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Same here for the Chase. I bought one last year based on your review and recommendation and it’s been really great. I do use a bladder though because I have bear spray in my bottle cage.
The first rule of lightening the load is to make sure the bike is in good working order. So many people don’t do basic maintenance and leave things too long. The only problem I’ve had in recent memory is smashing my derailleur on a rock. Twice which sent my chain into the spokes with a slightly bent hanger. Parts seem to function better these days and have been more robust for me. I carry pretty minimal stuff. Tube and pump, EDC and a handful of bolts, quick link and a cleat. On a light ride where I don’t need lots of water or a place for a jacket, a bum bag with a tube and pump, battle on the frame and bear spray in the bum bag battle holder does the trick.
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