Tag Archives: Gear

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First Impressions: Arkel Seatpacker Bags

One reason for bikepacking-style seat bags’ popularity is their simplicity. Unlike panniers, the standalone seat packs don’t require dedicated racks. But depending on what you’re carrying, bikepacking seat bags–especially larger ones–can sway or sag. Arkel‘s new line of seat packs put an end to floppy, tail-wagging bags with the aid of minimalist, quick-release racks.

Arkel debuted their bikepacking line at Interbike in 2015. The first iteration resembled a traditional traverse-style saddlebag (read, Carradice) paired with a support inspired by the Canadian company’s Randonneur seatpost rack. After nearly a year of tweaking and enhancements, the sleeker Seatpacker 9 and 15 (so-named for their capacity) hit retailers’ shelves in summer 2016.

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Under Test: Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Tour Rack

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Attaching a rack to a bike that lacks the necessary fittings often requires a bit of creativity or jury-rigging. For some setups, no amount of p-clamps, zip-ties, or duct tape can compensate for a rack-hostile design. Thule’s Pack ‘n Pedal Tour rack eschews conventional rack fittings for ratcheting straps that work with virtually any bicycle from full suspension mountain bikes to commuters and everything in between.

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First Impressions: Blackburn Chamber HV Pump

Have you ever tried inflating a car tire with a bicycle pump? For plus- and fat-bike riders, that’s about what it feels like when you use a pump designed for high-pressure, low-volume tires. Sure, you can do it, but it definitely ain’t fun. Thanks to Blackburn’s Chamber HV floor pump ($79.99 MSRP), airing up your mountain or fat-bike tires doesn’t have to feel like arm day at the gym.

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Image courtesy of Blackburn Design

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