Bikepacking with Front Racks? Pelago adds to the Options

Salsa Mukluk
Day 1: Esperance to Albany: The Unconventional Ride. Ready set go … Esperance foreshore before heading out on my 10 day 750 km ride from Esperance to Albany in Western Australia.

I know that bike packing and panniers are maybe not synonymous for a lot of bikepackers, myself included for some time. I must say that for a long time I saw my bikepacking bike, my Salsa Mukluk as a separate identity to my touring bike, a Surly Long Haul Trucker. They were set up for what I saw as different roles.

However, my preference for remote bikepacking (e.g., my coastal ride from Esperance to Albany where I attempted to avoid highways as much as possible) means a need to carry water and sometimes a lot of water. The traditional bikepacking setup, sans racks and panniers, is not conducive to carrying that much water and sometimes food. So today my Salsa Mukluk has a rear rack, a Salsa Alternator Plus Rack and I use my existing Ortlieb front panniers. So a comprise with a minimalist rack and small panniers. Sometimes I can get away without the panniers which is the preferred option.

All of this leads into a post at my favourite bikepacking blog, looking at another rack option for bikepackers from a Finnish company, Pelago Bicycles. It looks like the racks are aimed at commuters but being small may also interest bikepackers.

Either way it is good to have options. What are you thoughts on bikepacking with racks? Share them below in the comments box.

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