I set myself a challenge for the year - a nice 3 day bikepacking loop around the Brecon Beacons. My initial thought was to ride on my super plush full susser. But now my inner masochist is starting to think that maybe using my 24 year old fully rigid clasic Kona might be a good choice. Should I go for the full Rough Stuff Fellowship approach, or the hi-tech high comfort one?
In reply to Martin1978:
panniers? touring? if i was planning on being on roads it would be a no-brainer - rigid all the way, but this is a strictly off road jaunt ;o) sleeping bag and tarp strapped to the saddle, thermarest strapped to the handlebars and a small sac with some bivi gear in...
For going rough-ish offroad/single track for me, my Kona is great because it's a 'proper' mountain bike, but for touring on road/unsurfaced road/some paths - the hybrid was actually great. I bought a cyclocross bike last year to replace the Felt as my commuter. I've thought about bike packing with that too, but it's noticeable that the lack of "space" on the handlebars is a real issue. Obviously traditional panniers is a solution although for me that would lots of extra money, the saving of which was one of the attraction of bikepacking over traditional touring.
In reply to Dom Whillans: 3 days off-road sounds great.
I spent a week biking (mostly on road with some trails) and swore I'd never, ever take a rucksack again. Came back with black and bleeding shoulders. Yeah, I was young and pleased just to get away! Hence my pannier recommendation.
I have seen guys using "Bob" trailers off-road. That looked the best way to do it. They were doing some pretty serious stuff as well.
Sounds like a great trip. I'd take the Kona for simplicity.
I did three days bothying with a bob trailer and in essence ended up over packing and the trailer was heavy. My own fault. I also had a full sus. It was still just fun so i reckon either choice will be exactly that, fun.
If I went again, I'd use a geared hardtail and look to take a alpkit fitted bag and light rucksack.. for me panniers always load a little one way or the other, and like a bob trailer can be unsettling. I recall descending on very lumpy rocks and I could see the bob trailer starting to overtake me on a corner... it was manageable but weird.
cheers all for the advice, i reckon the full suss 29" option is the one i'll go for, if the route's too easy i'll do it again on the kona! i think i'll be giving my hard earned pounds to Wildcat Designs - as much as i like Alpkit, Wildcat make everything in my home town and I have to say their stuff looks better than Alpkit ;o)