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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have done a few CX bikepacking trips this year - loving it. I am leaving this afternoon on my first MTB overnighter. In setting up my gear, I noticed a consideration I had yet to think about....at full fork compression, my Revelation 130mm arch will absolutely bottom out on my drybag in my Revelate harness.

And looking around, this doesn't seem uncommon. Rockgeist's bag (photo below), is designed to secure the load with straps under the crown. So by default, at full travel, the arch will ram into your straps/dry bag.

Tire Automotive tire Mode of transport Rim Bicycle accessory


On my Revelate harness, I am considering leaving the headtube strap as loose as possible so in the event of a bottom out, my arch can at least pivot my bag up a bit to reduce the slam-factor. But then of course it's bouncing around a bit 99% of the time...

So what's the thinking here? Are you just not using full travel? Anyone else share this concern or am I being worried for nothing?

Cheers.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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When I bikepack on my Salsa Bucksaw (full suspension), I generally ride more conservatively, anyway, so bottoming out my suspension is less of a concern. I have a somewhat unique situation that since that bike has an inverted fork, I don't have an arch so I have a little more clearance before the tire hits my handlebar bag. It still happens occasionally and honestly, it'd probably happen less if I adjusted my suspension settings for the increased weight of a bikepacking load.

The other strategy I've employed is paying attention to how things get packed and ensuring that the load in my handlebar bag isn't too bulky. Sometimes there's not much of a way around it, like last year when I bikepacked out to the checkpoint I ran for PMBAR. I had an especially bulky load on the way out because I was carrying extra gear.
 

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I minimize weight on the handlebars. I hate how excess handlebar weight adversely affects handling and stability, so I only put a 2 lb tent there. I put heavy things in the frame pack, and light stuff in the seat pack and backpack.

I definitely pump up the pressures on the fork and the rear shock to compensate for the additional weight, and semi-lockout the suspension. I’m bikepacking, not enduro riding.
 

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A few people like Overlander Bike Gear, have a bar rack for exactly this reason. The OBG rack is a little heavy for my taste, but it is tough. The new Cowcatcher from Hunter is a light and elegant solution, but isn't cheap.
I've also used bolt-on aerobars as a cheap and light rack.
My kid has built some spacers that go on the crown and stop that from happening. They rotate the bag forward by a few degrees. They also prevent the head tube from getting so scratched. He also makes me some spacers to allow room for bags not to interfere with brakes, cables, and pogies.
 

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For riding trails where you will potentially be employing full use of your suspension, you need to have a handlebar set up that is not so bulky -more tubular in design and load any of the bulk more on top of the bag itself. For the type of riding I do, I wouldn’t use a bag setup like the pic you posted, but it would be fine for more XC type bikepacking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok cool, thanks for the replies guys. Seems there are just some different camps here - those who still like to have fun on the singletrack and need to consider this and those that are riding gravel roads or taking it easy on trails and a bigger load is fine. I'm definitely the former....

I'll check out some smaller diameter bags like the Revelate Salty Roll. My 13L Sea to Summit dry bag worked well this weekend but I did notice at least one bottom out arch-bag. I had a blast ripping around the singletrack, can't believe how well the bike handled it. With my dropper-compatible seatbag, it was still a great time.

Thanks again.

Bicycle wheel Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle frame
 

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I can't imagine using all the travel of my bike while bike packing. Like trying to RUN sub 7 minute miles in an ultra marathon with full backpacking gear, the two don't go together. I'm only using full travel on my bikes on the hardest hits, and I take big hits when I am on it. But...I am not "on it" when I am just traveling.

If I was really concerned, I would probably add volume reducers to increase the ramp (or MRP ramp control).
 

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Lol I bottomed the sh*t out of my suspension on the last bikepacking trip I went on. Weather was pretty good, so I was able to pack ridiculously light, and shred pretty hard as a result. Not to mention, when the trail involves 2' mandatory drops into flat, you're gonna bottom out eventually.

Yes, I've seen what you are talking about: people who just put a skid plate on it, or pump up the suspension and hope for the best. That just isn't going to cut it for me though. The test I use is to let all the air out of my suspension, drop the dropper, and sit on the bike. If nothing is rubbing, then I'm probably pretty safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lol I bottomed the sh*t out of my suspension on the last bikepacking trip I went on. Weather was pretty good, so I was able to pack ridiculously light, and shred pretty hard as a result. Not to mention, when the trail involves 2' mandatory drops into flat, you're gonna bottom out eventually.

Yes, I've seen what you are talking about: people who just put a skid plate on it, or pump up the suspension and hope for the best. That just isn't going to cut it for me though. The test I use is to let all the air out of my suspension, drop the dropper, and sit on the bike. If nothing is rubbing, then I'm probably pretty safe.
Yeah man, I get that! We have fun trails let's rip, I don't see why having gear should mean you can't bottom out. But maybe I'm weird....let's go with "different"

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