Where did you go bikepacking and for how long?
Initially, I planned to cycle the Green Divide in the Netherlands in about 3 days, but due to persistent bad weather and heavy rainfall, I abandoned that plan and booked a flight to one of Europe's gravel havens: Girona, Spain. Girona offers endless gravel paths, and you can ride countless gravel loops starting from the city. However, I thought it would be more interesting to have a specific destination, a point-to-point route. So, I decided to ride from Barcelona to Girona through the hills, taking about 3 days.
The first morning after arriving in Girona, I prepared the Enve Mog, packed the Apidura bags onto the bike, made the final purchases, and then took the train from Girona to Barcelona with the bike. The real adventure began there: a journey back to Girona city through the hills, taking several detours on over 80% gravel roads and singletracks.
What were your considerations for choosing this bike for the trip?
At 'home,' I ride the OPEN WI.DE. with a Sram Force 1x12 XPLR groupset and a 10-44 cassette. I could have taken it to Spain, but I opted for the Enve Mog, partly because of the Sram Force Eagle setup (10-52) cassette. In hindsight, this was a good decision, as this setup proved valuable with the added weight in the hills around Girona. Another reason is my curiosity about trying the Enve Mog after seeing several of these beautiful bikes in the shop.
I was curious about how this bike would feel with luggage on sometimes relatively rough surfaces, considering that the bike looks comfortable in some aspects but can also serve as a gravel racer.
What are your experiences with the bike after this trip?
It's challenging to say exactly how the bike feels when loaded with bags. The bike becomes heavier, and the frame's response changes. Surprisingly, the bike still steered sharply, regardless of the luggage, especially in descents, both on asphalt and (rough) gravel. The 45mm wide tubeless tires contributed to comfort and provided confidence to descend quickly even with luggage.
I am familiar with the Sram Force Eagle AXS groupset, so that was not new to me. The Enve SES AR handlebar felt comfortable, and the round seat post provided the necessary comfort.
Additionally, ENVE uses the Sram Universal Derailleur Hanger for the MOG, allowing the installation of Sram's new mountain bike groupsets on this frame. In the hills with a loaded bike, this is certainly an option to consider.
Overall, the Enve Mog is a very fast but comfortable gravel bike. In terms of geometry, it is different from my own OPEN WI.DE. The bike is longer, and the head tube is slightly lower, making me adopt a slightly more sporty position. Not necessarily needed for bikepacking, but not unpleasant either!
Which Apidura packs did you use?
I knew I would be cycling for 3 to 4 days, so I selected a few bags with the goal of finding a balance between sufficient storage space and maintaining a maneuverable bike. I wanted to be able to ride with two water bottles at all times. I wanted to fit at least one of them in the triangle of my frame. This ruled out an Apidura Full Frame Pack, and I chose an Apidura Expedition Frame Pack of 4.5L. It fits perfectly in an Enve Mog size 54cm, and with this bag, I could still fit a large water bottle on the seat tube.
For my second water bottle, I chose an Apidura Backcountry Foodpouch of 1.2L. The bottle sits surprisingly securely in it, and the bag has elastic nets on the sides to stow bars and other snacks. You mount the Backcountry Foodpouch in the corner between your handlebar and stem, making it easy to grab your water bottle or some food, but it's not intrusive and doesn't get in the way, even on a steep descent.
Most of the luggage is clothing, taking up quite a bit of space, so I opted for a saddlebag. This is where the most volume goes. The Apidura Backcountry Saddlepack of 10L was large enough for me and felt sturdy when the bag hung behind the saddle. This way, the bag has minimal impact on the handling of the bike.
Finally, I brought the Apidura Expedition Top Tube pack, which normally functions as a tool bag on my OPEN WI.DE. On the Mog, I had a power bank, phone, and extra food in it.
And your spare parts and tools?
In the frame! The Enve Mog has a small door under the bottle holder that provides access to a special compartment in the hollow space of the downtube. Here, you can easily store a tire lever, pump, tire levers, and some extra tools. The inside of this space is lined with a kind of foam. Combined with Enve's tool bags, you don't have to worry about loose parts in your frame. Ideal!
Bike: Enve MOG
Groepset: Sram Force Eagle AXS 1x12 (44t x 10-52)
Wielen: Enve AG25 Gravel Wheelset
Apidura Expedition Frame Pack 4.5L
Apidura Expedition Bolt-On Top Tube Pack 1.0L
Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack 10L
Apidura Backcountry Foodpouch 1.2L