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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I loaded up my Salsa Horsethief for a trial ride on the AZT before my first bikepacking adventure, a 100 mile overnighter. Just for grins, I threw it on the scale, all loaded up.

60 pounds! That seems a bit outrageous, although I'm carrying 6 liters of water in 4 bottles and a Camelbak (this IS summertime Southern Arizona). Tent, pad, sleeping bag, tools, food, etc all included.

Does that seem an excessive weight?

The other excessive thing is the amount of time it took me to get it ready to ride. Almost 2 hours! I'll probably be the slowest guy around when it comes time to break camp and hit the trail.
 

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Given the amount of water you have to carry on the AZT, I’m not the least bit surprised by a 60# Bike. As you can see, this is why shaving as much weight as possible on gear becomes such an obsessive detail, though it’s going to be heavy no matter what.

As far as packing, you’ll become more efficient each time you do it and should get the process down to 20-30 minutes after your first trip.
 

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Does that seem an excessive weight?

The other excessive thing is the amount of time it took me to get it ready to ride. Almost 2 hours! I'll probably be the slowest guy around when it comes time to break camp and hit the trail.
Weight doesn't seem excessive for a FS bike and 13.2lbs of water.

On the second note you can get faster/more efficient at setting up and breaking down camp. Personally I try to stay focused on the bike ride and look at camping as a supporting activity so I don't have complicated setup. I also use the same setup as much as possible so I've put it up and taken it down dozens of time. I've gotten up, poo'd, eaten breakfast and had a cup of tea then been rolling while some folks I've been on a trip with had only gotten up and decided how they were going to make coffee. ;)
 

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I typically look at only 2 weights.
- Bike weight without any bags or gear and weight with bags and gear but no food or water.

My first big bikepacking foray was on a...
Surly Karate Monkey, Rockshox Reba RL fork, leather saddle, Jones Aluminum H-Bar, Shimano hubs with Stans Arch rims and WTB Nano tires. Total weight near 27#
Gear added about another 25#
It was a heavy riding bike.

My second big bikepacking foray was on a...
Foundry Firetower, Lauf fork, leather saddle, Jones carbon H-Bar, Hope hubs with Stans Arch rims and Mezcal tires. Total weight near 21#
Gear added about another 22#
It was a dream to ride.

Our mountain tandem??? I won't even go there as weight is concerned.

I dialed in my gear from one year to the next quite a bit. One thing that I insist on is a tent as sleeping with bugs crawling around makes for a miserable nights sleep. My tent is a Eureka Midori Solo which is not terribly heavy. I would have preferred a bit lighter but didn't feel like forking out another $250+ for it.

Setting up camp is much faster than breaking it back down. That only comes with practice and not taking too much gear IMHO. Some people always take too much gear and for me, there are no stoves or cookware. Too much to get in the way but then again, I try to ensure a town stop each day. There is no better motivation to get rolling early than knowing that there is warm food and fresh coffee a few hours down the road/trail.
 

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For backpacking, a sub 30lb pack weight is my goal, and that includes food and water. My gear weight for bikepacking is a touch less, since I'm carrying a bit different stuff.

For what you're doing here with the need to carry more water, I see nothing unreasonable. it's quite respectable considering all that water weight, too.

you'll get better at setting up/breaking camp as you get experience with it. I take my time in the mornings, so I'm in no rush to break camp most of the time. But if I want/need to, I can do it quickly (such as when ma nature provides weather incentives).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great advice! Thanks for the replies.

Did 20 miles this morning on the AZT, and didn't really notice the extra weight until the uphill gradient exceeded 8-10%. And nothing fell off on the downhills... including me!

It was a bonus for the water weight to be reduced during the ride, too!

 

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How are you not getting tire drag on your downtube bags and rear bag? There doesn’t appear to be much clearance for either. Are you locking out your suspension and/or not using your dropper?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How are you not getting tire drag on your downtube bags and rear bag? There doesn't appear to be much clearance for either. Are you locking out your suspension and/or not using your dropper?
I firm up the suspension for bikepacking, and only use a small amount of dropper. I have had a few minor hits, but nothing serious. The seat bag has a tough plastic shield on the bottom.
 

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Still real new to packing up the bike but recently, a 2nd outing based on a plan of 3d , 2nights and some climbs among terrain at 9000 and 10,6 had me on a 30.5# bike and just under 30# gear w/ food and water. Our water supply on route made that a lighter go for sure. I had maybe 45 oz on the bike. Bike was packed 10 , 10 and 10 as bars , frame bag and rear seat bag. Marin steel h/t .
 

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At times, I've packed too much water myself which is just something that happens. It is far far better to have too much than to run out.

My first time going over Whitefish Divide in Montana, I had a lot of water on the bike. As I was grinding along, I started to notice all of the snow melt coming off of the mountains and kicked myself. A lesson learned.

I often carry a couple liter bags in my backpack. As I empty a bottle, I transfer from the bags to the bottle until the backpack is empty.
 

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June of 2018, three of us ventured to the same area of mountain for the multi-day plan but we were cut short by area fires and a lack of phone/data services that kept me feeling on edge. It was one o/nighter as we didn't choose to roll the dice and move through the woods camping with no way of knowing fire progression, direction or any comms so-to-speak.

What we learned among that route and more research lead to the June 2019 trip and a better idea of packing up the bikes, limits and stability. The sources for water helped me convert from a hydro bladder in the frame bag and a few cages/bottles to this trip as 2 bottles (40 to 50 oz total) and a third cage/bottle dry and used as extra snack storage. This difference was something around 12# or 1.5 gal down to 2.5#.
*It's wise as others have mentioned - Use caution and be over prepared for water needs.
In our case, we not only previewed parts of the ride the previous year, we mapped it and confirmed lakes and other sources we would camp near or be able to get to easily. We also learned the previous year, a preview drive up there and some hiking to a few areas would be a handy opportunity to stash some brews.

Once consumed, if you find you are heavier than need be for water, those bottles or hydro bags weigh very little empty if not needing reserves or all refilled. At least you can save weigh as you go as long as provisions afford. I also liked the idea of cage/bottle use for storage of snacks or small things that fit like keys, ID, extra gloves or buff. Soft things like gloves or a buff / beanie also provide sound deadening in noisy packs if things are bopping around.

Just shy of 65# with just over 6l of water. Turns out that was too much water and I had too much gear and too much food.

Breaking camp is pretty quick once you know where everything goes.
Nice photo of the bike set up.
As for knowing where the gear goes, so true ! I'm an unorganized buffoon so the contrast to packing up at home to go and the utter chaos of repack after a night of camp would appear I've joined the Monte Python comedy troupe. That blank look of being overwhelmed is really just the realization that I want to have things easy to get to that I may need on the trail and there is likely a good pattern or order to why things go here or there.

Next trip will be a pre-view; Drawing of packs and gear looking like a map. :rolleyes:
 
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