In this week’s Reader’s Rig feature, we go all the way to the Philippines to check out Kiel Denzon’s La Bici 29er. Find details about his bikepacking-specific build here, including a handful of DIY modifications…

I’m Kiel Denzon from the Philippines. Mabuhay! I’m a 24-year-old Economics graduate student and I work in academia as a research assistant. I’ve been cycling seriously since 2014, and mostly do road riding. I race duathlon (run-bike-run) events, but not competitively. Much of my daily life involves the use of a bike: to commute to school/work, to run errands, to do grocery shopping, and all that. Since last year, because of bikepacking, I’m starting to spend more time off road. Bikepacking has rekindled the mountaineering spirit that I had as a kid. Mountaineering has always been a family affair, and I love how the whole family is always involved in bikepacking trips (even if they sometimes use a car instead).

Kiel Denzon, La Bici, Reader's Rig

I originally built this bike up in 2014 as a rigid 29er with straight bars and a carbon fork. When I decided to really get into bikepacking, carrying capacity became more important. I changed out the carbon fork to a steel one with triple bosses and rack mounts. I keep two old road inner tubes with the rack to cinch down whatever I’m loading. I also changed over to “alternative” drop bars and brifters. I love how the SunRace shifters change gears, so I went with what I love most (the higher-end carbon ones are on my race bike). The shorty aero bars are a luxury that I needed to have. I had a lot of sleepless nights due to the excitement of setting this bike up, but it’s all worth it.

  • Kiel Denzon, La Bici, Reader's Rig
  • Kiel Denzon, La Bici, Reader's Rig
  • Frame/Fork La Bici 29er steel frame, Tutubi steel fork
  • Wheels Mavic XM319 rims with Shimano hubs
  • Tires Maxxis Ikon 29 x 2.2″ front and rear
  • Handlebar 42cm Salsa Woodchippers with Vision Mini-TT clip-on aero bars
  • Crankset Shimano Deore LX 48-36-26
  • Cassette Shimano 11-42
  • Derailleur(s) Shimano Deore 3x front, SunRace Driven NMX 9-speed rear (with Wolf Tooth Road Link)
  • Brakes Shimano non-series mechanical caliper and 160mm rotors
  • Shifter(s) SunRace Driven NRX 10-speed double brifters
  • Saddle Velo Plush VL-1050
  • Front Rack The Project
  • Front Bag(s) 10L dry bag or Conquer Outdoor Equipment “Scout” handlebar bag
  • Rear Bag(s) PACgear “Sadolbag” saddle bag
  • Accessory Bag(s) PACgear “Tangke” and “Yubaks” toptube bags
Kiel Denzon, La Bici, Reader's Rig

I did several DIY/hacks on this bike: (1) I used pieces of steel tube as improvised front light and action camera mounts under the front rack. (2) I zip-tied a WolfTooth B-RAD 4 under the down tube to mount a cage, a mini-pump mount, and WolfTooth accessory strap. (3) I use the barrel adjuster on the left shifter as a nifty “negotiator” between the 2x shifter and 3x crankset. With it, I can set the front derailleur to shift between the big and the middle chainrings, or between the middle and small chainrings (I’m still a believer in 3x). The adjustment in chainring choice can be tricky to do while riding, but it can be done.

You can follow along with Kiel on Instagram @mistertearyeyes.

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