Gravel Conspiracy Rider Gear Checklist

The Gravel Conspiracy Route is set, and so it's time to start making certain you have your gear in line.  Here is a gear checklist, and info on how to order from Cyclova XC.  Photo Credit:  Joshua Stamper


Numerous folks have asked for ideas on what gear is needed for Gravel Conspiracy, being it's an unsupported event.  I've organized the key things that cyclists don't normally have below by category - all of which I can order for you at Cyclova XC.  Note that I've embedded links to each product, so you can check it out and get more info.  Note that when talking about specific products, I've include part numbers and pricing.  If you want to order anything from Cyclova, please let me know ASAP rather than waiting until the last minute.  Much of this will be special order stuff and does have a bit of lead time.  

It's key to be as prepared as possible and to be self sufficient.  With that said, I will have some basic stuff like tires, tubes, cables, chains, etc with and available for sale (from Cyclova).  This stuff will be available to all Conspiracy participants.  

General bike thoughts:
  • This isn't a time to try out some new experimental high end equipment - rather run what is tried and trued for you, a bike setup that you're familiar with!  
  • While I don't know much about the course, I definitely plan on running cross tires (and bringing and extra 1 or 2 tires with just in case).
  • Also, in light of Josh's recent final course update, an efficient mountain bike might not be a bad idea as it sounds like the course is fairly "rough" in sections.

BAGS:  Revelate Gas Tank Bag:  This bag is an essential for carrying key stuff like food, cell phone/camera, wallet, etc.  It mounts right behind your handlebar stem along the top of your top tube.  This is a great seller at Cyclova XC and I have several in stock at the store.  BG2660 $57
Revelate Tangle Bag:  NOTE THAT THESE BAGS ARE IN VERY SCARCE SUPPLY, AND IF YOU WANT ONE, YOU WILL NEED TO LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY - I WILL BE ORDERING THESE DIRECTLY FROM THE SUPPLIER IN ALASKA!  Also a definite essential for carrying a large water bladder (no water bottle filling stations out on our course), as well as extra clothing, tools, tubes, water purification tablets.  The only possible realistic alternative for this would be a trunk bag on a pannier rack, a back pack etc.  The big advantage of the Tangle Bag is that it's contained within the main triangle of your frame and still leaves room to access both of your bottle cages.  BG2650 Small, BG2651 Med, BG2652 Large:  All sizes priced at $75

WATER "VESSELS" & PURIFICATION:Aquamira Water Purification Tablets:  A must, and something that should always be along in the back country - and something that Josh specifically called out in his earlier list of gear.  1 tablet purifies 32 oz of water and kills all the nasty stuff in water, while not making it taste funky.  You'll want this incase you run out of water in the back country!  #OH2500 $16Hydrapak Shape Shift Reversible Hydration Pack Reservoir:  In my opinion the best reservoir on the market.  Reversable so it's easy to clean, with a nice hose/valve system.  Available in the following sizes:  32oz #WB7300 $32  --  70oz #WB7301  $35  --  100oz #WB7302  $38

NAVIGATION:Que sheet holder:  You can put a printed que sheet inside of a zip lock bag and then clip it on to your bars.  This little clip will do the job, or you can rig something up:  HB1003  $7 

A GPS Device:  A mapping capable GPS device will make it very easy for you to stay on course - as none of us really have any idea what we're getting in to.  The Edge Series of Garmin devices is likely the way to go here.  If you're interested in talking about this, get in touch with me - I can get you this stuff generally for the same price that Garmin publishes on their website.  As a side note I don't know if a smart phone will work for navigation, as there likely will not be a cell tower in the vicinity for most of the ride...TOOL / 

MECHANICAL KIT:Following is what I would recommend putting in your Tangle Bag for bike tools/supplies - enabling you to be self sufficient in most any situation:
  • 2 inner tubes on your bike at all times (bring at least 4 total with you on the trip up there)
  • A REAL pump, such as the fabulous Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump that we stock at Cyclova XC.  You can air up your tires hundreds of times in less than 2 minutes each with this great pump!  Note that this pump comes in different sizes for different size frames.  Medium (49-54 cm frames) PU1772, Large (54 - 59cm frames) PU1773, XL (59 - 64 cm frames) PU1774  All sizes = $35
  • A real patch kit, including glue (not a glueless patch kit), such as the Park Tool Vulcanizing Patch Kit
  • Tire levers
  • A great multi-tool, such as the Crank Bros Multi-17 tool.  This includes all sizes of Alan Wrenches, screw drivers, chain tool, spoke wrenches, 15mm open wrench (pedals, hub cones, etc)  TL8117 $30
  • A derailleur cable would be a good idea if you can install it
  • A few spokes to fit your wheels might be smart
  • A tire boot, which Park Tool makes, but you can also just cut up an old tire you have laying around to a piece about 1 inch wide by 3-4 inches long - in case you slash up your tire.
  • A SRAM Chain quick link would be a good thing to have with in your tire repair kit - in case of chain troubles.  Note these are specific to 8, 9, or 10 speed drive trains.

NUTRITION:This is a tough area to give advice, as everyone's nutritional needs are generally different.  Following is what I will be bringing:
  • An electrolyte replacement drink such as NUUN or Camelback Elixor
  • Gels or energy chews for fueling while riding
  • Some tasty and satisfying energy bars, such as Clif, Stinger Waffles, Pro Bar, or what ever tickles your fancy
  • Some real food for lunch on the road, which I will prepare for myself each day - a sandwich or something.
  • I SERIOUSLY plan on bringing with a bunch of Beef Jerky - as this is the wonder fuel for me.  I'm going to try to get up to the Jack Links HQ sometime in the coming week to see if I can get a huge (like 10 pound) bag of 2'nds.  I'll keep you posted on that.  Even if I can find that, there are plenty of gas stations along the road up there with amazing jerky assortments!  Some Salted Nut Rolls would also be a good idea while on the topic of Gas Station food.
  • A recovery drink that works for you.  I'll be bringing with some Endurox

CLOTHING:September on the North Shore is very unpredictable.  We will likely have frosty mornings and sweaty afternoons.  Following is clothing that I would deem appropriate to pack with:
  • Chamois Butter or DZ's Nuts!
  • 3 pair of cycling shorts (1 pair per day, cuz they'll be nasty after each day)
  • Knee / leg warmers
  • a few good long sleeve base layer tops (Smartwool, Craft, Ibex, etc)
  • A few cycling jerseys (short and perhaps long sleeve)
  • A wind proof front cycling jacket
  • A think skull hat to wear under your helmet
  • Good xc ski gloves such as Toko or Yoko, which are in good supply at Cyclova XC
  • Winter ski hats / beanie for before/after riding
  • Rain jacket
  • A wide variety of clothing for before and after riding - be prepared for freezing temps!

General camping gear to be hauled in the truck:
  • Figure out your tenting arrangements - we'll be spending 3 of the 4 nights in tents.
  • Bring a sleeping bag good down to below freezing.  I have access to special ordering amazing sleeping bags from several top brands.  Inquire if you're looking...
  • Bring a good comfortable and insulating sleeping pad.  When camping in cold weather, you often get cold from the ground, rather than the air, thus the importance of a good sleeping pad.
  • Pillow - there are a variety of great stuffable camping pillows
  • Camp Towel - small packing, quick drying, light:  Out Go Microfiber towel, XL  OC2505  $32

Feel free to contact me with any questions on this stuff - or to suggest anything that I may have missed!


2 comments:

  1. Frank,
    Thanks for posting this. I wanted to add one thing: you do not need to cough up the exorbitant amount of money for a Garmin edge if you simply want to navigate. A Garmin E-trex 20 is capable of all the same navigation tools as the Edge 800 but can be had for under $200. Also you can get free hi res base maps through the open street mapping project (this may be a good solution for folks that want to use their smart phone GPS in areas where there is no connectivity. You just download, and save the files to a micro-SD card. I will post the details to the GC blog later this week. The edge models are great, but if you do not use powertap or a HRM it will probably be overkill.
    Cheers
    Joshua Stamper

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  2. Lights, blinkers.

    I don't know how early we are starting, but there is only going to be about 12 hours of light and a mishap or two could have some of us slower guys pedaling into camp/town in the dark.

    Jim

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