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What Bike Should I Buy: An International Bikepacking Rig

Every day, TPC’s expert Ride Guides help riders find their next (or first) bike. This time, they help TJ find a tough and capable bike that he can use to live the dream of bikepacking around the world.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Guides

A kitted out Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV. Photo: Ryan Wilson.

TJ is ready to live the dream of traveling the world by bike. Just one problem. He needs a bike! He wants something that can handle a huge variety of roads and trails, survive the rigors of international travel, and carry all his gear. Let’s see what the Ride Guides at TPC can find for him!

I’m going to up and quit my job soon. Maybe not the smartest plan, but it’s what I’m doing. Then I want to get a new bike and just travel — just go wherever that takes me and see how long it can last. I do have a good amount of money saved up, so I could be gone a long time before I have to come back to the States. I don’t know where exactly I’m going to start, but I want to ride in places like New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. I’ll be bikepacking and don’t know what sort of roads or trails I’ll encounter so I need some kind of mountain or maybe gravel bike that can do anything.   

Is a hardtail or full suspension better? Should I avoid carbon? I just need some ideas to get started. I want it to be capable on trails, but also reliable and hopefully easy for me to fix. I’m 5’9, and probably looking at medium-sized bikes. I’m open when it comes to price, I can go low or high, as long as it’s the right bike for the job but anything over $6,000 might be a tough sell. I still need to figure out all the bags and stuff.


Location: Virginia, then everywhere 
Budget: ~$6,000
Size: Medium
Wants: A go-anywhere, ride-anything bike. Reliable and easy to service and repair. 

Our Ride Guide team is based in the U.S. and staffed with former bike mechanics, bike shop managers, and other certified bike nerds. They provide expert advice on bikes and gear, sizing, comparing build options, or finding your next upgrade. If you want help finding your next bike, you can contact our Ride Guides via chat, phone, or email. 

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A Proven Plus-Tire Adventurer

Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

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“I’ve been looking at bikepacking rigs myself, and this Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV is probably what I’ll choose. You’re going way bigger than I ever will, but think it’ll work for you too. It has a rigid fork, so it limits some of your trail riding options, but it gives you more cargo-carrying options. The fat 29+ wheels and tires will take care of the comfort and traction. Plus, it comes with Jones H-Bars — a touring essential! I think the best endorsement though is the fact that Ryan Wilson (a well-known world traveler) rode one.” 

- Bruce Lin

The (More) Affordable Alternative

Bombtrack Beyond+

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“I think the Bombtrack Beyond+ is a great pick, but I’m going to undercut Bruce and suggest the non-ADV version. It has a steel fork, which I think is more a reliable option when you’re way out there. The big thing I’ll mention too is it has 27.5+ wheels and tires instead of 29+. For traveling internationally, that’s probably going to be the better choice. It’s more common, so if something goes wrong, it will be easier to find spares. Then also, it’s almost $1,000 cheaper. That leaves a massive budget for bags and other gear. I do a lot of big multi-week bikepacking trips myself, so hit me up when you need help picking bags!” 

- Mark Moser

Full-Squish for Full Comfort

Orbea Oiz H10 TR

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“I think I’m going to be the only one to suggest a full suspension, but I bikepack on my full suspension and think it’s worth considering. It adds complication and weight, but when things get really rough (the places you list have some serious trails), you’ll be glad to have the extra comfort and capability. This Oiz TR is capable enough to ride pretty much any trail, but if lock out the suspension, it’s still efficient enough for riding on roads and general bikepacking. Also, it’s great bang for the buck! I picked an Oiz with an aluminum frame because it’s more affordable and it can take some extra abuse.”  

- Mikayla Weatherford

The Ultimate Baller Option

Mosaic GT2-X

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“Okay, I’m going to be the one to go over budget this time. And sorry, it’s REALLY over budget. But if I’m living the dream and traveling the world by bike, I want the ultimate bike and this is it. John Watson from The Radavist put together this custom Mosaic GT2-X build with comfort and multi-day bikepacking in mind (check out his write-up). It’s got chonky tire clearance, rust-resistant Ti, a sturdy XT drivetrain, and capable yet efficient geometry. There are plenty of rack mounts and stash options, super wide titanium bars to cruise comfortably into the Gold Coast sunset. Yes, it’s over budget but if you’re going to live the dream, I say live it with a dream bike.”

- Megan Schmidt

A Solid Titanium Trail Bike

Esker Japhy Ti

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“I’d go with a solid trail hardtail like this Japhy with a remote lockout that will offer the versatility to go anywhere and do anything. I think we gotta go with a hardtail for this type of travel. It adds to the simplicity factor while increasing space for frame bags. But you still have a suspension fork to save you when things get rough. The Ti frame will provide a great combo of ride quality and ultimate durability. You can take it anywhere and not worry about it. On top of all that, the Reserve carbon rims are bombproof and will support a nice wide tire when you need it (the frame fits up to a 2.8!).”

- Andy Heuser 

We’ve picked out five very different bikes that we each think will be perfect for TJ's plan to explore the world by bike. Let us know which bike you think he should pick. Or if you have other suggestions, be sure to let us know in the comments! If and when TJ does purchase a bike, we’ll update this post with what he chose.

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