Rigs of the 2021 Arizona Trail Race (AZTR)

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The 2021 Arizona Trail Race kicks off this week, following a challenging 800 or 300-mile route across the Grand Canyon State. We’re excited to share a collection of 30 rigs that are signed up for tomorrow’s grand depart. Find a gallery of photos and details on each bike and its rider here…

We’re excited to see the 2021 Arizona Trail Race in full swing, especially given the notable absence of a grand depart in last year’s edition. And, although there will be some folks to watch at the grand depart on Thursday, the Arizona Trail has already seen a lot of action this season. In April, 35-year-old Timon Fish set a new record on the Arizona Trail 300 with a time of 1 day, 14 hours, and 52 minutes (1:14:52). On the same course, Jefe Branham set a new singlespeed record of 2 days, 1 hour, and 24 minutes (2:01:24). Just a few days later, Alexandera Houchin set a new women’s singlespeed record for the Arizona Trail 300 with a time of 2 days, 19 hours, and 25 minutes (2:19:25), besting the former record—held by Alice Drobna since 2015—by more than 10 hours.

With the help of event organizer John Schilling and the riders, we’ve gathered a list of 30 rigs, each accompanied by the name, age, and hometown of the rider, as well as a brief kit list. Check them all out below, then head over to the event tracker to follow along live and find the updates we’ll be posting during the event.

Kait Boyle

Age 34 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

Kait Boyle 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: For the Arizona Trail 300, I’ll be aboard my Pivot Cycles Mach 4 SL (size small) with a 120 mm MRP Ribbon SL fork. I’m rolling Industry Nine Ultralite 280 Carbon 24-hole wheels mounted with a Maxxis 2.4 Rekon in the front and a Maxxis 2.4 Aspen in the rear. I’m running Shimano XTR brakes and drivetrain with a 28T chainring and a 4iiiis power meter crank. My Ergon Women’s SR Road Pro saddle is mounted to a 9Point8 FallLine RS dropper post.
BAGS: A custom Revelate Designs frame bag and a Revelate Mag Tank 2000 will carry most of my food. The Revelate Jerry Can will hold random accessibles, while my micro-sized Revelate prototype seat bag will carry my tube, jacket, and spare batteries. I’ll mount one water bottle cage to my bike and carry the rest of my water and additional snacks in a Patagonia Slope Runner 8L pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll tie a small strip of gold sequin fabric to my handlebars to remember that happy is fast. The only new pieces of gear I’m using are little running ankle gaiters.

Colt Fetters

Age 31 / Durango, Colorado (USA)

Colt Fetters 2021 AZT

BIKE: I’ll be riding my well-worn Kona Process 134 29 CR/DL. The rear wheel is an i9 Enduro 305 w/ cush core and a DH Maxxis Dissector, and the front is DT Swiss wheel w/ a Shutter Precision hub wrapped with a DH Maxxis DHF. Ergon fat GA2 grips and SMC4 saddle make for the contact points, while the Race Face Carbon 35 bars will help take out some chatter. My goal for this bike was to make it comfy for long rides and the tires impenetrable. All that weight may come back to bite me when crossing the big ditch.
BAGS: All of the bags are made by Bedrock Bags here in Durango, Colorado. They’re extremely well-designed to be well-attached, stay in place, and keep as much weight toward the center of the bike as possible. I’ll be carrying an empty old climbing pack for the Grand Canyon crossing that I’ve modified to allow the accessory part of the handlebar bag to hang from the chest strap, which will allow me access food and water without having to set my bike down while hiking.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The K-lite Bikepacker Ultra, SP dynamo hub, and USB connector are instrumental in my kit. It will not only light up the trail but will help me to charge a cache battery so I can have plenty of audiobooks and music throughout my ride.

Kristen Tonsager

Age 39 / Denver, Colorado (USA)

Kristen Tonsager 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: After a solid CTR run, I’ll be back on my trusty 2021 Revel Ranger to dodge cacti in the desert! I’ve got her outfitted with a Rockshox SID fork and Revel RW30 Rims laced to I9 purple Hydra hubs with Maxxis Minion DHF (front) and Aggressor (rear) tires. I’m running a SRAM Eagle drivetrain with the one and only rainbow chain and Shimano XT 4-piston brakes.
BAGS: JPAKS all the way, baby! Custom checker print Framepak, Toolpak, and Footlong Snakpak accented with cotopaxi color OHS support patch and zipper garages. The kit is rounded out with a JPAKS Dropperpak, Supreme Barrito handlebar pak, and two Ruksaks in that killer checker print! I will also be wearing a Dakine Hot Laps 5-liter Fannypak to carry all the potato chips.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Water is the name of the game, so I’ll be carrying a 2L bladder in the framepak and 1L bottles in each ruksak along with the AquaMira water treatment kit. The key to success will be my Black Diamond Icon headlamp and Fenix BC30 bar light (along with all those potato chips) for the late-night javelina racing.

Kevin Emery

Age 50 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

Kevin Emery 2021 AZT

BIKE: Chumba Stella Ti Hardtail 29er, Rockshox SID Ultimate 120mm fork, i9 Trail 270 hoops with rear Hydra hub, and a Schmidt SON28 dyno hub wrapped with Maxxis Recon 2.4” tires that power a kLite MTB torch.
BAGS: Frame bag, gas tank, and seatbag made by Rockgeist, and the handlebar harness is made by Revelate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The SS setup is a Wolftooth camo chainring and an Endless Kickass cog 32×24 for 41.6 gear inches.

Chad Ament

Age 35 / Denver, Colorado (USA)

Chad Ament 2021 AZT

BIKE: The same bike I just finished the CTR on, an XL Surly Krampus. The XL hardtail gives me the advantage of a frame bag that swallows everything. I don’t need to run all the extra bags on bars or post and can keep the weight low and centered for maximum shredability. After the photo was taken, I extended my dropper from 155mm to 170mm. I have a 28×10-46t gear range. Sinewave Beacon that can be powered by the hub and/or a 20,000MaH battery cache that used alone lasts over 30 hours. These 2.6″ DHF/Recon have me feeling like I’m riding velcro. ESI 8.25 XXL Super Chunky grips and Hestra gloves keep my hands more comfortable on multi-day rides than they are on this keyboard. I’m really excited to get back out and see new places on new singletrack, LET’S GOOOOO!
BAGS: Big ol’ Revelate frame bag, Mag tank, and 2x Oveja Negra Chuck Buckets. I’m using an Osprey Skarab 18 on my back for my sleeping gear so I can just throw it in a spacious bag without cramming into stuff sacks. No stuffing a sleeping bag into anything small, no compressing anything, just toss in and go fast. The weight on my back will be 70-80oz total, less than the weight of a bladder filled with water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Changes from the CTR pack list include fewer bags on the bike and using a Osprey pack instead of a fanny pack, though the weight on my body isn’t changing much. I’m starting with about 9,000 calories on the bike instead of 18,000, which is still probably too much. I’m carrying a whole lot of peanut butter, cashews, pistachios, Roctane drink mix, gluten-free waffles, and Floyd’s CBD bars. Resupply is usually limited for me as my body doesn’t process gluten or lactose well, and also being vegetarian, it’s just easier to carry things than cross my fingers for many options at gas stations. I’m not taking an inflatable sleeping pad this time and instead will carry an automotive windshield reflector. Aside from not being vulnerable to cactus, inflating and deflating the pad became so tedious that I started just sleeping on the ground in my bivy anyway. I’m probably not bringing a tarp to put over my bivy this time. I’m glad I had it for the CTR thunderstorms, but crossing my fingers the weather report looks good in Arizona and just a bivy will be sufficient.

Josh Cameron

Loveland, Colorado (USA)

Josh Cameron 2021 AZT Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding a Binary Chuparosa custom frame size, SRAM XX1 12-speed drivetrain, 10-52T cassette with a 30T Endless Bikes chain wheel. Rockshox Pike Ultimate fork, Shimano XTR 4-piston brakes. Maxxis Recon tires front and rear with Carbonfan rims.
BAGS: Frame bag is a custom Bedrock, my other bags are Revelate Designs and a Dirtbag bottom tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using an OR Helium bivy with Sea to Summit sleeping bag. Garmin 1030 for navigation and Exposure Toro to light up the nights. Since we have to carry our bikes through the Grand Canyon, I’ll be using an Outentic backpack to carry my bike!

Kurt Refsnider

Age 39 / Prescott, Arizona (USA)

Kurt Refsnider 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: This Pivot Mach 4 SL rocketship is built for backcountry comfort, efficiency, and reliability. Big backcountry days on singletrack are my favorite, and it’s amazing to have a speedy XC bike that feels so at home on steep, loose, and chundery trails like the AZT. This bike rolls on a set of Industry Nine Ultralite 280 Carbon wheels and Maxxis Aspen 2.4” tires with Shimano XTR brakes/drivetrain, a little round 28T chainring, and XTR Trail pedals. My chamoisless butt sits on an Ergon SMC Sport Gel saddle and a 9Point8 Fall Line dropper post. And I treat my hands well with an MRP Ribbon SL fork set up very plushly, a Fasst Company Flexx MTB suspension handlebar, and Ergon GA3 grips.
BAGS: Revelate Designs across the board as always. A custom frame bag for snacks, a Gas Tank for more snacks, and a Shrew seatbag for even more snacks and some extra layers of clothing.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: With seven wins/records in the AZT300 over the past 12 years, this race is my favorite anywhere, and for me, has evolved into what feels like a day ride that just stretches across two days. As such, there’s no need for much gear beyond snacks (a lot of snacks), repair and first-aid kits, some clothing, a GPS, and extra batteries for my lights. But I’d certainly carry a sleep kit if I wasn’t so intimately familiar with the trail and my capabilities upon it. And while gear obviously plays a critical role in events like these, the importance of physical preparation, mental fortitude, adaptability, and doing one’s homework cannot be overstated.

Alex Stephan

Age 54 / Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

Alex Stephan Arizona Trail rig

BIKE: 2020 Crust Evasion Lite. Rival 11-speed shifter with Ratio Tech 1×12 conversion (34T chainring, 10-52 cassette, GX eagle Derailleur). Kenda Booster Pro 2.6″ tires. Shutter precision PD – 7 Dyno hub with Sinewave Beacon Front light.
BAGS: Tributus Ltd. Endover handlebar bag. Bags by Bird half frame bag. Timbuk2 seat bag, Farsik pouch on front fork. Vargo titanium pot for extra storage, not planning on cooking.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Crust x Nitto Chaka 52cm handlebar. I prefer drop bars over flat bars in all terrains, as long as they are wide. Riding a rigid drop bar setup might seem not ideal given the rocky terrain, but the wide Kenda tires add some suspension, and it’s easier to carry in unrideable situations. This setup worked flawless on the Alberta Rockies 700 this year, which had some pretty challenging terrain. Got a battery to supplement the dyno hub power since I expect speeds to be pretty slow on the trail at times.

Kyle Quinn

Age 34 / Littleton, Colorado (USA)

Kyle Quinn 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: Salsa Timberjack Ti, singlespeed 32×22 oval ring, 130mm Pike Ultimate, and Whisky rims on 350 hubs with 2.6″ Maxxis Rekons.
BAGS: The bike has a little bit of everything. JPaks, Bedrock, Revelate, Oveja Negra, and a Shreddy Krueger handlebar roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Custom JPaks frame bag filled with Tailwind for easy on-the-go calories, Montbell bivy with a Sea to Summit sleeping bag for napping, and my Spotify playlist with everything from Rod Stewart to J. Cole.

Andrew Gowans

Age 56 / Tucson, Arizona (USA)

Andrew Gowans 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’m riding a Shand Drove. It’s a steel drop bar bike but I ride it with a Jones bar or drop bar, depending on the event. It’s set up with a Fox 32, Vittoria Mezcals 2.35, singlespeed 34×22.
BAGS: Bags are by Oveja Negra.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For nap kit, I have a closed-cell foam mat, SOL bivy and three-season sleeping bag. Lights are Exposure Toro and Diablo. Navigation Wahoo Elemnt.

Niko Monteiro

Age 31 / Anchorage, Alaska (USA)

Niko Monteiro 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Revel Rascal! This build features a SRAM Eagle drivetrain with an absoluteBlack 32T oval chainring (a real knee saver for me), Rock Shox SID Luxe shock, DVO Sapphire fork, SQ Labs inner bar ends to make things comfy, and two 1L bottles mounted to the forks. All rolling on i9 hubs and wheels and Maxxis Ardent Race tires.
BAGS: The centerpieces are the custom Dyneema frame bags by Backcountry Stitch Works. The Revelate Pronghorn leads the charge, two Feedbags, Mag-Tank 2000, Jerrycan, Joey downtube bag for repair kit, and Vole seat pack bringing up the rear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be catching ZZZs with an OR bivy, Enlightened Equipment down quilt, and a Nemo Inertia sleeping pad. My lights are the Fenix BC21R on the bars and HM50R on the helmet. I’ll be carrying an Osprey Talon 22 for the Grand Canyon portage and attaching the bike with Surly Junk Straps. Most importantly, a ton of Twizzlers.

Emma Millar

Age 32 / Durango, Colorado (USA)

Emma Millar 2021 AZT

BIKE: I’ll be racing the AZT on my Revel Rascal named Rapscallion. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Rekon 2.4” tires and Revel RW30 wheels. It has other parts too, and they are all awesome.
BAGS: My bags are a motley crew of pieces I’ve picked up over the years, from Bedrock, Revelate, Oveja Negra, Rogue Panda, Rockgeist, and some homemade (by my friend Jordan). I’m a big fan of my Rockgeist Barjam Harness and my little tiny Revelate saddlebag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Obviously, the most beautiful piece of gear is my custom frame bag, designed by my incredibly talented friend Kricket Servis and sewn by Rogue Panda. Lighting is provided by a Fenix BC30 and PD35. Navigation is from my Wahoo Elemnt BOLT. My least cool piece of gear is my nerdy Ergon GP2 grips with bar ends. They save me a lot of wrist pain, but they’re almost not worth it.

John Price

Age 35 / Taos, New Mexico (USA)

John Price 2021 AZT

BIKE: Advocate Cycles Hayduke. 27.5 x 2.5″ Maxxis minion tires, 32T oval up front 18T rear.
BAGS: Little frame bag, Jpaks foot long and front roll, Revelate Jerrycan. I made the dry bag harness on the back from a plastic binder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This magical freedom machine that is the bike is my gear highlight.

Zack Freundlich

Age 34 / McCall, Idaho (USA)

Zack Freundlich 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: Riding a Revel Ranger “Half-Baked Brunch Ride” build: Pike Ultimate 130, SIDLuxe shock, i9 Trail 270 wheelset, Shimano 1×12 drivetrain, AbsoluteBLACK Oval 28 chainring, Maxxis Rekons 2.4″ tires, Renthal cockpit, BikeYoke Revive dropper, Ergon contact points, and Chromag Pedals.
BAGS: Highlights are the custom Rogue Panda frame bag and Rockgeist top tube bag. Mix of other amazing manufacturers to round it out JPaks, Revelate Designs, Wolf Tooth, and Bedrock Bags. Stoked with the range and quality of bikepacking gear available, and big thanks to all the folks who helped me assemble this kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My down jacket embroidered with the Payette National Forest Fire Management logo that I got as a safety award last season, proudly representing all of the dedicated members of the U.S. Forest Service—caring for the land and serving people! The hard work and professionalism of wildland firefighters, land managers, and resource specialists across the country are foundational to providing incredible opportunities like riding the AZT. Support our public lands and keep it public!

Tom Hoppe

Age 41 / Denver, Colorado (USA)

Tom Hoppe 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: 2020 Salsa Spearfish. Fox fork/shock and a Shimano XT drivetrain with a 30T front ring. SON dynamo front hub with a kLite light and an i9 hydra rear, both inside Nox Farlow 29 wheels with Maxxis Forekaster and Rekon tires. OneUp dropper as I don’t even know how to ride bikes without one anymore, and Ergon grips and saddle keep my hands and butt happy.
BAGS: A mishmash of brands, but all bags I’ve grown to love over the years. A Salsa EXP frame bag from a large frame, despite this being a medium bike, gives me the ability to carry my tent poles and a bunch of other stuff in the frame bag. Revelate Sweetroll up front for the sleeping bag, a Terrapin seat bag with my tent in the back along with a Jerrycan and two Mountain Feedbags for snacks/extra water. A Topeak gas tank, and Rogue Panda Oracle bag with my spare tubes/repair kit/etc. round out the kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love to sleep well, so I have a Big Agnes UL 1 tent along with a comfy sleeping pad, and a little pillow. Sounds like it’s going to be cooooold up north, so I’m taking the 20-degree bag, an extra Patagonia R1, tights, and extra gloves to stay warm.

Andrew Strempke

Age 28 / Van Life (USA)

Andrew Strempke 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: Chumba Steel Sendero. Singlespeed 32×22. XT brakes, SON dynamo, 2.4″ Rekons. Ergon SMC saddle, Wolftooth foam grips, Cane Creek bar ends.
BAGS: Dispersed Bikepacking bags, Osprey Stratos 24L backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Edge 1030+, Sinewave Beacon, Fenix PD35 on helmet. 30-degree quilt, foam pad, homemade bivy, and tarp. Carrying the backpack and hiking poles from the start.

Bodhi Roether

Age 23 / Durango, Colorado (USA)

Bodhi Roether 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’ll be riding a Mone La Roca that I acquired after meeting the mad scientist himself in Tucson. For wheels, I splurged on a pair of We Are One Converts laced to a i9 Hydra rear and SP Dynamo up front. I’ll be rolling single speed with a 2.6″ Maxxis Dissector in the back and a Rekon in the front matched with 32×22 gearing. Contact points are a tried and true Brooks B17 saddle with Ergon GA3 grips and Canfield Pedals.
BAGS: The main identifier of the bike is my Goodday Curiosity Framebag made by some sweet people in Gunnison. I am also running a Revelate Shrew seat pack, JPaks top tube bag, Oveja Negra Snack Pack, and a stripped version of the Bedrock Bags Moab Handlebar Roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be wearing a Patagonia running vest for hydration, but my favorite piece of kit has to be the cutoff shorts I’ll be wearing to the start line.

Dan Moses

Age 43 / Venice, California (USA)

Dan Moses 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’m stoked to be going on this adventure with “Hayduke Too,” an Esker Hayduke circa late 2019. He’s equipped with mostly Shimano XT and SLX components, dictated largely by current availability. The mashing will be done on an 11-46 cassette mated to a 30T chainring, which will hopefully give me a choice between walking and riding at least once or twice on this route. After considerable debate, the tires are 27.5 Rekon EXO+ 2.8s front and rear. Up front is a well-loved and freshly rebuilt Pike 140 shock to help take some of the beating. Directions will be provided by a Wahoo Element Bolt.
BAGS: Bags are homemade, save for the Relevate Shrew, which I adore. I hope I left enough room for all of the burritos, pizzas, and burgers I’m already looking forward to adding to my kit en route.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I really love my Onyx Vesper Hub. The engagement is awesome and the silence is truly golden. In an attempt to reduce my penchant for rim flats, I’ll be using a Cush Core in the rear. I’m very new to it, but I’m hopeful it’ll buy me some margin against forgetting I’m really just a yahoo on a loaded hardtail.

Julie Kanagy

Age 48 / Felton, California (USA)

Julie Kanagy 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’ll be riding an Ibis DV9 frame with 120mm Fox Float SC fork and Fox Transfer dropper post. I went for 4-piston Shimano XT brakes and a SRAM AXS drivetrain, which I actually plan to bring fully charged this time! I’m hoping both will help save my hands. The tires are Maxxis Rekon 2.4s with EXO+.
BAGS: Actually, I won this sweet custom frame bag from Rockgeist by being a member of the Bikepacking Collective! I’m using the Bedrock bags Black Dragon seatpost bag and tool bag on the downtube. On the front are Rockgeist feed bags, a Revelate Pronghorn bar bag, and Mag-Tank 2000 top tube bag. The frame bag fits 3L of water, and a hydration pack will fit an extra 3L. There’s also a bottle in one feed bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Stuffed in the bar bag is a Borah Gear ultralight bivy, an Enlightened Equipment quilt, and Klymit Static V sleeping pad. The Wolf Tooth Valais stops the seat post dropper with the seat bag just above the tire, which is magic for a short-legged person like me!

Jennifer Hanson

Age 54 / Florence, Arizona (USA)

Jennifer Hanson 2021 AZT

BIKE: I will be riding a Salsa Spearfish. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Ardent tires 2.40″ up front and 2.25″ behind. Drivetrain is SRAM Eagle AXS with a 28T chainring, NOX wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs.
BAGS: Rogue Panda frame bag and top tube bag, Revelate Vole seat bag, Revelate Pronghorn bag and Rogue Panda downtube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Enlightened Equipment quilt and Inertia X-lite pad. I will also be carrying an eTrex 20 for navigation.

Jason Hanson

Age 49 / Florence, Arizona (USA)

Jason Hanson 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: 2019 Salsa Spearfish with SRAM 1×12 drivetrain, NOX wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs, Maxxis Ardent 2.4″ front 2.25″ rear, 28 tooth chainring, and Redshift stem.
BAGS: Salsa frame bag, Salsa top tube bag, Revelate seat bag, Revelate handlebar bag, Revelate Jerrycan bag, and Revelate Egress pocket bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outdoor Research bivy, Inertia X pad, and an eTrex 30 for navigation.

Tom Verry

Age 52 / Aspen, Colorado (USA)

Tom Verry 2021 AZT

BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2018 Scott Spark RC for the AZTR 300. Drivetrain is a 1×12 with a 30t up front and an E13 9-50 out back. The fork has been swapped out to a Fox 120mm for a little more cush and slackness than the stock 100mm. Maxxis Rekon 2.4 EXO+ F/R, SON dynamo w Sinewave beacon combined with a Voltaic 12.8 amp battery for light and power and a few 18650 batteries for a helmet-mounted Fenix.
BAGS: Frame and top tube bags by Teknikul out of Gunnison and a saddlebag by Apidura. Front carry is homemade, Revelate Gas Tank and Moose Trek stem bags. On the down tube is a Wolf Tooth bottle carrier and another zip-tied to the top tube. Other bottles can go in the stem bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Western Mountaineering 20-degree bag, 1/2″ foam pad (doesn’t leak!), Sierra Designs bivy. Navigation via a Wahoo Bolt and phone back up.

Taylor Lett

Age 39 / Dallas, Texas (USA)

Taylor Lett 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’m riding a Steel Chumba Terlingua with a Soma front fork. I will be running 40 x 22 singlespeed gearing with a SON hub up front, super wide dirt drops, and the fattest tires I can fit (the Rekon Race in the photo doesn’t have the clearance I need at the knobs, so I’m trying an Ikon. If that doesn’t work, I’ll panic scrounge for a fast-rolling 2” or 2.1” rear).
BAGS: My sleep setup, tools, and mini-pump are in a 13L dry bag strapped to the bars. I have two liter cages for a Nalgene and a Geopress. Snacks, first aid, more water, and probably a flannel are going in my backpack, and that’s about it.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gearing is the stiffest I’ve heard of anyone riding the AZT, so we’ll see how that goes. The Chumba is my daily rider, and buying the biggest rear cog I could find was way cheaper than springing for a new chainring, so that kind of decided gearing for me.
I guess the bike isn’t technically marketed for this kind of race either, but it’s the one I ride everywhere, and it’s handled everything I’ve thrown at it so far.

Melissa Ross

Age 36 / Laramie, Wyoming (USA)

Melissa Ross 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: For the 2021 Arizona Trail Race 300, I will be riding a Salsa Spearfish with Shimano XT. My tire selection includes new Maxxis Ardents. I will also have two bottles mounted on the front fork.
BAGS: The bag setup includes a frame bag, seat pack, handlebar bag, bento box, and bottle bags by Revelate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using the Garmin Fenix 6 Saphire for navigation and the Garmin inReach Mini for tracking. For lighting, I have the Fenix HM65R Headlamp and Fenix BC30 V2.0 Bike light. My shelter will be in the Original Bibler Bivy along with an REI Flash sleeping bag, Klymit Static-V sleeping pad, and a piece of recycled Tyvex for a ground cloth. I also have gaiters and a hair pick on hand for those sneaky cholla!

Derek Bartz

Age 34 / Forks, Washington (USA)

Derek Bartz 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: Revel Ranger. SRAM GX with a 30T chainring, SLX brakes, 2.6″ Honchos on Whisky rims, SP Dynamo hub, Chromag Trailmaster LTD saddle, and Whisky Millhouse bar.
BAGS: Ghost Cat Bags (Thanks dude!), Revelate Designs, Wayward Rider, JPaks, Salomon ADV 12 Vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outbound lighting has been a game changer for night riding.

Pete Schuster

Age 50 / Littleton, Colorado (USA)

Peter Schuster 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Spot Rocker SS with 30×21 gearing and 29 x 2.6″ tires. It has Whiskey Millhouse bars, Wolftooth grips, flat pedals with 5.10 shoes to keep my feet happy in the desert. Wheels have DT Swiss 240s hubs with Berd spokes for some extra cushioning over the chunk.
BAGS: JPaks in all the key spots and a few oddballs I had lying around that fit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Fenix lights with rechargeable batteries. My sleep system is a Syl nylon bivy, an SOL breathable bivy replacing a sleeping bag, and a small Big Agnes sleeping pad. Adidas Terrex puffy for cold nights and some cheap leg coverings to fight off the catclaw overgrowth. I’ll have my trusty Osprey Duro 15 on my back carrying my snacks and water, with another bladder in my frame bag along with some bottles to cover water needs over longer stretches.

Lindsay Nohl

Age 43 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

Lindsay Nohl 2021 AZT Rig

BIKE: I’ll be riding my trusty 2018 Pivot LES with Shimano drivetrain/brakes, Stan’s wheels, and Maxxis 2.4” Rekon tires. I’ll be trying out a 26T chainring with my 11-46 cassette on this adventure.
BAGS: Frame bag is from Rogue Panda and sports the Wyoming state flag buffalo. Handlebar bags are a combo of the Revelate Salty Roll inside the Oveja Negra Front End Loader with their Lunchbox bag on top. Also using a Revelate Mag-Tank and two Rockgeist Honeypots. Ditching my typical seatpost bag so I can use my dropper post for all the chunk. Carrying a Dakine Nomad 18L backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Western Mountaineering Caribou 35 degree bag with an OR Helium bivy, Therm-a-rest NeoAir Uberlight pad, and Big Agnes AXL pillow. Garmin eTrex 20 and a Wahoo Element Bolt to navigate. Lights are a combo of Light & Motion Vis 800 and Fenix PD36R. Two taped messages to myself on my handlebars: “Courage > Fear” and “For Owen” (my 15.5 year old best friend that will be heading to doggy heaven two days before the race start).

Steven Spicka

Age 48 / Gilbert, Arizona (USA)

Steven Spicka AZTR Rig

BIKE: I’ll be making my first attempt at the AZT 300 on a 2017 YT Jeffsy, 27.5. The rubber up front is 2.6″ Tervail Honcho and in the rear a Maxxis Aggressor 2.5″. Drivetrain is 1×12 with a 30T Oval chainring. New OneUp carbon bar and SQLabs seat and grips.
BAGS: The seatpack is from Roswheel, the frame bag from Blackburn, the gas tank and handle bar bags from RockBros, and finally the downtube from Rogue Panda. I’ll carry up to 3L of water in an Osprey hydration backpack, an additional 1L in a Moosetracks feedbag, and another 500 mL in a waterbottle on the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Shelter is provided by an Outdoor Research Helium Bivy and a REI Igneo 25°F bag.

Jackson Lester

Age 31 (turning 32 on the trail!) / Oakland, California (USA)

Jackson Lester 2021 AZTR Rig

BIKE: 2017 Kona Honzo CR Trail with a 130mm travel Fox fork. SP dynamo front hub on a carbon rim, connected to a B+M IQ-X for my illumination needs. Bontrager Line Elite 30 Carbon rear wheel. I replaced my self-built rear wheel with this after breaking five spokes since the start of this year’s Tour Divide, one after getting it entirely rebuilt with 32 new spokes in Salida. 12-speed Sram GX Eagle drivetrain with a 10-52 cassette and a 30 tooth chainring on a Shimano XT Crankset. Bontrager XR-4 2.4″ tire in the front and a Maxxis Crossmark II 2.25″ in the back. OneUp V2 210mm dropper post reduced down to 190mm with a Brooks B17 Special Ti Saddle.
BAGS: My Salsa Anything Cradle and drybag in the front holds my camping gear and clothing along with some extra food. I’ll have a small backpack for extra water and food on the trail. This will go along with two Revelate Feedbags, a Magtank, a Jerry Can, and a frame bag for food, tools, water, charging equipment, and all of the rest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: After ditching the bivvy sack for a tent on this year’s Tour Divide, I can’t go back. I loved being able to sit up and move around in my Big Sky Soul 1P tent.

Joe Dengler

Age 56 / Truckee, California (USA)

Joe Dengler 2021 AZTR Rig

BIKE: 2019 Epic adjusted for comfort. Sella Anatomica fits me well.
BAGS: Mostly revelate bags with a Louise seat post harness (nice and simple).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Five liters carrying capacity using bike jersey and front pack. Sol bivy, Fenix helmet and handle bar. No pack. Mailed pack and poles to south rim.

TrackerThe 2021 Arizona Trail Race kicks off tomorrow, October 28th at 7AM local time. Check out our event Tracker page to follow along on the Trackleaders map and watch for more updates like this one. Find it here and look for it linked on our home page under Dispatch throughout the race.

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