This year I’ll be headed out on my 3rd AZT 300. Not quite sure why other than I love those trails a whole bunch and I need a really good shake down ride before the Divide. I also have a teammate hitting it for a rookie attempt. So I figured I’d treat myself to a new toy or two and go rally some of the most awesome singletrack in the country. Oracle Ridge definitely ranks in the top 10 of bikepacking trail gnar. Lots of people crack in lots of really difficult sections on the AZT. Mainly due to the high level of gnar. I get lucky since I spend most of my time riding trail that difficult if not more. So it’s not a big deal. I’ve been riding a bit more this year than last….not really training, but I think I’ll got a bit faster if I can get good sleep from April 1 until the start. I’m limiting the time on the sewing machine. Customers will just have to wait.
I’ve been wanting to do some reviews and sneak peak some stuff to my readers, and now I have a little bit of time to do so.
I think I have the dyno dialed. I wasn’t able to get any charge on my AyUp battery and I think that’s because I used an extension cable and it’s made for running the lights, not charging the batteries. Tonight I removed the unit from Fargazmo, shortened a few wires, reversed polarity on the AyUp charging line, and mounted up pretty much everything to the Dirty Girl. I’m way ahead of last year.
Things are looking pretty clean. I just added the quick link on the Camelbak mainly for the Fargazmo as the frame bag on it has a hose port. This bag was one of my first so I just run the hose out the zipper.
The AyUps are mainly backup lights….or in case I find myself headed down Oracle Ridge in the dark. I’ll run the Exposure on the helmet and charge it on the bar saving some room in the Titan tank.
Oh. That’s a new harness/stuff sack combo or some sorts that I’m going to be a bit coy about. I’m going to give it a thorough testing on AZT before I decide what I want to do with it. Basically it combines the harness panel with the stuff sack so it’s quite a bit lighter. The straps run through some interesting hardware. The stuff sack comes out easily leaving the straps on the bars. I find this helps facilitate stuffing everything in and you can more easily use your stuff sack for a pillow/storage bag when you are sleeping.
I taped and zip tied the dyno wire to my fork since I thought I’d better run some sort of slack take-up system to keep the wire from getting caught in my tire. I didn’t want the take-up system to pull the wire through the electrical tape and pull the wire off the hub. Totally ghetto, but I think it will be perfect. I’ll test it this weekend. I put a grommet in the tank bag and have the main wire running out of there. Pretty clean.
I also got a new fork! A TS 6 Magura with through axle! It rocks. I can’t really tell that much difference in stiffness/lateral control….well…maybe there is a bit of a difference….but the thing is super plush. I love it. Very simple. I thought it had about 120mm travel when I first rode it, but it’s only 100mm. I should note that I purchased this fork through Magura Direct which is a form of sponsorship for grassroots riders and wannabe industry insiders like myself.
I may find the time to make a new pouch.
This one is my second one ever made. I don’t use those shitty so-called “waterproof” zippers anymore. Total waste of money. This one is super faded. It faded so fast I almost refused to buy anymore red fabric. People kept asking for red, I’d warn them, and they said they didn’t care. So I ordered more. I think my first order had really poor UV coatings or something. This bag still works great, but not having the storm flapped zipper and the standard reflective tabs I include now sometimes confuses potential customers. I had to add attachments at a wider point for this new harness system. The attachments on the inside are for the Superfortress and Stealth harnesses. I may be on to something here. We’ll see.