Bike Packing Equipment

Having found inspiration from the infamous NoGo Tour last year and a variety of other similar feats, I’ve planned to ride solo between Geneva and Nice in early September, consisting of 500 miles & 26,000ft of elevation gain across 8 days. I will be staying in hotels & Airbnb’s, therefore i’m aiming to travel as light as possible.

Having never previously bike packed i have a few questions regarding equipment and bike transportation;

i’m torn between a frame bag or a saddle bag? Are there any main differences i should be aware of apart from placement & centre of gravity.

What size (litre) of bags would you recommended based on the need to transport limited clothing and tools?

Any equipment you’ve found particularly useful, which you hadn’t expected to need?

Any recommendations on tried and tested equipment, especially frame or saddle bags would be much appreciated.

How do people transport their bikes when flying in to one location and flying out of a different location?

My current thought process is to use a bike cardboard box, then recycle this at Geneva airport and upon arrival in Nice get a bike shop to re-package my bike in a similar manner. I appreciate a cardboard box doesn’t provide as much protection as a hard case, but having looked at shipping a hard box between Geneva & Nice the prices are extortionate.

Are there any alternative methods that are similarly cost effective that i could use?

Additionally if anyone has any tips or insights for travelling specifically Alps, they’re welcomed.

Thanks in advance

I did 500 miles across Washington State in 2015, similar elevation I think. I used panniers with ortlieb bags on the back, and then a drybag sitting on top of the panniers. I also had a bag on my handlebars. The ortliebs did pretty nice because it kept the weight really low, and out of my way while riding. The drybag I had sitting on top was a bad idea though, just brought to much weight up too high. When I was climbing at 5mph out of the saddle and swinging the bike around, it was less than ideal. I would have loved to have had a frame bag to disburse some of that weight, but I ride a 49cm frame and there just wasn’t room for it. The handlebar bags were really a luxury, having snacks and phones and things like that easily accessible was nice.

As far as gear that I brought that I was thankful for, literally nothing :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:. I wouldn’t say I ‘over-packed’, but I was cursing every extra ounce on those mountain passes. Having clean soft pajamas and comfy non-bike shoes was always welcome at the end of the day though. But give every single thing you bring a lot of scrutiny, as they say, ounce equal pounds and pounds equal pain. If I were to do that a trip again, I bet my weight would be cut in half.

Have fun man, bike trips are awesome experiences!

I bikepack with my Fatbike and i’ve been using Revelate packs which work really well. They have bags for everywhere which fit really securely.
If you Google Rob Britton who rides for Team Rally, he did a bikepack trip from Calgary to Victoria to prepare for Worlds. He shared his setup and how things went, it was an interesting read.