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Revelate Designs
May 6, 2014

Spring family fatbike overnight

Posted by Revelate Designs

When it’s all suns in the weekend forecast, lack of planning can’t keep you in town.

Eklutna lake was decided upon, we’ve been going there with Finn several times a summer since he was 18 months old in a Chariot trailer. It’s a relatively short trip in a beautiful setting with simply awesome camping. We quickly got our bikes together Friday night, and did the bulk of our packing on Saturday morning. Dusting off our summer camping gear for the first time since last fall. Loaded up and got out of town.

I was on my Pugsley, mainly since it’s an awesome load hauler, is super stable with Finn in the front seat and lets me ride the gravel bars off trail at day’s end. Finn is rocking the Yepp Mini front seat which has been getting daily commuting use lately, this was our first camping trip with it though.

Eklutna Lake is my happy place. I have many great memories from adventures here through the past decade. From climbing the giant 7,000′ – 8,000′ + summits, to hauling ski mountaineering gear for trips up on the glacier. To trips like this where it’s family time down low. The place has energy and makes one think big.

Northwest face of Bold Peak

It was a pretty warm day, and a long run for Lucy, so she did what dogs do best, and got a bit primal with it…

The lakeside trail is super fun for kiddo riding.

However the trail has gotten hammered in the past 2 years with fall rain events & flooding. As a result what used to be a nice double track is now completely washed away in a few spots. This used to be passable with a 2 wheeled trailer, now it’s a hike a bike!

Julie’s Fatback and Bold Peak.

Cruising…

At the end of the lake the trail hits an ATV road and meanders through the woods for a way’s. Here is the Red Spot Glacier rising 4,000′ above us.

We camped at our favorite spot on the gravel bars along the river. Since it’s still early May there is not much of any glacier melt happening yet. The post-dinner gravel bar riding was world class fun.

Evening light on Bashfull peak, the highest in the Chugash State Park rises 7,000′ above the valley. It’s a stiff day hike!

Morning proved to be chilly with the clear skies, frozen water in the pot. The fire broke the chill while we packed up.

Heading home…

Thanks again Eklutna, will be back soon…

Revelate Designs
April 30, 2014

Sweetrolls and drop bars

Posted by Revelate Designs

A frequent question we get is how or if the Sweetroll works with drop bars. This post will help to explain the setup.

First some basics, with drop’s you are limited in width and not so much in tire clearance. This is the opposite of mountain bike flat bars where width is basically limitless but clearance can be an issue. With that in mind the size large Sweetroll works best with drops as you take advantage of the most volume in the narrow space. The large size is used in all the photos below to show maximum storage space, the smaller sizes will work similarly just be… smaller!

First – conventioal road drops with STI levers:

A few things become clear – the offset mount of the sweetroll gives more room than you’d think at the lever hoods.

The key to all this is keeping the packed width of the sweetroll to a managable size so it does not mess with your shifting. These next photos shows the STI lever swing-in. The small one is fine but the larger does brush bag when pushed all the way for a front ring upshift. Works fine with appropiate packing.

The second thing to keep in mind with sweetroll & drop bars is the end access. As the bag is designed for flat bars the dual end opening is a bit less than ideal for drops. It’s here again that the size large trumps the medium & small bags as the opening is bigger and overall lower than the smaller sizes. You don’t have a straight line for your arm to shove when trying to while it’s mounted to the bike. This is only really an issue if you are trying to access the bag during the ride. Simply popping the one or both of the top 2 mounting buckles enables the bag to swing free from the drops and you’re good to go.

Next are a few photos showing the large Sweetroll again (with LG Pocket) on the Salsa Woodchipper bars. This setup uses bar end shifters so the lever swing-in is not an issue.

Tons of hand clearance on top:

Overall, it’s a system originally designed for flat bars, but works well with various drop bars, you just need to be mindfull of the packed width. The drops interefering with on the bike loading may or may not be much of a concern depening on personal preference on loading. If sleeping gear is stored then it’s a non-issue. If used for clothing layer changes during the day while on the bike then the side access is not as good as with flat bars.

Hope that helps.

Revelate Designs
April 28, 2014

Sweetroll’s and Jones Loop bars

Posted by Revelate Designs

Jones Loop bars are awesome bikepacking handle bars. Jeff graciously sent me a pair to play with this past winter. I promptly put them on my Ogre and they toured around with my 3 year old in Guatemala. Since then they’ve been on my fatbike providing the sort of all day comfort I love.

To play nice with the Loop bars, we tweaked the design of the Sweetroll for this spring, adding attachment points to mount the bag to 4 points on the bars. This gives bomber stability seperates the bag entirely from the frame / fork area.

Here is a shot of the bag on Loop bars using standard mounting.

Now these use the Jones kit to add spacer blocks and straps to the added mount points. You’ll notice the bag sits farther foreword, access to the front pocket is better and there is nothing attached to the rest of the bike. You need to remove the lower steerer tube strap from the Sweetroll when doing this.

If you are using the size large Sweetroll, or have a lot of weight, it’s probably best to use the standard mounting since the load is more centered and handling will be less effected. However for most bikepacking loads & riding technical trails – going with the the 4 point mount is recommended.