Author Topic: Denali Trip bike question.  (Read 4395 times)

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Offline Derek

Denali Trip bike question.
« on: April 20, 2007, 05:34:22 am »
Hi, I've booked on to the ACA Denali trip and was wondering whether or not to use regular fenders and a low  loader front rack or MTB type fenders and a mid loader? Any one have experience of this route?  My new touring bike gets built next week and I dont want to spec anything I have to replace.

Offline driftlessregion

Denali Trip bike question.
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 11:55:01 pm »
My only thought is that the longer the fender the better.

Offline RussellSeaton

Denali Trip bike question.
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2007, 01:50:09 pm »
My opinion.  Opinion.  This trip occurs on paved and gravel roads.  Maybe very rough gravel roads, but official maintained gravel roads.  It is not on single track rutted muddy rocky dirt trails through the forest in between trees and down gullies.  If the description of "gravel" is correct on the ACA website, then there will be gravel of a sorts and not plain dirt and mud.

The mid loader racks are designed for mountain bikes to get the bags higher in the air so when you ride next to a log or rock, the bottom of the bags do not catch on the log or rock.  Or when riding in a narrow gully, the sides of the bags are less likely to hit the sides of the gully because they are higher up.  The price you pay for this extra clearance is the less stable handling of having the front panniers higher off the ground.  The original Blackburn concept for low rider front racks works.  Its better to have the front panniers lower than higher.

Since the gravel roads on this trip will not have the type of terrain where pannier clearance is an issue, the low riders would make more sense to me.  Low riders have clearance underneath them.  8 inches or so.  You will not be riding on technical terrain requiring you to thread the bike through narrow openings and in and out of narrow deep ruts and gullies and ditches.  It will likely be rough roads and likely wet but you will be able to see where you are going and ride through the rough spots.  Since the road claims to be gravel, normal fenders should work fine and not fill up with mud.  Gravel roads don't have great gobs of sticky mud on them when wet.  Just small gobs of pasty gravel dust mud that will not clog up underneath fenders.

I'll also add that while the new custom bike you mention will be used for the Denali trip, I'm guessing it will be used far more after the trip.  The trip is only 2 weeks and 450 miles.  I'd hate to have such a specialized bike that is less than optimal for the 100 times more riding you will do after this Denali trip.  Normal touring type bike with normal fenders and low rider racks will be better for all the subsequent riding.  The lots of clearance fenders and higher racks would still work but maybe not as well.

Just an opinion.

This message was edited by RussellSeaton on 5-3-07 @ 8:27 AM