There are many companies making their way into the adventure cycling industry. Bikepacking is clearly catching on, and many companies are incorporating it into their product lines. Here are a few that we thought stood out at Interbike 2014. Blackburn Design Blackburn Design has been in the game a while now. Starting out in 1975, Jim Blackburn created indestructible racks and cages for carrying cargo on a bike. Over the past four decades, Blackburn Designs has revolutionized their product line to fit the evolving sports of bikepacking and touring. This year at Interbike, they displayed their Outpost product line of rack-free bikepacking bags including a two-piece saddle pack, two-piece handlebar bag, as well as a top tube bag. The other product that is a part of their Outpost line, is the Outpost Cargo Cage, which mounts to 2 standard bottle cage bosses, and has three sets of mounting holes to fit different sized frames. Blackburn also has a excellent line of USB rechargeable lights. Chumba USA Chumba Cycles is an innovative boutique frame builder out of Austin, Texas, building frames entirely here in the USA. They are successfully creating race ready, unique bikes that are helping adventure racers push their boundaries. They currently have three builds, the Ursa which is their mid-fat 29+ bike, the Stella which is their 29er hardtail, and lastly their newest bike, the Rastro, which is their longer travel hardtail trail bike. They are also in the works on their new fat bike – the Ursa Major. Chumba bikes are availabe in their “backcountry” edition which includes a custom frame bag from Wanderlust Gear. Chumba also has a rider program that is stocked with experienced bikepackers. Bottom line- these bikes are built to last, and built for the unknown. ESI Grips Known for their popular handlebar grips, ESI is now making a Silicone Tape which serves many purposes. It is available in black and clear, is self-bonding, and residue free. Our favorite use for this tape is that it serves as an excellent frame protector from common bag rub, and it wont leave the residue of say electrical tape. Testing this stuff out, it is nearly impossible to rip apart with two hands, making it a durable and lasting alternative to adhesive tape. The Silicone Tape will be made in the USA and is available for purchase on their site or in stores now. Maxxis Tires Many companies have come out with new fat bike tires in the past year, and for good reason. But with the the reputation Maxxis has, it’s hard to look the other way. The Mammoth 26 x 4.0 is their new fat bike tire, available in 60 or 120 TPI. The Mammoth comes with tightly spaced center knobs to help with rolling, and larger side treads to hook up better in snow or dirt. Their other new tire is the Chronicle, a 29+ tire to compete with the Knard. As 29+ bikes have become more and more prevalent, especially in the adventure cycling world, Maxxis saw the need and filled the void. The tire is available in casings of 60 or 120 TPI. A similar center knob to the Ardent Race and the Ikon, allows low roll resistance, for long days in the saddle. Larger side knobs are thoughtfully placed to ensure confident hook up on the corners. Niner Bikes Ever since Niner introduced their SIR. 9 in 2005, they have stamped their name in a specific niche. Wether they knew it or not, the SIR 9 became a popular bikepacking bike, because of the reliability of steel, and also its simplicity. Niner has since come out with a unique bike that would pertain to us last year with the RLT9, this skinny tire bike that handles long days on gravel roads extremely well, even some buffed out singletrack if you choose. Niner Recently entered the 29+ realm with their ROS9 Plus. Niners attempt at a 29+ seems to be taking the simplicity of their tried-and-true SIR9, and combining it with the geometry of the ROS 9. Rocky Mountain Bikes Rocky Mountain Bikes has hopped on the bikepacking wagon in a couple of ways. They are currently partnering with Porcelain Rocket by having custom frame bags built for their front-suspension fat bike, the Blizzard. Rocky Mountain went so far as to install cage bolts on the top tube and downtube to attach the bag. The bags are available for an additional price when you purchase a Blizzard, and talking to one rep, it sounds like they are pushing the bags pretty hard and asking retailers to do the same. Rocky Mountain also has a new adventure bike to be released in 2015, the Sherpa. The Sherpa is an adventure bike dream. Utilizing the new WTB Trailblazer tires, this 27.5 “chubby” bikepacking machine is sure to make a splash once it hits the trails. Seal Skinz Have you ever had that trip where the weather consists of endless rain leaving you wet and cold? Seal Skinz will take care of that, by keeping the wet out and the warmth in. They are crafting fully waterproof apparel and have been for years. Their new line features products that will protect your head, hands, feet and more. They have the perfect waterproof cycling over sock for your next winter ultra, or gloves for under your pogies. Seal skin products seem to have a perfect fit in the cycling world. Stan’s Tubeless set ups have been the norm in the bikepacking world for a while. Stan’s has taken it one step further by releasing their tubeless fat bike rim, the Hugo 52. These rims will allow you to push the limits of what your regular bike may not be able to do. The Hugo is available in 26, 27.5, and 29″ rims with a width of 52.3mm. With new trends always popping up, Stan’s yet again took a leap and possibly perfected the plus size rim. With the Hugo’s convex shape, it will give you that confidence of added strength and stability. Stan’s also decided there was no need to manufacture a wider tubeless rim tape. So they designed a contained center strip that allows your standard width Stan’s No Tubes tape. but as the name indicates, I think we will soon see a Hugo 80 and maybe 100 soon enough. Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) Wilderness Trail Bikes – the name alone sets them apart, however, not until recently have they gained traction in the adventure cycling world. In 2011 Jay Petervary won the Tour Divide on a pair of 2.1 Nano’s. Last year WTB came out with the Nano 40C, a tire for those long days on gravel roads. At Interbike, they introduced the 40c Nano in their TCS (tubeless) version. With long gravel rides/races becoming more popular, the ability to make a tire a bit more responsive while dropping weight is important. It’s rounded profile also allows you to roll with a lower pressure – while reducing rolling resistance. WTB has also come out with their new 27.5” x 2.8” mid-fat Trailblazer tire. This tire has a 29” rolling profile, and is one of its kind. This idea gives you the option to run 27.5 wheel on a 29er, making your 29er into a 27.5+ or B+, whatever you want to call it. Depending on the rim width you use, it may or may not work on your 29er. In addition to being a great adventure tire, this concept will be perfect for shorter riders, or maybe someone that is a bit more aggressive on the trail. We are excited to see the 27.5+ concept unfold in the coming year. Wolftooth Wolftooth is a company made up of 3 engineers that have a passion for racing and talking about components. Their goal is to make functional and reliable components for riders, racers, and fat bikers (being from Minnesota and all.) You likely have now heard of Wolftooth by now, but it has only been a year and a half since introducing their Drop-Stop chainring. Since then they have released a 42 tooth replacement cog, a more economical way to a 1X system. Interbike showcased updated spoke layouts of their chainrings, as well as some ultralight tools. A trend that has been surprisingly popular this year, Wolftooth components are all made right here in the USA.