A Guide to Choosing a Bike for Bikepacking & Adventure Riding in 2022


Mountain biking is a thrilling sport. For people who are passionate about this sport choosing the right bike is extremely crucial. Bikepacking is not a recent concept; people have been involved in bikepacking for longer than we can think.

Even in the 1800s, mountain bikers would go on expeditions on their bikes with bikepacking. The experience is made more convenient and easier with advancements in technology and improved bikepacking options over the years.

One thing that all bikepacking lovers cannot deny is the need for a specialized bike to continue with your passion. Without properly being equipped with a bike to go up on bikepacking trails, you can't continue with your love for such expeditions.

While a normal bike may seem usable for mountain bikepacking but the factual difference between the two is undeniable.


How are mountain bikes different from normal bikes?

Though there’s no “perfect” bike to start up with your passion for mountain biking, people encourage mountain biking lovers to start with whatever bike they own. But there’s a need for you to learn about how a mountain bike is different from your regular bike.

The structure and specifications of a mountain bike are certainly designed to make them perform better on rough patchy rides. Here's what makes a mountain bike different from your regular bike.

  • Lighter frame: A mountain bike’s frame is relatively lighter compared to the heavy body of a regular bike.
  • Larger tires: A mountain bike is equipped with larger heavy tires that are capable of taking tougher routes with the mountain bikers. These tires are knobbed to function better on the mountain trails.
  • Stronger brakes: The brakes of a mountain bike are supposedly more powerful compared to your regular bike. Mountain bikers have to turn at sharp edges and there are dead ends that can come up to your routes as a surprise sometimes. For all these reasons the brakes of mountain bikes are designed to be more powerful than usual brakes.
  • Gear ratios: A gear ratio determines the efficiency of a bike by counting the turns a back wheel will make on each pedal crank. A mountain bike’s gear ratio is designed to work well with your requirements and provide you with a more efficient ride on steep routes.
  • Enhanced durability: Mountain bikes are more durable. Even with having to go up on rough trails, they will go a long way with you. The stringer frame and tire power are designed to make a mountain bike long-lasting and more durable.

Picking the right mountain bike for you:

Once you’ve decided to go for a specialized mountain bike for bikepacking, you need to look into the specifications that you will be needing during your traveling on the bike. Different bikers have their preferences and look for the specific features they require in a bike. Some main features that all bikepackers must keep in mind while investing in a bike are:

  • Frame size:

A mountain bike’s frame size is an important part to look at while purchasing one. The frame triangle is the place where you’re going to be putting on your bag and the bigger the frame triangle the more will be space for you to put on and carry your luggage easily.

  • Mountain bike’s handlebars:

For mountain bikers who have been on multiple expeditions, the importance of longer handlebars is not a surprising feature. On long trail routes, bikers need to change hand position multiple times to accommodate comfortable positioning. The handlebars of a mountain bike must be seen carefully while picking on the right mountain bike for you.

  • Storage space on a mountain bike:

A mountain bike needs to carry more luggage than a usual bike. A pannier is a French word for the storage basket which is attached to the front of a bike. This storage space or rack area is where you can place the essentials that you need to have quick access during a trail ride. Bikepacking comes with many challenges for the riders, if there’s one thing that can make it easier for them is the availability of maximum space on the bike to ensure access to all basic needs still being met on the routes.

  • Wheel size:

Mountain bikes are equipped with heavier wheels to ensure smooth rides through rough tracks. The wheel size also makes a mark on your overall experience on the bike. There are mountain bikes available with different wheel sizes; some even come with a regular road-sized wheel that you can pick if you plan on using your mountain bike for regular use too.

A 29 in wheel is supposedly one of the best options for a mountain bike. Some people vote for 27.5 in the wheel to be great for mountain trails too. It depends on the intensity of work that you're going to make out of the mountain bike you are buying.


Many bikepackers prefer special featured mountain bikes to avoid investing time over time. While making this one-time investment you may have to learn about the specialized mountain bike and know about the features it offers to fully benefit from it.

Mountain bikepacking is a great sport and not many people can pursue it because of the absence of a good mountain bike. If you can manage to invest in a mountain bike one time, it’ll go a long way with you with its durability and strength to run on patchy rough paths.

We hope this article helps you choose the best mountain bike for yourself and that you continue to enjoy your passion for trail bikepacking.

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