Rigs of The 2019 Tour Divide
Continuing our annual tradition, here are the Rigs of the 2019 Tour Divide, featuring nearly 80 riders, their bikes, and gear kit details about what they’re bringing along for the 2,750+ mile journey…
Continuing the tradition, here are the riders and rigs of the this year’s Tour Divide, the 12th running of the longest and biggest event in bikepacking. The grand depart kicks off this Friday, June 14th (the second Friday in June, like every year). Thanks to a passionate group of participants, we’ve compiled a list of nearly 80 rigs, each accompanied with the name, age, and hometown of the rider, as well as a brief kit list.
The most popular bike in the field is clearly the Salsa Cutthroat, representing over 25% of the field. Other popular models include the Surly Krampus, Salsa Fargo, and Salsa Woodsmoke.
A big thank you to all the riders who submitted your photos and information. Good luck out there, and have fun!
Age 33 / Orlando, FL (USA)
BIKE: I’m riding my dream adventure rig: a Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon named Stormbreaker. It’s basically a fat gravel bike, the perfect steed for the TD. Built as a 29er on Velocity 35s with a SP dynamo and Axa light/usb combo. Teravail Sparwoods (tubeless) are my tires of choice. They’re super fast and shed mud well but still have enough grip to give confidence in fast wet descents. SRAM Rival + Truvativ Stylo carbon cranks, 32×11-42. Brooks C15 is the best touring saddle I’ve ridden and keeps my butt happy.
BAGS: Bags are from Urban Desert. Sleep system (shelter, pad, bag, etc) up front, clothes and tools in frame, food and drink behind bars. I may switch the handlebar roll to a saddle bag for more space on the drops, ease of access, traction in the rear, and overall aerodynamics.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Full frame DSLR camera and Osmo Pocket to extensively document the route and people. You can follow along at @getlostphotoclub. Borah Gear tarp + bug bivy combo is my shelter system for comfort and protection while still being sub 1lb. 96 oz water capacity in bottles, 48 oz more in filter Sawyer bags with caps for long stretches. Oh, and I’ll be riding flats for the TD. The freedom of movement and comfort absolutely outweigh efficiency of clipless over that much time for me, not to mention the amount of hike a bike required. Total weight of bike and gear (no food or water) is 38 lbs.
Age 60 / Longmont, CO (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2017 Salsa Cutthroat same one that I rode in 2017. I’m running the very reliable SRAM force1 1×11 set. This gear set has been modified to utilize the SRAM R2C (return to center) bar-end shifter, a nice departure from the road style brifter. The ZIPP seat post was swapped out for the Cane Creek Thudbuster. The rims and tires are SRAM Rail front / Stans Flow EX rear with the ever popular Maxxis IKONs 2.2. The Front hub is a SON dynamo providing split charging to the Edelux II headlight and a high capacity cache battery. I’m stomping the Crank Brothers Double shot combo pedals half beaters half platforms.
BAGS: The bags are an assortment of BBD, Salsa EXP, and Revelate Designs handle bar, frame, and seat systems. The front bag is the SeaToSummit eVent waterproof bag without compression strap system.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: BarYak Expedition supporting the Garmin ETrex30x, cockpit mounts for compass, spot gen3, and 5000 mA charging interface, that charges the cache battery while capable of discharging to USB devices simultaneously, a design that I continue to refine. The Sleep system is comprised of the Klymit light pad, Marmot 50 half-fill bag, and Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 UL tent.
Age 55 / Oceanside, CA (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a SAGE Titanium Flow Motion. RockShox Revelation, SRAM XO1 Eagle, ENVE M-630’s, Maxxis Recon 2.4 up front, Maxxis Icon 2.35 Rear., NightRider 1400 Pro Race Headlight, Garmin ETrex 30T for Nav, Full Revelate Bag Set (except – Salsa EXP Top Tube Bag).
BAGS: Frame Pack – 2.0 Liter Bladder + Food, Terapin Seatpack – Sleep System, Sweetroll – Clothing +, Feedbags – Stuff +, Gerry Can – Stuff +, Top Tube Bag – Food
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: NightRider Headlight w/ 6 Cell Batt (35+ Hours of Run time @200 Lumens), Nemo Disco 30 Bag, ETrex 30T, Leatt “Core” Tool Belt, Leatt “DBX 5.0 Rain Jacket, Giro “Empire VR-70 Knit shoes, Life Straw
Age 63 / Madison, Wisconsin (USA)
BIKE: I’l be riding the 2018 Tour Divide on a 2013 Specialized Crave. Originally a single speed mountain bike, it was upgraded to have gears using a Gevenalle conversion kit for TRP Hylex single speed shifters. The drop bars and TRP Hylex brakes were installed in the fall of 2013 for cyclocross racing. The Gevenalle conversion was added last year in preparation for the Tour Divide. The setup is a 1×11 with a 36T chainring and an 11-46 cassette. Neff Cycle Service build the wheels using Nox Composite Rims, Swiss DT hub in rear and a Shutter Precision PD-8 dynamo hub in the front. Two accessory bar extenders are used. One for the Sinewave Beacon light, Garmin InReach Mini and Garmin eTrex 20x. The other accessory bar drops down from the handlebars to keep the bags out front and off the wheel. The bags are strapped to the handlebars and the lower accessory bar using Voile straps. Two water bottle cages are mounted to the downtube at an angle using SKS anything mounts and Voile straps instead of the SKS velcro straps. The water bottle cages are made by Lezyne. The downtube bag is a Honaker BOT bag from BedRock Bags.
The bags: There is an Ortleb Accessory Pack fashioned to the Sea to Summit dry bag up front. My Sea to Summit sleeping pad is rolled inside an Urasak AllMitey bear bag. The electronics are contained within a Wheels Up stem bag which sits in front of an Ortlieb Cockpit Pack. The frame bag is made by Blackburn and the seat pack by Ortlieb.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I really like having the eTrex 20x and InReach Mini. This combo has keeps me on track and in good graces back home. I sleep in the same bag I used to cross from Madison to Anacortes, WA via Canada back in 2000. I rest easy in this down bag and a 2018 Big Agnes Copper Spur tent. I ditched the cook set in favor of two plastic gelato jars for making cold-brew oatmeal and coffee. These live in the Honaker BOT bag and can carry supplies when not brewing dinner.
Age 41 / Ramingining (Aboriginal community), Northern Territory, Australia
BIKE: I ride a Trek Top Fuel 9.0. It’s my XC race bike. (I have degenerative discs in my lower back so can’t ride a hard tail for days on end.) I have upgraded the wheels to Mavic CrossMax Pro, and the drivetrain is SRAM GX 1×12 with a 30t chainring on the front. I have added Profile Design T2 aero bars up front with cross bar for my light. I also just added a Specialized Power Comp mimic saddle – get on it ladies! (literally) It’s AMAZINGLY comfortable.
BAGS: For the TD I will have my Apidura saddle drybag (17L), Apidura top tube bag, 2x Apidura feed bags (not pictured), a Roswheel ‘fuel tank’ bag, a Bedrock Bags honaker bag under my downtube, and my Macpac Bush Cocoon bivy with a few extra items stuffed inside it’s bag on the handlebars. A 1L bottle on each fork side and a 600mL bottle in the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My prize possession is ‘Tucker Turtle’ (horn) up on the handlebars. He’s good conversation on long solo rides.
Age 59 / Chandler, Arizona (USA)
I’ll be riding in the 2019 tour divide scheduled for the grand depart going south on June 14. I’ll be riding a 2017 Salsa Cutthroat with Stan’s arch wheels and Maxxis Icons as the tires. The gearing is a 32t front and carbon cranks. The rear gearing will be 48-11t. Disc hydraulic brakes with drop, and aero bars. Accompanying me will be my Mascot Razor on the front. My front suspension is a Lauf Boost fork. Bags are a combination Salsa and Revelate. Hopefully a reliable GPS by Garman and a phone ready to take some super photos and video!
Age 46 / Council Bluffs, Iowa (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2011 Salsa Ti El Mariachi “frankenbike”. It features 2×9 SRAM XO twist shift with 11-40 rear 38 -24 front. The brakes are Avid BB7 mechanical disc which I’m not fond of but they are reliable. I am running an Exposure branded SP dynamo hub. I built a USB charger and lights for the hub but out of reliability fears purchased a klite USB charger and exposure Revo light. I am super happy with that choice as both items are vastly superior to my DIY alternatives. I’ll be riding 29×2.25 Vittoria Mezcals. The rear hub is Chris King ISO hub laced to a Velocity Blunt SL rim. On the Dynamo I have laced a DT Swiss XR391. My saddle is a Brooks all weather carved C15.
BAGS: The overwhelming majority of my bags were custom made by my dot watcher extraordinaire and Tour Divide super fan mom. I also have a Revelate Sweetroll and Topeak Backloader.
Age 59 / Maarn, The Netherlands
BIKE: Riding, not racing a Salsa Cutthroat 2018 Apex 1, medium, standard except drivetrain (34×11/42), Crankbrothers Eggbeaters 3, tyres Maxxis Ikon Exo Tubeless. Front 2.35, rear 2.20 Profile alu tribar with selfmade light set-up. Fenix BT10 frontlight with Black Diamond headlight. All battery powered for simplicity.
BAGS: Revelate Sweetroll medium, Revelate feedbag (2x), Revelate tanktop and Vizcaya saddlebag. Salsa Framebag medium. Camelbag Mule backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Changed WTB sadle for my old and proven Terry saddle. My comfortzone: Terra Nova Laser Comp. 1 tent (680 gr.) and a Valandré Mirage sleepingbag (740 gr.) together with a Rab Microlight downjacket and Rab Downpour GTX-jacket and -pants. Extremities GTX raingloves. Hope my Garmin Etrex 30x brings me to Antelope Wells
John Girmsey Jr.
Age 60 / Kapolei, Hawaii (USA)
THE BIKE: 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 rolling on a Maxxis Ikon 2.6 front and WTB Ranger Tough 2.25 rear wrapped on a set of WTB Frequency i25 rims with a SON Dynamo hub up front/DT Swiss 350 rear and stopped by TRP Spyre calipers and 180/160 rotors. Component mods include a 32 tooth front ring on 170mm cranks and 9-46 eThirteen cassette. A Thomson setback seatpost, WTB Volt Ti Team saddle, Crank Brothers pedals and double wrapped carbon Woodchipper bars make up touch points/comfort zones.
BAGS: Rogue Panda frame bag, a front loading PackNW roll with Ortlieb accessory bag combination up front, Revelate Terrapin seat pack, Salsa Anything cages/bags on the fork, Oveja Negra top tube bag, Revelate Jerrycan, Bedrock Bags Spot harness, and Revelate feed bags at the stem. Blackburn rear cages added for “as required”.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Fly Creek tent, Nemo pad, crappy old sleeping bag with additional liner will serve as my humble abode. K-lite Bikepacker Ultra headlight and K-lite USB charger powering Etrex 30 and Garmin 520 for navigation and data – and cache battery charging. Lezyne Micro floor HV pump. FAVORITE GEAR always: Revelate feedbags and Voile straps!
Age 35 / Sydney, Australia
BIKE: Muru Innamincka 29er, built with Salsa Firestarter forks, carbon rims laced to Rohloff and SON hubs with Maxxis Ardent 2.4 (f) and Vittoria Mezcal 2.35 (r), driven from Racerace Next SL cranks via a belt drive, Jones loop bars, ti post, Brooks B17 saddle, Ergon grips, Shimano XT race pedals, and aero bars. Lighting is an Exposure Revo dynamo front and a standard rear flasher. The Extrex 30 and SPOT gen 3 are bar mounted as is the standard cycle computer. Fully loaded and ready to start its 22kg (without food or water).
BAGS: Bar roll, harness, frame bag, and chaff bags are custom from the Bike Bag Dude. Revelate Designs takes care of the gas tank and top bag and the seat bag is a Terrapin. The gas tank is all tools and spares, and the top bag is batteries, chargers, cables, etc. The frame bag houses an MSR 4L bladder, a USB charger and cache batter, and toiletries in the top, with water purification, first aid, odds and bobs, and a spare belt in the bottom.
The bar roll has wet weather gear (Ground Effects jacket, Assos rain pants, Rocky Sox, and Assos rain gloves), cold weather layers (Netti base layer, PI toe covers, Assos wind stopper over gloves, and a Netti wind stopper vest), and some camping/civi clothes (shorts, shirt, synthetic down jacket) in case I get an opportunity to do laundry.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A tried and tested combo of a silk liner in a Western Mountaineering highlight bag, on a 3/4 NeoAir XLite, in a bug bivy with a Z-Packs Pocket Tarp if it rains, all in the seat bag with a micro towel and a beanie and thermal top.
Age 24 / Huntington, IN (USA)
BIKE: My mule for the 2019 Tour Divide is a Salsa Woodsmoke SLX 1×11 29+. After years of trepidation and testing, I decided on this 29+ sized frame, combined with the smallest tires allowable per retailer specifications, Maxxis Ardent 2.4, to give me the ideal squish factor : mud clearance ratio. Other modifications to the stock build include: Jones 710 H-bar for versatile hand positioning and a carbon seat-post to help eliminate vibration to my nether region. I must say, this chariot is quite plush.
BAGS/GEAR: The Revelate Sweet roll holds my bivy, sleeping bag, thermarest and down jacket. The Bontrager Handlebar bag will hold all of my food and the ACA maps. The Revelate Feedbag for food / trash. Salsa Framebag for rain gear, toilet paper, water filter, and an extra water bottle. The Specialized Top Tube Pack holds my phone, 2-external batteries (18 total phone charges), credit card, and headlamp. The random saddle bag that I found in the bottom of a box in my garage holds (1) spare tube, my repair kits / tools and a first aid kit. The Specialized Burra Burra Stuff Cage on the right side of my fork for hat, gloves, socks and a neck gator. Left side of the fork is a 1.5 liter Nalgene bottle. Tubeless set-up (of course), Garmin eTrex 30x, and a SPOT GPS.
Age 54 / Alexandra, Central Otago (New Zealand)
BIKE: My bike is a 2016 Niner Sir9 Single Speed with a carbon Salsa Cutthroat fork. I’ll be running a Absolute Black 34 tooth oval ring up front and a Surly 19 cog out back. Tyres will be either tried and tested Maxxis Icons or the much spoken of Vittoria Mezcal’s depending on if they turn up. I’ve splashed out on new wheels from NZ wheel builder Wheelworks.
BAGS: Most of my bags are by Revelate except for the seat bag which is by Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m using a well-used Zpacks shelter and a Zpacks sleeping bag for when I can’t find the luxury of a hotel.
Age 23 / Gunnison, CO (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing on a Surly Krampus with a Surly rigid steel fork, Son 28 dynamo hub front, dt 350 rear, vittoria Mezcal 29×2.6″ tires, SRAM eagle 12spd, 32t front chainring, Bontrager aero bars, fred bar, and cane creek bar ends on Salsa Rustler 800mm bars.
BAGS: Custom frame bag and top tube bag made by an awesome friend and mentor, Revelate harness with Event dry bag and Revelate pocket, J Paks gas tank bag, Revelate snack pack bags and Vischa seatbag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Enlightened equipment 20* down quilt, OR gore tex bivy, REI flash insulated pad, Etex 30 for navigation with an Etrex 20 as backup, klite dynamo light and sinewave USB charger, Camelback trail running vest.
Age 60 / Spokane, Washington (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding the Tour Divide on a 2018 Cutthroat Rival, modified with a Wolf Tooth 34T chainring and 11×46 Shimano cassette, Continental Race King Protection tires, and a Bunt SL rim with SP PL-8X dynamo hub connected to a Sinewave Beacon headlight. Profile Design Sonic Ergo 4525a aerobars are mounted on the Salsa Cowchipper handlebars with 30mm risers so my hands can fit beneath them.
BAGS/GEAR: My front bags include an Ortlieb handlebar pack filled with thermarest, Patagonia 30 F down sleeping bag, and night kit, a home-made sleeve bag holding a Big Agnes Fly Creek HV2 tent, and a modified Apidura handlebar pack to contain sun glasses and other readily accessible light items. Two Revelate Designs feed bags will be mounted on the handlebars; one for food and one to hold a 1 L water bottle. Two additional 1 L water bottles will be mounted on the front forks and a 3 L bladder will be available in the frame bag for dry stretches. Frame bags include a Salsa framepack, and Revelate Designs Jerrycan and Gas Tank. The Ortlieb saddlebag completes the bag set. I will use a Garmin Edge 1030 for navigation with Gaia pre-loaded maps for back up. My bear spray will be mounted within easy reach alongside my aerobars. The dry weight of the entire kit and bike is 50 lb.
Age 53 / Show Low, AZ (USA)
BIKE: 2015 fully rigid Niner Air9 RDO with a newly added Shimano XTR DI2 2×11 (26/36 up front, 11×42 in back). I went OTB on the Pinyons and Pines race May 18th and injured my right hand, so shifting is set to synchro shift from the left shifter, I won’t need to use my right hand to shift at all. Maxxis Ikon 29×2.2 tubeless tires and Niner carbon rims. Zipp s-bend aerobars for comfort mounted on a Fred bar. Specialized Power Pro saddle.
BAGS: Revelate Designs for the most part. Sweetroll handlebar bag with pocket mounted to a Salsa Anything cradle. A pair of feedbags connected to the Fred bar, Jerrycan and gas tank on the top tube. Terrapin seat bag holster and dry bag. And a frame bag that was made for a Salsa bike, but fits on the Niner.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nemo sleep system with a Banshee 20 degree quilt, Tensor Sleeping Pad with Vortex pump sack, and Fillo Elite Luxury pillow. All of that will be in a Big Agnes FlyCreek UL2 tent. My knees can’t handle sitting on the ground anymore, so I’ll also have a 1 lb Helinox Chair Zero. My other luxury item will be a small alcohol stove so I can have hot coffee while I break down camp in the mornings. I expect to have a new Garmin Edge 830 (if Garmin gets around to shipping it in time) for navigation with Gaia GPS app on my cell for backup. If the 830 doesn’t get here in time, primary Nav will be on my current 820.
Age 49 / Sydney, NSW, Australia
BIKE: 2012 Trek Superfly carbon HT 29er with Fox 32 forks, Jones loop bars with Ergon grips and Profile aero extensions – essentially the same as my 2017 rig but hopefully addition of grips and bars will save my hands. Mix of period XT/XTR 2*10. Wheels Son28/DT hubs laced to Nextie 29AM35s shod with Maxxis Ikon 2.2s.
BAGS: Mix of BBD and Revelate. Love the utility a backpack affords, so it’s coming too.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Electronics: Klite wiring, switch, fittings and light. Sinewave USB converter, 2x 5000 mAh cache batteries, Etrex30, Garmin 520 backup. Other; Macpac bivvy, Sea to Summit mat and pillow. Western Mountaineering bag. Mix of OR and Ground Effect rain kit. 2*3 L bladders – framebag (main) and backpack (Wyoming Basin onwards). Weight: (dry) Bike 21.5 kg, Backpack 2.3 kg.
Age 49 / Johannesburg, South Africa
BIKE: Silverback Sola 2 (aluminium), Lauf fork, Ikon 2.2 tubeless, Dynamo, Bar ends, flat pedals
BAGS: Mostly custom bags made by my wife. Roswheel cradle in front for my sleeproll and seatbag. Framebag will hold water (2l bladder) and tools. Sleeproll in front contains my tent and sleeping gear. Seatbag stores clothes and cooking gear. Electronics are stored in my handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: When racing in the UK I got hypothermic so I’m not taking any chance with the snow. Tent, Sleeping bag, Liner, Small stove and pots. Navigating with a phone and a second for backup. Mostly going to follow cue cards.
Age 43 / Hanmer Springs, New Zealand
BIKE: Salsa Fargo Ti, Teravail Sparwood 2.2 Tyres or Conti Race King 2.2 , SON Dynamo Hub, KLITE Bikepacker Pro front light , KLITE USB Charger , Profile Designs Aero Bars . Tinelli Custom Kit & Ground Effect Limousine Shorts, GIRO helmet and Shoes. Gore Tex Insulated Shake Dry jacket .
BAGS: Apidura and Revelate Designs Bag System
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: RED SHIFT Suspension Stem. Two KING CAGE Titanium Water bottle holders , GARMIN ETREX 35T
Age 39 / Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA)
Surly Karate Monkey named Betty, in her fourth-ish life. Newer build with a White Industry Crankset, DT 240 n SON ta Flows. XTR stoppers. XT pedals. Thomson ti-rise bar, Thomson stem n post. Spesh Power saddle. Mad love to Revelate Designs and Rockgeist for the rad bags. Sinewave Beacon love. Enlightened Quilt, Six Moons Deschutes shelter, Zpack tub floor, Nemo Astro pad. 3.5 liter water, smallfannypack fer snacks, bottle, n tool. Etrex 30x. 2.4 Ardents currently, but Sparwoods. So grateful n stoked.
Age 46 / Yorkshire, UK
BIKE: I’m riding the Tour Divide on a 2018 Surly Krampus with Lefty hybrid PBR. The wheels are built by 9th Wave Performance Bicycle Parts using their 4-Shore deep section rims and DT Swiss 240s hubs. The wheels have Vittoria Mezcal 2.35” tyres and the drivetrain is Shimano 1×12 (34×10-51). Other components by Control Tech, Deda, Hope, Reset Racing, Specialized and Whisky.
BAGS: Ortlieb bar and seat bags with Alpkit frame and feed bags. 2.5 litre bottles on bike and CamelBak.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Primary navigation is via ViewRanger App on 9Ah ruggedized/waterproof Android (Etrex as backup). Lezyne Mega XL GPS for odometer. 2 x Exposure headlights with wired Exposure rear light. 25Ah fast charge USB powerbank. Big Agnes tent, Rab and Alpkit sleeping kit.
Age 34 / French, but living in Rochester, Minnesota (USA)
I will be enjoying the trails (not racing!) with Ryleigh, my magnificent 2017 Salsa Fargo Rival 27.5+, size XS. Mostly original components, changed the woodchipper handlebar for a narrower cowchipper with LizardSkin pink bar tape, changed the saddle for a Specialized Power Mimic, and setup tubeless. Frame bag is CEDAERO custom frame bag, containing all my tools. Added a Salsa Alternator rear rack with CEDAERO custom bag for the tent (Big Agnes Copper Spur 2), Revelate Design Nano paniers for rain gear, first aid kit and extra food and water. Salsa EXP series anything cradle with a dry sack for my sleeping bag , gloves and hat in the front pouch. 2 Salsa anything cages for camping gear (night clothes, air mat and down jacket). 2 CEDAERO Devil’s kettles for food, CEDAERO bento box (not in the photo) for small items. I will also carry a 17l backpack with a 2L hydration pack, and space for extra food. My most prized gear (other than the bike of course!) is my Nanga sleeping bag: made in Japan, the “Short” size is 160cm and fits me perfectly whereas in the US the shortest I have found so far, even the “Women’s Petite Short”, is 180cm.
Age 49 (will be 50 in Montana) / Birmingham UK
Frame is the Pilgrim and was made by my friend Chris Yeomans of Smithy Frame Works. Rockshox Pike forks. Hope xc wheels with pro4 hubs 650b. Vitorria Mezcal Tyres. SRAM Guide Rsc brakes. ( I like to stop !) Brookes b17 leather saddle. Ergon bars Grips. El Cheapo Aero Bars. Carbon seatpost and bars. 34t Oval Absolute Black Chainring With 1×11 Gears. SRAM XX1 Cranks, cassette, mech and chain. Shimano xtr clipless pedals. King Cage bottle holders.
Frame bag and two top tube bags by alpkit. Seatbag, Aerobar bag and two feed bags made by my friend Steve Moatt of Biking Mad.( Best Bags I’ve ever had.) My tent is also made by Biking Mad and all in weighs 520g and you can fit two people in it ! Getting a bespoke frame made by Chris is Probably up there with the day my son was born. My Brooks B17 saddle is probably the greatest thing I have ever bought for a bicycle I have done about 2000 miles on it now and it just gets better.
Age 29 / Burnaby, BC (Canada)
BIKE: I will be riding my 2018 Salsa Fargo, mostly stock except for a new wheelset w/ White Industries Rear hub and a SON dynamo upfront connected to a Sinewave Beacon for light and power. I will be running 29 x 2.35 Maxxis Ikons and a 2 x 10 SRAM GX drive train with a Wolf Tooth road link. Salsa Woodchipper bars with profile designs clip on aero bars which I scored for $15 on craigslist. Selle Anatomica Titanico X saddle.
BAGS: For bags im running a Porcelain Rocket 52hz frame bag and Mr Fusion XL seat pack. Salsa bar bag and everything cages. Finally a Revelate gas tank and jerrycan which were modified to fit by the good people at HMPL designs in Vancouver. Not shown, HMPL feedbag / bear spray holder and crocs for dangling.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Thermarest Neo Air & Mountain Hardware 0c sleeping bag + Garmin eTrex 20 for navigation and plenty of spare space to fill with donuts and snickers bars.
Age 52 / Brixham, Devon, United Kingdom
BIKE: Sorry, but it’s another Salsa Cutthroat in Medium and jet black. Stans Arch Wheels, Maxis Ikon tyres, SRAM 1×11 Groupset and Hope hubs.
BAGS: I’m running Ortlieb waterproof bags front and rear with Salsa frame and top tube bags. Bottles are in Alpkit feedbags on the handlebars with a 3L bladder in the frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I can guarantee that I am the only rider carrying a custom carbon handled toothbrush made for me by Stu Wright of Bearbones Bikepacking. Shelter strategy is to use a Trekker Tent Stealth outer along with a Terra Nova Discovery Lite bivy nag giving me lots of options. My phone is carrying tonnes of dated punk and death metal. Hopefully that won’t weight me down too much.
Nick Karwoski (@bicycleexplorersclub)
Age 35 / Wisconsinite residing in Austin, TX (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Tour Divide on a 2016 Salsa Cutthroat. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.35” tires, a 1×11 drivetrain with a 30T chainring. Other modifications are Brooks C17 All Weather saddle & Profile Designs Aero bars with arm rests on the handlebars.
BAGS: My centerpiece bag is my Ultraromantic Swift Industries Fabio’s Chest hopefully supported by a Carradice Bagman Expedition. My frame bag is a Salsa EXP Cutthroat edition, I am storing mostly water & bagged wine in the frame bag. I am also running a Mag Tank 2000 top tube snack sack, and a Porcelain Rocket MCA with my sleeping bag on the handlebars. I am placing all of my bulky but light equipment on my bars & fork in hopes that the handling is good. My forks have my “tent” & sleeping mat respectively.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Zpacks Hexamid tarp with a Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent should hopefully be a light & versatile shelter setup. My sleeping setup is a 10F Zpacks bag & Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Air Mat. I have a SunTactics S8 Solar Panel attached to my Fabio’s chest that will charge my battery pack while I ride. I’ll also be featuring a bluetooth speaker to introduce wildlife to Limp Bizkit, a not yet purchased GPS navigation computer & a SPOT device.
Age 59 / Rochester, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on “Pebbles”, my 2019 Salsa Cutthroat Rival, size small in bright red & blue Superman colors. After much deliberation, I had her built as a 2×10 (11-36 cassette/38-24T crankset). She has a Schmidt SON Dynohub with a Sinewave Beacon Light/USB. Her wheels are Stan’s No Tube Arch MK3 29s with Maxxis 2.2s. My cockpit includes a BarYak expedition with clipboard (for maps and words of encouragement), and aerobars. A Specialized Power Mimic Saddle provides comfort & its low profile adds clearance for my seat bag.
BAGS: All my bags are Revelate: Cutthroat Frame Bag (holds 3L Hydrapak Seeker water reservoir with drink tube and other misc. items), Jerrycan for tools, Mag-Tank bento box for snacks, 2 Mountain Feedbags (one for water/one for food), 2 Polecats on front forks (water filter & Therm-a-rest/ first aid kit & tennis shoes), Terrapin 14L seat bag (clothes, rain gear), Egress Pocket (for easy access to light items) and Pronghorn sling supported by the BarYak for my sleep system (Western Mountaineering bag and Big Agnes Fly Creek 2).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am especially pleased with how gracefully my drink tube slides back into position when attached to a retractable badge holder mounted on the Mag-Tank. After some long chilly rides in the rain, I am a fan of my BIKE IOWA Pogie Lites. I can also count on my Pactimo 12-hour bib shorts to work overtime. Secret Weapon: words of encouragement from friends and students. My current favorite is from a third grade refugee, “That looks hard, teacher, and you will be tired. You can do it because you won’t give up.”
Age 59 / Asheville, NC (USA)
BIKE: Racing the 2019 Tour Divide on trusty Salsa El Mariachi TI. Running Maxxis Ardent Race, 1 X 12 SRAM Eagle drive train. 32T Raceface chainring, Raceface Crank arms. Industry Nine Trail wheels, with a Shutter Precision Dyno-Hub laced by Clint & his Crew at Industry Nine. Answer Carbon handle bar, Ergon Seat.
BAGS: Custom Frame Bag made by “Carrie Lee”, Revelate Pika seat bag, Jerry can, Feedbag and Gastank. Two Liters of water in a Platypus Hydration bag in framebag, two Fork Mounted 24 oz water bottles, Two Back-up 3 liter Sawyer water bladders & filter in Osprey day bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Headlite 800 lumen Cygolite, 1200 lumen Niterider on handle bar. Cygolite tail light. Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation. All electrical devices charged via Sinewave Revolution USB. OR Alpine Bivy, Therma rest neo air xlite pad, Western Mountaineering HighLight bag.
Age 62 / Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
I am a 62-year-old rookie. My bike is a 2019 Salsa Cutthroat and bags are Apidura and Revelate. Blackburn feedbag. Changed chairing to a 32. No Dynamo or Garmin (I can’t see the small screen). Plan mostly daytime riding and navigate with maps and Gaia. Trying to go light (no power in old legs) but rig and gear still weighs 34 lbs. My prize gear is hemorrhoid cream! It has been alternating cold, rainy and smoky so far this year in Alberta.
Age 52 / Lakeville, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing on a 2014 Trek Superfly 9.9 SL Project One. The bike features a SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain with a 32T Wolftooth chainring. Custom ENVE M60 rims with DT Swiss 350 hubs. Maxxis Crossmark 2.25, set up tubeless. Hope Tech 3 V4 hydraulic brakes with Shimano Ice Tech rotors 180/160mm. Rock Shox Sid World Cup 100mm fork. Monarch R3T rear shock. 45NRTH Helva flat pedals.
BAGS: Bike Bag Dude front roll and harness. Revelate frame and top tube bag. Granite Gear insulated feed bags. Bindle seat post mounted rack by PDW.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Platnium Flycreek UL1 tent, Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag, Thermarest Air Mat. Wishing every rider a fantastic race!
Age 44 / Lakeville, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing on a 2011 Lynskey Pro 29er SL. The bike features a SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain with a 32T chainring. Custom ENVE M60 rim on the rear with a DT Swiss 350 hub. The front is a HED Belgium Plus with a SON Dynohub. Maxxis Crossmark 2.25, set up tubeless. Hope V2 Race hydraulic brakes with 160mm rotors. Fox Talus fork. XTR clipless pedals.
BAGS: Bike Bag Dude custom frame, harness, and feed bags. Revelate Terrapin rear set bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Eureka tent, Big Agnes Pitch Pine bag with REI Air Rail Plus pad.
Age 30 / Aspen, CO (USA)
I’ll be challenging this years route on my perpetually dirty 2018 Salsa Cutthroat with Donnelly 50mm X’plor MSO tires. I’ll be running the new version of eThirteen’s 9-46t cassette with a 34t chainring. The front wheel is built with a SON dynamo hub to power my K-lite and other electronic goodies. Profile Designs Aerobars are elevated with 30mm risers and my mantra “Relentless Forward Progress” is taped to them. Frame bag is a custom Rogue Panda bolt-on and the little guy on the top tube near the seat post is a Bedrock Bags Sinbad. All other bags are from Revelate Designs. An Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy with an Enlightened Equipment Quilt and NeoAir mattress will serve as my sleep system. I’ll be navigating with an Etrex 20. Shoutout to Aloha Mountain Cyclery for the bike and wheel builds!
Age 43 / Tulsa, OK (USA)
Bike: 2019 Salsa Cutthroat. I will be running a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires. I have slightly modified the 1X11 drive train and will be leaving with a 30T chain ring. I am running a SON Dynamo hub up front with a Klite front and rear tail light. I will be charging a cache battery during the day to keep my Garmin inReach and cell phone charged. For navigation I will be using the Garmin Etrex 30x. My aerobars bars are the Profile Airstryke V2. The seat that I am using is a Brooks B17.
Bags: The seat bag is the Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion XL. The frame bag is a Revelate Designs Dyneema and the bar bag is the Pronghorn Dyneema with some modifications. My gas tank bag is a modified JPaks Farva Snakpak and the jerry can bag is a modified Revelate Gas tank bag. I have two Revelate feed bags on the handlebars.
Gear: I will be using the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepack tent and a Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Air sleeping pad. My bag is a Sierra Designs Mobil Mummy bag. I am carrying a MSR Trail Pocket water filter. I am wearing a Camelback chase vest and have a 2 liter bladder that will ride in my frame bag. On the seat I have a antisway bracket that will carry two 20oz insulated water bottles. The front forks have Salsa Anything cages for misc things like extra water and bear spray.
Age 44 / Salida, CO (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my trusty Salsa Woodsmoke. I’m running an Eagle SRAM 1x cassette with a 32 ring in front, Jones Loop H bars with a Fred Bar aerobar adapter, and 3.6″ cushy Vittoria Mezcal tires. I’ll be using a Dynamo front hub to power my K-Lights.
BAGS: I’ll be hauling all of my gear and cases of candy bars in a Revelate Terrapin seat bag, along with my Frame Bag, Snack Packs, Chuck Buckets, Lunch Box and Front End Loader all made by my hometown heroes Oveja Negra. I also have a secret hidden Alpkit Drop Bear handlebar bag that rests right in the middle of my Jones Loop. For my front roll I have a Sea to Summit Utra-Sil Event Compression Dry Sack.
Nate (Gumby) Cross
Age 55 / Cleveland, OH (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding the Tour Divide 2019 on my Santa Cruz 29 Carbon Highball. The bike features Specialized Ground Control 2.3 tires (reinforced sidewalls); a 1X drivetrain with a 34×42 set-up; with a Stans Rim on the back & SunRingle Inferno Rim up-front. Ergon GP5 handlebar grips have been added to provide a variety of hand positions.
BAGS: I have a Salsa Frame Bag (for tools & repair equipment on one-side; and other “items & food” on the other side). All my other bags are Specialized, such as: Handlebar Stabilizer Harness to keep the front Salsa Dry-Bag off the front cabling (sleeping pad & raingear); Top Tube Pack (phone, light & other items); Top Tube Seat Bag (for cords & batteries); and Bura Bura Stabilizer Seatpack for clothing. I also have two Sea to Summit eVent Waterproof Bags for each fork to store my tent, sleeping bag & puffy jacket. (held in place by Salsa Cage Racks). I also have two Revelate Feed-Bags (one for water & the other for bear-spray) that are on the handle-bars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be navigating with a Garmin Etrex 30 (mounted on the handle-bars); but will also carry maps of the Tour Divide route. Three water bottle holders are also mounted to the forks and downtube. I also possess an innate sense of doom, to know when to run the other way when I see a bear! And yes, I will be riding with my Gumby kit & costume; as you never know when that classic photo opportunity will present itself!
Age 37 / Paris (France)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Tour Divide on a Niner Air 9 and matching RDO fork. The bike features fulcrum wheels, a pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, a 1×10 drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 11-36 cassette, SRAM cranks and Shimano SLX brakes, shifter & derailleur.
BAGS: My bike is equipped with Apidura bags. Waterproof seat pack and two top tube packs (1L and 0.5L), food pouches and a full frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Being able to keep riding whatever the weather is paramount. This is why I’m packing rain gear from Showers pass. A refuge jacket, transit pants and waterproof socks and gloves.
Age 54 / Toronto, Ontario (CA)
BIKE: True North custom frame, built in 2013 for riding TD. This will be it’s third time starting with the GD in Banff. The front fork is also from True North, and bolted to it is a slightly modified porteur rack from Nitto ( I really like the rack instead of a handlebar roll ).
BAGS: A real mix of stuff, two Porcelain Rocket bags in the Anything cages on the fork, DIY duffel bag on the rack, Swift Industries bar bag, two Revelate feed bags hanging off the bar, Alpkit and Revelate perched on the top tube, and a Porcelain Rocket seatbag bringing up the rear. Seems like a lot of bags when they get listed like this.
David de Sotomayor
Age 37 / Redwood City, CA (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Chumba Stella TI. XT 10 speed drivetrain, with a 32 teeth chainring and 11-42 cassette. The fork is a carbon MRP Rock Solid. Worth to mention the 12 year old gel fizik aliante gel saddle. Nothing special on the rest of the bike.
BAGS: At front, I’m using the sea to summit 8l drybag the big river version, held by a couple of voile straps. Feedbags, one Moosetrecks (which I love) and the other is a Revelate Design. Frame bag is the one from Wanderlust and seat pack is Mr. Fusion version from Porcelain Rocket (bomb proof).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love the borah gear event bivy (and his rain mitts). I use all the route cues and info with RidewithGPS app, and the eTrex for emergency.
Age 54 / Rolling Hills Estates, CA (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Fargo and Rohloff drive. Whiskey carbon wheel set and Maxxis Ardent 2.4. SON dynamo and Sinewave Cycles Beacon light. Shout out to Mike Burnell at Cyclopaths Bike Shop in Rolling Hills Estates, CA for putting it all together.
BAGS: Combination of Rogue Panda, Oveja Negra and Revelate bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: OR Interstellar bivy. Zpacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp… and most importantly, Ahearn Cycles Spaceman Flask with custom engraving for the all important single malt scotch.
Shaun Madley (@shamad)
Age 29 / Hamilton, New Zealand
BIKE: I’ll be riding, racing, pushing myself this year on a 2019 Trek Procaliber 9.8. The bike is running 1×12 SRAM X01 Eagle, a 34t Wolf Tooth chainring. Bontrager carbon rims clad with Teravail Sparwood (light and subtle) gumwall 2.2 tyres, SP dynamo hub powering a K-lite lighting system front and rear. Hopefully sitting in comfort on an Ergon SMC-4 saddle. Hanging on the handlebars is a Bar Yak Ultra, Ergon GA3 grips and Cane Creek ergo bar ends.
BAGS: I am running a full Revelate Designs setup- Viscacha seat bag, Harness and Salty roll, Mag tank, Jerrycan and 2x Feedbags. 3 litres of water on the frame plus 1.5L capacity in my Evoc hip pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have a Nemo GoGo Elite bivy, Kathmandu Pathfinder sleeping bag and Klymit Inertia X Lite ¾ mat all jammed in my front bag. I’ll have a Wahoo Roam for GPS with a phone as a backup.
Age 51 / Fort Collins, CO (USA)
BIKE: Niner Air9 RDO with Niner carbon fork, Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, Jones Loop bar with bolt-on aero bars, Selle Anatomica saddle, and Stan’s based wheels with Race King tires. For electronics, I’m running a front wheel built with a Shutter Precision hub connected to a Sinewave Cycles Beacon Light/USB charger, with a Goal Zero cache battery.
BAGS: I’ve opted to go with the cavernous JPAKS FarvaPak top tube bag instead of a frame bag, leaving space for three liters of easy access water on the main triangle. My sleep system and night clothes are packed into a Revelate Sweet Roll. Tools and parts are packed into a Revelate Gerry Can. Additional cloths, gloves, miscellaneous items, and additional food will be stored in a classic Revelate Viscacha seat bag. I also have two Revelate Feedbags used to store electronics and bear spray.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system is an OR helium bivy with a 1 lb Thermarest Hyperion 32 (900 fill) sleeping bag and NeoAir pad.
Age 60 / Christchurch, New Zealand
BIKE: Mostly stock 2019 Salsa Cutthroat (1×11 34/10-42T) with Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, Profile T3 aerobars, Salsa Anything Cradle, Maxis Ikon 2.25” tires, Son Dynamo hub, Supernova E3 front and taillights plus a Niterider Solas rear light
BAGS: Mixture of Salsa, Revelate, Apidura and BBD bags plus an Ortlieb Accessory pack up front
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation using a Garmin 810 with iPhone backup, maybe ACA maps. Sleeping in a Macpac Sololight tent and Macpac Epic 400 sleeping bag on a Thermarest NeoAir mat. Water in 2x 1-litre bottles on forks plus 2-4 litre water in Platypus bladders in the framebag.
Age 60 / Christchurch, New Zealand
BIKE: Small Salsa Cutthroat with 1x 34-11/46T drivetrain, Salsa Anything Cradle, Profile T3 aerobars, SON dynamo, Supernova lights, Cambium C17s seat, Maxis Ikon 2.25″ tires, 2x 1l water bottles (plus 2l water in framebag)
BAGS: Revelate Framebag, Revelate Feedbags, Salsa Exp drybag, Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack, BBD Top Tube Garage
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Macpac Sololight tent, Garmin Etrex30x, Thermarest NeoAir XLite sleeping mat, Macpac Epic sleeping bag
Age 54 / Cleveland, OH (USA)
BIKE: Riding the Tour Divide 2019 on my 2018 Stock Salsa Cutthroat.
BAGS: All of my bags are Salsa EXP series; and the bike features Maxis Ikon 2.2 tires. I will also be traveling with Sea to Summit eVent Waterproof bags, held in place by Salsa cage racks, installed on my forks — which contain my Western Mountaineer Sleeping Bag; Patagonia Jacket and MSR Reflex 2 Tent.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be navigating with a Garmin Etrex 30 (mounted on handle-bars); but will also have a Garmin 520 for back-up.
Auke Bonne van der Weide
Age 47 / Heerenveen, The Netherlands
BIKE:Idworx Rock ‘n Rohler 2011 model, PC Klamper mechanical brakes, Rohloff hub, Son dynamo hub, Syntace C3 aerobar, Syntace P6 seatpost, SQlab 15 active mtb saddle, ergon gp3 grips, stylo crank, vittoria mezcal tyres, shimano xt m8020 platform pedals, PC love levers, b+m e-werk and buffer battery for charging, kmc e1 chain
BAGS: Revelate designs except for the ortlieb ultimate 6 classic bar bag and the ergon ba2 backpack
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Terra Nova Laser Pulse 1 tent, thermarest neoair xtherm matrasse, assos pants, sidi shoes (scarpe mtb drako), garmin gpsmap 64s for mavigation, sony rx0ii as main camera
Age 45 / Clyde Hill, WA (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing NoBo on a Pivot Mach 429 Trail (ride the one you got!). Shimano 1x drivetrain with 10/46 rear and a 30T front ring. Shimano Hyd 180mm disc brakes. DT Swiss rims matched up with a SONS 15 28 110 dyno on the front and 2.25″ Maxis Crossmark II’s EXO tires front and rear. My normal mtb bar got swapped out for a Salsa 19deg Bend Bar with Ergon GP3 grips and inboard mounted bar ends all double wrapped for lots of comfy hand positions. A Sinewave Beacon light/USB charger is mounted off one of the bar ends. My normal dropper post and mtb seat get replaced with a carbon post and a Selle Anatomica X2 saddle for the TD.
Bike as equipped weighs in at about 29 lbs, is definitely fully cush, and wishes for more single track.
BAGS: All bags from RockGeist are either Cuben Fiber or VX 21; including a Foxglove (7L) Saddle bag, a Cache Top Tube bag and a pair of HoneyPot Feed bags mounted via spacelink, a photofit custom frame bag (maybe 5L?), and a BarJam Harness which holds a roll top dry bag (14L) with a Apogee Harness Feedbag (4L) hung off the front. A pair of Widefoot Litercages carry a pair of 48oz water bottles mounted to the front fork. Total bag weight is about 3 lbs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Feather Friends Flicker 30 sleeping bag and Eos hoody to stay warm and a OR helium bivy to stay dry at night. Gore Bike jacket, Gore Bike pants and Showers Pass waterproof socks for when it rains. The Sinewave usb output feeds a GoalZero Venture 30 cache battery that can charge and pass through power to cell phone for navigation running Gaia GPS. Total packed gear weight is about 15 lbs.
Age 46 / Newcastle, NSW, Australia
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat 2019 – Apex, Swapped out the SRAM for Shimano hydro brakes, Ultegra RX rear derailleur, XT cranks 2×11 set up, XTR front derailleur, Selle Itallia SLR saddle, Carbon wheels hand built by TWE with DT 240 hubs, SON Dyno, Profile aerobars, Crank Brox – Candy 7 pedals, Red Shift stem, Cow Chipper bars
BAGS: Bike Bag Dude stuff, Revelate saddle bag, Sea to Summit Big River dry bags for handlebar pack and fork bags
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: K-Lite Bike packer ultra light, 2xUSB K-Lite charger, 3×1 Litre bottle frame, 2×1 Litre BBD feedbags – all from Newcastle NSW.
Age 45 / TAUPO, New Zealand
BIKE: Ibis Tranny 29er, Wheelworks Carbon Flite wheels with Sun dyno and rohloff hubs. Schwalbe Rock Razor 2.35 tyres all round. Belt drive. K-lite front and rear lights. The rear lights are amazing.
BAGS: Revelate harness, sweet roll and pocket up front and in the frame. These are getting tired after 12 months continuous use. Porcelain rocket seatpost bag. Unused but I’m liking the look of it.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Carbon Copper Creek1. Amazingly light. Let’s see how it performs. Big Anges SLX pad, because sleeps important, and a Marmot phase 30 bag. 5lt water carrying capacity. MapOut app for navigation. All up it’s 52lb dry. Not sure how I can lighten the load, especially given the big snow year.
Ryan Eddingfield (ITT starting 6/22)
Age 45 / Elk Grove, Illinois (USA)
BIKE: Riding/racing a 2013 Salsa Mukluk with 29 x 2.6 wheels, 1 x 11 drivetrain (28×9-46), Cirruscycles suspension seatpost, VO Crazy Bars, and a SON Dynamo on a Lauf Carbonara fork.
BAGS: Craterpacks frame bag, Alpkit Kanga upfront, Fabio’s Chest in the rear, Revelate elsewhere, with two Handlebar Buckets holding 40oz bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Shelter of Tarptent notch, Big Agnes pad, and WM down bag. Favorite gear piece is a FreeFly bamboo sun hoody.
Age 45 / Happy Valley, OR (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing the 2019 Tour Divide on a 2015 Kona Raijin Ti. Drivetrain is Shimano XT 1×11 with a 30T up front and a Sunrace CSMX 11-50 cassette(ie poor mans eagle). WTB i29 rims with SON dynamo hub up front and a hope Pro4 rear. A fresh set of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25 TNT G+ tires will hopefully get me through the long haul. Fox Factory 32 SC fork, TRP Spyke brakes w/180mm Shimano Icetech rotors F/R, Jones Loop Bar 2.5, Thompson stem/seatpost, and a Brooks C17 saddle complete the rig.
BAGS: I will be running a full compliment of Revelate bags all around.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be carrying a 3L Source hydration bladder in my frame bag, along with 3x 24oz bottles for the long run outs between water. Zpak Plexamid V Beta, Hammock Gear Burrow 30 quilt, and a Sea To Summit UL air pad for my sleeping kit. Primary navigation will be with an Etrex 30 GPS and ACA maps for backup. Lighting/charging duties will be with a KLite set up.
Age 33 / Bend, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: My companion on The Divide is ‘Jewel.’ She is a Ti Salsa Timberjack built out with a XX1 Drivetrain w/32T chainring, Whisky No. 9 36W rims with a fresh set of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires. Our main points of contact will be Ergon GS2 grips mounted on a 17 degree Salsa Bend Bar, Profile Designs aerobars, and a Brooks Imperial B-17 saddle – ‘she was meant for me, and I was meant for her.’
BAGS/GEAR: Jewel is outfitted with a recognizable mixture of Revelate and Salsa bags. Inside the framebag is a 3L old-school MSR Hydromedary that I find fits framebags better than the any current reservoir offerings. If the weather doesn’t permit open air sleeping, I’ll be crawling into my Z-Packs Hexamid Solo Plus. Night riding will be achieved via rechargeable and replaceable battery operated lights. I’ll be topping off a 13000 mAh Anker battery pack at burger stops and augmenting with batteries when necessary. If I have power problems then hopefully that means I’m putting in big miles! My helmet is hot pink for safety…and fun.
Age 40+ / Boulder, CO (USA)
BIKE: Bike is a James Frames built by a Boulder local guy. Its a custom 29+ Ti hardtail with a Lauf fork. Built kit is mostly SRAM XO with Guide brakes. Aero bars are Profile with the tall 70mm risers. Running Fred bar reversed for a super comfy aero position. Tires are Maxis Ikon 2.2 on Nextie carbon rims laced to DT Swiss rear hub and SON dynohub. Electrical system and light is all plug and play by Klite. Navigation is Garmin edge with the integrated battery pack on the mount.
BAGS: Bags are CO local JPaks. Love my bags and Joe is a quality individual. I highly recommend anyone reaching out to get custom work by him. Super Bomber and slick looking!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: One of my fav gear items is my sleeping system from Nunatak out of Moab. Super light weight and double custom! Also loving my Garmin inReach Mini. That little thing is so small. People can follow my adventures @likeadirtboss
Age 24 / Canberra, Australia
BIKE: Cannondale, FSI Factory with a rigid fork. Supposedly the lightest hardtail ever made, not the most crash resistant.
The BAGS: A mix of Apidura, Ortlieb and Salsa bags, they have all seen some serious use and are looking a little worse for wear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Mitas Scylla tyres, full Shimano xt groupset, stages power meter and K-lite dynamo lighting.
Age 40 / Homer, Alaska (USA)
Bike is a 2019 Cutthroat, new parts on it are SON hub with full K-light things, Hope pro4 rear hub with WTB KOM rims. Bags are all Revelate, Navigation is Garmin Etrex 30x and Edge 820.
Age 55 / Christchurch, New Zealand
BIKE: Heidi is a 2018 Salsa Cutthroat with EC 34t x Sunrace 11-50, Terravail Sparwoods on Stans Flow Mk3 rims on SP Dynamo and DT Swiss 350 hubs, Monochrome screwfit BB, and Sinewave Beacon.
BAGS: Revelate and Salsa with custom frame bag. 3l Platypus bladder with hose, two bottles on fork and one in feedbag plus 2L bladder for the dry gaps.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Shelter from Big Agnes Fly Creek UL and Flume bag. Navigation by Gaia and OSM on IP68 phone with maps and backup phone [with music]. Locally made gear includes frame bag by Dominic Blissett, chainring by Evolution Components, clothing by Ground Effect, BB by Shockcraft, and bike prepared by Back Alley Bikes.
Age 56 / Trento Italy
For me the tour divide Is a challenge with myself. The my bike is a Locomotive Westlander 29 mounted tires Continental rice king 2.2 double crankset 38/24 Dynamo son. Handlebar bag: specialized for sleeping bag Sea to summit mat Sea to summit big bag. Underseat Ortlieb and 2 small bag at the fork my system navigation is a Garmin touring plus.
Age 55 / Highland, WI (USA)
2019 Salsa Cutthroat Force. Modified 1×11 drivetrain with an E*Thirteen 9×46 cassette and a SRAM Eagle 30T chainring, Maxxis Ikon 2.2” tires on the stock DT Swiss rear wheel, an Easton ARC 24 laced to a SON Dynohub to run a kLite system, and a BarYak Expedition with Pro File flip up arm rests. Bags are Revelate Designs and include an 8L Terrapin seat bag, Cutthroat frame bag, Jerrycan, Gas Tank, two Mountain Feedbags, Harness modified to fit the BarYak holding a 10L Ortlieb dry bag. Gear organized in Cuben Fiber and Chouinard dry sacks. Water: a four liter MRS Dromedary bag in the Frame bag and two 25 oz CamelBak insulated bottles on the fork. Shelter/Sleeping: tent is an REi Quarter Dome 1, sleeping bag is a Big Agnes Dumont and a Klymit Inertia X Frame sleeping pad. Navigation is a Garmin eTrex 30x with Gaia GPS iPhone app and ACA maps as backup.
Age 38 / Medicina, Bologna (ITALY)
BIKE: For the 2019 the bike will be a Midnight Express Titanium Bike made by Lokomotive cycles. On the front there is a Niner carbon fork and ground unevenness are filtered by a Redshift ShockStop Suspension Stem .
Aerobars with hand-made riser are present to improve the ride comfort. Wheels are Reynolds Blacklabel XC 259, drivetrain is a SRAM 1×12.
BAGS: Framebags, toptube bags, and handlebar bags are made by Miss Grape, two bottle cage are mounted on the fork for the water.
SLEEP: Outdoor Research Bivy, Sea to Summit sleeping pad and Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I use garmin GPASMAP 64S as navigation system and Moon Meteor Storm Pro as main light.
Age 46 / Salida, CO (USA)
BIKE: I’m riding my Specialized Epic HT. It was pretty great right out of the box, so haven’t made many adjustments. 1×12 drivetrain, and flying with the Eagle. Specialized Fast Trak tires.
BAGS: Most all of my bags are Oveja Negra (hey-o!), plus a Revelate Mag Tank top-tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sawed-off spatula for mud scraping
Age 35 / San Jose, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Lynkey Rdigeline 29 frame with a Niner RDO fork. Wheelset is from Dave’s Wheels; i9 Hydra rear hub and SP dynamo front hub laced to Stan’s rims. Mostly XT, 1×11 drivetrain, with 34T up front and a SunRace 11-50 cassette. For tires I’m running 2.25″ Vittoria Mezcals.
BAGS: I’m running all Revelate Designs bags, sweetroll handlebar, ranger frame, Viscacha seatpost, and the usual cockpit and jerrycan. Most are from 2014 with two new feedbags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: In conjunction with the SP dynamo I have a Sinewave Beacon providing front lighting and power. My sleep system consists of a Marmot down bag, Outdoor research Helium bivvy, and a Klymit 3/4 pad. Toothbrush: Oral-B Pro-Health in titanium gray (manual, full size).
Josh “Squish” Taylor
Age 36 / Rapidan, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: Giant XTC Advanced 29er Singlespeed with Carver Rigid fork
BAGS: A mix – Oveja Negra (frame), Jpaks Farvapak, revelate feed bags, Rogue Panda seat pack, and Rockgeist handlebar mount.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Klite hub light, SP Dynamo, Assoss Chamois Cream, Athlosports threads.
Age 21 / Overland Park, KS (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Tour Divide on a 2018 Diamondback Overdrive 29 2. The bike has a SRAM 1×11 drivetrain with a 32T chainring and a RockShox Reba fork. I added Profile aerobars and a Brooks C17 saddle for comfort as well as switched out the front brakes to Shimano XT for better cooling on long descents.
BAGS: Up front is a medium Revelate Sweetroll and an additional dry bag tied on that holds my sleeping bag. I am also using MooseTreks frame bag and stem bags, a RockBros saddle bag, and two top tube bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Most prized piece of gear is a JBL Clip portable speaker to listen to tunes (and scare the bears off). Other highlights include Pit Vipers and the Deuce of Spades.
Age 55 / Ogden, UT (USA)
I’ll be riding a 2018 Trek Stache (29+ tires). 1×11 stock drivetrain. Brooks saddle. I’ll be using an assortment of Revelate Designs and Salsa bags. Revelate frame bag, Terrapin seat bag, harness w/ salty roll, front pouch, feed bags and Salsa Gas tanks and anything bag. Resting in comfort in a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent and Western Mountaineering sleeping bag. Navigating with a Garmin Etrex 20. Yippe ki-yay!
Age 59 / Grand Junction, CO (USA)
BIKE: My ride is a conventional rigid set up centered around a Trek Stache with the Trek Adventure Fork. The boost spacing front and rear will give a little more mud clearance to Mezcal 2.35 tires(not shown). The fork allows me to use the front rack to strap on a Mountain Hardware 1 person tent along with a synthetic bag and lightweight inflatable pad while giving me room for additional food storage.
BAGS: I am using Revelate bags and the Blackburn cages on the forks and under the downtube will allow for a few extra liters of water. The one unconventional bag is an old waterproof Ortlieb handlebar bag that will allow me to carry extra food. I weigh over 190 (at the start) and my vegan diet has less caloric density so the extra space is essential.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The aero bars will add a restful position when the terrain allows and provide for easy mounting of the eTrex 30, iPhone and Cateye Enduro odometer. Power comes from the Shutter Precision PD-8X dynamo hub on a wheel built by the TD originator Mike Curiak (https://lacemine29.com). Poor biomechanics are overcome by Time ATAC pedals on 15mm pedal extenders. Weak climbing ability will be compensated by a 1×11 drivetrain with a 30T chainring and 42T cog low end.
Age 48 / Queen Creek, AZ (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the TD on a Binary Bicycles Havok 29er Titanium hardtail. Features: Lauf fork, Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires, 1×12 Eagle drivetrain with a 30t oval, NOBL TR33 Carbon wheels with a SON28 dynamo up front & DT Swiss 240s rear hub, Jones carbon loop bars, Redshift suspension stem, REV grips, WTB Pivot Vigo saddle & flat pedals.
BAGS: Revelate Viscacha seatbag, Phantom Pack Systems handlebar bag, Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks 3-pocket framebag & two feedbags, Rogue Panda dedicated lefthand feedbag, 2 gas tanks, Wolf Tooth Components B-Rad pump bag & Banana Hammock bag for the Jones Loop bars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Using a Big Agnes UL1 tent, 32º Phantom down sleeping bag, Venture 4th UL pad, Cocoon inflatable pillow, Garmin Edge705 for navigation and an eTrex 20x as backup. Lights: K-Lite bikepacker Ultra & USB charger, Exposure Diablo MK7 helmet light & USB tail light. Shoes: Salomon X-Ultra hiking shoes. Backpack: Small Camelbak Mule for long stretches of the route where extra water capacity is needed.
Age 44 / Washington State (USA)
Headed out for my 5th Tour Divide Start. Will be riding a 2019 Salsa Titanium Fargo that I have built up to suit my riding preferences. 3×10 XTR drivetrain, bar-end shifters, mechanical disc brakes, Lauf TR Boost fork. Bags by Apidura.
Age 29 / Fort Collins, Colorado (USA)
I’ll be racing the Tour Divide on a Fasteam Chinese carbon frame built up with XT brakes and drivetrain. Stans Crest wheels. Vittoria Mezcals front and back. Bags are a mix of Oveja Negrra and Revelate.
Age 64 / Wichita, Kansas (USA)
I’ll be starting my 5th Tour Divide this June. I’ve been a 29 day finisher in the past. I’d like to think I could do it in 25 days, it remains to be seen. In 2015 I rode a Salsa Fargo Ti. I’m now on a 2015 Salsa Cutthroat, medium Industry Nine rear wheel, Front Flow Rim with SON Dyno hub. Rival build kit. JPaks custom frame bag. Revelate Terrapin seat bag. Sea to Summit EVent front compression bag. Maxis IKON 2.2 tires. Klite Pro front light with Klite charger BarYak front bars. King Many Thing Cages on the Firestarter fork.
Age 34 / Ra’anana, Israel
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a 2019 Trek Procaliber. The bike features a SRAM Eagle XX1 Drivetrain, Shimano XT Brakes, Niner RDO fork, Bontrager Kovee Pro/Elite rims with a Son Dynamo hub, Brooks C13 Saddle.
BAGS: I’ll be using mostly Apidura Bags
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nemo GoGo Elite bivy, Exposure Lights front and rear lights, The Plug iii charger.
Martyn Gibbons MBE
Age 44 / Bacup, Rossendale, UK
BIKE: I am riding a ORBEA Alma 29er for the tour divide. running front suspension, SON 28 dynamo, Carbon rims with Mezcal tires.
BAGS: All my bags are from Restrap, front roll, seat bag, 2 x cockpit bags and feed bag
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Using a Garmin 1030 for navigation, Tent, sleeping bag and mat is my sleep set up.
Age 28 / Niagara Falls, Ontario (Canada)
I will be racing my 2018 Fargo GX 29er, with modified Surly Karate Monkey forks, SON28 15 110 SL dyno hub laced with DT Swiss Alpine III spokes to a WTB KOM tough i29 rim. The rear wheel is built around a Onyx boost mtb hub with the same rim and spoke combination. I will be running Continental Race king 2.2 x 29” protection tires set up tubeless. Bags by Rockgeist and Porcelain Rocket, lights and USB by K-lite. I will be using Profile Designs Airstryker II flip up aerobars, with a custom bracket to hold my dyno lights and Garmin Fenix 5x plus GPS watch. Gear highlight: Sleeping in a Raab ascent bivi with a thermarest neo air xtherm pad and an Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt (-6c). I’ve got 4.5 litres of water storage and excellent sun protection!
Age 27 / Boulder, CO (USA)
BIKE: Chumba Stella TI single speed (34×17) with Niner carbon fork rolling on 27.5 Velocity Blunt 35s. A Moonmen Moonriser Bar with BarYak aeros, i9 Torch SS rear hub and A SON front hub. Maxxis Ikon 27.5 x 2.35’s, TRP Spyke brakes and a Sinewave Beacon light.
BAGS: JPaks dark camo Bags.
Age 48 / Roseau, MN (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be experiencing the Tour Divide for the first time on a seasoned 2015 Borealis Yampa XO1 (Fatbike set up 29+). The bike features a pair of Bontrager Chupacabra 29×3” tubeless tires, a fresh 1×11 drivetrain with a 30T chainring, and a Garbaruk 10-50 cassette to get my 40# (loaded bike as pictured – all gear less water & food) and Clydesdale body over the numerous passes. The wheels are carbon Light Bicycle with a Shutter Precision dynamo hub powering a Beacon light/charger combo. I’ll carry two cache batteries and navigate with a Garmin 820 and have my phone as a backup. I also am running high and back aerobars plus I added two bottle cages on the fork with an old inner tube, zip ties, and electrical tape. Ergo GS2 grips and a WTB Pure V seat.
BAGS: The bags are all Revelate Design. Seat (extra clothes & tent pole/stakes), frame (stove, cup, & food), two feed bags (extra space & bear spray), fuel tank (electronics) and sweet-roll (all sleeping and rain gear). Two main water bottles on the fork and extra room in frame bag and feed bags as needed.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Zpacks hexamid tarp tent with enclosed screen is where I’ll be spending my nights. Using a Western Mountaineering Caribou 35F sleeping bag and a large Uber Lite air pad.
Age 35 / Chicago, IL (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be on my Trek 1120 stripped of it’s racks and stripped of its gears. A 32T chainring on the SRAM Eagle XO1 cranks will drive a single 16T Wolftooth cog for 2700 some odd miles. Teravail Sparwood 2.2″ tires will connect my wheels to the trail with a SON dynamo keeping things powered up. F3 Cycling mounts hold my phone and my Wahoo ROAM. A Zipp cockpit rounds out the build while my Squid Bikes x SDG saddle keeps my butt in place.
BAGS: Beyond stoked to be rocking a full JPaks kit on the bike. A full FramePak, SeatPak, Fatty SnakPak, and two RuckSaks will carry the minimalist pack kit I’ve assembled. Water will be fork mounted in bottles with a 40 oz Kleen Kanteen on the downtube for the long hauls. NO GODS NO SUPPORT CRUE!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be carrying my waterproof CAP256 musette for loading up whatever kinds of food I can find and my custom CAP256 Voile straps will strap down any bonus items or ground scores I acquire along the way. The CAP256 items were inspired a couple years of riding Transcontinental as a pair with my homeboy Chas Christiansen. Heavily stoked to take these jammers out on the trail! Shout out to all the rad adventurers who copped a set of CAP256 goods for your own sick adventures!
Alex Watts (Tea Boy) Rookie
Age 39 / East of England
BIKE: I will be riding my trusty 2014 Salsa El mariachi (Steel). He is called Jim. He has an awesome set of Enve hoops, Son dynamo, Firestarter Fork, Maxxis Tyres and rather a lot of gaffa tape.
BAGS: After rather a lot of recent breakages I now have a Revelate tail pack, Alpkit frame bag, Appidura bar bag and Revelate accessory bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep system is a Mountain equipment Firefly bag, Exped Synmatt, Terra Nova Ultra Laser tent and an Arcteryx cerium jacket.Then it is said you pack your fears, so I have lots and lots of other stuff too.
Age 38 / Prescott, AZ (USA)
BIKE: For this year’s ride, I’ll be on my custom Binary Bicycles SuperB XC, with the Lauf fork to keep my hands comfy, and full XTR 1×11 drivetrain.
BAGS: Full set of bags from Oveja Negra, Snack Packs, Gear Jammer, Front End Loader, Super Wedgie, and Chuckbuckets.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The best piece in my kit is my custom Ti frame built by Binary, perfect for my needs and perfect fit.
Age 53 / Johannesburg, South Africa
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2019 Tour Divide on a modified 2015 29er Cotic Simple. The original Salsa single speed has been replaced with a Shimano 1×11 drivetrain 32T-46.WTB wheels with Hope Hubs have been added carrying 2.25” Vittoria Mezcal and Barzo tyres. Upfront there are Surly Krampus forks, no dynamo hub and a couple of aluminium tri bars for added comfort and ride positions.
BAGS: BAGS: The bags area a combination of Revelate and Apidura. Revelate seat pack and feed bag with Apidura sweet roll and half frame bag. Parts will be held underneath the seat in a Luftansa airlines complimentary bag and I added a Kway bag to the front to carry more food. Two bottles racks are mounted on the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An eTrex 20 for navigation, a Brooks B17 Saddle, a SALSA carrying anything rack for a large water bottle and limited sleeping kit in the bags as I hope to make it to hotels.
Age 31 / Melbourne, Australia
BIKE: Curve GMX2 prototype. Single speed w/32-18 gearing. 7 Arundle cages. Curve Dirt Hoops with SP front hub. 2.6 ikon tyres.
BAGS: Magnetic Revelate Tank bag, seat pack. Small half frame bag. 2x2l Sea to Summit dry bags mounted with Voile straps.
Age 31 / Cambridge, UK
BIKE: I’m riding a Mason progressive cycles InSearchOf for my rookie divide. It’s a sram force 1x setup with a 36t chainring. Wheels are custom hunt gravel x wide rims laced into a son dyno hub.
BAGS: Bags are by miss grape.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My kit is by dhb and ive played it safe with plenty of layers for all condition. Sleeping gear is in the saddle pack, im usung a rab bivvi with down trousers and jacket.
Age 22 / Boone, North Carolina (USA)
BIKE: 2018 Specialized Sequoia Elite (bought used) Stock build except I swapped out the wheels for some 650b Hunt Adventure wheels with some 650b x 47mm Teravail Rutland tires.
BAGS: Relevate Designs through and through. Got the Terrapin 14L seatpost bag, Tangle half frame bag which holds a 2 liter bladder, Relevate Sweetroll Large, and 2 polecats on the fork legs. Also a custom duck taped tent pole bag on the down tube :)
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: particularly psyched on my Hunt Bike Wheels! Also on my Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt and Nemo Hornet 2p tent. Oh and my Oskar Blues shorts.
Age 33 / North Yorkshire & London, UK
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Tour Divide on a IBIS DV9. The bike features Stans flow rims with Continental race kings 2.2” tires, a 1×12 Sram Eagle drivetrain with a SON Dynamo hub up front and a Hope rear hub.
BAGS: A mix and match from previous rides; Revelate Gas tank, Restrap top tube bag and a homemade front bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Outdoor research Helium Hooped bivy, half down bag and a Klymit inertia sleeping mat paired with a down jacket and down Gillett
New in bikes
- Aug 23, 2019First Look: 2020 Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV
- Aug 20, 20192020 Santa Cruz Tallboy (V4): First Ride
- Aug 19, 20192020 Bombtrack Audax and Audax AL: First Impressions
- Aug 17, 2019Lael’s 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race Rig and Kit
- Aug 16, 2019First impressions on the 2020 Bombtrack Hook EXT, EXT-C, and ADV