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The NEW All-Packa tested by the Oregon Outback

Bike Friday designer Willie Hatfield took a 2024 All-Packa prototype to the Oregon outback to fully test all the new features.

By Willie Hatfield


When does a bikepacking trip begin? Is it when the vision starts repeating and permutating through the imagination? Or later when the Trip Distance reads Zero at the start of the official GPS track?

I like to begin from my doorstep. For me, living car free means that getting to the start of any ride is always going to be a bit of an adventure. So I include it in the adventure.

Ah! How amazing it is to be out on a bike, moving through the world, with the end of the ride far enough out of mind that it might as well be a continent away! There is a feeling of existing as a sort of pedaling animal, of a way of life, that I can never tap into when I’m on the S24O and weekend bikepacking trips around Eugene. Designing and building bikes is very cool, but spending a week riding is sublime!



My July ride of the Oregon Outback began with a short pedal to the Eugene Amtrak station. But not to catch a train. My train had been cancelled the day before with no warning. My friends and I scrambled to re-book our tickets. I found a bus that got in at 7 that night, but they didn’t allow bikes. Non-folding bikes that is… Thankfully my friends managed to secure the last two spots on the Coastal Starlight, due to get into Klamath Falls at 10 that night, so their travel-challenged bikepacking bikes didn’t derail the trip, only delayed it.




And what a delay. I got a sweet layover in Bend, where I could quickly unfold my bike and visit the Midtown Yacht Club, leaving with a vegan breakfast burrito in my Take-A-Trip frame bag. Next, I had a lovely sunset ride out along the OC&E trail to a quiet camping spot in the sage. My tough friends rode from 11-3am trying to make up the time they’d lost due to Amtrak and their choice of bikes.



I rode past their tent at 7am, pitched right in the middle of the trail. Once I found out what kind of night they’d had, we agreed to meet 30 miles down the trail at the next food/water supply.



Trip details: The route, my bike spec, what I tested and what I learned


I rode 265 miles in 3 days with my friends, from Sprague Valley to the Ochoco National Forest on the Oregon Outback route. They decided to do the last 185 miles in 3 days, while I pushed it in 2 so I could get back in time for the Oregon Country Fair. In the final stretch, I left the Oregon Outback route in Shaniko, and headed through Maupin following some of the original Oregon Trail routes, including the Barlow Trail, up and over the Cascades on the shoulder of Wy’East (Mt Hood). Once I arrived in Gresham, on the outskirts of Portland, I boarded a TriMet commuter rail train to downtown, and then a bus back to Eugene.

If you would like to learn more about the Oregon outback route check it out here:

Most of the tips I could offer prospective Outback riders are the same regardless of what bike you ride. I brought more water capacity than I needed, 5.5L to start and 7.5L for the longest stretch. I’d drop those numbers by 2L next time. I was very satisfied with my basic cowboy camping setup.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the perfect tires. My 2.4″ Odyssey Super Circuits, set up tubeless, were nearly perfect. On some of the mountain descents, I wished for a touch more tread, so maybe the perfect 20″ gravel bikepacking tire doesn’t exist yet.

On a hard, hot, dusty, ride like the Oregon Outback, both the bike and the rider get tested. I think I struggled more than the bike did. I had to adjust the fit several times since I hadn’t gotten enough miles in the saddle this the spring to prepare me for a ride like this. The bike did just fine.



What I tested and what I learned:


On this trip my testing was concerned with features I was considering for the 2024 All-Packa, including frame features, gear placement, and continuing component durability testing. My build is an odd mix of very cheap and very expensive because the mid-level testing was done last year!

Over-all results were very promising, and I’m excited about the upgrades I’ll be able to share with folks on the 2024 All-Packa. I had a few bolts loosen up by day 4, but that’s on me for not checking them.

The only test that “failed” was the ultra-light tubeset I attempted on my prototype. Our current tubing spec has superior ride characteristics. (better torsional stiffness while still providing vertical compliance) Otherwise, everything performed as expected.


Gear test highlights: I had a 12 speed wireless shifting set up

Cheap components:

  • Generic carbon saddle and seatpost: no creaking
  • Generic 48T narrow-wide with flattop chain: no drops or noise
  • Generic lock-on ergo grips: excessive wear, but didn’t get sticky like Ergons can
  • Cargo cage mounted in front of headtube: very stable, aero, and convenient
  • Problem Solver Bow-Ties: Low profile enough so bike can be quickfolded with them on downtube and left fork leg
  • Shimano MT-200 hydraulic brakes: solid

Expensive components:

  • SRAM AXS Rival XPLR 10-44t 12 spd: no issues, didn’t need biggest or smallest cog. Cage is close enough to ground that while this drivetrain is wonderful for most gravel and bikepacking, I can’t recommend it for extremely rocky, technical trails. Which is fine, because the All-Packa isn’t best at those anyway.
  • SRAM AXS Eagle shifter: same battery after 8 months, no issues
  • Alienation Vandal rim: yet to find a tire that can’t be run tubeless on these excellent rims
  • Wolftooth Components seatpost collar: squeaks when tightened.
  • Take-A-Trip framebag: holds a 3L bladder, filled to 2L. Hose needs to exit zipper, rather than hose-opening in top of bag, to have enough reach to handlebars.
  • Packalope bars: my knuckles hit the brake levers when I slid my hands back down the extensions. I will increase the bend here and lengthen the grip length, while keeping ends of extensions at the same width. This should create more knuckle clearance for an additional hand position.


Final Conclusion:


This ride convinced me that I had enough tested, valuable improvements that I should bundle them up and launch the 2024 All-Packa.

Everyone asks me for a detailed comparison between the All-Packa and other bikes, expecting some major pros and cons. But honestly, the differences due to the unusual frame and wheel size of the Bike Friday, compared to my friends Canyon and All-City, when riding just aren’t that pronounced. Other stuff matters way more. My bike was faster than the other bikes, mostly because I packed 10 lbs less stuff. It was slightly faster in the gravel because of the wider tires, but it was slightly slower on pavement for the same reason. It was more comfortable because the custom steel frame flexes more than my friends stock 29ers. But everyone still had a great time!

Now back to building bikes!

Willie Hatfield

Designer of the Bike Friday All-Packa

2024 All-Packa is now available for pre-order for december delivery. See more details HERE

The Haul-a-Day Elite takes its first ride over the Cascade mountains

The Haul-a-Day Elite carries the load for a two day adventure through the most spectacular Cascade Crossing in Oregon for a group of friends from Eugene!

The McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway is almost a 4,000 foot climb from the west and a 2,000 foot climb from the east. Tons of breath taking views, and cruising through lava fields. Each side of the climb has a distinctly different feel: The west side starts in rain forest and ascends into the Lava Fields with something like 19 switchbacks. The east side is a dry, Ponderosa forest. The road is open to bicycles and closed to cars for several weeks in the spring each year.

Check out more details on the McKenzie Scenic Pass Bikeway HERE


“My friends and I have been riding Highway 242 for years now. Many locals fill the pass for these few car-free weeks in spring, and for me the tradition includes taking the bus out and back for a car-free trip, camping along Whychus Creek, and eating a delicious vegan breakfast at Angeline’s in Sisters. This year was special because the Haul-a-Day Elite let me carry food, water and gear for my friends, so we could all ride together and have a great time, no matter our starting fitness or bike setup.”

– Willie Hatfield, Bike Friday Engineer


The Haul-a-Day Elite took a scenic stop at the Dee Wright Observatory.


The peak of the climb 5,325ft



Day 1 ended the 38 mile adventure in Sisters, Oregon where the crew spent the night camping.

Day 2 was the return journey back home and the opportunity to do it all over again!


For details on the NEW Haul-a-Day Elite, come check out the web page HERE

What’s “NEWT” at Bike Friday

Bike Friday’s “New World Tourist” has been rolling off the production line for more than 30 years, and taking folks on adventures all around the world. Did you know that this sturdy steed has undergone several quite recent transformations that enhance performance and make it more fun to ride than ever?

New World Tourist With E-Assist

The New Electric New World Tourist (NEWT) sports Bike Friday’s e-assist system that will extend your range and boost your ride. E-assist kit adds only 11 lbs and is disc brake compatible.


In addition to this electrifying news, we have also:

NWT button system

Introduced the “button” stem system that provides a stiffer feel and improved integration along with converting the headtube and headset to industry standard 1-1/8″ threadless.




Front Fork of NWT with Hub Motor

Changed the fork to a straight blade design, saving weight without compromising strength.




Allowed for a larger tire clearance, up to 2″ with disc brakes.



Check out the New World Tourist:

We offer many custom options, then hand build your bike to fit your size and particular riding plans. The New World Tourist has been our most popular bike since its introduction in 1992 and remains our best-seller to this day due to its versatility.