Our recent Q&A with Salsa sponsored rider Kurt Refsnider brought out a few questions. Here are his answers. -Kid
Aaron W - Would you be willing to share some info about how you carried water? Did you run a bladder in your frame bag? What kind and did that work well? I would like to lose my pack for the long rides but I’m hooked on the convenience of a bladder type system.
Kurt - I carried a 4 liter bladder in my frame bag and a water bottle in a cage mounted on the underside of the down tube. I usually only had the bladder partially filled and drank out of that with a hose looped around my aero bars. That system works quite well for me, although I'm starting to prefer drinking out of bottles. For longer stretches without water, I also had a 2 liter bladder that I could put in my seat bag. I did this twice I think, both times only with 1 liter. I also used this smaller bladder a few times for treating water while I still had some "clean" water remaining in the larger bladder.
Matt B - My only question would maybe be why the El Mariachi over the Fargo?
Kurt - This choice is simply personal preference. I like traditional mountain bike geometry and flat bars, even for dirt road touring.
Nick Purnell - And I guess for both Kurt and Jefe - the reason(s) behind their separate choice of titanium and steel frames?
Kurt - While I love steel frames and the feel of the ride of a steel hardtail, I went with the titanium frame for the slight weight savings and better vibration dampening, a very desirable characteristic for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I paired the frame with a washboard-smoothing White Brothers Rock Solid rigid carbon fork and was very, very happy with the ride. From what Jefe told me during the race, he chose the steel frame because of the Alternator dropouts (due to his love of having just one gear) and the wallet-friendly price tag. He ran a Black Sheep titanium fork and also seemed quite pleased with the feel of his setup.
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.