Content by Neil Beltchenko The planning, preparation, and test rides play a huge part for me in getting ready for a race such as the Colorado Trail Race (CTR). To me it is half the fun, even writing about it is making me super excited to get on the trail. In the past, I was always the guy dialing his setup hours before the race. This year, however things are a bit different. I planned a little more in advance than I usually do. So far I have been riding my rig for two weeks now, this has helped me figure out where things need to go to make them easy to access. It has helped me figure out the best weight distribution. Most importantly, it has helped me train for riding a loaded bike. With all of this, I’m sure I will figure out that changes need to be made on the trail, but for now knowing I put the time in has given me a little more comfort. After I finished last years CTR I told myself I would never do it on a hard tail again, I also said that after my first stab at the Arizona Trail Race. This time I listened to myself, the Salsa Spearfish is one of the more efficient full suspensions with the newly incorporated Split Pivot design. Not only that but it will likely save my neck, back, and ass from severe punishment. Although some have attempted and/or completed this route more times than me, I believe that my two previous trips on the the CT have helped me establish what I need and what I need to leave at home. Below is everything that will be strapped to my bike, a few items were left out, a few were kept, and tough decisions were made. Bikepacking is so personalized which is why this activity is so neat. Colorado Trail Race Gear

Oveja Negra Saddle Bag

  • Marmot Atom 40* Sleeping Bag
  • SOl Escape Bivy
  • Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisper down jacket
Colorado Trail race gear

Oveja Negra Frame Bag

  • Repair Kit
    • Spare cable
    • Stick of tape/thread (electrical, duct, athletic).
    • Super glue
    • Valve core remover
    • Valve core
    • Patch kit
      • Patch kit
      • Rotor screw
      • Chainring screw
      • Quick link
      • Presta to Schrader adaptor
    • Derailleur hanger
    • Tire lever
    • Tire boot
    • Spare brake pads
    • Zip ties
    • Roofing tap patch
    • 20oz Co2 cartridge and injector
    • Spare stans
    • Tube
    • Pump
    • Lighter
  • 2L MSR Hydromedary
  • 5 Tailwind Nutrition Stick Packs (1000 calories)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Chain lube

Side pocket

  • Aquamira tablets
  • Rudy Project clear lenses
  • Lens cloth
  • Iphone
  • Ipod Shuffle
  • Headphones
  • Colorado Trail Databook
  • Chain rag

Colorado Trail Race Gear

Porcelain Rocket Handlebar Bag (actually Salsa anything cage bag)

  • Mountain Hardwear rain jacket
  • Sierra Designs knicker rain pants (homemade)
  • Pearl Izumi (PI) vest
  • PI knee warmers
  • PI arm warmers
  • PI Barrier gloves
  • Buff
  • PI headband
  • Smartwool cap

Bedrock Tapeats To-Go Bag

  • Spare AA and AAA batteries
  • Ay-up lighting system batteries
  • Button Hole
Colorado Trail Race Gear

Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks Titan Tank

  • Starting with 5,060 Calories (including stick packs in frame bag)
    • 5 Tailwind Nutrition stick packs (1000)
    • 5 Honey Stinger Waffles (800 cal)
    • 5 Honey Stinger Energy (500 cal)
    • 4 Honey Stinger Chews 5 (800 cal)
    • 2 Tuna packets (200 cal)
    • 1 Cliff Bar (260 cal)
Colorado Trail Race Gear

On Me

  • PI bibs
  • PI base layer
  • PI Griggs Orthopedics jersey
  • Specialized Rime Shoes
  • PI cycling cap
  • Rudy Project Sterling Helmet
  • Rudy Project Noyz sunglasses
  • Water Bottle
  • Jerky/nut mix (500 Calories)
  • Ay-up light on helmet


  1. Nick Woodland

    Awfully impressive Neil – clearly a well thought out kit. So where do you cram the food you buy in BV?

    • Neil Beltchenko

      Thanks Nick,

      I have extra space in the frame bag, as well as my Bedrock front bag. I can also add food to my saddle bag as well as my handlebar bag. I also will have a pocket on my jersey dedicated to food and the other – my water bottle. Hope this helps.

  2. Interesting, one can always learn from seeing what other use/carry. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Where did you get the small protective cover for the CTD shock head?

  4. How did the Specialized Rime hold up on the CTR?

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko


      They held up great actually, no matter what shoe I wear, I still end up loosing toe nails. One issue I did have was the BOA closure system broke…and it broke while it was tightened. I only had to take my shoes off 4 times, but it was a pain. Other then that, they dry quickly, and have a good stiffness to them, not road bikes stiff, but stiff compared to a hike a bike shoe.

  5. Garrett Chott

    Such a sick setup, how did you like the SOL Escape Bivvy as opposed to something a bit heavier and more expensive?

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko


      Thanks, it worked out really well for me. I dig the SOL Bivy, light and does its job. I used it on casual bikepacking trips in some cold conditions paired with my 40F bag…It was a bit chilly. It kept the wet out when I needed it on the CTR and I am grateful for that.

  6. Great information here that is very helpful for a rookie. How many calories do you recommend to make it from Silverton to BV? I know at the Hot Springs and Hwy 50 there are potential refills depending on the time of day. I’m a mid pack racer.

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      That is purely based on how much you typically eat, basically I just pack as much as I can in my top tube, and a quality real meal in my frame or backpack, that way I can get a big push of calories half way through the desolate section. Bring more than you think. If you hit the Princeton Hot Springs store when it’s open, that is another option just after BV.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *