The day I heard about the Tour Aotearoa over a year ago I thought:
“this is me”. An amazing opportunity to explore New Zealand, and what a
great way to do it by bike. I had been looking at the Kiwi Brevet for a
couple of years now but time wise could never commit to any of them.
This would be my first adventure of this kind.
soon worked out that cycling 3000km on my full suspension Yeti would be
a long way. A bit silly really as 3000km is a long way regardless.
However this is where the idea started to build my own bike from
scratch. A unique chance to build a “go anywhere, do almost anything”
kind of bike that would not be fast and work well. Furthermore I wanted
it to be aesthetically pleasing as I work as a designer.
doing some research online I soon worked out that a bike suitable for
the Great Divide Ride would most likely be suitable for the Tour
Aotearoa (TA). This is where inspiration for certain ideas started.
Since I am extremely pleased with the geometry of my full-suspension
Yeti SB95 I decided to turn Yeti’s rigid carbon ARC frame into my
starting point. The next question was front suspension or not. I decided
to go rigid as it is lighter, there are fewer parts that can break (=
less maintenance), and would cater well for 80% of the terrain.
next thing to decide on was the cockpit. I had been intrigued by the
Salsa Woodchipper bars for some time now and thought they would be the
way to go for my bike. I liked the idea of dirt drops but it turned into
a big time consuming effort to find brake levers and shifters that
would work with the Shimano XT Dyna-sys derailleurs for my 2×10 setup. I
ended up with a set of Gevenalle GX shifters. They are probably one of
the most notable parts on my bike. They’re like a funky old set of thumb
shifters mounted onto Tektro brake levers. The shifters take a bit to
get used to but they work flawless. Another advantage is that you can
run them indexed as well as friction. Furthermore I used a Fred Bar to
mount my aero bars onto. I read good things about them as they put you a
bit more upright while riding in the aero bars. This proved very useful
on 10+ hour days in the saddle.
amazing to see the bike come together and it’s even more fun to ride. A
big shout out goes to Jonty from Revolution Cycles, Oli at Roadworks,
Zeph at Cognitive Cycle Works and Kashi at Yeti NZ for all their help.
The bike really inspires me to ride just about anywhere. Drop bars and
fat tyres go a long way, they are an awesome combo. I did end up
swapping the Woodchipper bars for the Cowchipper. The biggest difference
is that the Cowchipper allows me to ride off road tracks in my drops.
My hands are too small for the Woodchipper and were sliding down going
over rough terrain.
To date I have done about
5000km’s on my “one of a kind” Yeti, including the Tour Aotearoa. It has
proven to be a great brevet bike for this type of terrain. I would love
to take it over to the States one day and ride the Great Divide Ride on
it too. Here’s to adventure…!
• FRAME: 2015 Yeti ARC Carbon – size medium
• FORK: Enve Mountain Fork 29″ – tapered steerer, 15 mm through
• PAINTWORK: Custom painted in Yeti turquoise by Guy
• HEADSET: Chris King
• HANDLEBAR: Salsa Cowchipper – 44cm wide model
• BAR TAPE: Specialized Roubaix Tape plus Bar Phat gel pads
• STEM: Thomson Elite x4 stem – 0 degree rise, 70mm extension
• BRAKE LEVERS plus SHIFT LEVERS: Gevenalle GX – Compatible with Shimano Dyna-Sys Deraileurs
• BRAKES: Avid BB-7 front and rear with sintered pads
• BRAKE ROTORS: Shimano XT 160mm front and rear
• AERO BARS: Profile Design T3+ Carbon
• AERO BAR ACCESSORY: Fred Bar by Siren Bicycles and homemade gps and bike light mount
• CABLE ACCESSORY: Jagwire compact adjusters
• FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano XT direct mount 2×10
• REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano XT – medium cage
• CRANKSET: Shimano XT 2×10
• BOTTOM BRACKET: Enduro XD15 threaded
• CHAINRINGS: Shimano XT 28t – 38t
• CASSETTE: Shimano XT – 11- 36
• CHAIN: Shimano XT SilTech 10 spd
• PEDALS: Shimano XTR Trail
• SEATPOST: Thomson
• SADDLE: Specialized Phenom Expert
• HUBS: DT Swiss 240’s – front 15×100 & rear 12×142 6 bolt
• RIMS: Light bicycle 29” carbon rims – 30 mm wide and tubeless ready
• SPOKES: DT competition
• RIM STRIPS: Stans
• SEALANT: Stans- about 100ml per tire
• TIRES: Schwalbe Thunder Burt SnakeSkin 29×2.1
• WATER CAGES: Specialized side mount