In the next few posts I thought I’d just layout all the gear as it came directly off my bike….the good the bad and the ugly 🙂 I’ll start with the bike and it’s construction and then I’ll post about the gear next.
First up this is my bike that I handmade here at my home just for this trip. I nicknamed it “The Duke” for obvious reasons. One of the cool features I put into the build was the internal cable routing on the top tube called the “Double Barrel”.
It’s built and meant to be a fatbike but works perfectly for a bikepacking rig with my 27.5+ wheelset and tires. This wheel size is the same diameter of a fatbike tire (29er) but a bit narrower in width. This results in a very fast and light high volume wheelset that doesn’t change the handling of the bike. And the perk is when the sand or snow are calling all I have to do is swap wheels! The extra wide seatstays are also an excellent portaging handle when we had to lift the bikes over the gates.
The internal brass tubes run the entire length of the tube so the housing is ran without having to fish it through a small hole. This is one cool feature they haven’t figured out with most carbon frames yet. You have to spend all day running wires and digging for housing.
The frame was built in sections. First the front triangle, then chainstays and finally seatstays followed up with brazeons and disc mount etc.
Here are some shots of the finished frame. All said and done this one took me about two weeks to make in my spare time. It’s all butted 4130 cromoly with bits from Paragon Machine Works.
The final bike weighed in at 25.63 lbs! Seriously not bad for STEEL and large volume tires! I know some road bikes that weigh way more than this…..
Here are some of the specs of the build:
- Frame: Steel custom hardtail fatbike. Fillet brazed 4130 chromoly. 18″ seattube and 22.5″ tt.
- Geo: 69deg HT and 74deg ST. 440mm stays with room for 5″ Dillingers on 100’s.
- Fork: Fatback Carbon tapered
- Wheelset: Stans 27.5 Hugo tubeless rims with Hope Fatsno hubs 170/135. 3.25″ Vee tires. The full tubeless setup with Stans fluid was unstoppable. It got us through the hundred plus puncture vine thorns (goat heads) with zero flats…just some touching up of psi. I can’t stress how important this was to our trip.
- Gearing: Race Face Next SL carbon crankset with 26t NW ring matched with Giant Cog 11-42 10speed rear cassette, XTR rear clutch derailleur and XTR shifter. I had a full XT/XTR 1×11 drivetrain sitting at home right before the trip but thought I better not change the drivetrain. That was a BAD call because I forgot that my Wolf Tooth 1st gen giant cog didn’t come with the supplied 16t cog. So I had a big just between my 13 and 17…basically the 15 was what I would’ve done the ENTIRE trip on but was stuck one gear too high or one gear too low…oh well I made due 🙂 It’s basically the same issue I ran into the beach trips…still haven’t fixed it haha.
- Small Parts: Chris King Inset 7 tapered headset. Thomson stem and seatpost. Easton Haven carbon bar. WTB Rocket V Ti and last but certainly not least, Ergon grips. They were life savers on all that rock! I’d go as far as to say they were nearly as effective has having a suspension fork for the comfort part.
You can read about the entire 5 day JWPT bikepacking trip starting here