Nine times out of ten I climb and don't really get on a push bike, so when I do like at last weeks Tonyas Challenge, it's not the best looking sight! Despite this last week Jim, Nick and myself have been working on some new bikepacking toys. I have never been bikepacking, but Alpkit have been heavily involved in the bikepacking scene for a number of years.
Both Nick and Jim have a very wide and detailed understanding of designing and developing products and it was great to be part of the team. The week went really well, bouncing ideas off each other and developing Alpkit's take on this exciting traveling option that is still new to many cyclists. The process was very hands-on, no CAD models here, just lots of patterns and hard work with the sewing machines. We assessed fabrics and the small parts which make the product work and standout. When choosing the parts to close and attach the bag to the seat rails and seat post we had a lot to choose from. The toughest thing we talked about was how easy it should be to take off when you have cold hands but still provide a sound attachment so you know its going no where. The fabrics we used had to be light but still stand up to the bumps and scrapes of a big ride. Like the Stingray frame bags we want you to have your own twist by giving you the options of colour or added pockets. I have been working in the factory for over a year now and my knowledge is growing everyday which will hopefully reflect on time to come in the 'UK made' part of Alpkit.
Keep an eye out in August for some cool looking takes on bikepacking equipment. If you want a cheeky preview come and find us at the Welsh Ride Thing and CTC York Cycle Rally.