As fast as Super Girl is able to change into her crime fitting outfit, the Salsa Fargo is able to change from a gravel grinder to a street machine with a simple switch of the tires. On the GDMBR we rode on Maxxis Ikon EXO 29 x 2.35. The Ikons are sturdy tacky gravel eating tires. The tires give you confidence to bomb down a rocky descent in rain or dust or climb and track over boulders on a steep climb. On the Pacific Coast Bike Route we are riding Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700c Black/Reflective – 700c x 45mm. During our test rides we found the Marathons grip the road and offer a comfortable ride. We’ll let you know if they turn out to be puncture proof as reported.
As for the packs we plan on carrying rear Ortleib rear packs, 10oz compression bags in the Salsa Anything Racks on the forks, and various Revelate bike packs. We will hold the total pack weight to 23 pounds or less. We expect to hit rain along the coast and will carry rain gear. When we hit San Francisco we will have an opportunity to change gear at our house if the rain has subsided. We are not carrying Camelbaks on this trip as we will have frequent access to water. This will keep our backs dry from the sweat and provide more mobility.
One big change in our bike set up is a Dynamo Charging hub on Erika’s bike. We had Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop build a Shutter Precision hub which will allow us to charge our electronics through a USB charger while we ride. As long as we can maintain a pace of 11 miles per hour, the hub will produce the power to charge 5 amps. We plan to charge a power battery backup to charge our phones and bike computers.
Another addition to the bike electronics/apps is Gaia GPS. We learned about Gaia during the GDMBR ride from another rider. During the GDMBR we used a Garmin GPSMap 64. This was our second Garmin GPS and we can accurately say that the Garmin UI is horrible and uploading maps using the Garmin software is frustrating. We wanted a device or app that has a intuitive UI, that could track and save our route, and that is easy to upload and edit maps. Gaia GPS, a smart phone app, has so far delivered on those three aspects. The app loaded on an iPhone 7 took an hour to learn. The maps are easy to upload and use either with the phone on or on airplane mode. It tracks speed and vertical feet climbed and saves ride details easily. We have already uploaded Adventure Cycling gps maps to Gaia.