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Great Divide with Trek 520

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Great Divide with Trek 520

Old 03-13-08, 08:21 AM
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Great Divide with Trek 520

I'd like to quit my job next spring and ride the Great Divide from south to north. The bike geek in me would love to build up a 29" Surly Karate Monkey for the trip...but after researching a bit I think it'd be possible to do it on my Trek 520 with a few modifications. I'd definitely swap out the cranks for mountain gearing, I'd look into a different handlebar setup, and I'd run the fattest tires I could fit (been thinking about 700x40c Schwalbe Marathon XRs).

Anybody have any experience/thoughts on riding the GDR with a 520 or similar bike?

For cargo, I'm thinking about a BOB Yak trailer and possibly front panniers as well. The Ibex looks cool but I'm turned off by the extra cost and extra weight, and I'm not sold on the suspension yet.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:03 PM
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I used 700x47 XR's for the Divide Ride on a Bruce Gordon RNR. The washboard and the soft muddy or sandy sections are challenging with narrower tires but manageable. Adjusting air pressure for the daily conditions is necessary in my experience. Reducing total weight carried helps a lot also.

A shock seatpost like the Thudbuster helped a number of people I met riding rigid bikes. Pogo stick/vertical shock posts were reported to be less effective than the Thudbuster type.

The Divide is a great ride on any bike even ones not considered to be the ideal one by the experts.
Best of luck to you and report back after the ride.
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