Rigs of the 2021 Colorado Trail Race (CTR)
We’re excited to present the Rigs of the 2021 Colorado Trail Race! Find details on more than 40 bikes here, including the gear this year’s riders are bringing along for their 530-mile Rocky Mountain journey from Durango to Denver…
Prime Colorado Trail riding conditions are here, and that means several dozen brave souls are gearing up for a roughly 530-mile ride from Durango to Denver. The Colorado Trail travels through the Rocky Mountains and includes around 300 miles of singletrack at elevations ranging from 5,500 feet to a hypoxic 13,200 feet. And with monsoon season well underway, riders can expect scorching hot daily highs in the valleys and the potential for snow and colder temperatures up high.
Currently, there are about 70 riders registered for the grand depart this Sunday, July 25th, with several others tackling independent time trials on their own schedule. As always, we’ve worked with the participants of this year’s event to collect bike and gear info for more than 40 riders who are pursuing the route. Scroll through and get a good look at everyone’s rigs and then head over to the 2021 Colorado Trail event page on Sunday to follow along live.
Age 38 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing my 2021 Revel Ranger! This will be my fourth time on this beautiful trail (first full-squish run!) so I’ve got her outfitted with a Rockshox SID fork, 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 four-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 JPAKS Dropperpak, Supreme Barrito handlebar pak, and two Ruksaks in liteskin LS21. I will also be wearing a Dakine Hot Laps 5L Fannypak!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using the Black Diamond Bipod Bivy with the Sea to Summit Spark for those moments of sleep. The key to success will be my Black Diamond Icon headlamp and Fenix BC30 bar light.
Age 55 / Aurora, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll have a Why Cycles Big Iron on my hip for this year’s CTR. It features a Wren inverted front fork, SRAM 1×12 drivetrain, and Crank Bros dropper post. The wheelset is built up with 29” Derby wheels/Fatsno hubs running 2.6” Maxxis Rekons.
BAGS: Custom JPaks nose to tail in coyote brown X-Pac. Includes bolted FramePak, SnakPak, DropperPak, Supreme Barrito, and 2 Ruksaks (one slightly oversized to fit Vargo pot).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system will consist of an Outdoor Research Helium bivy and Mountain Hardware puffy jacket/pants. I’ll be using a Garmin 1030+ for navigation, a Fenix PD35 bar light, and a Fenix LD15 light for the helmet.
Age 38 / San Francisco, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my Dean Duke. It’s a titanium softail with about 3″ of rear travel, similar to a Trek Supercaliber but made of metal.This bike is the result of spending way too much time looking at bike parts online during quarantine and being in the fortunate (or unfortunate) position to be able to act on my materialist compulsions. While you can tell that I am a total bike nut from the build, I truly believe that the bike is merely a key that can unlock experiences that transcend the material universe. These experiences are available equally to anyone in good health with a bike that goes and the urge to do the thing.
BAGS: The frame bag is a Rogue Panda bolt-in boy. The front roll is made by JPaks and is the perfect size to not let me overload the front of my bike. Seat bag and toptube bag are made by Rockgeist.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Has to be the many many peanut butter bacon date wraps that I will be stuffing every available space on my bike. Also, the little wooden Thai massage tool a friend gave me.
Age 51 / Longmont, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’m riding my 2021 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 outfitted with SRAM GX. I got this bike with the CTR in mind because I wanted a downcountry bike that could handle adventurous terrain with the 120mm front and rear suspension but still be relatively light for climbing. I’m running Crank Brothers Candy pedals instead of my favorite Eggbeaters to better support more hike-able shoes. For tires, I’m using a Maxxis Rekon 2.4WT (Wide Trail) up front for steering traction paired with a Rekon Race 2.4WT in back for lower rolling resistance.
BAGS: I’m using mostly Bedrock Bags, including one of their custom frame bags, and a Revelate Mag Tank 2000. On the handlebars I have a BarYak Ultra paired with a BarYak Talon harness holding a Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack. I really like this handlebar setup because it’s really stable, keeps the bag slightly away from the head tube, and provides a little room for the cables.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Shoes are Specialized Rime 2.0. Sleep system is Sea to Summit Spark 18 degree sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite pad, and OR Helium bivy. Lights are Black Diamond Icon 700 (with replaceable AA batteries) and Fenix BC30 V2.0 (with replaceable CR123A batteries). I’ll be filtering water with a Katadyn BeFree and have 3.5 liters of carrying capacity on my body and bike. I’m not carrying a stove and will be cold-soaking dehydrated meals until I get to Buena Vista and beyond where fresh options are more available. On my body, I’m carrying an Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 5.0.
Age 41 / Blue River, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Santa Cruz Carbon Chameleon, Blended X01/GX build kit, Race Face stock wheelset, Maxxis Reccon 2.6” tires. SRAM G2 RSC Brakes, Reverb dropper.
BAGS: Bags are a mixture of Oveja Negra, Bedrock, and Revelate. Oveja Negra frame bag and snack pack. Bedrock Bags Bot bag and Dakota tank bag. Revelate Harness up front to hold any stuff sack and Revelate feedbags in the cockpit to hold snacks and a bottle. I’m riding without a seatpost bag so I can have full use of my dropper, despite being on the shorter side.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent and Sea to Summit Spark II ultralight sleeping bag make for a cozy sleep setup. Ortovox Zebru jacket has pretty much become my favorite and most amazing riding layer for cold conditions and might be the best 8.2oz that I’m carrying. Bedrock Bot bag on the downtube is amazing for taking just about anything and keeping the weight down low. Garmin Edge 830 for navigation.
Age 37 / Brevard, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2020 Salsa Spearfish, SRAM drivetrain/brakes, 28T chainring, and Industry Nine wheels. I’m running Ergon GA3 grips with some custom ESI grips inside those for my old man hand problems and a WTB Silverado saddle.
BAGS: I’m running mostly Revelate Design bags with a nice mix of colors/patterns (whatever was in stock!) and a Rockgeist top tube bag for easy access to my favorite snacks. My seat bag is an Ortlieb M Pack compatible with a dropper.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be carrying my ZPacks Hexamid tent that I’ve been using for over eight years now, along with my 32°F Mountain Hardware sleeping bag and a Neoair sleeping pad.
Age 34 / Littleton, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’m racing a 2021 Specialized Epic Evo with a 28T chainring and an Eagle cassette in the back. My wife was kind enough to lend me her Pike since my actual fork may not show up until 2025. It also has a 500-watt motor hidden in the seat tube for Stony Pass.
BAGS: Strapped to my bike are a MYOG frame bag, downtube bag, Jerrycan and harness, JPaks Footlong, Rockgeist Gondola and some Revelate Feedbags that might outlive me. Water will live in my USWE pack on my back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A SOL bivy with a very light sleeping bag will allow me a brief respite from the torture of relentless forward motion. Rain gear is a ZPacks Vertice jacket with some REI rain pants I hemmed to keep out of my chainring.
Age 65 / St. Paul, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: Jones Plus LWB (no suspension) modified for belt drive using a Rohloff hub. 29 x 2.5” Surly ETs mounted to carbon rims, 45mm wide. Thudbuster seat post and Redshift stem.
BAGS: Ortlieb handlebar roll contains sleep system and puffy. Salsa seat bag contains rain gear, spare socks, stuff to keep warm, mostly Merino wool. Revelate frame bag has water filtration, medical, and tool kit. Revelate fork bags contain food and water bottle. Revelate gas tank contains snacks. Apidura bags mount water bottles to the handlebars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Power is by battery cache and backup. Main battery on bars for easy hookup.
Age 43 / Buena Vista, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: For CTR 2021 I am opting for the Canyon Neuron. This 130mm front/rear travel trail bike has proven to be the perfect big mountain companion. It’s very efficient, lightweight, and can easily handle the varied terrain found on the Colorado Trail. The drivetrain is the tried and true Shimano XTR paired to a 28T XT front chainring. Tires are the ole reliable Maxxis Ardent and Rekon, both in 2.4″ width.
BAGS: All bags are from Topeak except the frame bag, which is a stock Revelate Design Full-Suspension Frame Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: 2021 will see the largest kit I’ve ever carried on a CTR attempt. Obviously, I want to cover ground fast, but the end goal is to simply make it to Denver.
Age 48 / Gunnison, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Why Cycles El Jefe, size large. Singlespeed, 33×24. Pike Ultimate 130mm fork. SRAM Guide G2 RSC, 180mm rotors. Revel R30 Wheels, I9 Hydra rear, SON Dynamo front. Rekon 29 x 2.6” EXO+ rear with Cushcore XC, Rekon 29 x 2.8” front. 125mm Fox Transfer. Answer 20/20 bars with inner bar ends.
BAGS: Bags are a mix of homemade framebag, downtube roll, front roll, and tiny saddlebags, plus a dope ass JPaks Footlong and Feedbag. Also will have a small hydration vest at the start with a water bladder, both pack and bladder will fit in frame bag as food is consumed.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Gear is a refined bit of go fast, go light mountain essentials. A good bit of clothing to handle the weather, super simple Escape bivvy sleep set up, Befree filter, 2 Liter bladder, 1 bottle. Good bike repair kit, simple first aid kit, simple hygiene kit. Lights: Klite Bikepacker Ultra and Fenix PD35/~6 18650 batteries.
Age 41 / Durango, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Trek Fuel EX 9.9 “Truvy.” Pretty much stock build, but mods for the CT include new-ish Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35” tires front and rear, a Wolftooth 28T front chainring, and a 11-52 rear cassette. Ergon grips to keep my hands and wrists happy.
BAGS: Mostly Bedrock bags: custom made (and perfect fit) frame bag, Coconino handlebar bag, Sinbad stash under the downtube, and Tapeats handlebar bag for extra bottle. Revelate Vole for more clearance on the saddle, and a Revelate gas tank.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bontrager 700 lumen Ion lights (2) which have a magnet attachment to my Bontrager Circuit helmet for easy on/off. Favorite item was my MP3 player filled with about 500 motivational songs ranging from Glass Animals to the Greencards, Zac Brown Band, Justin Townes Earle, Stevie Nicks, The Oh Hellos, Bear’s Den, Kid Cudi, all kinds of random good tunes which were much needed on those long uphill death marches.
Age 46 / Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: Canyon LUX with 100mm Travel F/R. Full XTR components with Wolf Tooth 30T chainring and four-piston trail brakes. I’ll be starting with fresh drivetrain, brake pads and Maxxis Ikon 2.25” tires. I’ve removed the dropper post in an attempt to mitigate a failure point and descend less aggressively.
BAGS: I’ll be keeping the luggage simple with a size small Revelate Pronghorn bar bag, which will carry my sleep system, tarp, and puffy jacket. I’m using a size medium Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seat Bag for spare clothes and my sleep mat. Lastly, I’m carrying an Osprey Syncro 20L hydration pack to keep tools and rain clothes close at hand, as well as for food volume and additional water capacity when needed. Some people hate backpacks, but I don’t mind them, and while I have some SUL backpacking bags, an MTB-specific pack carries much better and is worth the weight penalty.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love cowboy camping and will be sleeping under the stars as much as possible, however, I am carrying a Zpacks Pocket Tarp and Ruta Locura Bivy to go with an old school, but custom, Nunatak Catabatic sleeping bag. For me, this is a versatile and tried and true system I’ve used for many years. Electronics are also simple with a pair of Exposure Race and Axis lights, a Garmin 530, and an Anker 13000mAh power bank with an annoying variety of cables.
Age 47 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Colorado Trail Race full-on fat bike on a Why Cycles Big Iron that I’ve nicknamed “Big Hope,” with SRAM XO1 and Magura MT Sport Disc Brakes. Wheels are 27.5” by Nextie with Hope Pro4 Fatsno hubs and 45NRTH Vanhelga tires, built by Elevation Wheel Company in Colorado Springs.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Sweetroll Handlebar Bag, Mag Tank Top Tube Bag with two Mountain Feedbag Handlebar Bags, and a Jerrycan Seatpost Bag. The frame bag is Oveja Negra and the seat bag is the dropper post-compatible by Arkel Seatpacker 9.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love my Mission Workshop backpack and am using the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 tent, REI Magma 30, and a Sea to Summit UL Air Mat. I’m using the Garmin Edge 830 with the Garmin Charge Power Pack for navigation and the InReach Mini for tracking. My headlight is the Moon Meteor Vortex Pro.
Age 42 / Hesperus, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’m extremely grateful to be celebrating the 2021 CTR on my Salsa Carbon Horsethief XTR… minus the XTR rear derailleur thanks to a rock last month. Easton Carbon hoops laced to I9 Hydras with 2.6″ Rekons. Wolf tooth 28T oval up front. Ergon on contact points.
BAGS: Salsa EXP frame bag holds the repair stuff, the 100oz water bag, and a jacket. Food and gear are in multiple generations of Revelate Designs- Jerry Can, Mag Tank, older small Sweetroll, Mountain Feed Bag, and a Vole (why do they not still make this!?). Also a relic Defiant feed bag. Together, they keep me backpack free!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The small stuff matters, like the totally awesome Rockgeist Spacelink, so clean and sexy in the cockpit. Google it and drool! Can’t really enjoy type 2 fun without the Outdoor Tech Buckshot speaker bumping bluegrass and 90s hip hop.
Andy Wenberg (aka Midnight Grizzly)
Age 41 / Leadville, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be pedaling and hiking with a Specialized Fuse on an obsolete foundation of 27.5+ wheels. Maxxis 2.8” Rekons will be my hooves on the ground, guiding me through the rocky tech. Going with a 30T Wolf Tooth chainring up front and 12-speed 52T in the rear. Skipping the Dynamo on this trip and opting for the Exposure Toro light with external battery pack to charge electronics from.
BAGS: Loading up a Revelate Pronghorn bag on the bars with the size small stuffsack. Off the tail will be Revelate’s Shrew seat bag. I’ll also carry an Oveja Negra Top Tube bag and will be wearing a lightweight running vest with 2L bladder and room for food. Skipping the frame bag in an effort to make lifting and carrying the bike easier. I’ll rock two bottles on the frame as well as a Katadyn filter soft bottle in my vest and purification drops.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation will be done using a Wahoo Roam computer. Sleep will happen in an MSR bivy and well-used Big Agnes 35°F sleeping bag. The sleeping pad is staying home. Mounted on the top tube is a Wolf Tooth tool bag.
Chris and Marni Plesko
Age 39 / Westminster, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: For this year’s CTR, we’ll be racing “The Parent Trap” our 2021 Fandango 29er from MTB Tandems with SRAM AXS 1×12 (32-10/52). We have an MRP Ribbon front suspension and a Thudbuster suspension seatpost for the stoker. Our wheels are 36 spoke NOX Composites rims laced to SON28 and DT Swiss hubs with tubeless 2.6” Maxxis Rekons.
BAGS: The majority of our gear and food is stored in custom JPaks frame and seat bags. We’re also running Revelate Feedbags for captain and stoker and a Revelate Pronghorn holding our sleep kit on the stoker handlebars. Salomon Adv Skin 12 hydration vests round out our storage options.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Our sleep kit is a mix of Western Mountaineering and Montbell bags and bivies, with Marni using an inflatable pad and Chris using a thin foam pad. Lighting is provided by the outstanding kLite Ultra MTB dyno-powered lights up front with backup Fenix HR50R headlamps. We’re bringing a canister stove and Ti pot to cook meals and hot drinks along with head-to-toe rain gear and synthetic hooded puffy jackets. Tracking is provided by a Garmin inReach mini.
Age 40 / Flagstaff, Arizona (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be trying to finish clean, with all my skin intact aboard my Why S7 mullet. The bike features burly, mixed wheels (29 x 2.5” Minion DHF front and 27.5 x 2.5” Morsa rear for ALL of the rolling resistance) with Industry Nine hubs, a 10-50T SRAM drivetrain with a 28T chainring.
BAGS: A hodge-podge featuring Oveja Negra (cockpit: Front End Loader, Lunchbox, and a pair of Chuckbuckets; 2 Snackpacks on the top tube), but also an expandable frame bag (Serfas) and Rockgeist Gondola seatbag paired with a Wolftooth Valais allowing me to use most of my dropper travel.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Onyx tarp paired with a SOL bivy and a Feathered Friends Flicker ultralight quilt will hopefully keep me dry and warm during the banner monsoon we are expecting this year. This year I’ll bring a GPS (eTrex 20x) and a light (Fenix PD35). The keystone of my first aid/repair kit includes sutures and an ultralight multi-tool/needle driver for trailside gear and skin repair.
Age 40 / Klamath Falls, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: 2017 Specialized Fuse with Fox 34 120mm fork, and (mostly) Shimano components including a 1×11 28T/11-42T drivetrain. The rubber meets the trail with fresh Maxxis Rekon front and Ardent Race rear tires on 29” Stans Arch MK3 hoops and Onyx hubs. Fenix HM65R headlamp and BC30 v2.0 bar light. PNW riser handlebars and dropper post. Ergon grips and saddle.
BAGS: A mix of hand-me-downs and new stuff. Revelate frame, bar, and seat bags holding a one-person tent, 30°F sleeping bag, and Nemo air mattress. Wolf Tooth B-Rad pump bag and Blackburn Outpost wrap bag on the downtube holding Tubolitos, tools, and misc. Nathan TrailMix 12L Race backpack for hydration and lighter layers (arm, knee warmers, light shell).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite piece of gear is the fast and silent Onyx rear hub. I love riding without noisy hub whizzz. A pleasant bell helps me not be too sneaky! I’ll be navigating with a Garmin InReach Mini, Wahoo Element Bolt, and phone.
Age 40 / Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Salsa Cycles Spearfish size large with Fox suspension. My wheels are custom Velocity USA Blunt SS rims hand-built to Industry Nine Hydra hubs. The wheels are wrapped in Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.35” tires. To keep the bike moving forward, I’m using a Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain w/ 30T Wolf Tooth CAMO chainring. To handle the rugged terrain, I’ll be running a BikeYoke 125mm dropper, which leaves clearance for the seatbag. Shimano XT trail pedals are for extra foot support with my more flexible trail shoes. To keep the hands happy, I’ll be using an ENVE M5 carbon handlebar with stubby Profile Design bar ends, ESI Extra Chunky Grips, and custom foam padding on the center bar sections and bar ends.
BAGS: A Salsa Cycles EXP framebag will hold my tools, spare parts, personal items, water filtration, and extra food. A Rockgeist Gondola Large VX-21 seat pack will carry my rain gear, extra wool socks, extra gloves, and misc warm pieces. The Revelate Designs Pronghorn handlebar setup will carry a sleeping bag, bivy, long underwear, and wool hat for sleeping. My Three Toes Threadworks (retired) custom bolt-on top tube bag will be home to my snacks, chapstick, sunscreen, and small items. Lastly, a Revelate Designs snack bag will serve as a holster for my high-calorie drink mix.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: It’s looking like monsoons will be upon us this year so I’m rocking a full Gorewear hooded rain jacket and pants. To light my way during the nights, I’m using the Lupine Lights Piko 7 SmartCore helmet light system with a USB adapter to charge my phone and Garmin as well. For navigation, I’ll be relying on a Garmin Edge 830, and my iPhone will have maps.me loaded with the route for backup. An Orange Mud hydration pack will carry two liters of water for me with extra room for food/snacks to cover the long stretch from Silverton to Buena Vista.
Age 33 / Durango, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 140mm travel on my Fox performance Elite 34. 120mm in the back on The Fox float. Maxxis DHF 2.4 and DHR 2.5” tires on Santa Cruz Reserve rims. Shimano XT 1×12 on 30T drivetrain.
BAGS: Locally sourced Bedrock bags (custom frame, Moab bar, Black Dragon seat post, and Dakota tank) except for one hand-me-down top tube snack bag.
Age 28 / Vanlife (USA)
BIKE: Chumba Sendero Steel. Singlespeed 32 x 22 with 2.4” Maxxis Rekons. SON dynamo with Sinewave Beacon headlight.
BAGS: All bags made by me, Dispersed Bikepacking. Small hip pack not pictured.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus for navigation, inReach mini for tracking. Bluetooth speaker to keep me up at night.
Age 41 / Scranton, Pennsylvania (USA)
BIKE: I figured a bike from Colorado would understand this trail best, so I’m riding a 2021 Revel Ranger with SID suspension, XO drivetrain, Code RSC brakes, Revel Wheels with Industry Nine 1-1 hubs. For tires, I have 2.4 Maxxis Dissector in front and 2.4” Maxxis Rekon rear. Hoping that my Ergon GA3 grips on ENVE bars will keep the hand numbness at bay. Dropped to a 30T chainring and 10-52 cassette for the steep grinds. Oh, and Deity TMAC pedals.
BAGS: Custom Rogue Panda frame bags and top tube bag. I had Nick and his team print green/yellow topo pattern I designed. Also had a double frame bag made so I could pull the lower one and run a bottle for daily trail rides. Bedrock Bags Black Dragon dropper seatbag and Tapeats. Oveja Negra Chuckbucket. Revelate Pronghorn (medium). And I might throw on a Rogue Panda Oracle downtube bag if I start panic packing before the start. I’ll be wearing an Osprey Synco 20 for hauling water, light gear, and burritos.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m excited to use my Timmermade Newt quilt/bag that I sewed and stuffed while helping Dan out last year. Also hoping my OR Helium bivy is roomy enough to get some rest. I’ll have an InReach for tracking and an Edge 830 for navigation. Also, 10,000 calories in Combos.
Age 24 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be hauling my Surly Karate Monkey up (and down) the Colorado Trail. 29 x 2.6” Maxxis Forekaster in the rear, 29 x 2.6” Maxxis Rekon in the front, both tubeless. PNW dropper post with a Brooks C17 to care for my bum. The aggressive geometry + dropper post means this bike absolutely rips downhill. 1×11 mostly Shimano Deore drivetrain squeezing a 51T ring in the rear and a 28T front chainring for an epic granny gear. Ergon GA3 grips and Rockshox Pike (130mm travel) fork.
BAGS: Framebag and gas tank homemade by Dad and Grandma with love (thanks fam!). Sea to Summit Big River dry bag up front held by a Salsa Anything Cradle. Blackburn Outpost Elite seat pack in dropper post mode, and an Outpost cargo cage sporting a wide-mouth 2L Nalgene underneath for maximum snack storage. Three-liter Hyrdapak in my backpack for H2O.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Germin Inreach Mini for tracking and SOS. Knowing the route somewhat well, I decided to go phone only for navigation (using OSMAND+ to look at the GPX track when needed). Two Light in Motion Urban 1000 headlamps for night riding. VARGO BOT 700 and MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe to fuel my instant mashed potato addiction. Specialized Rime 2 shoes. Last CT I destroyed a brand new pair of Shimano XC5s, I’m hoping the Rimes hold up a bit better. OR Helium bivy for keeping somewhat dry and Big Agnes Lost Ranger sleeping bag for staying warm. A top-notch attitude to carry me all the way home!
Age 28 / Vanlife (USA)
BIKE: Chumba Sendero set up singlespeed 32 x 24.
BAGS: Framebag, feedbags, and top tube bag made by Andrew Strempke using solar power in our van at Dispersed Bikepacking. Osprey Sirrus 24 backpack to get a little weight off the bike for hike-a-bike sections.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Do Little Debbie snacks count as gear?
Age 50 / Littleton, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: For my fifth run on CTR, my single speed will be hanging in my garage and will be running full squish and 12 speeds! My Spot Ryve 115 has a mix of Shimano and SRAM AXS drivetrain bits, Shimano XT brakes, Wolftooth CAMO spider and grips, Bike Yoke Divine dropper, and Berd Wheels with I9 hubs and Conti rubber.
BAGS: JPaks Footlong, Seat bag, and two-piece custom frame bag.
Age 28 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Colorado Trail on a 2020 Kona Sutra LTD. The bike is rolling on Maxxis Ardents with a 2.4” up front, 2.25” in the rear, and absolutely no clearance for mud. I’ve also swapped in a 30T chainring and installed a 100mm PNW Coast Suspension Dropper.
BAGS: Most of my gear is carried by my main workhorse, the Rockgeist custom full frame bag. For food, I have a Revelate Terrapin seat pack, Gas Tank top tube bag, and Feedbag, as well as an Oveja Negra Bootlegger. For my sleep system, I dug up an old Sea to Summit dry bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Patagonia Black Hole hip pack will serve as my tool bag, apart from being super stylish, it holds an astounding number of tire boots, which I expect to use all of due to the 50-pound base weight and lack of suspension.
Age 57 / Omaha, Nebraska (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing a 2021 Specialized Epic with XTR pedals, Profile Designs aero bars with a custom mount for my Garmin eTrex 20x, headlight, solar charger, and watch. The rear tire is a Rene Herse with the Endurance + sidewall to resist shredding. The front tire is a Schwalbe Smart Sam DD with a little more traction and also a strong sidewall. The grips are Ergon GP3s, with the seat being an aging DiamondBack.
BAGS: All the bags are Revelate Designs, and I’ll be wearing an Osprey Syncro 20 with a 2.5-liter water reservoir and a bottle in one of my feedbags for electrolyte mixing.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I cut down a tent fly for my shelter to cover part of my bike and all of me for good protection and a quick set up. I stow one short pole and a couple of stakes in the folded-up sleeping pad. The solar charger is a concept, as through my research it seems battery-powered lights are normal, but I like to test and innovate so we’ll see if it works. Worst case is I can’t ride as long as I would like during dark hours, although I will carry a battery-powered light as a backup. I’m going a little heavy my first time out but I plan on finishing. All inspiration for the bike, bags, and determination go to the amazing Lael Wilcox and Eliza Sampey.
Age 50 / Longmont, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding (not racing) the CT southbound on my trusty 2013 Pivot Les. I ride with Shimano XT 1×11 with an 11-46 cassette and a 28T Wolftooth chainring, Crank Brothers Stamp pedals, and PNW dropper post. Wheels are Stans Arch MK3. I use a Fox 32 fork and Ergon GA3 grips. Tires are Maxxis Ardent 2.4” on the front and Aggressor 2.5” on the rear. I use a Selle Anatomica R2 saddle.
BAGS: Bags include a Revelate frame bag, gas tank, and Vole seat bag. On the handlebars, I use a Revelate harness with a Sea to Summit 20l dry bag, and two Revelate feed bags. I also wear a Deuter Transalp backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For sleeping gear, I use a MSR Hubba tent, REI magma quilt, Sea to Summit sleeping pad. I carry an MSR pocket rocket stove and a small cook kit. I use my phone and Gaia GPS for navigation and I carry an Anker 10,000 mAh backup battery.
Age 35 / Carbondale, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be on my S-Works Epic EVO built up with a SID Ultimate and SRAM Eagle AXS with a 30T chainring. Wheels are Aloha Custom Carbon courtesy of Aloha Mountain Cyclery here in Carbondale, laced to a Chris King rear hub and a SON 28 dynamo front. Tires are Rekon 2.4 WT, front and rear. Stoked to give it a go on a full-suspension after riding last year’s ITT on a hardtail. Some added hand comfort this time around is courtesy of Fasst Company flex bars and SQ Labs inner bar ends.
BAGS: Custom frame bag by Rockgeist, stuffed full of muddy buddies and Snickers. Some other well-loved and trusted bags from Bedrock include an Entrada handlebar bag and a Black Dragon seat bag that allows a small but useful amount of dropper travel without rear tire rub. Top tube bags are from Oveja Negra.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep kit is an OR Helium bivy, Enlightenment Equipment quilt, and a Big Agnes UL pad. An ultrarunning backpack will carry a bit of water, filter, and provide overflow food storage. Sinewave Beacon dynamo light/charger is connected to a Cinq5 Smart Power Pack II cache battery (actually stays reasonably well charged even at slow speeds). Rain gear is packed, let’s do this!
Age 36 / Longmont, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding a large Pivot Trail 429 on 29 x 2.35” Maxxis Ardent Race tires with Cushcores installed front and rear. 28T Absolute black chainring. Fox 34 up front, and a Fox DPS shock.
BAGS: Revelate Designs handlebar and feed bags, Rockgeist frame, and saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep setup is a UL bivy, rain tarp, Sea to summit Sleeping bag, and full-size pad. Exposure MK15 light paired with a headlamp for a few night miles.
Age 51 / Superior, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Specialized Epic Evo with RockShox SID Ultimate 120mm and Continental Cross King & Race King Bernstein Edition tires. SQLabs Flex handlebar with ESI Chunky grips, Selle Italia saddle and SRAM XX1 Eagle with Wolf Tooth ring.
BAGS: Custom Rockgeist frame bag, two Rockgeist Honeypots, Revelate Jerry can and Gas Tank, and a Wayward Louise harness for the seat bag, with a OR Beaker dry bag. On the handlebar, a bar extension experiment/hack that holds a Sea to Summit bag with my sleeping kit and an Exposure Toro light. I’ll also be carrying an Ultimate Direction vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Klymit Inertia X Light sleeping pad, Montbell Peak Dry Shell and Ground Effect Limousine merino shorts.
Age 57 / Louisville, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be aboard my trusty Scott Scale RC 900 Hardtail. Driven by a SRAM Eagle drivetrain running a 10-50T cassette and a 30T chainring. Wheels are Stans Crest ZTR, the tires are Maxxis 29 x 2.35” Ikons, and the brakes are Shimano XTR.
BAGS: All Revelate except for a fuel bag. Saddle bag is a 10L Spinelock, frame bag is a Ranger, and the handlebar bag is a Revelate Harness with a Saltyroll dry bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have some merino wool tops (trying to mitigate the stinkiness), puffy jacket, 30°F quilt, and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 tent. Hopefully, I’ll get some decent sleep at night to help a little with the recovery. I’m no spring chicken anymore, and I will need quality rest.
Age 34 / Longmont, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I will be pedaling an RSD MiddleChild Aluminum v2 hardtail. It is set up with 140mm Pike, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain with 28T sprocket, Ardent 29 x 2.4” tires front/rear, and Ergon saddle/grips.
BAGS: Running an assortment of bags. Custom frame bag by Smooth Mountain. Revelate Harness, Joey Down Tube Bag, Mag Tank, and Jerrycan. Ortlieb saddlebag and Sea to Summit Compression Sack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Enlightened Equipment Quilt paired with a Sea to Summit pad is the most comfortable setup I have owned. Will get some good sleep in my downtime when I am not riding during the night with my Outbound Lighting setup!
Age 50 / Los Altos, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Colorado Trail southbound with Pat and John, and looking forward to seeing the northbound racers. I’ll be on a 2020 Ibis Ripley SLX, mostly stock except for a North Shore Billet 28T and Ergon grips.
BAGS: RockGeist Custom Split Framebag. Relevate Designs Harness, SaltyRoll, Mountain Feedbags (2x), Mag-Tank, Joey, & Vole. Osprey Raptor 14. Voile straps for holding rain gear on the top tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Lezyne Mega XL for navigation. Vinyl tubing (to keep the harness away from the headset). Little orange mascot (“Rumpus”) perched on the handlebar harness.
Age 34 / Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)
BIKE: 2020 Transition Spur with Wolf Tooth 30T oval chainring, +1 angleset for the all heady climbing, 2.4” Rekons, Ergon saddle, Fox 34 with huge stack height, and upped the brake rotors for the long descents. Cushy cockpit with Wolftooth mega paw cam grips, SQLabs inner bar ends with some old Karv grips added, and have a bear bell for the through-hikers.
BAGS: Custom frame bag by Smooth Mountain, jerry can/feed bags by Andrew Strempke, Revelate Designs gas tank/handlebar harness.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Stoked my homie Ben Hanus hooked me up with a fork a few days before the grand depart. Custom feed bags created to hold three frozen burritos each.
Age 34 / Golden, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: 2021 Specialized Epic Evo. SRAM Eagle drivetrain, BB Infinite BB/Pulley Wheels, Race Face Next SL w/ Stages Power Meter, 28T / 10-52T. XTR Brakes. RockShox Ultimate squishy bits. Ardent Race 2.35 + Cushcore XC for low pressures and lotsa grip. kLite MTB Ultra and Fenix HM50R headlamp. Stans Crest Carbon Wheels w/ SON28 Hub to keep the tunes banging in my ears. Garmin 530 so I don’t get lost. Garmin inReach Mini for the dot watchers.
BAGS: Evoc Handlebar Bag, Revelate Gas Tank, Revelate Mountain Feedbag x2, Revelate Terrapin 8L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: SOL Escape Bivvy, Sea To Summit Spark 40°F bag, Arcteryx Nuclei FL, Outdoor Research Rain Gear, Pearl Izumi kit and X-Project Pro shoes, Dakine Hot Laps 1L Fanny Pack, and inspirational notes from my fiance.
Age 35 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: XL Surly Krampus with a 140mm MRP Ribbon and a dynamo powering a Sinewave Beacon. What I am most stoked on is that I have nothing on my shoulders, just a fanny pack, and a tiny seat bag with only rain gear, and I am still carrying all my glamping items like a pillow, tarp over my bivy, down booties, and 16,000 calories while keeping a 160mm dropper post and staying playful. Behold the power of large triangle hardtails!
BAGS: Everything Revelate, except Oveja Negra Chuck Buckets and an Exile Designs x Rodeo Labs fanny pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m sleeping in a Borah bug bivy with a Nemo Tensor pad and Enlightened Equipment 40°F quilt, with a ZPacks Heximid tarp over that. I also use a Patagonia hooded Micropuff at night and to sleep in that they have kept going by sewing back whole for me after prior mishaps, a total must for me. My Shimano sunglasses, Pearl Izumi Alp-x shoes, Cotopaxi flat brim hat, and Sincere Cycles bottle all make me smile.
Age 32 / Jackson Hole, Wyoming (USA)
BIKE: Pivot Mach 4 SL, Industry 9 Wheels, AXS Eagle + AXS Dropper, 2.35” Mezcal tires.
BAGS: Everything Rockgeist
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure Maxx D headlight and Diablo helmet light, Wahoo Element Bolt, Ergon Grips and Saddle.
Age 43 / Palisade, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2020 Santa Cruz Blur C with a 120mm fork. Shimano components, PNW dropper and Maxxis Rekon tires (2.4” front/ 2.2 rear”).
BAGS: Revelate Designs full-suspension frame bag and Vole seat bag. Oveja Negra toptube bag and a Bedrock downtube bag. Simple handlebar bag for the bivy gear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Rear suspension and new rain gear.
Age 31 / Oakland, California (USA)
BIKE: 2017 Kona Honzo CR Trail with a 130mm travel Fox fork. SON dynamo front hub on a Nextie carbon rim, connected to a Sinewave Beacon for my charging and 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 34T chainring on a Shimano XT Crankset. Maxxis Ikon 2.35″ in the front and a Maxxis Crossmark II 2.25″ in the back. OneUp V2 210mm dropper post reduced down to 190mm to avoid my rear tire hitting the seatpack. Selle Anatomica X2 Saddle.
BAGS: The Blackburn Outpost Elite “Universal” Seatpack holds my first aid kit and clothing. I love that this bag lets me use a dropper post with seatpack, however it is far from “universal.” It won’t work with my favorite saddle, the Brooks B17. My Salsa Anything Cradle with a drybag in the front holds my camping gear and extra food. I also have two Revelate Feedbags, a Magtank, a Jerrycan, 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. I look forward to taking shelter in it during PM thunderstorms on the CTR.
Age 27 / Marquette, Michigan (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the 2021 Colorado Trail Race on a 2020 Trek Top Fuel with a 12-speed SRAM drivetrain and Reynolds Blacklabel XC 259 wheels. I have the Wolf Tooth double bottle set up and a WTB Rocket saddle. I use Magura MT8 brakes, Time XC8 pedals, and Maxxis Ikon 2.35” tires front and rear.
BAGS: I have the Bedrock Moab handlebar bag and the Bedrock Black Dragon seatpost bag. I use two bags on the top tube by Oveja Negra and Revelate. I have the Bedrock Honaker bag on the down tube that holds a Nalgene bottle. I also use a hydration pack from Orange Mud that holds two liters.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I use an eTrex 30 for navigation and carry three headlights. A Marmot Phase 30 keeps me warm inside a Big Agnes bivy.
Age 51 / Boulder, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: The bike will be doing a Westbound ITT of the Colorado Trail Race this year. The bike is a 2009 Kent Eriksen 29er hardtail welded by Brad Bingham. Kent founded Moots Cycles in 1981 in Steamboat Springs, CO. The bike is built with 10-speed Shimano XT/XTR components and a Chris King wheelset. Ardent 2.4” EXO tires were selected for durability. The fork is a 100mm Rock Shox SID, and true to old-school 29er geometry, the head angle is a steep 71 degrees without preload. The most unusual feature at this point is probably the 2x drive train, with a 22 x 36 climbing gear and a 36 x 11 haul-ass gear. The 2x drivetrain has wider gearing, shifts better, and has better chain angles when the system gets dirty and is in need of maintenance compared to a 1x.
BAGS: Bags are all from Revelate: Ranger frame bag, Terrapin seat pack, Mag Tank top tube bag, and a small Sweet Roll/Pocket on the handlebars. Two standard bottle mounts were added to the fork legs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Nemo 1P Hornet tent will be used instead of a tarp given that thunderstorm weather is predicted. Those that are prepared will sleep better and keep riding another day.
Age 35 / Taos, New Mexico (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding an Advocate Cycles Hayduke SS 32 x 22 with an Absolute Black oval chainring up front.
BAGS: Rogue Panda frame bag, JPaks footlong top tube bag, and a rigged-up handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gear highlight is the big ol Race Face flat pedals so I can wear some comfy shoes and not destroy my feet.
To everyone taking on the Colorado Trail this year, good luck and have fun!
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