Monday, November 10, 2014

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

22.8 as shown
I have been slowly piecing together my 2015 TDR ride. Almost done with a few parts yet on order, carbon fork, bars and tires being the main items.  Current weight (as shown with suspension fork and aero bars) is 22.8lbs.  Projected/final weight of bike (minus bags, lights etc) will be right at 20lbs, +/- a few oz’s.

Saved a little weight with some road SPD pedals.  I can see where I might miss the double side ease of clipping in here and there but considering the non-technical nature of the TDR route they should be fine. Plus all the contact area will help minimize hot spots on the ol feet.

Anyway just counting the unencumbered bike, in 2015 looks like I can be running 4 lbs less than 2010, .  My goal is to have total weight (minus food/water and daily clothing) at or just under 30lbs. 

So with a bike that weighs in at 20lbs I will have 10lbs for everything else.

But now I have a minor dilemma.  I have been running the Fox fork, and well I don’t want to give it up.  It has been so fun to bomb down some modest rocky sections, flow over the small drops etc etc.  Not that I am going to be doing much if any of that in the TDR.  On the other hand there is a lot of high speed descending where 100mm would speed things up.   And also there are some sections, like Lima to Red Mountain Pass, that literally beat beat beat you to death. 

Ah, so do I go full rigid or lug around 2 additional lbs but luxuriate in 100mm of squishy goodness?


I have some other “Should I or Shouldn’t I” questions.  The biggest so far is South Bound or North Bound.  Some days I am all set to do a NB attempt, but then I truly question if I wouldn’t be more motivated chasing the pack with a SB run.  Really got to think about this one………………..lots and lots of thinking on this one....


  1. Interesting to follow along as you build up the new bike. If a 30 pound base weight is your goal, I think the suspension fork will have to go away.

    For the road pedals, how are you going to handle the sections that require walking? Especially those river crossings in the Flathead.

  2. Any, yes I know the suspension fork will have to go to meet my weight goal.....

    The pedals use SPD style cleats just like XTR or XT pedals--so my shoes will be the same as always. Really these pedals are like a "one" sided XTR PD-M985's. Only draw back would be how 'fast' you can re-clip after a dismount--might be a issue if you are trying to remount to out run a bear-- but other than that they should be fine....

  3. Have you given any thought to the (decidedly odd looking) Lauf fork? <1kg, 60mm, no "moving" parts. I've taken my 2014 Fargo (w/ Firestarter carbon fork) for some training rides on some local back roads, and the washboard is still incredibly punishing. Reviews are mixed on the Lauf, but it seems like it might be well suited for TD. I'm considering making the upgrade in time for my 2015 rookie TD.

  4. Wow--was not aware of the Lauf fork. I am interested--but almost more to replace the Fox for everyday rides than for use on the TDR. I am getting carbon rims that I hope will provide just enough damping that I can skip suspension. IE: I wont miss it till I reach about 10 days--then no amount of suspension will kill the pain....but are you getting one? If so I would love to hear your reaction/evaluation. I can see one of these on my bike at some point in time

  5. I had a remote ride today and had some equipment fail on me and it got me thinking of the design limitation of the Lauf fork. If the Lauf fork fails is it still possible to ride the bike?
    The those fox forks can be ridden if something fails inside, not enjoyably but they can still get you out of a bad situation. With the style/type of racing/riding you do,it is possible to get the bike ridable again with the limited tools available, i.e: fix tyres, duck tape shoes, fix chains, repair cables, but that fork looks like if it fails, the day is over. Just curious what your take is on that.

    Incidentally, I have no experience with this fork and have done very little reading on it.


  6. David,
    I have no way of directly evaluating a Lauf fork, but the mechanical engineer side of me says it should be reliable enough for bikepacking and type TDR efforts.