I got the phone call today. My tour divide rig was ready to be picked up! So despite almost no sleep and torrential rain associated with cyclone (hurricane for you septics) Marcia, in my sleep deprived state, I braved the canals er roads of Brisbane to pick her up from River City Cycles this afternoon.
"Her" being a Muru cycles B.N.T.
The BNT is basically an Aussie version of the Titanium Salsa Fargo that is made in China and in the best badge engineering fashion, called an Aussie bike. (I kid, I kid. We all know how hard it is to compete with Chinese manufacturing).
Troy procured the frame for me back in December then waited patiently while I dithered around sourcing some parts such as the fork, headset, seat post and saddle to name a few bits. He was on a personal deadline, jetting out to Alaska on the 18th of February for the Iditarod Fatbike Race. This left him with 7 bikes to build in 5 days. No pressure....!
To his credit he got them all built up, including my BNT and his workmanship style? Perfection. It is so immaculately put together that I am almost loath to get it dirty by riding it.
The build I decided on was to mirror Troy's own Salsa Fargo which he has put innumerable hours into fine tuning into a bikepacking race bike. The running gear is all low end SRAM X9 product as it is robust and easily repairable. BB7 mechanical brakes handle stopping duties. Again, simple yet robust compared to hydraulic brakes.
I differed in the fork department when the Ti forks became unavailable and went with a Niner Carbon fork. The Niner fork weighs a measly 565g(1.2lb) and I think looks sexier than the Ti fork. Sexiness is a factor in racing as you have to look the part........however, if you look closely you will notice that the steerer tube is a very unsexy 16 feet long! Well, almost.
We have not cut the steerer tube yet as I need to have my bike "fitted" to me, then we need to fit my charging switch under the top cap when it arrives from K Lite (stop press- the Shutter Precision dynamo hub and lighting kit turned up this afternoon).
Woodchipper bars give multiple hand positions as well as extra leverage off road when compared, in the first instance, to a mtb handlebar and in the second, to regular road drop bars. They are super clean with no cables to get in the way of my harness that will hold my tent and sleep kit.
All I need now is to build up the front wheel with the recently landed dynamo hub, get myself fitted to the bike, then ride, eat, sleep, repeat..........