Getting your bike ready

For your first overnight adventure, the best bike for you to use is your own, the one you’re used to, the one you’re comfortable with and the one you know the ins and outs of. Now its time to find out a way to attach your gear to your bike. While traditional pannier racks and bags work for some people, they are very heavy, large, and often in the way. Considering that the pannier racks are attached to the bike, there is more chance for a problem to occur than a bag that is strapped onto your bike with straps or a Velcro-like system. Depending on the weight of your setup, tyre pressures and suspension pressures (if applicable) should be changed in order to counteract the additional weight that has been added.

Once more experience is gained while bike packing you will be able to judge the different setups that suit you, the one thing that you will figure out pretty quickly is that comfort is key for prolonged distances. When spending hours upon hours within the saddle for sometimes up to a week or even more. Some simple but effective advice we can give you is to find a comfy saddle, one that suits you well, double wrap your bar tape and adjusts your geometry. Moving a few spacers underneath the stem of your bike can raise the overall handlebar height, relieving stress off of your back. Gearing ratios, another big component within the world of multi-day bike-packing. Most standard road bikes will run the ratio, 53/36 on the front chainrings and 25-28/11 on the rear cassette. This ratio is very standard on most normal road bikes, but this ratio is suited towards shorter, single-day rides. When riding for multi-days, upwards of 6hrs a day, your legs and knees can become quite vulnerable and tired so a larger ratio will help to ease the pedaling and allow you to spin in a much easier gear. Some ratios include the Sram eagle 1x range which consists of a rear cassette (50/10) and a front chainring often being around a 36t, 38t or 40t front chainring, many riders opt for a 1x setup because of its simplicity, it eliminates the use of a front derailleur and the standard 2 chainring setup. With eliminating these two variables the bike becomes much more efficient and simplistic as you don’t have to worry about the fear of a front derailleur breaking. The fact that A 1x drivetrain can deliver 98 % of the gear range of a 50-34 compact chainset with an 11-32 road set up, shows that it really is the way to go as it cuts out so many potential problems when out away from home.

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