John Wayne Pioneer Trail Gear List


This will be my 7th and last but not least (for you gear heads) post on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail bikepacking trip. (However I may try to put together a quick list of the essential planning and route notes in an 8th post if people are interested).

In this post I’ll go over exactly what I carried with me on the trip and how my bike was set up.  Thanks again for following along and I hope to continue to blog about my new adventures.

Starting off here are some pics of my bike bag setup.  The bags are from Bike Bag Dude from Australia. Their Facebook page is the most current for pics of the bags in use but you can also visit their website.


Here is my bike shown with the full kit


Handlebar Roll, Chaff Bags and my trusty horse shoe…rust and all

I highly advise you to check out Ergon Grips.  No I’m repping them.  I paid hard cash for them and they were worth every penny and then some.  They give your palm that much needed support allowing you to reduce the pressure on your ulnar nerves, preventing numbness.


The Chaff Bags and the “Garage” Top Tube bag were valuable pieces of kit.



In the Chaff Bags I carried an extra water bottle (which had recovery drink in it), snacks for the day, multi tool, phone (which was my daily camera) and the Delorme Inreach GPS/satellite unit. I moved things to the “garage” TT bag when it was rainy and packed that with more snacks. The key with these three bags was convenience and accessibility.


Here’s the fully custom front triangle frame bag. It was custom made exactly for the measurements of this frame for a perfect fit. You can also see here my extra water bottle holder on the down tube of the frame. It was rarely used but a nice addition when you’re away from a clean water source.



This is the Gear Jammer Seatbag by Oveja Negra Products which was made from the same exact material to match and is supplied by Bike Bag Dude as well.


I used a Race Face Next SL carbon crankset with a 26 tooth Narrow Wide chainring and a 42t Giant Cog/XTR cassette. Here in this pic you can also see that since it’s made to normally be a fatbike, there is a ton of clearance around the tires for a portaging handhold while using the 27.5+ wheelset as shown.


The wheelset was a Stans Hugo 27.5+ tubeless rim set up with a 3.25 tire. This setup was perfect for this trip. 29+ will also fit in this frame and is on my wish list of things to add to this bike.

That gives you an idea of what the bike setup was like.  It was pretty slick.  I’d highly recommend this type of bike if you plan on riding the entire way.  A cross/hybrid type bike may be doable but really I wouldn’t try it with anything less than a mountain bike with the widest tires you can fit, and preferably set up tubeless.


48.87lbs. Not bad for a fully loaded steel B+ bike with full camping gear for nearly a week! The bike alone weighed 25lbs. So including some more food and water that was on my back I’d say I had about 32lbs of gear and food/water with me at any given time.


Please excuse the dirty workshop 🙂 It is the birthplace of this frame though!

Next, I’ll start detailing what was in each bag.  Here’s the entire kit layed out.


The price of a full bikepacking kit like this would be more expensive than a double rack and pannier setup but not by much. The reason we use a kit like this is to keep everything as close and tight to the bike for when you are riding trail or portaging a bike (it can be hard to push or carry a bike with racks). It’s usually lighter and can be more reliable as well. It’s very modular and portable. I put a lot of this stuff on all my other bikes and road bike for day rides too.

20151025_114328MHere we have the front triange bag.  For the most part I had these items in it.

  • Jetboil Stove with gas canister and an extra just in case (The stove, integrated “pot” and full gas cartridge weighs 592g)
  • 2 extra 27.5 tubes and an extra 2oz bottle of Stans fluid (next time I’d bring 2)
  • Crank Brothers High/Low volume Pump, patch kit courtesy of NWBIC, 2 tire levers, zip ties, duct tape wrapped around a lighter, extra chain links, master link, Hayes disc brake pad reset tool and a small bottle of lube.
  • Sawyer Mini water filter and fill bag, sunscreen, headlamp, rear blinky,Anker 21000 mah battery pack which lasted for 4 days charging my phone/camera and Inreach, snakebite kit and directions for the Deloreme Inreach and maps.
  • TP and wetwipes in a ziplock

20151025_114918NThe Bar Roll was another very important bag to the system carrying my entire sleep system cleanly off the handlebars.

    • Sleeping bag -Mtn Hardwear Mtn Speed 32 850 Qsheild down (super light and packable at 1lb!)
    • Tent-Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 1.  Super sweet fast free standing tent at just over 2lbs.  I really don’t see why people bother with bivy sacks these days…..(I kept the rainfly in a seperate Sea to Summit Ultra Sil compression bag.  These are all featherlight XXS bags fyi)
    • Full Length Cascades Designs Neo Air which weighs nothing…thing is noisy though!!

One trusty found horse shoe pointed up to catch the good luck.  It was worth it’s weight in gold…20151025_115446OThe seatbag was yet another big player.  It allowed for me to carry all my clothing tucked behind out of the way and also detached easily at night to bring into the tent.

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  • Mountian Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 850 Q shield down hooded down jacket.  One invaluable tool and doubles as a pillow! (Used multiple times a day)
  • Marmot Super Mica rain jacket (uesed once, on 1st day) and beanie hat (perfect for evenings and sleeping
  • Komperdell Alpine seamless welded neoprene gloves (never used them)
  • Packtowel and large contractors garbage bag
  • Two button up synthetic shirts, wool ski socks, 4 pairs of cycling socks and an Icebreaker merino wool t and shorts to sleep in.
  • And a backup ziplock with TP, just in case the trail food get’s the best of you…
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  • The “Garage” top tube bag and Chaff Bags held the electronics, extra water, lube, multi tool, Delorme In Reach navigator, phone, sunscreen, sunglasses, hankie, extra food and snacks for the day plus misc shell casings I found….Hey, I’m like a crow.  I pick up shiny things.
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  • The Backpack was something we both wanted to not bring but for a fall trip with issues with water we just couldn’t risk it.  I carried a full water bladder, extra straps, dehydrated meals, Starbucks VIA instand coffee, an REI inflateable seat (which got used once but was worth it)
  • Bathroom bag had Chamois Butter cream (for the rear end and rubby bits, toothbrush and toothpaste, deoderant, lotion, contact stuff and extra eyes, cough drops (since cold mornings and snoring all night can really do a number on your throat lol), Tylenol and Ibuprofen and ear plugs.
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  • Here is what I wore every day.
  • Or softshell pants. I have thousands of miles on these things.  They are water resistant and I’ve worn them in 20 below in Alaska.  Dirty old school Shimano cycling shoes, Cracked Giro helmet, old nasty gloves with holes in them, cycling inner shorts and my favorite new “hillbilly” wet suit button up short sleeve cotton shirt… I loved that shirt 🙂

Thanks for following along!  Till next time……

You can read about the entire JWPT trip starting here and more about the making of my frame here





John Wayne Pioneer Trail: Bike Overview


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.


Over and Under double barrel 🙂


This part is quite tricky. I have two very thin wall tubes (.014″) in the top tube where they both start in one spot and exit 180 deg from each other all while not touching each other or the main tube wall and not crimping the tube…sheesh!


I think the Duke would’ve been proud of this!

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 the front triangle main tubes mocked up directly after mitering on the mill


This is the chainstay mitering procedure. A bit crude but quite accurate and repeatable with this setup.


You have to nail this part or you’ll be fighting wheel alignment

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.


Finished and polished heat tube fillets


…where a fat rear end is the desired result 🙂


Done. This build with no stay bridges. Worked pefect with lots of clearance and less crud build up.

22250704861_5e061f5c9f_o 22052544628_3df5474981_o 22240280515_91c6bbe78d_o 20151025_113231KThe 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