Built to Repair
The longer a product stays in use, the lower the environmental impact of the resources – the time, material, shipping – that went into creating it and putting it in your hands. Even using the best materials, bikepacking bags are subject to the type of abuse that can leave holes and tears after many long, hard adventures, so making our packs easy to repair by design is central to our Built to Last philosophy. Repairing long-serving packs preserves the history and stories etched into the material through use whilst simultaneously the environmental impact of your bikepacking.
Every Repair Tells a Story
Every time we go out on our bikes, we’re creating experiences and making memories. Every scratch to a pack provides traces of another story earned, and we cherish these scuffs as a homage to all of the experiences we’ve had on two wheels. Some stories leave deeper marks than others and occasionally a pack needs to be patched, stitched or repaired to stay in use.
At Apidura, we pride ourselves in making products that are Built to Last and easy to repair. Not just because of the benefits that high quality, long-lasting gear offers, but because it means we can be sure both Pack and rider have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and gain as many scratches as possible together.
Here, we celebrate some of the deepest scratches and the repairs that helped get our ambassadors back on the road with packs that have, between them, explored almost the entire planet.
Sofiane Sehili’s Full Frame Pack
While leading the 2019 Inca Divide, Sofiane broke the zipper on his Backcountry Full Frame Pack. At elevations of up to 5,000m above sea level, temperatures dropped rapidly in the high Andes and something snagged on the zip while extra layers were hastily being removed. Rather than ask for a replacement, Sofiane knew this was something we could easily repair and the pack was fixed in-house by a member of the team, before being sent back to Sofiane in time for the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco. Sofiane went on to win that race too, completing the 1,145km route in under 4 days.
The way I see it, in today’s world, cycling is not just a mean of transportation – it’s a way of life. As cyclists, we must have a certain ethos. We choose cycling to be slower, quieter and closer to nature. So, we can’t ignore our impact on the environment. We have to do our best to minimise it, so that we can keep enjoying the surroundings we go out to explore.
When you have a flat, it’s easier to change the tube. But the responsible thing to do is to patch it. I usually don’t throw away my tubes before they have 4 or 5 patches on them.
It’s the same for packs. If it’s fixable, have it fixed. Try to produce as little waste as possible. I hate throwing things away. If I don’t need it anymore, I always try to find someone who will make good use of it.
Kristof Allegaert’s Top Tube Pack
During the Trans-Siberian Extreme in 2015, I did the unthinkable and damaged my own pack. With a lot of night riding, I needed to keep my lights running longer so created a cut in my pack to run a cable from my power bank to my headlight.
While Kristof’s Backcountry Top Tube Pack is a rare example of purposeful damage to a pack, it’s a great demonstration of the self-supported bikepacking ethos. Rather than ask for a replacement pack when we took his cable port idea and applied it to all of our top tube packs, Kristof simply kept riding with the pack, racking up over 100,000km before sending it to us to be tidied up to join him for the next 100,000km.
Our talented in-house repair team un-picked the seam to allow better access and more precise stitching, measured the size of the hole and then cut a piece of matching fabric to size for binding. To ensure the repair was as neat as possible, the raw edges were concealed by stitching from the inside and re-finishing the outer edge seam.
The finished cable port looks like it’s been there from the start and the traces of Kristof’s races, victories and adventures remain untouched, tracing their paths across the VX21 – a patina of adventure unmatched by many packs we’ve seen!
Patrick Martin Schröder’s Frame Pack
Patrick carried heavy e-bike batteries in his frame pack while touring Africa, resulting in a hole in the base of the pack. After so many miles over rough terrain with such a heavy, sharp-angled load, it’s amazing the damage was so tiny!
Whilst the older Backcountry Series Frame Pack could have been written off, Patrick knew there was still life left in it and asked our in-house repairs team to work their magic.
By measuring the hole and cutting a patch to match, while allowing extra for the seams so the raw edges would be concealed, the team was able to completely repair the pack without removing any of the lesser scratches and scuffs that remind Patrick of his adventures – just a tiny patch with one heck of a story attached to it. Now this pack can feature once more on Patrick’s bike as he continues his worldly ventures. Having already seen 140 of the world’s countries, he hopes he (and his frame pack) will eventually visit every country in the world.