Old 02-04-17, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Texas Hill Country
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Bikes: Invictus, Valeria, Jackie, and Vanguard

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If I were doing it all over again:

Traditional mountain bike
Bikepacking setup, or at least a good frame bag
2.4"-2.5" tires
Front suspension only
Possibly a suspension seatpost or sprung saddle
Possibly tubeless tires (I need to learn more)

That said, I'm convinced you could do the whole thing on a cyclocross bike with 35 mm tires if you were determined, you packed light, you didn't mind walking on 5-10 occasions. Most of the time, that setup wouldn't be a problem at all.
Washboard and sand are your worst enemies, if that tells you anything about what to bring/expect.

There are alternative routes, mostly on pavement, around some of the worst areas. Most notably in Montana and New Mexico.
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