What does the future of bikepacking look like? Well, if Loris’ Project Klin is any indication, it will be a lot more integrated. As their entry for the 2021 Concours de Machines, Loris took this year’s bikepacking theme and truly ran with it, coming up with this incredible concept bike in the process.
While the bikepacking theme is fairly straight forward, there were quite a few requirements for each entry. Basically, you needed to create a hand built bike with enough storage to be totally self sufficient, for 2-3 days. That includes the ability to store or generate your own electricity, boil water, leave no trace, contact rescue, follow GPS tracks, etc. You know, basically what everyone should be able to do on a bikepacking trip—although the requirements continue with details like “the bike must fit in a 1200mm long and 900mm high suitcase or bag, and minimise the width” to follow the SNCF French train policy for a car-free journey.
All of this is to say that these bikes must be able to actually be used in addition to their incredible looks.
Loris says they realize that most people still only bikepack a few times a year, so they wanted to create a bike that would be fun to ride year-long without the luggage. So they opted for a 27.5+ platform with modern geometry and short chainstays.
The gorgeous frame is made from carbon fiber and features a one-piece fork/stem/bar up front that has quite a unique headtube assembly. The frame is actually disconnected between the top tube and down tube—it isn’t until the fork is installed and the steerer tube is slid through the assembly and tightened that the whole front end comes together. That carbon fork also includes the addition of Linen fiber to help absorb vibrations.
It seems like everywhere you look on the Klin there are hidden details that make it even more impressive. Like the integrated battery packs that were completely made in house by Loris. The battery packs not only store inside the steerer tube, but offer a mount for a Garmin GPS unit, which can then be plugged in directly to the battery. And since the steerer doesn’t turn with the bars, the computer is always still, making it easier to read and follow.
Lights are a requirement of the competition, and the Klin features a 1600 lumen KLAMP light that’s mounted under the fork and connected to the battery. There’s also a rechargeable Sigma rear light, which can be recharged by the battery pack when plugged in.
The one-off frame includes a number of machined parts including the dropouts and inserts for the steerer tube clamps at the head tube.
Then, there are the bags themselves. Opting for a hard shell bag design instead of soft, the rigid containers are made from flax fiber and are easily installed or removed. The design does require an extra long seat tube, so dropper posts will not be an option here, but you can’t really use a dropper if you’re running a big saddle bag anyway. The main container is 6L and features two side openings with stretched canvas ‘doors’. Loris states that hard bags allow for you to compact the contents without the bags ‘bowing’ out, and it allows things to be packed tight to avoid rattling.
The front two bags are made in a similar style with smaller capacities. One of the requirements for the competition was to carry 4L of water, so there is room for 1L in the main bag, and Loris added a Camelbak with a 3L capacity to make up the rest. But with all the room left in the front triangle, it seems water bottle mounts could be added as well.
Total weight? The bike itself is said to be 11.8kg (26.01lb). With all the equipment (includes tent, sleeping kit, cook kit, but excluding food and water), the weight is claimed to be 16.9kg (37.26lbs).