Rack, bags and how much rubber?

Last Tuesday I did a ride to work across Brum with my bikepacking rear bag. A kind of dress rehearsal for this week’s ride to Torquay. Its the first time I’ve had a real chance use it loaded with kit.

the bikepacking bag loaded ready for a test ride

Despite being a bit wobbly and swaying it was fine and much lighter than a rack and panniers. The big drawback though, which I found out was I can’t run a rear light. Well I could if I bought a guard fitting one that I could mount on them but I don’t realistically have time now to rely on getting it, so my trusty rack and panniers it is then.

I need lights for the Wed night ride to Gloucester after work. It will be dark as I get there

Rack and panniers are probably not the cool choice these days as bikepacking bags are en vogue but they are definitely more practical. More space and my cockpit will be clear of a bar bag now so room for my camera I hope.

My rack was bought for my old cross bike I used on my last tour around Wales so I was a bit tentative whether it would fit on my disc brake equipped bike. I had to take a set of screws out of it so the upper supports could stretch as far as they could but I managed to shoe horn it on with a tiny tilt forward.

rack fitted…just, pump under the downtube. Nice.

I currently have my guards fitted for commuting but based on this week’s forecast I’ll probably take them off tomorrow.

my panniers will be like a suitcase compared to a bikepacking bag

I forgot how big panniers are. For 3 rides and 2 nights I could probably fit it all in one bag to be honest but having plenty of space is a nice problem to have.

The other thing I’ve done is popped on some wider tyres. Don’t know why really, comfort I suppose not that my 28mm Roly Poly’s weren’t. Bought them for the sake of it really to try. Me being me though, I don’t always do normal or mainstream so I bought some 33.3mm, yes that exact width.

check out that tyre OCD…valve hole in line with the O

Fitting them was easier and to be honest I have a knackered tendon in my thumb at the moment I’ve damaged at work trying to pull tubeless downhill tyres of a rim so anything that makes changing a tube easier is a bonus.

Width-wise they don’t look massive but looks-wise they’re mint. Checkerboard tread and tan walls. Nuff said!

the tread isn’t a gimmick, it works really well
not a big difference in width but whats 5.3mm between friends?

I took them out this morning for a ride. I probably had them pumped a bit too hard as they do need quite a bit of pressure for the bead to seat correctly but they rolled really well. The comfort will come when I drop the pressure down to about 70psi.

So I’m ready to roll, just packing and the Garmin to sort with routes tomorrow.

I’ll try and post each evening after each ride there

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