A Letter to Meriwether Cycles

Last week, Lael and I closed a two week trip in Baja California with our friends Sarah and Tom Swallow. We parted in the mountains and Lael and I camped on a ridge at 2000ft that night, with sweeping views of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir and the Pacific Ocean. The next morning we raced toward the bus station in Colonet and I had the feeling that a chapter was closing.  Before we stuffed our bikes under a bus and rode across the border from Tijuana to San Diego and another year passed without coming up for air, I had to stop to take a photograph. It wasn’t the place or the light or even the bike, it was the feeling of an entire year of experiences all at once. All on this bike.

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Whit,

A moment of sentimentality before I build a new wheelset next week. It has been nice to finally reflect on the last year and on the Baja Divide project, now that everything is falling into place.

I just wanted to say thanks for the pink bike. Every year, my camera spends less time pointed at my bike and equipment, and more time looking forward. I regret not being able to provide more images of the bike and its rider, but life behind the camera is very much just that.

It is also a reflection of the bicycle as a tool and not as a commodity. Experiences are increasingly important to me while the equipment that enables these experiences…well, that never was the point. But I love the bike. I really do.

It brings me great joy to know that this thing traveled all over Baja in search of a way to get more people on bikes. The Baja Divide is becoming a real thing— a living organism in the bikepacking community— and we already have 25-30 people out on the route since early November. That number will be 200 by the end of the season and those 200 people will return home and inspire others to ride, to travel, to learn.

As a tool, this bike rides with the precision of a scalpel and the dauntlessness of a sledgehammer. I think we nailed the geometry. I dream about shorter stays and different wheel sizes and suspension configurations. But I’m afraid it might be just right the way it is.

-Nicholas Carman

Follow Whit Johnson of Meriwether Cycles on Instagram @meriwethercycles.

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5 thoughts on “A Letter to Meriwether Cycles

  1. Sometimes we move on too fast to the next new thing. Only to look back and find we were happy with what we had. It does pay off to be content with what you have. Some equipment is just you.

  2. Hey Nicholas, great post. Been really keen to hear how you’ve been your extremely well thought-out rig.

    I’m seeing more and more bikepackers squeeze a 60oz Klean Kanteen under the downtube. I assume there’s no issue with 1x setups as shown on your bike, but would a 2x crank leave you with some granny ring interference? I’ve also been considering a 1.5L Nalgene, which is likely a bit narrower (though taller) than your Klean Kanteen.

    • Yes the 64OZ Klean Kanteen is great for expanding water capacity. I’ve used several versions of the Salsa Anything Cage over the years but recently discovered the King Cage brand Manything Cage, which is an ultralight titanium cargo cage that fits the Canteen nicely. In any case, you shouldn’t have any problem fitting a 64 oz. bottle between single and double chainring setups on a mountain bike, a road bike with 68mm cranks probably wouldn’t work, and a road or MTB with a triple probably won’t work either. Also, if using a suspension fork, check to make sure that the top of the bottle clears the front tire under full compression.

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