Travelling and holidaying by bike has become extremely popular over the last few years. The increase in audaxes, sportives and the recent developments in bikes and luggage designed for bike packing have all contributed to this. A whole new industry has sprung up around “bike packing” with many companies producing bags to fit bike frames and gravel bikes and adventure bikes being designed for this.
Whilst “bike packing” seems just another name for cycle touring there are some subtle differences. Cycle touring is generally more road based with the emphasis on distance. Touring bikes have rear and front mounted racks to take panniers and strong frames to take the weight of luggage.
Bikepacking generally refers to cycle touring which is more off-road on bikes designed for that reason. The recent popularity of gravel / adventure bikes has seen alot of interest in bike packing. You dont specifically need a gravel or adventure bike to go bike packing, a normal mountain bike is just as suitable.
The increase in the development of cycle trails and long distance cycling routes has seen a big increase in cycle touring / bike packing.