Rigs of The 2018 TNGA
The Trans North Georgia (TNGA) is one of the premier ultra-endurance bikepacking events in the southeastern United States. With the race kicking off this weekend, here are the Rigs of The 2018 TNGA, featuring 47 bikes along with kit details and information about the riders…
Boasting over 40,000 feet of climbing in under 360 miles, the Trans North Georgia (TNGA) bikepacking route is no joke. Those who aren’t familiar with the terrain in northern Georgia would likely never expect this ride to be as challenging as it is. And it’s also surprisingly remote, beautiful, and scenic. For all of those reasons, the TNGA has become one of the most popular ultra-endurance events in the southeast.
This year should be particularly interesting, with many returning racers and a couple of bikepackers coming from the western United States, notably Bailey Newbrey, who just came off a fast singlespeed run on the Tour Divide, and Kurt Refsnider, who recently set the AZT750 record. The race starts Saturday at 8AM; you can follow along here.
To add to the fun, we decided to ask the field of riders to send in details and photos of their rigs. Here’s a collection of 46 rigs that will be in the 2018 TNGA:
Age 39 / Smyrna, GA (USA)
Bike: Santa Cruz Highball 29r. Shimano 2×11 XT. Tubeless Vittoria Mezcal 2.35s. Brooks B17 All Weather Saddle. Ritchey Trail Stem and Post. Jones Loop Plus Bars. Fox Fork. Son Dynamo Hub powering K-Lite Bundle. Crank Bros. DoubleShot pedals. Andrew The Maker custom frame/post/handle bar bag. Revelate Terrapin saddle bag. Camelback water bladder with feed hose. Power line zapped bird feathers and emergency carnitas taco.
Age 56 / Greenville, SC (USA)
The Bike: I will be riding the 2018 TNGA on a 2012 Salsa Selma Ti set up geared with a Fox Terra-logic shock. I am running 2.25″ Vittoria Mezcal tires on I9 Torch Carbon UL Wheels, with a 1×12 drivetrain using a 32T chainring. Grip hack – ESI Extra Chunky with Ergon bar ends. Lighting: (not shown) Princeton Tech Apex Extreme (bars) and Black Diamond Storm (helmet) with regular batteries.Bags: Revelate Viscacha, Tangle, 2 Feedbags and front Pocket. Topeak fuel tank. Four bottles in feedbacks and on frame. Other gear: ENO Sub six hammock and Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema Tarp just in case. Navigating with a tried and true Garmin Etrex 30.
Age 38 / Greenville, SC (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2017 steel Canfield Nimble 9. The bike features a new forecaster 2.35 up front and Ikon skin on the rear 2.25. I was previously running SS but installed an eagle drivetrain with 32T chainring for TNGA and will change it back to SS after. Wheels are Nox Kitsuma (front) and Farlow (rear) with I9 hubs. Bags: The Frame bag is a Jandd. I am also running a Revelate Mag Tank top tube bag, mtn feedbag handle bar bag, and sweetroll handle bar bag on the handlebars. 1 water bottle will be mounted to the down tube and a 2.5 liter hydration bladder in the frame bag. Favorite gear: An OR Helium bivy will serve as my shelter along with a Rockgeist foam Mat. I’ll also be carrying a Wahoo Bolt for navigation.
John Girmsey Jr
Age 59 / Kapolei, Hawaii (USA)
I’ll be riding my monster Jones Plus 25” steel steed. After my 2017 TD attempt, I converted it to 1×11 with a 28 front and Ethirtheen 9-46 rear for a good overall range for climbing and descent speed on the flats (and no more mud packing up the front derailleur!). It easily rolls over most anything with Jones carbon rims and Maxxis Chronicle 29×3.0 tires. Up front is a Schmidt Son Dyno, K-lite headlight/charging system, an Etrex 30 and Garmin 520. Bags include a cavernous Revelate built custom Jones frame bag, Revelate Terrapin seat bag system, Revelate Jerry Can, Revelate Mountain Feed Bags, Jones Bar loop bag, Salsa Anything bags, and a new (not shown) Oveja Negra Snack Pack, with an Ortlieb front roll system out front. I won’t need the Jones truss fork bags for TNGA unless someone pays me to carry a few six-packs of beer! Favorite gear is the pair of Mountain Feed Bags – I love keeping my bottles clean for drinking with plenty pouches for carrying snacks, my reading glasses, and empty snack bar wrappers!
Age 43 / Ellijay, GA (USA)
The Bike: The bike is a 2017 Surly Karate Monkey with a Salsa Firestarter fork running 27.5×3.0″ Schwalbe Nobby Nics, and set up as a single speed with a 22t cog and 32t chainring. Jones H-Bars with ESI Extra Chunky grips and a Selle Anatomica X Series saddle ensure a comfortable journey. Three 1-liter water bottles are stowed on the downtube and fork, and a 1-liter bottle for drinking water / Tailwind mix in the handlebar mounted feedbag. The storage setup consists of a custom lace-up Rockgeist Mudlust frame bag, Blackburn Outpost saddlebag, a Tapeats handlebar bag from Bedrock Bags, and a bottle feedbag from Cartecay Bikes. An SOL Bivy with a home-brew polypro tarp serves as shelter, and navigation will be provided by a Garmin Edge 520.
Age 50 / Gainesville, FL (USA)
Bike: 2017 Rocky Mountain Suzi Q.-90. Mostly stock except for the Ti Cycles 15 deg. S bend bars and Ergon grips. Bags: Ranger frame bag, Mountain Feedbag, Gas tank, Jerrycan, and Pika seatbag by Revelate Designs. I carry a 3 liter bladder in the frame bag. The 48 oz Nalgene bottle under the down tube carries gels and snacks and can be used for extra water if needed. My favorite gear: Barjam harness and Honeypot feedbag from Rockgeist I added this year. I use an Etrex 20 for navigation and a Hennessy Hammock when I need rest.
Age 42 / Mount Juliet, Tn (USA)
I’ll be riding a felt 9five carbon with niner forks. Black flag rims with Maxxis minion dh. Custom mags from Dirtbags.bike of South Dakota. 100oz water bladder from platypus. Sleeping gear is from borah designs and outdoorsman ultralight pad. Navigation is from etrex30 and Gaia app. K-lite dynamo light powered by Shimano dynamo hub. Head lamp from energizer.
Metairie, Louisiana (USA)
2018 Salsa Woodsmoke: Rock Shox Reba, SRAM XO1 Eagle, Shimano XT Brakes and Pedals, Maxxis Ikon 29×2.35’s, Stans Arch CB7’s Hope Pro 4 rear, Son 28 front and a kLite. Salsa: top tube bag, frame bag, seat bag. Revelate designs: feed bags, and jerry can. Garmin 1030 for navigation, and inReach Explorer for tracking. 2 Light and Motion fc 1000’s head lights. Bontrager ion 200, and 2 flare rt tail lights. Sawyer mini filter. Black Diamond Twilight bivy. Sea to Summit thermolite reactor fleece liner.
Salsa Cutthroat; 1×11 Rival (switched to a 32 up front); Salsa Exp Bags; Son dynamo with K-light; RockShox Reba 90mm travel; Can’t decide if I want to take my MSR wind-burner stove and some ramen or not, still on the fence. Garmin 30x for Nav. Decided to leave the tent at home and taking ENO double hammock instead. 3L water-bladder and extra water bottle for hydration. Sawyer mini filter. Basic tool kit and tubeless repair kit. Kept the WTB Nanos hope I have enough tire width. Plan is four days so anything faster is bonus!
Age 54 / Tierra Verde (St Pete Beach), FL (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2013 Specialized carbon HT Stumpjumper. The bike features Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 front and Maxxis Aspen 2.25 on rear tires, Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and NOX rear rim industry9 hub, Stan’s rim with SON Dynamo hub up front. May add BarYak Expedition drop bars to my setup.
Bags: Bedrock Black Dragon seat post pack, Topeak toploader top tube bag, and a pair of RSTech whistler blower bags on the handlebars. I’ll ride with 2 water bottles and 100L Camelback . I’ll also be carrying an Garmin 1030 for navigation and back up with iPhone with ridewithgps. Lights: Klite bar mount main light and a Light & Motion Imjin 800 on helmet. I’m going little weight on sleep gear only emergency SOS bivy.
Age 45 / Miami, FL (USA)
2015 Specialized S-Works Epic 29; Shimano XT 2 (44/32) x 11 (11/42); Atomic Carbon Trail w/Chris King rear & Schmidt Son dynamo; Brooks Cambium; Supernova E3 head/tail light; Rogue Panda framebag: 100-Oz Platypus bladder, Spare parts/ tools; Rogue Panda gas tank; Profile Design Jerrycan; Revelate Designs saddlebag: Solo Stove Lite /fuel, Outdoor Herbivore freeze dried vegan meals, Clothing /rain jacket/ first aid kit; Rogue Panda handlebar bag: Sleeping kit, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent, Bag / pad / pillow; Rear reflective triangle (Singletrack Samurai)
2012 Scott Scale RC, Fox TerraLogic, XT/XTR/E.Thirteen drive/shift/brake components, Rolf Prima Ralos, 29 wheels, Maxxis Ardent 2.4 F, Maxxis Ardent Race 2.2 R. Bags: Revelate Designs Viscacha; Jerry Can; Med. Tangle; Gas Tank; and Handlebar yolk & bag, Cheap and dirty WalMart zip lock map case & some cheap stuff sacks, 2 SOL E Bivvies, 1 SOL tarp, Neo air inflatable mattress, Tools, Change of clothes
Age 34 / Dubuque, IA (USA)
2014 Salsa Fargo Ti. WTB Nano 2.1 tubeless tires on Stans Arch Rims with a Son Dyno hub and klite headlight. Fox Factory 32 fork. BarYak to hold my headlight, garmin 820, garmin etrex30 for navigating and bike bag dude handlebar bag which will house extra clothes, stove and a pair of flip flops. Bike Bag Dude frame bag for food and extra water, revelate mountain feedbag for water and snacks, jerry can for my toothbrush and toiletries, top tube bag for my electronics and seat bag for my sleeping gear and tools. Sleeping in a Rab Ascent Bivi with a Klymit ultralite inertia pad and a sea to summit coolmax liner.
Age 37 / Winston, GA (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2017 Lynskey Ridgeline 29 custom built by Glen Slater @ Pro Bike Repair. The bike features a SRAM Eagle XO 12 speed drivetrain with a 36T chainring. Hand built Pro Bike Repair carbon rims, titanium spokes, Chris King rear hub, SON Dynamo hub on the front. Maxxis Ikon 2.2 rear, Rekon 2.6 front. Dragon rigid carbon fork. KLite USA lighting and USB charging system. XTR Brakes. Wahoo ELEMNT for navigation. Saddle bag by Rockgeist. 40oz crusher feedbags by The Spindle Atlanta. In the bags: Tubes, repair kit, tools, water treatment tabs, first aid, pump, Carborocket, solid food, SOL bivy, silk bag liner, rain jacket, Gossamer Gear thin lite pad.
Age 37 / Birmingham, AL (USA)
Lynskey Ridgeline Single Speed 650b/ I9 single speed wheels/ Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 Front/ Specialized Fast Track 2.2 rear/ Rockgeist Bags/ Shimano m960 moded crank with 36t Ti ring/ endless 22t cog. 2 Bottles + 60oz camel back/ sawyer mini water filter/ ebay hammock w/ fly net/ ebay summer bag/ anker 10600mah battery cache/ garmin 800/ nite rider lumina 700/ Spot 300 headlamp/ iPhone. Thomson Cockpit/ Clif shot blocs/ clif bars/ nuun tablets/ starbucks instant coffee.
Age 33 / Asheville, NC (USA)
The Bike: Ill be riding across the TNGA route on my 2014 Ti Salsa El Mariachi. Bontrager XR4 in the front, XR3 in the rear, 1×11 XT drivetrain 32T chain ring, Stans rims, sun Dynamo front hub. Bags: Rock Geist honeypot feedbag, barjam harness, foxglove, cache and stake. Ill be carrying a Patagonia rain jacket, Patagonia down jacket, 1 pair of dry socks. Garmin eTrex30 for navigation. Favorite gear: shammy cream.
Age 45 / Tallahassee, FL (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the 2018 TNGA on a Salsa Timberjack Ti with a Fox 34SC 120mm fork, SRAM Eagle 10-50 drivetrain, Absolute Black oval 32T chainring, Continental Cross King 2.2 tires on Nox Composite hoops laced to an i9 Torch rear hub and SON dynamo front. Bags: I’ll be using a Salsa EXP frame bag, Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion seat bag, along with Relevate Designs Feed bags and Mag-Tank. I’ll be using a Wolf Tooth B-Rad mounting base to allow for two bottles under the down tube. I’ll have two additional bottle mounts on the fork. Gear: Navigation will be handled with a Garmin Edge 1030 along with a spare for backup. Lighting handled with a Supernova E3 Triple dynamo powered light. Daytime charging with a Sinewave Cycles Revolution. Sleeping on a Big Agnes AXL air mattress and Nemo pillow, inside a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent.
Age 58 / Ocala, FL (USA)
Salsa Woodsmoke, 2.75 Carbon Atomik wheels and Conny 2.4 X King, Son 28 dunk with a Sinewave Beacon, Jones bar with Jones bag, Apidura top post and Revelate Vircacha seat bag, Brooks B17, Two Revelate feed bags, Blackburn fuel tank, Bedrock tool bag and Nalgene sack, Weighing in at about 41 lbs without fluids, Carrying 3 32oz bottles, Sleeping Hummingbird hammock, Sawyer filter system, And for the hell of it a GoPro, Gps is a Garmin Trex 2, The motor is a 58 year old redneck special.
Age 59 / Polk City, Fl (USA)
My bike: Trek Superfly Carbon 29er with Fox 32 fork. 30t Absolute Black oval chainring, and XT 11-36, shifter, derailleur, and brakes. Running Hutchison Cobra 2.25″s on Crest wheels. Brooks seat, Thompson carbon bar, and cheap suspension seatpost. Bags: Revelite seatbag, feedbags, pocket, and harness. Cheap Ibera triangle bag with 100 oz bladder.
Navigation: Garmin Etrex 30. Gear: Big Agnes Fly Creek tent stuffed in the seat bag. Change of clothes in the pocket bag. Sleeping bag in the harness. Wearing a fanny pack for extra storage space.
Age 48 / Russellville, AR (USA)
The Bike: This year I’ll be riding TNGA on a 2018 Santa Cruz Blur. I’ve built this up a fair bit burlier than stock, and compared to the fully rigid pain-machines many of my cohorts will be riding, I’ll be cruising this thing in relative comfort. The bike is kitted out with some (very) used XO1 Eagle 1×12 with a 30T front chainring. My rig rolls on Ibis 942 wheels with Industry Nine hubs, and a Rekon / Ikon combo that handles trail, hardball, and gravel with equal ease. I’m running XT brakes, and keeping things steady up front with a Fox 34 StepCast @ 120. The rear Fox Factory is stock, and I kept the bar mounted lockout for the long sections of gravel and pavement. Bags: My bags are like my bike – kind of a hodgepodge. The frame bag is stolen off my dearly departed (but never forgotten) Salsa Bucksaw, and it fits just about perfectly. My cockpit belongs to Revelate, with a pair of feedbags and a Magtank. On the back, keeping me honest, is a not too big, not too small JPAKS GravelPak. I’ll keep a pair of bottles in the feedbags, and may add a tiny roll to the front if I decide to carry my 70 ounce water bladder in the frame bag instead of in my trail running vest. Favorite Gear: I’ll be running a Garmin Edge 1030 for navigation, with a Light & Motion 900 light mounted on the bar for the times that I need more than just a headlamp. I’ll keep everything juiced up with an Anker battery, and try to fill the remaining space with food, some tools, and a Sawyer water filter. My sleeping gear is simple, just a Snugpack bivvy and rain gear.
Age 47 / Acworth, GA (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2017 Vassago Optimus Ti 29+ Single Speed. This bike consists of a Vassago titanium frame paired with a Trek 1120 Carbon fork and aluminum front rack. Bontrager 35mm x 820mm carbon bar, Ergon Grips & XTR brakes cover the steering & stopping. KS LEV Integra post to keep the down hills fun, and WTB Ranger 3.0” tires wrap NOX Kitsuma carbon hoops with Project 321 Hubs (quiet set up). Drivetrain consists of an Absolute Black 32 oval ring up from & a Niner Ti 22 in the back. These are connected with a stout KMC BMX chain. Bags: All bags on this bike are from Bedrock Bags in Durango, CO. The frame bag is a custom cut to this frame, topped with a Durango Tank Bag. Out the back is a Black Dragon Dropper Seat Bag, and on the front, an Entrada Handle Bar Bag, mounted to the rack. Below it all is the Honaker Nalgene Bag, where I keep everything to fix most anything. Three bottles will be mounted to the fork and front rack. Wahoo Bolt & Delorum InReach cover the navigation & tracking duties. Shelter is a bivy/tarp set up. Light and fast. Favorite gear: 29+. As a Clydesdale, I really enjoy the ride qualities that at 29+ bike offers. Especially for longer distances. The extra volume also allows me to run a full rigid set up, keeping things clean & simple. Ad to that, the 1120 fork and front rack keeps the bag off the bars, and weight lower. Topping off the favorites list is the KS LEV dropper, which allows for fast and fun descents, as well as fine adjustments in seat hight during long rides.
Age 50/tired / Ellijay, GA (USA)
Bike is a Rocky Mountain Vertex/now temporary bike packing/racing bike. Carbon with ZTR Flow wheels with Onyx hubs. Level Ultimate Sram Brakes. Rockshox 120mm fork. Blackburn frame bag I had lying around. It has an Anything Cradle Kit from Salsa to hold my OR bivy/light weight blow up mattress with comfy pillow. Waterproof Ortlieb seat bag to hold my tools/der hanger/ extra chain link. Ergon grips. Ikon 2.3 on front and 2.2 on back. One of those gold cassettes and gold chain. XO derailer. Time pedals/dont judge me. 2 feed bags for water bottles and a Wolf Tooth cage holder/4 water bottles total. Frame bag will hold my food and large battery. I eat a lot.
Age 41 / Knoxville, TN (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding my beloved Rat Monk again, this year… the original karate monkey frame was given to me by my late brother-in-law, with the promise to take it on many adventures. it’s evolved into my bikepacking rig with the following highlights: 46cm cowchipper drop-bars, NOX rims with I-9 hubs, steel firestarter fork, BB7 brakes, and a mashed up drivetrain consisting of xtr cranks, wolf-tooth chainring and endless cog. The Gear: Oveja Negra half frame-bag, Oveja Negra handlebar bag for snacks, and Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seat bag system for soft-goods. Basic lighting with Exposure Diablo and Joystick lights. Bottles only for hydration to keep me pack-free. The mission: Riding my 5th TNGA in memory of Nick, and for the love of the adventure.
Age 54 / Anderson SC (USA)
I decided to do a YoYo version of the TNGA since my plan to do the longer Southern Highlands Traverse in Oct was not doable because of a work project. So I settled for the 720 mile round trip of the TNGA. I roll out this Tuesday 8:00 AM from the normal start in SC/GA. My plan is to race down to the turnaround and then race back against the GD riders, this way I can say hello, cheer them on and take some pictures. Should be somewhere around 7 or 8 days in all. I know a bunch of the riders and am excited to see everyone!
I am from Tucson (3 year transplant to SC) and I originally designed my bike with Dejay Birtch as my consultant and builder, he is an amazing single speed pro rider and had just finished the TD which I built my bike for and also the Arizona Trail race. This was back in 2014, the frame is a small 2013 Ti Salsa El Mariachi, Salsa Firestarter Carbon Rigid Fork, Jones 710 Aluminum bars, Chris King Headset, Shimano XT drive train and disc brakes, Ceramic Speed Bottom bracket, custom built Stans Arch wheels tubeless of course with a 2.6 Maxxis Rekon upfront and a 2.4 Maxxis Ardent on the rear. I also run a Rohloff on the back that with a KMC X1 chain and a Surly stainless Steel 34 tooth front ring. I run a Dyno on the front wheel with a Schmidt Edolux 2 front light and a Busch & Muller Dyno taillight. Also use a topcap switch from KliteUSA and all custom wiring by Shey Linder KliteUSA. For a battery cache I use a Voltaic 44 which is pass through. Gorilla X water bottle mounts for the fork and a King cage on the downtube. For my bags I use a Nuclear Sunrise triangle bag and rear seat bag and Whistle Blowers from RS Tech for my feedbags and a custom full length top tube bag also made by RS Tech. Finally the seat is a Selle Anitomica NSH sitting on a Salsa Ti setback seat post.
Age 51 / Tallahassee, FL (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2016 Lynskey Ridgeline 29er Monster Cross with a Carbon Salsa Cutthroat Fork. I will be riding WTB Nano 2.1 tires tubeless. Shutter Precision Dyno Hub in front and Easton hub in the rear. 2×11 Ultegra 8000 drive train with11-34 Cassette and FSA Carbon crank with 28×42 chainrings. Shifters are Shimano RS-685 hydraulic on Easton EA70 AX Gravel king bar and a Syntace stem. Most important I will have the Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow saddle. Bags: I will be using a Revelate Ranger Frame bag with a 3 liter hydration pack, tools and food, Specialized gas can for food and Topeak Backloader Seat bag to hold clothes, SOL Bivy and hammock. I will have a rain fly mounted to the front fork on a Blackburn anything cage. Electronics: I will be using a Garmin 520 for navigating and a K-Lite attached to my Dyno hub as well as a Black Diamond Head lamp for lightint and a Spot tracker for safety and tracking
Age 26 / Tallahassee, FL (USA)
The Bike:I’ll be riding an On-One Inbred SS 29er – 32×22 (steel is real, baby!). The wheels are Surly Ultra New’s laced to DT Swiss E512 rims with Vittoria Barzo TNT tires. Bags I’ll be rocking a Revelate saddle bag, and feedbags (x2), as well as a frame bag to carry a 2L bladder. Favorite Gear I’ll be using an eTrex 35 for navigation, and occasionally jammin’ out to a top-notch selection of classic hip-hop on an old second-hand iPod Shuffle.
Age 47 / Birmingham, AL (USA)
The Bike: I will be riding TNGA 2018 on a custom hardtail ti frame built for me by Mosaic in February of 2017. Mosaic is a bike company out of Boulder, CO. I call him Baby Blue. He features an Eagle XO1 drivetrain with a 32T chainring. The wheels are Stans Crest, rolling with almost new Maxis Ikon 2.35 tires. I’ll be using a Fenix light for my handlebars. Two King titanium water bottle cages will each hold a 1 liter SIS bottle. Bags: On the front of the handlebars I am using a Revelate Egress Pocket and 1 Revelate feed bag as well. I have a Revelate Gas Tank on the top tube for food as well as the Revelate Jerrycan I use for all my tools etc. The seat bag is a Wildcat Harness with a drysack. Favorite Gear: I have 2 favorites. First is my Wahoo Element for Navigation. (a switch from what I was using last year) Its simple and very user friendly and has never let me down. Next is my Mount Laurel Design Super Light Solo Bivy with with a net face window to keep out all those bugs from the south. I believe when it’s all said and done my bike will come in around 42 lbs. Happy Trails and don’t forget to watch TNGA 2018 on Trackleaders!
Age 56 / Woodstock, Ga (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a 2018 Pivot Les 29. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.35 tires, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with a 32T chainring. Bags: Going with Apidura frame bag (dedicated primarily for hydration), Apidura seat pack, Apidura top tube pack and Revelate Egress™ Pocket handlebar bag. Gear: Sleeping system includes Eno Sub 7 hammock, Sea To Summit tarp and SOL bivy. I’ll be navigating with a Wahoo ELEMNT.
Glen Slater will be SUFFERING, on a Lynsky Ridgeline 29er, Niner boost RDO fork, Klite and charger, Schmidt Son generator front King rear, Ti spokes, carbon rims, Maxxis tires 2.6 Rekon F, 2 .2 Icon R, XX1 10/50x36t, RockGeist seat bag, Spindle Gas tank, Revelate Feed bags. 37.03 lbs fully loaded!
Age 36 / Prescott, AZ (USA)
The Bike: Pivot LES 29er hardtail frame. Sure-footed Industry Nine Trail 270 wheels. Fast-rolling Maxxis Aspen tires. 12 gears and a stainless steel chainring. 9Point8 seatpost, the only dropper I fully trust for bikepacking. And handlebars with elastomers for my tired hands. Bags: Fast and light doesn’t necessitate many bags, so I’ve got a Revelate Designs Vole seat bag, a couple Revelate top tube bags for snacks, and a minuscule home-grown frame bag for more snacks. Favorite gear: Bar ends. Despite what the bike industry seems to think, bar ends are not dead. And you can’t ever have too many bar ends, so I’m racing with 2 pairs. One pair is anodized purple, attesting to their origin from deep in the 1990s. Follow along during the race: @kurt.refsnider
Age 31 / Stillwater, OK (USA)
Salsa Cycles Woodsmoke setup singlespeed (36×20) sporting JPaks seatbag and feedbag with an Oveja Negra toptube bag.
Age 00 / CITY, ST (USA)
Trek Top Fuel Ex, 1×11, Relevate saddle bag and Osprey backpack. 29in 2.25in wheels.
Age 27 / Atlanta, GA (USA)
The Bike: Jamis Dragonslayer 27.5+ steel frame with Sram NX 11-speed components (10-42 cassette and 30t chainring), RockShox Recon 120mm fork, Stans Flow MK3 wheels mounted with a Maxxis Rekon 2.6 up front and Maxxis Ikon 2.35 on the rear. Also rocking a PNW Components Cascade dropper and using the Garmin eTrex 30x for navigation. Bags: In the frame, I’ve got a custom bag made by Atlanta’s own, The Spindle, as well as their 40oz Crusher. I’ve got a Revelate Gas Tank on the top tube, a Salsa Anything bag and cage on the bottom of the down tube and a Sea To Summit compression dry bag on the handle bars. Favorite Gear: nothing on my back
Age 70 / Blue Ridge, GA USA (USA)
2017 Salsa Woodsmoke with Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29×2.6; SRAM Eagle drivetrain, 30T chainring; Nox Kitsuma wheels with SON Dynamo hub and Beacon light. Bags: Rockgeist frame bag, and bottle bags on handlebar; Bedrock small front roll and pouch plus top tube bag; Two 1 liter bottles mounted on fork. Favorite gear: Lupine Blika helmet light; Mountain Laurel Designs bivy, Zpacks tarp, for shelter.Carrying Garmin 1000 with auxiliary battery for navigation with Wahoo ELEMNT backup
Age 44 / Marietta, GA (USA)
Rig: 2015 Trek Superfly 29 Single Speed, Jones H-Bar, Revelate Ranger frame bag, Revelate Mag-Tank, 2x RS Tech Whistleblower feed bags, Rockgeist Gondola saddlebag, 23t Endless Bikes Kickass Cog, 32t Absolute Black chainring. Favorite gear: a Selle San Marco Bontrager Ti rails saddle from the 90’s. That 23t Kickass Cog is sweet, fast relief. Pipe clamps and double sided Gorilla tape holding cages and 1 liter bottles firmly on my forks.
Age 51 / Polk City, FL (USA)
I am riding a 2018 Lynskey Ridgleline 27.5. I will be rolling with Maxiss Ikon 2.35 tires mounted on Stans Crest ZTR wheels. It has a 1×11 drivetrain with a 32 tooth chaining and a 11×46 cassette. It has Shimano XT components throughout. My bike is equipped with bags from Rogue Panda and Revelate. The harness and feed bags are Revelate. The custom frame bag, Ripsey seatbag, Oracle down tube bag and Alamo top tube bag are all from Rogue Panda. I will be carrying 2 21 oz bottles in the fuel bags and a 60 oz hydration bladder in the frame bag. I have a sleeping quilt, inflatable pillow and a Thernorest Neo XLite sleeping pad. For navigation, I use a Garmin Etrex 30.1
Age 34 / Davenport, IA (USA)
Lynskey GR250 frame and Lauff Grit fork, SRAM shifting and Yokozuna stopping. Sutter Precision dynamo hub with a Sinewave Beacon light/charger. Bags by Rockgeist. What could go wrong?
Age 59 / Richmond, VA (USA) (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on a Specialized Stumpjumper/Epic HT. Originally it was a 2012 Stumpjumper that has done me well in 10 bikepacking races (gotten me to the finish line each time) ranging from the 325 mile Huracan to the 2750 mile Tour Divide. In my last race (2017 570 mile The Adirondack Trail Ride) I crashed hard and after finishing discovered that I cracked the frame which Specialized generously replaced with a 2017 Epic frame (do I now call it an Epic?). After some debate I went with new Maxxis Ardent 2.25” tires on my Stans Notubes Flow Ex wheels with an SP PD-8X dyno hub (to run my Klite LED light). Bags: I’m using all Revelate Designs bag which includes a Viscacha seat bag, a Sweet Roll on the handlebars, a Tangle frame bag and a Gas Tank on the top tube and a Feedbag. I have 2 bottle mounts in the triangle and will likely be carrying a bladder in a small backpack for when more water is needed. Favorite gear: Hmmm – possibly my Neo Air Thermarest pad which has also been used in all 10 races with no leaks yet or my Ipod that I use when I need a mental lift.
Age 47 / Sebring, FL (USA)
The Bike: Specialized Epic HT 29er pretty much stock other than contact points. Mallet E pedals, Selle Anatomica saddle and Ergon grips / Profile design aerobars. Eagle drivetrain with 30T ring (I’m from Florida, remember). Specialized FasTrack 2.3’s front and rear. Bags: All Revelate Designs – Tangle frame bag with rain gear, pump, back-up lights, Sawyer filter and cache battery, Pika saddle bag with tubes, sleep kit and Spot Gen3 on top, Gas Tank with calories, Jerrycan with first aid and tool kit and 2 Feedbags with Zefal bottles. Frame also carries 2 short bottles, one with dry drink mix. Other: Garmin Etrex 30x for main navigation, Gaia mobile app as back-up. 2x Cygolite Metro headlights on bars and 2x back-up with mount on helmet as needed. 2x Cateye rear blinkies. Anker 10K cache for phone and lights.
Age 49 / Monticello, FL (USA)
The Bike: For the 2018 TNGA I’ll be riding a Salsa Cutthroat with 2.0 Thunder Burts, a 32t chainring and extrawide cowchippers. Bags: a mix of revelate, apidura, topeak and an old climbing chalkbag as a bottleholder on the handlebar. Favorite gear: my sea to summit pillow and my thermarest pillow – can never have too many pillows.
Age 21 / Dahlonega, GA (USA)
I have recently returned from the Tour Divide to some more familiar dirt. My rig is a Fuji SLM Carbon 29er. I am rocking a 1×11 Shimano drive line. Absolute Black chainring in a 32t flavor, and Shimano brakes. Hope Pro4/ WTB i29’s/SP Dynamo Wheelset built by my good mate Ryan Puckett. Check out the newest bike shop in North Ga, Nimble wheels Bicycles! Bags: the centerpiece of this bike is the set of Wanderlust Bikepacking’s Divide, beargrass, rattlesnake, and piñón bike bags. Apidura rear bag, and ortleib front bag. *Note: I won’t be using every bag listed* My favorite piece of kit has to be the Klite dyanmo light, insane little rig!
Age 39 / Campobello, SC (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA on, “Mr. Chubb’s”, a 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.8. The bike has an interesting tire setup consisting of a Bontrager Chupacabra 3.0 up front and a 2.4 XR3 in the rear, a SRAM 1×12 drivetrain with a 28T AbsoluteBlack oval chainring, and Industry Nine Backcountry 360 wheels in the Pisgah 36 design. Bags: I have a mix of bags with the majority being from local maker Rockgeist and a Rogue Panda frame bag. I am also running a pair of Revelate feed bags on the front. A couple 20oz bottles on the fork and a 32oz underneath. Favorite gear: Going minimalist on gear with an emergency bivy and blanket and just enough layers to be safe. I chose to carry 5lb of food to limit purchases and keep nutrition a bit better on the route. Total gear and bike weight came in at 43lb.
Age 43 / Dallas, GA (USA)
The Bike: For my first TNGA attempt, I’ll be riding a 2018 Specialized Chisel. Aluminum frame with 100mm Reba fork up front. Drivetrain is Sram GX 1×11 with a 28T chainring and 10-42 cassette. I’m running Roval carbon wheels with Specialized Fast Trak 2.3 tires front and rear. Bags: Frame bag is a Revelate Tangle. Saddle bag is a Topeak 6L Backloader. Top tube bag is by Nashbar. On my bars, I’ve got one Revelate and one Moosetreks brand feedbags. My base setup is to run 3 water bottles (2 on the frame, 1 in a feedbag). For the more remote sections of the TNGA route west of Dalton, I’ll carry a couple of extra bottles in my rear jersey pockets. Other gear: I’m using an eTrex 30x for navigation and NiteRider Lumina 750’s for lighting (one on bars, one on helmet). Also have a NiteRider Mako 250 as a backup light that runs on AA batteries. Sleeping setup is an Eno DoubleNest hammock and using a Sawyer Mini for water filtration. Lastly, I’ll be carrying an Anker PowerCore 10,000 to keep my phone charged.
Age 26 / Birmingham, Al (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding a 2017 Trek Stache 7. The bike features a few upgrades, including replacing the trash SRAM Level TL brakes with Shimano XT’s (the best upgrade you could do for this bike), adding a Bontrager Dropline dropper post, Maxxis Chronicle tires, and some custom purple Trek decals. Bags: For TNGA I’m sporting all Oveja Negra bags aside from 1 feed bag, which is from RSTech. As far as Oveja Negra bags go, I’m bringing a Large Super Wedgie, Large Snack Pack, Small Snack Angle (not pictured) and a Chuckbucket (not pictured). For navigation I’m primarily relying on the RideWithGPS app on my iPhone, mounted by a Quad Lock, with my WaHoo Element Bolt as a back up. I’ll have a USB rechargeable handlebar light (and a spare of the same light) and a Black Diamond headlamp. I’ll also be carrying 2 bottles (one in a cage, other in a feed bag) and a water bladder (in the frame bag) along with plenty of Nuun Hydration products to keep me hydrated as I suffer across the beautiful hills and mountains of North Georgia.
Age 53 / Fort Ashby, WV (USA)
2013 Trek Superfly carbon frame hardtail. Revelate bags, Jones H bar, Ergon grips, Pedaling Innovations flat pedals. Using house wrap for shelter with SOL Escape bivy and roll.
Age 50 / Valrico, FL (USA)
The Bike: 2017 Lynskey Ridgeline 29. The drivetrain is a mix of SRAM GS and Shimano XT. 36/24 up front, 11-42 out back. The Wheels are NOX carbon with White Industries rear hub and a SON Dyno hub up front. Tires are 2.4 Conti X Kings front and rear. The Bags: frame bag, seat bag, top tube bags and feed bags are all JPAKS. On the bars I use a Salsa cradle and pocket with a dry bag. Light and charging is by Klite and I use Solite 250EX for my helmet light. Sleep system: I use a tent, Six Moons Lunar solo, sleep pad is a Therm-a-Rest Neoair and my sleeping bag is by Zpaks. I also bring 2 pillows…I like to be comfortable. LOL Navigation: I use a Garmin Etrex30.
Andre Van Rooyen
Age 48 / Avon Park, Florida (USA)
The Bike: I’ll be riding the TNGA 18 for first time this year on my Specialized Chisel frame with Rock Shocks – Reba fork and Sram GX Eagle drive train. Running Velocity Blunt 35 rims and Hope Pro4 hubs with Maxxis tires- 29×2.35, Ikon in rear and Ardent Race up front. Bags: All Revelate products with Ranger frame bag, Pika seat bag, Jerry Can as tool kit, Gas Tank for snacks and 2 Feedbags for Hydration. Gear: Eagles Nest – Eno hammock with rain fly and SOL bivvy for some rest and to stay dry. Navigation: Garim etrex 30 with Garmin Edge 520 as backup. Event: I’ve heard some great talks about this ride and for a Florida boy this will be a big challenge as most of our local bike packing rides have relative minimal elevation. Hope to have a great experience and to be able to finish this ride on first attempt.
Good luck out there, racers! You can follow along with the 2018 TNGA here.