Charlie was ready to upgrade his current bike for one more suitable for doing the Continental Divide Trail (when it's finally safe for travel) as well as handling commuting duty through the winter of Michigan. After a great discussion about his needs we settled on a very nice build featuring wide, floaty tires, low gearing, handlebars with lots of grip options, and a very neutral and comfortable fit. This is one very fun and smooth ride that will be his new training and adventuring buddy.
Off the bat, Charlie knew he wanted to use Crazy Bars. They feature a bunch of different hand positions so he can switch it up as the terrain and ride requires. We outfitted the bars with Foam Grips and Comfy Cotton bar tape. There are so many different ways people have wrapped them, so check out this blog post for different pictures and styles of wrap-jobs.
Tommy from Cutlass Velo in Baltimore handled the excellent wheel build. The hubs are our own Disc Front and Rear and the rims are 32 hole Velocity Duallys. Getting a hand-built, custom wheelset is more spendy from the get-go, but make for a very good investment in the long term. Every part of the wheel experiences various loads, so a wheel builder can choose the correct components for longevity and strength. Touch base with Tommy if you're looking for your next custom wheel build - he's a rockstar.
The drive is a mix of SRAM GX mountain bike components for the shifty bits and Shimano XT for the whirly bits. They're all super dependable and hearty. So they'll be able to take whatever Charlie and the trail throws at them.
We went with lower-treaded Vittoria Mezcal tires in the 27.5 x 2.6" sizeway. I'm very impressed with how easy they set up tubeless and how quietly they ride on the road. I've ridden a lot of plus-sized tires and most of them have felt extremely sluggish and draining. But these are nice and light and supple.
Stopping is handled by the powerful and beautiful Paul Components Klamper Brakes connected to our Grand Cru Long Pull Brake Levers. The rotors are Shimano 180mm Ice Tech.
He'll be getting his own bags and such for the trail once he gets everything dialed in.
For a very complete build list, jump over to the build list here: https://velo-orange.com/pages/piolet-build-list-charlies-cdt-rider-with-crazy-bars
Happy Riding, Charlie!