Norco graphic designer Brendan Van Den Bosch is an avid bikepacker and adventure bike rider. He built up this Norco Search for the coming summer, planning to spend his free time exploring backroads and trails on both coasts- unassisted wherever possible. His next adventure will take him up the Sunshine Coast to Powell River for an off-road brewery tour; watch for more on that here!
I’m not that keen on road, so got something more versatile so I could mix it up on the gravel. Its geometry is less race and more comfort.
The bike remains mostly stock in terms of build kit. Brendan prefers a larger volume tire for really rough roads, and sets up his 40C Maxxis Ramblers tubeless.
Brendan is running Topeak’s new Bikepacking line of frame bags. With this dry-bag system he can carry a sleeping bag, spare clothing, tools and all the food he needs for a multi-day expedition. His Serfas True 2500 light keeps him out of trouble when the sun goes down.
As a seasoned bikepacker, we asked Brendan if he had any advice for newcomers to the sport.
Borrow some gear from somebody and give it a go and see if it’s for you before you commit to buying all the gear. Buy smart, small and light.
Ride tubeless if you can but keep tubes handy in case. I tend to have more flats with tubes. Make sure you’re comfortable on the bike. Gravel and uneven roads etc. are more taxing on the body than regular road.
If you’re interested in trying bikepacking for the first time, we recently wrote an article on the basics to get you started. You can find that here. In the mean time, check out your local Live to Play Sports dealer where the equipment and the advice you need to optimise your bike for adventure riding will be available!