handlebars, notably should you’re working carbon bars. Like most stems, it’s worthwhile to clamp the faceplate bolts at an angle to make sure correct clamping pressure on the bars. A mechanic and buddy of mine not too long ago beneficial the Helm, a stem made by a comparatively small firm primarily based in St. Petersburg, Florida referred to as Profile Racing. Profile is greatest recognized for his or her high-quality BMX hubs and drivetrain elements, however additionally they make fairly a number of MTB components, together with the Helm Stem.

Profile Designs Helm Stem

Other than a extremely sharp-looking, moto-inspired aesthetic, the Helm has a few traits that stand out amongst a sea of stem choices. Firstly, it has a moto-style clamp, which means you tighten down the highest two bolts absolutely after which torque the underside two to clamp the bars. This distributes the clamping pressure evenly and requires zero focus or approach. Moreover, the Helm is CNC-machined from 7075 Billet Aluminum and completed with radius and chamfered edges for a easy end, leaving no sharp edges to emphasize the bar materials. I’m actually digging this stem, and it’s good to see one other stunning MUSA possibility that’s out there in quite a lot of sizes for each 31.8 and 35mm bars. The Helm is available in 32mm,40mm, 50mm, and 60mm lengths in Black, Silver, Matte Black, Crimson, Blue, Gold, Inexperienced, Aqua, and Purple.

Knipex Pliers Wrench

Made in Germany / $59 at AMZN

I don’t have a bench vice in my store in the mean time, or anyplace to place one for that matter. A buddy beneficial that I choose up a the Knipex Pliers Wrench to fill in for some gentle duties that will normally profit from a vice. I did so, and I’m completely happy to report that they’ve been a godsend for a number of duties, together with hub end-cap removing, shock {hardware} set up, and different assignments the place a exact and even clamping pressure is required.

Knipex Pliers

The Knipex Pliers Wrench is great for gripping, urgent, or bending issues and has a excessive leverage ratio with parallel jaws which can be adjustable to variable exact spans. They’re out there in a number of sizes together with the ten” iteration proven right here and bigger 12 and 16” variations. The ten” model is a good software to have in any store.


37 grams (with AirTag) / Made in China / $16 at AMZN

After Neil’s evaluate of the Apple Airtag final 12 months—and after having a motorcycle misplaced by Air Canada for a complete month—I knew an Airtag was vital the subsequent time I flew with a motorcycle. Earlier than heading to Oaxaca for a part of the winter, I did some digging for AirTag hiding technique and located the AirBell.

  • AirBell
  • AirBell

The fantastic thing about the AirBell is that the AirTag is hidden in plain sight. Even when boxed up, the GPS chip isn’t buried beneath metallic and plastic, which helps be sure that it maintains the flexibility to be picked up and tracked by different iPhones. It labored like a appeal. We had an in a single day layover on the best way to Mexico in Dallas, Texas. And all of the whereas, we knew precisely the place our bikes had been. It was additionally good having extra peace of thoughts in Oaxaca, simply in case of motorbike theft, to not point out a bell for saying hiya to passersby.

Extra New Store Instruments

Wolf Tooth Pack Wrench: $115 at Wolf Tooth | Park Software GG-1: $27 at Backcountry | NEIKO Caliper: $20 at AMZN

Three extra store instruments make the listing for our summer time 2023 Editor’s Dozen. First up, the Wolf Tooth Pack Wrench and Inserts Package has turn out to be useful. It’s an aluminum wrench with magnets that maintain the nickel-plated metal inserts in place. The bits embrace a Cinch and ISIS Spline Wrench Insert, a Cassette Lock Ring Wrench Insert, an 8mm Hex Wrench Insert, and a 16mm Hex Wrench Insert. I haven’t actually used the latter two, however the the wrench has splines for backside brackets and centerlock rotors, which I take advantage of on a regular basis, in addition to the cassette lock ring software. I’ve discovered each of them work significantly better than my normal BB/spline software and cassette software, offering a surer connection and comfy grip. The wrench and bits are all CNC machined within the USA.

Shop Tools, editors dozen

Second and third are two comparatively new instruments for me. I changed an previous set of plastic measuring calipers with this well-reviewed, stainless 6” mannequin. They appear tremendous good for $25. Lastly, the Park software GG-1 grease gun was a superb addition to the store. I truly purchased a 12 months in the past, and it’s been sitting in a drawer. A buddy of mine discovered it when searching for a software and bought it up and working. I shortly discovered that it’s much better than squeezing grease out of a tube. That is the best way.

Limitless Kick Ass Cogs (and Singlespeeding)

Made in NC, USA / $50 at Limitless Bikes

If you happen to’ve constructed or transformed a motorcycle to a hangdown-free, type-2 torture machine, likelihood is you’ve run throughout Limitless Bikes. Limitless has had loyal following amongst single-speeders since 2008, again when proprietor Shanna Powell purchased the corporate for $1. Now Shanna has developed an array of merchandise beneath the model, together with narrow-wide chainrings, the Fibonacci Cassette Spacer Package, and naturally, Kick Ass Single Pace Cogs. The cogs are made in North Carolina from excessive power 7075-T6 alloy and are a full 1/4” thick (6.35mm) on the splines. That wider footprint ensures that they don’t injury your HG free hub physique the best way narrower cogs can. They arrive in 14t, 15t, 16t, 17t, 18t, 19t, 20t, 21t, 22t, 23t, 24t, 25t and are anodized in your alternative of Black, Blue, Gold, Lime Inexperienced, Orange, Pink, Purple, Crimson, Silver, or Turquoise.

  • Endless Bikes Singlespeed Cogs
  • Endless Bikes Singlespeed Cogs

It had been over a decade since I often rode a singlespeed, however I used to be talked into using PMBAR—the race talked about beneath the Tailwind entry above—this spring. I transformed my Pipedream S5 utilizing a Kick Ass Cog and the Limitless Fibonacci Cassette Spacer Package and was off to the races. I’ve been (re)addicted ever since…

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