The Four Best Bikepacking Bikes Available
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Enjoying the great outdoors is a great hobby, and one that takes many different forms. Fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping just scratch the surface of what’s out there. Bicycle camping, or bikepacking, has grown in popularity for good reason. An amazing way to stay in shape, see out of the way places, and even ride across country, bikepacking combines the best of cycling, backpacking, and gives you the mobility to really cover ground over the course of the day.
However, you’re not going to have many successful bikepacking expeditions if you just grab another bicycle off the rack. You need to take some time to get a truly quality bicycle that is going to hold up to all the adventures you have planned ahead. Some bicycles are just much better built for bikepacking trips than others. Those are the ones we are focusing on here.
Best Overall Bikepacking Bike: Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain Mountain Bike
An incredibly popular mountain bike, this comes with multiple options when it comes to wheel and frame size. The Huffy Hardtail Stone Mountain bicycle also comes in both 6 speed models as well as 21 speed models. These bikes are designed for hitting the trails and are a very popular option for dirt bike paths, gravel roads, and other similar conditions.
The grips on this bike are extremely comfortable, keeping the long-distance cyclists in mind. The seat is extremely comfortable and well stitched. The steel and alloy materials on the frame make for a very sturdy bike that gets the job done. these are heavy duty bikes. With wheels they start at 42.7 lbs and get heavier from there.
Currently the options are:
- 17-inch frame with 26-inch wheels
- 14-inch frame with 24-inch wheels
- 13-inch frame with 20-inch wheels
These bikes come with a limited lifetime warranty and the manual is illustrated to help even true beginners put together the bike with ease. The design is there to carry saddle bags and allow you to gear up while traveling and add all you need for those long distance adventures. Produced by Huffy Bicycles, the Hardtail Stone Mountain Bike is an outstanding option that is durable and affordable to most budgets.
Best Premium Bikepacking Bike: Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike
Generally the priciest option on this list, the Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Bike is a sleek looking bike that looks great but also brings some serious hardware to the table. Available in five sizes ranging from extra small up to extra large, this gives you plenty of options to make sure that you have a bike that is properly fitted for your actual cycling needs.
One of the major changes is that this bike switched to wider tires that offer more stability and strength. Always good for trail riding or bikepacking completely off-road. This is a great upgrade that goes perfectly with a strong, durable, and reliable aluminum frame that is both strong and compact. The rims feature 28 spokes for extra support on rough terrain. This all comes with specialized disc brakes that mean your bike can reliability stop even in rain and slick weather.
Riders have reported loving the excellent brakes, strong handling, and the ability to work as a road bike as well as a gravel/trail bike. This might be a bit expensive for the casual cyclist but for bikepacking trips and serious bikers who are going to spend a lot of time on trail or off-road, it may make sense to take a look at what the Tommaso has to offer and see if it’s the right fit.
On the negative side, these bikes do require a professional to put them together in order to enjoy the comprehensive warranty. That can be a bit annoying, especially if there aren’t a lot of bicycle repair shops in your area, so that is worth considering.
Best Budget Bikepacking Bike: Outroad Mountain Bike
Some people are on a budget but still want their outdoor bikepacking fun. The Outroad Mountain Bike is a great option if you still want a really high quality bike however you need something that is in a lower price range. When it comes to reliable budget options, it’s hard to argue against the Outroad Mountain Bike.
This 21 speed bike is easy to learn to ride with a unique rim design that goes with less spokes but bigger thicker ones that help give the right combination of light weight and sturdy tough frame to get the job done. The seat has a reputation for being fairly comfortable while the weight is between 37 and 44 pounds depending on the exact model you go with.
While many budget bikes mean giving up a lot on quality you may be pleasantly surprised by just how much this budget bike brings to the table.
Best Off-Trail Bikepacking Bike: Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mens Mountain Bike
In fact, some would argue that despite the high price take the Mongoose should still be considered the best overall bikepacking bike, and for many cyclists and trail adventurers, that might be a good point. Highly rated wherever you look and embracing the fat tire bike movement the Mongoose Dolomite mountain bike is definitely one of the best models out there period and is a premium option for cyclists looking for a distinctive fat tire bike.
The unique tread on these large tires can handle mud, sand, or snow, and comes from a company that has long focused on adventure cycling whether on mountain trails, or completely off road. These are bikes that are known for their quality and durability and are going to hold up to the challenge of even the longest and most challenging of off-road or on-trail trips.
The only potential drawback is that the compact design means that this bike is not a great fit for most tall cyclists. These bikes are best for riders between 5 feet 6 inches in height and those who are six feet tall.
Still, if you fall in that range this is a really outstanding fat tire bike that will deliver.
What to Look for in a Bikepacking Bike
If you’re going to be looking for bikes that hold up during the long haul, then you definitely need to look for quality. Even a good “budget” option is going to be a few hundred dollars for bikepacking because you still need a bike that can hold up to rugged trail conditions and gravel roads at the very least. Ideally the bike even has some straight up off-trail ability.
You are very much also looking at two types of bikes: a mountain bike or a fat tire bike. Regular bicycles are designed for sidewalks, roads, paved trails and aren’t going to be able to take the absolute beating that bikepackers are almost certainly going to put their bikes through. What’s the point of cycling and camping if you can’t get off the beaten path?
Why Weight Matters
You need a bike that is sturdy enough to handle challenging conditions without breaking (trust me - you don’t want to find yourself needing to carry bike and pack five miles across rugged terrain to the nearest town). This demands a certain amount of sturdiness in the frame to have the ability to not only carry you but also all your gear without putting additional stress on the tires or other parts of the bicycle.
On the other hand, the sturdiest bike frame in the world with fat tires won’t be a good fit if it’s too big/heavy for you to safely and efficiently handle. Keep in mind that many of the best bikepacking bikes are going to be heavier than basic street bicycles, but you shouldn’t choose one that’s so heavy that every push is a strain. If you can only bike for 30 minutes then you’re not going to get too far.
Fat Tires or No Fat Tires?
Both sides are pretty passionate about this one. If your bikepacking is going to involve a lot of riding on paved roads or gravel then you can probably get away without fat tires if you’re not a fan. For very well established mountain biking trails, especially when the weather has been dry, you probably don’t need fat tires. That being said, if you love going off the beaten path, will be hitting a lot of dirt roads or minimum maintenance trails, fat tires are a very good idea.
If you have never used a fat tire bike before, this is something you should get used to before jumping out on your next adventure. These handle differently and require more effort on the pedals. At first this can be difficult so getting used to them before heading out with gear and a backpack is just a good practical idea.
The four bikes in this article give you top notch options when it comes to bikepacking. Whether your next trip is local or you plan a massive across country trip, if you have one of these bikes you are going to be all set to make it happen.Learn The 10 Most Essential Outdoor Survival Skills