Author Topic: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?  (Read 2053 times)

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Offline mhavey

Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« on: March 10, 2010, 01:39:48 pm »
I'm hoping to ride the Great Divide in New Mexico, south to north this May(ish). My question is whether it is really recommended to have a MTB on these sections. I will be riding from Boise to Tempe on my stock Surly LHT 26" wheels, drop bars, front and rear panniers, rigid fork. With this setup, if I put on some knobby tires once I reach NM, do you think it would be adequate to have a reasonable experience on these sections?

I’ve been looking over journals and photos of these sections and it looks like dirt roads most of the way. Obviously this is not the whole picture of the route. 

Thanks!

Offline CMajernik

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 06:24:19 pm »
Yes, a mountain bike is really recommended. The combination of fatter tires
and (at least) a front shock will make certain stretches of the route much
more comfortable to ride-like in the Gila National Forest, where some of
the roads are quite rocky. They're steep, too, so the fatter tires, running
a little soft, also make riding uphill easier. Other sections in New Mexico
are clay-surfaced-rideable by just about any bike when dry and unrideable
gumbo by just about any bike (even the fattest of fat-tire mountain bikes)
when wet.

As to whether or not a mountain bike is absolutely necessary? Probably not.
But do try to put the fattest knobbies possible on your Surly.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline mhavey

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 09:18:58 pm »
Great info, Thanks!

Offline luckylarue

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 11:46:43 am »
mhavey - A small group of us are also planning to do the NM portion of the Divide Route, probably in mid-June.  My understanding is that there is zero technical singletrack which has me convinced of riding my Big Dummy that I'm currently building up.  I've never ridden the Divide route but I'd say if you're used to riding your LHT on dirt roads, it should be fine w/ beefy tires, imo.  Right now the plan is to start up in Del Norte & ride north to south to the border.  The big question I have is how much snow will there be up on Indiana Pass south of D.N.  Maybe south to north would be better but I like the idea of the definitive "end" at the border. 

Offline jscotkey

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 07:38:20 pm »
Looks like a good time for me to drop in here.  I'm planning a mid-June start to the GDMBR somewhere near my ABQ base (Pietown, Cuba, e.g.) heading north.  As it happens I'll be on my new LHT with 2.0 Schwalbe Extremes..and I guess we'll see if that's enough.  Hoping to at least make it to Grizzly Country.  From all that I've read, a "touring" bike with decent tires should be able to make at least 95% of the route...guess the non-mtb among us can all just walk the rest. 

I'm interested in hearing others who have done the entire route, and from those involved in that mid-June cohort heading from NM.  Perhaps I could tag along.

-scot



Offline luckylarue

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 09:24:26 am »
Scot,

Check out the tour divide website - it's geared for the race but provides loads of info, resources and pics:

http://tourdivide.org/

Also, bikepacking.net is another great resource.  Our group is based out of Las Vegas & you're more than welcome to join us - we're still in the early planning stage.  More details to follow.

Offline afie

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2010, 01:30:13 am »
You need a mountain bike for the relaxed geometry and the ability to run 2 inch tyres. The only technical singletrack is north of Basin, MT, but most of the dirt roads are washboarded - hence the fat tyres. Stiff tyres like the Schwalbes are going to make it less comfortable.

Offline mathieu

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 05:05:40 pm »
Hi,
I also plan to do the GD route starting from Antelope Wells in May (about May 25) and ending in Banff or Jasper at the end of July. We are two Dutch cyclists. Probably an American will join us. Regarding the question: my bike will have front suspension, but my companion rides on a hard front&tail. Regarding the present snow conditions high up, it might be more appropriate to discuss the need for studded tires and crampons. Hope to meet you on the trail!

Offline THEHETEROCLITE

Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 03:42:01 pm »
I'm also planning on leaving out in mid May. As of now, I'm doing it solo, but would love to have someone to ride with! My schedule is flexible, and so is my starting point. PM me if you're interested!