Dirt Roads / MTB Touring, Personal setups » Atom29 Great Dividebikepacking setup



My Salsa Fargo with some new bags that I sewed. Seat bag contains my Golite Ultra 20 and a jacket. Frame bag contains fly, footprint and poles of Big Anges Seedhouse 2,  Thermarest Prolite short sleeping pad with pillow and frame pump. I throw my alcohol stove, water and some food in my little Gregory daypack.

I arrived at this setup after an interesting trip to the Great Divide this summer.  My girlfriend and I hastily prepared with Surly racks and Ortlieb panniers and different camping equipment than listed above.  We drove my uber-crappy, uninsured  ’94 Ford Escort to Banff and donated it to the local fire department. Don’t plan on doing this by the way, we were lucky in pulling this off.  But the weight distribution on my girlfriend’s Specialized Myka was horrible and she crashed on a mountain descent still in Canada. She was lucky to get only gravel burn and contusions. Thanks to some friendly people  we made it back to Banff before the fire department ensued using the car for training purposes.

In the next year or two we are going to give it another go on the Great Divide with our new lighter gear and bike bags.  By cutting our gear weight almost in half, it should be a totally different experience.

Comments (14)

Steve BennettDecember 16th, 2009 at 7:02 am

Interesting handlebars, what are they?

Atom29December 16th, 2009 at 11:28 am

These are the Origin 8 Gary handlebars. I would not recommend them because it took a bit of grinding to get the shifters in. Get the On One Midges or the the Salsa Woodchipper. These have almost no flat on top either. They are cheap though, and still pretty comfortable.

jimboDecember 17th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I have the On One bars on a couple of bikes and there is no problem with the bar end shifters fitting. The woodchipper bar apears to have a longer drop area than the On One, I would like that as they are really short. One of the bikes I have them on is a Raleigh Sojeurn similar bike that was out about a year before the Salsa. Doesn’t fit as big of tire 45c without fenders is the biggest I can fit and it doesn’t have any clearance to the front rack. Nice bags having tried to sew a few things I am really impressed. Hope it rides as good as it looks.

SteveDecember 20th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Just curious about the problems with the weight distribution… what was the set-up she was running? I’m curious as that may help others to avoid similar problems.

Atom29December 21st, 2009 at 8:02 pm

It was a Specialized Myka with a Surly Nice rack and a Ortlieb panniers. She also had a Axiom handlebar bag to get as least some weight on the front, as well as two waterbottles attached to the fork. The setup was tested with about 30 lbs, but it ended up being about 40. It felt fine with 30, but with 40lbs there was a definite lack of weight on the front that made the front end unstable. All I can figure was that the wheelbase wasn’t long engough to remain stable with that kind of load. Becareful with those last minute things you decide to throw in. They can make the difference between an alright set up and a miserable one.

terry0192December 22nd, 2009 at 9:09 am

I like your frame bag. You say you did it your self? I’d lve to have one where can I get some info to make one?

Atom29December 28th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Sorry, but there are no instructions for this sort of thing. I made a prototype just to work out the details before I made this one. I’ll probably keep making new ones as I find better materials. That’s the hard part – finding good fabric and materials for stiffening the seat bag.

SkinnymanMay 12th, 2010 at 8:29 am

Are those rims the Velocity VXC’s? How are they for touring?

atom29May 12th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

No, they are the Dyads. Velocity sent me a set of VXCs first, on their recommendation. Nice rims, but narrow and too light for touring. I sent them back and got these instead. Not that wide, but definitely more meat. Now that my setup is getting lighter, I think I could maybe get by with VXCs. Origially they had sent me Cliffhanger 29ers, which I didn’t even know they made. Those were insanely beefy, pluse they were 40 spoke 4 cross. But they had accidentaly used tandem hubs and I couldn’t use them.

protoceratopsMay 12th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Whoa…40 spoke cross 4! Sounds like my kind of wheels…

SkinnymanMay 13th, 2010 at 3:26 am

Thank you for the reply! Somehow I didn’t know that Dyads come with non-machined sidewalls.
The reason I’m asking is that I plan a Fargo build, I’m completely sold on Velocity rims and since I’m from Europe, it’s almost impossible to get anything other than Deep-V. So I’m having a hard time picking the rim and finding where I can buy one. And your Fargo is the first one with non-Blunts 🙂

atom29May 13th, 2010 at 7:08 am

Skinnyman, you might be able to go through http://www.hostelshoppe.com. They do a lot of recumbent stuff too, but they can mail order Velocity stuff internationally. They could get you a custom wheelset built by Velocity or in house if you prefer different hubs. Call and ask for Jessie.

Alex (afie)May 16th, 2010 at 12:26 am

I used 29″ VXC to ride the divide with that many problems. They are a light and a little flexy to build up causing some spoke wind up and one broken spoke north of Helena, MT.

You can get Deep V’s as non-machined.

SkinnymanMay 17th, 2010 at 1:04 am

Thanks again! 🙂 I’ll call them!

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