Rigs of the 2022 Trans North Georgia Adventure (TNGA)
The Trans North Georgia Adventure (TNGA) is a 350-mile route through the mountains of Georgia on trails, forest roads, and paved roads featuring challenging terrain, beautiful scenery, and a whole lot of climbing. With help from the riders, we’ve gathered details on over 40 rigs, complete with gear and bag highlights…
Each year, a group of brave cyclists lines up on the South Carolina/Georgia border in preparation for the Trans North Georgia Adventure (TNGA). This challenging event follows a 350-mile course through some of the most beautiful terrain in the state, weaving its way through the southern Appalachian mountains all the way to Alabama, following trails, dirt roads, and technical singletrack. Last year, more 100 riders were registered for the grand depart, and at least 30 scratched within the first three days due to humidity and heavy rain—a challenging combination that is unfortunately not uncommon for the TNGA. While there were some blazing fast riders out there, James Dunaway’s 2019 record of 45 hours and 52 minutes still stands, and we’re curious to see who will challenge it this year.
There are currently more than 70 riders registered for the event on Trackleaders, which takes off from Mountain Rest, South Carolina, at 8 a.m. tomorrow. 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 tackling the route. Scroll through and get a good look at everyone’s rig, and then head over to the 2022 TNGA event page to follow along live.
Age 36 / Donegal, Pennsylvania (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding a Salsa Fargo 29+ steel frame with a Rockshox SID Ultimate 100mm suspension fork. Derby carbon wheels with a dynamo front hub and an Onyx rear hub, all rolling on teravail Ehline 29 x 2.5s. A SRAM GX rear derailleur with white industries cranks and chainring and mechanical disc brakes by Paul Components. This bike was stripped down from stock and built up by Hope Cyclery in Johnstown, PA.
BAGS: Revelate Designs frame and top tube bag, Roadrunner Buoy bag strapped onto a Salsa anything cradle on the front, and another one strapped to the seat.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be using a Cinq5 stem cap to keep my Garmin inReach, Outbound Lighting Hangover light, and Wahoo Element Roam charged. King Cage bottle cages will hold 2-20oz bottles on the frame and 2-32oz Nalgenes will be on the fork.
Age 42 / Greenville, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: My bike for this adventure will be a Salsa Fargo, dynamo hub, Whisky Mustache bars, and a SRAM Eagle cassette. As for tyres, 2.1″ Specialized Pathfinders.
BAGS: I will be running a half frame bag, handlebar feedbags, top tube bag, and Jerry can/seatpost bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite bike accessory is my alternate handlebar, which I think gives me the best of both flat bars and drop bars. They allow me to use MTB shift/brake levers and they have several hand position options. A recent addition to this bike is a Redshift stem to tame some of the vibrations. kLite will provide my main light with a rechargeable headlamp for added support. Navigation will be from a Wahoo Bolt.
Age 35 / Fairhope, Alabama (USA)
BIKE: Cannondale Scalpel with 1x Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain (34T), Fox suspension, Look X-Track En-Rage Plus Ti pedals, Fox Transfer 150mm dropper, Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance+ tires, Silca Ultimate Tubeless Sealant, and Enve M25 wheels.
BAGS: Apidura handlebar and saddle bags. Tailfin packs on toptube and fork. Revelate Designs Mountain Feed Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Minimal night riding is my plan so Light and Motion Urban 1000 headlight, Nemo tent, and a Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation.
Age 31 / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the TNGA on my 2015 Specialized Fatboy on 4.8” Maxxis Minion FBF tires, 1×12 drivetrain with a 28T absoluteBlack oval ring, Industry Nine Hydra rear hub, and OneUp carbon handlebars.
BAGS: Oveja Negra framebag, Revelate Joey, three Feedbags, Mag-Tank, Sea-to-Summit drybag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Topeak Fat Rack, Topeak Cargo Net, two Stashers 3-Can bags, Pinhoti sticker covering chipped paint on the stock fork.
Age 27 / Brevard, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding my 2022 Kona Unit X (XL) with Whisky Parts Co. No.9 ST fork, Whisky Parts Co. Milhouse bars, Wolf Tooth mega fat paw grippers, Deity Copperhead 32mm stem, SRAM GX AXS shifty bits, XO1 10-52T cassette, XX1 chain, X1 eagle carbon crankset, Wolf Tooth 34T Powertrac chainring, Shimano Deore stoppers, Industry Nine Hydra rear hub laced to a 37mm Reserve hoop, SP dynamo front hub laced to a WTB 37mm hoop, WTB 2.6″ Ranger rubbers, Tannus tubeless insert in my rear, and a PNW Range 200mm dropper post.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Mag Tank 2000, Blackburn Outpost frame bag, Ortlieb accessory pack, Ortlieb saddle-bag two.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Muc-Off bar end tubeless puncture repair kit, SP PD-8X dynamo front hub with wired kLite front light and charging system, Reserve Tubeless valves (these valves are bitchin’), Rockgeist Spacelink, Velo Orange Mojave Nalgene bottle holder, Brooks C17 saddle, Fidlock bottle between my thighs, and enough caffeine to kill a horse.
Age 43 / Smyrna, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: Twin Six FSU Titanium custom with “klunker” style portage bar. 27.5×3.0″ Teravail tires. Whisky carbon hoops on Onyx hub and SON Dynamo. Moonmen Ti handlebars. Rigid Whisky carbon fork with Cane Creek eeSilk suspension stem. 1X12 Shimano XT and XTR crank/Wolf Tooth 32T Oval chainring.
BAGS: Andrew The Maker custom frame bag, Andrew The Maker top tube bag. Revelate Designs Terrapin saddlebag. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 bikepacking tent bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: ATM frame bag holds 1.5L water with hidden straw routing with magnetic clip to the handlebars. Selle Anatomica saddle. SON dynamo powering kLite headlight and USB devices. Wolf Tooth Ti cages. REI Flash Air Hammock. Navigation by Garmin Edge 830.
Age 30 / Greenville, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I’m riding a 2021 Specialized Chisel frameset built up with a SID 120mm fork and SRAM AXS 30/10-52T drivetrain. I had a SRAM rear derailleur die on me a few weeks ago during a Trans WNC attempt, I hope that was just a fluke, so I’m keeping with the same drivetrain. I just had a Spank 350 rim laced to a PD8X Dyno hub built up, and I’ll be running the kLite Gravel light. The cockpit is a mash-up. I’ve got the Salsa Rustler bar, with Wolf Tooth Fat Paw grips, SQlab inner bar ends, and the Ritchey Mini Aero bars. I’ll be running a Wahoo Element Roam for my GPS w/ RWGPS back up on my phone. I’m really digging this cockpit at the moment. I’ll run a Oneup 150mm Dropper and Ergon SMC GEL saddle. For tires, I have the Renegade 2.35″ T5 out back with a Fastrak 2.35″ T7 upfront, both with Tannus tire inserts and Orange Seal. Staying free of a Hydration pack this ride and going with two bottles mounted to the fork and one in the triangle.
BAGS: I’m keeping it pretty minimal on the bags. I’m only running an Oveja Negra Super Wedgie, which fits this frame like a glove, and two small feed bags by a local company here in Greenville, Spare Cycling. I have a small Silca tool roll on the seat.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This TNGA, I’m allowing myself a couple of luxuries. The first is the dynamo setup. I honestly don’t want a bike without a dynamo anymore! The second is a solid upgrade to a Rapha Gore-tex rain jacket because chances are it’s going to get wet, and my old rain jackets never were that great.
Age 42 / Madison, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I will be making my first TNGA attempt on my Specialized Chisel. Drivetrain is the stock SRAM 12-speed, but I am running a small 30T chainring for the hills. Thomson seat post, short RaceFace stem, and wide Deity 787 bars with my bar ends from 20 years ago. New Maxxis 29 x 2.3″ tires, HOPE PRO4 Hubs, SRAM Level TL Brakes.
BAGS: Custom frame bag and feed bins were made locally in Athens, GA, by Mac Gibbs of Classic City Bags. The main frame pack bolts to the five bottle cage bosses, which is solid and super clean. Rear saddle bag is the Rockgeist Mr. Fusion with a 10L dry bag. I have bottle cages on each fork lower and two more on the front of my bars (four bottle positions). I mounted Specialized SWAT Boxes on the fork lowers for all my spare parts, tools, tubes, levers, and tape.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 530, NiteRider Boost hard mounted under the Garmin, NiteRider Micro helmet mounted, NiteRider tail light, inflatable sleeping pad and pillow, Kelty Noah’s Tarp 9’, sleeping bag liner.
Age 62 / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I am a first-timer to the TNGA riding a basically stock 2021 Trek Supercaliber with a 1×12 drivetrain.
BAGS: I will be using a combination of Revelate Designs bags, including a frame bag, top tube, and sweet roll bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigating with iPhone 11, Garmin 1030, and inReach. I’ll be riding as light and minimal as possible, with the Zpacks Plex Solo, a sleeping pad, and just a sleeping bag liner.
Age 50 / Franklin, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be making my first TNGA attempt on a Salsa Cutthroat. I bought my Cutty four years ago with the TNGA in mind. The Pinhoti trails were a little rough on the rigid fork, so I’ve swapped it out for a Rockshok Reba RL with 100mm of travel. I’ve been searching for more climbing gears since I bought the bike and have finally settled on a SRAM 1×11 drivetrain with a 30T chainring and 11-46T cassette. All of this rolling on a new set of Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tires mounted on WTB wheels and Steve Potts hubs.
BAGS: I’ll be stress testing all of the seams on my Revelate bags—the Terrapin seat bag, a Dyneema frame bag, a Jerry Can and Mag Tank bag on the top tube, and a couple feed bags on the bars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A combination of Cateye and Lezyne lights with a Garmin eTrex 30 for navigation will hopefully keep me on route late into the night. When my legs quit for the day, I’ll be lying awake staring at the stars in my ENO with a SOL Escape Bivy to keep me from shivering too much.
Age 38 / Salisbury, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: Engin Ti Frame (custom built from Drew Guldalian out of Philly) with mullet setup, 38T chainring with 10-50T cassette SRAM Force/Eagle group. Wheels: Chris King hubs with Zipp rim (built by On Your Left in Louisville). Tires: 700 x 48mm Rene Herse Oracle Ridge Endurance casing. Enve fork, seat post, and handlebar. Specialized S-works Power with Mirror saddle. Lizard Skin 4.6mm thick handlebar tape. Light & Motion Vis Pro Trail 1000 lights. Exposure Blaze MK3 tail light. Garmin 1040 Solar for navigation.
BAGS: Ortlieb Pack Medium Handlebar Bag, Apidura Expedition frame bag, CamelBak chase Bike Vest 50 oz.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Power Saddle with Mirror is amazing, and I look forward to testing it with 50+ hours of saddle time. Otherwise, I opted for lightweight over comfort.
Age 43 / East Point, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my first TNGA on a Surly Krampus with RockShox Pike Ultimate fork, SRAM mix and match drivetrain, Fox Transfer post, and 2.6″ Vittoria Mezcal tires on DT 350 rear and SON 28 front (thanks to Loose Nuts Cycles for the last-minute dynamo wheel build).
BAGS: I’ll be using Oveja Negra frame and top tube bags, a Spindle saddle bag, Revelate Designs Egress on the bars, and a Dakine hip pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite MTB set up with USB charger will guide my way at night and keep my electronics charged. I’ll have a bivvy with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag liner and emergency blanket for sleeping. We’ll see how that goes. Sawyer filter for staying hydrated in the woods.
Age 48 / Gainesville, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: REI CO-OP DRT 2.2, Stan’s mk3 wheels, Crest 29″ rear, Boyd Kanuga 29″ front, Shimano XTR pedals, Brooks B17 Carved saddle.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Hopper frame, Mountain feed bag x2, Terrapin seat bag, and Blackburn Outpost top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo Element Roam.
Age 44 / Greenville, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2022 Trans North Georgia Adventure on a 2017 Pivot Mach 429 SL V2. The bike is set up 1×11 with a 32T Wolf Tooth chain ring and 120mm of travel in the front and 100mm of travel in the rear. Running a 2.25” Maxxis Ardent up front and a 2.2” Maxxis Ikon in the rear. Both seated on my beloved set of Industry 9 Trail 270 wheels with Torch hubs that sound like a swarm of angry bees buzzing down the trail. And lastly, multiple hand positions courtesy of a set of Cane Creek Ergo bar ends, and TOGS thumb grips mounted to a Thomson carbon bar with 8 degrees of rise.
BAGS: My bag setup is dominated by multiple packs from Revelate Designs. Under the saddle, I’ll be running a 10L Spinelock seat bag along with a Jerry Can seatpost bag, and up front on the bars, an Egress Pocket with a Mountain Feedbag. Rounding out my bag set up is the Go-Go Top Tube bag by Wizard Works in a sick splatter colorway.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A minimal sleep system comprised of the Outdoor Research Emergency Helium Bivvy, Sea to Summit silk bag liner, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlight sleeping pad, and the Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow. Lighting the way with two Light & Motion Vis Pro 1000 Trail lights on the handlebars and a Fenix HM70R Headlamp strapped to my helmet. And most importantly, my Mom sticker on the fender. There to remind me not everyone’s suffering is by choice. Through her strength, I hope to find mine and have her guide me back to the light when I enter those dark places.
Age 25 / Carrollton, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2022 TNGA on a 2021 Salsa Fargo with a 1×11 drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 11-42T cassette. I’ll be running a 2.4″ Maxxis Ardent tire in the front for added grip and a 2.2″ Maxxis Ikon in the rear. Both tires will be running Vittoria Air Liner tire inserts for added rim protection. A front dynamo hub and K-Lite will serve as my primary lighting system.
BAGS: The bulk of my gear will be stowed across a set of Topeak saddle and handlebar bags. They’re simple and inexpensive but get the job done. A Revelate top tube bag, set of two Moosetreks stem bags, Osprey Duro hydration vest, and five bottle cages will carry my nutrition and the remainder of my supplies.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike is fitted with a stock Salsa Firestarter 110 carbon fork to save weight and a Redshift suspension stem to help dampen out the bumps.
Age 52 / Northport, Alabama (USA)
BIKE: My bike is a Cannondale Trigger 29er Carbon 2. The bike features a PBR Lefty SuperMax front shock, and a Fox DYAD rear suspension system. I modified the bars with a Protaper raised handlebar for more comfort on an endurance ride. I also changed the original saddle to an Ergon E-Mountain Pro Men.
BAGS: From front to back, I have a Relevate Sweet Roll handlebar bag, Rockgeist Cache Top Tube Bag, and Rockgeist Honeypot Feedbag. The frame bag and small rear mounting bag were custom made with the help of a super great lady in my church who sews and the instructions here on BIKEPACKING.com. The seat bag is a Relevate Spinelock 16L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m carrying a Garmin 830 for navigation. To help light the way, I am using a Bontrager 1300 Ion Pro RT on my helmet and Fenix 1200 to mount to my bike. I have a Nature Hike one-person tent for shelter and a Sleepingo inflatable mat for comfort.
Age 41 / Griffin, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding TNGA on my 2019 Trek Procaliber. The wheels are 27.5 NOX Teocalli with I9 hubs and 2.35″ Maxxis Icon (rear) and Ardent Race (front) tires. The fork is a FOX 32 Step-Cast. The drivetrain is SRAM Eagle with a 28T Absolute Black oval chainring to get me through the tough climbs.
BAGS: Bags are Rogue Panda custom frame bag, Oracle downtube, Alamogordo top tube, and Bismarck Bottle Bucket, Revelate Designs Shrew seat bag, and Rockgeist Honeypot feedbag. Between a HydraPak bladder in the frame bag, CamelBak and Katadyn bottles in the feedbags, I can carry up to 3.7L of water at a time…not that I will.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a Fenix headlight with interchangeable rechargeable batteries, Black Diamond headlamp on helmet, Serfas tail light, and a Garmin 830 for navigation. All electronics will be powered by an Anker PowerCore. Favorite gear: I can’t live without the SQlabs innerbarends for added comfort. And chamois cream.
Andrew (Drew) Heaton
Age 33 / Knoxville, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: I’ll riding the TNGA on a 2022 Kona Unit X 29er. The bike is relatively stock. I have added a FOX 34 AWL RAIL suspension fork, Cross King 29 × 2.3″ tires and Shimano PD M540 spd pedals.
BAGS: All bags are hand made by Rockgeist in NC. Two Honey Pots, a Cache top tube bag and a Foxglove saddle bag. All cockpit bags connected with thier space link system.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: ROO hammock with Eno Helios straps and a plastic tarp for sleeping and a Toaks solid fuel stove and cup for cooking. A Garmin etrex 32 for navigation and a Katadyn BeFree water filtration system.
Age 47 / Lewis Center, Ohio (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding TNGA on my 2020 Niner RKT 9 RDO (1×12) featuring SRAM GX shifter and derailleur combined with the SRAM XO1 carbon crankset stopped by the SRAM G2RSC brake set.
BAGS: I’m using Revelate Designs bags from front to back. I have the Pronghorn handlebar bag out front, the Gas Tank top tube bag, and the Terrapin 8L seat bag out back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Garmin 530 supplemented with the Garmin Charge Power Pack will serve as my primary navigation device. I’ll also be using the Light & Motion Seca Race 2000 mounted on the handlebar with a Light & Motion VISPro 1000 mounted on helmet for use on those gnarly downhill singletrack sections which always seem to come in the dark. I’ll also be using my favorite piece of trail gear for additional hydration, the USWE Airborne 3L pack (not pictured).
Age 41 / Metairie, Louisiana (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Timberjack, SID 120mm fork, Whisky stem, Milhouse bar, Wolf Tooth Mega Fat Paws. Whisky 36 rims, dt350 front, Onyx vesper rear, on Mezcals. Stamp 7’s, Cane Creek eewings, 28T oval ring, 9-50T cassette, XO1 Eagle, stopping with TRP mechanical brakes. Waltly ti post, and parts bin saddle.
BAGS: Rockgeist, and a Salsa seatbag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 1030 plus, inReach mini 2, Fenix hm65r-t headlights, anker 10,000. Sleeping in a Black Diamond bivy, Big Agnes pad and pillow. Outdoor Research Helium jacket and pants. Katadyn Be Free filter, swig 63.
Age 49 / Tallahassee, Florida (USA)
BIKE: My beloved Niner Sir 9 will be my bike of choice. The Reynolds steel frame and fox fork makes a few days in the saddle as comfortable as can be expected. The drivetrain setup is SRAM Eagle GX 1×12 with a 30T ring. I’ll be running the Ergon SMC saddle, Oury grips with recycled Ergon bar ends to keep my rear and hands happy. Vittoria Barzo tires continue to be my tire of choice.
BAGS: Bags are by Revelate Designs, JPaks, Oveja Negra and Zpacks. I really enjoy the Jpaks SnakPak and it continues to be my favorite piece of luggage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Minimal sleep system of a SOL bivy and tarp to leave room for extra pairs of socks. For navigation I’ll be using the Garmin etrex 30x and a Wahoo Roam.
Age 47 / Nashville, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: This will be my 2nd run on the TNGA with my 2018 WHY Cycles S7 (Ti). I am rolling on Continental CrossKing tires, NOX Farlow wheels, w/ a SON Dyno hub powering a kLite Ultra V2 MTB light. SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain. Crankbrothers Stamp pedals, Raceface bars, Ergon grips, 130mm RockShox Pike fork, RSC Guide brakes and levers, Wolf Tooth side-by-side bottle mounts.
BAGS: Ortlieb frame bag. Everything else is Relevate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: iPhone 12 for navigation. SOL bivy with Klymit X-Lite half-pad for sleep.
Age 50 / Decatur, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: Jones SWB Complete
BAGS: Revelate Designs Sweet Roll, Tangle frame bag, Mountain feed bags, and a Mag-tank. Road Runner Buoy bags on fork-mounted Salsa Anything cages.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This is a 2018 Jones SWB Complete (Medium) upgraded with SRAM GX Eagle, Chris King headset, Thomson Elite Setback seatpost, and RaceFace Arc 45 rims with DT Swiss 350 hubs.
Age 49 / Hollywood, Florida (USA)
BIKE: 2015 Specialized S-Works Epic 29 FSR, Shimano XT 1×12 (34 x 10-51T), 4 Piston brakes (180/160mm), Atomic wheels, Continental X-King 2.4″ tires.
BAGS: Rogue Panda custom frame bag, gas tank, jerrycan, saddle bag, handlebar, Salsa anything cages/bags on front fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Platypus 85oz bladder w/ Hayward in-line filter in frame bag, Steripen UV filter, 20oz bottle on down tube, Platypus 1 ltr foldable, 20oz Black Rifle coffee mug & press in a Revelate Designs feed bag, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent, Big Agnes Lost Dog 45 & Q core pad, Sea to Summit pillow, Solo Stove Lite, (8) homemade freeze dried vegan meals, Sun Precison Dynamo, Sinewave USB top cap, Supernova E3 headlight/taillight, Serfas 750 helmet mounted, Garmin 1030 w/ extended battery.
Age 45 / Knoxville, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: Back for it’s 4th TNGA is my trusty RatMonk, but this time with fresh modifications by MUSKRAT and a custom Enve fork. NOX rims laced to Industry Nine Torch SS hubs.
BAGS: Rockgeist custom half frame bag and top tube bag. Well-worn Revelate pieces rounding out the rest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My goal is lightweight but with enough safety: bivy for emergency or naps, lots of socks, and a 5hr or two! Etrex for navigation and a Garmin inreach for tracking and backup navigation.
Age 39 / Harrisonburg, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be making my first TNGA attempt on a 2021 Canyon Exceed hardtail with a RockShox SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, OneUp dropper, and Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tires with CushCore inserts. The drivetrain is 12-speed SRAM Eagle AXS with a 34T front chainring and a 10-52T cassette.
BAGS: My bag setup includes a Oneja Negra half frame bag, two locally made feed bags, along with an Apidura top tube bag. I’ll also wear a Camelbak Chase Bike Vest with a 50oz bladder to help stay hydrated.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m hoping to keep my hands happy with Ergon GP2 grips and Profile Designs Aero Bars mainly to offer a different upper body position for the road miles.
Age 52 / Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding TNGA on a 2022 Litespeed Pinhoti 3. The bike features a Fox 34 Float fork, Eagle GX drivetrain, and NOX Teocalli wheels with Maxxis Icon 2.3″ tires.
BAGS: I’m using mostly Revelate Designs bags including a Sweetroll, Shrew, bolt on Mag Tank and Feedbags. I also have a Rockbros bag for extra top tube storage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a Wahoo Bolt for navigation, a Garmin InReach for tracking and an OR bivvi for sleeping. Lights are an Ultraspire 800 up front and a Petzel Iko Core on my helmet. I’ll wear Tifosi Sledge glasses, Pearl Izumi X Alp Summit shoes, and wool boxers with quick drying shorts instead of a chamois.
Age 31 / Nashville, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: Steel frame and a carbon fork is a magical combination: 2012 On-One Inbred 29er, Niner carbon fork, Stan’s 355 wheels (yeah, she’s old). 1×10 SLX drivetrain with a 32T chainring. Maxxis Rekon 2.4″ tires. Light & Motion headlights. Two time finisher (2016 and 2019). Last time I rode this bike in single speed mode, but this year I’m racing to win.
BAGS: DIY frame bag and top tube bag—I’ve made several over the years for different bikes. These were much easier now that I have access to a sewing machine. Feed bags from Amazon, plus an Osprey Raptor 14L hydration pack. In the past it was difficult to carry enough water through certain stretches, that shouldn’t be an issue this time.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Favorite piece of gear, hands down, is my well worn Brook’s B17 saddle. It’s the only truly comfortable saddle I’ve found.
Age 27 / Apison, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the clock (have to be back at work Tuesday) on my 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.8. Did Leadville 100 the weekend before TNGA start so I’m running my Leadville setup plus some bags. Some of the specs include Bontrager Kovee Pro wheels, 2.2″ Continental Race King tires, Bike Yoke Divine SL dropper, Syncros bar stem, and some road bike bar tape on the inside of handlebars to rest my arms on (don’t tell the UCI).
BAGS: I have never bikepacked before so I really didn’t have any bags. Trying to go as light as possible so I picked up and borrowed a few smaller ones. Running a small Rockbros handlebar bag, Apidura top tube bag, and evoc saddle bag. Will also use my trusty USWE 1.5 liter hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m most excited that my dropper has full range of motion with the saddlebag. Will be using Hammeehead Karoo 2 for navigation and a Garmin 520 plus as backup.
Age 42 / Decatur, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: Bikepackers, meet Goldie. She is a 2022 Lynskey Livewire with 1×12 GX Eagle AXS and I9 Trail S 1/1 wheels, because we all know that top-of-the-line gear makes up for a lack of conditioning. For this rookie attempt, I’ve added a Brooks Cambium saddle, Ritchey Kyote handlebar, Ergon Grips, plus SQLabs horns to give my hands something to do besides going numb.
BAGS: I have a smattering of Amazon bags and a couple of hand-me-downs, since I blew my budget on the aforementioned rig. The Revelate Designs Shrew bag is awesome!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 530 for nav, SOL Escape bivy and ground cloth for shelter/naps, Fenix Handlebar Light for those late night sessions, and portable bidet for undercarriage wash, because cleanliness is next to chamoisness.
Age 25 / Cane Creek, Dahlonega, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: 2019 NS Eccentric Alu Evo 29 Stripped Raw, Fox Factory 34 Grip2 130mm, Strongbow Bar, Ergon GS2 grips, Cane Creek Thudbuster, Ergon SM Pro Wide, Race Face Oval crank (28T), XT 11-50T drivetrain, XT Brakes, WTB i29 x Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35″, and a SP Dynamo + kLite lighting system.
BAGS: My Wanderlust Divide frame bag will house a 2L MSR Dromedary with a filter inline, Rockgeist Gondola for sleeping kit, Rockgeist cache and honeypots for food, and Wanderlust front Piñon Pocket holding my dopp kit, running shorts, and rain jacket. On the top tube I opted to drill and sink some rivnuts into the frame for a top tube mounted bottle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This year I will be roughing it with an inflatable sleeping pad AND pillow. I’m stoked on the Thudbuster/Ergon combination as it provides a full-suspension-like level of comfort in the saddle with no room for mechanical failure. Katadyn Bfree is a must for a quick bottle fill.
Age 39 / Asheville, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: Lynskey Live Wire Hardtail with boosted ENVE adventure fork. Mechanical Shimano XT drivetrain, i9 wheels, Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance tires.
BAGS: Apidura front roll and race frame bag, 2x Revelate Designs snack/bottle bags, Rockgeist top tube bag, 6L seat bag, and top tube/seat post bag, Wolf Tooth down tube bag for spare tubes.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 1080 Solar with integrated additional battery. Instant coffee packets.
Age 56 / Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: For the TNGA, I’ll be riding a Salsa Ti Timberjack 29er, built by Patrick at Loose Nuts in Atlanta, and the wheelset built by Chris at Loose Nuts, sporting a front SON dynohub and rear DT Swiss 240 hub. The lighting system features a kLite Bikepacker ULTRA v2. The drivetrain includes a SRAM GX Eagle 32T crank paired with a SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed cassette (52T) and rear derailleur. The fork is a RockShox Pike Ultimate with 130mm of travel.
BAGS: Custom frame bag and feedbags by Spindle located in Atlanta. I am also running an Ortlieb handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An Aegismax 3 Season bag and WellaX pad will serve as my sleeping system, along with a SOL bivy for emergency shelter. I’ll be navigating with a Garmin Edge 530 and relying on the Ride With GPS app for greater mapping details and food/rest stop cues.
Age 34 / Clermont, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2020 Specialized Epic. The drivetrain is a SRAM GX Eagle mechanical groupset, with a 30T chainring and a 10-52T cassette. Carbon wheels with Tannus inserts to help protect against hard impacts, rolling on Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35″ tires front and rear. S-works carbon handlebars and seat post with an Ergon saddle round out the build.
BAGS: My main bag is a Revelate Designs Spinelock 10L seat bag. It will house my bike repair kit, personal items, and some extra food that I don’t need access to right away. A Revelate Designs Gas Tank will house nutrition to use while under way, and a RoadRunner burrito bar bag will hold my Katadyn water filter, Anker battery bank, and lights when not in use.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m using bottles instead of a bladder, and will have 2 Magnum 1 L bottles in my cages, and a Nalgene bottle in the Bedrock Bag on the downtube, for 3L of fluid capacity if needed. I am using a ENO ultralight hammock as my sleep system, and my trusty Garmin eTrex 20x for Navigation. Thanks to the guys at Northstar Bicycles in Dawsonville, Ga for getting my bike prepped for the challenge ahead!
Age 53 / Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
BIKE: This is my 2nd TNGA. I’ll be riding a 2019 Scott Spark RC World Cup. Upgraded with OneUp Dropper, and Fox 34 130mm Fork. Rolling on a pair of Maxxis Recon 29×2.35″ tires, SRAM AXS 11×50T cassette with a 32T chainring. Light Bicycle RECON Pro Carbon hoops with a Dynamo front hub.
BAGS: Rockgeist Gondola Dropper Post Saddlebag, Revelate Designs Hopper Frame Bag, Blackburn Cockpit/Top Tube Bag, Roadrunner Handlebar bag; Rhinowalk 2.4L Bike Handlebar Bag and a 2L Nathan Hydration Pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Klymit Static V (Short); SOL emergency Bivvy and an REI Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner. Garmin inReach for tracking and a Garmin 1040 Solar for navigation. Fenix lights on the helmet and bars, Smith Helmet.
Age 42 / Woodstock, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: 2017 Kona Honzo ST, suspended by a Whisky No. 9 MTN Boost LT fork and rolling on DT 350/SON hubs laced to DT XM 481 rims wrapped in Vittoria Mezcal Tires (2.25R/2.6F). An aluminum Thomson bar, stem and seat post hold the Specialized Phenom saddle and Ergon GS3 grips firmly in place. Shimano XT cranks and pedals turn the wheels while SRAM Guide RSC levers with XO Trail calipers provide the stopping power.
BAGS: All bags are by Revelate Designs. Mountain Feedbags, Gas Tank, Bent Jerrycan, Small Ranger Frame and Terrapin 8L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be running a kLite Bikepacker ULTRA on the bar, a modified Fenix HM65r helmet light and a Planet Bike Superflash 65 tail light. A Garmin GPSMAP 66i connected to a pass-thru kLite/Voltaic V50 charging system will be used for navigation and tracking.
Age 44 / Gainesville, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2022 Orbea Oiz TR. Wolf Tooth 30T oval chainring, Maxxis Recon Race 2.3″ tires.
BAGS: I’m using an Apidura Backcountry Saddle Bag, Apidura Backcountry downtube bag, Lezyne feed bag, and Chrome Doubletrack front bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A homemade bivy with Sea to Summit Ether Light pad will serve as my shelter. Wahoo Roam for nav, Garmin inReach Mini to save my butt if needed and Fenix
PD36R on the bar and Petzl on helmet.
Age 48 / Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2018 Surly Karate Monkey. The bike features a 120mm Fox Factory SC 34 fork. Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ rear and 2.4″ Vittoria Syerra up front, SRAM AXS Eagle drivetrain 10-52T with a 34T oval chainring, and Carbon rims with DT Swiss 240 rear and a SP Dynamo hub up front. Surly Moloko handlebars. kLite charging system and lights.
BAGS: Revelate Designs frame bag, Mag tank top tube bag and harness up front. Seat pack and two feed bags by The Spindle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outdoor Research Helium bivy and thermolite bag liner will serve as my shelter along with a Therm-a-Rest Uberlite Pad and inflatable pillow. I’ll be using a Garmin 1030 plus for navigation and Inreach 2 for tracking. Titanium cookware for coffee and hot meals. Up to 3L in a frame bag bladder and two bottles on the bars.
Age 17 / Dacula, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing the 2022 TNGA on my 2018 Scott Spark RC. It is running Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires with a 10-51T XTR cassette and 34T chainring. I have a Son28 dynamo hub for lighting duties.
BAGS: I make all of my bags myself, and I’ve found a balance of efficiency and weight with a large top tube bag for snacks, saddle bag for repair and jacket, and two feed bags for another bottle and electronics. I will also have a Camelbak with a 50oz bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have really loved the Son28 hub paired to a kLite. I’ve found it is plenty bright even at the slowest of speeds. I have also been enjoying the Ergon GP2 grips to keep my hands functioning.
Age 54 / Gainesville, Florida (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be attempting the TNGA on a 2021 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1. I’ve upgraded the wheels to a light set of Raceface Turbine SL’s with Continental Race King 2.2 tires and installed a Fox Stepcast fork. My 1×11 drivetrain features an 11-46 XT cassette and a Wolftooth 32T oval chain ring for the climbs. The bar is a wide flare Genetic Digest off road drop bar, double wrapped with a modified set of Ritchey mini aerobars.
BAGS: My bags are a mix of Revelate and Rockgeist with my favorite being the feed bags and XL gas tank by Rockgeist. The Rockgeist bar harness is attached to a piece of PVC zip tied to the aero bars. Very light weight and secure. I’m running a Apidura bladder in the frame bag and bottle in one of the feed bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Sleep kit includes an OR Helium Bivy, Klymit 3/4 pad, and a Nemo Fillo Elete pillow stowed away in the bar harness. My old Etrex 20 will show the way with Ride With GPS on my phone for backup. For lighting I’ll have a Black Diamond Spot on my helmet and a Cygolite on the bar with 2 backup batteries.
Age 53 / Anderson, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be attempting to survive the TNGA on a 2021 Niner Air 9 named “Air Bike”. The bike has a pair of Maxxis Rekon 2.4” tires. I have added Surley Moloko handle bars with ESI grips and an Aeroe Spider Rack on the back so I can have a dropper post. I am choosing flat pedals and will wear Altra Lone Peak hiking shoes.
BAGS: My frame bag is a Rockgeist bag. My feed bags are Moosetreks. I will also have an Osprey Raptor 14 on my back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will using a Big Agnes tent and a Wahoo Roam for navigation.
Age 58 / Tierra Verde, Florida (USA)
BIKE: Specialized Epic EVO FS running 1×12 drivetrain with 28T oval chainring, Continental 2.2″ Race Kings. Bottle cages mounted on Fox shox with bungee cord to keep bottles in.
BAGS: Rockgeist custom frame bag, 2 Honeypots & Top tube with Spacelink. Depending on weather I have Rockgeist small Gondola saddlebag right now. I mounted my SPOT on a custom made aluminum bracket to the seat rails.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Felix BC26R mounted on bike and a Felix HM65R on my helmet. I’ll be using a Garmin 1040 Solar for navigating with an iPhone with RWGPS as backup. I’ll be using a Voltaic 6400MAH V25 battery to recharge my Garmin.
Age 36 / Pisgah Forest, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat with MicroShift AdventX wide range 10-speed drivetrain with a 38T chainring. SP dynamo front and White Industries rear. Yokozuna 4 piston brakes. Specialized 2.35″ Renegade tires.
BAGS: Salsa direct mount framebag, and Salsa seat pack. Pro gas tank bag, and Revelate feed bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Going light and lean for TNGA. No frills and nothing too fancy.
Karl Yachulke Jr.
Age 34 / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the TNGA on a stock 2020 Specialized Epic. This stock model features a pair of Maxxis Recon Race 2.4” tires, a SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and ROVAL carbon wheels. A stellar XC machine!
BAGS: My bag setup is made up of a Big Agnes Flycreek UL1 sleep system, which includes a handlebar bag. Revelate Designs Frame bag (F/S), Revelate Mag-Tank 2000 top tube bag and a REI 11L saddle bag. I am also running a Moosetreks Stem bag which will hold a water bottle and small snacks and lastly, I will use a 2.5L Camelbak backpack as my main water source.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m hoping to catch some Z’s on my Big Agnes Air Core sleeping pad and NEMO Fillo Elite pillow. My light system will be made up of (2) Niterider Lumina 1000 boost lights, (1) Niterider Lumina dual 1800 light and a Niterider Omega 300 taillight. I will keep them charged using my Anker PBC. I’ll be navigating this route using a Garmin Edge 830 and a Garmin InReach. Wish this “first-timer” luck!
Age 46 / Dallas, Georgia (USA)
BIKE: 2018 Lynskey Pro 29er, Industry Nine Trail S wheels with Specialized Ground Control 2.4″ on the front and a 2.3″ Specialized Fast Trak on the rear, 1×12 Eagle GX10/52 gears, 28T Wolf Tooth chainring on Next R Carbon Cranks, Shimano XT brakes, Fenix BCR26 lights, BarYaK mounting system, Fox 32 front shock.
BAGS: I am running all custom coyote brown bags from Rockgeist with the exception of how the Horton front pouch is mounted, I preferred the Revelate sweet roll harness, so I ended up attaching the Horton Front Pouch to the Revelate Designs Harness and mounted that to the Rockgeist Bar jam Harness with an Ultra PE Dry Bag I call it the “Rock Revelation”, Rockgeist frame bag features 3 separate compartments, XL top tube Cache bag, and the 7.5L Foxglove Seat pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Custom sleep kit made from a Dyneema Tarp/ SOL Bivy/Big Agnes tent footprint. Running the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation this year. Two special items I am carrying this year, Both of my parents passed last year, the red “remove before flight” tag was on my fathers keychain, he was an Air Force Crew chief and attached to the seat post strap is mothers Gold Oak Leaf, she was a Major in the 94th aero tactical evacuation unit for 27 years.
Age 51 / Great Falls, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: I am riding my tried and true 2017 Salsa Fargo Ti. NOX Teocalli wheels, SON Dyno, Rohloff hub with Gates belt drive, Conti CrossKing, Crankbrothers Stamp, Jones Loop bars, Ergon grips, KLite lights, Fox 32 SC fork, Paul brakes and levers, Wolftooth side-by-side bottle mounts with King Cages, Brooks B17 saddle.
BAGS: All my bags are Rockgeist.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nav: Wahoo Roam with a Garmin Etrex as backup. Sleep system: Montbell bivy, Klymit Inertia X-Lite half pad. “I immediately regret this decision.” -Ron Burgundy
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