Yeah, we know, a giant bikepacking saddle bag kinda acts like it’s own fender. But when you need to pull that bag inside your tent or hotel and it’s covered in mud, that dual purpose functionality loses a little luster. Enter the new SKS Explorer series of bikepacking bags.
Starting at the back, the Explorer EXP Saddlebag has a tool-free mounting design using Velcro straps with rubberized backing to protect your frame. Compression straps and a vent valve help you cinch it down tight enough for stable off-road use. And when that road (or lack thereof) gets wet and nasty, the screw-on plastic fender will protect you and the bag from overspray.
Reflective elements, accessory loops, and a stretch cord on top add safety and capacity. The material is semi-rigid to give it structure, and fully waterproof. Interior volume is 13L, with a max load capacity of 5kg. Weight is 500g, MSRP is €80 ($120 through Trek in the US).
The Explorer EXP Framebag and Handlebar roll round out the collection. The frame bag is designed to still allow a bottle cage underneath on some frame sizes, yet maximize storage capacity. It adds 4L of storage with welded zippers and retails for €60 ($90 in the US), weight is 185g. Note the little pockets for the top tube straps, keeping the ends from sticking out and brushing against your knee…nice touch.
The Handlebar Bar Bag opens on both ends, using a roll closure to seal its contents inside 9L worth of waterproofed interior volume. A vent valve lets you compress it tight, and included spacers help mount it just off the bar so it won’t interfere with cables or hoses. Reflective elements and cargo loops are here, too. This one weighs in at 390g, can carry up to 3kg, and retails for €60 (also $90 in the US).
Here’s an overview of the complete lineup in German with English subtitles.
SKS 100th Anniversary floor pumps
With the exception of Silca and SKS, almost every bicycle pump is made in Asia, likely many coming from the same few factories. SKS is celebrating 100 years of manufacturing their floor pumps in Germany, employing more than 400 people in the process. It started with the Rennkompressor (Race Pump), and has since grown into a massive lineup of small, medium, and large pumps for every type of bike and garage.
To celebrate, they launched five new floor pumps. Shown above, they are (left to right):
- Airkompressor Compact 10.0 – A short 60cm tall pump with multi-valve head and small gauge with 144psi max.
- Air-X-Plorer 10.0 – A taller 71cm pump with upgraded metal base, longer hose, and larger gauge.
- Airkompressor 10.0 – a 65cm tall pump with same longer hose & larger gauge, but plastic base.
- Airmotion 12.0 – A tall 71.5cm pump that puts the gauge up high and gets the metal base & long hose.
- Air-X-Plorer Digi 10.0 – Like the regular X-Plorer, but with a color LCD digital gauge.
Prices range from €30 to €60, all will be available in first quarter 2022.