Build & Trips on a '12 Trek Mamba 29er

#1
Originally started as a question thread, decided to turn it into just about the bike and trips I'm doing.

The Bike
-Trek Mamba 29er
-Jones H-bar 2.5 Aluminum
-Ortlieb handlebar, frame, and saddle bags
-Moosetrex stem bags
-Blackburn cargo cage and top tube bag
-RaceFace Chester pedals

When I decided to try bikepacking:


Updated 22 May 2018

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Rides

1) Blue Range Wrangler (23-26MAY18) in May to break in gear and get my feet/bike wet.
2) Green Mountain Gravel Growler (09-13AUG18). Have a couple friends to hit breweries and camp.
 
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Co-opski

Expedition Leader
#2
sks anywhere mounts are like the King Cage USB but they are plastic and rubber material. I've not used either. I run a MSR bladder in my frame bag and a water bottle on my stem cap with the King Cage mount.
 
#3
I wonder how the plaster/rubber materials hold up over time. I'll dig in for some reviews.

How do you like the King Cage product?
 
#4
I can chime in on the King Cage USB mounts, as I've used them. As long as you have a rigid tube to mount them on, they're indistinguishable from braze-ons. A wrap or two of electrical tape will help them from marring your paint, if you give a $hit about that kind of thing. They use nylock screws to thread to the post, so they do not work themselves loose under any circumstances once tightened, helpful if you mount them on a traditional sus fork, as they'll be bounced around a lot. Pics below. Also, you may want to see if your gearing will be low enough. It looks like you have a 3X system there, but Lincoln Gap looks mighty steep, and the Green Mountains are nothing to sneeze at. Being as you'e in Vermont, I wouldn't think that water would be scarce. I'd just get a portable filter like an MSR Trailshot (that's what I use), and resupply your stock as needed. Plus, there's beer.

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Co-opski

Expedition Leader
#5
I wonder how the plaster/rubber materials hold up over time. I'll dig in for some reviews.

How do you like the King Cage product?
So far I have no complaints with any King Cage product. I use the top cap with a normal salsa water bottle cage and it holds my Contigo stainless steel coffee cup on my morning commutes and my Kleen Kanteen on bike trips. I also use the King Cage Manything Cage for bikepacking and holding lighter drybags and cooksets to my bike.
 
#6
I can chime in on the King Cage USB mounts, as I've used them. As long as you have a rigid tube to mount them on, they're indistinguishable from braze-ons. A wrap or two of electrical tape will help them from marring your paint, if you give a $hit about that kind of thing. They use nylock screws to thread to the post, so they do not work themselves loose under any circumstances once tightened, helpful if you mount them on a traditional sus fork, as they'll be bounced around a lot. Pics below. Also, you may want to see if your gearing will be low enough. It looks like you have a 3X system there, but Lincoln Gap looks mighty steep, and the Green Mountains are nothing to sneeze at. Being as you'e in Vermont, I wouldn't think that water would be scarce. I'd just get a portable filter like an MSR Trailshot (that's what I use), and resupply your stock as needed. Plus, there's beer.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm planning on putting on my downtube for my 1L canteen. Will probably still bounce around quite a bit. I'm looking to buy once, so if they don't move, it's probably my choice.

I was looking at going to a single front (not sure on the term), but it's pretty low on the priority list. Any suggestions off of experience? Maybe I'll look at a new cassette with a good tooth count for the task.

The MSR is on my list for pickup. Appreciate the vouch for it. Plus, there's beer (primary motivator for the trip). ha
 
#7
So far I have no complaints with any King Cage product. I use the top cap with a normal salsa water bottle cage and it holds my Contigo stainless steel coffee cup on my morning commutes and my Kleen Kanteen on bike trips. I also use the King Cage Manything Cage for bikepacking and holding lighter drybags and cooksets to my bike.
**Edit** I found some pics with the ol' google machine. Seems pretty sweet! Not bad for $8, either. No issues on stability with the KK falling out?

Any pics of your top cap setup? They don't seem to have an installed photo on their site.
 
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Co-opski

Expedition Leader
#8
**Edit** I found some pics with the ol' google machine. Seems pretty sweet! Not bad for $8, either. No issues on stability with the KK falling out?

Any pics of your top cap setup? They don't seem to have an installed photo on their site.
It holds tight with the Salsa Nic-Less Cage I have now. Some other cages like the Iris cage it would loose bottles. This is not the best picture of it installed but it was after a mountain pass clime and it held just fine on the fire road descent the was smoking my disc brakes.
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#9
It holds tight with the Salsa Nic-Less Cage I have now. Some other cages like the Iris cage it would loose bottles. This is not the best picture of it installed but it was after a mountain pass clime and it held just fine on the fire road descent the was smoking my disc brakes.
Those are perfect. Made the 'want' list. With the KC Anything for the 1L canteen, 3L on my back, and the water purifier I should be good for this trip (should is a terrible planning factor), but maybe if the 'need' list shortens I can put this higher.

What kind of bag is that on your stem/handlebar?
 
#10
Jones Bar is on its way. I need pedals to close out the handling portion of the build. The field seems split on flats vs clipless. Any insight?
 
#11
I just picked up a set of the redesigned Kona Wah Wah flats. http://cog.konaworld.com/the-brand-new-kona-wah-wah-ii-composite-pedal-is-available-now/ Clipless vs. Flats is a personal decision. I run both, and decide based on terrain to be covered, length of the ride, and potential hike-a-bike. For this ride, I'd probably go clipless, based on the amount of climbing. Clipless allows me to do a 360 degree pedal stroke, which I find nice on sustained ups. However, I'm loving the Wah Wahs. Huge platform, and very nice pins. Plus, they're less than $50. My .02.
 
#12
I just picked up a set of the redesigned Kona Wah Wah flats. http://cog.konaworld.com/the-brand-new-kona-wah-wah-ii-composite-pedal-is-available-now/ Clipless vs. Flats is a personal decision. I run both, and decide based on terrain to be covered, length of the ride, and potential hike-a-bike. For this ride, I'd probably go clipless, based on the amount of climbing. Clipless allows me to do a 360 degree pedal stroke, which I find nice on sustained ups. However, I'm loving the Wah Wahs. Huge platform, and very nice pins. Plus, they're less than $50. My .02.
You’ve given me a compelling argument for both. Ha. I enjoy clipless, but I’ve had bad a experience in muddy conditions. I’ll chew on the idea some more, as going clipless would mean I’m buying new shoes too.
 
#13
I like flats when I'm easy cruising or commuting but clipless is the only way to go (IMHO) for longer or more technical trips. Mainly because the gain in efficiency and control. The downside is having to wear clipless shoes, but once you find a pair that's comfortable it's not that big a deal.

Some clipless designs are more prone to mud issues than others. I ride Crank Brothers pedals and have always had good luck with them even though I'm a heavy, aggressive rider. They are almost impossible to clog with mud - always in and always out when I want to be. Seems like a lot of people have had issues with them but I never have.

If you're in Florida, check out a guy called Single Track Samurai. He puts together a lot of bikepacking races and rides in north-central FL. Some of my friends here in GA ride with him and his crew a lot. Always good times.
 
#14
I like flats when I'm easy cruising or commuting but clipless is the only way to go (IMHO) for longer or more technical trips. Mainly because the gain in efficiency and control. The downside is having to wear clipless shoes, but once you find a pair that's comfortable it's not that big a deal.

Some clipless designs are more prone to mud issues than others. I ride Crank Brothers pedals and have always had good luck with them even though I'm a heavy, aggressive rider. They are almost impossible to clog with mud - always in and always out when I want to be. Seems like a lot of people have had issues with them but I never have.

If you're in Florida, check out a guy called Single Track Samurai. He puts together a lot of bikepacking races and rides in north-central FL. Some of my friends here in GA ride with him and his crew a lot. Always good times.
Thanks for the advice. I'm still batting back and forth between the two. I've ridden clipless on mtb in the past and currently ride them on my other bikes. Swaying the that way after sleeping on it a bit and then coming here to see your response as well....looking that way.

I'll check him out. Unfortunately I'm about to move, so my time is finite here. I wish I had gotten into earlier, but I also got into spear fishing while I was here. Too many hobbies, not enough time and money. ha
 
#15
Jones 2.5 Aluminum H Loop Bar came in a couple days ago, so did the quick swap that night in the garage. Followed up the next day with a better picture. So far its a huge improvement on comfort, though I'm still getting used the control differences. Pretty sure I'll need to rerun cables/hoses and get a shorter stem, so I'm going to do some homework there with the bar bag I'm looking at (Ortlieb).