7 Bike packing tips – the right way to pack

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You’re all set to go on tour with your bike. Your luggage includes everything you need for your trip. That spells freedom, but it’s also quite a challenge, especially when it comes to packing. Our tips will help you find the right way to pack exactly what you need.

Bike packing tip 1: Plan ahead

Good planning is half the packing battle. Before you start packing, consider the following aspects:

  • Duration of your trip: Will you be traveling just for the weekend or for a week? What change of clothes and what provisions – food and beverages – should you take with you? That depends on how long you want to travel.
  • Route and destination: You need to know where you’re going so you can prepare for the terrain and the weather conditions.
  • Type of bike: A gravel bike doesn’t offer the same luggage convenience as an e-bike with a luggage rack.
  • Overnight stay and provisions: Nights at a hotel with breakfast or just a tent? The greater the autonomy you are looking for, the more you will need to pack.
  • Fitness and experience: You need a realistic feel for how much weight you can take with you.

Bike packing tip 2: Follow basic rules

There isn’t the one perfect way to pack your stuff. However, there are some basic rules you should follow:

  • Weight distribution: Stow heavy items at the bottom of your panniers to make sure that your bike’s center of gravity is as low as possible.
  • Safety: To make sure that your bike is safe to ride even when fully packed, check that you have enough freedom of movement and that there are no dangling cords or straps that might get caught in the spokes.
  • Access: Anyone who ever had to dig deep in their panniers for a snack knows that it makes sense to keep frequently needed items in places where they are readily accessible.

Bike packing tip 3: Pack systematically

If you take a systematic approach to packing, it will be easier for you to find your things quickly when you need them on your bike tour. In addition to the basic principle of “what is needed first goes in last,” it makes sense for you to categorize the things you pack. For example, you can divide your luggage into items for eating and cooking, for sleeping, “hand luggage” for short breaks, hygiene items, etc. To keep things neat and tidy, place items into smaller bags. It’s also a good idea to bring a separate bag for worn laundry.

Bike packing tip 4: Choose the right material

Choosing the right material can save a lot of weight when packing your bike. Clearly, bags, clothing etc. should be as light as possible. However, other material properties should also be taken into account. For instance, panniers should be rugged, waterproof and easy to attach to the bike. Merino wool is a good choice for clothing, because this material has a temperature-regulating effect and dries quickly if it gets wet.

Bike packing tip 5: Be a team player

You are not traveling alone? Great, because when you’re packing your bikes as a team effort, you can save a lot of luggage by sharing – because not everyone on the team needs to bring everything. This applies to tools, the emergency first aid kit and cooking utensils such as the camping gas cooker.

Bike packing tip 6: Start early

It’s that old familiar story: Gathering together everything you need and stowing it sensibly often takes longer than you think. Rather than packing at the last minute, it’s a good idea to start early so you can pack at your own pace. Make sure you have enough time to get things that may still be missing. It also makes sense to go on a test ride once your bike is fully packed. This way you will find out if your bike is too heavy or if anything isn’t attached or secured properly. Be sure to resolve such issues well before you set off on your trip.

Bike packing tip 7: Live and learn

The golden packing rule says: as much as necessary, as little as possible. What do you really need, what is superfluous? Often, this only becomes apparent during the trip. That’s why we say: After the tour is before the tour. It’s best to revise your packing list once you’ve arrived back home, because then your experiences will still be fresh and you’ll know what you lacked on your trip road or what you can simply delete from your list without worrying. This is how you optimize your luggage for the next trip. However, even before you set off on your first-ever trip, there is no need to reinvent the wheel: Our bike packing checklist for the summer includes the key items for your packing list.

Done packing? Get rolling!

We wish you lots of fun on your tour and plenty of memorable experiences along your route. For anyone who is still in the middle of planning their bike packing trip, we recommend the new E-Bike Atlas Supported by Bikeleasing. It contains more than 330 e-bike tours in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, which you can also link to your GPS navigation app.

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