The Bike and the Drive

lifejunkie_admin July 18, 2023
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Well, I have made it to my starting point for the journey. Three days, 4000 kilometers, four national parks (two US and two Canadian) and now to prep the bike for the journey. It has been a whirlwind blast out and now riding the bike feels like the relaxation necessary after the last few months.

I wanted to highlight the bike I built this winter not just for this journey but for future bikepacking adventures. It is a new style of bike being pressed called the adventure bike. It has the geometry of a gravel bike but has been enhanced to take a larger tire so you can ride any single track you would like {rigid no shocks). I’ll start with the bicycle and highlight as I go along.

The build started when Shimano released some Limited Edition GRX 1X11 drivetrain builds to their techs who have finished 100% of their training (which I have done). It was an entire groupset analog not digital and included the GRX carbon wheelset. Once I had the groupset I needed to chase down a frame. After researching many makes I decided on the Pipedream Cycles A.L.I.C.E (All Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment). 

I chose this frame for the beefy tire options (can go to 29” X 3.00”) and the geometry. It looked like with the carbon fork it would be perfect for my needs. It has all of the holes to take panniers and multiple options of those. I will highlight the other parts in turn

Handlebars: Redshift Sports Kitchen Sink. What a beautiful bar with many different handhold positions and is comfortable all day long. O highly recommend.

Front Rack: Rawland Sports Rando V4 Steel Rack. This is beefy also and fits the front perfectly. Along with Black Diamond racks for the front forks it keeps the weight distributed perfectly.

Saddle: Brooks C19. This one is a dream and unlike my other B17’s (yes I have one on every other bike) I can ride this in the rain with no worry or need to cover it up. It is wider for my substantial derrieur and except for some minor squeeks has been wonderful so far.

Pedals: Shimano flats with full on cleats. I never ride clipped anymore and rarely tie up my running shoes when I ride. I want pedals I can ride all day long with a wide base and cleats that keeps my runners in place (also works well with my Merrell sandals). I will never ride clipped again, ever. Incase you noticed I meant never.

Rear Pannier Rack: I have gone with a Roswheel pannier rack. It is beefier than many other options can take up to 55 lbs and is made solid. I have had issues with racks coming loose this year but have sorted that out and I like the way this rack holds the bags

Frame and cockpit bags: I am a solid believer that Revelate Designs makes the best bags on the market for the kind of riding I do. I can carry four litres in bottles on the biked and their large frame rack can fit more than I need to carry but it always seems to be full.

Rear Panniers:        Ortlieb and only Ortlieb for the long haul. Nothing else carries the amount that they do and is as waterproof in anything like they are. I have gone to an Ortlieb backpack also just as a good waterproof option for carrying that little extra for this two week journey. Roswheel panniers are perfect for my around town runs but for the long haul only Ortlieb does what I need.

My tires are a Maxxis Rambler 700X50C. They are rock solid carry any trail including single track and are fast fast. I can go longer faster with this bike combination than anything else I have tried for the last few years.

I’ll let you know how all works out after the test.

I’ll include a couple pics here from the journey.

Thanks for indulging a bike geek!

Mark

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