Advice is given on how to choose bike accessories that are appropriate for doing bikepacking races in particular and long-distance cycling in general. The Bike & Components are covered in the previous section.
Bike Accessories, section contents:
- Criteria for Choosing Accessories (below)
- Water Storage
- Bags, Fenders & Locks
- USB Chargers
- Navigation Devices
Criteria for Choosing Accessories
The equipment used doesn’t need to cost a lot of money; many people have completed bikepacking races on relatively basic bikes with simple, low-tech equipment, including some people who have done very well and had very few problems along the way; remember that The Rider is always the most important element.
The Factors That Determine Cycling Speed section of this website investigates which characteristics have real (instead of perceived) effects on cycling speed for long-distance cyclists and what the relative importance of these effects is. A major finding is that Weight is not a particularly important criterion because even a substantial weight saving of 1 kg will cause the average cycling speed over a complete route in a bikepacking race to decrease by less than 0.1 km/h.
Cycling speed is not the only measure of progress in bikepacking races in which the clock never stops, the Moving Percentage (i.e., the relative amount of time spent on vs. off the bike) is at least as important, so the effect that equipment choices have on that should also be considered.
In summary, as long as a component is not excessively heavy then the most important criteria to consider are how equipment affects comfort on and off the bike, reliability, functionality and repairability. Obviously, different people will have different preferences and will make different equipment choices based on perfectly valid reasons, so it should be kept in mind that there are no “wrong” equipment choices – if something works for someone then it doesn’t matter if other people do things differently.
The first page in this section covers Water Storage.