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Designed with the journey and experience that lies ahead in mind, adventure and bikepacking bikes are the machines of choice for those looking to explore. A bike like this needs to be capable of withstanding the elements during a journey where a rider will likely be immersed in their travel into the great unknown. This category is often not the lightest option, as they are intended to haul all gear essentials needed, but some riders will convert their lightweight bikes for shorter-duration adventures. The bikes are usually anything from a “run what you brung” type crowd to the beautifully crafted custom builds typically seen with riders taking on multi-day endurance events.

Weight range: Around 20–35 pounds

Travel: Typically rigid, but up to 150mm of travel in front.

Wheel-size options: Mostly 29”, occasionally 27.5”

Strengths: A bike that is durable enough to withstand anything, but also able to easily be maintained on the side of the trail during a journey. It will get you to the top of a mountain, but don’t expect to be dropping cross-country riders with a bike packed down with gear. Riders looking to experience the area and ground they cover while packing all essentials will find an adventure or bikepacking bike the right tool for adventure.

Weaknesses: While some of these are very purpose-built bikes, others can be stripped of bags and used as your everyday trail bike. Yes, they do tend to run on the heavy side when packed down, so gram counters will have a challenge on their hands. Overall, very versatile in terms of what is “allowed” in this category, because there is no right answer.

Price range: $$$$–$$$$$


This small brand out of Northern California has a lot to offer in their bike that is packed with value even before it is loaded up with adventure gear. The Doggler from Hudski Bikes can be purchased in three different options. Essentially, the wheelset and tires are changed so the bike can be mountain-, city-, bikepack- or gravel-ready with 27×2.6- or 29×2.25-inch compatibility. Check out our review here.

Price: $2,200

—Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain

—Shimano SLX brakes

—Hudski Full Carbon fork

—Alloy frame

—29” or 27.5” Jalco i25 wheels


Our wrecking crew found this bike to be great as a part-time bikepacking rig or a fun trail-ready hardtail for riding in harsh-weather conditions. The Pine Mountain is also the perfect bike for any rider who loves accessories and attachments, thanks to its abundance of mounting points. Check out our review of the Pine Mountain 2 here.

Price: $1,499

—Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain

—Shimano MT400 brakes

—120mm-travel RockShox Recon RL 120mm-travel fork

—Series 2 double-butted chromoly frame

—29” double-wall aluminum wheels


This model from Jones Bikes is the shorter-wheelbase option than the LWB with clearance for 27.5×2.8-3.25- or 29×2.3-2.6-inch tires. Jones is known for geometry that’s ideal for a wide range of conditions. This steel frame is sure to hold up against any packing needs while getting you out further and back comfortably.

Price: $2840

—SRAM NX 12-speed drivetrain

—Tektro MT 2.1 brakes

—Jones LWB Unicrown 4130 butted chromoly steel fork

—4130 butted chromoly steel frame

—29” double-wall aluminum wheels


During our testing of the Niner SIR 9, we found it to be a reliable frame with well-priced build options to give any rider miles of enjoyment. We feel that the type of rider purchasing this bike will most likely modify the bike with parts to meet his or her needs. Luckily for this type of consumer, the frame is highly compatible with various options from trail riding to durability builds for the ultimate adventures. Check out our Niner S.I.R. 9 review here

Price: $4,499

—SRAM GX 12-speed drivetrain

—SRAM G2 RSC brakes

—120mm-travel Fox 34 SC Float Factory fork

—Reynolds 853 steel frame

—29” DT Swiss XMC aluminum wheelset


This bike is a favorite among die-hard Kona fans partly for the chromoly frame and also for the modular dropouts, which give a rider the ability to run it as a single-speed. The Unit X comes in at a great value with other builds, starting at $1399, with modern features on a rigid frame, like Boost spacing front and rear for thru-axles. Check out the bike in action here.

Price: $1,599

—Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain

—Shimano MT410 brakes

—Kona Plus 110mm spacing rigid fork

—Reynolds 520 butted chromoly frame

—29” WTB ST i30 aluminum rims


Created for versatility, this legendary frame builder chose to have the new Ascent be more adaptable than ever. It can be run with 27.5-inch wheels and a flat mountain bike bar or even swapped over to 29-inch wheels with a drop bar. Ritchey’s latest steel fork for this frame is also multi-purpose with a rack, fender mount and threaded crown port to potentially run a Dynamo light.

Price: $1,299

—73mm English threaded bottom bracket

—180mm max front/160mm max rear rotor on post-mount brakes

—Ritchey steel fork with 1-1/8” straight steerer

—Ritchey Logic heat-treated, triple-butted steel tubing

—29” or 27.5” wheels with 2.6” tire width clearance


The Mukluk is Salsa’s adventure ready fat bike, which can be paired with an unlimited imagination. This bike had go anywhere high volume 4.6″ wide 45NRTH Dillinger tires and an ample amount of frame and fork braze-ons.

Price: $4,249

—Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain

—SRAM G2 RS brakes

—Kingpin Deluxe fork

—carbon frame

—27.5” SUNringlé Mulefüt SL 80 aluminum rims


The main highlight of this frame is the material used—a custom-butted stainless steel frame. Otso offers this durable bike in a wide range of builds, with options for the gram counters who have no problem spending the extra bucks for the model being shown here, coming in with a great value and solid components.

Price: $ 4,120

—Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain

—Magura MT4 brakes

—Enve Mountain carbon fork

—Custom butted stainless steel frame

—29” SUNringlé Duroc 30 aluminum wheelset


Some say, “Titanium can’t die,” and that may be the case for the Moots Mountaineer. Using the YBB micro-suspension soft tail that was developed more than 30 years ago takes the edge off almost everything on the trail. It is largely maintenance-free and only needs the slider sleeve replaced every few years depending on riding conditions and frequency.

Price: $11,446

—SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 12-speed drivetrain

—SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes

—120mm-travel MRP Ribbon SL fork

—30mm-travel YBB micro-suspension titanium frame

—Enve AM30 carbon rims


Hayduke’s steel frame uses a custom-designed, externally tapered, seamless, quadruple-butted, heat-treated 4130 chromoly tubing that is specific to each frame size. This is how Esker achieves a higher-quality end product while reducing weight and cost for the rider. It also has a versatile Portage dropout system for parts to be switched like drivetrain types, hub widths, wheel sizes and even chainstay lengths.

Price: $3,000

—SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain

—SRAM DB8 4-piston brakes

—120mm-travel Marzocchi Z2 fork

—4130 chromoly frame

—29” Stans Flow S2 Comp wheelset


This is for the riders who know the type of riding they are looking to achieve and are not afraid to spend the extra buck for precision hand-crafted quality. Of course, Sage’s bikes hit the mark for longevity and rider characteristics with their titanium construction. The Powerline offers great trail riding ability along with the capability to be loaded up for a journey in the mountains. Check out our review here.

Price: $9,415

—Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain

—Shimano XT brakes

—130mm-travel Fox 34 Factory fork

—3/2.5 titanium frame

—29” Stan’s Flow MK4/ King ISO wheelset

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