Bike backpacks featuring a revolutionary carrying system. The central Flink ® ball joint allows for huge freedom of movement for the upper body. Pressure is evenly distributed on both shoulders, thus protecting the back. This makes for a completely new and comfortable carrying sensation. Gender specific carrying systems each in two sizes. Also available as a comfort version, with many innovative features.
The cycling press said: “Our test rider found Ergon’s back pack […] made for an unusually comfortable and secure carrying sensation. It creates light and even pressure on the shoulders, even when heavily loaded. On steep descents the backpack didn’t even once slide forward, nor did it ‘dance’ around when jumping. It simply stays put. It is so good that when you return to a traditional rucksack, you feel as if there is something not quite right…… Superb.”
sizes: S, L BD2-M Team Edition – for men sizes: S, L BD2-W Team Edition – for women
Gender • Male / Female specific Capacity • 15 + 5 liter Main fabric • 1000 D Nylon Hydration Pack • optional
Strengths: There is no comparison to the harness system. The pack simply disappears on your back and all the weight is transferred to your waist. Excellent venting on the back that no moves the "sweaty back" issue to just a few contact points.
Two great pouches and a crazy hidden pouch on the helmet holder are nice. The vertical pockets inside are perfect for holding pumps. The internal cinching is brilliant. And the helmet holder has a hidden pocket that you would never thing to look unless you look. The back pockets are great for energy bars as they are accessible while the pack is on.
Weaknesses: I have no trouble with the one vertical zipper. The inside is crazy organized and it's easy to get to the stuff at the bottom. The only issue is the "helmet holder" has to be flipped up and out of the way and it's a bit awkward.
The side pockets aren't very useful unless. There isn't enough tension to keep things in except perhaps used tubes.
It's a one of a kind pack that easily beats the Camelbak Hawg. It's more expensive and doesn't include a bladder so it doesn't trip the value meter.
Strengths: as advertised it nicely transfers weight to hips: you hardly feel its weight even when full
Weaknesses: build quality. Lots of unnecessary features. Doesn't even come with a bladder and costs almost twice as much as a camelback of the same size
I quote Mango for everything he said about the pack. I had mine replaced after a month because the main zip had broken and all the elastic bands where almost destroyed. The new one has the same issues and while I'm still using it sometimes, when I have lots of gear to carry I'm definitely disappointed by a backpack that costs almost twice as much as the competitors and lasts nothing. My 15 euros decathlon (which comes already with the bladder) is still perfect after two years of abuse (I ride Enduro Races and I carry all my gear on the backpack)
I don't recommend buying unless build quality issues have been seriously addressed.
a Weekend Warrior
from Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2009
Weaknesses: extremely poor build quality, gimmicky, too many tiny pockets, flink link is pointless etc etc etc
I have been a mountain biker for 20 years. This is the worst product I have ever purchased. Do not buy one, they are ridiculous.
I saw a review of this bag in a magazine and thought it looked amazing, so went to a lot of trouble ordering one from the US. Wish I never did.
It promises so much but delivers so little. Sure the flink joint moves with your shoulders, but does it help in any way? NO. It is pointless. It feels like a drunken hobbit is strapped to your back, that's the only way to describe it.
Then comes the design. 1000 long little pockes that nothing fits in, nowhere to put a water bladder, just some elastic cord to hold it in. It is really heavy too! It is meant to be 15L in capacity, but I can fit more stuff in my deuter which is 8L in capacity.
Then the build quality is the worst. The zip breaks or comes undone, the stitching comes undone, the elastic frays, the lap belt falls apart, the lining peels away inside... the list goes on and on.
Similar Products Used: Dueter race x air, Camelback Mule, heaps of other backpaks
Bike Setup: All Mountain
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, WA USA
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2008
Strengths: This pack disappears on your back. Weight floats on your hips. Straps don't cut into shoulders. Weight doesn't pitch you forward on steep downhills or suffocate your back on climbs. This is the real deal, a breakthrough product!
Weaknesses: Pockets and overall organization of pack need more thinking. Imagine next version will have more diversity/variety.
The previous reviewer makes great points that I don't need to echo about the pack's organization. There are pluses and minuses to the "Big Mouth" approach, and I'd rather see more compartments. It should be noted you don't want heavy stuff high up in this pack, tho. The weight sitting on your hips is just miraculous. I do 6-8 hr, 20-30 mile high-country rides at elevation, and pack performance is a real factor. For that matter, the pack is just as dynamite for freeriding, the weight doesn't shift on technical stuff or launches, etc. It's impossible to conceive how well this pack alleviates the usual back weight without actually trying it. I was lucky to have my buddy pick one up and let me try it, because the reviews I've seen in the bike mags haven't communicated its breakthrough quality.
You do have to fiddle initially with the spine column adjustment, and be careful to order by sex and sizing (M-L, etc.). The fuss factor is worth it. And yeah, it's spendy. But you get real money's worth, so it's 5 chilis for value.
At this point in the MTB biz not much really new and useful comes along in functionality. I'd rank this pack with the DW-Link as the best MTB innovations in recent years.
Similar Products Used: Hey what pack HAVEN'T I tried?
Bike Setup: Ibis Mojo, 25.5 lbs for XC. Intense 6.6 for aggro.
a Cross Country Rider
from Albuquerque, NM
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2008
Strengths: Solid bag, transfers weight to hips very well, doesn't move
Weaknesses: A few details could do with some refinement
One of my favorite phrases is "so wrong, it must be right. " What does that mean, exactly? As a product developer, to me it means that you've got to have a damn good reason to stray from the tried and tested. One good example is Metabo's P'7911 hammer drill. It looks weird, but the logic is sound and the ergonomics are improved over what folks are used to. Another good example is Ergon's BD2 hydration pack. Ergon is the German company who came to the US market several years ago with some unusual ergonomic grips that have since become favorites of disto-freaks everywhere (we have some of their Enduro grips on test). New this year is their line of bike packs. Two things set Ergon's packs apart from what's become quite a crowded hydration pack market: First is a frame that transfers virtually all of the bag and its contents' weight off of the rider's shoulders and onto the hips. Second is the flexible link (Flink)- a ball joint that allows the shoulder harness to move independently of the rest of the pack.
When I first received the pack, it felt weird- but in a good way. With the waistbelt properly cinched around the hipbones, the feeling of shoulder freedom unusual, especially with the bag fully loaded. Everyone who tries it on spends a few minutes sashaying (strutting or flouncing in a showy manner) around, getting used to the fact that their shoulders can move naturally despite the massive pack on their back. There is an ovoid nylon frame around the back of the pack with arms at the bottom providing a solid mounting point for the waistbelt. At the top is what could best be described as a shoulder harness and the two are connected by a lime green half-sphere the size of a ping-pong ball and pierced by a long socket cap screw. This is the Flink, and it has three attachment points to accommodate different torso lengths. The waistbelt is well padded and features a cool rubberized mesh (which I'd never seen before) to keep from moving about. The 15L capacity bag is bisected by a waterproof zipper down its center and has several narrow, deep pockets on the inside and out. A floating compression system/helmet holder/pocket attaches at two points near the top of the bag and to a quick release buckle near its bottom. All of the zippers are of the rubberized water-resistant type and a raincover deploys from its own bottom pocket. Inside, a bladder pocket (which holds a 3L CamelBak bladder just fine) is secured by zigzag of elastic cord. There is a small loop at the top from which the bladder can hang and the combination of the two does a fantastic job keeping the bladder's contents from shifting, whether empty or full.
While my Deuter Race X Air 1 nominally holds 14L, the BD2 can sure pack in a lot more stuff. The tall, thin internal pockets were too narrow for my tool kit but too shallow for my pump, so they get emergency rations (Gu and granola bars) and my CO2 inflator. The elastic cord on the hydration sleeve does a great job at keeping a mini pump and shock pump in place (on either side of the bladder), and tubes, tools, and a windbreaker go to the bottom. It's a bit hard to tell what the pockets were designed for (they don't fit the things I ride with very well), but maybe others' gear will be a better fit. The long main compartment zipper is an interesting touch- while it doesn't give great access to anything in the pack, it does offer OK access to everything, which isn't a bad compromise and keeps the rider from having to dump everything on the ground to get to whatever has sunk to the bottom. An externally accessible zipped pocket holds a cell phone, keys and wallet, but is also tall and skinny and the three tend to end up piled at the bottom- not necessarily the best use of that volume. Oddly, that zipper is covered by the compression straps, so to get to its contents, the compression system must first be detached (to get to a ringing phone, for example). Two external mesh pockets are a handy spots for a camera, small tools, and food but can be difficult to access while riding and can also be obscured by the compression straps (they're even partially covered in Ergon's studio photos). The floating helmet holder/compression strap has two small Velcro'd pockets built into it, where I've stowed a spare Flink bolt and nut (just in case). The pockets are pretty small- too small for a map, my keys or much food but in an awfully vulnerable position for a cell phone. To me, they don't add much other than cost. There is what almost seems like a map pocket between the main compartment and the rider's back, but it's oddly placed- a camera or food can be felt through the fabric and a map would get soaked through with sweat.
There are a number of options for routing drinking tubes, but as nice as the Velcro and nylon loops are, they don't seem to work as well as the clips that come with CamelBak bags (the Velcro straps need to be loose or they can push the tube into the shoulder strap enough to be felt on the shoulders). Initially, the shoulder straps cut into the inside of my arms and were fairly uncomfortable, but broke in pretty quickly and now feel fine. The fabric of the bag is impressively water resistant- good if you're caught in a quick rain shower, bad if your CamelBak bladder leaks (and marinates all of your gear before you realize it). With waterproof (or nearly so) fabric and zippers, though, why bother with a separate rain cover?
For someone as dainty as myself, the padded section of the waistbelt seems to be a bit too long. On other riders it looks fine, but wrap it around some 30in hips and the two sides nearly touch. This isn't a big deal while standing, but when bent over in a riding position, the action of my (admittedly manly) thighs can be enough to push the padded portion of the waistbelt off of my hips- or at least make it rock noticeably. Add to that the fact that there isn't anything to manage the 18in of waist belt left over and I get the impression that Egon's developers and testers were probably at least average-sized. Normally sized folks need not worry, though, and it's been only a minor irritation for me. The solution may be for Ergon to cut away about 1x3in of the inside bottom of each waistbelt, but that may well cause problems for other body types. The attachment for the female side buckle is solidly attached to the padded portion of the belt, reducing the amount of webbing and keeping the buckle well out of the way- a very nice touch. Despite the hard frame, which could be used to keep the much of pack off the rider's back (as Deuter or VauDe do), there's quite a bit surface area in contacting the rider, which can get quite warm- though no worse than many other packs of the same size. It just seems like a missed opportunity, especially for those of us in hot or humid climates.
Oddities and niggles aside, on the trail, this pack is pretty damn cool. Frame and Flink work together with the waistbelt to transfer almost all of the bag and its contents' weight to the hips. As you can see from the top photo, the bag rides quite low, helping to lower the rider's center of gravity. Not once was I twatted on the back of the head during technical moves by a shifting bag (I hate that) and can't wait to take it to Moab and our local ledge-fest Faulty Trail once that dries. After at least 20 hours riding with the BD2, I'm impressed. While I'll have to switch back to my old bag to be sure, I've noticed much less back pain, especially 3 or 4 hours into off road rides. I wish that I'd had this bag while guiding- there's plenty of room to carry tools, spares, clothing and a first aid kit and larger loads are managed better than any other bag I've ever worn. While the integrated frame and waistbelt arms allow the bag to stand up by itself (cool), it certainly a pain in the ass to handle- it's impossible to hang on the wall hook next to my helmet (not cool) and it certainly won't fit in my flight case, which is a shame, because the bag would be perfect for a week or two in the French and Swiss Alps. Downhillers and all-mountain types should get along very well with this bag- it stays put without being the least bit restrictive. Even when nearly empty, there's no perceptible movement within the bag, making it that much more versatile.
The damage? $160 in the US, plus your bladder. Ouch. There are a lot of features here driving the price up, some of which most folks could do without (including a couple of nylon straps that I can't find any use whatsoever for). Of course, I'm sure that the largest expenses are the frame, Flink and shoulder harness- without which the BD2 would be just another bag. It is offered in Large and Small sizes for each women and men in either the pictured Team Edition green or black/charcoal- that's 8 bags for this model alone. There is also a smaller 12L BD1 for $140 and a frighteningly large (30L) but very cool looking BC3 coming in May. Some of its details could do with further refinement, but for a first effort, the BD2 is fantastic. I really think that Ergon are on to something, and I only expect them to improve from here. A large volume, well-built bag that feels nearly weightless and doesn't move even when full? Yes please. Definitely wrong enough to be right.