The Caldera is a new bikepacking route and event in the Sierra Mountains of California. Alan Jacoby has worked diligently to craft a shorter 250 mile loop and a beastly 400 mile route. Both races start and finish in Mammoth Lakes, California. For more route details click here. First year events are always a mystery. There is no history stating what works and what doesn’t, so bikepacking rigs are typically a mixed bag. Thus, we thought it would be appropriate to share with you the rigs of the 2015 Caldera. Good luck to all the racers who started at 7:00am PST.

Matt Reynolds

Matt R. Salsa BuckSaw 1 F/S fatty, Surly Marge Lite rims with tubeless Surly Nate and Maxxis Mammoth. Raceface Turbine Cinch 1x with 26T ring, SRAM XO 11 spd 10-42, Rockshox Reverb Dropper, Revelate/Salsa frame bag, Revelate Gas Tank, 2 Revelate Feed Bags, dry bag under seat with Deuter sleeping bag liner, Camelback HAWG pack, Thermarest Z Lite Sol pad, Troy Lee Design Helmet, Giro Terraduro Shoes, Fenix BT-10 AA-powered light on bars, NiteRider 700 on helmet, Garmin 510 GPS, iPhone 5S, Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000mAh USB battery, Spot Gen, My goal on my first bikepacking race is to finish and maybe beat one person on skinny tires.

Isaac Chilton

Older Fargo, shimano xt/deore build, Alfine dynamo hub, velocity blunt 35 rims. Specialized Renagade 2.3’s front and rear, control casing. Lights at night via Supernova the plug usb and Supernova light. Salsa branded Revelate bags, added Velcro straps anticipating zipper failure.  Homemade bar bag for the bedroll. I use homemade stabilizers for the seat bag and bar bag.  Using the aero bars for the first time, they seem to save my low back and wrists a bit of wear and tear. I haven’t ridden in the area the race is going through in over twenty years. I’m playing it safe as far as clothes and sleep gear. Will be happy to finish. This should be the Fargos last race as Whit Johnson of Meriwether Cycles is building me a new sled for this type of event. Its a ground up build for this style of event.

Zak Tourville

I spent 3 days riding the northern 200 or so of the Caldera route over labor day weekend. Here’s the rig. Psyched!

Jeff Brooks

2011 Trek Remedy (FS) . Tires: 26×2.35 Vredestien Black Panthers because they were the widest I had in the garage and they roll well. Handlebar Rack and Bag: Salsa Anything Cage HD with the bottom cut out and an 8L Sea to Summit dry bag strapped to it. A longer, skinnier bag would fit better with the cage but I already owned this one and it works. Frame Bag: Jandd Frame Bag (It doesn’t fit perfect but it was cheap and works well). Seat Bag: Revelate Pika with Sprocket bag for Spot

Kevin Hinton

Custom Bike Build from Bike : TI Siren Sram 1×11 Twist Grip. XT brakes. Fox Fork. Jones Loop bars. Stans Arch Ex wheels. Continental X King tires. Xpedo pedals  with well over 15,000 miles on them Dyno powered K-Lite  with Sinewave USB charger. Revalate Designs , size small sweet roll contains Rain gear,Ultralight Down Jacket,Wool socks,Gloves,Knee Warmers,wool long sleeve base layer and an Esbit stove and mini pot with fuel. Gas tank contains food. Seat Bag contains a sleeping bag,bivi,sleep pad. Jerry Can contains extra batteries ,power cables ,I Pod. Feed Bags , one contains all the cables and USB charger,knife ,whistle in the outside mesh and my Phone,Wallet,and some food inside,the other feedbag is full of food inside and chain cleaning supplies and Stans in mesh. Nuclear Sunrise Frame bag ( bought from Topanga Creek Outpost ) of the shelf  contains 70oz bladder ,bike tools,food,emergency kit,water purifier ,wet wipes,spare tube, zip ties. Extra OH Shit water bottle on the DT. Fenix UC40  head lamp on the DT until needed ( when going slow uphill at night ) attached with a Two Fish mount. Blinder Tail Light charged via USB. I will also carry another bottle in my center jersey pocket with an electrolite drink and  food in the other two and I might even velcro more food on top of the Jones bar

Blake Bockius

IMG_3654 (2) I’ve been going back and forth on whether to race the Giant XTC or the Anthem in this year’s Caldera 500. I finally decided that over the long haul, I would use less energy with the full suspension, and my body wouldn’t take as much of a beatin. Besides my size large Anthem Advanced 27.5 weighs in at 21 pounds, which is lighter than most hard tails.  My bike is set up with a RockShox SID XX World Cup up front and a Monarch XX in the rear. Having the ability to lock out both front and rear suspension will be a plus on the gravel and pavement sections of the route. I’ll be running a tubeless tire setup with a Schwalbe Thunder Burt on the rear and a Racing Ralph on the front.  Drivetrain and brakes are Sram XX1. I haven’t yet decided to go with a 30T or 32T chain ring. For Bags, I’m using two Revelate Designs Mountain feed bags, a Revelate Designs Gas Tank top tube bag, Revelate Designs Tangle frame bag. For my seat bag, I’ll be using my tried and true Carousel Design works. I have a few different seat bags, but the size medium Carousel seems to always end up on my bike when I head out for a bikepacking race. I think this will be the 12th bikepacking race for the Carousel. IMG_7439 (3) Another highlight of my set up is the K-lite Dyno powered light a USB charging system and a SP Dyno hub. I can switch between charging devises such as my IPhone and my helmet light during the day and then power the bar light at night. I use disposable lithium batteries to power my Spot 3 and my Garmin Etrex 30. I’ve done bikepack races with everything from a full bivy system with a one person tent/bivy, pad sleeping bag and pillow to only a down jacket. My sleep kit for the Caldera 500 falls somewhere in between.  I’ll be using a Western Mountaineering Highlite 35 degree sleeping bag, a Sol Escape emergency bivy and all the clothes I intend to carry. I’ll be traveling pretty light. My kit is subject to change right up to race day. I’m always tinkering with different ideas to make my system lighter and more efficient. Of course the weather forecast can dictate some changes as well. For me it always comes down to speed vs. comfort and how much time I’ll be sleeping along the way.

Arthur Kopatsy

IMG_9484 (1) Bike is a Litespeed Cohutta with SRAM x01 drivetrain, Avid BB7 brakes, 100mm Fox fork and Enve XC wheelset (WTB 2.1 Nano tires). Front wheel is equipped with Exposure Dynamo hub and Sinewave USB plug on the steerer tube. Revelate Designs for the seat, harness and feedbags, Salsa for the frame.

George Reynolds

For the Caldera 500 I’m running a Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon 2×10. Rear bag is a Revelate Viscacha, Frame, fuel, and Front roll bag all handmade.  The Revelate makes an awesome rear bag – well worth the money.  This is a similar setup that I used on my attempt of the Tour Divide in 2014 except fewer clothes.  My goal is to focus on my fluids and food.  I don’t expect to lead the race and will be happy to make 100-125 miles a day.

Meade Plum

Meade_Plum_Caldera_500_setup Riding a Motobecan Phantom29, HT on rear and 100mm squish on front. A 2×10 geared out with 38/24 front and 11/40 rear. Running the tried and true Panaracer Rampage tubeless front & rear. For carrying gear she’ll be using her MYOG frame-bag (that she designed and stitched up) along with Revelate Pika on the seat and a couple Feed Bags and Gas Tank. She’ll carry a CamelBak Octane 18X on her back for water. Techno realm will be the Garmin Etrex20 for navigation and a SPOT Gen3 for moving her pink dot along the Trackleaders screen. She’ll light the way with a Fenix PD35 on the helmet and NiteRider Mako200 on the bars. And the most important piece of equipment is in her heart…a passion to ride.

Jeremy Plum

Jeremy_Plum_Caldera_500_setup Riding a Motobecan TiFly29, HT on rear and 100mm squish on front. A 2×10 geared out with 38/24 front and 11/36 rear. Running the tried and true Panaracer Rampage tubeless front & rear. For carrying gear I’ll be using Cleveland Mountaineering seatbag, along with Revelate framebag and Gas Tank, plus a couple old-time Mountain Feed Bags. Techno realm will be the Garmin Etrex30 for navigation. I’ll light the way with a Fenix PD35 on the helmet and NiteRider Mako200 on the bars.

Keith Richards-Dinger

IMG_2708 Pretty much the same as I used for the Stagecoach this year, with the addition of a Sweetroll to carry more of a sleep kit and more food in between resupplies.  Frame is a 2011 Trek/Gary Fisher Rig, parts of various vintages as things got replaced/upgraded as they broke/wore out.  I planned to switch to 32×22 gearing at Alan Jacoby’s suggestion but ran of out time, so am leaving the 32×20 that I normally run.  All Revelate bags: Viscacha, Sweetroll, Tangle. Maxxis Ikon 29 x 2.35, largest that will fit on the back of the Rig.  Tubeless, of course, with Orange Seal.

Devin Carter

unnamed 2 It’s a 2014 trek fuel ex 9 29. An assortment of bags: Revelate, REI, Camp 7, Garneau, SKS of Germany, M-wave. I am using a Sella Anatomica saddle on this one.

Arthur de Goede

IMG_0968 My bike is a Surly Krampus with a Talas fork. Surly Knard tires tubeless on Velocity Blunt rims. SP PD-8x Dynamo hub powering K-Lite and Porta Pow USB solar battery for the Garmin Edge 810, Niterider 750, etc. The bags are Revelate Designs holding sleeping gear, clothes and too much food.

If you want to track the riders, head to


  1. this is an awesome article because of the photographs and details from the riders themselves. don’t see this much detail often with these longer ride events. very inspiring, thank you.

  2. Arthur Kopatsy’s rig looks really tidy in particular; I’m aiming for pretty minimal set-ups like that but it can be tough to live without some essentials; wondering if he is also using a backpack.

  3. Wow great details and photographs of the rigs.
    next year!
    looks great!

  4. Great read, thanks. I think I’d need an extra weight allowance for the supplemental oxygen I’d need to bring.

  5. Cameron, there is a video of Arthur K. crossing the finish line (first) wearing a small pack/camelback type pack on the “Fat Bike Mammoth” facebook page. This was a great photoessay and very informative regarding gear. Thank you! I wonder how much notorious Eastside sand that they ran into?

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  8. Great read and pics! I’m finishing a packbike rig for use this summer (2016) with a Motobecane Phantom Team XT Ti, Revelate bags all around except front (sweetroll can be replaced by a drybag and Velcro). Glad to see a few others opting for the less costly prowess of the Motobecanes as a starting point.

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