Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Final Dirty Kanza 200 Setup...

Well, I have continued to think and consider how my body has been reacting to the training and racing I've been doing over the past few weeks. As a result, my Dirty Kanza 200 setup has evolved to look like this. It's a little "bigger" than almost all of the other bikes I've seen so far, but that's not daunting to me. Actually, that's pretty much what I expected... You see, the biggest mistake most folks make at the Kanza is trying to roll skinny rubber and paying the price in flat tires and a rough ride. I've made that mistake and vow to not be "the one" this year. Not only is my setup fast, it's smooth... And over 200 miles, that's what counts.
Three areas have been addressed in the lead-up to the DK200: ride quality, hydration and on-bike cargo capacity. A Salsa Minimalist rack bolsters cargo capacity in the rear using a wrap-style setup with a Trek water bottle cargo carrier as the core. Salsa rack straps secure it very well to the rack, and I've added an additional spare tube to the underside of the rack with a Simple Strap (I will have a total of four spare tubes with me during the event).

A Planet Bike Snack Sack sits atop the top tube, giving me easy access to nutrition, cash and incidental items while I'm on the road. A 50oz. Camelbak hydration reservoir sits in the main compartment of the Jandd frame pack, complimenting the three on-frame water bottle cages. This will give me a total of 125-130oz. of water per leg of the course, which should be more than enough. A Blackburn Flea headlight (original version, required by the event) sits between my Bontrager cyclometer and my Detours map holder.
The Camelbak's drink tube is mounted on a magnetic retraction spool made by Veleau (which they're now marketing as "Lapeleau", which allows me to drink easily, yet the tube retracts quickly and is held securely by a strong magnet while I'm not drinking. It's nice...

Weight worth having... I may be one of the only ones rolling up to the line Saturday with a Rock Shox Reba on the front of my bike, but my feeling is that, if I've got it, I'm gonna' run it... And I've got it. The Dirty Kanza 200 is a unique race in that, while some sections of the race are baby's butt smooth, some of the sections are as close as you can get to a mountain bike race and still be on a dirt road, so my feeling is that, for those sections, this will be my best bet for getting through without 1) pain in my right arm (which has 20 screws in the forearm), and 2) flat tires, which is the best way to ensure a fast, top finish. It's awfully frustrating to have a day where you're feeling strong, only to have a string of flat tires ruin the party. I know several riders who've gone out like that, and I hope to not be one of those guys on Saturday. That's why you're seeing the setup you're seeing here. Strong, fast, comfortable, reliable, reasonably light. I will not have to worry about anything on the bike on my way to the finish line, and that's exactly the way I like it to be.


See you in Emporia! I'm super excited for this year's event...

6 comments:

debaser said...

The fork's like r2d2 on your x-wing fighter, good choice. Get 'er done this year buddy!

MG said...

Thanks Ganzel -- Will do. I'll try to get it done this year without having to resort to turning my bike into a singlespeed (like I did last year -- that hurt). I'm better prepared this year, and so is my bike, so with a little luck, I feel good about things.

Thanks again buddy. Hope we can get out to CO to see you guys soon!!

Cheers,
MG

Brent Butch Johnson said...

That's a a perfect set-up. Little more rubber and a little bit of cush is worth the weight. Good luck this weekend. Enjoy the great terrain and people of the DK200!

Ari said...

Check the Salsa Website as the rack has a recall. Good luck in Kansas. I will be moving back to the midwest at the end of June. No more N.Y. as we are too far from family, friends and gravel. They have paved every nook and cranny here!!!
best to you my friend,
Ari

Shane said...

Damn. I'm not sure if listening to that MBR helped or hurt...Now I'm all paranoid again about tires. Oh well, I'll roll what I got and hope to not need all 6 spare tubes. Time to finish packing. See you at the start.

MG said...

Thanks guys.... I appreciate all the kind sentiments. You guys are all great friends.

Butch, we will miss you. Wish you were gonna be there with us.

Ari, ditto. Glad to hear you're moving back home though! Oh, and I'm not running the rack in it's "recalled" configuration, so all is well. It's beyond sturdy, and isn't overloaded either... No concern whatsoever.

Shane, you're doing the right thing to roll what you're used to... What you know. Get some sleep and I'll see you soon.

Thanks again guys.

Cheers,
MG