While in Israel, Lael ordered a 2015 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon World Cup through The Bicycle Shop in Anchorage, AK. This is my third season working at the shop, and my first full summer in Anchorage.
Lightweight, simple, comfortable. The Small frame ensures the reach that Lael needs, and enables a comfortable perch in the aero bars. She threw a leg over a Medium Stumpjumper in Tel Aviv and it felt too big for the task, although it might have worked as an everyday mountain bike, just not with the aero bars. We needed a bike that could be built and ready to ride within a week of our return. A complete bike made the most sense.
We relaced the SP PD-8X dynamo hub with new DT Revolution spokes and alloy nipples to the same Light Bicycle 35mm rims which have carried Lael all around the world this past year. I installed my Supernova E3 Triple headlight and E3 Pro taillight on custom brackets to the aero bars and the non-drive side seatstay. Hammering, bending, and drilling steel rack stays into useful light brackets is one of my favorite tasks.
We changed the stock 32T chainring to a 36T Race Face narrow-wide ring for the ride down, mounted to a North Shore Billet 104BCD spider, which technically enables the use of any 104BCD ring. In Banff, Lael swapped the NSB spider for a direct mount 36T SRAM X-Sync chainring. The chainline on the NSB spider wasn’t ideal.
The stock RockShox SID Brain fork was replaced with the Specialized Chisel carbon fork.
XTR Race pedals.
Stock bars were replaced with Salsa Salt Flat bars which have a slightly wider 31.8mm section in the center to mount the aero bars. Even so, they are clamped at the very edge of the section where the bars begin to taper down to 22.2mm. It works. The Salt Flat bars are cut down to about 700mm, with Ergon GS2 grips.
Tires for the ride down to Banff are Specialized Electrak, set up tubeless until Lael blew one off the rim with a compressor on the Cassiar Highway and had to beg the owner of the Bell II lodge to borrow a 2.4″ Maxxis Ardent for the ride to Smithers, and the nearest bike shop. For the race, 2.2″ Specialized Fast Trak Grid in the rear and 2.35″ Schwalbe Racing Ralph Snakeskin in the front, both tubeless.
Luggage includes custom Revelate Designs waterproof seatpack, extra voluminous and weather-sealed, as specified; a custom framebag with new UltraZip technology; a custom Lael Can top tube bag; and a stock Gas Tank, all black.
A water bottle is mounted to a King Cage top cap mount and a second cage is neatly taped to the underside of the downtime, both Specialized Rib cages.
The piece of 31.8mm plastic tubing used to package the Profile Design aero bars is drilled and zip tied between the aero bars as a mounting point for the Garmin eTrex GPS and cycle computer.
Lael’s friend Julie made the drive from the states to visit in Banff in the days leading up to the race. Julie, Lael and I all lived together about a hundred years ago when we were just kids in college. Mostly, I collected bikes and funk records and Lael and Julie liked to dance and ride bikes.
The roll out from Banff, photos by Julie Weis.
With Jill Homer and Katie Monaco.
Colin Saman, a recovering roadie with a newfound interest in cycle trucks, fatbikes, and cross racing. Colin ripped the Bosque trails in Albuquerque a few years ago on a borrowed Moonlander, when he rolled through town. That was our first meeting. Those images are featured in Bunyan Velo, Issue #1.
Down the Goat Creek Trail, just a pink dot for the next two weeks. Go Lael!
In her first day, Lael pedaled 183 mi before a 2.5 hour bivy. She rose before sunrise and continued through the remote Canadian Flathead section. She will cross the border around noon on Saturday, hoping to reach Whitefish by the end of the day. After a cold wet day on the trail, the forecast looks dry and sunny for most of the week.
Follow the Tour Divide 2015 on Trackleaders.com.