The Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry Bikepacking Bicycle

Bikepacking Example

Get ready for an incredible cycling adventure with the new Chumba Ursa 29+ bikepacking bicycle!

CHumba Ursa 29+ side view

The Chumba Ursa 29+ is an American-made mountain bike designed specifically with bikepacking in mind. Its wide 29plus tires make it great for cycling on dirt and gravel roads as well as on narrow single-track trails. The fact that the Ursa’s frame is fitted with more than 24 eyelets means you can outfit the bike with a complete set of bikepacking bags, up to 5 water bottle cages, and even a front or rear rack like you might find on a more traditional touring bicycle. Plus, the Chumba Ursa is one of the most comfortable and fun bikes you will ever ride – a bicycle that can go practically anywhere and do almost anything!

An Interview with Chumba Cycles USA

Listen to the audio podcast below to learn about Chumba USA (the American company that makes the Chumba Ursa 29+) and discover what it is that makes this specific bicycle so well designed for off-road bikepacking adventures.

After you’ve listened to the podcast, be sure to visit the official Chumba USA website to learn more about the Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry, see the full specs and components used on this unique bicycle, and order a Chumba Ursa of your very own.

My Experience with the Chumba Ursa 29+

I recently acquired a new Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry for my own bikepacking and bicycle touring adventures and I used the Ursa for the first time on a recently completed bike/van trip across the American Southwest.

During my first two months with the Chumba Ursa, I cycled through Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in Northern Arizona; did some single-track riding in the mountains outside of Buena Vista, Colorado; and I did some serious off-road exploration in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos and Chaco Canyon in the state of New Mexico. I’ve also done some additional bikepacking trips in the mountains north of Los Angeles (near Big Bear Lake) in Southern California.

Chumba Ursa 29+

It’s been 6+ months now since I first got my new Chumba Ursa 29+ and I think I’ve had the bike long enough now to tell you why I wholeheartedly recommend this unique mountain bicycle if you’re the type of person who’s interested in conducting your own bikepacking adventures.

29+ Wheels & Tires

The thing that stands out most with the Chumba Ursa 29+ is the fat 3-inch wide tires you find on the front and rear end of the bicycle. These babies are massive… and because they’re so wide, they make cycling through dirt, leaves, sand, snow and other soft surfaces a total joy. In situations where your standard 26 inch or 27.5 tires might require you to get off and walk your bike, the wide 29+ tires on the Chumba Ursa allow you to keep cycling through even the softest situations.

And because the tires on the Chumba Ursa are so big, it means rolling over rocks, branches and other objects in the road/trail is a breeze, because the wheel rolls almost effortlessly over these obstacles. My first time riding the Ursa, I couldn’t believe how smooth the ride felt. Cycling on a gravel road, for example, I could hardly feel the rocks rolling underneath me as I pedaled. As long as you have the air pressure set properly, you can expect your time on the Chumba Ursa to be a whole lot more comfortable than on most other bikepacking bicycles currently on the market.

Bicycle through Monument Valley

Tubeless Tires

Another great thing about the Chumba Ursa 29+ is that the bike comes equipped with Maxxis Chronicle tubeless tires. These tires basically patch themselves, meaning you can ride over a cactus, thorns of various kinds, and even small nails or shards of glass, and you’ll be able to keep cycling without having to stop and put in a new tube.

These kinds of self-healing tubeless tires are becoming standard on most high-quality mountain bikes these days, but when it comes to a long-distance endeavor like bikepacking, the tubeless tire feature becomes even more important.

Having owned my Chumba Ursa 29+ for more than 6 months now, I’ve yet to have any problems with my tires. If I have run over any thorns or pieces of glass, they haven’t slowed me down in even the slightest. I hate changing flats, so I’m loving these tubeless tires!

Mounts for Racks, Water Bottles Cages & More

The thing I like most about the Chumba Ursa 29+, and the reason I wanted to get this bicycle over any other, is because the Ursa comes equipped with more than 24 different eyelets that are spread across the frame and fork of the bicycle. These eyelets are used for mounting water bottle cages, the Salsa Anything Cage (which can be used to carry accessory bags, a large water bottle, camping gear, or anything else you can think of), a front or rear rack, or anything else you can imagine mounting to the frame/fork of the bike. The fact that there are so many different eyelets means you can truly customize the configuration of the Ursa to fit your personal needs and desires.

Bikepacking Example

For example, in the photos of my bicycle on this page you can see that I’ve mounted two water bottle cages to the side of my fork. If I wanted to, however, I could swap those two water bottles out and opt to carry two small accessory bags there instead. Or, if I wanted to, I could mount a rear rack on the back of the bicycle and carry two large panniers in that position. Heck, I could even put a rack on the front of the bicycle and carry a whole mess of gear on that rack as well. There are countless different ways you can configure the Chumba Ursa!

Bikepacking Bags that are Made to Match

If you’re new to bikepacking or have not yet purchased a set of bikepacking bags for your bicycle, you might be wondering if the bags you purchase for your bike are going to fit properly. After all, no two bikes are designed the same. Each bicycle has a different size triangle and not all bikes will work with every bikepacking bag on the market.

Bkepacking with a hammock

Lucky for you, you can purchase a new Chumba Ursa 29+ from Chumba USA and rest assured that the Wanderlust Gear bikepacking bags you get to match your new bicycle are going to fit. That’s because Chumba USA (the company that makes the Chumba Ursa) and Wanderlust Gear (the company that makes the bikepacking bags you see in my photos on this page) are one and the same. Chumba USA and Wanderlust Gear are two separate companies, but they’re owned by the same individuals and operate under the same roof in their headquarters in Austin, Texas.

What this means is that when you purchase a bicycle from Chumba USA and you purchase a new set of Wanderlust Gear bikepacking bags to match, you’ll be sure to get a set of bikepacking bags that have been designed specifically with your bicycle in mind.

A Fun Mountain Bike For Every Situation

Finally, the Chumba Ursa 29+ is a super fun bike to ride. The frame dimensions are perfect, the handlebars are wide enough to offer several hand positions and provide you with excellent control on both dirt/gravel roads and on windy single-track trails. Plus, the saddle that comes with the Ursa is perfect for long days on the road (firm to the touch, but with a decent amount of give).

Chumba Ursa Backcountry Mountain Bike

In the end, the Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry bicycle may look, at first, like a highly specialized mountain bike designed only for a specific type of riding (i.e. bikepacking), but the Chumba Ursa 29+ is a whole lot more than that. The wide 29plus tires on the Ursa don’t make it the greatest bike to ride on paved roads, but if you’re looking for a mountain bike that can do a little bit of everything in an off-road environment, then the Chumba Ursa 29+ is a bicycle you can count on!

My Overall Rating: 10 out of 10

To learn more about the Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry bikepacking bicycle, please see the official Chumba USA website at:

3 thoughts on “The Chumba Ursa 29+ Backcountry Bikepacking Bicycle

  1. Bob Shuff says:

    Hi Darren,

    Just started watching your videos as I was looking for info on bikepacking (nice hammock BTW). I’m very interested on your feedback on the Chumba Ursa 29+. I’ve road toured in my youth, and commute weekly on a homemade ebike today. I have and old road bike and an older mountain bike, but they don’t get much use lately. I’ve wanted to get out more, especially exploring gravel/dirt roads/easy-med trails, and maybe even bikepacking on the weekend. I’ve been looking at the many gravel bikes from Salsa, Specialized, etc, but was a little worried about my local SoCal rides getting a little rough for those setups. That had me also looking at hard-tail 29er mountain bikes, wishing they had drop bar options. Then I see you riding a 29+ rigid bike with flat bars on dirt roads and local mountains. The Ursa Backcountry is a little more than I was looking to spend without trying out the gravel/dirt roads first, but I see they have other models that cost less.

    What do you think about the flat bar being used to drop bars on your other bike?

    Do the large wheels and tires seem too sluggish climbing or on decent roads?

    Do you wish you had a suspension fork on some the roads?

    Would you consider the lower Ursa models too much of a compromise in components/forks/etc?

    In any case, thanks for the great videos and any advice you can give me.

    Bob (Slbear)

    • Darren Alff says:

      While I wouldn’t want flat bars on my regular road touring bicycle, I like the flat bars on the Chumba Ursa, because it is a mountain bike designed for a different type of cycling. I think the bars are very comfortable as they are.

      The large wheels feel great. They only feel sluggish when cycling on paved roads. Off-road they feel great!

      No, I do not feel the need for a suspension fork. I wouldn’t want that as it would make cycling more difficult 90% of the time.

      I’d ask Chumba directly which model of the URSA would be best for you. I bet all the models are pretty good. It just depends on your personal goals and how you plan to use the bike, etc.

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