Electric bikes have gained lots of popularity in the past few years, and they are especially useful for those who want to travel short distances at a low cost while being eco-friendly. However, if you think that all electric bikes are created the same, you are very wrong! Depending on the type of biking you will pursue, you have to adjust your buying preferences - wasting money is surely something you want to avoid.
Today we discuss what types of bikes make really good companions for bikepacking, followed by our recommendations and advice. You want to make sure you have a good vehicle to rely on, as you don’t want to be stranded somewhere random.
What Do I Need To Keep In Mind?
Before we dive into the advice, you must know that there might be no need for you to get an extreme electric bike, especially if you won’t embark on rough journeys. Some people prefer one-day adventures on country roads, which means that a good electric bike with a good battery does the job. You don’t need to have a special hunting bike or a mountain bike. However, if you will be biking on rough roads and dirt trails, you want a more sturdy bike, as you will quickly ruin a city bike.
Think about the terrain you will ride on, the roads you will visit, and the types of obstacles you will run into - the more extreme your trip gets, the more suspension you need. If you ride uphill a lot, keep in mind that having several easy gears will make it easier to keep your energy up. Larger wheels and tires will give you a smoother and safer ride, while aluminum frames tend to be vulnerable and unpractical for gearing up. Keep these small things in mind - they surely do make a difference.
What Type of An E-Bike Is Ideal For Bikepacking?
We have three different bike categories we prefer, as we find them perfect for this particular journey. If you don’t like them or already have a bike and you’re more interested in making small changes to it, read our advice in the next few paragraphs. Keep the advice in mind when making your potential buys.
Fat tire electric bikes. Electric bikes with fat tires make great companions as the surface of the tires makes it much easier to ride on difficult terrain. They’re good for snow, dirt, and sand, as they distribute your weight and make sure you don’t get stuck. These bikes are usually made from rigid materials, and the fact that you’re a little bit higher off the ground helps keep the bike clean as well - less dirt on the frame of the bike.
The tires tend to absorb a lot of shocks, and this makes riding more comfortable. Stability is also better, as the weight of the tires keeps you on the ground. However, uphill battles might be slightly harder as the bike is heavier.
Hunting bikes. Hunting bikes can often be classified as fat tire electric bikes with some additional specs to them. They have great suspension because you want to ride fast when you’re hunting, and the wide, heavily textured tires make for easy riding in the dirt, mud, as well as shallow rivers.
These bikes usually don’t have many gears, making it troublesome for less fit people to climb uphill. However, they’re perfect for riding through grass and even bushes. In addition, these bikes often come with storage space of some kind, usually on the back tire, which ends up being quite useful for those who are bikepacking.
Mountain bikes. The last bike category we think is especially suitable for bikepacking are mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are the perfect balance between hunting bikes and city bikes. They have wider tires, but they don’t weigh as much as hunting bikes do. They often come equipped with lights, which is practical, and they have great suspension.
Bikes like these are good for uphill climbing, as riding on mountains requires both uphill and downhill movement. They are made to handle these conditions well, and even if you’re not too fit, you’ll manage through various semi-wet terrain too.
Our Words of Advice
Not ready to buy a new bike or want to convert your old bike? No problem. Here is our best advice to keep in mind no matter what type of bike you end up buying.
The battery is important. You don’t want to embark on a journey without thinking about the mileage your battery covers. Unfortunately, many tend to forget that they could end up sleeping in a tent or a camp, where charging your bike isn’t an option. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you have 20% more power than you need to bike to your destination AND back.
Wider tires give better results. Wider tires distribute your weight well, which means that you can ride better on difficult terrain. However, don’t go for massive tires if you’re sure you’ll ride mostly on roads and steady pavements, as they add additional weight.
Don’t overpack. Keep it light - both the bike and the luggage, especially if you’ll be riding uphill. The heavier your bike is, the tougher it gets to pedal.
Suspension is crucial for comfort. Those who plan on biking for a few days or more make sure to invest in a bike with proper suspension. If you don’t, make sure you have a comfortable seat.
Inspect terrain before making a buy. Don’t make a buy relying solely on your gut feeling. Make sure to have in mind the type of adventures you plan to embark on, as well as the terrain you will encounter. Maybe you don’t require a new bike but can modify your current bike for the adventure.
Storage is important, but keep it balanced. If you’re embarking on a journey, you need to ensure your luggage is safe. While some people like to use a light backpack, most use storage spaces on their bikes. The back wheel and the frame give you better balance than baskets, which can also be a personal preference.
- What is bikepacking exactly?
Bikepacking is somewhat of a routine for those who love nature and traveling, and it’s preferred amongst camping enthusiasts and people who have traveled spontaneously before. The idea is that you get your travel essentials ready, configure your bike, so it supports your luggage without much hassle, and you pave your way around various roads and trails for a few days.
While not everyone has the stamina for a two-day biking trip, some enthusiasts will embark on a half-week journey across a few states. Don’t get us wrong, you can always make it a short morning-to-evening type of trip, but why not be more adventurous?
- Why do people enjoy bikepacking?
This type of journey can be used to reconnect with nature, visit a nearby town on a budget or maintain your physique while challenging yourself with new roads and experiences. If you already have an electric bike, why not give this adventure a go?
Electric bikes can be practical for adventures as well - fat-tire bikes, mountain bikes, and hunting bikes make the best travel companions. However, you can always modify your bike by improving the suspension and switching your battery (to a more powerful model) and your tires (to a wider model). So keep it light and enjoy the biking!