TPE17: Topeak gets into bikepacking, tents; then Tri’s out for Ninja Warrior

Topeak Bikamper bikepacking tent that uses bicycle as its frame

Topeak is riding deeper into the bike packing scene with a collection of new frame bags and an updated bike-as-tentpole shelter system. They’re also sneaking in with a comprehensive collection of water bottle cage-based tool, pump and CO2 storage solutions called Ninja, plus a surprisingly broad range of seat back cage options for triathletes.

The Bikamper tent was introduced in 2006. Remember 2006? When lots of people still rode 26″ wheels? Well, them days is gone, so it was time to update the Bikamper to fit everything from 26″ up to 700c and 29er wheels and tires. Why? Because you use your front wheel as the frame…

Topeak Bikamper bikepacking tent that uses bicycle as its frame

Topeak Bikamper bikepacking tent that uses bicycle as its frame

The main body is made of 45D ripstop nylon with several mesh panels, and the rainfly is 70D. It sleeps one, and the entire thing packs down into a small handlebar bag. Total package weighs 3.26lb (1.48kg). The only tire size they say it won’t work with are fat bike tires. Retail is $259.95.

The new Loader series of bike frame bags gives you all four traditional spots to load your bike. Capacities are noted in the photo above, other details include a waterproof dry bag for the Frontloader with a one-way air escape valve that makes it way, way easier to compress. The primary material on all of them is a water resistant nylon, and the Toploader adds a built in rain cover.

The Midloader comes in two sizes and is the place to store your heavy stuff. Full length zips on both sides give you easy access to whatever. The Backloader also comes in two sizes and comes with a waterproof inner bag with air release valve, which is a bit of a departure from the open ended design of most other brands’ rear seat bags that simply wraps around the dry bag. Bags range from $35.95 to $84.95.

Topeak’s Ninja series of tools launched last year, and now they’ve added bottle cages with various integrations to carry those and other tools…and your drink. Choose the cage with or without the integrated tire lever attachment, and bag sizes vary.

Or forgo the pouch for a hard case tool holder or CO2 caddy. Prices range from $9.95 for a basic cage with strap to mount on upper portion of your frame all the way up to $50 for the CO2+ model that includes two CO2 cartridges and the air chuck.

For triathletes, the all-new Tri-Backup series of bottle cages is aimed at races of different lengths, offering more or less storage as needed. Each uses a different mounting system, but all attach to your saddle’s rails and then offer accessories for mounting a tube, pump, CO2, a tire bag, and more…or any of those Ninja bottle cages.

The Tri-Backup Pro I (left) clamps to the horizontal part of the rails and creates a storage hook for hanging the rear of your bike in the stands to save a couple seconds getting it out during T1. The Pro V does the same, but mounts to the upward angled part of the rails. The Elite (right) clamps to the angled part of the rails and builds in CO2 holsters with an air chuck and lets you adjust the angle of the rear section, which is where you attach the bottle cages or other accessories. Mounts range from $50-$60 each, accessories from $13.95.

Lastly, they’re now offering wall-mounted bike storage that flips up and lets the bike swivel away.

Topeak.com

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BMX
BMX
5 years ago

That tent is clever, so it kind of stops your bike from being easily stolen as its all wrapped up in guide lines and the front wheel is removed.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

The tent is intriguing but the weight seems high. If that includes the handlebar mount bag and all the hardware, it’s somewhat more reasonable as long as the price is pretty low. Could be a good touring / entry-level option.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

whoa, just looked up pricing. Over $250 MSRP? It’s cool, but if I’m spending that much I’m buying something lighter than 3lbs that doesn’t have the hassle of disassembling the bike. Once it hits the clearance shelves it might become a better option.

ascarlarkinyar
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I’m in the same boat. Interested, but not at that price per weight. Can get way better for that money. If price goes down I will buy.

Justin
Justin
5 years ago

It doesn’t fit fat bikes… they are missing out on a huge segment of the bikepacking community.

dockboy
dockboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Justin

I’m not sure a tent like this would be adequate for winter camping.

Dylan
Dylan
5 years ago
Reply to  dockboy

If you think fatbikes are only used for winter bikepacking, you’re missing a huge segment of the fatbike community.
For instance, see:
https://joecruz.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/touring-on-a-surly-pugsley-progress-report/

The photo a the top of this article is taken by a friend of mine, who now uses a fatbike in his home of Western Australia (winter isn’t a big thing there).

justrideyourbike
justrideyourbike
5 years ago
Reply to  dockboy

I look forward to the day fat bikes are finally released from their winter pigeonholes

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago

I admire Topeak’s loyalty to IBDs, but that’s gotta hurt sales. Most dealers will only carry a couple of their multi tools and seat bags. Topeak should let customers buy direct where dealers don’t offer the product, or do a direct sales program with pickup at the dealer. That will encourage dealers to carry more of the stuff, and give them more exposure.

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

That tent just seems way more complicated than it needs to be. Plenty of one person tents/hammocks in that price range that are lighter, roomier and easier to set up.

Smitty
Smitty
5 years ago

I like to set the tent first and then ride around and goof off with my bike around the campsite and nearby terrain. Guess I couldn’t do that with that tent.

Rider X
Rider X
5 years ago

My Big Agness UL1 I much bigger (0.3m wider and 0.5 m longer inside) and lighter (0.3 kg – 20%) for almost the same price! Not sure what the incentive is here…

ALan
ALan
5 years ago

I like the tent but not in that color, can be seen a mile away.

joe
joe
5 years ago

Something’s wrong here. This design doesn’t need any poles, effectively the bike is the pole system. So why the heck is the weight higher than a design that INCLUDES Poles? I have a 2 lb XXoz single person setup, and that has a rain fly. This setup should be MUCH lighter than a tent with poles. Does this tent actually have 3 lbs + of material weight? If it does, that’s probably some burly material.

w
w
5 years ago

Cool idea, meh execution. No fat bike wheel compatibility is a big miss on their part–I know many cyclist who ride multiple bikes and often the fat bike is the go-to for bike packing. Also, incorporating the bike in to the tent is interesting but why not go the extra step of having the rainfly actually provide some cover the drivetrain too? Id like to see one in person but it also seems like the rear wheel could easily bumped bringing down the house. And, whats with the entrance to the tent not having rain fly coverage to speak of? Hopefully they dial this in a little in future iterations.