Bailey’s Woodsmoke Loaded For the 2018 Tour Divide Race

When you’re dead set on breaking the Tour Divide single speed record this year, ultralight is the way to go. Bailey, who is currently working at District Bicycles, recently built up his 2018 TDR race bike. He chose the Salsa Woodsmoke for the geometry, tire size, and most importantly weight. Even though he’s racing single speed, he still needs to keep the bike as light as possible. As it sits now, the bike weighs 30lbs on the nose, with everything he needs. It’ll weigh 35lbs on the trail, with water. The parts selection is spot-on, with components that will withstand the 2745 mile trek from Canada to Mexico.

An unexpected snag Bailey ran into while building this bike was that the elevated chainstay caused a lot of lateral sways and without a large chainring and large cog, would cause the chain to kick. Problem-solving like that is always best to do before you find out on the trail…


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  • Chad Ament


  • rusty

    damn Bailey, looking good!
    also my new all-road/gravel bike weighs more than this… haha, sigh… :(

  • Chris Andrews

    That cockpit looks great! More a wrist-rest than a full aero-position

  • Joe Stiller

    Nice Rig Bailey,,
    Thank you for Taking BarYak Expedition with you..
    Thanks again

  • Loving all the single speeds lately.

  • Jonathan McCurdy

    Hmmm. Sounds like some excess flexiness in the drivetrain area. Salsa should do something about that.

  • Chris Leydig

    The Mezcals were NOT great for me on the tour divide (as a rear). Wasn’t racing, but I had to replace the rear mezcal in Steamboat, CO after multiple punctures along the tread that even sealant wouldn’t fix alone. Sure others have different experiences, but the rubbers soft and shallow IMO. Fast, but not durable

    • Bailey Gene Newbrey

      I’ve put some long, hard miles on ‘em without problems thus far. Hoping for the best!

    • My Mezcals have been great save for one instance where a flattened rusty nail got into the tread (offending item roughly 5mm x 30mm, hole was probably a 10mm cut). Stans sealant kept it in place and kept me rolling for another hour. Wasn’t able to patch the tire successfully though. Replaced it in MN, and haven’t had any issues since 🤞😬🤞

    • Chris Leydig

      Yeah, sometimes I wonder if it had anything to do with my weight (190), plus a pretty heavy setup. I replaced it with a conti Cross King 2.4. It was slower, but actually didn’t last much beyond the trip – the natural rubber started tearing off. Of course rear tires wear faster, but my front Rocket Ron had 0 issues and still has a fair bit of tread left (trip ended late sept).

  • Peperbek

    The elevated chainstay issue was already the case on early nineties ti and light weight thin tubed steel frames with elevated chainstays. Inherent to the design.

    • Julius

      Too bad. I kinda like this approach as an alternative to the dropped chainstay designs à la Open U.P.

  • Kevin Mulcahy

    People have the same problem when running the Stache as SS, to the point where some dropouts have cracked. I believe that running SS on the carbon Stache will void the warranty.

    • Kurt Schneider

      Running a single speed drivetrain on the Stache won’t impact a Trek warranty.

  • Erik_A

    I have also heard that the elevated stays on the Woodsmoke have been an issue for bikepacking. I wonder if the Timberjack would be a better choice for the Divide, even if there is a slight weight penalty. Similar geometries I think that a Salsa dealer can source a Timberjack frame (no fork) for under $500 if they haven’t sold out. Hey if it is good enough for Ethan Frey (who could have received any Salsa frame that he wanted)

  • Chris Kyle

    35lbs with water seems unrealistic. My carbon Vertex with 1750g dynamo wheelset, Cutthroat fork and ThunderBurts, fully loaded with water is 45lbs. That’s three water bottles, SUL sleep and shelter system, food for two days, sleep clothes, arm/leg warmers, rain jacket, no extra kit, repair tools and one ultralight 29er tube.

    • mrbiggs

      Maybe he’s using that super lightweight water you can get at REI now. More hydrogen molecules than regular water.

    • Bailey Gene Newbrey

      That’s without food, but yeah, it’s 35lbs. Played with some different pack setups and found success with this at the Black Hills Expedition last September.

  • Peter Hedman

    Screaming for a belt drive setup…

    • Julius

      If (a lack of) stiffness in the chainstay area is an issue, I doubt that a belt drive would work. Any thoughts on this?

      • Bailey Gene Newbrey

        I’ve seen firsthand what deep mud and beltdrives do. 1/8″ chain FTW!

  • Jake Riehle

    10th anniversary of the TDR this year! I’m so jealous, I wanted to race it again this year but it’s not in the cards work wise. Good luck Bailey and find the fun everyday!

    • Bailey Gene Newbrey

      Thanks Jake! Hard not to enjoy every day out there!

  • Bil Thorne

    Avid brakes, huh? Bailey lives dangerously.

  • David in Maine

    What headlight is that?

    • Bailey Gene Newbrey

      Sinewave Beacon!

  • Gotchile

    Nice rig Bailey. Great seeing you at LR. Let’s visit gear soon.

  • Armand


    • Bailey Gene Newbrey

      No backpacks. No masters.

  • Thomas Gehrig

    how can it flex? the frame has a boost rear, I had a stache before with the elevated chainstays and never had any problem? The adjustable dropouts add that much flex?

  • Greg May, PhD

    Interesting to see you ditching the drops from ’16, and putting some extensions on!

    I hope you ride fast dude, you were more than capable of it before. I can only imagine you’ll be quicker now.

  • Matt

    Nice bike and all but we can we talk about just how swell of a fella Bailey is?

  • Kevin Almassian

    Super impressed and proud of you Bailey! What an inspiration for me to convert my woodsmoke to a single speed. Mind sharing what size chain rings you used and where you set the alternator dropout?!