This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from photographer and filmmaker Tyler Dawson in Vancouver, British Columbia, who shares the Bassi Hog’s Back he built up to work equally well for city life and loaded touring further afield. Learn more about Tyler’s Bassi and read his advice to new bikepackers here…
Words and photos by Tyler Dawson (@coyote_socks)
Hi, I’m Tyler. First off, I’m honored to contribute a Readers rig, and second, I feel wildly underqualified to be talking about bikes. I’m a photographer and filmmaker from Vancouver B.C. I’m relatively new to the whole bikepacking world, but I’ve been cycling for as long as I can remember—mountain Biking here on the North Shore mountains when I was younger and commuting on my trusty vintage Bianchi road bike since I picked it up at a sports swap in the early 2000s. I love ripping around on bikes, and with a camera strapped to my back, I’m basically in heaven.
I got my Hog’s Back frame on a complete whim while visiting our local shop with my dear friend, who had introduced me to bikepacking. I’d been getting more and more interested and finally decided to jump head first into a custom build in time for the Swift campout last summer. I didn’t know a whole lot going in, and Matt and the team at Kissing Crows did an amazing job working with me on the build.
I wanted a versatile everything bike that was as great in the city as out on tour. I wanted the build to be as durable as possible, which was a big consideration when selecting components. The frame is made of chromoly steel, which is tough but responsive and has a bunch of mounting options. I’m not much of a gear head (yet!), but I’m slowly dialing in my setup and enjoying the process.
As for bags, I wanted as much space as possible for camera gear, which is why I initially went with a Wald 139 and Swift Motherloaf up front and a Zeitgeist in the back. More recently, I wanted to get away from a basket set up for touring, so I picked up a Ron’s Bikes Fabio’s Chest. In the city, I’m always taking on and off baskets and switching up bag configurations depending on what’s going on. I find an extreme amount of joy strapping things to my bike, in short.
Frame/Fork Bassi Hog’s Back (58cm)
Rims RaceFace Arc Offset 25 rim, 27.5”
Hubs Shutter Precision PL-8 Dynamo Hub (front) / Bitex BX106R (rear)
Tires Rene Herse Umtanum Ridge
Handlebars Pro Discover (48cm)
Headset Chris King Nothreadset
Crankset Shimano GRX 170mm, 40T
Pedals SimWorks Bubbly Pedals
Cassette Shimano SLX 11-speed 11/42t
Derailleur Shimano GRX
Brakes Paul Klamper
Shifter(s) microSHIFT bar-end
Saddle Brooks C17
Stem BBB Roadforce II
Front bags Ron’s Bikes Large Fabio’s Chest, Swift Motherloaf, Swift stem bag
Rear bags Swift Zeitgeist
Other accessories Wald 137 & 139 Baskets
For those who are new to or haven’t tried bikepacking, I think it can be overwhelming to get into initially. The big thing is to get out and give it a try. I was lucky to meet some great people along the way who helped me get set up and pointed in the right direction. I love the cycling community, and we are lucky to have a thriving one here in Vancouver. I’m almost always shooting photos in my everyday life, and with cycling, it’s no different.
I’m excited to continue documenting bike adventures and combine my filmmaking background to start putting together some cycling videos. There are so many stories yet to unfold, and I hope to share them, so stay tuned. Happy pedaling!
You can follow Tyler on Instagram @coyote_socks.
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