A Fall Ride (on the Rothaarsteig)

Lukas and Sven set out to bikepack the Rothaarsteig, a multi-day singletrack route near their home in Germany. They returned with some great film footage to document the trip. Watch it here, plus find an additional video about their gear selection and more on the route…

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This past fall, friends Lukas and Sven completed the Rothaarsteig, a remote singletrack hiking route from Bilon to Dillenburg, Germany. They took four days to complete the track and made this nice short film along the way. Find a few photos and a second video about their choice of gear below. Further down find a map of the route with a few details about the Rothaarsteig.

  • A Fall Ride, bikepacking video
  • A Fall Ride, bikepacking video
  • A Fall Ride, bikepacking video

This time, we made a short video about our gear as well:

  • Fall Ride Video, bikepacking gear
  • Fall Ride Video, bikepacking gear
  • Frame Bags: Ortlieb Frame-Pack M & Frame-Pack Toptube
  • Seat pack: Ortlieb Seat-pack & Seat-pack M
  • Handlebar bag: Handlebar Pack, Accessory-Pack
  • Shelter: Exped Solo Tarp
  • Sleeping Pad: Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite
  • Sleeping Bag: Sea To Summit Spark I
  • Jacket: Mountain Equipment Compressor Hooded Jacket / Arete Hooded Jacket
  • Rain Shell: Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
  • Stove: Trangia Mini
  • Flask: Vargo Titanium Funnel Flask
  • Spork: Snow Peak Titanium Spork
  • Mug: Simple Metal Mug
  • Water reservoirs: Camelbaks, 2 litre Platypus Soft Bottle
  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot
  • Pump: Crank Brothers Klic hV
  • GPS: Garmin eTrex 20x

A Fall Ride, bikepacking video

  • Kona Big honzo dL Bikepacking
  • Kona Big honzo dL Bikepacking

Bikepacking Rothaarsteig (Rothaar trail)

The Rothaarsteig is a ~155 kilometer hiking trail along the crest of the Rothaargebirge mountain range in Germany’s border region between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. For average riders, the Rothaarsteig, from Brilon to Dillenbirg, should take three days to complete (as long as you are not filming). There are some parts that are not rideable, especially within the first section on day one. When divided into three stages, I would recommend spending the first night somewhere around Winterberg. After Winterberg, there’s no resupply point, apart from a few guest houses. We we’re expecting to ride through a town with shops afterwards, so we had to take a detour as we ran out of food. There are plenty of places to refill water though.

The Rothaarsteig is first and foremost a hiking trail, but cycling it is permitted. However, please respect those hiking on it and give right of way.

Getting there is easy by taking the train.

  • Andreas

    Thumbs up! :) Very nice video. And thanks again for sharing the hut on your second night with the wild wanderer ;)

  • Jake Dean

    Nice! I was just planning on doing a ride through the Sauerland, but opted to head in the opposite direction because camping options are limited this time of year. I would have probably started in the south and ended in Winterberg, though. Is there any particular reason to ride the route North->South? (On a side note, how did the sponsorship thing come about?)

  • Sebastian Koopmann

    Looks like you had a lot of fun.

  • Howard Matthew

    Great film very well shot really captures the colours of autumn. Can you give a bring down of your camera equipment?

  • Sven Achi

    Hey Jake, I have no clue about public camping grounds on the way, but there were so many shelters, we never had to pitch our tarp.
    The only reason we did it north to south was because we found a gpx file of it, that recommended it. There we’re a bunch of trails though, that we pushed uphill and boring gravelroads that we rode down. So doing it south to north might be even better.

    Concerning the sponsorhip: Hibike already supported us for the previous project “Bikepacking Trans Germany”. We asked Ortlieb and Kona if they would like to support us for this one aswell and they sad yes, that’s about it. :)

  • Sven Achi

    Thanks! Check out this link, we have listed everyhing there:

  • bharms

    Thank you for sharing the video! Would you consider doing the whole trans Germany route on the Kona? I’m still deciding if I want do it on something like 27.5+ with suspension or a 29 rigid.

  • Sven Achi

    Thanks man! Here’s my thought on this: If I could choose any bike for BTG, It definetly wouldn’t be the Honzo, but probably the Salsa Fargo or something similar. BUT, if the Honzo would be the only bike sitting in my garage, of course I would still do it! It might not be ideal on long stretches of pavement or gravel (which is the majority of BTG), but it still is super comfy and does the job well.

    Apparently, we couldn’t keep the bikes, but a 27.5+ Hardtail will be the next bike I’ll buy. They just can do it all: Trailriding, Bikepacking and maybe even moderate riding in a park. Furthermore, I have to admit that this way of bikepacking was so much more fun to me, than just cyclocross/gravel-like bikepacking. I come from a mountainbiking background and for me, singletrails win over gravel any day, with or without bags.

  • Paul Radcliffe

    Hey, thanks Lukas and Sven. This excellent site and your great videos have finally pushed me over the edge…last night I ordered a Sonder Camino Al, some bike bags, bivvy and tarp :) I have hiking friends from Meschede – so I’m gonna bikepack the Rothaarsteig and meet up with them too. My friend tells me some parts of the route are forbidden for bicyclists – did you go ’round these sections? Are there any such sections?!

    Your film reminds me a lot of the MTBing I used to do as a student in the Scotish Highlands in the 90ies :) Bikepacking my home country of Scotland is way up there on my bucket list.


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