Bikepacking setup for MTB Lite-Touring [Bikepacking.net]
Bicycle touring with Mountain Bikes (MTB) is nothing new. Since the design of frame bags that tuck neatly into the center triangle, or completely cover the triangle space for more equipment, slings for handlebar bags and Pods for behind the seat - everything you need for a weekend Micro Adventure, or a cross-country expedition can all be packed in there, with some extra kit placed on your backpack.
One major advantage of frame bags/packs is the elimination of heavy and sometimes expensive carrier racks that require the purchase of durable panniers as well, doubling the costs of equipment to set up panniers (high quality Tubus stainless steel racks are light, strong and expensive.) While frame bags and slings are relatively inexpensive, durable, light-weight and don't require attachment to rack carriers. In the photo (above), the MTB is also a FS - Full-Suspension, so the hard days of punishment on a hardtail frame...can be modified.
I used this setup through western China (Uighur Autonomous Region - Taklamakan Desert in photo; Aksai Chin Mountains; Sichuan-Kham and Yunnan Regions of the Himalayas; 38 days, 1988 miles, 3200 km)
For expeditions, the less suspension linkages (using a rigid hardtail frame, see above photo) and simple components (Avid BB7 cable braking, 203mm front rotor is okay for fully-loaded touring!) increases the all likelihood of dedicated mechanical, fail-proof performance. Although, I will continue to use Fox Racing air suspension forks in the future (RL32, 120mm...2008, same as in the photo above) with any frame I am currently using, they are tough and make riding easier in off road/rough terrain (Mongolia).
Micro Adventures (in this link, I carry everything for the Himalayas training in South Korea)
With Bikepacking, the advantages of packing light, making transport by plane easier (luggage restrictions) or going hard all weekend or in under 24 Hours the S24O (Sub-24 hour Overnight Adventure).
Enjoy cycling, wherever you ride, live the Dream!