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Do you ride with a pack?

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1/8/2015 9:22 AM

We picked on riding with a pack in our 2015 in/out list, but how do you hit the trail on a regular basis? With a pack or without? It's easy for us to say "just put everything on your bike" but how many of you are really there for most of your rides?

I'm personally still a bag boy on basically all "xc" rides over 20-30 mins. Even though I rarely come close finishing all my water, I like knowing it's there...kinda how I like how rarely let my gas drop below a 1/4 tank in my car LOL. I don't mind the pack on the uphills but don't really like it on the downs. I hate it being too tight, but I hate it flopping around.

Would love to hear how you all normally approach your rides.

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1/8/2015 9:43 AM

Usually I ride with a hydration pack so that I can keep a jacket, extra food, and water. Recently I've added a seat bag for all my tools. I never attach my pump to the frame because I don't like getting dirt and sand in the internals.

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1/8/2015 9:47 AM

If you're trying to set Strava KOMs or be certified Endurbro (tm), you must ditch the pack.

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1/8/2015 9:51 AM

Rides over 2 hours I'll use a pack. 1-2 hour rides or rides with short walks out I've been trying to get away without one. It's a gamble not having a pack and the associated tools. Last night's night ride for example I flatted, lucky was were a pack and had a tube and CO2. Boom, easy, and was back on the trail in no time.

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1/8/2015 10:07 AM

I ride with a pack on anything over 1.5 hours. Normally i just stick with a tall bottle and pump on the frame with a lezyne tool roll under the seat. I have a little more than just the essentials this way. Very rarely will i wear a road jersey and stick a second bottle in the center pocket.

In my pack I have a shock pump, large tire levers, full size multi tool, lighter, extra shifter cable, patch kit, tubeless plugs, extra tube, and a mostly empty bottle of tri-flow. I have a big reservoir in my pack that i pretty much only fill all the way up.

I weigh much more with a pack.

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1/8/2015 10:34 AM

For 2-3 hour rides. Bottle on bike, tool in pocket (or Specialized SWAT cage), food in pocket (usually just a bar or two), and tube/CO2 strapped to frame. Easy. Also, pre-hydrate.

I use a Backcountry Research Mutherload to strap my tube/C02 to the frame. Black Diamond ski straps also work well: http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-ski-strap

Add the SWAT bibs/vest for longer rides when you need more water or food.

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1/8/2015 10:35 AM

I mentioned this elsewhere, still a bit bitter. Ha. Out of my usual riding buddies I'm usually the only one that I trust to have tools/gear. Everyone else has gotten use to it, so I've turned into the go-to guy for tubes, a pump, patch kit, food, and general storage space. I'm about to the point where I'm not even going to bring anything at all.

Warning to everyone here, don't be the one that relies on another person to bail them out, one day you might find yourself walking back to the truck!

2nd warning, don't become the person(me) always bailing everyone else out! It gets expensive always buying spare parts that go to everyone else!

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1/8/2015 10:52 AM

Always wear a backpack - no bladder though. Just bottled goods...it allows for variety. Even riding park/shuttles, I'll rock a Camelbak just to carry tools, tunes, etc.

I'm old-school like that.

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1/8/2015 10:58 AM

I ditched waterbottles about 15 years ago, after losing a few during races. I don't even have a bottle cage on my current bike, despite there being space for it.

I have 3 different size packs depending on how long I'm going out for. At a minimum there is water, a multitool and a pump. The big pack also has a rain jacket, some more tools, spare tube, chain lube and brake pads, and usually a snack or two.

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1/8/2015 11:31 AM

I pretty much always ride with a pack with spare tubes, pump, levers, water and munchies. Most of my rides are 2+ hours and it gets stinking hot in summer so you need to hydrate. It has also replaced my body armour as back protection and I even use it on DH days for that and of course the spare tubes etc.

I never really notice the weight or it being "in the way". When it is hot enough that it would bother me it is also my life safer with water so cannot go without.

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1/8/2015 11:50 AM

bikeboardorblade wrote:

I mentioned this elsewhere, still a bit bitter. Ha. Out of my usual riding buddies I'm usually the only one that I trust to ...more

haha, 2nd warning. so true.

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1/8/2015 11:51 AM

pretty much always, I got the new Leatt pack and it feels pretty good on my back and carries just enough to keep me going but isn't too heavy

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1/8/2015 12:29 PM

If it's the local freeride spot or in the park, I leave everything in the car and drink on every lap (and walk down if something breaks). For trail riding, it's pretty much 100% with a pack - I hydrate like a sponge so I need the hose every 5 minutes LOL. With a good pack, it doesn't bother me (or at least less so than not having what I need in the middle of the ride).

I also lead guided rides every now and then, in which case I'm the pack mule AND a bike shop on wheels.

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1/8/2015 12:34 PM

I don't like em, but I almost always ride with a pack.

I'm a introvert when it comes to riding. On occasion I will ride with one or two other buddies, but most of the times I ride solo and off peak hours. it's important that I carry everything I need with me in case of emergency.

I hate walking (that's why I ride my bike) so I typically have everything to get me out from wherever I am. My challenge is that I like to rotate my bikes and they all have different wheelsizes. So before setting off I really need to make sure I have the right size tubes in my pack. I have multiple zip lock bags with tubes that are labeled with the size. I take those in and out of my pack depending on what bike I ride.

I try to keep my pack as light as possible, so if the ride isn't going to be longer than 2 hours and the bike I'm riding that day has a water bottle cage, then I'll just use that instead of a hydration bladder.

a few times I've tried riding with a thin XC jersey (under my regular jersey) and used the back pockets to carry my tubes, pump, tools, water, etc... but on one fast rough section that sh|t started bouncing all over the place and I eventually ended up loosing my pump and tubes. No more...

I have tried a bumbag and just don't like how tight I need to wear it around my waist to prevent it from moving. On long climbs it really is uncomfortable. But that's just me... I don't like having anything tight around my waist or chest

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1/8/2015 12:45 PM

Acadian wrote:

I don't like em, but I almost always ride with a pack.

I'm a introvert when it comes to riding. On occasion I will ride with ...more

I also am a pack rider, for trail riding... but in my experience, you dont absolutely need to use the proper tubes. I have shoved 26" into 29ers, and vise versa. I have even made bmx tubes fit in a 26". The tubes will stretch/inflate to whatever they need to be.

I try to pack lightly for local loops, but anything backcountry i tend to pack a bunch more. DH involves buying a massive pack of disposable waters, and then the empties get ditched at the top (in a recycling can). A tube/zipties/small multitool/CO2 and tire lever are taped to the bottom of my DH seat, if we're shuttling, and the descents are pretty long.

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1/8/2015 12:59 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2015 1:00 PM

CuddlyToast wrote:

I also am a pack rider, for trail riding... but in my experience, you dont absolutely need to use the proper tubes. I have ...more

You are correct - but I like to carry the proper tools for the job. That's just how I am...

We've done it a few times after running out of tubes.. "Shrinking" 29er tubes is kind of fun wink but flats aren't sad

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1/8/2015 1:05 PM

Tool and spares wise, what are you pack guys carrying beyond a basic multi tool and a tube? Most tool have a chaintool built in these days, so that's out. What else?

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1/8/2015 1:24 PM

bturman wrote:

Tool and spares wise, what are you pack guys carrying beyond a basic multi tool and a tube? Most tool have a chaintool built ...more

Tube, patch kit for when the tube is gone, big multi tool, multi pump (tire and shock in one), tire levers, quick chain links (9, 10, and 11 speed), shifter cable, pliers/cutters (in one), assorted bolts that may come in handy, derailleur hanger, first aid kit, zip ties, spoke wrench, small roll of tape, water in bladder, and food. Rain gear if need be.

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1/8/2015 1:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2015 3:15 PM

What's in my pack:

- Tubes
- mini pump
- Shock Pump
- Patch kit
- tire plugs
- Leatherman with wire cutter
- zip ties
- Woolftooth bottle opener with rotor straitening tool (yes many times I've smacked my rear rotor on rocks to the point my wheel wouldn't spin)
- digital pressure gauge
- spoke wrench
- extra shifting cables
- spare hanger
- duct tape
- emergency whistle
- one moisture absorbing sweat band (that you need to tie) and one handkerchief (bandana type). Used those many times to stop big cuts from bleeding (mostly on shins)
- small spray bottle with Bactine
- Motrin tablets
- dedicated chain breaker tool
- Fix it sticks
- pieces of lawnchair webbing to use as tire patches (thank you Paul Morningstar)
- RockShox Enduro Collar in case my dropper post fails
- rubber pouch full of small bolts, nuts, spare links, etc...

I know I'm forgetting something - but that's what I can remember on top of my head smile I still need to get a good pair of tweezers and a peanut lighter. On mega long rides I'll bring a spare derailleur.

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1/8/2015 1:56 PM

Rb wrote:

If you're trying to set Strava KOMs or be certified Endurbro (tm), you must ditch the pack.

...nope - just go with an Enduro hip-pack :-)

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1/8/2015 2:03 PM

I try not to ride with a pack, especially for rides that require 2 water bottles or less. Tube, patch kit, & tire lever get strapped to the frame, nutrition and multi-tool goes in a pocket. For longer rides I'll use SWAT bibs to carry an extra bottle and a small kit with zip ties, bolts, duct tape, a cable, and a master link. There's a lot of hate towards the SWAT bibs but once you try them you'll love them.

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1/8/2015 2:11 PM

I ride with a pack 100% of the time. Mostly because I drink a ton of water, but also because, where would I put my keys, phone, and money?

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1/8/2015 2:18 PM

Funny I was literally going through my pack and tools this morning, for no particular reason since its fully ski season right now. I'm with Acadian - it would be nice to ride without pack but I hate walking and would rather carry the right tools for the job. I'm not a big fan of a water bottle on my frame. I also wear a pack for the back protection built in (I use the best pack ever - Evoc FR Trail). Also, I've grown quite fond of the Enduro racing so I figure I need to ride / train with the same gear I race on (Jared Graves carries a lot of gear to fix most problems trailside - "to finish first, you must first finish").

Here's the list of goodies I carry in the pack on every ride:
Water, Saltstick caps, a couple energy bars, mini bug spray bottle, waterproof shell if a longer ride or possibility of rain / cold.
CO2 + air chuck (enough CO2 to reinflate twice, typically 2x 25gram cartridges)
2oz Stans, tubeless tire plug kit, valve core removal tool (you can seal most punctures and reinflate without taking tire off the rim this way)
Mini tool (with chain breaker)
tire levers, extra tube, tube patch kit
Gorilla tape, zip ties
shifter cable, powerlink, derailleur hanger, brake pads, pedal cleats
chainring bolts, disc rotor bolts, brake pad retainer pins
ziploc bag, shop towel, nitrile gloves
Leatherman with wire cutter
Shock pump
mini crescent wrench (for use as rotor straightening tool)

I also have an "extended ride kit" organized in a REI Shower Kit (great little bag for organization) for longer and more remote rides like Whole Enchilada, it includes:
extra CO2 cartridge
hand pump
toilet paper
extra tube (a 26" tube so i can give it away to someone in need if necessary)
Survival kit (water purification tablets, emergency space blanket, 10' 3mm Spec Cord, lighter, mini compass, mini LED light)

I'm seriously considering adding a 'trauma kit' to my bag with a couple gauze pads, nitrile gloves, and a CPR shield to save my own life / someone else (did you know quick and aggressive CPR is best action after someone is hit by lightning and isnt breathing??)

My overarching philosophy is 'better safe than sorry' and this stuff adds between 3-5lbs depending on what length of ride, and to be honest, I could lose an extra 3-5 pounds if I really want to be a super duper pro and worry about Strava KOMs. Honestly I just never want to either have to walk even a mile out or worst case have a friend die because i didn't want to carry an extra half pound in my pack. Also I think I've built this list because I've had something go wrong where I'm glad I had that tool or learned my lesson by not having the right tool in the last 10+ years of mountain biking.

The crew I ride with is typically well-prepared. If someone is a total idiot and/or close enough to civilization and/or has enough sunlight I'll just pretend like I don't have the gear to fix their mechanical and they'll walk out and learn a valuable lesson.

Yah, I was a Boy Scout.

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1/8/2015 2:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2015 2:27 PM

Hell no...21oz waterbottle and I'm good for anything under 30miles..I ride by myself 90% of the time and on the rare occurrence I flat Ill just walk/ride the rim down..all the trails I ride are all downhill after you drop in so it's not really a problem...I despise backpacks...I just got the dakine fanny pack with a holster for a second bottle...I have a couple 70mile 12000ft of climbing loops I want to do so I will wear that..

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1/8/2015 2:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2015 2:35 PM

bturman wrote:

Tool and spares wise, what are you pack guys carrying beyond a basic multi tool and a tube? Most tool have a chaintool built ...more

Extra stuff i carry in my big pack is a spoke key, a couple of master links, a few separate allen keys, zipties, tyre plug, CO2, a few sheets of toilet paper for outdoor "emergencies" and emergency blanket. And if its a multi-day epic, i'll add in a couple of spare spokes, a separate chain tool and a shock pump.

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1/8/2015 3:12 PM

DrewB wrote:

Funny I was literally going through my pack and tools this morning, for no particular reason since its fully ski season right ...more

I like this @DrewB guy's attitude. especially "My overarching philosophy is 'better safe than sorry' and this stuff adds between 3-5lbs depending on what length of ride, and to be honest, I could lose an extra 3-5 pounds if I really want to be a super duper pro and worry about Strava KOMs. Honestly I just never want to either have to walk even a mile out or worst case have a friend die because i didn't want to carry an extra half pound in my pack. Also I think I've built this list because I've had something go wrong where I'm glad I had that tool or learned my lesson by not having the right tool in the last 10+ years of mountain biking."

I also hate to walk because someone in the group is ill prepared. I can't tell you how often I've had to replace someones else gear cable or jerry rig their bike so they could RIDE their bike out.

I use this motto both in my home shop and on the trail: If at any point I need something, weather it's a tool, spare part or accessory, but don't have it - I go out and buy it. If it happens on the trail, then in my pack it goes from that point on.

Since I've been riding, the only things I haven't been able to fix trailside are:
- a few snapped cranks
- snapped handlebar
- Broken brake lever (after an OTB in rocks)
- On this one hell ride I want to forget, I went through all my spare tubes and all my patches. F that....

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1/8/2015 3:16 PM

I've gone the old school route a la Tinker Juarez and started riding with a backpack full of rocks. I think it's really helped me hone my packanimal skills, and I have learned a lot about bike maintenance and the varying ways a rock can fix and unfix a bike. I can only ride when it's raining because I can't fit any water containers in with all the rocks, and who still uses water bottle cages? If people are interested, I can give more information about the specific types of rocks I pack.

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1/8/2015 3:51 PM

Only for rides that are 3+ hours. For all else, I use the Specialized SWAT stuff to carry what I need on my person.

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1/8/2015 3:53 PM

Rock Slide wrote:

I try not to ride with a pack, especially for rides that require 2 water bottles or less. Tube, patch kit, & tire lever ...more

Haha, SWAT Hate. That should be a proper term! Let the haters hate, they're the ones missing out. I always hear, "Specialized is all marketing." Well, if their marketing department is the one actually engineering the SWAT stuff, keep on marketing it. Never understood how marketing can convince grown adults to buy something they don't want, but apparently PT Barnum was right.

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1/9/2015 5:14 AM

I carried a pack within one year of owning my first mountain bike. It was the camelback mule. I didn't like the way the bike handled with the weight of two 20 oz bottles inside the front triangle and a pump, and a tube, and some tools, and some food, and some......
I always felt better having some backup with me. I feel better with a jacket, leg warmers, food, a lighter to make a fire, minimalist first aid, and all that water.
I ran out of water a lot during the hot summer months back then, and the water tasted gross after the bottle got dirty and the water was warm. And the WORST part was when the bottles flew out of the holder on downhill sections and I had to interrupt the fun part and go back uphill to get my water.
I've been thinking about getting a 2nd smaller pack for short rides. I'm getting tired of loading and unloading between longer backcountry rides and local 1-2 hour trips.

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