Words and photos by Colt Fetters (@coltfetters)
Hi, I’m Colt Fetters, and my passion for cycling started in Alabama of all places. As a grad student without much money, a single-speed rigid Karate Monkey was my bike for the first couple of years. It took me on my first bikepacking trip (Applachian Beer Trail), got me through a few XC races, and my first ultra race on the TNGA (although an 11-speed drivetrain helped).
Fast forward six or seven years, and I can’t deny the beauty of suspension. Although I still own a rigid mountain bike, I’ve come to see that suspension has its place in the bikepacking world. Now I live in Durango, Colorado, the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail, which is really the impetus behind this bike.
First and foremost, this bike is meant to be my trail bike. It’s built for after-work rides around Durango, weekend trips to Moab, and big alpine rides in the San Juans. After racing the CTR in 2018 on a hardtail Why Cycles S7, I was curious about full-suspension bikepacking rigs. Honestly, I’ve always thought the idea of a loaded trail bike was silly, but after the beating my body took on the CTR, I was willing to give it a shot.
The Process 134 29 seemed to be a great platform. And it was once I added a burly set of wheels, a tiny chainring, and a beautiful set of custom bags by Bedrock Bags. Bedrock is a local Durango company that specializes in custom frame bags and rock-solid mounting platforms. Seriously, properly rigged up, these bags don’t bounce around in the least bit. They’ve also been perfecting trail-oriented bags. Take a look at the Moab Handlebar bag, for instance. With its unique curve around the headtube, it keeps the weight centered, resulting in better handling. Additionally, the Black Dragon seatbag is designed around dropper posts. The slim configuration and integration with the Wolf Tooth Valias clamp enables you to drop your seat (most of the way) when the descents get techy. I had my suspension custom-tuned by Diaz Suspension Design, and getting my suspension dialed in for a loaded bike proved to be the most important component to full-suspension bikepacking.
- Frame Kona Process 134 29 CR/DL
- Fork Rockshox Pike Ultimate 150mm (lengthened from 140)
- Rims Industry Nine Enduro 305
- Hubs Industry Nine Hydra
- Tires Maxxis Minion DHR (2.5) and DHF (2.6)
- Handlebars Kona XC/BC 35
- Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 E ZS
- Crankset SRAM GX Carbon DUB
- Pedals Shimano PD-ME700 SPD Trail
- Cassette SRAM X01-Eagle 10-52t 12spd
- Derailleur SRAM X0
- Brakes SRAM Guide RS2
- Shifter(s) SRAM X01
- Saddle Ergon SMC-4
- Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb
- Stem Kona XC/BC 35
- Front bags Bedrock Moab
- Frame bags Custom Bedrock
- Rear bags Bedrock Black Dragon Dropper Seatbag
- Accessory bags Sinbad Stash pack and Dakota Tank Bag
- Other accessories 28 tooth Chainring, ESI Extra Chunky Grips
Now, I know some people may be rolling their eyes at this setup, thinking I’m going to attempt to coin “Enduro-Packing” as the next industry buzzword. But for ultra-specific trails, like sections of the Colorado Trail, bikepacking on a trail bike is pretty darn fun. Don’t knock it until you try it!
You can find more from Colt on Instagram @coltfetters.
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