Trail work is tough and that is a massive understatement. For the crew that runs Trans Cascadia each year, it means loading up chainsaws, fuel, and other tools, usually on their back, as they pedal into the great unknown that is the wild Oregon backcountry. Usually, the singletrack is overgrown, with felled trees, and other obstacles the crew needs to clear. In years past, the team has utilized motos when possible, but they can be large and cumbersome, so this year, the team at Trans Cascadia worked with Jeremy at Sycip Designs to make something extra special, just in time for Sea Otter…
Shimano and Trans Cascadia trail team assembling the bikes
I’ve been hanging out at Sycip Designs’ HQ in Santa Rosa this week, and it’s been a wild experience with many last-minute projects landing quite literally on Jeremy’s lap, including three frames waiting to be built up with Shimano’s Steps platform. Typically, we see this e-motor on city or town bikes, but with the new MTB specific motor, bigger bikes can have a bit more power. Perfect for a trail tool-hauling rig. The design problem on Jeremy’s side was an interesting one for a builder to tackle. Think of part-bikepacking, part-trail shredder, all in one, and with a much heavier, unique load.
Jeremy had to design a few racks to carry a Stihl 193 arborist saw, aboard a Trail Tech holster, a few MSR fuel bottles, a spare battery bracket, and a handle, to aid in portaging these stout builds. On top of the rear rack, Jeremy also fabricated a handlebar rack, to carry extra fuel bottles. All this fuel cargo capacity frees up the team’s backpacks for water and riding essentials while leaving the bulk of the heavy, cumbersome load on the bike, powered by Shimano’s e-power assist in three modes; eco, trail, and boost. For those more intense jobs, the crew will have trailers to carry 48″ saws and other supplies.
As you might imagine, riding a bike like this on rugged terrain might lead to a few pinch flats, so the team at Trans Cascadia reached out to ENVE to supply their M Series rims, with advanced anti-pinch flat technologies.
I am well aware e-bikes are hot-button topics, and rightfully so, but in the end, these bikes are designed and built to clear trails, allowing the trail builders to save their energy for where the real work awaits; unknown and forgotten singletrack. See these bikes in person at Sea Otter this weekend!