With summer round the corner, many are asking can you bikepack with an electric bike? Of course you can, but before you do we have come up with some great tips to make your adventure more enjoyable as ebike packing needs a little more planning which we will go through here.
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Can you Bikepack with an electric bike?
Bikepacking is a great choice if you are thinking of getting away this summer and if you are wondering how this can be done on an electric bike then there are a few things you need to consider first and a bit more planning required before you hit the open road.
A few things to consider:
- How many miles will you be doing per day Vs Battery range?
- Will you be able to charge your battery at each stop?
- What type of terrain will you be mainly cycling on – urban roads or woodland trails
- What do you need to pack and will you have enough space for chargers etc
- Give yourself enough time to recharge your battery ( usually 6 hrs required)
- Research bags that will fit as due to the battery / frame geometry some standard frame bags won’t fit
Why is Bikepacking different on an Electric Bike?
So can you bikepack with an electric bike? and why is it different to a non- electric bike?
Bikepacking can be done on literally any bike, however if you are thinking of doing this on an electric bike there are some key differences before heading out on the open road –
- Planned route per day Vs Battery range – will you have enough battery range to cover the distances you wish to travel each day?
- Charging your battery – Will there be facilities to charge your battery when you reach each destination along the route?
- Carrying equipment for long trips – make sure you have enough space to pack battery chargers etc
What type of ebike is best for Bikepacking?
For long adventures like bikepacking if you haven’t yet bought an electric bike then the type of bike you require is going to be a key factor ( see our article on long-range ebikes here)
Hybrid electric bikes are great for Bikepacking as they can cope with different terrains, have good battery range in most cases and are designed for long days in the saddle. Look for something with at least a 500wh battery as these should provide 50+ miles of range ( depending on a few factors) and will reduce battery anxiety when getting from point A to point B.
Planning your route
Planning your daily routes before your trip is very important so you can calculate how many miles you will be riding per day Vs the battery range.
You also need to make sure that there is somewhere to plug in your charger at each destination so you have a full charge for the next day.
As mentioned earlier, charging ebike batteries can take up to 6 hours from flat, it’s still possible to ride an electric bike if the battery goes flat, but just be mindful with all the weight you will be carrying this could end up being very hard work!
List of essential items
Below is a list of key items that in my view you shouldn’t leave home without
- Spare Innertubes / Puncture repair kit + Tools
- Small pump
- Battery charger ( for your ebike battery)
- Racks: You also need to make sure your bike comes equipped with racks so you can attach as much stuff as possible.
- Lights: Most electric bikes come equipped with lights as standard however they are a must have on long trips for obvious reasons.
- Comfortable Saddle: Long days in the saddle can take their toll on your behind so my advice is to invest in a comfortable saddle, not one of those razor blades that usually come as standard on most bikes. Believe me, after day 2 of your trip you will be hurting ( regardless of what bike you have) so it’s worth a small investment to make your trip much more enjoyable.
- First Aid Kit
- Decent Lock: read our reviews and advice on how to keep your ebike from being stolen here
- The right pannier bags: Maximizing packing space and having good quality bags are worth the investment – see our bag reviews here
- Phone holders that attach to the handlebars are always useful for using as a sat nav, there are several decent ones out there that you can view here.
- Drinks holders and top tube bags are great for having refreshments to hand while on the go, see below picture of my setup which has a handlebar drinks holder if you can’t fit the traditional type on the frame due to the battery.
Safety- Can you Bikepack with an electric bike?
It goes without saying when thinking of going on biking adventures you will be spending considerable time on the roads so safety is key. Always wear bright reflective clothing so you can be seen by motorists and ensure you have lights and reflectors in good working order.
When planning your trip it is always worth checking the route first to see if you can avoid main carriageways, often there a much more scenic quieter routes that are a much nicer and safer option.
If traveling alone it’s a good idea to let someone know your route before you leave and agree ‘check ins’ whether by a text message or a call to let them know you have arrived safely at each destination.
Be smart with your time and how you plan each day – Leave early enough to arrive at your destination to avoid cycling at night for long periods of time ( remember you will need to charge your battery also)
Always you make sure you have a mobile phone that is charged or a back up just in case you end up in the middle of nowhere with a flat and no means of calling someone.
Conclusion -Can you Bikepack with an electric bike?
So can you bikepack with an electric bike? As a kid we went to France on a bikepacking holiday and cycled along the Loire Valley which was beautiful. I remember very long days in the saddle ( avg 50 miles per day) in blistering heat and to have done this on an electric bike would have been game changing. So if you are thinking of doing something a little different this year whether alone or with your family, bikepacking is a great option and will create memories for life!
Please feel free to share any bikepacking adventures you have experienced whether on an electric or ‘analogue’ bike and if you have any advice for others that may be helpful.