Poli springs another surprise.
It's time for the backpacking test. This test will determine whether I actually have acquired a bike for all uses or if I'm back to square one, another bike in my basement with the same area of use as the solitary frame now stored in a dark corner.
The new bike gets loaded with everything needed and then some for a one-nighter. in the local forest of Oslo. That's as specific as I can be. There aren't many spots where you may have some privacy in Oslo, and I sure won't share my semi-secret locations with the whole of the world wide web.
The target is about 25 kilometers away. Most of it is fire road, but a significant chunk consists of quite demanding singletrack.
Since Poli responded so remarkably well as an enduro machine, my expectations of her as a longhauling bikepack tool have lowered. As this blog has been all aboout, I'm looking for the multi-purpose bike, but the aggressive geometry that made her respond so well on the descents, has made me think she may disappoint on this journey.
And then she delivers. Heavily loaded, the fire roads are no challenge. The technical singletracks are completed with a smile on my face. Nothing can stop this machine. I throw roots and mud - and even snow - on her - and she proceeds steadily.
I can't help being utterly surprised and content. To make the experience even more pleasant, I would consider a 11-46 cassette instead of my 11-42 and plus-size wheels. However, those upgrages would be more for commodity and not for necessity.
So the conclusion? Sure, a fatbike would be superior when bikepacking. And yes, a full-suspension enduro bike would outperform her on the most rocky descents. But this is an outstanding option for those looking for a compromise and go-to bike for all activities. For my sake, I think I the miles will provide a whole lot of smiles.