Lael’s 2019 Tour Divide Bike Build and Gear List
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Interested in what Lael Wilcox is riding and carrying on her 2019 Tour Divide attempt? Here’s the full gear list, bike build, a video about her kit, and a Q&A exploring a few of the gear choices we found particularly interesting…
Lael Wilcox is no stranger to planning a big, multi-thousand-mile bikepacking ride. In fact, she currently holds the women’s record for the Tour Divide, which she set back in 2015 at 15 days, 10 hours, and 59 minutes. Today she lined up with ~200 other riders to ride the 2,700+ mile journey once again. We were fortunate to catch up with Lael before this year’s race to learn more about her bike and gear kit. Here’s a detailed video of the kit made by Rugile Kaladyte, followed by the full gear list and a Q&A where we asked Lael about a few of the choices she made…
Lael’s 2019 Tour Divide Rig
Lael will be riding a Specialized Epic hardtail with custom paint by Erik Nohlin. The bike was built by Madeline Gulley at Specialized Boulder. Lael had a very similar setup with this same bike at the DKXL, but made a few tweaks before lining up foratthe Grand Depart in Banff. Here are the build details followed by a detailed pack list:
- Fork RockShox SID Brain 100mm travel
- Cassette SRAM Eagle cassette (10-50t)
- Crankset SRAM XX1 crankset with 36t chainring
- Chain 12 speed GX chain
- Derailleur AXS 12-speed derailleur
- Shifters SRAM AXS etap
- Front Wheel SON 15mm thru-axle hub / Roval carbon rim
- Rear Wheel Hope BOOST hub / Roval carbon rim
- Front Tire Specialized Fast Trak 29×2.1”
- Rear Tire Panaracer Gravel King 700cx42mm
- Brakes SRAM Level brakes, 180mm Hope rotors
- Seatpost Hope carbon
- Saddle Ergon SR saddle
- Pedals Shimano XTR
- Handlebar Easton AX70 carbon (42mm)
- Aerobars Profile Designs carbon aerobars
- Headset Hope
- Top cap Pie Town
- Headlight Sinewave Cycles Beacon
- GPS Wahoo Elemnt ROAM
- Tracker SPOT tracker
2019 Tour Divide Gear List
Here’s Lael’s 2019 Tour Divide gear list, detailed down to the spare batteries and parts…
Custom Revelate Designs Dyneema framebag, Custom Revelate Designs XL Jerry Can, Prototype Revelate Designs seatpack, Revelate Designs MagTank 2000, 2 x Revelate Designs Mountain feedbag*
Multitool, pump, spare tube, sealant, tire plugs, valve core remover, Presta-Schrader adapter, patch kit, spare derailleur hanger, 12-speed quick links, tire levers, CO2 cartridge, tire boot, chain lube, two 24oz water bottles, zip ties, electrical tape, super glue, extra brake pads
PEARL iZUMi W’s P.R.O bibs, merino wool t-shirt, two pairs merino wool socks, ¼ zip merino wool long sleeve shirt, rain jacket, rain pants, aero half-finger gloves, X-Alp Elevate shoes, shell mittens, Western Mountaineering down Flight vest and Flash pants, down booties, Patagonia sports bra, Specialized Airnet helmet with Black Diamond Icon Polar headlamp with battery pack, Western Mountaineering prototype HotSac VBL (used as an emergency bivvy)
20,000 maH power bank, iPhone, spare Wahoo Elemnt ROAM, iPhone charger, micro USB, two extra SRAM AXS batteries and charger, earbuds, watch battery (for SRAM shifter), AC-USB cord for Sinewave Cycles Beacon
Sunscreen, chapstick, ibuprofen, caffeine pills, Ombraz sunglasses, toothbrush and toothpaste, albuterol inhaler, TrailButter pouch, GU gels
Passport, debit card, cash, town-pass-resupply list
*I have plenty of room in my bags for sandwiches
Have you used the SRAM AXS electronic shifter in the past on a big trip? If so, how’s the battery reliability/life, and any tips for charging?
I used the SRAM AXS electronic shifter for the DKXL as well as my ride from PEARL iZUMi headquarters in Louisville, Colorado, to Emporia, Kansas, for the Dirty Kanza. I absolutely love these shifters and love that I can run a 12-speed Eagle cassette (10-50T) with a drop handlebar. I can say that the battery lasted more than 400 miles. I actually haven’t let it die yet, so I don’t know the exact lifespan. My friend, Hannah Bingham (from Built Bicycles), says they typically last for 500 miles. I’m carrying two spare batteries and the charger, so I don’t think I’ll run into a charging issue. I’ll be carrying a 20,000 mAh power bank and will be able to charge this off of my Sinewave Cycles Beacon.
Tell us about the Western Mountaineering HotSac prototype! How much does it weigh?
The last time I raced Tour Divide in 2015, I used a WM HotSac for a bivvy. I got in touch with them this year to replace the HotSac as it was pretty worn out from two runs down the Divide and a year of touring. They offered my a prototype of their new HotSac, it’s 3.2 ounces (91 grams), making it 1.5 ounces lighter than the previous version. They’ve changed the fabric and it feels great and packs tiny.
Interesting tire setup with a 700c x 42mm in the rear and a 2.1″ up front. What’s your rationale there?
I’m running a narrower tire in the rear for tire clearance. The Epic Hardtail is designed as a traditional racing hardtail and is pretty tight when running a 2.1”. The 700×42 gives me a lot more room and it might need this when encountering mud on the Divide. During my second run in 2015, I encountered pretty serious mud in the Bannack State Park in Southern Montana, enough so that I wore a hole in my seatstay large enough to fit the tip of my pinky. The frame never failed, but it still seemed a little sketchy. The Epic HT is a fantastic ride, but definitely on the lightweight side for bikepacking. I think the increased rear frame clearance will help me out.
Any new gear in the list you’re excited about trying, or worried about!?
Heck yeah! I’m carrying Western Mountaineering down pants and a down vest instead of a sleeping bag. I’ve never done this before, but I’m pumped that I can ride in my sleep system. I have this vision that I’ll just pop out of my bivvy and get right on my bike. I hope it works.
Aside from gear, any general expectations or worries about the route this year?
There has been an incredible amount of snow in The Rockies this year. I’m expecting we’ll see quite a bit and that might slow down the overall finishing times. I’m excited to get out there and see it. In addition, a have a lot of friends riding this year and I’m excited to share the route with them. It looks like a really strong field and that makes it so much more fun for both the racers and the virtual spectators. I’m really hoping it’s a great race and we all have a clean run at it.