Honey Packmule Dropbar Bikepacking Series

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What is the Honey Packmule bike?

The Packmule is Honey's all purpose bikepacking machine.  The Packmule can go just about anywhere and handle just about anything.  It's not the fastest bike that Honey makes but it is the bike that promises the most adventure per mile.

Whether you're planning an overnight adventure, or a two month traverse one of the Seven Continents, the Packmule is always ready for more.

Why is the Honey Packmule the ideal bikepacking bike?

If you search for bikepacking bikes you may come back disappointed.  The majority of options are re-purposed mountain bikes.  Our experience bikepacking took us in another direction.  Of course, as with all things cycling, bikepacking takes as many forms are there are bikepackers.  The ideal bike for some is not ideal for others.  To that end, Honey offers four distinct models with lots of kit options:

In order to put together the ideal set of bikepacking machines, we've pulled parts from numerous kit and disparate disciplines.

More Details About The Packmule:

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Packmule Pricing

Honey offers three ways to get a Packmule:

Our Recommended Parts Packages are what we've found to work really well - and that we can vouch for.  However, we're happy to specify and source any parts you prefer.

Unique Design Features of the Packmule Dropbar

The list of new and unique aspects of the Packmule - relative to other popular packbikes - is too long for an exhaustive accounting.  Here is an overview of what makes this bike special.

Honey Packmule Bike Design Features

  • The Packmule is very "Parts Compatible."  When we bikepack we're often in the middle of nowhere - places that might only have one small bike shop for many hours.  We've found that it's really valuable to design for ease of replacement parts sourcing.  We don't use through axles, press in bottom brackets, or anything else that's not commonly available in an average bike shop - in the US and abroad.
  • With you at any pace.  Road fast or mountain tough.  We designed the Packmule to handle up to a 2.5" knobby tire - even studded tires if you're a winter bikepacker. And the bike will work well with anything as tight as a 23c road tire. If speedy bikepacking is your desire, you're in for a treat. If mountainous offroad riding is your type of 'packing the Packmule is more than ready.
  • Component choices:  Proper components and gear ratios for Bikepacking don't yet exist in a pre-packaged form.  Honey has worked for about a year to come up with the right gearing, compatibility, and durability for any bikepacking trek.  Low-mount disc brakes, lower than 1:1 low-end gear ratios, and dropbar brifters are a few of the details that make this bike unique.
  • Honey steel fork:  Our fork fit 29er 2.5" knobby tires and come every mount:  two Everything Cage mounts, low rider rack mounts, and fender mounts.  We also offer a carbon fork upgrade - same features, just a lot lighter than the steel.  We like the steel fork for damage tolerance and the carbon fork for comfort.
  • Honey steel frame: just like every Honey - custom butted size-specific Clover Honey tubing.  Your right-sized Honey Packmule will be stiff enough to handle up to 60 lbs of gear with a plush ride for all day comfort.
  • Honey components: Handlebar and stem are superlight 3D forged—for the highest strength and lightest weight aluminum parts possible.
  • Low-mount disc brake:  We designed the bike specifically with chainstay mounted disc brakes to make rear rack mounting simple and sturdy.  The low-mount caliper attachment provides good clearance for the rack and any pannier or compression bag setup.

Packmule's Unique Component Features

  • Clearance for 2.5" 29er knobby.  You can even fit the biggest 29er studded tires for some winter 'packing plans.  No conditions will hinder your thirst for adventure.
  • Designed for dropbars.  As bikepacking evolves we've found that dropbars are our favorite.  They're more comfortable than mountain bike style bars and they offer more position options for long days in the saddle.
  • Lower than 1:1 gearing for the heaviest packing and the steepest singletrack.  No matter where your campsite is, the Packmule can get you there.

Packmule Bikepacking Versatility

One of the many aspects of bikepacking is finding the best way to pack for your terrain, weather, riding style, and how much gear you'll be packing.  No two bikepacking setups are the same.  The Packmule provides you too many ways to develop your ideal pack system.  Here are some examples of packing system setup for the Packmule.

  • Everything cages that carry 13+ lbs.  The Packmule fork is specifically designed for Salsa Everything cages. One of bikepacking's favorite storage spaces, fork legs get the job done.
  • Designed for rear racks.  We optimized the tubeset and frame geometry for loaded 'packing offroad riding.  Super tough tubing with some vertical compliance for all day rolling.  Wheter you use our favorite compression bag system or a more traditional roomier pannier set up, the Packmule provides a sturdy base for the best rack and bag systems.
  • Three bottle mounts.  While you can certainly use a frame pack and h20 bladder - or a back pack with bladder - we find that three bottles is a great match for a lot of bikepacking trips.  That's nearly 80 ounces of easily accessible of water - particularly for camp cooking and cleaning.
  • Frame bag optional.  If you prefer a frame pack over water bottles, you can do this - and still have room for a third bottle under the down tube.  We can provide you the specs for a custom bag or some of the popular stock bags.
  • Handlebar bag:  One of the many benefits of a drop bar system is the opportunity to have a substantial handlebar bag.
  • Feedbags:  There's room for a full-sized feedbag on the handlebar, too.
  • Room for a full-sized saddle bag.  Whether you a fan of the stalwart Revelate seat pack, or prefer the lighter weight offering from Porcelain Rocket, you'll have plenty of room for this setup right behind you.

Packmule Bike Fit & Geometry

Our chart of Packmule geometry provides all the details you'll need to determine your ideal size.  And, because we offer 12-sizes of the Packmule Dropbar, we're certain we have a size that will fit you perfectly.

  • 12 sizes to fit just about anyone.  We make women's and men's bike setups, too.
  • 1 cm top tube length increments enable you to choose between a few frame sizes, to fine-tune your fit and comfort.
  • A more upright position than a typical touring bike.  This position also helps prevent lower back pain and protects your body better during 12-hours days on the trail.
  • Shorter reach to help save your upper back and arms. This position also provides some natural biomechanical shock absorption.

Packmule Bike Handling & Performance

  • Stable and predictable handling comes first.  When you're really bikepacking for a few days - or longer - at a time, having a bike that is really predicable and easy to handle becomes a joy.  We designed the Packmule with a number of geometric features that mean stable:  long wheelbase, low bottom bracket, low center of gravity, high front-end, and more.
  • The toughest of tubesets.  Bikepacking is tough on your body, mind, spirit, and your bike.  We took care of the bike's toughness; you take care of the rest.
  • Excellent tracking and traction: The Honey seat stays provide improved traction and predictability on any decent and on any trail surface.
  • Excellent climbing ability: The Packmule’s Clover frame tubing employs stiff chainstays for efficient power transfer to get you up the hills faster and with less effort.
  • Frame size-specific tubing: this ensures the best possible handling at the lowest possible frame weight. Each tube is butted one at a time for each size of each model.

Complete Bike Weight

54.0 cm top tube Packmule Dropbar:  20 lbs., 14 ounces - for a Packmule with the recommended SRAM Force parts package.  This is a really great weight for a serious bikepacking machine that can handle 60 lbs. of gear.  Weights subject to change as component packages evolve.

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