Rigs of the 2024 Grand Loop

The Grand Loop is a stunning 365-mile route that hits the Tabeguache Trail, Kokopelli Trail, and Paradox Trail in Southwest Colorado and Utah. This year, over 40 riders have registered for the grand depart, which took off this morning from Nucla, Colorado. With help from the organizers, we gathered details on nearly 40 riders and rigs taking on the 2024 Grand Loop. See them here…

To many, the Grand Loop is considered the original ultra-endurance bikepacking race. Long before iconic races like the Tour Divide, three brave souls set their sights on the challenging 365-mile route through Utah and Colorado, connecting three IMBA Epic trail systems together into a single massive undertaking. Annual grand departs were hosted for around nine years, but they stopped altogether until last year, when the Grand Loop made its comeback. We’re excited to see the Grand Loop back for 2024, and it’s shaping up to be more popular than ever. This year, there are nearly 50 riders registered for the grand depart, compared to just 14 last year. The list includes many familiar names, including Alexandera Houchin, Katie and Andrew Strempke, Matt Annabel, and more. Before we dig into the rigs of the 2024 Grand Loop, here’s a brief history lesson and summary of what this year’s riders are about to tackle from organizer Tim Tait.

  • 2023 the grand loop
  • 2023 the grand loop
  • 2023 the grand loop
  • 2023 the grand loop

Introduction by Tim Tait

The Grand Loop is a 365-mile route between Utah and Southwest Colorado that connects three iconic long-distance mountain bike trails. In the 1990s, The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA) took on the massive endeavor of establishing three IMBA epic trail systems: the Kokopelli Trail, Tabeguache Trail, and Paradox Trail. Connecting them in one large loop birthed “The Grand Loop,” and shortly thereafter, a small group of endurance athletes on the Western Slope decided to challenge themselves to ride the entire route self-supported. The route’s first grand depart was in 2001 with three riders, starting in Grand Junction. Credit goes to Mike Curiak for organizing and establishing the early grand departs as a yearly thing. The Grand Loop is undoubtedly responsible for inspiring the modern bikepack racing landscape as we know it. The Colorado Trail Race and Arizona Trail Race were both heavily inspired by the experiences of the early trailbalzers of our sport on the Grand Loop, Scott Morris and Stefan Greibel.

Around 2009, the grand depart fizzled, lost in a window of time between the early visionaries of the sport and the newest waves of interested and intrigued endurance cyclists. Most of today’s bikepackers tend to gravitate just to the Kokopelli trail, but the Tabeguache and Paradox Trails have just as much to offer. Completing the Grand Loop is a venerable challenge; with heaps of technical, steep doubletrack, this is squarely in heavy hike-a-bike territory.Timing the Loop is quite the challenge as well. There’s a short window in late spring when the higher-elevation sections of the Tabeguache Trail have fully melted and seasonal creeks are still flowing but before the low desert sections become truly unbearable. In 2023, the grand depart was brought back, now starting on the other side of the loop in Nucla, Colorado.

Dig into nearly 40 rider and rig details below, including bike, bag, and gear highlights for each, and then head over to the 2024 Grand Loop event page to follow their progress live.

Matt Annabel

Age 49 / Carbondale, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be piloting “Blue”, my single-speed Revel Wayward with 140mm of party up front. It is our first race together. Blue is geared 32x21T with an Absolute Oval chainring and a Problem Solvers SRAM adapter. The wheels are I9 Carbon FAFs with 2.6″ EXO+ Maxxis Rekon rubber.
BAGS: Blue’s headbadge will cut the wind. Gondola seat pack, custom frame bag, and top-tube bags by Rockgeist. Feedbags by Revelate Designs. I’ll wear a 20L Ultimate Direction Fastpack on my back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Kevlar neck armor for cougar deflection. A Fenix PD36R (on helmet) paired with a Fenix BC26R (on bars) will shine up my nights. Two tiny Nitecore 10,000mAh power banks to keep the electronics alive. If the weather forecast holds, I’ll go with the maximum discomfort sleep system (an S.O.L. Escape bivy plus puffy garments). No shelter. No sleeping bag. Maybe a thin foam sleeping pad. 8L max water capacity.

Jackie Baker

Age 45 / Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: 2022 Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 3. I pulled off most of the stock front-end cockpit and drivetrain and replaced it with Shimano XT.
BAGS: BroadFork frame bag, Stem Cell, and Brandy Barrel: custom-made by Jacque, of course, with the graphic designed by me via AI. There are two handlebar bottle bags, and I’ll be using an Ultimate Direction pack, too.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The BroadFork bags, of course! I’m so happy with how they turned out, and Jacque nailed the fit. Normally I opt for whimsy with the graphics. Since I’m going back to my mountain bike roots with this bike, the alpine theme feels right. You can’t see them here, but I accessorized them with a gold Wolf Tooth dropper lever, gold spacer, and gold Gas Station Food Cyclist stem cap. Also, the tires shown here have since been replaced with Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.4″ tires.

Chris Besnia

Age 39 / Gunnison, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: ‘The Gunsmoke’ Custom Single Speed Goodday with the smoke & mirrors finish, 28 X 17T Gear ratio.
BAGS: Custom Curiosity Bike Bags with Copper Mallow flower X-PAC on the Rattler Bar Bag, Desperado Seat Bag, Copper Mallow Applique on the Framepack, and Bento Bandito bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Goodday Spacer-cradle rack, Enlightened quilt, MSR Freelite 1 tent.


Age 38 / Salida, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Santa Cruz Tallboy (Viola!). Running the SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with a 32T chainring, 10-50T cassette, Roval Control SL carbon wheelset with Pirelli Scorpion 29 x 2.4″ tires.
BAGS: Viola has been rocking the super fun Fish-Ski handmade frame and top tube bags since thru-biking the CT summer of 2022! I love them, she’s rarely seen without them! In addition, I will be using the Rogue Panda Ripsy on the saddle, which allows for full rear travel even with a dropper and Viola’s small frame—it’s been a game changer! My front roll bag is the Backcountry Apidura as is my in-frame 1.5L bladder. Feeder bags are a mix of Apidura and Revelate Designs. I will also be using a Camelpak Chase 8 vest, to carry extra water, food, and hopefully donuts!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My shelter and sleep kit consists of an OR Alpine AscentShell Bivy, Big Agnes AXL air sleeping pad, and Western Mountaineering Terralite bag. Another game changer is the Aeroe Spider handlebar cradle, which keeps all the gear held safely above the cabling! Navigating with the Wahoo Element Bolt, apps on the phone as a backup. Garmin InReach mini for tracking. Kahhh leh go!

Marshal Bird

Age 68 / Grand Junction, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: 2016 Salsa Pony Rustler with a mishmash of old and new parts and bags. Dropper and 1X 12 are AXS.
BAGS: Newer bags are all Tailfin. Goodday’s Spacer Cradle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Rack gets my top mark for a simple but highly functional handlebar cradle mount. The backpack is Restrap’s new Race Hydration Vest.

Adam Blanchard

Age 40 / Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: Cannondale Scalpel.
BAGS: A mix of Revelate Designs, Oveja Negra, and a Greg Wheelwright (of Boulder, CO circa 2015) seat bag, all well used and loved.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: SOL Bivy and 40 degree bag, Gloworm lighting. Etrex 30 for navigation.

Jason Christiansen

Age 27 / Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the Grand Loop on a custom Chumba Sendero Ti. Whether it be not getting enough attention during childhood or simply because I crave that Type 2 fun, I’ll be doing it on a singlespeed with 32x20T gearing. The bike also features the Vittoria Mezcal 2.6″ tires mounted on Enve M35 Wheels.
BAGS: I decided to skip a handlebar bag/roll for this race. For me, the technicality of this route meant that I wanted the nimbleness of a light front end. Thus I decided to go with the Tailfin rack for the rear to store my sleep setup as well as some other minor items. I also will be representing Andrew Strempke’s Dispersed Frame Bag, Top Tube Bag, and goodie bucket (the trifecta, if you will). I’ll be carrying 3.5L of ‘water’.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: To keep my spirits high, I opted for the Doom Bikepackers Delight titanium bars for comfort and compliance, EndlessBikeCo’s 20T Kickass Cog, and the Garmin 1040 solar for navigation and long-lasting battery life. My sleep setup will consist of the Hyperlite 45-degree down quilt and ground tarp. The phone will be used to play endless amounts of Reggae.

Sean Cowie

Age 29 / Denver, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the Grand Loop on a 2020 Salsa Timberjack with recently upgraded NOBL 29″ carbon wheels paired with a Maxxis Rekon up front and Ardent in the rear. Other modifications include an absoluteBLACK 30T oval chainring in tandem with a 12-speed 51T cassette and my favorite addition, the SQLab Innerbarends for another hand position through the chunk (if I can hang on).
BAGS: The Rogue Panda frame bag was custom-made for my Tour Divide rig last year and ~mostly~ fits the Timberjack, so we’re running with it, especially because it’s paired with an Apidura 3L bladder in the bottom portion. Rounding out the bags are a Revelate MagTank, Bedrock Bags Entrada handlebar bag, and a Revelate Vole seat bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m diving headfirst into the bivy game, using the OR Alpine AscentShell with a Hammock Gear quilt for my “sleep” system.

Ben Coyle

Age 38 / Grand Junction, Colorado (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing myself (no one else, I’m too slow, and this is my first race ever) on my ’24 steel Esker Hayduke. It’s on 29er noble rims (TR37) with Onyx hubs for that oh-so-sweet silent roll. I’ve got a Recon 2.6″ out back and a 2.6″ Forecaster up front with the 120mm Pike Ultimate. The drivetrain is a 12-speed E13 cassette with a 30T and an X01 derailleur. Code stealth brakes, a OneUp v3 dropper, and my Wren Perseverance bar round out the build.
BAGS: My bags are a Revelate Designs handlebar harness, my Tumbleweed rear rack with Sea to Summit Big River dry bag, and my custom bag set from @pizzaboxdesignsbikebags, which includes two feed bags, the frame bag, and the custom shape for my aero loop
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite part of this bike is the bike itself. Esker makes an incredible ride, and this is the most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden for long distances. I even ditched my chamois! Next are my bike bags from John over at @Pizzaboxdesignsbikebags. He did an amazing job. I’m particularly in love with my aero loop bag and the water reservoir in my frame pack! Last but not least is my Wren Perseverance Bar. It’s amazing for bikepacking, carries weight well, and provides plenty of attachment options and extra hand positions.

Big Dave

Age 54 / Moab, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: XXL Esker Ti Japhy 29+. AKA Janky. A mish-mash of parts like XT levers on TRP calipers, 12-year-old cranks, Chris King BB, and mismatched rims.
BAGS: Full kit of LiteSkin fabric Nuke Sunrise Bike Bags, since I own the company.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: After a 10 year hiatus from “racing(?)”, I’m still using a few items from my ’14 TD Nobo and earlier events, such as my custom Cuben fiber (now DCF) bivy, full-length Neo Air Therm-a-Rest, and Exposure Diablo light. Looking to get great sleep with only an hour or two of riding each night. OMM Elkhorn with mini-panniers for full shred dropper action. Garmin 32x. Jetboil MicroMo, as I want two hots and instant coffee daily.

Gregg Dunham

Age 45 / Thousand Oaks, California (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding an El Jefe titanium hardtail with ti bars. My saddle is an Ergon SM pro, and the grips are the Wolf Tooth Fat Paws paired with Cane Creek Ergo Control Bar Ends. The fork is a RockShox Pike Ultimate. Gearing is a 30T chainring with AXS shifting on the 12-speed Eagle 10-52T cassette. I’m very excited about my recent addition of Onyx hubs and Nobl wheels.
BAGS: I’ve outfitted my bike with finely crafted Dispersed bags along with Mountain Laurel and Revelate bags filled with all my tools, layers, and snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have the ability to carry 6 liters of water across the dry sections of the route. Lighting is provided by Fenix, and navigation is by Wahoo.

Gary Dye

Age 52 / Grand Junction, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: 2023 Specialized Epic Evo, Rock Shox Reba fork, Rock Shox deluxe shock, XT/ SLX drivetrain with Wolf Tooth 30T oval, SLX 4-piston brakes, Maxxis Rekon 2.6″ front/2.4″ rear, Cush Core tire inserts w/ Orange Seal sealant, Deity TMac pedals, Ergon GA3 grips.
BAGS: Function before Fashion frame bag, Revelate Salty Roll handlebar harness, Revelate Shrew seat bag, Tailfin fork mounts with three water bottles, Grayl Ultrapress water filter in the fourth cage. Lezyne Macro Drive 1400 lumen bar light, Lezyne tire plug kit inside grip, Lezyne Alloy Drive pump on downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Snugpak Jungle Bag sleeping bag, Sea to Summit Reactor Plus bag liner, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT sleeping pad.

Kevin Emery

Age 53 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’m riding a 2022 Pivot Mach 4 SL. Fox suspension provides a 100mm rear and 120mm front. Industry Nine Trail 270 aluminum rims, Hydra hubs, and Maxxis Ikon 2.35″ tires. Ergon touch points for hands and rump. SRAM XO 12-speed transmission, wireless shifting 30T x 10-52T gearing.
BAGS: All the frame bags are Rogue Panda, the handlebar harness is Revelate Designs Pronghorn, and the dropper seat bag is Rockgeist Gondola.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation with Garmin Edge 530 iPhone backup. Lighting by Fenix and Princeton Tech. For this rainy event, my hands and upper body will be kept warm and dry by Black Diamond Climbing Equipment. My lower body will be covered by Gorewear brand Gore-Tex sock covers and oven-roasting turkey bags to line my socks when the Gore-Tex fails in my shoes. Gorewear brand Gore-Tex Paclite rain pants. Lots of trash bags and plastic to seal everything else from the elements. Sleep kit is a credit card. A sleeping bag and pad will be carried because I’m smart like that.

Graham Goff

Age 54 / Bozeman, Montana (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be making my way around the Grand Loop on a Marin Rift Zone 2 with 2.4″ Maxxis tires, a Forecaster on the front, and an Ardent on the rear. The saddle and grips are Ergon, and I’m running SQ Labs inner bars ends on my Tumbleweed Persuader bars.
BAGS: My bags are a mix of Apidura and Revelate with Ghost Cat Bags custom frame and top tube bags. I’ve added a Revelate Egress Bag to my normal setup to allow for some additional food storage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Patagonia half bag, down jacket, and an MSR bivy will be my sleep kit. A couple of layers and some tools, along with a bunch of food, will fill out my bags.

Katrina Hase

Age 51 / White Bear Lake, Minnesota (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2023 Pivot Mach 4 SL Pro full suspension (120/100) mountain bike with Maxxis Ardent Race (front) and Ikon (back) 2.35” tires. I’ve swapped in a PNW Loam carbon handlebar with a 38° rise and Ergon GS3 grips for comfort. I’m using the Ergon Women’s SM saddle. I have Shimano XT PD-M8120 trail clipless pedals. I’ve added a handlebar extender for mounting my front light and Wahoo Elemnt Roam v2 bike computer.
BAGS: A key new piece of gear is the Old Man Mountain Divide rear rack with 10L Tailfin mini panniers. This rack will allow me to use my dropper post and has space on the top to carry an extra 2L CNOC water bladder as needed. Front bag is a Swift Industries Catalyst bag. Top tube and frame bags are Cedaero. Stem bags are from Revelate Designs—each will hold a 1L water bottle. I’ve installed an Old Man Mountain Axle Pack to mount cages for two 1.5L Nalgene bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system is a Katabatic Gear Piñon Bivy, Therm-a-Rest Neo X-Air Light mattress and Zenbivy Ultralight (25°F) quilt with ultralight sheet. I have a Gossamer Gear solo tarp to use as needed. I’m carrying two 10,00mAh power banks to charge my phone, computer, and lights.

James Hendershott

Age 36 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: My trusty T-rex Roscoe built for all the silly lines. Fox 36 with 140mm of rock gobbling goodness paired with an ascent eating 28T up front and 10-52T in the caboose. Wide Deity bars for establishing dominance on the trails because if you ain’t rubbin’, you ain’t racing. It might not be fast, but I’ll have more fun than everyone else.
BAGS: A collection of bags from my favorite manufacturers. Framebag and snack bags from Dispersed Bikepacking, seat bag from Rockgeist, and the Canelo harness from Rogue Panda.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Since winter just ended in the Teton Valley, I’m most excited about my Fenix lights so I can ride mostly at night.

Seth Holmes

Age 39 / Longmont, Colorado (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: Pivot Trail 429.
BAGS: Jpaks custom frame bag and top tube bag. Goodday Spacer cradle rack with a Mountain Laurel Designs dry bag. Revelate Designs Shrew seat bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: 40° Sea to Summit sleeping bag and an MSR bivy for some quality rest. Fenix lights on the bar and helmet. 6L water capacity. Lots and lots of snacks to get me to the first resupply at mile 200.

Alexandera Houchin

Age 34 / Cloquet, Minnesota (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: Esker Steel Hayduke SS 32×21 with Cane Creek, Wolftooth, Industry Nine Solix Wheelset.
BAGS: Dispersed frame bag, feed bag, and top tube bag. I don’t know anyone else out there who makes such finely engineered ultra-racing specific bags. I’m running a handlebar roll from Baryak Joe.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I deliberated for way too long on my gearing. Stoked on the blingy Helm, running a 2.6″ Rekon in the rear and a 2.4″ Rekon up front. Carrying at least 6L water capacity. Tiny sleep kit, basic clothing, and food.

Grant Kamin

Age 28 / Oakland, California (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Grand Loop on my 2023 Ibis DV9 in the beautiful “Purple Crush” colorway. This bike is a frame-up build, so I was able to dial it in for my preferences. The bike features a Wolf Tooth 28T oval chainring paired with a SRAM AXS X01/GX blend drivetrain (50T X01 cassette, 165mm GX cranks), Shimano SLX 4 piston brakes, 29” Reserve 28 carbon wheels, and a new pair of Specialized Ground Control 2.35” tires. ENVE bars cut to 760mm with Ergon grips and SQ Lab inner bar ends.
BAGS: I am using Revelate Design bags on my bike. I am running the Salty Roll/Harness, Mag Tank, and Two Feed Bags up front, their full-frame triangle bag, Joey Downtube bag, and a Terrapin 10L saddle bag. I will carry two water bottles in the feed bags, and two more water bottles in my hip pack with an option to fill up a bladder for some of the longer stretches between water sources. To not confuse water and carb mix, one of my feed bags is purple the other is black. I will be using color-coordinated water bottles as well. I am excited about a new Rockgeist Spacelink I added to make some room to strap all these bags around a 60mm/shorter stack stem. I saw one of these on a friend’s bike sans bags and a very tall steerer tube above the stem; I wondered if he was practicing for a bull riding competition until he explained what it was for. A very useful accessory for attaching bags with a short stem!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An Outdoor Research Helium bivy will serve as my shelter along with a Big Agnes quilt and air pad. I’ll be carrying a lot of food, various clothing layers, medical/repair, and a Wahoo Bolt and InReach.

Maxwell Lasky

Age 34 / Crested Butte, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing The Grand Loop on my custom Chumba Sendero Ti with Industry Nine Hydra Enduro Carbon wheels. Rolling on Maxxis tires with a 2.6″ Rekon in the front with a 2.6″ Ikon in back. My cockpit features Wolf Tooth Mega Fat Paw grips and custom-chopped Ergon inner bar ends mounted on Deity handlebars. Up front, I’ve got a RockShox SID Ultimate fork with 120mm of travel and a remote lockout. Will be navigating like it’s 2010 using my trusty Garmin eTrex32x powered by two AA batteries. I’ll be racing single speed, with a 32T Wolf Tooth oval chainring and a 23T Endless Bike Co cog for a straightforward and reliable setup.
BAGS: Tailfin AeroPack Alloy rack in the back, Oveja Negra Superwedgie in the frame, Revelate Designs pronghorn on the bars, and a Rogue Panda Designs Alamo Gordo top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m opting to forgo a sleeping kit in favor of a full kitchen and stove setup—because after 20 hours of pedaling, who wants to eat a Cliff Bar for dinner? Room in my Tailfin rack for additional water, essential for those brutally exposed and dry sections of the route. Given the extreme difficulty of this course, I’ll be using an easy gear ratio to avoid exploding. Lots and lots of salt pills, caffeine, electrolytes, and a few other performance-enhancing substances.

David Matesi

Age 56 / Taos, New Mexico (USA)

2024 Pinyons and Pines Rigs

BIKE: Riding 2018 Salsa Timberjack 27.5″ hardtail.
BAGS: Whatever I can find. I have a frame bag from REI that is not a brand I’ve ever seen advertised before. I believe it’s Roadrunner. Oversized cages on forks with pipe clamps.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Rear rack from Old Man Mountain that I found on eBay, modified with a chunk of aluminum to mount to the axle.

Rustie McCumber

Age 34 / Oakland, California (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: Cervelo zfs-5.
BAGS: A random combination of things my friends brought me, other bags I panic bought last minute, and a Revelate Designs tail bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I just put on a super blinged-out Absolute Black chainring. My 10lb of top ramen is going to be the most critical piece of gear.

Todd Murray

Age 61 / Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: My bike is a 2015 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon, 2x with 36/22T front chainrings and an e*thirteen 9-46T cassette. It has brand new Specialized Ground Control 2.35″ tires mounted to Reynolds AR29X carbon rims, Ergon GP2 grips, and Garmin Rally XC100 single-sided power meter pedals.
BAGS: The bags I’ll be using on my bike include a Revalate Designs Gas Tank top tube bag along with their Jerrycan bag. I’ve also got a generic seat bag for additional storage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gear highlights include two Soma Fabrications 36oz water bottles, a King Cage stainless steel bottle lowering cage, and I’ll be wearing a Golite VO24 daypack. I’ll rely on my Garmin Edge 1040 for navigation. For lights, I’ll be using a bar-mounted Fenix BC21R along with a helmet-mounted headlamp. I’m also using a Granite Cricket mountain bike bell to let the critters know I’m coming.

Denny Newell

Age 54 / North Logan, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: Why Cycles El Jefe running as a single-speed 32 x 22T on slightly used Maxxis Ardent 2.4″ tires. Rockshox Pike 130mm.
BAGS: Miscellaneous Revelate Designs bags including seat bag, frame bag, sweetroll, etc. Salomon 12 L ultra-running type vest for some water and lots of snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep kit includes Sea to Summit down sleeping bag, older Klymit x-frame pad, and game-time decision on bivy (emergency or OR bivy). 5.5 L water capacity. Etrex 30 GPS. Fenix lights.

Scott Pauker

Age 47 / Moab, Utah (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy, SRAM drivetrain and XT brakes. Running Rekon/Forekaster tires.
BAGS: Bags are a hodge podge of Nuclear Sunrise, Rogue Panda, and Revelate. Whatever I can fit on the bike, plus a backpack for overflow burritos.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Never travel without my Irish penny whistle, some hand shakers and a squeaky purple hippopotamus mounted to the bars for when I pass people (but let’s be real, it’s for when I get passed!)

Karin Pocock

Age 43 / Crested Butte, Colorado & Bend, Oregon (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: “Charlie” my well-loved Santa Cruz Carbon Chameleon with NOBL TR37 29” Carbon Wheels.
BAGS: Custom lunch box for the front roll from Wolf Pax (thanks, Kya), frame bag and front roll from Rockgeist, and JPaks footlong for all the quick access items. Assorted Revelate and Oveja Negra to complete the setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Blue Ice Firecrest 28L pack that’s lighter than any 10-15L bike pack has been an asset since last year’s AZTR 800. This allows for clothes/bivy items and bulky snacks or just extra snacks! Sea to Summit 40° sleeping bag and OR Helium bivy make for a great sleep. Ride Concepts shoes, Race Face Atlas flats, and Selle Italia saddle make the touch points comfy and secure.

Ian Rogers

Age 30 / Grand Junction, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the 2024 Grand Loop Race on a 2019 Spot Mayhem 130. This bike features Maxxis tires (2.4″ Forekaster/2.4″ Rekon) mounted to Hunt wheels and a rear Cushcore insert for smashing through the chunk. The drivetrain is SRAM 1×12 with a 28T elliptical chainring to crawl up the steeps. Contact points are Ergon Grips, Bikeyoke Sagma Saddle, and some Origin8 bar ends mounted inboard with ESI grips. Electronic gizmos are a Wahoo Element Roam, Garmin InReach, Fenix BC30R, and BD headlight.
BAGS: Bags are a hodgepodge of Revelate Designs (seat and handlebar), Rogue Panda (small top tube), Rockgeist (2x feed bags), and made by me (large top tube and small frame bag). I will also be wearing a Salomon running vest for extra food/water capacity when needed.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: If I feel the urge to sleep, I will crawl into my Enlightened Equipment 30° quilt and OR Alpine Bivy on top of a partial Therm-a-Rest foam mattress. I will also be bringing sun sleeves and a sun hat to protect myself from the cruel orb in the sky.

Lindsay Shepard

Age 42 / Van Life (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: I’m racing the Grand Loop on a custom steel hardtail that I helped create in a frame-building class at BREW Bikes. The bike is singlespeed (34x21T) and features a Shutter Precision dynamo, a Fox 34 Step-Cast 120mm fork, and Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR 29 x 2.3″ tires.
BAGS: My South City Stitchworks full-length top tube bag is the most versatile bag I’ve ever rolled, and it never leaves my bike. My frame bag and feed bags are also by South City Stitchworks, the seat bag is a Revelate Designs Spinelock 16L (not pictured), and the handlebar bag is a heavily mended 10-year-old Revelate Sweetroll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Katadyn Befree water filter and handkerchiefs for prefiltering the tenacious Utah silt will be the star gear of my ride.

Harrison Shotzbarger

Age 33 / Victor, Idaho (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: Moné LaRoca v2 @ 140mm, 34x22T or something around there, Hydra rear hub on an RW30 rim, Roost Ti bars, eeWings, and Code RSCs with 200mm rotors front/rear.
BAGS: Dispersed, Rockgeist, Revelate, Oveja Negra, Temu.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For this ride, honestly just grateful for GPS devices. My Acepac front harness has survived a lot and is still a favorite piece of gear—affordable! Mixed with an accessory bar, it’s positioned quite nicely.

Evan Smiley

Age 31 / Moab, Utah (USA)

2024 grand loop rigs

BIKE: Kona Process 134 CR/DL.
BAGS: Nuke Sunrise frame bag (See you on course, Dave!), river dry bag in the front on an Oveja Front End Loader, baby Revelate out back. MEGA top tube bag from __?__(***bought used, never could track down the manufacturer).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: First known Grand Loop attempt chainless! (jk, new chain was sitting in degreaser during the photo). First ride using the Tailfin suspension fork mounts after having most other options fail at one point or another. MORE WATER! Bald Maxxis Dissector out back for speed and cornering (read: I ran out of time to put on another tire).

Andrew Strempke

Age 31 / Old La Sal, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: Chumba Sendero Ti singlespeed 32x20T with 2.6″ Rekons.
BAGS: Dispersed Bikepacking bags made by Katie and me!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 1040 Solar, Fenix lights, an emergency bivy, and a top tube bag full of burritos.

Katie Strempke

Age 31 / Old La Sal, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: I’m riding a Chumba Sendero Ti. Usually a singlespeeder, this time I’m riding with gears! I have a Shimano XT setup with a 28T front chainring and 11-51T cassette.
BAGS: Bags are Dispersed, made by my partner Andrew and me in our off-grid cabin, not too far off the Grand Loop route!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m running a dynamo hub with a kLite. It was a bit of a toss-up with a race this length, but having unlimited light gives me peace of mind.

Tim Tait

Age 40 / Nucla, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: Esker Hayduke Ti. 120mm Pike Fork, Hope Brakes, SRAM drivetrain. Recons front and back, dynamo, and DT240 laced to Nobl rims.
BAGS: Rogue Panda frame bag, Rockgeist Gondola seat bag, and Dispersed bags for the cockpit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m going to enjoy a 28T upfront for all the loose and steep vert the Grand Loop has to offer, with some custom bent Ti Doom Bars for a touch more comfort on the hands.

Bill Talley

Age 27 / Durango, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: My 2022 Canyon Lux TR, which I’ve nicknamed Madam Zaroni because I have the curse, and I must carry her up the mountain and sing while she drinks. 110/120mm of clapped-out suspension and mismatched wheels. Forekaster 2.4″ + Rekon 2.4″ EXO+. Tough enough to survive the “roads” (read: long skinny pits of rubble) that make up much of this route? We shall see…
BAGS: Custom Bedrock framebag, JPaks Farva snack pack, and some off-the-shelf Revelate. Tried and true drybag with ski straps up front.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: OR Astroman sun hoody and USWE Outlander Pro hydration vest, both of which are white to stay cool in the desert sun. Rab Mythic 30°F, NeoAir XLite pad, Helium Bivy, and puffy jacket because I’m sick of shivering all night. Hydrapak inline filtration plus AquaMira because I’m sick of getting sick. Timber bell because I’m sick of feeling like a walking cat snack in the high country. Exposure Maxx D, Fenix BC26R, Wahoo Roam, 3x Nitecore 10Ah, Pax Mini.

Ian Thomas

Age 25 / Grand Junction, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: 2020 Norco Revolver FS 120 with a mish-mash of parts I’ve selected over the years. Bombproof DT Swiss wheels and hubs, and a mechanical SRAM Eagle Drivetrain at various levels. Really stoked on a pair of Thompson Ti handlebars with 12 degrees of backsweep and 100% bling. Really focusing on reliability and durability with this build!
BAGS: In the face of such a remote race, this is a very snack-forward setup! I’ve got a good mix of Revelate, Tailfin, and Oveja Negra bags for this setup, with a small full suspension frame bag, MagTank, handlebar roll, and snack bag from Revelate (Shrew saddlebag not pictured), Tailfin snack bag, Suspension Fork Mounts, and downtube bag, and an Oveje Negra snack bag as well. I’ll also be carrying an Osprey running pack for an extra 3L of water and more snacks!

Johnny Townsend

Age 40 / Nucla, Colorado (USA)

2024 Grand Loop rigs

BIKE: On-One Vandal, Rock Shox Pike Ultimate 130mm, SRAM GX 11-speed (30T x 11-50T), Ritchey Kyote bars (with inboard-mounted Profile Designs Boxer bar ends), ESI Grips, Cush Core-d Maxxis Rekon 2.6″ on Hunt XC wide wheels, SDG Bel Air V3 Overland saddle. Dual Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XLs, Lezyne Mega XL GPS
BAGS: Ultra 200 Dispersed frame and top tube bags. Revelate Designs feed bags and seat bag. A compact Specialized/Fjallraven bar bag is reappropriated as a downtube tool/repair stash. On-body: a USWE Patriot 15L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Litume Ultra Air 40-degree down bag, PowerLix inflatable pad, SOL bivy

Matthew Turner

Age 28 / Park City, Utah (USA)

2024 Grand Loop Rigs

BIKE: Chumba Stella, SRAM GX AXS Drivetrain, and Vittoria 2.35″ Mezcal Trail tires.
BAGS: Broadfork Frame bag, Revelate Designs Shrew saddle pack, Revelate Top Tube bags, and a Ortlieb accessory bar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: USWE bike vest and downtube storage for water. Also bringing two filter systems, Katadyn Befree and MSR TrailShot, along with purifying tablets. Sleep kit includes an UL big Agnes 40 sleeping bag and Klymit X frame pad.

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