Rider and Rig: Zach Shriver’s Trek Stache + CT packlist

We take a look at Zach Shriver’s all carbon, 29+ trail slayer, the Trek Stache 9.8. We also hear about how it was set up for bikepacking the Colorado Trail, as well as exactly what gear Zach carried. It’s a great checklist for anyone planning to undertake this beautiful, challenging journey.

Jackson-born Zach Shriver is a firefighter who works in Los Alamos, Santa Fe. In a former life, Zach was a pro mtb racer based in Durango. Over the years, he’s represented the Rockshox Devo Team and been a member of the US National MTB team, racing internationally. These days, Zach gravites towards the adventurous side of mountain biking, where he puts his skillset as both an incredibly strong rider and his mountain experience to great use; along the way, he also spent a couple of years fighting wildfires with the Hotshots, so is no stranger to minimal camping and spending time in remote areas. In fact, Zach grew up backpacking with his family since the tender age of three!

When it comes to mountain biking, Zach is a precision instrument. His cadence never fluctuates and fitness and his bike handling skills never fail to humble and inspire me – he regularly cleans sections of trails that I didn’t imagine could be ridden, with or without bikepacking gear. Having recently moved from a full suspension rig to a more bikepacking-friendly hardtail, his choice of bike is a clue to his racing background – a full carbon, lightweight setup – and his considered gearlist is well honed from years of backpacking. It makes a great template for what to carry on the Colorado Trail, a balance that reflects his desire to enjoy its incredible, technical trails to the maximum, while still carrying everything required for a complete, relaxing, backcountry experience.

  • Trek Stache carbon 29+
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig

Trek Stache 9.8

The 9.8 is Trek’s top level Stache and comes with all the carbon trimmings. It features a revised geometry for 2017 with even shorter chainstays than before, thanks to both Boost spacing and its now classic elevated driveside chainstay.The stock bike is built with 29+ tires and a carbon wheelset, but you can also fit 27.5+ and 29er tires; the Stranglehold adjustable thru axle allows chainstay length to be adjusted.

For the Colorado Trail, Zach swapped out the Bontrager Drop Line 125 for a rigid carbon one, in the interests of reliability and so a standard seat pack could be used. The 30T chainring was also swapped out for a 28T, given the load carried, the distance covered, and Colorado’s unforgiving topography. In hindsight, Zach says he’d definitely have preferred a 26T chainring to help tackle some of the trail’s steeper climbs, as well as allowing for some respite during the inevitable afternoon fatigue. At the other end of the scale, spinning out in the high gears was rarely an issue. For this trip, Zach kept to the stock tires as they’re grippy and fast rolling. They held out well during the course of the ride.

Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig

Bike Build

  • Frame: OCLV Mountain Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RC, 120mm travel
  • Headset: Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8″ top, 1.5″ bottom
  • Handlebar: Bontrager Line Pro, OCLV Carbon, 35mm, 15mm rise, 750mm width
  • Stem: Bontrager Line Pro, 35mm, 0 degree
  • Seatpost: Bontrager carbon
  • Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Elite, hollow titanium rails
  • Grips: Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on
  • Crank: Race Face Next SL Cinch Fatbike
  • Crank Arm Set: SRAM X1 Carbon, Direct Mount X-Sync
  • Pedals: Enduro-type XT (large platform)
  • Bottom Bracket: PF92
  • Chainring: 28T (though next time, a 26T)
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1110
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-1175, 10-42, 11 speed
  • Shifter: SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01, Roller Bearing Clutch
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc
  • Brake Levers: SRAM Guide
  • Rear Wheel: Bontrager Line Pro 40, OCLV Carbon
  • Front Wheel: Bontrager Line Pro 40, OCLV Carbon
  • Tires: Bontrager Chupacabra, 29×3
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig

Bikepacking Bags & Packing

Zach invested in a full compliment of Revelate bags before the trip. As an experienced backcountry backpacker, we’ve listed the gear he carried and where he carried it. It makes a useful checklist for anyone aspiring to ride the Colorado Trail, or something similar. Zach carried a large, minimal, Black Diamond shelter in case of monsoon storms, which shared with another rider on the trip. But he generally slept out under the stars. Note that the flag was an addition for July 4th celebrations!

Revelate Egress Pocket

  • Cache battery
  • Cell phone cord
  • Suncreen
  • Electrolyte tabs
  • Spare standard 29er tube
  • Toiletries: Ibuprofen, Aspirin, multi vitamins, toothbrush, toothpaste, moleskin and duct tape (in case of blisters from hike-a-bikes/wet feet)
  • Various snacks eg Lara and Cliff Bars
  • Emergency iodine tabs in case Steripen fails
  • Bontrager shock pump

Revelate Sweetroll (medium)

  • Big Agnes Zirkel (20 degree bag, great design but overkill for the ride!)
  • Riding tights
  • Patagonia down puff jacket with hood
  • Bontrager warm gloves (windshell/waterproof)
  • Biemme light, thin warm hat (windstopper and warm)
  • Darn Tough wool socks (kept dry for camp)
  • Smartwool longsleeve zip top (for round camp, in case other gets wet)
  • Smartwool boxer brief
  • 2 x lighters in ziplock

Between Sweetroll and Egress Pocket

  • Patagonia shell
  • Tent pole wrapped in Tyvek ground sheet

Revelate Ranger framebag

  • Tools: chain lube, dynaplug, brake pads x1 set, SRAM quick link, spare cleat and bolts, spare derailleur cable, 3 end caps, 2 ferrel caps, tire boot, patch kit, small Stans sealant, Park multi tool, extra tire lever, mini channel lock, spare seat binder bolt
  • USB-rechargeable Steripen– NB, make sure this is the rechargeable model
  • Bontrager mini pump
  • 2nd small fuel canister
  • general heavy food
  • Sog multitool/knife (in mesh pocket)
  • ti spork (in mesh pocket)

Revelate Ranger Viscacha

  • BD Megalight tarp with stakes
  • Neo Air Thermarest
  • Patagonia lightweight rain pants
  • Jetboil pot with stove, one small small gas canister inside
  • extra food (lighterweight)
  • paracord for hanging food or emergency repairs


  • 2 x King Cage Manything Cages on fork legs with 2x 1L Nalgene bottles (small top, so they are compatible with the Steripen). These were only filled when necessary, with a further drinking bottle stored in Zach’s Rapid Pack (see below). One bottle nests around metal canteen cup, which is used for morning coffee and boiling water on fires to save fuel.
  • Mini bungee around handlebars for easy access to long-sleeve layer.

Gear worn

  • Bontrager baggy shorts and separate chamois
  • Bontrager carbon race shoes (note that a shoe or boot with a more flexible sold would have been better)
  • Darn Tough wool cycling socks
  • Bontrager full finger gloves
  • Sleeveless cotton t shirt for comfort (changed out for lightweight layer if raining
  • Bontrager road helmet (more vents and lighter)
  • Oakley glasses

Bontrager Rapid Pack (instead of backpack)

  • large water bottle used as primary drinking bottle
  • gel packs and bars in the pockets (quick food)
  • drivers license
  • credit card
  • cash
  • cell phone
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig
  • Trek Stache Zach Shriver Rider Rig

Top tip for the CT – water management

Going light makes all the difference to how rideable the trail will be, how manageable the many hike-a-bikes will feel, and how much you’ll enjoy its incredible, manic descents! On the whole the route is well watered, so to save weight during the day, carry a rechargeable Steripen. This will allow you to quickly clean clear creek water along the way. Drink a bottle at each stop and refill immediately, tiding you through to the next creek. Adding some Nuun rehydration tabs occasionally really helps too. There are some sections of the ride where you’ll need more than 1-2 bottles at a time, but for the most part, this is sufficient.

  • Steripen Colorado Trail
  • Steripen Colorado Trail


Bikepacking Bikes

Rider & Rig

Bikepacking Gear Lists


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