Great Divide Gear List
I’m not an expert at the Great Divide Bikepacking Route, but having done it once, I have some thoughts on my own gear choices and things I would choose to carry or not carry the next time around. Gear choices depend heavily on pace expectations, circumstances, and weather that year. Also worth noting, if I were to race the Tour Divide, I would try hard to get my bike under 50 lbs. Upon leaving Steamboat my loaded bike weighed a whopping 58 lbs (with empty water bottles). Unloaded the bike weighs around 23 lbs including the rear rack and bags. There were some things I carried I didn’t need, and some things I was extremely happy I had. I highlighted the things I would choose not to bring again the next time around in blue and the things I would most certainly bring again in red.
Hannimal custom Bingham Built titanium adventure frame
Extra bottle mounts – 1 under dt, 1 on each seatstay, top tube mount
Nox Skyline Rims w/ DT swiss 148 boost hub, Vittoria Mezcal 2.25 tires
Schmidt SON dynamo hub powering Sinewave beacon headlight and usb charging port
Whiskey Fork Boost LT
Sram AXS Red/Eagle X01 mixed drivetrain, 10-52 cassette, 32t chainring
Easton flare bar w. Enve bar tape
Specialized Mimic Saddle
Profile design aero bars with riser
Crank Bros doubleshot 2 pedals
Tubus rear rack, modified it to fit my frame
Bags were a mish-mash of different brands
BedRock panniers & custom frame bag
Oveja Negra TT bag
Revelate Deisgns feed bag
Salsa Anything cradle mounted on handlebars to hold tent and Revelate designs Egress pocket
I used the dry bag that came with the Salsa Anything Cradle to carry my sleeping bag and pad and secured it to the rear rack.
*In Hindsight I wish my bags were waterproof or at least treated to repel water better. Only the Revelate Designs Egress pocket and Salsa dry bag were 100% waterproof.
Custom made handle for lifting, carry, picking my bike up
Crank Brothers Double shot 2 pedals were a game changer for foot comfort after previously Touring with Spd’s
Essential soft gear – sunsleeves, brim, comfy shoes, clear glasses, collapsible backpack, airlite towel, flannel, Rapha hat, foamy sandals, velo toze
1 Velocio signature bib, jersey & socks (changed to a fresh kit halfway)
Bought 1 pair of Pearl Izumi shorts in Salida
1 sports bra
Legwarmers & sunsleeves
Smartwool long undies & top
Club ride flannel
Club ride light Tshirt
Club ride lightweight baggie shorts
1 undies & bra
1 wool socks
Light smartwool hat – never wore, the rapha hat was better
Thermal Rapha hat
Velo toez shoe covers
Thermal shoe covers -sent home in Helena
Patagonia micropuff jacket
Bontrager rain jacket
Marmot rain pants
Thermal gloves & waterproof over mitts
Some cheapo Pearl Izumi shoes I found at an outlet for $60. They were light enough to dry quickly and comfy enought to walk in.
Multitool with chain breaker
Flat repair kit (tire levers, bacon strips, patch kit, sewing needle & thread, tire boot)
Schrader to presta valve adapter
3 extra batteries for AXS rear derailleur (and recharged in Steamboat)
2 extra watch batteries for shifters (added halfway thru since one of my shifter batteries died just before Steamboat)
1 spare tube (took another one for a total of 2 from Steamboat south)
1 large C02 cartridge with adapter
Crank Bros pump with pressure gauge
A few different sizes of L allen wrenches – to make adjusts as needed with my setup where the multi-tool didn’t fit, but my setup was dialed I didn’t use them at all
Spare derailleur hanger with screws
Chain pieces & 2 quick links
Small Dumonde tech chain lube bottle and refilled it in Steamboat
One spare set of brake pads
Small bottle of tire sealant
Custom made handle on TT for carrying my bike over things I can’t ride, picking it up, or leaning it – sort of tool I guess
A day’s worth of snacks
Big Agnes Fly Creek Tent
Selfie with DaBrim, I wore it everyday
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 bikepacking tent – 2 person, next time I’ll bring a 1 person.
Big Agnes Insulated Q core sleeping pad – got a hole in it after Steamboat but I was lucky and Big Agnes gave me a new one.
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 10º down quilt – probably overkill, 30º would’ve been sufficient for this year
I always carried at least one freeze dried meal, coffee, oats, and several energy bars and other snacks. I’d stop for a meal at least once a day if it was easy and accessible, it mostly was. At gas stations I bought salted nut rolls, electrolyte drinks, pop, granola bars, ritz crackers, string cheese, pouches of tuna, peanut butter packets, candy bars, ice cream bars, pies in a box, pop tarts, trail mix, chex mix, potato chips. Health food basically Next time, I’d eat more real food vs. bars and candy throughout the day. Sometimes I found myself eating a bunch of junk snacky stuff for lunch or dinner, which didn’t make me feel great.
Black diamond head lamp
Jet Boil mini mo & small fuel canister
Food kit with instant coffee, tea, oats, peanut butter, spork, etc.
Titanium cup and another collapsible cup
Small compactible osprey backpack to carry extra water or food between long stretches
Clear sunglasses for night riding/cloudy days
Helmet Brim, DaBrim
Waterproof journal & pen
Various dry bags to keep clothes in
Sunscreen, chapstick, bug spray, toothpaste, hair brush, hygiene things
First aid kit
Bear spray, Bear bell & whistle
Small air horn to keep dogs away
4 one-liter water bottles and 1 24 oz regular size bottle
Chums zipper wallet for credit card & cash
Airlite sea to summit towel
Foamy birkenstock sandals
Waterproof bag with some electronics, cords, batteries, phone charge, Gopro, etc.
Border Station at Antelope Wells, NM
Top of Fleecer Ridge and cockpit view
The last night of riding, somewhere in NM
Advice that worked for me:
Make a handle on your bike so you don’t have to always lift your bike up by the saddle. Very useful in hike-a-bike sections and leaning my bike up against things.
Try to put pack your bike with less weight on the front, and most in the center (frame bag) or rear. Much better for handling, I had most the weight on the rear rack but center is probably ideal.
Don’t count on stores or restaurants in rural locations being open when you get there, always carry a spare meal just in case. I ran into this when both the Pie Town restaurants were closed. The next town was 154 miles away and the store there barely had anything with sustenance (if you count a hostess cupcake as sustenance). Brad and I went through pretty much all our ‘extra’ food on that stretch.
Take care of yourself and keep yourself clean, especially the undercarriage region. I was able to do this with one chamois for most of the time. I bought one extra pair in Salida and had two from there on out. Luckily I had no saddle sores and stayed fairly comfortable the entire ride.
Advice that did not work for me:
Diaper Rash cream – I read somewhere that using diaper rash cream at night is a great way to avoid saddle sores. It turned everything it touched white, including my skin, would not wash off and got all over everything, made a huge mess, felt gross, and I don’t think it did anything to prevent saddle sores.
Use gobs of chamois cream every day, multiple times daily. I find using a ton of it can sometimes make things worse. My strategy is less is more when it comes to chamois cream. Plus it’s a waste, feels gross, and makes a huge mess in your shorts, on your skin, and then you have to wash more frequently and thoroughly. If I stay clean, have good shorts, good saddle, there is no reason to pile on chamois cream all the time. Training your butt also helps. I did several extra-long rides before this trip to ensure my undercarriage system worked and that was very helpful.
Don’t put electrolytes or other drinks in bottles because they get moldy and dirty if you put anything but water in. I realized I needed electrolytes within the first few days. It’s wasn’t worth getting dehydrated. It was very easy to wash bottles at stops along the way. I picked up tubes of Nuun or Hammer at Outdoor shops on route and those worked well. If those weren’t available, I’d fill a bottle with Gatorade or some other kind of sport drink from a gas station.
Overall I was happy with my setup for touring the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I think it’s expected to have a few minor gear malfunctions on such a long trip and I’m sure my preparation and obsessive research decreased the potential for any major gear malfunctions.
I’m not sponsored by any of the brands I listed here, and we don’t push any of these brands on our clients for any reason either Feel free to reach out with questions or comments about my setup!