Words by Nathan Reimer, photos by Miles Arbour and Nathan Reimer
Hi, I’m Nathan. Bicycles are important to me. They have been a very influential and stabilizing part of my daily life for the last 15 or so years. I purchased a well-loved early ’90s steel road bike upon moving to Vancouver in 2009 and used it to find pockets of peace and joy on my daily commutes.
My relationship with bikes slowly evolved beyond utilitarian as I desired to discover more of the area beyond the city at my own pace. Apartments grew crowded as road and gravel bikes were added, resting in hallways and upright in closets. These bikes were used to escape the hustle, accessing the north shore mountains that rise up from the sprawl and further coastal explorations on weekends.
I now live in qathet, British Columbia, and upon moving here in 2021, I realized I would need some wider tires and suspension to properly appreciate all that the area has to offer. Through a combination of money and freshly baked banana bread, I became the owner of this Salsa Timberjack, which is the same bike reviewed by Miles in June 2021. The Timberjack has been incredibly versatile for me as I’ve used it on the downhill trails in our backyard, did an XC race on it, completed a handful of short bikepacking trips. Most recently, I spent a couple of weeks rolling the Baja Cape loop on it fully loaded.
- Frame 2021 Salsa Timberjack XT 29
- Fork RockShox 35 Gold RL Air, 130mm
- Rims WTB ST i30 32h 2.0
- Hubs Shimano MT400-B
- Tires Teravail Kessel Tubeless Durable Tan, 29 x 2.6″
- Handlebars Race Face Chester 35mm
- Headset FSA Orbit NO.57E
- Crankset Shimano MT-510, 32T
- Pedals Shimano XT PD-M8120
- Cassette Shimano SLX M7100 Cassette, 12-Speed, 10-51T
- Derailleur Shimano XT M8100 12-Speed
- Brakes Shimano MT501
- Shifter(s) Shimano XT M8100 12-Speed
- Saddle WTB Volt
- Seatpost OneUp V2 Dropper 150mm, 30.9
- Stem Salsa Guide Trail 35.0
- Front bags Outershell Handlebar Harness + Drawcord Handlebar Bag
- Frame bags Salsa EXP frame bag
- Rear bags Outdoor Research 12L dry bag
- Accessory bags Wizard Works Go-Go Top Tube Bag, Farsik tool bag
- Other accessories Widefoot litrecage, prototype rear rack, and Voile straps
I’ve done very little in terms of upgrades (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) as the build came functional and capable, simply swapping out a few parts as they wore down. Over the last month, I have been testing a prototype rear rack made by my friend Skyler Des Roches. He designed it to be adaptable to any hardtail, and it’s dropper-friendly. It is pretty dang light, weighing in at just 404 grams, including the seat post collar. It got a solid shakedown loaded with a drybag and anything else I could hang off of it as I rumbled through the Mexican desert, mountains, and beaches.
You can get to know Nathan on Instagram @____nathan____.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.