TR Super Poster
Joined: 29 Jan 2004
Location: Bowen Island/Vancouver, BC
|Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:56 pm Post subject: Revised-What to expect on your 1st TR Pt 4 - Equipment
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. BRING A DERAILLEUR HANGER. No, let me revise that, BRING TWO DERAILLEUR HANGERS.
Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, let's look at the rest of the equipment that you might need. I'll divide this into the stuff you should carry on the trail and the stuff you might want to have in your duffle bag as a spare.
On the trail Essentials
Whether you use a hydration pack, or waterbottles, jersey pockets and a seat bag; there are few things that each team will need to carry every day.
1 derailleur hanger per bike (They weigh next to nothing, only cost $20.00 or so and every day on the TR about half a dozen people break them. Just think of it this way, if you wanted to ride a singlespeed to Canmore, you would have brought one to Fernie.)
1 inner tube per rider (Even if you are going tubeless, a tube can be a lifesaver if you damage your tire or rim so much that it will not hold air.)
1 inner tube patch kit (Multiple flats per day are not unheard of. Most people just throw in a new tube and stuff the old tube in their hydration pack, but by flat number 3 or 4 you may not have a usable tube left. A patch kit can mean the difference between a few minutes sniffing rubber cement and a long and miserable walk. Make sure that the rubber cement and patches are fresh or you may be in for a nasty surprise when it comes time to fix a flat.)
2 tire levers (They weigh next to nothing and make removing and replacing your tire a snap. Weight weenies will try to carry only one, but the realists will realize that two make fixing the inevitable flats so much faster.)
1 pump (Well, duh. CO2 is fine for flat number 1, but I've heard of a few too many mishaps with CO2 inflators to not bring a pump.)
1 multitool with chain breaker (It is a 450 km ride. You never know what you'll need to fix, or at the very least tinker with over the 7 days.)
2 SRAM quick links (The SRAM quick link is one of the world's great inventions. With it you can repair your chain in a minute or so. They weigh next to nothing and will work with either SRAM or Shimano chains.)
1 pair brake pads (While most people are running disc brakes and probably will not need to replace pads midday, if you are using V brakes carrying a spare sets of pads, or two, is essential in muddy weather.)
On the trail options
These are things that you may, or may not need. But they don't occupy much space or take up much weight. But each of them could save you hours if things go wrong or you get unlucky.
1 pedal cleat (Another light weight part that is insurance if things go horribly wrong.)
2 cleat screws (They weigh almost nothing, but if you lose a cleat riding is much less efficient and a lot less fun.)
1 shifter cable (I've been carrying one since my first TR in 2004. I've never needed it, but for the 30 or so grams it is really cheap insurance.)
A second inner tube (125 grams of insurance.)
For the truly paranoid
These items are for people who are intimate acquaintances of Mr. Murphy. You live under a blighted star and are convinced that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and for you is probably already has gone wrong.
1 rear derailleur (This is the only part I have seen regularly damaged and/or destroyed on the TR. Every year, at least a couple of teams will manage to damage a derailleur beyond repair and be faced with a long singlespeed ride.)
1 tire (Last year on days one and two I met teams that had managed to shred a tire on the shale and were out of action. As an Ambassador I carried a spare tire and was happy to shed the weight and help them on their way.)
In your duffle bag
The Bike Shop offers pretty remarkable service. In the middle of nowhere, for days in places with little or no cell phone coverage, the mechanics are lifesavers. They work day and night and make sure that everyone can ride every day. For a bunch of folks who are rarely finished before midnight, they always seem to be in pretty good spirits.
But even though they come prepared for most things, they obviously can't carry every possible part for every make and model of bike. They'll have the obvious stuff like saddles, seatposts, stems, handlebars, chains, cassettes and derailleurs, but if your bike needs less common parts you should bring them.
1 derailleur hanger (There are hundreds of different models of bikes and dozens of different hanger designs. In addition to carrying a spare hanger with you every day, you should have an extra one in your duffle bag.)
3 spokes per wheel (Every wheel is different and while the mechanics may have the right size spokes for your wheel, if you bring along a few spares you'll be sure that a broken spoke won't put you out of action.)
2 pairs of brake pads (In muddy years the consumption of brake pads is staggering. The most remarkable story I've heard was of a guy who bought a set of XTR disc brakes to get a set of pads. And if you use a less common brand of brakes; Hope, Magura etc., there may be no pads available at all. Bring along some spares and save yourself a pile of grief.)
1 front derailleur (I know I said that the mechanics will have spare derailleurs but in 2007 I managed to damage my front derailleur and could not find a replacement at any of the bike shops. The odd thing about my derailleur is that it has a low clamp to fit around the suspension. All the available spares were high clamps and interfered with the suspension.)
Any special tools for your bike (I use Spinergy wheels. The spokes require a couple of odd tools. Lots of mechanics don't have them, and without them it is hard to change spokes and true the wheels. So, I bring along the two little tools just in case. You'll know what on your bike requires proprietary tools.)
1 tire (By the time you get to the TR you should have done a lot of training and be very familiar with your bike and how it handles. Changing to a different model of tire halfway through the race, especially to a tire than handles very differently from the ones you are used to, could be a problem. The tires that I've used since 2005, Hutchinson Pythons, are the same front and back, so 1 spare tire will do me for the race. That being said, you should start the race with new or almost new tires.)
1 seatpost shim (I have a bike that takes an odd size seatpost, 30.8mm. When I bought the bike it came with a 27.2 post and a shim to fill the extra space. I now use a 30.8mm Thompson post and dont need the shim. But if, god forbid, I manage to break or damage my post I'm not sure if the Bike Shop will have a post that fits. So, I bring the shim just in case. If you use a common size post; 27.2, 30.9 etc. this may not be necessary.
Oh, and don't forget the derailleur hangers.
PS In separate instalments I'll cover the food, water and safety items you need to consider.