Who are we?

Who are we?

ROBO-KIWI bags are designed and made by Keith Payne in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. The bags are the result of Keith’s own bike packing experiences and the need for a lightweight and practical solution for riding technical terrain over long distances.

Evolution of ROBO-KIWI bags

January, 2014
Great Southern Brevet 2014 1

January, 2014

Great Southern Brevet

The bike packing adventures began with the Great Southern Brevet. The week leading up to the event was spent making a system to clip dry bags onto the handle bars and under the bike seat. While it did work, it needed regular adjusting and tightening as the bumpy terrain would soon loosen the straps and the bags would get caught on the wheels from time to time. Keith also discovered the need to get more weight off his back and onto his bike… there had to be a better way!

 

The Great Southern Brevet is based in the South Island of New Zealand, taking in the iconic Mackenzie High Country, the Lakes, and through to Central Otago and Southland and back again to the High Country.

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February, 2015
Kiwi Brevet - 2015 2

February, 2015

Kiwi Brevet

This time around, the preparation was better. The solution now, was custom made dry bags with solid attachment points. The bags worked well and lasted the 1300km distance, but were showing signs of wear by the end. Keith felt they could be further improved and even lighter…

 

The Kiwi Brevet is based around the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It also has a shorter 600km option and is a great way to get into brevet riding.

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February, 2016
Tour Aotearoa - finished in Bluff 3

February, 2016

Tour Aotearoa

This 3000km event from Cape Reinga to the Bluff took a lot of planning. In order to succeed, Keith wanted his bags to be as light as possible, while still keeping spare gear dry and being durable enough to last the event. Many hours were spent designing and perfecting the solution.

Success! The bags not only lasted the distance with minimal wear, but their light weight allowed him to finish in just 13 days. The designs gained a lot of attention from other riders and people started asking where he’d bought the bike bags from…

 

Tour Aotearoa is one of the world's great bikepacking trips: stretching 3,000km across the length of New Zealand, it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available.

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September, 2016
Race to the Rock 4

September, 2016

Race to the Rock

Time to go international! This event required additional water carrying capacity as Keith would be crossing the Australian outback on the 2300km ride from Adelaide to Ayers Rock. The frame bag was re-designed to take a large water bladder (this kept the extra weight centrally balanced) and bottle cages were added underneath the down tube and on the seat stays. With up to 12L capacity he was ready to take on the outback!

 

Race to the Rock is a mostly off-road route covering very rugged, remote country in the Australian outback. Each event starts from a different location on the perimeter of the Australian continent and finishes at Uluru/Ayers Rock.

January, 2017
ROBO-KIWI Logo 5

January, 2017

Why "ROBO-KIWI"?

The logo came first… Riding the Alps2Ocean with his wife, the discussion turned to what would be a suitable brand name and logo. Elke suggested a kiwi made of cogs and bike parts and the idea stuck. The only problem was that it might look too much like a robot? Keith disagreed – “You have to be a bit of a ‘robot’ to finish a brevet!”

February, 2017
IMG 4732 6

February, 2017

Kiwi Brevette

Keen to introduce friends to the bikepacking scene Keith completed the 2017 Kiwi Brevette. Old train tunnels, lush native bush, coastal roads, river crossings and frequent cafe stops made for a great time!

 

The Kiwi Brevette is a 600 - 750 km bicycle brevet around the top of the South Island starting and finishing in Blenheim - with as much off road riding as possible.

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February, 2018
Tour Aotearoa - North Island 7

February, 2018

Tour Aotearoa - North Island

Keen to share the bikepacking experience, but a bit short on time, Keith and Elke did the North Island section of the Tour Aotearoa together. Completing the 1600km section from Cape Reinga to Wellington in 9 days. They managed to sneak through the Kaiwhakauka section just ahead of the huge deluge that wiped out the Bridge to Nowhere track and marooned a bunch of riders that had to be evacuated due to high river levels.

 

Keith's ROBO-KIWI rear harness came in particularly handy when Keith's seat post clamp broke on one of the most remote sections of track. Together with a titanium pot/mug, he created a make-shift seat to bike the remaining hills and kilometres to the Whanganui River jet boat pickup - that could've been a long bike-pushing walk otherwise!

 

Tour Aotearoa is one of the world's great bikepacking trips: stretching 3,000km across the length of New Zealand, it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available.

Read more

January, 2019
IMG 7192 8

January, 2019

Great Southern Brevet 2019

Returning to his bikepacking roots, Keith completed the 2019 Great Southern Brevet route. Definitely still one of the hardest, but most picturesque routes he's done! A hot start, followed by some very strong winds made for some crazy riding over the Old Man Range, finishing with a big 300km day as he headed home.

 

The Great Southern Brevet is New Zealand's toughest bikepacking events: starting and finishing in Tekapo, it takes in the iconic Mackenzie High Country, the Southern Lakes, and through to Central Otago and Southland and back again to the High Country.

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