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Bug Out Bike?
Mine is a road/hybrid 20%  20%  [ 4 ]
Mine is a mountain bike 50%  50%  [ 10 ]
I'm building one, maybe I'll get to it someday... 25%  25%  [ 5 ]
If I can't drive or walk there I'm not going 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 20
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 Post subject: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:05 am 
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I've been researching and advocating bikes as a BO option for quite some time and finally put my money where my mouth is. I've been bike commuting off and on for several years now so I felt I had a baseline familiarity but very little mountain biking or bikepacking experience, which seemed like pertinent skills for bugging out with pedal power.

My commuter has been a Schwinn I actually bought from a fellow ZSer here in Bartertown years ago, I converted it to single speed rather then keep up on maintenance. For the flat paved roads I usually traveled it has been a fine steed, but as one can expect gravel and any kind of hill were both its enemy. And it wasn't the greatest in snow and Ice either;

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My objective was now to find a bike that:
1) was a decent commuter, somewhat splitting the difference between on road and off road performance, and performing better then my current bike in bad weather.
2) had the lowest burden of maintenance possible
3) had covering ground as its main job rather then speed or "trail" performance
4) was in an INCH sense possessing as much long term durability as practical

So I started hunting for my prefect BOBike. When jumping into a new hobby or wading into unfamiliar purchasing decisions my first goal was to constrain my choices to a reasonable number. As with most things, defining a budget was the first step. While I was initially hopeful $500 would be enough, after more research and searching I decided I would probably be looking at $1500 at the upper end.

Second decision was frame material. Aluminum, Steel, Carbon Fiber, and Titanium are the main choices, Carbon and Ti mostly priced themselves out as an option (although I tried for a long time to find a used Ti bike in budget, there are several makers semi locally so we have a lot of Ti on craiglist). Carbon also has fatigue characteristics that it would be easy to argue make a poor choice for goal number 4. While Aluminum is probably a very good choice for most folks, my inner luddite steered me toward a steel bike overall. The argument is that steel is more flexible and doesn't store fatigue like Al, which in the early days of mountain bikes was by all accounts a real problem but seams to have mostly been solved. The ride quality of steel supposedly has advantages as well but I didn't count on being able to tell the difference, and the largely fantastical argument that any welder in the 3rd world can ghetto fab your frame back together was also alluring.

The next big choice is tire and wheel size. 26" wheels have been the standard for ever, and in the Mad Max scavanging/trading/battlefield pickup for parts sense is very compelling. In a very superficial sense they look pretty stupid with a L/XL frame and a tall lanky guy on board. 27.5" is the new hotness, and by all accounts stands a good chance of being a new standard with performance off road bikes. 29" wheels have been around a bit longer and have more bike options then 27.5" at least for now, and have the best "rollover" and some would argue better traveling efficiency in general. For the commuter aspect I like the idea of being able to swap between 29er off road wheels and road bike wheels as an option, so from very early on I was working from the assumption that 29er was the incumbent choice and would need to be convinced otherwise.
Tire size is much less of a permanent decision, but must be factored into frame and fork clearance. "Plus" sized (mid-fat, B-fat, etc) tires are gaining popularity in bikepacking and gravel touring circles, being somewhere between 2.8" and 3.25" wide they split the difference between a normal trail tire and a fat bike. The argument is increased traction, flotation, and shock absorption at the cost of some speed and on-road performance, but much less so then a true fat bike. This loss of road performance didn't sound like my cup of tea, but I kept 29er+ bikes generally as an option, and tried to focus on frame sizes that would accommodate at least the small end of + sized tires, the theory being I could trade between a skinny commuter wheelset and a wider offroad/BO wheelset.

In general I was considering a suspension fork, but a full suspension bike was definitely off the table, and really a fully rigid bike was the incumbent. My thinking became that a suspension fork was generally in opposition to all 4 stated goals in varying degrees, and that I could always add one later if I changed my mind.

Due to past experiences I was pretty passionately opposed to derailleur as a rule, and was fairly sure that an internally geared hub (IGH) was the direction I would take.

So, a simple steel 29er with wide tire clearance? In bike circles this starts to sound very much like one brand, Surly. They more or less pioneered both the 29er and 29er+ category with the Karate Monkey and Krampus bikes respectively, they only make steel frames with understated aesthetics and while they are fairly cutting edge on tire size and clearance are more luddite on details such as axle widths, break options and general backward compatibility of parts. Once I knew what I was looking at I realized that many of the bikepacking, urban utility and 3rd world touring bikes that I had been using as a reference for the whole BObike project where in fact various breeds of Surly bikes.

Not being immune to groupthink and really itching for an excuse to constrain my choices I pretty much limited my search to Surly's offerings. The Karate Monkey was the first and is still the quintessential 29er simple trail bike, and is often adapted well to bikepacking and commuting. The price was right, with older used bikes going from $500 to $1000 generally, but many where setup as singlespeeds and break and gear options where more limited.

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The Krampus was the first and similarly still the defining 29er plus bike, but while it can be pressed into service as a bikepacker or longer distance bike it is at its heart a trail bike, and the geometry and general design are geared toward "fun" and nimbleness more then load hauling and endurance. Similar to the Karate Monkey the bike has been around for awhile and it isn't hard to find cheaper used bikes.

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The Troll and Ogre are probably some of the most obvious choices for turn-key BOBikes on the market, with the 26" troll being the objective, logical choice for true Mad Max or around the world touring, with the wheel and spare parts options being limited by very little. Likely 90% of thrift shops have at least one bike that could be cannibalized for parts for the troll, and garage sale options would be equally vast.

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The Troll's big brother the Ogre gives up some of the wheel compatibility for the potentially higher performance of taller wheels. Both bikes sport some of the most mounting options on the market, with bottle bosses all over the frame and fork, you can put racks, fenders and bottle cages on at the same time, and often in the same spot. While most bikes can be adapted to these sorts of mounting options, having factory installed bosses make installation turn-key and more secure then most ghetto-fab options.

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The final real contender on my short list was the ECR. For all intents and purposes the baby of an Ogre and a Krampus, it was made for plus sized tires but with the touring geometry and mounting options of the Ogre, it had been quite popular amongst bikepackers, and several prolific bloggers and forum posters had been advocating it as the perfect rig for long-distance bad road touring. Unlike the Krampus though, it has a pretty low bottom bracket, which meant that if I wanted to put smaller road-friendly wheels and tires on pedal strikes would become much more frequent.

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In the end the Ogre won out. I decided I wasn't willing to take the mobility hit of a dedicated plus bike if despite my fantasies I was going to spend more time commuting then puttering around the backcountry, and as the compromise bike I figured it gave me the most options to experiment and at the very least clarify what I wanted in my next bike.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:56 am 
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As a general note I recommend 3 basic sources for Bug Out Bike research; Bikepacking, touring, and urban utility.
Mountainbiking forums are useful to preppers in the same way gun or rock crawling forums are, as a specific resource on specific topics, but overall they fall flat as the goals of most participants are very different then ours. The three I mentioned are all interested in efficient travel, long term durability, and hauling a load on the bike. To keep the gun and car analogy, these resources seem to overlap with prepping more in the same way hunting or overlanding resources would.

The Bikepacking forum on Reddit was one of the more useful communities for asking specific questions, and more then any other resource helped me narrow down from my final 4 options to my final choice.


To continue the story I watched eBay and Craiglist like a hawk for months on end. I almost bought a few Karate Monkey's and made at least one offer on a Krampus, but my patience paid off and I finally found a very low miles Ogre on eBay with an IGH already installed, which would save me a lot of time and money with my local bike shop. The seller was very accommodating, and shipped it from several states over and gave me a good deal on it. He'd built it up from a frame with (what I would later learn) where pretty high-quality components, and I had it thrown back together pretty quickly.

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He threw in the Brooks saddle for a steal and was kind enough to leave off some parts I knew I would be replacing anyway. While I wasn't entirely sure at the time I have since decided the tires and wheels were also a good fit more me, being pretty flexible skinny tires (2.1" wide) on tubeless ready rims that seem to be a good compromise for road/off road.

right off the bat the IGH seemed to be having issues, despite having 11 gears I only seemed to have 2 gear ratios, and about the half the gears didn't engage at all. Despite this I went on a fairly lengthy (for me) shakedown cruise with a saddle sling I had already sewn up for it.

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after getting it home I figured out that the cable was just pretty far out of adjustment and I soon had all 11 gears. I kept sewing and pretty soon I had a full frame bag made up for it. My design goal was no velcro, no zippers, and no plastic hardware. If this was going to be my Mad Max bike I might as well go for it.

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taking it for another shakedown it was pretty apparent that I needed some lower gears, I could only use the 11th gear when going downhill at pucker speeds, and was rarely above gear 6 even on flat paved roads. With the full frame bag for heavier gear (food and tools mostly) water hauling duties are relegated to the fork, where I regularly carry 4 liters of water. On the same trip I experimented with a smaller fighting load rather then a full backpack, lumbar packs are popular on bikes so a similarly designed belt order integrates pretty seamlessly with a bikepacking setup:

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plate carriers are never particularly comfortable but without too much soft armor underneath it seemed fairly sustainable for long distance, funny looks not withstanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:20 am 
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Great thread!

I've mountain biked a few times with packs and if they go much over 10 pounds they can be tiring. The idea of a lumbar pack sounds good so I will try that out next!

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:04 pm 
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teotwaki wrote:
Great thread!

I've mountain biked a few times with packs and if they go much over 10 pounds they can be tiring. The idea of a lumbar pack sounds good so I will try that out next!



Agreed, mountain biking with a pack destroys the back. I have never done a long ride with a lot of gear, but if I did, I would look for bike mounted options and a low center of gravity like saddle bags or maybe even pulling a bike trailer.

Subscribing for later learning.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Next project was an improved dry bag for the saddle sling, I whipped up a small one out of X-Pac:

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I had used carbon arrow shafts in the sling for rigidity, and I was already scheming on how to integrate them into the bag itself and eliminate the sling all together. It just barely fits my 3 season sleeping bag/quilt.

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From here on it has mostly been a lot of short rides, and daily commuting to try and shake out the bugs of saddle and riding position and general luggage carrying. I got some Jones Loop bars which make for easy mounting of a bed roll on the handlebars with just two straps, this trip I have my tent wrapped up in a neoair:

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The bedroll makes a super handy quick mitten holder too. You can see my GPS mounted to the stem, I since made a dedicated holder out of clear vinyl and shock cord. While a dyno and hardwired lights would be cool, it is hard to justify in the era of cheap super bright AA LED lights, I often just use my EDC pocket light with the velcro light holder.

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In the interest of carrying even more crap on my forks, I zip-tied on a length of PVC pipe (tastefully rattlecanned coyote) to hold my cut-down 10/22. Not the safest position (headbutting the stock is a real possibility) it works alright for mellow terrain when bunnies might be afoot.

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I did commute with the bike 5 days a week all winter so I got a little bit of snow and ice time with it, and learned a lot about cold weather layering on a bike (USGI fleece bibs are your best friend!)

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Insulated overshoes let me milk sandals into 4 season wear at work:

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:08 pm 
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The Ogre's 48x36x26 chainrings have generated some chat about being over-geared. Unless you swap out the cassette, you will never be happy with the range you now have. Anything over 100 - 102 gearinches at the top end is likely a waste. Your knees will pay the price in the long run.

I used so-called half-step + granny gearing (sometimes called Alpine gearing) on my old touring bike - it gave me a nice low ratio for hill climbing with a load and a reasonable 100+ on the other end for long downhillish runs. The newer cassettes offer more choices, check to see if you are able to swap out the cassette gears on your bike to get a better ratio - I doubt the chain rings will be low-cost swap....

(For those not familiar with how to calculate gear inches, here is a short article
http://www.bikepacking.com/plan/granny-gear-inches/)

What size cranks are you running? 170mm will give you back some of the 'hieght' lost with the small tire if pedal strikes become an issue.

As an aside, a folding stock for your Ruger might be just the ticket to save your teeth....

Look like you are getting ready for some fun. Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:25 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
The Ogre's 48x36x26 chainrings have generated some chat about being over-geared.

As an aside, a folding stock for your Ruger might be just the ticket to save your teeth....

Look like you are getting ready for some fun. Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.


I don't think any of my Ogre's drive train is factory, I can't tell you much of the particulars about it off the top of my head, and the IGH makes knowing the number of teeth only part of the equation. I just know my front is as small as practical and the IGH hub is an Alfine 11. Regearing was cheap and easy, but that comes later.

I actually had a folding stock on the 10/22 for years but never liked it. I swapped back in the factory wood for weight savings, and is just a place holder until a better handgun system is in place. A browning buckmark in a stem bag would be my preference by a mile.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:23 pm 
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I had never heard of the Jones loop handlebars. Thanks for sharing them.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:14 pm 
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RonnyRonin wrote:

In the interest of carrying even more crap on my forks, I zip-tied on a length of PVC pipe (tastefully rattlecanned coyote) to hold my cut-down 10/22. Not the safest position (headbutting the stock is a real possibility) it works alright for mellow terrain when bunnies might be afoot.

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If ever there was an application crying out for a 10/22 takedown and the Magpul x22 Backpacker stock mod, this has to be it. Awesome thread btw. Image


http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/01/18/closer-look-magpul-x-22-backpacker-shot-2017/

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Can you convert a standard 10/22 to a takedown? That'd be cool...

But I love the old folding 10/22 stocks. So 1980's...

P.S., I love that inner frame bag that you have. I think my next bike is gonna have one, even just for looks and hiding dirty magazines (gun mags).

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:51 pm 
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JeeperCreeper wrote:
Can you convert a standard 10/22 to a takedown? That'd be cool...



The AGP kit will work on any 10/22, but I think that is missing the larger point that if you have to stop and put your gun together then having it readily accessible is perhaps less important. The nice thing about lightening it up so much is that it can be snatched and fired one-handed.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:29 pm 
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viewtopic.php?f=14&t=119626

first overnighter on the bike, with lots of pictures. Main takeaway was that my gearing was certainly too tall. I had a catastrophic drivetrain failure before the trip, the bikeshop had Shimano just replace the whole guts of the hub and it seemed fine, but then it happened again after I came back from the trip. This time they looked at it harder and decided it was the fault of the rear cog not making good contact with the hub itself, so while putting a new cog on there I just had them go up two teeth. Since there was only one cog to replace it was quite cheap, and thus far it was been working great again. I still don't trust it for a long trip, I'll probably ride it for 6 months or so and pull the cog off again and check for ware. This seems to be a huge improvement, and while I could have perhaps gone three teeth larger at least my flat ground gear is number 8 or 9 now, and I have a good bit more on the bottom end now.


The winter trip also reinforced that my seat bag was too small for a cold weather sleep system, so I took the lessons from the sling and first bag to make a bag with built in support and attachment points

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Now I can carry my winter bag and a puffy layer or two. The strap system looks messier then it is since I wasn't brave enough to trim the straps down shorter. I used the same basic design but set the carbon arrows into seams on the bag itself.



While I'm pretty set on the bikepacking route being the right direction for a bug out bike I still want to give the rack and pannier system a whirl.

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I picked up the bikerack at an REI garage sale, it is made for fat bikes but it adjusted down to fit my bike. Even in my normal flat paved commute I could notice the difference in weight distribution, and even a mostly empty pannier on the rack made the back end appreciably heavier when just man handling the bike around. Curious, I through everything on the scale to check.

The rack itself (admittedly a heavy rack by any standard) is two pounds, with another 8oz or so of hardware. The lightest panniers I have are 28 oz apiece, making a total of 96 oz total for the rack and pannier setup.

my seat bag is 9.5oz, and my frame bag is 10oz. The straps for my front roll are probably 2oz. that brings to total for the bikepacking setup to 21.5oz, or over a 4.5lb difference before anything is stowed, and that doesn't take into account the weight distribution difference. I can save at least 1lb on a lighter rack, but I might opt for a small front rack only and leave the back clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:23 pm 
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this is a pretty good book for the insane bike people.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/pro ... rs/5548296


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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
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I posted this on the earlier Bug Out Bike thread of some time back (w/20+ pages of comments). I went a slightly different route.

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and

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This is a hybrid bike. SC = Sport Comfort.
21 gears, with a low of 18.5 gearinches and tops out at just over 102 gearinches. Tires are common 26 in, 1.75 HP (100 PSI) roadies. I have a second set of rims to swap out with LP (45 PSI max) knobby tires for riding on dirt.

The panniers and trunk bag + the butt pack on the handle bars will hold just slightly MORE than than an ALICE large ruck. The panniers are waterproof - something the ALICE is not. The panniers are German made, the price reflects the COO, still, very bombproof and have proven to be water-proof. Here in Alaska, it is a big deal.

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Detail of .mil butt pack on handle bars. I can get 3 days worth of eating stripped MRE + other foods in the butt pack. I made a short - 5 mile - run and everything was balanced, the load did not affect the handling. I pushed the setup for some time and it is workable tho a PITA.
The speedo is for tracking distance covered. With a bit of tweaking, it is as accurate as my handheld GPS unit. If you commute or want to use your bike for exercise, this speedo has cumulative miles and several other functions.

Tools, spare tubes, Zuful HP pump and such go in the trunk bag with room for water, Trangia stove, fuel and minimal cooking gear. Sleeping bag is a patrol bag + bivy with a WY lost&found tarp tent to keep the rain out of my face & gear dry(er). No ground cloth, or pad - a couple of large trash/industrial drum liner bags - hopefully filled with duff (leaves, etc) would make a softer sleeping surface. The duff takes some time to gather, to keep sticks and such out of the bags. No way am I going to try and ride in the winter on a two wheel bike - folks do it here all the time, but I have concerns over their sanity....-20 and wind chill = frozen body parts.

In an odd bit of luck - the panniers (Ortlieb) have hooks that will allow them to hang from an LC-2 frame. OK, one pannier. With the trunk bag going under the pannier, held up by the ALICE LC-2 shelf. Haven't tried it, I suppose the second pannier could hang from or on the front with some 550 cord, but that would be an extreme fix... The butt pack is easily attached with its straps to the top of the pannier or rack, hanging on the 'back' (outside) of the pannier. Hump-able but as with all things ALICE, not fun.

Another option is to use a Yukon ruck just strapped to the Blackburn rear rack over the panniers. That would allow ever more equipment to be carried and part of the pannier space could go to additional food.
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My 'throw it out the window' Yukon ruck now lives in Das Auto for a fall back kit while traveling.

I can wrap the stuff *up* as opposed to *out* to make a more compact outfit. The butt pack would still be the prime food carry, even with just a Yukon, allowing some additional modularity.

By making the Yukon more of a cube, then it could fit on any of my rack equipped bikes.

I have a Sun copy of the EZ racer recumbent, and while it is possible to load 'em up, I'd hate to have to peddle a fully loaded 'bent.

I do have and have carried a double set of panniers, and the seat is tall enough to strap a Yukon setup, I don't know if it would be any fun. The recumbent is strictly an on road bike - good, I suppose, for touring but for a BOBish situation, I would go with the diamond frame rig.

Finally, I have a small Sun brand folder, now dropped from their product line - also equipped with fenders and a rack, it can carry a decent sized set of panniers + a Yukon. If I'm working a gig on the far side of town, I toss it in the back of Das Auto. Beats walking if forced to avoid driving....

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RonnyRonin wrote:

... but I think that is missing the larger point that if you have to stop and put your gun together then having it readily accessible is perhaps less important. ...


I thought that was what the AK was for? :D Although I see AR mags on that belt. I don't know where your loyalty really lies.....


Seriously though, this thread is freaking awesome! Thanks Ronny! And thanks Tac Air! I love learning from you guys.

teotwaki, thanks for always posting up bike pics and trail reports. I read them.

Folks, my bike is a Schwinn with a steel frame. My parents bought it back before aluminum frames were really popular. It is a bit small for me currently, but it beats buying a new bike. My goal is to get a pannier system going some day. I love what you did Tac Air with the ALICE frame and pannier bags option.

I'd love to follow suit but for me, learning basic maintenance is probably Step 1. Step 2 is getting some idea of how to carry loads, but a baby is coming so finances are getting rearranged and some of that stuff is getting set aside for a year or two. Even so, I love reading this stuff. Thanks for sharing!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:00 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
I posted this on the earlier Bug Out Bike thread of some time back (w/20+ pages of comments). I went a slightly different route.....


I keep trying to make car analogies with bikes, but they really fall apart because bikes are much more similar then they are different to each other. At least we can call the recumbent option the efficient low-clearance passenger vehicle and the mountain bike the 4-wheel drive. Do you think the recumbent has any more or less total practical weight restrictions?
I've seen several guys around town using butt packs and sustainment pouches as handlebar bags, it looks like a really good way to go. I think the butpack is a particularly good option because the straps would probably allow for a good bit of supplementary handlebar loading, at least and extra jacket or small bed roll.


Before settling on a pretty standard mountain bike I did feel the allure of cargo bikes, the Surly Big Dummy and the Kona Ute being two of the easier to find options:

Image

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If I lived in a larger city and was more dedicated to bike culture I might be able to justify it, and I think that a properly setup cargo bike could be a primo BOBike, but I decided that I would be dragging a whole lot of extra bike around on my daily commute that I would probably just twice a year for actual cargo duties.
I have seen a few "long tail" bikes that split the difference between a cargo bike and a normal wheelbase, but they are rare and usually custom. Also most aren't long enough for two sets of panniers or the longer cargo bike panniers so you would likely be improvising cargo hauling. Here is one of my favorite examples, a fat bike built for a long desert traverse in AUS:

Image

The cargo bike vs. bike trailer debate I think shares a lot with the pickup vs trailer debate, for consistent use the cargo bike is probably much more convenient but for just occasional (or more intense) use a trailer gives you the same or more capabilities with almost any bike. For urban and utility work (or PAW cargo duties) I would like to have a larger flatbed trailer some day, the Surly trailers are pretty rad:

Image

but I'd probably cheap out and build one off of an extension ladder like this guy:

Image

If a BO route had more potential for off/bad-road travel the single wheel trailer is the normal option, either the less-common Xtra wheel:

Image

or the ubiquitous BOB trailer:

Image

Both have a lot of advantages over a traditional rack and pannier setup, but for my purposes I like the idea of having a light subsistence load on the bike and a more luxurious camp on the trailer that can be ditched/cached in emergencies. While neither have the utility of a flat deck there are plenty of people that use them to extend the daily capabilities of a bike:

Image

While used BOB trailers aren't terribly expensive I decided to see what I could whip up on an austerity budget, and am starting with a tagalong trailer build. I've seen a few different ways to do this, I think the most well-know build used an external pack frame as a cargo deck, but my goal is to rig up a double set of regular bike racks and try to fit four complete panniers on the trailer to augment the bikepacking setup on the bike itself:

Image

My advice for anyone wanting to do this themselves is to pass on the aluminum folding versions of the tagalong and stick with the older one piece steel units, I picked this one up pretty cheap but it was almost heavier then my bike when I started. The steel one I felt the other day felt about the same weight as this one fully stripped (meaning somewhere around 5-10lbs lighter).

At a glance it appears that I could still fit a rear rack underneath the neck on the tagalong, so I could have pannier set on the bike as well as the trailer, or at least transfer a few of the trailer panniers over in case of trailer failure.

My preference would be to adapt a BOCart for use as an Xtrawheel style trailer, the advantage being that you would have a full sized spare, and in case of bike failure would then have a hand cart to use.

viewtopic.php?t=119275

I don't think converting one to a trailer would be terribly hard, and might even be cheaper then the tagalong option, but it is a tiny bit beyond my capabilities for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:08 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
RonnyRonin wrote:

... but I think that is missing the larger point that if you have to stop and put your gun together then having it readily accessible is perhaps less important. ...


I thought that was what the AK was for? :D Although I see AR mags on that belt. I don't know where your loyalty really lies.....


Seriously though, this thread is freaking awesome! Thanks Ronny! And thanks Tac Air! I love learning from you guys.

teotwaki, thanks for always posting up bike pics and trail reports. I read them.

Folks, my bike is a Schwinn with a steel frame. My parents bought it back before aluminum frames were really popular. It is a bit small for me currently, but it beats buying a new bike. My goal is to get a pannier system going some day. I love what you did Tac Air with the ALICE frame and pannier bags option.

I'd love to follow suit but for me, learning basic maintenance is probably Step 1. Step 2 is getting some idea of how to carry loads, but a baby is coming so finances are getting rearranged and some of that stuff is getting set aside for a year or two. Even so, I love reading this stuff. Thanks for sharing!!!!


AK is still the primary, but most of my load carriage experiments center around AR mags since there isn't much reason to buy an AK nowadays if you don't already have one. I will eventually cave and switch over to an AR like everyone else, but it could be a few years yet. The current project is a Glock-based PDW which would be more bike friendly anyway, and hopefully would be a good enough opportunity hunting device to leave the 10/22 behind except for grins.

My advice on cheap bike setups is to just do like the homeless do, the two wheel kid carriers can be had dirt cheap (there was one for $10 not too long ago at my local Goodwill) and a simple rear rack is usually $5 or so on CL or a garage sale. All my panniers where found used, sometimes the fancy welded ones catastrophically delaminate and sell for a song, but a speedy-awl and some seam grip fix 'em right up.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:30 pm 
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My latest bike project, and basically brings us up to today: a "gas tank" top tube bag.

Image

I love my frame bag but it doesn't play nice with the bikerack on my car, this gives me a place to put tools and my cable lock for daily riding, and presumably copious snacks on longer trips.

Image

The next project might be some kind of stem bags or handlebar sling that is a step up from two webbing straps, but I'm not in a hurry on those. The rack and trailer system is what I am playing with currently, but I can't seem to find all the parts I need to make it happen. The main question is how well the tagalong stabilizes with 50-100lbs of gear in it and how much it affects handling. I have a better mini pump in the mail which mostly rounds out my repair kit, I currently carry a spare slime tube and some simple hand tools, a chain tool and spare chain might be the only thing to add.

I run tubeless on the front tire and will probably convert the rear eventually. For my AO with copious goat heads it seems the right solution and has been fairly convenient all around. I got a quote from my LBS on building me a much wider rim to try a much wider tire on the front and see how I like it, but I doubt that will be in budget any time soon.

I will likely be moving to a larger city next, and most places on earth have less mountain biking then were I currently live so likely the urban/utility bike side of things will get more fleshed out. Currently my wife's only functioning bike is an on-road only unit, so the capabilities of my bike are more superfluous but I'll likely find her a decent mountain bike eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:36 pm 
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I like the dual trailers, sort of a Big Rig approach. Probably best to be towed only on level ground

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:03 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
RonnyRonin wrote:

... but I think that is missing the larger point that if you have to stop and put your gun together then having it readily accessible is perhaps less important. ...


I thought that was what the AK was for? :D Although I see AR mags on that belt. I don't know where your loyalty really lies.....


Seriously though, this thread is freaking awesome! Thanks Ronny! And thanks Tac Air! I love learning from you guys.

teotwaki, thanks for always posting up bike pics and trail reports. I read them.

Folks, my bike is a Schwinn with a steel frame. My parents bought it back before aluminum frames were really popular. It is a bit small for me currently, but it beats buying a new bike. My goal is to get a pannier system going some day. I love what you did Tac Air with the ALICE frame and pannier bags option.

I'd love to follow suit but for me, learning basic maintenance is probably Step 1. Step 2 is getting some idea of how to carry loads, but a baby is coming so finances are getting rearranged and some of that stuff is getting set aside for a year or two. Even so, I love reading this stuff. Thanks for sharing!!!!


Bike maintenance and stuff
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:33 am 
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The one thing in @RonnyRonin posts that really struck me is the small amount of gear carried on the bike.

I see these during the tourist season here in AK :
Image

Image

Bikes with front and rear panniers, handlebars bags, frame bags and enough barnacles (caged bottles of water/fuel) that it just hurts to even look at them.

I get that shipping a bike w/panniers is less expensive that shipping a bike + trailer, still, if you are miserable all the time you are in the saddle, why even start?

And it not just Alaska - even in the Mohave desert, I would see this kind of parade:
Image

Image
This fellow has a number of blog posts on touring the Mohave desert via bike - and even he calls the rig "The 10 ton Bike"
(http://www.priss.org/99/ lots of good bike touring tips here BTW)

Keeping the load on your bike to a minimum reduces breakdowns - of both your bike and your self.

I would like to see other's load outs and maybe some Cliff Notes on the why you carry what you do .....

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
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At a guess I think the problem might be similar to what happens to me when I travel. I pack one set of gear for "traveling" and one set of gear for "camping" and end up with twice as much stuff. For these bikepacking loadouts I'm looking at it as pure "camping" just like my BOB and am leaving off all that stuff that is really nice to have when you are regularly interacting with normal society.

I would say the practical load I can haul on the bike itself is the same or even less then I can haul in a backpack. Once I add the trailer or if I went to a full pannier setup I could surpass the backpack, but would likely only surpass the efficiency of foot travel on paved roads.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a BOBike
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Nice thread!

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Been experimenting with a more front heavy setup

Image

while it does have all the handling disadvantages you could imagine in someways I prefer the front rack to the rear rack, having the handlebars as an anchoring point for light, bulky items is kind of handy, and I like being able to keep eyes on my cargo when I am carrying minimally secured or otherwise sketchy loads around town. If the trailer doesn't leave enough clearance for rear rack and pannier this could be a decent compliment to a trailer setup and spread the weight out some.
Also since this rack is only about 16 oz, and countering rather then adding to my already heavy rear end I think it will get to stay mounted for awhile. I have been keeping my bedroll straps in my top tube bag and have already used it to carry home some unexpected loads from work that otherwise would have had to wait for my wife's good will and car.

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