Category Archives: Bikepacking

I’m Building a New Bike

I’ve been been in pursuit of a used Moots Mooto X YBB 29er frame for many months now – searching ebay, mountain bike forums, and craigslist.  Last week I finally found one for a relatively decent price.


This will be the bike on which I will finish the Colorado Trail.
This will be the bike on which I hope to race the Tour Divide in the next few years.
I’m going to build it 100% myself so it is mine through and through.

All components of my Rockhopper have been stripped and cleaned.  Being a 26er, there are some that obviously cannot be reused (fork and wheels).  Others I didn’t think of – the titanium tubes are smaller in diameter than the aluminum frame, so my front derailleur and seatpost need to be replaced.  I’ll gladly take any excuse to upgrade parts, though.

Hypothetical Build

100mm Lefty – needle bearings just make so much sense.
YBB – duh.

Cane Creek

Avid BB7 – mechanical for simplicity and reliability.

Sram XX1 (1×11) seems so simple elegant but I’m afraid of the limited range of gears, especially for bikepacking.  If not 1×11, 2×10 is the next option.  3×10 (what my Rockhopper was running) was overkill.

No idea yet

Bars & Seatpost
I hear titanium is great, but we’ll see how the budget stands.

Colorado Trail Here I Come

I’m leaving for the CO trail on Saturday, July 13.  I couldn’t find anyone planning to ride at the same time as I have off work, so it looks like I’m starting alone.  I’m probably not going to do any daily blog entries until afterwards, but I will carry a SPOT tracker and upload photos to Flicker.

SPOT Tracker

The Setup
Viscacha seat bag, harness handlebar bag, and gas tank from Revelate Designs.
Rear top tube bag and frame bag from Greg at Bolder Bikepacking.

2013-07-10 22.43.16

28 lbs of bike; 25 lbs of gear; a few more lbs of food/water.

Brief Gear Rundown
85 oz bladder in the frame bag, 2x 25 oz water bottles mounted to the fork, 4 liter bladder in the backpack (that will stay empty except in camp), and an MSR Sweetwater filter.
20 degree down bag, bivy bag, insulated ground pad.
MSR International stove, full cookset. 11 oz fuel bottle.

With only a few days left before my trip begins, I’m alternating between being excited and being nervous/anxious.  All of the unknowns and things that could go wrong weigh heavy on me – lightening storms above the treeline, being uncertain about directions, camping alone at night, etc.  It was the same way before I boarded a bus from Chicago to New Mexico and began the Great Divide three years ago.  I just need to remind myself that once I get to the trailhead and start riding it’ll be just like any other ride.  I’ll deal with the things that go wrong as they happen, if they happen at all, and only worry about the next 50 feet.


Colorado Trail 2013

It has been decided.  In early July this summer I am bikepacking the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.  The packlist is not complete, but I expect my steed will look look something like this:

The Setup

Except with another (or a larger) frame bag to handle extra food, water, and camping gear.

Great Divide Elevation Profile App V2 Released

A few days ago, I released an updated version of Eat. Sleep. Ride. Great Divide. – an elevation profiler of the Great Divide.
1) Uses the most recent version of the Google Maps API
2) Works 1000% better in mobile browsers
3) Uses a newer set of GPS points
4) Elevation changes are calculated in a smarter manner (so not every bump in the road counts toward ascent/descent)
5) Better graphs
6) Refactored ALL of the code so I can reuse it for the Colorado Trail

esrgd-desktop esrgd-mobile