On Sunday, Ben Miller will start the 550 mile Colorado Trail Race, leaving Denver and arriving in Durango nearly a week later. Ben will be riding 19 hrs a day, sleeping on the trail and refueling at restaurants and gas stations along the way. He’s been working since November to compile lightweight equipment, custom bags and a bike designed for adventure racing. He’s been logging 8hr rides, and even put his vegetarianism on hold so he can consume the necessary amount of calories while out on the trail. Everything pictured in the following essay was selected after extensive research.

Not only does Ben have to focus on his race but he’s conducting, in his words, “a case study on what the energetic and physical demands of a multi-day event at high altitude does to muscle and muscle mitochondria structure and function. Blood and muscle biopsies will be taken before and after the event as well as during a period of “normal” training at a later date for comparison”. Did I mention that Ben is a Director of the Translational Research on Aging and Chronic Disease Laboratory at CSU?

More information on the CTR, who from NoCo is racing and how to follow them can be found here: http://goo.gl/VJ5zdg

Without further ado, I give you Ben’s 2015 Salsa Spearfish, size large in Tequila Lime and all his gear. 

The Build: 

Frame: 2015 Salsa Spearfish
Fork: RockShox SID 100mm
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT3
Front derailleur: Sram X7
Rear derailleur: Sram X9
Brake levers: Sram Guide R
Brakes: Sram Guide R 160mm rotors
Shifters: Sram X7 10 speed
Cassette: Sram 1050
Cassette gearing: 11/36
Bottom Bracket: Sram
Cranks: Sram S1000
Chainrings: 22/34
Power Meter: NA
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy
Chain: KMC X10
Front Hub: Sram Roam 30
Front Rim: Sram Roam 30
Front Tire: Maxxis Ardent
Rear Hub: Sram Roam 30
Rear Rim: Sram Roam 30
Rear Tire: Maxxis Ardent
Saddle: WTB Silverado Comp
Stem: Salsa Guide
Bars: Salsa Salt Flat 2
Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo T20
Computer: Garmin eTrex Touch 25
Pump: Cannondale with electrical tape and gorilla tape wrapped

Inside the Bags

Joe Tonsager of J.Paks custom produced each of the 5 bags that Ben will use during the race. He has a bolt on frame pack, a seat pack, a top tube bag and a two part handlebar role. Joe traced Ben’s 2015 Salsa Spearfish frame to ensure the frame bag fit perfectly. 

Depending on your screen size captioning space under the photos is limited so here is the full breakdown of what Ben will be taking.

Top Tube Bag: Topeak ratchet tool, CO2 cartridge (x2), CO2 holder, chapstick, Leatherman Style multi tool, spare bolts (cleat, chainring, misc), charger (holds 2 phone charges).

Frame Bag: 2 L bladder with extension and magnet, electrolytes, spare tube (road to save space and weight), Donkey Label chamois cream, Rock and Roll chain lube, $200 cash, trail map.

Seatbag: Montbell lightweight down jacket, long underwear and top (Craft), lightweight fleece (Melanzana), spare shoe bag for extra food, inflatable pillow, shock pump, legwarmers, Sealskinz waterproof gloves, Donkey Label long sleeve merino wool jersey, Donkey Label wool socks, buff, Donkey Label bib shorts, spare tube (road), spare parts (shifter cable, derailleur hanger, zip ties, chain breaker, chain quick links (x2), upholstery needle, floss, patch kit, tire boot), first aid kit..

Handlebar Bag: Showers pass pants and jacket, REI minimalist bivvy, thermarest neo-air xlight pad, Enlightened Equipment 40 deg sleeping bag and hood.

Smaller Handlebar Bag: Squeeze water filter, wet ones, meds, sunscreen/toothbrush/saddle care, toilet paper, Black Diamond Spot 200 lumen headlamp, Fenix Flashlight with mount.

Wearing: First City Cycling Team team issue baggies, Mavic arm warmers, FCCT cap, Donkey label merino wool jersey/bibs/socks/undershirt/lightweight vest, Mavic shoes, Rudy Project Helmet.

The following companies assisted Ben in various ways as he selected his gear; JPak bags (http://www.jpaks.com), Donkey Label (https://donkeylabel.com), ProVelo bikes (http://www.provelobikes.com), and all the FCCT team sponsors.