Chris gets a new bike for the GDMBR

An interview with Chris about his new bike.

R: Why did you need a new bike for this trip? 
C: I wanted fat tires and maybe a front shock.

R: The bike you bought doesn’t have a front shock. 
C: Correct, but it’s designed so that it can take a cross country mountain bike style fork. It might not need it because of the fat tires, but I’m considering a Lauf Trail Racer fork.

R: So your other five bikes weren’t good enough? 
C: I was originally planning on using my Specialized AWOL, which is designed for gravel or light road touring or mild off-roading. However, my new bike is a drop bar mountain bike, so it’s better at handling tougher terrain, and I plan to use it for bikepacking (off-road) AND bike touring. It’s more versatile.

R: So what now, we just have 11 bikes? 
C: How do you get 11? The red bike is barely a bike. I already sold the wheels and the fork and the frame is listed as for sale. That’s maybe half of a bike. But- I guess the tandem from our save the date could count as 1.5, so I guess 11 is a fair number.

R: Are you getting rid of any other bikes besides the red-framed bike?
C: I am selling the AWOL, and we are shipping our mountain bikes out to Bozeman for your parents to ride. Also, we should sell that tandem bike. Our apartment is at critical mass.

R: Are you going to miss the AWOL? 
C: Yes, dearly, and-

R: What about the tandem bike?
C: No. it’s been neglected. We should give it to someone who will cherish it. But let me finish about the AWOL. We (the bike and I) have had so many great times together, and it’s carried me to many amazing places, over 7,000 miles (but don’t tell that to the potential buyers). Also, it was one of two witnesses to our proposal, the beginning of our marriage.

R: OK, so-
C: Oh and 18 states! It carried me through 18 states.

R: Great, so-
C: Oh and Canada! We went through Canada.

R: OK, OK! Next question: what kind of bike is your new bike? 
C: A Salsa Fargo (27.5+).

R: Was it love at first sight? 
C: Yes, I’ve been lusting over it for over a year now as we’ve been scheming about this GDMBR trip.

R: Why didn’t you want the Salsa Cutthroat, like all of the guys who race the GDMBR? 
C: You sound like the salesman at Papa Wheelies. The Cutthroat is awesome, but we want to at least try to take our time and smell the- the flowers- what is that saying?

R: Smell the roses.
C: Yeah, take our time and smell the roses, and I might be tempted to push the pace with the Cutthroat. In my opinion, the Fargo is more capable and better suited to the kind of riding that we want to do. Plus, those fat tires. I think I made the right decision, but maybe the Cutthroat will be bike number 12 when I race the GDMBR. JK, JK, LOL.

R: OK, Mr. Frugal-with-Everything-Except-Bikes, how much money did you save?
C: Save? What do you mean? It’s a 2017 bike, so I saved 15%, and I got a discount on any accessories I got that day.

R: What accessories did you get?
C: The Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle Plus Dry Bag and Front Pouch and spare tubes.

R: You don’t want to go tubeless?
C: I might. I don’t know. I’m not that far along in my planning yet. I’m tempted, though.

R: OK, gear review: how does your Salsa handlebar bag setup compare to my Revelate Sweetroll?
C: It’s hard to say because I haven’t put it to the test yet. Based on just putting it on my bike, I like the bag holster… I don’t know what you call it. What would you call that thing? The bracket with the support plate? I really like that. I think that’s really nice and it gets the bag away from the handlebar and cables. However, I was sad to see that the air bag doesn’t have a dry bleed valve.

R: Anything else?
C: Oh you know what I didn’t say about the AWOL? It would make an awesome belt drive commuter.

R: That’s it?
C: Yeah, nothing else.

Thanks for reading!
Hugs and kisses,
Rachel and Chris

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