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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe this is a dumb question, so feel free to give me a silly comment....

I'm an endurance racer, and now getting curious about the next step, which is of course multi-day routes...

I'd love to run what I've got, but what I've got is 1. Trek Procaliber 9.9 HT and 2. Trek Top Fuel 9.9

Am I going to kill those bikes loading them down with stuff? Preference would be the Top Fuel but it is also my go-to race bike...
 

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Maybe this is a dumb question, so feel free to give me a silly comment....

I'm an endurance racer, and now getting curious about the next step, which is of course multi-day routes...

I'd love to run what I've got, but what I've got is 1. Trek Procaliber 9.9 HT and 2. Trek Top Fuel 9.9

Am I going to kill those bikes loading them down with stuff? Preference would be the Top Fuel but it is also my go-to race bike...
Not going to kill them; lot's of folks go this route when starting out, or when riding ultra-endurance races.

There are plenty of pack/storage solutions that strap to the frame and forks. Somebody may already have a template for a frame bag, too; but if not, you can have one custom made to fit inside the main triangle of your frame. Top-tube bags, seat bags, feed bags and handle-bar storage are fairly universal.

If you need to add bottle mounts, I've been happy with Topeak's Versa Mounts for carrying bottles on my RS-1 fork. The cages stay secure and the plastic construction of the mount does not cut into the carbon (whereas I'm hesitant to use metal hose-clamps on metal cages in that area).
 

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You should be able to use either bike depending on the trip. Full suspension is a bit more challenging since some bikes can only run a small seat bag due to insufficient tire clearance and they may not have enough room or have a shock placement that prevents running a frame bag.

I rode my old ibis mojo SL for bikepacking and could run a full size seat bag, just barely, but could only put a small top tube bag on the downtube below the shock. Even my hardtail which is a size small can only fit a small frame bag. Just means you have to carry less gear or carry it in a pack or elsewhere. For the Top fuel you might be able to run a size small Oveja negra superwedgie https://www.ovejanegrabikepacking.com/collections/frame-bags/products/superwedgie-frame-bag

Hard tails work great for bikepacking since your ride speed is typically slower than normal riding. The big limiter IMO is not being able to drop the saddle as much bikepacking due to the seat bag.
 

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I believe if you use the light bikes, and use that to help you to keep your bike load to a minimum, you'll have a great time.
[edit: I see now this was mentioned above] Lael Wilcox had a sleeping system for the GDR that involved a puffy jacket and pants. I think that's a great indication of how well light weight goes with long distance.
I have known several successful tour divide racers, and they invariably carry less stuff than the back of the pack tourists like me.
 

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My first time riding on the Tour Divide. Banff to Whitefish. I rode on a Surly Karate Monkey with a Rockshox Reba RL fork and WTB Nano tires. It was bit of a heavy bike being steel with a suspension fork in the front. I managed.

The next year, I was in better shape and changed out my ride. I went with a Foundry Firetower which is a carbon HT frame with a race geometry to it. This frame was a replacement for my Foundry Broadaxe that broke under warranty. For the fork, I used a Lauf and Mezcal tires toppe doff with a Jones carbon H-Bar.

There was a good loss of 7 or so pounds between both bikes and I can say with 100% certainty that the Firetower was much more pleasant ride. The difference in fatigue after 10+ hour was noticeable.

So, IMHO, a good light frame can make all of the difference in the world.
 

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Am I going to kill those bikes loading them down with stuff? Preference would be the Top Fuel but it is also my go-to race bike...
You'll be fine. You'll be better if you don't overload them with crap the way people seem to be doing more and more often. Take what you need, but be careful to differentiate between what you *need* and what you *want*.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey all, thanks for the response.

I packed up my Procaliber HT and did an overnight loop around Telluride, mostly rough jeep roads. I have a full bag set up from our local folks at Bedrock Bags, including a frame bag made to fit my full suspension, but it also fits in the HT with space for one bottle cage.

All was good except my second bottle I tried to rig to the underside of the down tube, but it rubbed on the wheel when my fork compresses, which led to some frustration out on the trail trying to rig it to something else. Eventually it ended up strapped on top of my saddle bag, but am looking into some handlebar bottle bags as that looks to be the best spot.

Otherwise, I was happy with the HT, it kept the total weight down. But one future endeavor I am wanting to do is the CTR, and I think I would be happier on a FS and be able to ride the trail more aggressively loaded down than with the Procal.

I'm learning part of the fun of bikepacking is just figuring out where everything goes, and there's really no right or wrong answer!
 
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