Full suspension bikes can be used for bikepacking. It just takes a little problem-solving in terms of bag design, fitment, and capacity. Yet, that’s not what we’re discussing here. Modern mountain bikes seem to be designed for shuttle runs in perfectly-groomed bike parts, not all-day rides on backcountry trials. Most new bike models fit a bottle and by “a bottle” I mean a small bottle. I ride XL-sized frames and every time I throw my leg over one, I’m baffled at the lack of bottle carrying capacity. This is a gripe for another day, however, because I recently found a way to solve this problem on my Starling Murmur 29er and it was easier than you’d think.
The Revelate Hopper Frame Bag is an off-the-shelf option that fits like a custom solution. Let’s check it out below. Yes, I’m excited about this one!
The Hopper is Revelate’s first universal-fitting frame bag and while it’s designed for a vertically-mounted shock, as you can see, it works on the Murmur’s split pivot design. It’s built using Revelate-exclusive RevX-PAC panels that are more abrasion resistant and resilient as standard VX material. At 6 ounces, it’s hardly noticeable, and yet it has an impressive 4L carrying capacity.
It’s a truly simple design, with velcro straps on the top and down tube, a magnetic closure latch, and a recessed pocket opening to help the bag keep its shape. The pairing of the flap with the bag’s design make it a compact ally for your trail bike if the Hopper is packed-out for an all-day ride or simply just carrying an additional bottle.
While you could certainly stuff a number of things into it, I found the Hopper fits a large cycling bottle, essential tools, a small pump, and a few snacks. On a recent backcountry loop, I used it to hold my food, an MSR filter, and all my spares and tools. This ride, in particular, was actually fitting for a single-bottle with a filter, since the ride followed water almost the entire time, complete with a beautiful acequia.
An unintended feature is the hardware Revelate uses for the Hopper closure finds its way onto the steel top tube of my Murmur, keeping the bag flap open.
When climbing steep switchbacks or technical sections of trail, the Hopper stays out of your way. There’s no leg rub or interference with the bike’s handling, two things I don’t like on stem-caddy style bottle bags.
I highly recommend the Hopper. At $79 retail, it’s an easy and accessible way to make your full suspension a little bit more practical for longer rides with beastly climbs. I got mine at Sincere Cycles here in Santa Fe, and Revelate is out of stock at the moment, but perhaps your local dealer has one in stock? See more information at Revelate.