Bikepacking is often defined as a style of bike touring that tends to favour off-road routes. These trips often demand a lighter setup than classic bike touring trips as they tackle more difficult terrain such as gravel, dirt roads and single-tracks. E-bikes are a great way to ease the weight of heavy loads and help you travel a little further each day, which is why they are seeing increasing popularity with bikepackers. So, how do you prepare for an e-bikepacking trip? Here are a few tips to make your e-bike adventures a little easier.
The gear you’ll need to take on your trip will vary depending on several factors such as where you are sleeping and the climate you will be cycling in. With this being said, we think there are a few essentials that wouldn't go amiss on any bikepacking trip:
- Waterproof panniers to hold your essentials and keep them dry! *Tip: Handlebar bags, saddlebags, and bikepacking bags are alternative takes on the classic panniers and are often seen as good options for off-road biking as they can help to keep a bike feeling agile
- A good hydration pack to support long-distance riding as e-bikes don’t always have the best water storage solutions
- Bungee straps to secure equipment to your bike. *Tip: Ski straps can be a good alternative to classic bungees as they can offer a more secure fit
- A standard repair kit to ensure you're prepared for any breakages
Although a certain level of planning is required for bike touring and regular bikepacking, e-bikepacking requires a little more effort due to the need to recharge your bike. To create a seamless trip, you’ll need to find convenient re-charging stations that complement your route. The ease of this will depend on the type of trip you are planning:
1. City Trips
If you’re riding close to cities or staying in hotels, it will be relatively easy for you to recharge your bike. Cities offer an abundance of spots to recharge such as cafés, bars and restaurants. With this being said, recharging here will require some waiting around which will eat into your time on the road. If you’re staying in hotels, this eliminates the need to wait around entirely as they provide you with an overnight charging solution.
2. Rural Trips
If you’re taking a more rural trip and plan to camp, it can be more difficult to find power. Campsites with RV hookups are often a good solution for bike charging, however, it’s important to pack an RV inverter to enable your bike to be hooked up to the campsite’s electricity. It’s also essential to contact the campsites before you arrive to ensure they are happy for you to use their power in this way.
When riding long distance, the last thing you need is unnecessary discomfort. So, get prepared for the climate and terrain that you will be travelling in:
- Adjust your tires and suspension to fit the terrain you will be riding on and the weight you will be carrying
- Ensure you pack good-quality gloves and socks to ensure you stay warm in colder climates
- Download some music to give you some extra motivation when riding off-road. Although this is a great way to gain energy, be sure to remove your headphones when riding on the road to stay safe!
We hope these top tips help you prepare for your next - or even your first - e-bikepacking trip!