Northern New Mexico’s section of the Continental Divide Trail is quite the experience and with its popularity, more and more cyclists are coming to New Mexico to ride 70 miles of singletrack over a 90-mile route. One of my friends, Kyle from Outer Shell, recently came through town with his Falconer hardtail to take on the CDT, so I shuttled him to Cumbres Pass and bid adieu. After his trip, I linked back up with him and shot his wild Falconer hardtail, “loaded” for his time on the trail…
As with year’s past, we love featuring this Chico collaboration between Sierra Nevada, Paul Component, and a California-based frame builder. This year’s bike is stunning and with it comes a huge photo gallery documenting this beautiful build. Check the official press release below with all the juicy photos and read on to find out how you can win this bike!
John Watson picks up this series we began with Ryan Wilson during the pandemic. Consider this a shout out to our favorite small businesses in the cycling industry. Here are some of John’s personal picks.
Small businesses are the foundation of the outdoor industry and many have been seriously impacted by the pandemic over the last couple of months. While money is understandably tight for a significant portion of people, if you do have the means and are dreaming up your next bike trip or local ride, I wanted to offer up a few suggestions for gear that I believe is worthy of investing in from some of my favorite small businesses in the industry.
Fans of crimson red, Bordeaux, and other deep reds will rejoice at the new color availability from Outer Shell bags, makers of some of our favorite on-the-bike portage systems. Browse the entire catalog online and if you have any questions about these bags, be sure to ask them in the comments, seeing as we have extensive experience with them.
It’s the week of hip pack drops! Outer Shell just announced their new Hip Slinger hip packs, with a unique roll-top and hook design, as well as two zippered outer pockets, adjustable waist strap and a plethora of colors. These are made in the Bay Area and are in stock now for $90 at Outer Shell!
This bike is the direct result of many experiences, beginning with my 44 Bikes touring bike and culminating with the Moots Baxter I spent a great deal of time on last year both fully-loaded and set up in what I could call expedition mode. After a lot of back and forth, I realized that I like 29+ bikes for bikepacking and yeah, titanium is really nice for desert riding. These mental musings came to the full realization after spending some time talking with Adam from Sklar Bikes this summer in Bozeman.
Camera straps. They’re the photography accessory very little people pay attention to. Let’s be honest, for standard use, pretty much anything will do, but add in on-the-bike wear or usage and suddenly there’s a lot more to them. Outer Shell has developed a pretty awesome design, with quick-cinch adjustment and a sternum stabilizer. Their newest update includes a tripod-mount anchor to increase stability and improved compatibility with all types of camera strap mounts. These straps are made in SF by Outer Shell and are in stock now in a variety of colors with a retail of $58.
Swing on over to Outer Shell to see more!
This bike. This freaking bike. When I first built up my Sklar, it was built on the 700c wheel platform. At Lost & Found last year, I swapped out the i9 wheels for the new ENVE G27 650b gravel wheels and haven’t missed the 700c wheels one bit. From there, the bike slowly went under transformations but it wasn’t until I put the Crust Towel Rack Bars on it that I feel like this bike has finally come into its own.
Equipping an Amateur Bikepacker (and Professional Filmmaker) for the Peruvian Andes
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
When most people think “I’d like to take on my first bikepacking trip,” they don’t think of going to the Peruvian Andes. Well, most people aren’t my friend Ben Johnson. Ben’s a filmmaker and a storyteller, and once an idea gets into his head, it’s hard to shake him of it.
Ben had long been following Ryan Wilson’s work here on the site, and lusted to pedal in the high mountains of Peru. With another film project taking Ben down to Lima, the flights were paid for, and the idea of this side trip and a passion project was sparked.
Lots of people ask Stephanie and me for advice about bike traveling and we’re happy to help. Ben came to us with an ambitious plan, a short timeline to get a bike built, and enthusiasm through the roof. He needed help.
I had recently transitioned away from full-time work to focus on creative projects: the right place and the right time to help Ben get set up for his adventure in the Andes. I’m happy to present the film here, and will get into the details of the bike build below.
I’ve been using one of the new Outer Shell Mini Saddle Bags and I have to say, it does what it’s supposed to do in a nice and tight package that doesn’t rub on your thighs. Best of all, it’s made by Outer Shell! Head over to Outer Shell see more information.
Caletti Ultra Light Rando Roadie
Photos and words by Chris Corona
Lately, I have been doing longer mixed distances with a camera, sandwich and a couple of extra layers of clothing. I have a couple bikes that are great for cross riding but nothing that really fits the bill for 80-120 mile (mostly road with some dirt) rides that I’ve grown accustomed to. In late July, I approached John Caletti with a concept to create a bike that is on the ultralight touring side of road bikes.
If you’re like me, you can never have too many bags. Especially ones that reduce wasting plastic and paper grocery bags. Outer Shell’s new packable backpack tucks inside your handlebar bag, or basket and expands to a 14L backpack, with straps. These are made from recycled kiteboarding and windsurfing sails in California and in stock now at Outer Shell!
My absolute favorite caddy bag is back in stock, in a variety of colors. Outer Shell’s Stem Caddy will fit a water bottle, a small camera, snacks, or even a full-size wine bottle. These bags are versatile and are made in the Bay Area by Outer Shell. All colors are in stock now at Outer Shell!
To preface, I was invited to ride the Oregon Timber Trail by my friend Rie, who immigrated to the states recently and runs Simworks USA. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to do the tour, but thought it would be a good opportunity for me to ride with her two friends from Japan: Keita and Innochi. Keita is a Chef that started Earlybirds Breakfast and Innochi makes really cool backpacks under his brand, Welldone Nagoya. There was only one issue: they didn’t speak English.
Editor’s Intro: Kyle from Outershell and his friend John Blackwell took on the fabled Stagecoach 400 route last winter, writing up a damn good ride Reportage with photos of this rugged trail. I included Kyle’s note at the bottom that John’s bike was stolen, so keep your eyes out for a 29+ Falconer! Also included are the Outer Shell products used here, in case you were wondering.
Day 1: Mid March 2018. Me, John Blackwell and Jason Silverek meetup in San Diego one morning to ride the Stagecoach 400 route, a 400-mile bikepacking race that was supposed to start the same day. We were starting in southern San Diego, at the midpoint of the route. The actual race starts and ends in Idyllwild. Unfortunately for us, the race start was delayed due to a big storm coming in and the prospects of precarious mud conditions. Our plan was to hightail it all the way to the desert, getting through the would-be muddiest sections outside of San Diego before the storm came. We were all hung over.
How a “maker” builds their personal bike says a lot about how their mind works. For Kyle from Outer Shell, a bag manufacturer in the San Francisco Bay Area, that means go with time-proven staples and splurge on the important places. Kyle’s Mikkelsen is unique, to say the least, but every moment, every bolt, every component has been thought out, down to the cantilever arm, machined to hold his Sinewave Beacon light and Hite Rite dropper.
Outer Shell has been putting out some truly innovative products since Kyle first began the brand, including my favorite on the bike camera bag and now, these new Pico Panniers, which utilize a unique mounting system are sure to be a hit. Path Less Pedaled takes an up close and personal look at these new bags.