Long outfitting adventure & expedition tourers, Apidura mostly set itself apart with lightweight, durable bikepacking bags with huge carrying capacities. But for long distance riding & racing like Audax or Randonneur style events, many riders look to pare down what they carry. So Apidura took their expertise from larger bags, minimized the bags’ overall profiles and developed an all-new lighter weight laminate fabric for faster performance.
Apidura Racing Series, trimmed down ultra-distance race packs
The impetus for the Racing Series came from Apidura’s own staff and their pool of brand ambassadors. Always looking to travel lighter and faster for long distance racing, they wanted to build a set of packs made to go longer and faster, for riders who chose minimalism in what they carried. Ultralight is the key to packing here.
If you pick up souvenirs on your rides these aren’t the bags for you. But if you think it’s a good idea to strap a bivy under your aerobars, and need somewhere to safely store your SPOT tracker, Apidura has now got you covered.
Apidura Racing Series new proprietary light, waterproof Hexalon fabric
Beside the decreased storage and some race-focused features, the big new thing in the Apidura Racing Series is a new fabric. Called Hexalon, it is an all-new proprietary fabric developed just for Apidura, that blends laminated two-layer waterproofing with lightweight, tear resistance and the ability to weld the fabric. That meant that Apidura could now make fully waterproofed bags lighter & simpler than ever before.
Apidura Racing Saddle Pack – 5L
The simplest of the new packs is the compact 5L Racing Saddle Pack. It mostly looks to us like a tiny version of the original pack we tested from Apidura (which was 14L), now scaled down and simplified with a single seatpost strap and the two straps around the saddle rails.
The new 200g bag features a roll top closure and gets a laser cut mount for a rear light, plus reflective graphics on the sides & rear.
The super compact Apidura Racing Saddle Pack sells for £125 / 142€ / $167, is fully waterproof, and includes a thermoset polymer insert for lightweight internal structure.
Apidura Racing Frame Pack – 2.4L
Built to haul slightly heavier objects next to your frame the tiny Racing Frame Pack tucks in behind your headtube and fit bikes of all sizes. Just 29cm long overall the £90 / 102€ / $120 frame pack mixes velcro & compression straps to fit with other toptube bag options as well, essentially replicating other frame packs in a scale down form.
The 145g Racing Frame Pack uses the same black Hexalon waterproof fabric and thermoset insert for rigidity, and gets similar reflective detailing. Plus it adds pockets on both sides of the frame, and adjustable internal divider, and a protected cable port at the front to allow you to charge a GPS while riding.
Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack – 5L
The most complicated of the new bags, the Racing Handlebar Pack was meant to offer easy to access storage literally at your fingertips during an ultra-distance race.
The bar bag was designed with top loops to hang securely under the aero bar extension many ultra long distance racers prefer, but can also be hung from the tops of a regular drop or flat bar like Apidura’s other bar bags.
What makes the new 265g Racing Handlebar Pack unique other than its new light, waterproof fabric is the two collapsible top access pockets that can be opened & closed one-handed with a waterproof fold down cover. Sized to fit a water bottle like one of their Food Pouches on either side, you can load up with easy-to-access bidons, snacks or small electronics, expanding into the space of the main pocket.
Apidura says the main body can fit something larger like a bivy bag, and a stretch pocket in the lid is designed to securely stow your SPOT tracker, the most common tool for tracking riders (and dot watching) during super long, self-supported races.
The £115 / 130€ / $154 Racing Handlebar Pack is again made from the new black Hexalon waterproof fabric, gets integrated thermoset inserts for structure, and reflective detailing. It features a special waterproof zipper with zip garage to keep water out, even in its most exposed location.
All-in-all the Apidura Racing Series manages to pack just the bare essentials onto your ultra-distance race bike, while also building in enough structure to stay put even when empty. Plus thanks to their small size & simple attachment, they look like they should fit on just about any bike, meaning you’ll be just as likely to swap one over to your gravel bike or even mountain bike to carry along some key essentials on your weekend fun rides as well.