2016 Bikepacking Awards: Gear of the Year

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In part two of our 2016 Bikepacking Awards triptych, we recognize gear that’s made a lasting impression in categories that include ‘Best Long-term Product’, ‘Best Camping Gear’, ‘Best Bikepacking Bike’, and more…

Following on from part one of this year’s Bikepacking Awards – our collection of Best Bikepacking Videos, Photography and Art of 2016 – part two collates quite the mixture of gear to nerd over. Within Gear of the Year 2016, you’ll find the most interesting innovations relevant to bikepacking, the bikes that we’ve enjoyed riding most (and a few we’d love to try), our favourite long-term products, the best outdoor apparel we tried, and more. Although some of the gear that’s made the cut has yet to earn an in-depth review on the site, it’s all equipment we’ve had first-hand experience using and feel confident in recommending.

Note that although the emphasis is on 2016 products, we should point out that these awards are drawn from all the gear we’ve tried and tested this year, irrespective of when a particular item came out. After all, the ‘latest and greatest’ isn’t always the best, irrespective of what the marketing hype may tell us. In our minds, bikepacking is as much about gear that stands the test of time as out-of-the-box performance, so we’ve tried to strike a useful balance.

Lastly, in the interests of looking forwards, we’ve also included our top 5 bikes that we either haven’t had a chance to ride thoroughly this year, or have been announced but aren’t yet available.

Best in Bikepacking Gear

Revelate Ranger Frame Bag

Bust zippers are the bane of our lives. Our favourite framebag of 2016 features a new style of ultra durable, molded tooth zipper that’s refused to split or wear out on our test bags — despite sand, grit and poor packing — as well as a clever, waterproof stretch fabric to help alleviate zipper stress. In doing so it sets new standards, adding to the bag’s already impressive build quality and level of detail. What’s more, Revelate’s Ranger is about to gain further tweaks for 2017, with polyurethane coated X-Pac panels for improved wear and waterproofing, as well as an extra stretch panel – as pictured below.

New Revelate Ranger Frame Bag

Honorable Mentions

Porcelain Rocket Albert Seat Pack

Porcelain Rocket Albert Seat Pack

Albert, named after the monkey that went to space, is the first dropper post specific seat pack. It was released just recently and starts shipping today. A lot of folks will be interested in weekend trips on their favorite trail bike… with their dropper still in play. Skyler put his through the wringer on the Colorado Trail and helped perfect the design.

apidura-handlebar-pack-dry-review

Apidura Handlebar Pack Dry and Accessory Pocket Dry

When you’re headed for inclement climes, keeping gear dry is crucial. Apidura’s waterproof roll bag and accessory pouch guarantee just that. Cass’ survived countless downpours in the Republic of Georgia, as well as the general wear and tear of a long distance bikepack. All without unduly weighing the bike down. At just 275 and 125g respectively, this is a handlebar combo that will appeal to racers, or those with an eye on the kitchen scales.

Ortlieb Handlebar Pack Review, Handle-Bar Roll, Bikepacking Bags

Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack and Accessory Pack

We’ve continued to take Ortlieb’s perfectly welded handlebar luggage on several more outings throughout the year and it hasn’t failed to impress. The Handlebar Pack itself is just the right size, waterproof and built to a rugged spec. The Accessory Pack is easy to use and one of just two currently on the market that can keep stuff dry, even in heaviest of downpours. See our initial review here.

Best Long-term Product

Sea to Summit Insulated Sleeping Mat

As comfortable as they are, inflatable mats often succumb to punctures or mysterious slow leaks. So given how much we all dread this – and the resulting nocturnal top-ups – our top spot for longterm gear goes to Sea to Summit’s latest inflatable mattress. Not only has it proven itself far tougher than we’d expect for its weight, it’s also one of the most comfortable and easy to inflate sleeping pads on the market, which we’re especially grateful for after an extended day’s ride. Read Cass’ review here.

sea to summit ember ultralight mat

Honorable Mentions

Hope F20 Flat Pedal Review

Hope F20 Flat Pedals

Hope’s F20 Flat pedal have spun smoothly from the get-go. Almost a year later – and with multiple, long distance trips to its name – the bearings in our review pedals are as good as ever. If you’re weening yourself off clipless alternatives, know that these pedals grip tenaciously, whatever shoes you’re wearing. The 20 pins seem to last forever but a word of caution… they’ll take a chunk out of your calf given half the chance!

Ergon GS1, Bikepacking grips

Ergon GS1 Grips

The GS1 — our new favorite grip for long days of pedaling — was developed for epic mountain bike races, such as the Marathon World Championship and Leadville 100. But as we’ve discovered, they’re perfect for bikepacking as well. This particular pair has seen a fair shake through several months of collective use in southern Spain, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan and beyond, and they’ve held up surprisingly well.

Darn Tough Socks, Bikepacking

Darn Tough Light Hiker

This pair of Micro Crew Light Cushion socks have been worn on several trips, one of which consisted of 20 days of constant spinning in the rugged mountain terrain of Kyrgyzstan. They are simply the hardest wearing socks we’ve seen. And they’re wool, so they don’t get too funky either.

Game Changer of 2016

SRAM Eagle X01

Until recently, even with 1x drivetrains becoming ever more popular, there was still a glimmer of hope for the front derailleur. 1×10 and 1×11 drivetrains just didn’t quite deliver the gear range of their 2×10 and 3×9 forbears. This is especially missed amongst us bikepackers who have to make up for additional loaded weight. Now SRAM Eagle has taken 1x to new heights with a 500% gear range provided by the massive 10-50 tooth cassette. Granted the current X01 group is an significant investment, the tech is sure to quickly percolate down – we predict various iterations specced on many bikes to come. Stay tuned for a deeper review.

SRM Eagle X01, Bikepacking

Honorable Mentions

Industry Nine Matchstix

Industry Nine Matchstix

Bikepackers and bike tourists have been doing it for years… stuffing spare cables in hollow tubes, and extra spokes in seat posts. Now Industry Nine has cleverly disguised a toolkit in a thru-axle, complete with chain breaker. We hope to see more tools and widgets created to utilize nooks and spaces. Stay tuned for our review.

Maxxis Recon+

Maxxis Icon+ and Recon+

These two 2.8″ tires were specced on an army of new bikes at demo and launch events this year. While it’s not quite a full plus 3″ tire, they are both well-designed and great performing tires that are showing the benefits of plus to a broader audience. Even though we’d love to see the Recons in full 3″ rubber, they are great tires that have so far gotten a lot of traction.

Pivot Super BOOST Plus

Pivot Super BOOST Plus

With the introduction of their Switchblade, Pivot reinvented and rebranded an old standard — Super Boost Plus. What is it? In a nutshell Pivot employed a 157mm hub — a decade old downhill standard — and paired it with standard non-DH cranks and a standard width bottom bracket. Like BOOST (but better) this offsets the chainline outward for more tire clearance (the Switchblade can fit 3.25″ tires) without negatively impacting shifting, and adds frame stiffness. Now that’s how to use old standards to solve problems.

Accessory of the Year

Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag and MagTank

Two classic accessory bags saw a reinvention this year. After testing both in Kyrgyzstan and beyond, they’ve earned our vote for the Accessory of The Year. The Mountain Feedbag saw an overhaul in size and function, while the new MagTank is a reworked variation of the classic Gas Tank — complete with a quick access magnetic closure.

Revelate Mountain Feedbag Review

Honorable Mentions

King Cage ManyThing Cage

King Cage ManyThing Cage

The Manything Cage incorporates a clean titanium loop with a sturdy three bolt design, made to specifically to play well with Salsa’s Three Pack Bosses three-hole mount system found on forks and downtubes, across brands like Salsa, Surly and others. A miniature titanium work of art.

Lezyne Macro Drive 800XL

Lezyne Macro Drive 800XL

When it comes to night riding on a reasonable budget, lights that delivery 800 lumens are a solid option for both trail riding and commuting. The Lezyne 800XL Macro Drive is built to the company’s usual standards, offers impressive burn times, and is rechargeable via USB. Updated for 2016/17, the secure rubber mount is now integrated and can also be used for both 25.4 and 30.8 size handlebars. Want extra oomph? There’s more powerful models available.

Timberbell

Timberbell

Yep, a bell made the list. Of the bells we’ve been tinkering with lately, this one seems particularly special. Instead of the standard ‘ding-ding-ding’, the Timberbell mimics the more passive and pleasant sound of a cowbell — a friendly reminder when on a crowded bike path, a two-way trail with blind turns, or around pedestrians. It’s designed to be switched on or off and once engaged it rings from vibrations.

Camping Gear of The Year

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1

The new HV version of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 is a thoughtful redesign of the original. Big Agnes steepened the walls, added useable floor space and new hardware, and improved a tent that was already a winner. At just over two pounds (including stakes and the MTNglo lighting system) in an incredibly small package, it’s simply hard to beat as a readily available solo bikepacking tent.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 Review

Honorable Mentions

Hyperlite Ultamid 2

Hyperlite UltaMid 2

Despite initial reservations, we’re now convinced the minimalist, US-made Hyperlite Ultamid justifies its hefty, $571 price tag. For a start, it’s ridiculously light, especially given its generous headroom, cavernous living space (room for 2.5!), and the fact that it’s plenty hardy enough for 4 season use. Meticulously constructed from Dyneema Cuben Fiber, Cass has pitched his across Bolivia, Peru, and the Republic of Georgia, and it still looks brand new. Rest assured that the Ultamid is a shelter that you can rely on, wherever you find yourself in the world.

Enlightened Equipment Enigma Review

Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt

When weight, simplicity, and compressibility are crucial, the Enigma quilt is hard to beat. It weighs less and stuffs down more than most other sleeping bags we’ve tried to date. And in the world of custom order ultralight gear, it’s probably the most affordable quilt out there — the one shown below is their 40ª 850 DownTek Long, priced at $230 — and made in the USA. Read our review here.

black-diamond-revolt-review

Black Diamond Revolt

The latest incarnation of the Black Diamond’s ReVolt boasts an impressive 130 lumens to illuminate your campsite; brightness can be easily dipped when social etiquette calls, or to conserve battery. Talking of which, the ReVolt has a USB port to charge its replaceable AAA batteries, making it perfect for dynamo hubs, solar panels, power packs, or even replaceable lithium batteries.

Best in Camp Kitchen

MSR Pocket Rocket 2

A yet-to-be-released remake of a favorite in its class, the next generation PocketRocket 2 stove takes everything great about the celebrated original and makes it even lighter and smaller. After a couple of months use, it’s now a permanent fixture in the frame pack. Stay tuned for the review.

MSR Pocket Rocket 2, review, bikepacking stove

Honorable Mentions

good-to-go-pad-thai-indian-vegetable-korma-00

Good To-Go

Good To-Go impressed us with their tasty, ready-made camping fare. Although they can’t match your typical, nutritionless ramen on price, these ultralight, dehydrated meals certainly make up for it with goodness, taste and calorific value – they’re crammed with all kinds of healthy, natural ingredients. Founded by an outdoor-loving chef from Maine, they’re a gastronomic treat after a long day in the saddle. See the original review here, and their new meals here.

lyo_foods

Lyo Food

Hailing from Poland, Lyo Food is another company putting healthy, gourmet meals on the ultralight camping menu. Ingredients are predominantly grown on site or sourced from local farmers, ensuring they’re preservative and additive free, while freeze drying then traps all the goodness within. The menu is a broad one, with generous servings to boot – there’s even organic smoothies to boost your immune levels, a great idea when you’re pushing your body hard.

Outdoor Apparel of The Year

Patagonia Merino Air

Patagonia’s innovative take on a wool base layer is stretchy, extremely breathable, and seamless. They offer long sleeve tops, with or without a hood, as well as full-length bottoms. Each is made using a unique manufacturing process whereby fibers are exposed to a high-pressure air gun resulting in high loft and low weight. This ultralight, ultra-cozy base layer is a prized possession to a couple of us. It’s also surprisingly durable.

Patagonia Merino Air

Honorable Mentions

Five Ten Guide Tennies

Five Ten Guide Tennies

The Guide Tennie is quickly becoming a legend in its own right. We’ve actually tried two pairs this year, the low cut versions and the high tops shown above. These aren’t a bike specific shoe, but they work great with aggressive flat pedals and on big expeditions that involve hiking, biking, and just kicking around camp.

Gore POWER TRAIL GORE-TEX PANTS

Gore Bike Wear Power Trail Gore-Tex Active Pants

The title’s a mouth full, but these minimal waterproof/breathable pants are the best we’ve tried. They have been worn in pouring rain, sleet and snow, and don’t disappoint. They also fit really well for riding and are pretty comfortable off the bike as well. It’s worth noting that the jacket of the same name is also very impressive.

Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka

Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka

Nothing short of the best down jacket out there, the Plasma 1000 Parka weighs only 8.5 ounces and has been worn comfortably in temps below 20°F. We loved their Down Anorak, but this jacket offers beefier performance with hardly any additional weight or space penalty.

Top 5 Bikepacking Bikes of 2016

jamis-dragonslayer-best-bikes-2016

Jamis Dragonslayer

One of the first 27.5+ bikes to hit the market, the Dragonslayer came fit for adventure. With a 2×10 drivetrain, a solid and bombproof component spec, down tube brazeons, a steel frame, and excellent trail geometry, it’s hard to argue this bike’s placement amongst the best bikes of we’ve ridden in 2016. Find out why it was Gin’s glass slipper here.

Specialized Sequoia

Specialized Sequoia

It was the Sequoia’s sheer level of detail and refinement that really won us over – from touches like ‘riser’ drop handlebars, the use of a single spoke length in its wheelset, and the neatly eyeletted carbon fork, to its undoubtedly clean, uncluttered lines and classy finish. Add in the cleverly designed Sawtooth tires, perfectly balanced handling and practical tire clearances, and you have a standout all rounder from 2016 – one we’d love to have in our quiver.

Salsa Pony Rustler

Salsa Pony Rustler

Through the fusion of a well-engineered Split Pivot suspension system, solid trail geometry, and the traction and control of plus tires, Salsa created a machine that craves backcountry singletrack and begs for craggy trails, wild terrain, and challenging conditions. Read Logan’s full review to see why it’s his choice bike of 2016.

jones-plus-review

Jones Plus

Quite simply, Jones’s fully rigid Plus will challenge any preconceived ideas you have about how a bike should be built and how it should ride. Both technically capable and supremely comfortable, the Plus is uncannily nimble despite its obvious size. The steel version won us over; we’ve since fitted a Thomson dropper post and sampled the delights of the new Boost-compatible ti truss fork. Read Cass’ review here… and find out why he didn’t want to send it back.

Kona Big Honzo DL Review, Bikepacking

Kona Big Honzo DL

The The all new Kona Big Honzo DL was built to be a fun and capable trail bike, with no apparent consideration toward the idea of carrying more than a single water bottle. Yet, by refusing to compromise on trail handling, Kona has by accident created an outstandingly comfortable and capable bikepacking machine. Read all about why Skyler rated it so highly here.

5 Most Interesting Bikes for 2017

Moots Baxter, bikepacking bike

MOOTS Baxter

There’s no doubt that MOOTS had the perfect vantage to plan the ultimate Tour Divide bike — their headquarters is just a couple hundred meters from the GDMBR. Named after their resident Chocolate Lab, Baxter is the end product of years of development to build a purpose built 29″ titanium adventurer specifically for this epic and iconic ride. Featuring with three bottle cages and Moots’ proprietary 3/2.5 Pi Tech titanium, this beast looks ready to rip through the Divide.

Surly Karate Monkey 27.5+

Surly Karate Monkey

The new Karate Monkey is due out in early January and after a brief encounter at Saddledrive, we can’t wait to try one in earnest. Longer and slacker than the classic Karate Monkey of old, the new model is B+ compatible and features eyelets for all your bikepacking needs. In these times of uncertain standards, Surly’s Gnot-Boost spacing caters for both Boost and 135QR hubs, and there’s even internal routing for a dropper post too. Plus, we love the color! Check out Michael Dammer’s Karate Monkey in Rider and Rig.

3T Exploro Review

3T Exploro

The 3T Exploro is the latest creation by engineer Gerard Vroomen, the mastermind behind the OPEN Cycle UP. The Exploro was designed around their new ‘GravelPlus’ concept, combining a road geometry and position with larger tires to create a fast go-anywhere bike. We’ve been plying with one for a couple of months now… here’s the review.

Tumbleweed Prospector Review

Tumbleweed Prospector

We’ve already tested Tumbleweed’s expedition-worthy Prospector prototype (pictured above) on both local trails and across Mongolia, Bolivia and Peru. Which is why we can’t wait to get our hands on the more refined production model due out 2017. There’s a lot to like: this is a bike that’s designed for the long haul, without sacrificing the fun of the short haul. Rohloff, full fat, 29+, 27.5+, trail, dirt, snow… ride it all!

Viral Skeptic, 27.5+

Viral Skeptic

Created by Steve Domahidy, one of the original founders of Niner Bikes, Viral launched this year with their flagship bike, the Skeptic. It is no doubt a radical departure from the norm… a triple butted titanium tubeset built around a 120-140mm fork, 27.5+ hoops, a Pinion drivetrain, and a Gates Carbon Drive. Interesting to say the least; we’ll be reporting back when we get a chance to try one. UPDATE: Here’s our review.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our 2016 Bikepacking Awards — People and Routes.

18 Comments
  • Hey Logan, I love this gear list as well as the rising popularity of bikepacking which is evidenced by such advances. I think a big part of that popularity is due to this site’s commitment to showcasing routes, gear, and the inspirational aesthetic of the pioneers in the sport, as well as Neil Beltchenko’s bikepacker.com site.

    As for the 2016 bikes of the year, I was a little surprised not to see Marin’s Pine Mountain 2 make the list over the Kona Big Honzo. Is it because it is too similar to the Dragonslayer? Is it because a dropper post might make some people nervous out in the backcountry, or because a dropper doesn’t play nice with most seat bags? The dropper works great with a lightweight rack (see picture), makes the bike a lot more versatile and rowdy whether bikepacking or MTB riding and, as Marin’s bike comes stock with a 1X system, internal routing, and a dropper post, it seems like it might slightly outmatch the Dragonslayer as far as the total package is concerned, despite it’s lack of downtube eyelets, which I admit is a strange oversight on Marin’s part.

    I guess I’m just interested in what makes the Dragonslayer superior to the PM2, as it seems to me the PM2’s complete package is better. Thoughts?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3006b3ccb777c9de686e37172fc2ef5b1b9643807e4a84394e0ca00dbe88914.jpg

  • Thanks Ben. We put a ton of work in to consistently creating original content on this site, so I appreciate your acknowledgements. Re > Marin. It was definitely on the list. However, in the end it was based on bikes that were truly special to each of us. While I enjoyed my time on the PM2, and would definitely recommend it, we felt the passion for the Dragonslayer edged it out a little bit. While the PM2 may have a slightly better/more modern build kit, we thought the build Jamis chose was especially committed to bikepacking as well: namely the bosses on the underside of the down tube, swappable paragon style dropouts, and a classic 2×10 gear range… which — until recently with OneUp’s Shark kit — has been a preference for many bikepackers. In addition, although close, we felt the geometry of the Dragonslayer may be a little more ‘long-day’ friendly, namely in the steeper seat tube angle.

  • Eugeneius

    Note the interchanging usage between Hyperlite “Ultamid” and “Duomid” in the Honorable Mentions segment. The Mountain Laurel Designs “Duomid” ALSO makes a great alternative to the pricey Ultamid, and comes in both cuben and silnylon options at a better price point. Easy to pitch, handles wind/snow loading well, and price per oz., the Duomid in silnylon is considerably more economical than cuben without sacrificing much in performance for a 1-2 person bikepacking mid.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Quite right, just fixed that. Thanks!

    I’ve tried a number of ‘mid designs and I agree, the silnylon models are certainly hard to argue with, given their performance/value for money. But… IMO, the cuben Ultamid takes things to a new level – hence the justification with its price. It’s incredibly well made – it’s ultralight without skimping on durability. The zipper is big and tough, the lines are stout and the guy points are heavily reinforced. I would trust it implicitly in a heavy mountain weather. Given the price of Cuben, I wasn’t convinced by its benefits over silnylon until I got a chance try a shelter made from one, for long enough to see how it handles hard, regular use. What surprised me most was how durable is it – I figured lightweight meant skimpy, and that’s not the case at all. The fact that doesn’t wet out or sag is really nice too, both when its pitched, and when you’re putting it away.

    I’ve owned the classic Black Diamond Mega Light, tested out a Cuben Bearpaw Pyratent, a MLD Cuben Trailstar, and countless Tarptents. They’ll all great shelters in their own right and certainly cheaper. But I was really, really impressed with the build quality of the Ultamid. If you have the $$$ and you plan on using it regularly, I think it’s worth it.

  • Will

    “Nutritionless” ramen?! I did an AT thru-hike on ramen and little debbie snacks. Seriously though, it’s certainly not very healthy, but as far as calories/dollar, hard to beat. Plus, it’s light and cooks fast. And it’s pretty good without cooking too. That freeze-dried stuff is delicious though…

  • Dang. That’s like a $1.50 a day budget! Throw in some Moon Pies and you’re golden. Ramen’s all we ate across Kyrgyzstan! Good stuff. Had to keep an eye out for scurvy signs though ;)

  • Will

    Had to keep it cheap, I was just out of high school. Despite consuming massive amounts of calories, I lost 70 pounds over that 4 month hike, and I wasn’t a chunky guy to begin with (but tall). So maybe there’s something to your “nutritionless” comment. Oddly, even seventeen years later, I still enjoy ramen on my outings. But only creamy chicken. Anyway, nice gear you’ve chosen here. Keep it up.

  • stuartm

    I went looking for info on the MagTank but could only find mention of it in one other article on this site. Is this a custom bag or something that we can actually purchase?

  • Hi Stuart. It’s not available quite yet, but coming very soon…

  • Cass Gilbert

    I stand by my words. Ramen fills a hole in the stomach but as for real nutrition… you’ll have to look hard to find any! Calories-wise, there’s less than 200 per pack, while the likes of Lyo is closer to 600, plus perks like vitamins and minerals! I won’t deny it’s cheap and convenient though – the main reasons why it’s long been a staple of my trips in Asia.

    I think the body is able to process food a lot more efficiently when its working hard. It’s a furnace! Which is why you can get away eating junk food on tour. But for long term well being and general health, I’m not sure high processed food is such a good idea.

  • Eugeneius

    Great, Cass. Admittedly, I haven’t used the HMG Ultamid, so I definitely trust your experience there in contrasting traditionally available nylon mids (ie. Duomid, Trailstar, etc.) vs. similar cuben offerings. That said, I’ve owned their Hyperlite Porter pack for a few years now, and can attest to the superior build quality and details in craftsmanship and use of materials over other makers, so I’m sure they (HMG) carry that ethos through all their product lines.

    You bring up great points regarding moisture retention and relaxing characteristics of silnylon, which usually requires a little re-tensioning at some point in the evening to take out slack. That slack also makes silnylon pliable and forgiving. Either way, so many great pyramid options available now.

    Thanks for sharing your favorite gear and feedback!

  • Jon Schultz

    Add a can condensed soup to ramen, and it gets tastier and more nutrition. Ramen doesn’t need continuous boiling water despite what the directions say. Just boil the water, add ramen, and let stand for a few minutes. Once the noodles are ready, add the soup and the ramen warms the soup up enough to eat. Simple to cook and clean-up. Add some cheese, and it gets even better. Granted carrying a can of condensed soup isn’t a very light option for multiple day trips.

  • Idle Prentice

    So many great bikes that didn’t get mentioned here – where to begin? I know you have to be selective and don’t fault you for not including everything. But the Advocate Hayduke and Seldom Seen should have been mentioned. And the new Fargo? That takes every conceivable tire and wheel combination?

  • It was tough to narrow to five in both lists and I agree that there are a lot of worthy bikes not listed. I will add that both the Hayduke and Seldom Seen were respectively on each list before we made the cut. A lot of factors were considered — including which bikes the four decision makers had experience with — and there was a lot of deliberation…

  • Revelate is really stepping it up this year with new bags!

    I’ve been using the stuff I bought in 2012 on hundreds of rides and it still functions as new, so I have no excuse to replace it….

  • Yeah, they need to start making stuff that eventually breaks or else they’ll go out of business ;)

  • Rolf

    I’m wondering about the Game Changer Winner “SRAM EAGLE X01”. What’s so good about that? Only that I don’t need the front derailleur? Or are that the 500% at weight of 1600g (I’m not sure I found the correct data). A good old Rohloff has 526% at around 1700g. There is also one of these hubs known to be working since more than 300.000km.
    The bikewanderer broke his in the far north of Canada in winter time. I got my derailleur blocked on the first test tour – ok it was a really muddy fall ride. But I had to clean up twice on a tiny 20km round. I keep trying to get used to it…

  • Yep, I have a ton of miles on a Rohloff and have always been an advocate for it. But keep in mind that many mountain bikers don’t like it because of the weight distribution. So while Rohloff may make complete sense for people taking big trips, mountain bikers who are approaching bikepacking as a weekend activity might not get it. The reason the Eagle got this award is because it works really well and our guess is that it has a bright future and will be specced (in some iteration) on a lot of bikes for MY 2018.