Having a ⅓ life crisis and have recently quit my job. Current plan is to ride the Great Divide mountain bike route from late July and hopefully "find myself"along the way. This thread is to detail the prep (or lack thereof) up to leaving day and hopefully document some of the journey!
Of course its also an excuse to build up a suitable bike ...
I've ordered a 2018 Genesis Vagabond frameset and Alpkit Bomber handlebars. I'm hoping to port over most of the components from my current Cotic Escapade but the only thing I'm unsure on is the wheels as theyre 650b. The Genesis is designed to accommodate very generous 29er wheels, am I mad to contemplate 27.5x2.8"? The rims are 25mm internal so I think they can accommodate such a wide tyre.
Specifically I have my eye on Schwalbe G-One Allround 27.5x2.8. https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=143229;menu=1000,2,103,317
I know a number of people on the forum have ridden the divide before so any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Good luck! Look forward to following your progress :-)
Also @turnpedal should have some good advice.
I hate to break it to you but I don't think the 650b wheels will bring you any extra clearance on the Vagabond as the chainstays taper in a bit behind the tyre. 29x2.25ish is probably the biggest you can go. If you're Really set on something like that this guy seems to be doing it with a Bombtrack Beyond, and I think it's been done with the Soma Wolverine. Bombtrack is through axles though and it sounds like you have QR wheels?
Good luck though. I'm just going to have to live out that dream vicariously through this thread, so I'll be rooting for you.
I here ya. going to test fit my current wheels (650bx42c) and see what the gap looks like!
This thread on singletrack indicates it might be possible... https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/genesis-vagabond-anyone-got-one/page/4/
i do indeed have qr wheels. its a nice 36h deore xt/sp dynamo wheelset so i'd like to use it if poss
29er rear and your 650 front = constant downhill ;)
Sounds awesome this!
Silly is right. I got knobbly 29x2.35 on my Vagabond and I wouldn't go wider than that in the back. I don't think you'll gain anything by going 650b. Might even loose some clearance. The fork got loads of room.
i suspect you might be right. dang! will see about rebuilding the wheels up to 700c.
...and ive just discovered the velo orange piolet. what an amazing looking frame! plenty of clearance for 27.5x2.8 but quite a bit more £££.
@t0-ster built one of these up not too long ago and it looked awesome.
My advice would be to use better tyres than G-ones, and be prepared to put new ones on in colorado. It's a long ride.
I think my Maxxis Ramblers are much tougher than G-ones, fast rolling. I rode with Continental X-King 2.4s if you can fit 2.2s go for them, they lasted the whole route (just).
You may want to research rainy season on the south of the route, cos once it rains, you can expect to be doing 2mph walking in peanut butter for a long time until it drys again.
Also, don't worry about clearance too much, once the mud starts, it will fill any gap.
Good luck. I am being made redundant soon and am contemplating doing something similar.
thanks for the advice! i assumed the g-ones wouldnt last the whole way but i liked the idea of a 2.8" tyre! i'll take a look at the maxxis ramblers and the conti x-kings.
and that mud looks very tedious! i havent booked flights so i'm still flexible on timings. research of the monsoon season in new mexico indicates it runs from june-september which is when everyone seems to do it! do you advise leaving later to end up in new mexico september time?
how soon? come along!
go for 29" wheels over 27.5", especially if you're riding the TD, which is hardly singletrack
I would say ride the southern section earlier rather than later, from previous years, tourers/ITTers start south and head north, to avoid monsoons and get warmer weather in the north. It does depend on the year though, Start too early and lots of North New Mexico northwards could still have snow.
Basically be prepared for anything, and just keep moving forward whatever the consistency of the mud! It'll be worth it whatever.
If you need collecting/a place to crash when you're done, contact Jeffery Sharp in Hachita, he'll drive you to Lordsburg for a bus or El Paso for a flight afterwards.
Also, mosquitos, lots of them. be prepared. Especially on the large pushes over the tops of passes.
29" for sure, larger diameter will make washboard slightly more bearable. There is very little singletrack and what there is, is mostly non-technical. Probably about 5 miles of technical stuff out of nearly 3000, and in those you'll be more concerned looking for bears :)
Here's my pics for you to get some idea of the terrain. I was very very lucky and only got rain on days 1 and 21 (last day) https://www.flickr.com/photos/gabes/albums/72157656139130996
thanks for the great advice turnpedal. taking it all on board! :)
looks like i'll need to rebuild my wheels to 29er then. Is this a suitable rim? http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/RIPADL31/pacenti-dl31-rim
36h tubeless 29er rims are pretty thin on the ground!
Rims should be fine, bargain too! I ran Light Bicycle Carbon 35mm rims, they are still going strong now (and I raced in 2015). They have > 7000 miles on them.
Definitely run tubeless, definitely carry rubber worms to plug holes.
I'd also advise wearing a buff around your neck so that you can cover your face when cars/trucks pass and kick up a cloud of dust. Lots of scratches the year I raced due to the dust causing breathing issues.
so its going to cost about £100 for rims and spokes to convert my 650b wheelset to 29er (+ my time).
I could buy a semi decent mountain bike rear wheel for that (something like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Shimano-XT-rear-wheel-Velocity-Blunt-35-rim-bikepacking-36-hole-29er-QR/222987202494?hash=item33eb12afbe:g:jksAAOSwGkVbAynn
Would it be totally wrong to run a 29 x 2.25 at the rear and a 27.5 x 3 at the front? they would have exactly the same diameter and i like the idea of a big fat front tyre to soak up the bumps and save my wrists
the fork has so much space it would be a shame not to use it!
haha, that looks insane! is it some sort of deployable parachute incase he cycles over the grand canyon?!
and these are the pro racers though, i'm going to be more of a enjoy-the-scenery-oh-look-is-that-a-moose type bimbler.
anyway ive concluded that while a 3" tyre might indeed be lovely, its not going to sit well on my comparatively narrow 25mm internal width rim. so ill probably just have to suck it up and change fully over to 29er front and back with silly, scrawny 2.25" tyres
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