Rigs of the 2023 Tour Divide (Part 1): Drop-Bar Bikes
With the Tour Divide grand depart coming up on Friday, we’re pleased to present the Rigs of the 2023 Tour Divide. Like last year, we’ve split them into two categories and are kicking things off with more than 50 drop-bar rigs that will be taking on the 2,700-mile route from Canada to Mexico, including bag and gear highlights for each. Dive in here…
The Tour Divide is arguably the most popular bikepacking event ever, and each year, hundreds of riders from across the globe gather in Banff, Alberta, with plans to ride the roughly 2,700-mile route along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route south toward Mexico. There’s a vast range of riders in the 2023 edition, from ultralight endurance racers looking to best the impossibly fast sub-15-day pace to folks slowly rolling along the route for a month or longer. There’s no wrong (or right) way to enjoy the Tour Divide.
Last year’s Tour Divide was especially exciting, returning from a canceled 2020 event and an adjusted version in 2021. Sofiane Sehili took first place with a time of 14 days, 16 hours, and 36 minutes. Ana Jager was the first woman to finish with a time of 19 days and 54 minutes. And our friends Katie and Andrew Strempke took the first singlespeed spots in 19 days, 16 hours, and 11 minutes and 16 days, 19 hours, and 12 minutes, respectively. On Friday at 8 a.m., riders will start their journeys south to the US/Mexico border, a challenging feat we commend everyone participating for lining up to take on.
Like last year, we decided to break the rigs into two days to better showcase the overwhelming number of submissions. You can scroll down for a look at all of the drop-bar bikes submitted to our annual rig roundup, and keep an eye on the site tomorrow for our gallery of 50+ flat-bar rigs. When the event launches on Friday morning, you can also follow along live over on our 2023 Tour Divide Tracker, where we’ll be sharing a lot of great coverage in the weeks ahead.
Gainesville, Florida (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat 2018 set up rigid, SRAM force group set
34T 1x front chainring 11-42T rear cassette.
BAGS: Revelate Design all around the bike.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Favero Assioma power meter and Look Road pedals baby! My preference pedal and clear platform for long hours on the bike and as a veteran Tour Divide rider, I am prepared to put on minimalist hiking shoes for the hike a bike sections.
Ulrich “Uba” Bartholmoes
Age 36 / Munich (Germany)
BIKE: 2023 BMC Twostroke 01 One – the bike is totally custom built with Beast Components XS30 Carbon rims wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front, a SRAM Eagle XS Red Drivetrain (34T x 10-52T), a RockShox SID SL Select + suspension fork and Beast Component drop bars. Pulley wheels and all bearings are low friction ceramic parts by Kogel to ensure smooth pedaling. Tires will be Hutchinson Skeleton & Taipan with 2.15”. My favorite highlight on the bike is my Supernova M99 DY Pro front light – its the brightest I have ever seen and will be my laser sword to conquer the nights!
BAGS: I will use the Apidura Backcountry series with the 6L saddle pack, the 4L full frame pack, the 1L rear top tube pack and the 1L top tube pack, for a total of solid 12L to carry clothes, spares and food. If I need more room on the way I will find it in my Apidura Backcountry Hydration Backpack which also features an 2.5L water bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike and the setup for the race are a great work of art and the highlight. My focus is on the lowest possible weight, good durability and, above all, reliability. All components have been tested for many thousands of kilometers and will serve me well.
Age 50 / Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada)
BIKE: I will be doing a record amount of hike-a-bike next to Pepper, my 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1. I upgraded the derailleur to Force 1 and replaced the chainring to 30T. In the rear is a 11x42T cassette. Pepper will be rolling with a set of 2.35” Vitorria Mezcals on Bontrager comp line 30s. When actually riding, I will enjoy a Brooks B17 saddle on a Redshift seat post, as well as profile design aerobars with a 70mm riser on a Redshift stem for comfort.
BAGS: At the heart of Pepper is a Rockbros half frame bag. On the bars, Pepper has a Revelate Harness with a Sea to Summit drybag. A couple Revelate Designs feed bags. One for food and one for bear-spray. Hanging up front will be an Axiom bar bag. Strapped to the fork by a couple of Salsa anything cages are a Salsa and Sea to Summit drybags. Top tube Revelate Magtank to finish things off up front. In the rear with be a Sea to Summit Drybag attached to an Aeroe Spider rack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep system includes a Stormbreak 1, McKinley Trekker sleep, bag, and Klymit pillow. Garmin 830, SPOT tracker, Magicshine RN 3000 headlight, with a Biolite 20,000mAh powerbank. On my back will be an Osprey 2.5L hydration pack. A Befree Katadyn to filter water, with some tablets for possible cow water and such. And to top it all off, my Bike Doctor Detours jersey.
Age 25 / Portland, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be Touring on a Timeline™ on a 2021 Salsa Cutthroat, rolling on a pair of 2.25” Vittoria Mezcals and running a mostly-stock GRX 810 drivetrain with some extra teeth provided by an 11-42 cassette and a goatlink. An SP dynamo hub will power a Sinewave Beacon attached to some Profile Designs T3+ aerobars. A PNW coast suspension dropper will be saving my butt from anything the Specialized Power MIMIC saddle can’t handle. Race Face Atlas flat pedals make for comfier hike-a-biking and city days. Not pictured are a Lauf TR Boost fork and Salsa stem meticulously hand-painted in a white-on-black topo of Portland’s west hills by my fiancée and a lovely little top cap from ATR in Stockholm.
BAGS: I’ll be running a set of custom Rogue Panda frame and top tube bags with a topo print of Oregon’s Mount Hood. A Tailfin alloy rack with two Salsa EXP anything cages will keep the weight down and back and allow for a dropped post! Up front, I’ll have a bed roll on a Salsa EXP Anything Cradle and three Revelate feed bags mounted in front of the bars so I can stand to climb without them rubbing my knees.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: We’ll be raising money for p:ear, a Portland nonprofit with a bike shop whose mission is to develop professional skills for youth experiencing homelessness. Navigation will come courtesy of a Garmin Edge 810 and the ACA paper maps, tracking from an InReach Mini, and bonus lighting from a Fenix PD36R rigged as a helmet light. I’ll be sleeping well with a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1, old REI air pad, Nemo foam pad, and Katabatic Alsek quilt. A JBL Clip speaker, chess board, Kindle, journal, and Therm-a-Rest Trekker chair will keep me entertained on-route. Severely overweight first aid and repair kits will give us the best chances possible to keep rolling!
Age 63 / Veenendaal (The Netherlands)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 2018 (quite standard, no suspension), Maxxis Ekon EXO 2.35″ front, 2.20″ rear, standard aero bars.
BAGS: Salsa Framebag, Revelate Designs seatpack, Sea to Summit eVent bag in front with Revelate pooch, Revelate Top Tube and Decathlon top tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: All raingear, down jacket and 3-season sleeping bag from RAB, Therm-a-Rest Neo Air X-lite, little stove, lots of coffe powder, Etrex 30x, Son Dynamo hub 28-15, Terra Nova Laser Comp 1 tent, 12l backpack from RAB. Total load 10kg (22lbs).
Age 36 / Oudenburg, West-Flanders (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a steel 2022 Salsa Fargo with Ritchey Venturemax road drop-bar with Wolf Tooth bar tape to compensate vibration. The bike features a pair of Hunt Race XC wheels with tubeless Continental Protection 2.35” Cross King front and 2.25” Race King back 29” tires, SRAM GX Eagle 1×11 11-50 drivetrain with a 32T chainring. A Pedalcell dynamo up front will charge battery pack, Garmin Edge 1030, iPhone 13 Pro and Lezyne lights. Giving the wrists some rest using Profile Design aero bars on the handlebars. The Brooks cambium carved saddle is the one component that always shifts to the bike I go bikepacking with.
BAGS: I have mixed Salsa frame bag, Restrap top tube and Apidura front and seat pack. They have proven themselves worthy many times before. Two water bottles are mounted to the fork and extra water will be in my small Salomon trail running backpack CamelBak as needed.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My 600g Sea To Summit bivy tent and Therm-A-Rest light mattress will be my basic sleepover option. Base layer and socks typically merino, Rapha core bib shorts and lastly Castelli Perfetto RoS windjack. Never change a winning combination, I’ll be riding my 3rd pair of Shimano XC5 shoes.
Age 63 / Hereford, Arizona (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be on a Sage Barlow Ti. I’ve been experimenting and trying different options for a while now but think I might have finally got it right, maybe. Wheels are DT Swiss GR1600s with Pirelli Cinturato 650B x 45mm tires. Saddle is a Brooks C-17. I’m sold on the SRAM AXS 40T x 11-52T drivetrain after bikepacking across the U.S. last summer. I’m also a big fan of Big Agnes so both my tent and sleeping setup are from them.
BAGS: Other than a beautiful Rogue Panda framebag, my bags are a from a variety of brands.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Handlebar is a Salsa Cowchipper Deluxe 520mm. Pedals Hope F-20 flats. Water filter is a Sawyer Squeeze. Tracking is via my iPhone on a SP-Connect stem mount and a Garmin 1040 Solar. A special shout out to M&M Bikes in Sierra Vista AZ who helped me get here, very much appreciated.
Age 44 / Boulder, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: Lauf Seigla with 1×12 mullet drivetrain using a 38T chainring, 10-52T cassette, XO1 Eagle derailleur, and Force AXS shifters. Profile Design Sonic Ergo 4525A aerobars mounted on a Fred Bar with SRAM wireless blips on the ends. RedShift ShockStop PRO Suspension Seatpost. SON Dynamo Hub with kLite Ultra gravel front light and Qube rear light. Whiskey No.9 36w rims with 2.25” Vittoria Mezcal tires.
BAGS: Apidura Aerobar Pack, 2x Revelate Designs Feedbag, Tailfin Top Tube Pack, Rogue Panda frame bag, Apidura Frame Pack Hydration Bladder 3L, Tailfin AeroPack Alloy without pannier mounts and extended seatpost connector, ZéfalZ Box L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Park Tool GSC-1 Gear Cleaning Brush for both brushing my teeth and clearing mud.
Age 58 / Enumclaw, Washington (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat. Shimano GRX, 2x, 11x42T. Son Dynamo in front, Chris King in back on HED Belgium G’s with Fleecer Ridge 2.2″. kLite front and back. Brooks C15 Carved on Ritchey seat post. Ebay carbon bars atop Ritchey Beacon bars with a Redshift Shocktop stem. Water: 3L Hydrapack in framebag, 24 oz bottle for mixing, Befree water filter with 2L bag.
BAGS: Assorted bags from Revelate, Salsa, Porcelain Rocket, Dispersed and BroadFork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Digging the Dispersed Top Tube bag for its capacity and my BroadFork Basho bag Jacquelyn made to spec that allows access to the bag while running aero bars. This is the way.
Age 28 / Denver, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a steel Pipedream A.L.I.C.E. frame and rigid fork. Drivetrain is a SRAM 1×12 using the Ratio kit with road shifters. Front wheel built by Totem Cyclery in Denver using a SP hub paired with a Sinewave Beacon 2 and tail light.
BAGS: A.L.I.C.E. is fitted with a custom frame bag from Rogue Panda with room for an Apidura 3L bladder. Seat bag is from Restrap and in the front I’m using a Revelate MagTank and Feedbag, Bedrock Bags Entrada handlebar bag, and Blackburn fork mounted bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My delicate wrists will appreciate the RedShift ShockStop suspension stem and Profile Design aerobars, and my pale skin and fashion sense will appreciate Da Brim. My shelter will be a Big Sky Soul 2P, a little extra weight for some peace of mind.
Age 36 / Nashville, Tennessee (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding my Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0. I am running 2.0″ Maxxis Ikons mounted to Boyd CCC Wheels. For the drivetrain I am running GRX 2×11 with a 46/30T chainring and a 11-46T in the rear.
BAGS: I am running a combination of a bunch of bags but I am most excited about my South City Stitchworks custom frame bag. Revelate Designs Spinelock seat bag and feed bag. Ortlieb front roll. Rockgeist Cache top tube bag and feedbag. Oveja Negra snack pack. I have 2 water bottles mounted to my fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be bringing a Durston X-Mid 1P tent with an Enlightened Equipment down quilt on a Nemo Tensor sleeping pad. Navigating with a Garmin Edge 830. I am also really liking running the Fenix BCR-30 with replaceable rechargeable batteries for my lighting system.
Age 59 / Lac Cruces, New Mexico (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Tour Divide for a second time, having finished in 2021, on a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat GRX 810 1x. The bike is very close to stock. I have only changed out the original drivetrain parts with identical replacements due to wear on the originals. The only things not stock: I will be riding a Selle Anatomica H1 saddle. The front wheel is a SON dynamo hub laced to a Velocity BLUNT 32-hole rim. This will power my kLite Ultra Gravel light and my kLite Qube rear safety blinker kit as well as other things that need charging. Rear wheel is identical to the front but using a DT 350 hub. I am using Bontrager aero bar pads and clamps, mated to a pair of profile design bars, with a custom-made aero bridge holding all my electronics. I’ll be using Rene Hearse 2.2″ Fleecer Ridge Endurance Plus Tires.
BAGS: My frame bag is the custom Rogue Panda Designs matched bolt-on frame bag made for my Cutthroat model. Up front sees me running an EXP Series Anything Cradle and a simple 15L dry bag. Also on the bars are two Revelate Designs Mountain Feed Bags. I am Tailfin 1.5L Top Tube Pack. Also from Tailfin, I am using their Carbon Areopack and 5-liter panniers. Finally, I have a Wolf Tooth B-RAD Mini Roll Top Bag mounted under the down tube. On the front forks I will be using twin Tailfin Large Cargo Cages with two 1.4L Nalgene bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An REI 1 person Quarterdome will serve as my shelter mated with a Western Mountaineering 30 degree Megalite sleeping bag and a Klymite Static V, insulated pad to round out my sleep system. I’ll also be carrying a Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation. I’ll be using a Garmin inReach Mini for satellite tracking and emergency communication.
Age 53 / Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Tour Divide on my 2020 Salsa Fargo with Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires mounted on DT Swiss wheels with a SON 28 dynamo front hub powering my Sinewave Beacon dynamo light and keeping my electronics charged and an E*Thirteen TRS+ 9-46T cassette mounted on a DT Swiss 350 rear hub with a 28T oval chainring.
BAGS: I decided to spread the love here so I’ll be running a Rouge Panda custom frame bag, Ortlieb seat pack, Tailfin top tube bag, Oveja Negra jerry can and Revelate Designs feed bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be spending my nights in a Zpacks Duplex tent and a Feathered Friends sleeping bag on a NeoAir Xlite air mattress.
Age 66 / North Bend, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: 2020 Salsa Fargo Apex, modified with a Sunrace 11-46t cassette and a 28t chainring (giving a 17.6 – 73.7 gear inches versus OEM 22.0-84.2); Salsa Alternator Plus rack; Brooks B-17 seat; Redshift suspension stem & both upper & drop grip set; Cane Creek Thudbuster v3 seat post; PedalCell generator; Profile Design T1+ aerobars; and Raceface Arc30HD rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs & Maxxis Ikon 2.25-2.35 tires running tubeless.
BAGS: Rogue Panda custom framebag; Louise seat bag frame w/ Event bag; 2x Topeak VersaCage & 2x DOM Gorilla Bags; Salsa Anything Cradle, pouch & top loader bag; Revelate Jerrycan, gastank & feedbag; Ortlieb 70L pannier set; 2x 1L bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m touring the Great Divide at a leisurely, 3month pace, so I’m traveling heavy: approx. 65#. Big Agnes Cooper Spur UL-2 Bikepacking tent; 40deg bag w/ bivy cover & fleece liner; ultralight Klymit pad; Wahoo Elemnt Roam v1 and an old phone for navigation; full cookset including a fry pan.
Age 22 / Seattle, Washington (USA)
BIKE: I’m racing this years Tour Divide on a Titanium Tumbleweed Stargazer with a Corvus Cycles fork running big tires, low gears and high stack. Built up with SRAM Eagle drivetrain and 2.2″ Maxxis Icon tires. Shutter precision front hub and sinewave beacon light/charger.
BAGS: Revelate Spinelock seat bag, Rockgeist framebag, Apidura aero pack, Apidura top tube bag for all the snacks and some Revelate feed bags. A mix of my favorites and what fit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Rolling with three sets of metallic brake pads, head to toe Gore-Tex rain kit, six spare spokes and a curved needle thread. I may or may not have learned some lessons last year.
Age 41 / Hokitika (New Zealand)
BIKE: My trusty Giant ToughRoad SLR GX1 with a 1×11 drivetrain, 32T chainring and 11-49T cassette. Tyres are 45/50mm (back/front). Add-ons include a SON Dynamo hub, and aerobars.
BAGS: Most of my bags are from Bike Bag Dude: custom frame bag, handlebar roll, chaff bag and top tube bag. Plus an Ortleib Seat Pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a Mountain Laurel Designs eVent Soul Bivy, Sea to Summit Spark 2 sleeping bag and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite mat. I use a Ground Effect Rivulet jacket and Monsoon rain pants as my waterproofs. My navigation device is a Garmin Edge 530.
Age 42 / Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a 2022 Curve Cycling Big Kev called “Miles”. What’s special about this bike is that it’s an XS titanium 29er “gravel plus” bike, with a Curve Cycling Ride 415 carbon fork. Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.25 up front & 29 x 2.1 in the back. Big Kev is kitted out with a SRAM AXS (Rival/ GX) Mullet drivetrain (34T oval up front & 10/52 in the back). The wheels are Curve Cycling carbon Dirt Hoops, complete with DT Swiss rear hub & Shutter Precision Dynamo up front. I have my favourite Klite dynamo light mounted to VAP Cycling Butterfly 3 aero bars. My aero bars have some sneaky 3D printed mods, thanks to Curve Cycling technical lead Jimmy “JTS” Rostund. JTS also designed the 3D printed Klite Qube rear light mount that fits my Big Kev’s seat stay perfectly.
BAGS: Revelate Designs feed bags and 10 litre Revelate Designs Spinelock seatpost bag. Aussie made Bike Bag Dude top tube bag (this dude makes such DURABLE stuff). My sleep kit is all wrapped up in an Exped waterproof compression bag that fits neatly in the sling that comes with the VAP Cycling aerobars. An Exped Flex Mat (trimmed to April Size) is so tough it doesn’t need a bag & rounds out the camping portion of the cockpit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Curve Cycling Walmer Bars. Always a highlight, the sweep, the flare and the width are all game changing for bikepacking & day to day fun. They’re what you’d get if MTB bars & drop bars had a bikepacking baby. There’s plenty of storage space for bags & the extended 31.8 section either side of the clamping area means that my aero bars & endless gadgets are super easy to mount. I love that there are loads of options when it comes to hand positions, great for leverage when the terrain is tricky & they’ve given me a confidence boost when I’m descending. Most importantly, they’re very comfortable, especially with all the cushy gel I’m running under that crazy long bar tape!
Age 54 / Anchorage, Alaska (USA)
BIKE: Corvus (Fatback) titanium Crow Pass, carbon forks, Shimano 11-42T GRX cassette/derailleur, Absolute Black 32T oval front chainring, 29” Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires.
BAGS: Rockgeist frame bag, Revelate Spinelock 16L seat bag, Feedbags (x2), Jerrycan, and Magtank. Ortleib handlebar bag. SON dynamo hub with Beacon Sinewave light/generator. 1.5L Apidura water reservoir for lower frame bag compartment, two 750 ml water bottles (on frame and in Feedbag).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep kit is Six Moons Deigns Lunar Solo tent wit 5-piece carbon pole, Feathered Friends 20F sleeping bag, and Therm-a-Rest Neo-Air XLite pad. Wahoo Elemnt Roam, Ride with GPS and Gaia for navigation.
Matteo Gagliardi Alberti
Age 50 / Bergamo (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a 2017 Niner RLT steel (called Ninina)! The bike features a new pair of Teravail Rutland durable 650bx47mm tires and Hunt Carbon custom rims whit a Son dynamo hub. The drivetrain is a modified 1×11 SRAM Force with a 36T Absolute Black oval chainring and e-thirteen 10-46T cassette. I’m running Paul Component Klamper brakes, Selle Italia SLR gravel saddle, Deda Element seatpost, Deda aereobar, Redshift shockpost stem and XTR pedals.
BAGS: My bag setup includes a Miss Grape saddle bag and handlebar bag, Revelate Designs frame bag, and a few other small bags from Revelate.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A MSR Hubba NX1 tent, Marmot Helium sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad. For navigation I will use Garmin Edge 1040 solar. kLite ultra v2 for my lighting.
Age 62 / Perkasie, Pennsylvania (USA)
BIKE: My home away from home will be a Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0. The local Philly guys at Redshift Sports will be keeping my bum and wrists pampered with their Shockstop stem and seatpost. My saddle is a 32-year old Brooks B-17. Having not gone with a Cutthroat frame I will attempt to appease the trail gods by wrapping my Hunt wheels with Vittoria Mezcals. The bits that make it move and stop are mostly Shimano GRX with a smaller Wolf Tooth chainring. A Son dynamo will power my Klite lights and Sinewave Revolution. The Profile Design aerobars are perched atop 50mm risers.
BAGS: Mostly Revelate bags with a Tailfin AeroPack in the rear. Handlebar dry bag is held aloft by an Aeroe Spider cradle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Too much roughing it is for the kids younger than my saddle. So, Nemo Hornet tent, Big Agnes SL pad, inflatable Sea to Summit pillow and snuggly Nemo Riff sleeping bag for me. Techy stuff includes Garmin Edge 840 and Inreach Mini. A squeaky dinosaur on the Ritchey Venturemax handlebars will scare off bears and a sticker of the Monty Python Black Knight in the cockpit will remind me to never quit. (“Tis but a scratch”).
Age 54 / Bozeman, Montana (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Tour Divide on a 2018 Salsa Cutthroat with 2.1″ Vittoria Mezcal tires and a Son28 dynamo hub. The drivetrain will be Wolf Tooth 30T chainring ring (not pictured) paired with a 9-46T cassette. Oh, and some Cinelli Turquoise bar tape as a reminder that this is FUN!
BAGS: A full assortment of bags from Revelate, Apidura, Oveja Negra all centered around a custom full frame bag from Ghost Cat Bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The same set up as last time, a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo tent, Patagonia hybrid sleeping bag, full NeoAir pad and a pillow for warm, dry and bug free sleeping.
Age 30 / Anchorage, Alaska (USA)
BIKE: 9ZERO7 Passage, GRX 810, 48-31T, Nexte carbon rims, Son Dynamo front hub, RaceFace Vault rear, Teravail Rutland 700x47mm.
BAGS: TDF custom frame bag, Tailfin rear rack and bag, Revelate feed bags and Mag Tank 2000.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Ibex clothing kit, Sea to Summit Spark 18 with ground cloth, K-light MTB front and rear dynamo lights & Fenix HM61R V2.0 helmet light, GPS Wahoo Roam.
Age 34 / Goteborg (Sweden)
BIKE: Brother Cycles Big bro 29er, Curve Walmer bars 55cm, SRAM AXS X01/Force mullet setup, Absolute black 36T chainring, Hope rotors and RX4+ calipers, wheels are WTB CZR i30’s laced with Sapim CX rays onto a DT 350 in the back and SP Dynamo in the front. Tires are 2.35″ Mezcals. Profile Design A35 aerobars with 30mm spacers. Full Klite kit for lightning and charging duties.
BAGS: Custom frame bag by THLP BAGS, custom roll top and ditty bags by Nimbus Packs. The rest is Revelate gear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Very excited to run a dynamo setup for the first time and not having to stress about power banks or my lights lasting through the night. Many friends helped me get this bike together, so a shout out to them!
Age 46 / Gibsons, British Columbia (Canada)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Tour Divide on a 2014 Salsa Fargo. Rolling on Vittoria Mezcal 2.1” tires, 1×11 drivetrain with a 36x51T low, and SP dynamo in front.
BAGS: Rockgeist partial frame bag, Tailfin rear thinger, Revelate harness, top tube bag and feedbags, Apidura bags on the forks, with bottle cages added with King Cage USBs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Copper Spur, Nemo pad, down quilt, eTrex 20. Custom mini fender on the front from my LBS, thanks Elphi Cycles!
Age 28 / Canberra (Australia)
BIKE: Custom Built Hunt Bikes Landcruiser v2. Sram AXS drivetrain with White Industries MR30 Cranks. Running a 34T on the front with 10-50T on the rear. Klite lighting setup and navigation powered by Dynamo hub. I’ll be running the ol’ faithful 2.2” Maxxis Ikon’s.
BAGS: Custom Hungry frame and feed bags, Porcelain Rocket seat bag, Diy front roll setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favourite bits of kit would have to be my tent and filming setup. I use a Zpacks Solo tent which makes for a roomy sleep and super light carry weight. As an adventure filmmaker I also love to bring along my cameras and drone. (watch this space for a 2023 TD film!)
Age 41 / Lutsen, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat.
BAGS: Cedaero, JPaks, Salsa, Revelate.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sheltering with my trusty Ray-Way Tarp which has been my go-to shelter for over ten years. Navigating via Hammerhead Karoo 2.
Age 38 / Amherst Junction, Wisconsin (USA)
BIKE: I am so excited to experience this route! I’m riding a Mason InSearchOf. I have been very happy with the Vittoria Mezcals so I’ve got a new pair of 2.35” mounted both front and rear with Tubolight foam inserts. SRAM Rival / GX Eagle AXS wireless 12-speed hybrid groupset, 32T chainring, Hunt H Impact All Mtn carbon rims with a SON Dynamo hub up front. Lighting and charging by Sinewave Beacon. Ritchey Venturemax bars and Fizik Terra Argo saddle. Fox 34 stepcast fork. Profile Designs aero bars. Shimano XT PD-T8000 pedals with one side flats.
BAGS: I’ve got a custom frame bag from Buckhorn in Fayetteville. I got to meet Sam and check out his workshop while I was riding in Arkansas earlier this year. For my seat bag I am planning to go with an Oveja Negra Gearjammer L bag (Wack Pack colors for fun), top tube Revelate Mag Tank 2000, Randi Jo Fab custom Ruby Coffee pocket tender stem/feed bags, Rockgeist dry bag and armadillo protector and Horton pouch mounted to the Goodday Curiosity spacer cradle. Tailfin small bag on the downtube on a Tailfin mount. I’ve been pretty happy with the Osprey Seral 7 hip pack so I’ll probably bring that too for some added snack storage and additional hydration. UL Apidura 13L backpack for extra capacity from resupply spots.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: MLD bivy, Enlightened Equipment quilt and puffy, Montbell down pants, rain and some riding gear from Albion, sun sleeves, Pearl Izumi X Alp Summit shoes, NRS socks, showers pass gloves, merino wool layers from Black Diamond and Smartwool. Merino cap from Randi Jo. Wahoo Roam for nav. As much instant coffee from my company, Ruby, as I can pack into the crevices!
Age 64 / Christchurch (New Zealand)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat with 1×11 30/11-46T drivetrain, Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, Profile T3 aerobars with 70mm risers, Maxis Ikon 2.2” tires, Son Dynamo hub and KLite front and taillights.
BAGS: Mixture of Revelate, Apidura and BBD bags plus a Paper Roads dry bag up front.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Macpac Bivy, Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite foam pad and Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag.
Age 64 / Christchurch (New Zealand)
BIKE: I will be riding a Salsa Cutthroat with a 30-11/51T drivetrain, Profile T3 aerobars, SON dynamo, Supernova front and rear lights (plus a KLite rear light), Cambium C17 seat, Maxis Ikon 2.2″ tires.
BAGS: I will be using a mixture of bags from Revelate framebag and feedbags, Revelate Pronghorn handle bar roll, Apidura seat bag, BBD Top Tube Garage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Macpac Bivy, Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite foam pad and Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag.
Age 28 / Canon City, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I will be piloting a 2023 Otso Fenrir. The bike consists of a stainless steel frame with a Enve Carbon Mountain Fork. The Fenrir is equipped with a mixed 1×11 drivetrain and a 34T chainring. The Fenrir is rolling on Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″ tires mounted on a 29″ Industry Nine Trail S wheelset.
BAGS: My bike is saddled up with Revelate Designs and Bedrock Bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Chamoisless and afraid.
Age 61 / Greenville, South Carolina (USA)
BIKE: I will be racing the 2023 Tour Divide on a 2019 Salsa Cutthroat set up with a Sram AXS drivetrain (34/10-50T). NOX Teocalli carbon hoops laced to a Son 28 dyno hub and DT Swiss 350 rear hub. Backside protected by a 3-D printed Specialized Power saddle (155), to the extent that is possible! Klite Gravel system for lighting.
BAGS: Bags are mostly stock. Salsa frame bag. 14L Terrapin, harness, feedbags and legacy zip front pocket from Revelate and a huge top tube bag made by the Strempkes at Dispersed Bike. MLD dry bag in the harness. Three large bottles on the fork and feed bag, and an extra 2L bladder when needed. Top compartment of the frame bag is almost entirely dedicated to food and extra water; bottom all the sundries I hope not to use. Rain gear in front pocket for easy access. Bear spray goes in a small hip pack from Hyperlite Mountain Gear that I can stash at some point.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Old man decided a good sleep (my goal is to hotel it as much as possible) is worth an extra 12 oz., so my shelter will be a Six Moons Design Lunar Solo Tent versus a bivy. Western Mountaineering 30 deg bag and Big Agnes Zoom UL pad complete the sleep system. Using a Garmin 1040 Solar for navigation with a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V1 and Ride with GPS as back-up. Definitely not the lightest set up but intended to get me to the end unscathed.
Age 48 / Frytown, Iowa (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2021 Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600. The wheels are DT SWISS XM 421 with a Son dynamo hub up front and a DT Swiss 350 in the back. The tires are Vittoria Mezcals and the saddle is a Brooks B17.
BAGS: In the back I have a Tailfin Aeropack with 10L panniers. The frame bag is by Rogue Panda and the front forks have Salsa Anything cages with Revelate Polecat bags. In the cockpit, I’m using Profile Designs Sonic Ergo aerobars, Revelate Designs feedbags and a Salsa EXP top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My tent is the bikepacking version of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2. My sleeping bag is a 30 degree Nemo Moonwalk paired with a Klymit Static V pad. For lighting, I have an Exposure Revo powered by the dynamo hub.
Arya Tenzin Namdol
Age 38 / Hadlyme, Connecticut (USA)
BIKE: Crust/Rons Bikes Alumalith with Ultradynamico Mars 27.5 x 2.2″ and Cava 2.2″ Robusto tires around Crust rims and Paul touring cantilever brakes. Late 90s era Shimano XTR and and Campoagnolo Record shifted with Shimano and Suntour bar end shifters with a Sugino PX crankset.
BAGS: Ron’s bikes small X11 Fabio’s chest and Rivendell Sackville Banana sack in the rear. Rani Jo bartender stem bags and a custom X11 frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This bike has so much polished aluminum that I think it is technically all highlights!
Age 29 / Vanlife, Wisconsin (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the 2023 Tour Divide on a Fezzari Shafer frameset with an MRP Baxter 60mm fork. The wheelset is a Schmidt SON dynamo front and DT Swiss 350 rear laced into Velocity Blunt SS rims. Vittoria Mezcal 700 x 42mm front and rear with Cushcore XC plus Stan’s Race sealant. Drivetrain is a mix of Shimano Ultegra and GRX. Gearing is 46/30T x 11-42T with a 4iiii power meter. Cockpit is a Zipp Service Course handlebars and Ebay stem plus a hodgepodge TT bar set-up.
BAGS: Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seat pack. Restrap half frame bag and long top tube bag. Heavily modified Revelate Designs Sweet Roll handlebar roll connected to a Salsa EXP Series bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep system is a Magma 30 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest Uberlight pad, and an ultralight tarp. Cycling kit is all Pearl Izumi plus an Outdoor Research Superstrand LT hoodie. Key electronics are a Sinewave Cycles Beacon, Garmin 530, Spot Gen 3, and Dexcom G6 Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor (Type 1 Diabetic).
Age 26 / No Man’s Land (USA)
BIKE: After riding (not racing) the Tour Divide in 2022, I have decided to do it again this year, northbound. Tried and true, I am using the same set up as my first ride: my trusty All City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon (aka Sofi) with a fresh pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.1” tires. Sofi also is rocking a new 1×11 drivetrain with a 36T chainring, and a totally hot KMC X11SL gold chain. Sonic Ergo Aero Bars for an illusion of speed. Everything else is exactly what I used last year.
BAGS: It was difficult finding bags that accommodate an XS frame, but the Revelate Tangle frame bag and Revelate Terrapin 14L seatpost bag still leave me with some tire clearance and space for a 4L Cranktank. I also am using the Revelate Mountain Feedbags, Jerrycan, and Magtank 2000. Revelate Polecats reside on the fork, and Sea to Summit stuffsacks fit everything else.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: TRP HY/RD mechanical/hydraulic brakes allow me to stop and smell the flowers with my partner Oz, and my Wahoo Element will be joining me once more to prevent wrong turns Oz may take in smelling said flowers. Unlike last year, I’m making the experience more comfortable and have opted to bring a tent and stove, my Hubba Hubba NX2 and a Jetboil.
Age 57 / Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
BIKE: I will be riding the TD on 2016 Kona Raijin titanium hardtail 29er. Modified to drop bars with Force 22 shifters, Ratio conversion, eThirteen 9x50T, 12-speed cassette and Absolute Black oval 32 chainring. Force brakes upgraded to Hope Rx4+ callipers. Salsa Cutthroat carbon fork. Continental Race Kings 29×2.2″ set up tubeless with Stans. Profile Design Airstryke 5 aero bars. Brooks C17 saddle.
BAGS: A mixture of Rockgiest, Revelate Mountain Equipment Coop bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 tent, Katadyn BeFree water filter and Pedalcel dynamo for charging the electronics. Nimble Champ 10000mAh to back up the Pedalcel. Garmin Edge 810 for navigation.
Age 27 / Richmond, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat with an AXS mullet set up and a 100mm front fork, makes for a comfy and rowdy ride!
BAGS: Running a mix of brands but all centered around the massive Salsa frame bag to stuff full of food and other goodies.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Got myself a classic SON dynamo hub to a Sinewave Beacon light. Will be riding on my trusty 2.4″ Mezcals and trying to keep things simple and clean!
Swansea, Wales (United Kingdom)
BIKE: Brother Mehteh with mainly GRX gearing and brakes and 650b wheels plus goodyear connector tyres. SP hub out front with an Igaru D2 to keep the lights on.
BAGS: Restrap holster behind the saddle and a medium frame bag, Ortlieb supply the barbag (QR) and a 4L fork pack. I’ll also wear a Osprey hipack for bits and pieces plus a reservoir for the dryer sections of the ride.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Six Moon Designs Deschutes tarp for some shelter plus an Alpkit Kloke bivi bag and Cloud Cover duvet for a comfy nights sleep. Sea to Summet UL insulated mat and pillow. Showing me the way is a Garmin Edge Explore 2 with my phone as a backup.
Age 48 / Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (USA)
BIKE: aka “Mulletsa” is back again this year. Classic Salsa Cutty with SRAM AXS Eagle drivetrain, 34T chainring, 10-52T cassette, and SRAM RED AXS Road shifters. 3T flip aero bars mounted on a Fred bar with an Enve Carbon Gravel 48cm handlebar complete the cockpit. Wheelset: Bontrager Carbon/SON Dynamo Hub up front with a HED Belgium/Industry Nine Hub in the rear on a fresh set of Vittoria Mezcal 2.1” tires. Fork by Fox is the 32 Float SC 29 Factory Boost. Shimano XTR pedals.
BAGS: Apidura aerobar pack, Tailfin on the top tube, Revelate feedbags, custom Rockgeist framebag, Brooks drybag and Salsa EXP front pouch strapped to Tailfin carbon arch/Aeropack frame. 3L Hydrapak bag in hiding.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Montbell Breeze Dry-Tec Sleeping Bag cover as my Bivvy resting on a small Therm-a-Rest Neo-Air sleeping pad. Sleep kit completed by a custom Nunatak down-filled half bag (aka the “JayP skirt”) down below, a Montbell ultralight puffy up top, and a Zpacks tarp overhead in a pinch. Lighting is a K-lite MTB kit.
Age 55 / Duluth, Minnesota (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat, with Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge tires and Fox 32 fork. Wheels are Velocity Blunts with an Onyx hub in back and Son Dynamo up front.
BAGS: Cedaero Frame, Top Tube, Wedge and Devil’s Draw bags. Up front is a Salsa Anything Cradle with Top Load Bag. In back, a Tailfin rack with trunk top bag and 64oz Kleen Kanteen bottles mounted to the rack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 tent, Sea to Summit pad and Enlightened Equipment quilt. I’ll be using a Garmin 1030 Plus for navigation.
Age 27 / Eugene, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing aboard a Lauf Seigla with an AXS Eagle drivetrain and 40T Garbaruk chainring. Wheels are from Elite and tires will be 2.0″ Pirelli gravel-M.
BAGS: All of my bags are from 7Roads in Ukraine. Custom frame and top tube bags are waterproof PVC fabric. The saddlebag is supported by a mini-rack which stops any swaying. I’m also running feed bags and a small handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My hammock. I’m racing and planning to go fast, but sleeping comfortably.
Age 39 / Coal Valley, Illinois (USA)
BIKE: I’ll enjoy the Tour Divide on Medúlla, my 2022 Lauf Seigla with 520mm PNW Coast drop bars, Profile Design T1+ 70mm risers, and Redshift Cruise Control grips. Traction comes from a 2.1″ Mezcal in the rear with a 2.2″ Race King in the front. Wheels are DERBY carbon with White Industries rear and Son front hubs. A SRAM 10-52T cassette with a 34T Wolf Tooth Oval chainring provides an excellent range for climbing and the flats.
BAGS: Custom Rockgeist half-frame pack and top tube bag. Revelate Designs Egress Pocket up front. An extra Lezyne top tube bag near the seatpost for tools and an Amazon top tube bag between the aero bars for toiletries. I’m excited to try the Tailfin rack paired with the Revelate Designs Terrapin 14L dry bag. On my back, I will have an Oveja Negra Royale hip pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m dealing with a lower back injury, so I have a custom cam buckle system to help carry the bike up Koko Claims and any peanut butter mud we may encounter. I hope the Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad provides some comfort for my bivy and extra insulation. I also have a Sinewave Cycles Beacon V2 with rasta colors that arrived a week before the race. Jah!
Age 64 / Cazenovia, New York (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Tour Divide on a 2022 BXT carbon gravel rig- it has been christened as the Chen Fang (the ‘Fang!) celebrating our shared Chinese heritage. The bike features a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, a SRAM Rival 1×11 mullet drivetrain with a 34T chainring on Rotor 3D+ crankset, RYET 9-46T cassette, and Hunt 650b Adventure Sport wheels. Brakes are Juin Tech-GT cable actuated hydraulic discs. Finally, the cockpit includes a Redshift Shockstop stem with a 52cm PNW Coast bar, and I’ll be sitting on a trusty Sella Italia SLR saddle on a Ritchey classic aluminum post.
BAGS: My bag setup includes a Revelate Tangle Frame bag, a pair of Revelate Polecat drybags mounted TO Blackburn Outpost cargo cages on the fork, A Blackburn Outpost seat bag, and a Topeak Frontroller handlebar roll. A Restrap top tube bag and Revelate Egress front pocket round out the cargo options, with various bungies and shock-cord options to lash on whatever needs to be handy. Four 24oz bottles will be mounted to the fork and frame cages, with room to add another pair of 1 liter bottles on the seatpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Nemo Hornet Elite tent will serve as my shelter, along with a OMVMO 20F down bag and Big Agnes AXL Air Mat. For camp comfort after a long day in the saddle, I’m dragging along my Helios Zero chair, come hell or high water! I’ll be navigating with a Garmin 1040 Solar.
Age 40 / Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat 600 x1 with 34T on a Quarq PM, waxed chain and 11/46T cassette. I built up a set of Light Bike/Hope hub wheels that have been solid for years. I have some fresh 2.35″ Mazcels, and a double wrap of rim tape.
BAGS: I made all my bags excluding the tail bag, which is by Ortlieb. They have #10 Vislon zippers with a liteskin & XV-21 X-Pac fabric. The top tube bag is a monster with 2L+ of storage. The front bag (6L) is an “aero” shape that is accessible from the top while riding. The frame bag houses 2L of water and anything else that is heavy, like food, batteries, tools, tubes etc. I’m wearing a modified CamelBak Chase Backpack. It contains another 2L of water and passport/Food/Money/tp/butt kit/etc, anything I need if my bike rides off without me.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m rocking an OR Interstellar Rain Jacket and Helium Rain Pants. Sleep system is OR Helium Bivy, Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 0°C, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, eye shades, ear plug and a Polycryo ground sheet. I made an Apha Direct hoodie, pant & scarf as a mid layer. I intend to pick up bottles for any stretch where I need more than 4L of water. I’m not using a dynamo but instead carrying a Nitecore NB20000 which takes only ~2h to charge to 75%. Huge thanks to Bateman’s Bike Co. for getting me set up for this ride.
Age 40 / Santa Cruz, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be smiling on my 2020 Cutthroat with a modified GRX 800 1×11 drivetrain/ RaceFace Next SL cranks with 32T OVAL paired with a 10-46T will keep my Mezcals rolling through the hillsides. I’ll be resting my toosh on a Koda and my hands on some lizard skin bar tape. Nothing else too fancy to speak of.
BAGS: Three Revelate bags including my well-used Terrapin with my sleep kit, Jerry Can and a stem bag. My frame bag and top tube bag are both Salsa and a borrowed Apidura handlebar bag that finished TD once with a friend.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: No dynamo here so I’m trusting my battery bank to keep my Fenix 30 BCR, Inreach, and iPhone topped up. My trusty Etrex 20 and Fenix helmet light run on AA. An REI flash tent and magma quilt will rest on Big Agnes sleeping mat. I love my Big Agnes puffy jacket, waterproof socks, and OR Helium for the wet weather. I’ll be enjoying some tunes and a family photo with my 4 year-old and incredible wife who are the real ones that are making this possible.
Age 37 / San Francisco, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2023 Tour Divide on a custom built Cutthroat. Build highlights include Hunt wheels with a SON dynamo featuring Vittoria Mezcals, SRAM 1x AXS drivetrain with 32T in the front and 52T in the back, and Cowchipper drop bars with Profile Designs aero bars.
BAGS: I’m using a standard Revelate bag setup using the Revelate Ripio, Jerrycan, Mag-tank 2000, Spinelock, and Harness with a Pocket bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My shelter consists of a Zpacks Plex Solo tent, Zpacks 20 degree mummy bag, and a Neoair XLite NXT. I’m also carrying a Rab Xenon and merino wool baselayers in addition to full rain gear to ensure I can weather cold storms.
Age 64 / Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Tour Divide on a 2021 Salsa Cutthroat. The ‘beast’ is shod with Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tyres on Curve Dirt Hoops. Drivetrain is a Ratio Tech conversion to 12-speed, 34T and 10-52T cassette. Pedalcell to recharge all the gizmos. Design Profile aerobars. Specialised Power Pro mirror saddle.
BAGS: Tumbleweed T-Rack a carries a 20L Sea to Summit River bag and two Salsa fork bags. Revelate Harness holds a 13L River bag. Revelate accessory bag for food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Z-pack tent, Nemo Tensor Alpine Ultralight Mountaineering Pad and Sea to Summit Spark ultralight Sleeping bag. Garmin 1040 Solar and backup Android RidewithGPS. Family insisted on a GoPro. MSR cooker and coffee bags for caffeine crises.
Age 42 / Rocklin, California (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding a Poseidon Redwood with 1×11 SRAM DoubleTap with 30T chainring, and 29” 2.1 Vittoria Mezcal Tires. Saddle is a Brooks Cambium All Weather C17. Lights are 2x Light & Motion Vis 1000 and I will be using a Wahoo Elemnt Roam to navigate.
BAGS: Revelate Sweetroll with Egress Pocket, Reveleate 16L Spinelock Seat Bag, Revelate Mag-Tank 2000, Salsa Frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Almost all the components on the bike were pulled from other bikes to make this rig. I love the Spinelock seat bag! Sleep system is a Helium bivy, UL sleeping bag and inflatable pad. I have 4L of water in the frame bag and will be filtering with Katadyn BeFree 1L bags.
Age 66 / Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
BIKE: 2019 Salsa Cutthroat.
BAGS: Tailfin and Revelate frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Improved carrying capacity with Tailfin and less weight with Big Agnes Scout 1 Platinum tent. Planning to tent more and perhaps do an ITT and start a little early than last attempt in 2019. Using an InReach for communication, Mezcal 2.1″ tires and lower gearing 46/32T.
Age 35 / Durango, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: I am riding an Otso Fenrir Titanium Drop Bar with a RockShox SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain, RED eTap shift-brake levers, and a Wolf Tooth 32T oval chainring. I am running prototype Tumbleweed 52cm handlebars and Specialized aero bars and am using a Zipp 3ZERO MOTO rear wheel and a Roval Traverse Carbon front wheel laced to a SON Dynamo hub, both are equipped with Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge tires.
BAGS: Rogue Panda custom frame bag, Oveja Negra Gearjammer seat bag and snack pack, Fjallraven Top Tube Bag, an old Porcelain Rocket front harness, a Wolf Tooth B-RAD bag, Rockgeist Horton Front Pouch, Ultra PE Dry Bag, Spacelink, and two Honeypot bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite piece of gear are my Ombraz Armless Sunglasses. My sleep system consists of a Mountain Laurel Designs Event Soul Bivy and Monk Flat Tarp (I’m excited for the extra security of the tarp after being rained on for 1,000 miles during the 2021 Great Divide Classic), a Klymt Ozone sleep pad paired with a quarter of a Therm-a-Rest Zlite (which doubles as my sit pad as well) and a Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag. For navigation, I use a Garmin Edge 1040 Solar and my phone with Ride with GPS app (for POIs and cue sheet). I am using a Sinwave headlight and a Ricoh GR II camera.
Age 68 / Hamden, Connecticut (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a top of the line 2022 salsa cutthroat with SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, fancy-pants bicycle. Given last year’s supply chain challenges for all things bicycle, it was the only Cutthroat I could find in my size (54). That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, largely because I love the bike. I changed the chainring to 32T. Cassette is 10-52T. Did I mention that I’m old? I have added a SON 28 dynamo front hub that connects (in the top tube bag) to a Sinewave Revolution USB charger. I have an Apidura 3.5-liter bladder in the frame bag and I’ll add bottle cages and 1-liter bottles to the front fork for the arid sections. I’ll be rolling Reynolds TR 249 wheels shod with Vittoria Mezcal 2.35” tires, perched on a WTB Gravel saddle, and (occasionally) leaning on carbon, Profile Design aero bars affixed to 70mm risers.
BAGS: Frame bag is a Salsa direct mount. Top tube bag, mini panniers, and rear rack and bag are Tailfin products. The aero bars bag is a custom, Class 4 Designs, creation. Bag slung from the handlebars houses my Big Agnes Fly Creek tent.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite bits of gear have nothing to do with my bicycle and everything to do with my metastatic cancer. I’ll be dragging along a GoPro and drone to document the journey for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. My story is here.
Age 30 / Charlottesville, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat GRX810. The drivetrain is updated with a 30T chainring and 10-42T cassette. There is a power meter in the spindle and Profile Designs aero bars in the cockpit. The Son Dynamo powers the Sinewave Beacon for lights and all the electronics, and the tires are Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge. The derailleur and rear wheel are new after the last ones were wrecked on the TransVirginia 550.
BAGS: The frame bag is the OEM Salsa bag with a lot of custom seam-sealing. Under the downtube is a Wolftooth bag for spare parts, and everything else is Revelate (seat bag, feed bags, top tube, and jerry can).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My shelter is a Gossamer Gear tarp and an Enlightened Equipment quilt that I’ve been using for a few years. The tarp is as light as a bivy, but gives me more space at the cost of bug protection. Navigation is a Garmin Edge 530 and communication is a Garmin InReach and an iPhone for backup navigation.
Age 38 / Brakel, Flemish Ardennes (Belgium)
BIKE: I’m a professional bike mechanic, so the gear nerding goes deep. This is my best effort keep it short but detailed. Steel Mason InSearchOf frame with carbon fork, SRAM 1×12 electronic shifting (Force/X01 mullet), Shimano XT crankset, XT 10-51T cassette (yes, it works with the SRAM shifting), XT chain, Wolf Tooth 34T chainring, René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires, hand-built SON dynamo and DT Swiss 240 wheelset (shout-out to SWS Wheels), KLite lights and charger, 46cm Ritchey Beacon drop bars, double layer of Wolf Tooth bar tape (5+2.5mm = comfort). What else? Redshift suspension stem, Ritchey aerobars with SRAM shifting blips, XT pedals, Specialized Power saddle, Reverse Fillmore valves, Orange Seal sealant, SRAM HS2 rotors, SwissStop brake pads.
BAGS: On the rather unique load bearing Mason ISO front fender I’ve strapped a 5L Alpkit drybag (sleeping bag and liner). Two Revelate Designs feedbags on the handlebar (snacks). All other bags are Apidura: 6L full frame pack (hydration and food), long top tube pack (electronics), 7L racing saddle pack (clothing), downtube pack (repair stuff), 2x 3L fork pack (tent/layers). King Cage Manything cages to support those last three bags. No backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Drinking from a Apidura 3L hydration bladder and a 1.5L Hydrapak bladder and filter. Sleep kit: Nordisk Lofoten tent, Cumulus X-Lite 400 down sleeping bag and a Therm-a-Rest UberLite mattress. Petzl Tikka headlamp for extra light. Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation and an Edge 530 as backup. Inreach tracker. And last but not least: Assos bib shorts.
Age 42 / French Alps
BIKE: Orange French touch! I will ride a modified Lapierre Pro Race SAT CF 9.9 mountain bike. Cockpit is a Redshift Kitchen Sink handlebar with Profile Design aerobars, with SRAM Force AXS shifters + wireless blips. The 10-52T cassette paired with a Wolf Tooth 36T chaining will hopefully allow for enough range throughout the route. Race King 2.2″ ProTection tires should be a good balance between speed, comfort and puncture protection. They let me down badly during the Atlas Mountain Race, but the Tour Divide should be less demanding and I apparently don’t learn from my mistakes. A SON Dynamo Hub + Exposure Revo, and an Exposure Diablo will make the nights brighter and charge electronics.
BAGS: ByMarion&Quentin created the frame bags and food pouch, complemented by an Apidura saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As an emergency + sleeping kit, I will be relying on a Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 1000FP down jacket and Lifesystems Ultralight Survival Shelter. A Salomon trail running bag will provide an extra water capacity and carry extra food, which should hopefully nicely fit under the Salomon Bonatti Trail waterproof jacket. I elected to take removable SKS mud guards to help protect the transmission and rider against the rain and dust, but clearly they will come off when peanut butter mud is coming.
Age 42 / Fort Worth, Texas (USA)
BIKE: Monē LaRoca, Shimano XT drivetrain w/ custom mounted shifter, Enve M60 rims, DT Swiss 240 hubs, jumped on the Mezcal train (27.5 x 2.35″), Monē drop bars, Chester pedals, Brooks B17 saddle.
BAGS: Custom Rockgeist frame bag, Rockgeist XL Cache top tube bag, Rockgeist Honeypot feedbag, Swift Industries Zeitgeist bag and Revelate Egress pocket on the bars, and a Bags by Bird Piccolo bag under the saddle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big Agnes one-person tent, Big Agnes sleeping bag, Sea to Summit pad, mostly wool for the clothing, my trusty Lockjaw knife, and Vortex binoculars for the cool birds along the way.
Age 43 / Sydney, NSW (Australia)
BIKE: Curve GMX+, Curve Carbon Dirt Hoops 29, SP Dynamo Hub, Klite USB & lighting system, Curve Walmer Bars, Curve Seek 430 fork, E Thirteen 9-46t cassette, Wolf Tooth SS 32t chainring, Crankbrothers large Stamp 7 pedals, Profile Designs aero bars, Race Face carbon cranks, Hope seat post, Hope RX4 brakes, Ergon SR Men Pro saddle, Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ (front), Herse Fleecer Ridge 2.2″ (rear).
BAGS: Custom full frame bag by Terra Nova, Apidura Racing Long Top tube bag, 2 x Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks Giant Silo feed bags, Bike Bad Dude Handlebar Sling, Sea to Summit Big River drybag 13L, Apidura Hip bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The GMX+ is littered with mounting points which allows me to carry 2.7L of water on the downtube and still have space for a full frame bag. Also, quite keen on the Tailfin micro cages I’ve got for the front forks. I don’t like wearing a backpack, so if I need an expandable storage solution, can strap stuff onto these. Finally, after a cold, wet and windy Monaro Cloudride (in Australia), I’ve ditched the bivy and picked up a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent, for some serious luxury!
Age 36 / Tucson, Arizona (USA)
BIKE: Specialized Epic Hardtail with dropbars. Rockhox SID 100mm suspension fork. SRAM AXS 1x shifting (36T chainring, 10-52T cassette) Zipp 3ZeroMoto wheels– SON dynamo hub paired with a Sinewave Beacon headlight. Ergon saddle & bar tape. Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge tires with Endurance casing.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Ranger frame bag, Pronghorn harness, Mag Tank 2000, 2x mountain feedbags, Spinelock seatpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigating with the Wahoo Roam. Thrilled with my Quad Lock for on the bike logistics. I’m bringing a full sleep kit this year. Excited for the race!
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