Rockgeist is different, Greg Hardy, is working hard making quality bikepacking bags while trying to make the world a better place. When I reached out to Greg last spring for a frame bag it was clear there was something very important to him. Rockgeist is built on outreach, specifically for the Wildland Firefigher Foundation and other local organizations. This was something I really appreciated, and can understand as wildfires have plagued many families, friends, communities, and acres of wilderness over the past few years.
Rockgeist is proud to sponsor the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to the families of firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty. The foundation has formed an ambassador mountain biking program in an effort to raise awareness for their cause. The goal of these riders is to build and strengthen relationships between those who love and recreate on public lands and the firefighters who protect them.
Greg plans on continuing his support with this organization in 2017, but also plans on extending his kind efforts to include organizations like the Blue Ridge Conservancy. It’s a simple and selfless task but one that I can appreciate, and I’m sure others can to. Thanks for reminding us of these organizations and being a good steward. For more information and the updated outreach program head over to his Outreach Page.
Mud Lust Frame Bag Review
Last spring I was looking for a bag that could handle the demands of not only the Arizona Trail, but countless other climates and rides. I rode a Salsa Spearfish for most of last year, and this was the bag I used. For me, frame bags are meant to stay on the bike, even when you are not bikepacking, becasue they simply act as the best way to carry all of your day ride needs; tool kit, tube, pump, water, snacks, camera, and other items.
I stumbled upon Rockgeist, a newer company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Greg is no stranger to the thought process of making something better, he was trained as a materials scientists, and uses his engineering skills to develop his bikepacking bags.
The Mudlust is Rockgeists’ custom frame bag, meaning a frame bag that is made to specifically fit my bike. I stenciled out a frame template and sent it into him via snail mail. He said it was good, and he went to work. All of greg’s bags are made to order, so make sure you plan according to lead times.
The Fit (how does it fit the frame?)
I wont lie, I have received frame bags that have not fit my frame before, and that’s always a little disappointing. This bag fit to perfection, using up every inch of my frame while working around the rear suspension. The first feature I really appreciated was the ability to still access my pro pedal lever (Fox CTD). I’m one who uses this feature a lot for efficiency, and It was nice to have the ability to use without trying to fix a pully system to the lever. Eventually, I flipped the shock, so this was not an issue, but it was nice to know he thought of this.
The bag comes with eight daisy chain connection points and three Velcro straps to make sure the frame fits to the top tube and rear shock perfectly. In addition to those connection points, the bag comes with 5 additional velcro connection points. I should note that there is one permanent top tube velcro strap that caused some interference with a few of my top tube bags. That being said I do know it will work with a Nuke Sunrise Titan, Rogue Panda Alamogordo, and would assume the Rock Geist Cache Top Tube Bag. Because this is custom, you can mark where not to place a velcro strap on your template.
Structure and Features
The body of the bag is made out of a black X-Pac on the side panels and 1000 denier Cordura where the bag meets the frame tubes. The Mudlust also comes with some protection in the form of foam padding on the seat and down tube areas to prevent any damage to the frame from items rattling inside the bag. This padding also provides a nice structure, especially if you are not loading the bag to it’s full capacity. Inside you will see a bright orange liner, a nice contrast when trying to find items inside. Each bag is available in a variety of colors, and the interior and exterior can both be customized.
With a full suspension bike, the bag I received was pretty basic, but thats not to say Rockgeist can’t offer other features. My bag came with one main zipper to access the bag compartment. Rockgeist does offer a map pocket on the left side, and also a divider for an additional charge. The bag also came with a little clip towards the front of the main triangle, something I didn’t use, but could see it being used for keys if I were to commute with this bag. Like many frame bags, it does have a large hydration port towards the front. While racing I would just tuck the hose through the zipper for easy access, but becasue of the large port, it does make for easy entry and removal of the hydration hose.
This Mudlust has roughly 3,500 miles on it, so it certainly has seen some use. The first stand-out feature of this bag was the durability of the zipper. The bag was designed with a proper fit to reduce the stress of the zipper. This is important. I have dealt with zippers failing on me with that many miles, and this rather beefy YKK water resistant zipper continues to perform. It may not glide as well as it did when I first got it, but I have not had to treat it once since I got it. Zipper’s are the biggest issue on frame bags, and if one can last this long, it has a lot to do with how the body of the bag is designed paired with proper velcro tension and fit.
The body of the bag has also stood the test of time and distance. There is no significant wear, excluding the lower portion of the bag near the bottom bracket. I typically store all of my tools, tubes, and pump near the bottom of the bag, and continued to do so with this bag. I would stuff items down there which resulted in the lower part of the bag rubbing on the chainring from time to time. I adjusted the Velcro straps to tighten the bag, but I think I did some damage by stuffing the bag down there so much that it stretched the fabric. Outside of that portion, the width is perfect for the frame. I never had any crank or knee rub issues.
I did travel though a bit of rain while testing the Mudlust, especially on training days, and it held up pretty well. Like most bikepacking bags, it was not waterproof, but I never came home with soaked belongings, just maybe a little wet here and there. The overall stitching has also lasted. The bag is bartacked in high stress areas and the stitching is professional.
I really enjoyed using the Rockgeist Mudlust frame bag last year. The simple and rather lightweight bag at 205grams proved to function the way it was intended. The daisy chain feature allows a perfect fit around the rear suspension of the bike while allowing use of the pro pedal. It also comes with fine craftsmanship that supports the zipper and overall structure. If you are looking for a new frame bag for a full suspension or hardtail, the Mudlust from Rockgeist is a quality option.
You can purchase the Mudlust for $115.00–$150.00. Head over to Rockgeist.com for more information on getting your custom frame bag. Rockgeist also offers other bikepacking bags including saddle bags, handlebar bags, and accessory bags.
And please, if you have time, check out these two organizations.
Wildland Firefigher Foundation
Blue Ridge Conservancy