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  1. #1
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    Moab Route Options

    In a few weeks I will be in Moab with 5 other buddies and I am looking at route options Monday-Friday. I am already thinking Whole Enchilada on Monday and Mag 7 Tuesday. I am not even opposed to doing Whole Enchilada again Friday.

    But we need routes for Wednesday-Friday that are in the 20-30 mile range. Not opposed to shuttle routes, but being able to do a loop would be better since Whole Enchilada and Mag 7 are both shuttle rides.

    Thoughts?
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what type of riding your looking for...... There are no single trails of that length but a variety of places you can weave that length ride using multiple trails. Navajo Rocks is a five trail 17 mile loop, Horsethief has multiple trails that you can weave 20 miles out of. Mag 7 area with 7-up can easily be 30 miles and then Klondike has long ride options. Try the Trailforks app and that should help you visualize possibilities.

  3. #3
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    As mentioned above - Klondike is an excellent area to string together trails to make as long a day as you want.

  4. #4
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    I would also suggest Captain Ahab+pothole arch ... might be shy of 20 miles, but would be a shame to skip A-hab. If you're up for it, work in Jacksons/Rockstacker, but that gets harder w/out a shuttle. ( I've never actually been clear on how to do that....although it looks like if you're willing to work at it, you can ride back to the start of ahab. )

  5. #5
    Yeti SB95c
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    Advice depends on the riding level and style of you and your group.

    Also, have you ever biked in the Moab or Hurricane area before?
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  6. #6
    Keep on Rockin...
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    My favorite...

    TWE via early am shuttle. Amasa-Ahab in the afternoon.

    Double sessions get you more bang for your travel buck.

  7. #7
    Yeti SB95c
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    My favorite...

    TWE via early am shuttle. Amasa-Ahab in the afternoon.

    Double sessions get you more bang for your travel buck.
    Or just hang out in Moab for a couple of months a year...

    :-)

    The afternoon is best enjoyed in the Moab Brewery after a big ride.

    Most riders don't have the stamina for TWE from Burro Pass down + Ahab. Also, we don't know this rider's ability and style. A lot of Moab visitors fail to realize the stamina needed for hours on the rocks.

    Therefore, go the brewery and celebrate either ride with friends.

    :-)
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  8. #8
    Keep on Rockin...
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    I've gone in the Spring so a bit of the top is chopped, so I should have said most of the enchilada.

  9. #9
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    Sorry, most of us are pretty experienced riders and also with MX and Harescramble backgrounds. We donít mind gnarly and love downhills. Weíre coming from the east coast and ride the more technical stuff this side of the country has to offer. A typical weekend day here would be 25 miles and 3500í of climbing with some ripping downhills thrown in.

    So anything in the 20-30 mile range with 2-4K feet of climbing is fine. Mostly looking for suggestions. Weíll probably be patrons at the local Bike shops and ask them for their thoughts as well. 😎
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  10. #10
    Yeti SB95c
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    OK, TWE should work if the top is open. Lots of snow closings from now on. The previous suggestions are dead on for you, Klondike, Amasa Back, and the dozens of trails off Highway 313. That includes upper Mag 7, Navajo Rocks, and Horsethief, including the new trail that just opened last June and I'll ride in another week or two.

    Mag 7 through Portal Trail should work for you.

    If you shuttle you won't get that much climbing. Save your energy for the rocks. Of course Easterners know something about rocks :-)

    You've probably researched TWE but most of the rest of the riding is at around 5k feet elevation.

    My favorite restaurant in Moab = Pasta Jay's. Big very rich meaty Italian.

    Remember that Utah has state liquor stores. There is one downtown. If you want better beer then buy at Moab Brewery. There are some local wines which are decent. Fun to try them.

    Lastly, the Ghost Bar above Jeffery's Steakhouse is a fun place for a group celebration drink. Unless you are Mormon. In that case I've heard there are smoothies in town somewhere.

    This is high time of the year for tourist travel so book in advance. I live out of a van on the mesas. Tired of reservations and the increasing costs.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks JMP. We rented a condo a few months ago so weíre squa on sleeping arrangements.

    And yeah, I live in Atlanta just south of the Smokey Mountains. Not only do we have rocks, but theyíre typically mossy or slimy with mud. Same for the hundreds of roots youíll see in a typical weekend around here. Their traction properties are basically zero!

    Iíve been to Moab 2x in the spring on dirt bikes, so I know all about the brewery, there good food and good beer! Even have a few of their pint glasses in the cabinet. One of the guys going also mentioned he heard Red Cliffs Lodge was a solid place to eat. Weíll check out Pasta Jayís too!

    But this is an all pedal trip. Watching videos Iím pumped for Whole Enchilada and Mag 7. Especially ďPortalĒ.
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  12. #12
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    You'll have a great trip! Yeah, Portal Trail. We've done it once in 50 mph gusts. Loved it! Nice to have helmets when rocks are falling off the cliff onto that narrow single track.

    Wow, going from moss / root traction to sandstone is a very different world.

    I've done drinks at Red Cliffs but not dinner yet. $$$$$ Beautiful view! I chatted with the owner at the little bar at Pasta Jay's :-)

    I'll probably be in Moab when you guys are there. Green Aerostar van tricked out as a poor man's Sprinter van :-) I should leave Silicon Valley next week for a month in the SW but I need to pull myself away from working on a cool project...
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  13. #13
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    Our actual riding days will be October 16-20. Hit us up if thatís when youíll be there. 😎
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  14. #14
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    You can do an Amasa Back-Rockstacker-Jackson loop without a shuttle pretty easily from the lower parking lot in the area where Jackson ends.

    Park there, at the lower parking lot and ride up to the start of Amasa Back. There are two ways up to the start of Ahab. One is to go up the extremely difficult jeep track (Amasa Back Cliffhanger) which was the original way up prior to the development of Hymasa, and of course the other way up is Hymasa.
    Go down the short ledgy jeep track bypassing Hymasa single track to the stream crossing and then stay on that jeep track all the way up to the top (this is one of the hardest climbs in the area, don't expect to clean it all) where you will continue climbing up Ahab and then take Ahab all the way down. Once at the bottom, go up Hymasa (this will be a completely different climb in difficulty and technical ability) again to the point where you could go up Ahab, but continue to Rockstacker and Jackson and out to the parking lot. It won't feel as though you're doing anything twice because they are so different. That's gonna be close to 25 miles, I'd guess. Here's a page with various descriptions:
    Moab Area Trails

    Alternatively, you could double loop Amasa by going up Cliffhanger, down Ahab, back up Hymasa and down Cliffhanger....or round 2 on Ahab.

    In the Mag7 area, start at the top of Getaway and go down Bull Run, then counter clockwise on Great Escape, Little Canyon, Arth's Corner (or add in other sections at the east end for even more distance) and back up Getaway to parking. Once you get riding Portal out of your system, it's an easy way of getting an Upper Mag7 loop in without a shuttle.

    Another, closer to 18 mile loop, would be in the Navajo Rocks area and is a "recovery ride" of sorts, though you'll still get your heart rate up.
    Park at the upper lot in this area. I recommend starting up the combo of Big Mesa/Ramblin' and going right at the split to bike Ramblin'-Rocky Tops clockwise around to Middle Earth back to the starting area and back up the short section again to Big Mesa out to Big Lonely, cross the road to Coney Island to Middle Earth again to parking. This is a figure eight. Just prior to crossing the road to Coney Island, you could also take the right cutoff to Chisholm and up to access the top of Mag7 which allows you to hit variations of Mustang and Whirlwind loops, Hidalgo, 7-up, etc. which could easily get you over 30 miles.

    If you happen upon an "elderly" couple in yellow helmets, on Yetis, say hi. My wife and I head down there almost every mid-week or so in late Sept-Oct.

    Here's Navajo Rocks in the Big Mesa area:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Moab Route Options-20170925_185732a-resize.jpg  

    Moab Route Options-20170926_111202-resize.jpg  

    Last edited by MSU Alum; 09-28-2017 at 07:50 AM.

  15. #15
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    Yep good suggestions here. Besides TWE, Mag 7 to Portal via Gold Bar ST is probably my favorite standard Moab ride. You can get in a pretty big day in at Amasa if you do a double loop. Fist time up the jeep road (Cliff hanger) to Rockstacker (with a Pothole Arch extension) to Jacksons. Second loop up Hymasa (easier on tired legs) then down Ahab.

    If the high country is still available at that point (getting less and less likely) there's some other fun longer rides up in the La Sals and the Abajos 50 miles south near Monticello. Not typical Moab riding, but pm me if you're interested in some Strava maps of a couple 25-27 mile rides we did a couple week ago. They are shuttles (though not all downhill by any means) so you'll need to park a vehicle at the bottom then drive everybody up to the top.

    Horsetheif to Navajo Rocks you can string together a good 20 mile ride. Same at North Klondike. Ride everything and you'll get around 20 miles. Those are probably my favorite alternative/intermediate ride areas after the big three.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    Sorry, most of us are pretty experienced riders and also with MX and Harescramble backgrounds. We donít mind gnarly and love downhills. Weíre coming from the east coast and ride the more technical stuff this side of the country has to offer. A typical weekend day here would be 25 miles and 3500í of climbing with some ripping downhills thrown in.

    So anything in the 20-30 mile range with 2-4K feet of climbing is fine. Mostly looking for suggestions. Weíll probably be patrons at the local Bike shops and ask them for their thoughts as well. 😎
    I'm going to throw in some caution here. I've know a lot of fit people coming from the east who overdo their first couple of days in Moab. It is a very different environment.

    1) Altitude - yes, the town of Moab is at ~4000 feet, but almost all riding is done above 5000 feet, and TWE hits 11,000 at the start. You *will* feel it. Some people have very bad reactions to altitude, especially above 10,000 feet, but you won't know until you experience it. It has nothing to do with your fitness level. A fit girl in her 20's died on a trail recently in Colorado from altitude sickness.
    2) Humidity and sun - you *must* drink constantly, even in cool weather. If you are a waterbottle kind of person, lose that immediately and get a camelback. You need at least twice as much water as you would drink in Atlanta.
    3) Sunscreen - I had a couple of friends join us in Moab from Atlanta one time, and they both ended up with epic sunburns even though they spent all summer outside in Atlanta. Put sunscreen on several times a day or you will pay the price. If you are MX'ers you are usually covered head to toe. Be careful.
    4) Cold - you can have days this time of year where the forecast is partly cloudy and 60 degrees, and it ends up being a 40 degree downpour. Always have a jacket with you.

    I'll throw in the observation that depending on the type of trail you ride on around Atlanta, you'll be surprised how much more energy it takes to roll the flats or climb in Moab, because the trails are rockier. It simply takes more energy to ride over the constant golf ball to baseball sized rocks some trails will throw at you, than it does smoother dirt.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    I've gone in the Spring so a bit of the top is chopped, so I should have said most of the enchilada.
    rather large difference taking Burro Pass out
    breezy shade

  18. #18
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    Thanks Honkin. Altitude is the only one I am concerned about. This will be my third Moab trip (first two were on dirtbikes) So I am aware of the other points you mentioned.

    I don't ride around Atlanta much. Mostly north of Atlanta in the mountains.....you could say we have some rocks too!


    Moab Route Options-snake.jpg
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  19. #19
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    Amasa Back-Cliffhanger....for about 3 miles. I know you're familiar, but I think your buddies' concept of rocky is about to change! The great thing about Moab and Cliffhanger is that you look at it and say, Nope, can't be done....and then after a few tries, it becomes, wow, I had no idea that could be done.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Cs5NmSBJhU
    It completely resets your concept of what can be ridden on a mountain bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Moab Route Options-cliffhanger-resize.jpg  

    Last edited by MSU Alum; 10-01-2017 at 07:43 AM.

  20. #20
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    Great info and tips guys. Thank you
    Iíll be out there Oct 16-18th. Riding Moab for the first time + solo.

  21. #21
    Yeti SB95c
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6280 View Post
    Great info and tips guys. Thank you
    Iíll be out there Oct 16-18th. Riding Moab for the first time + solo.

    I'll be there for most of Oct. Look for the green Ford Aerostar van with two Yetis on the back.
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  22. #22
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    jmpreston
    Iíll look out for you. Iím driving a black Tundra riding a Blk/White Tracer. Probably post ride drinks at the brewery.

  23. #23
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    Rolling into town in about 2 hours. Gonna get a quick nap after driving the last 26 hours straight, rotating drivers every 4 hours. Then I think this is the plan for the week, should be a solid 5 days with 100+ miles of riding!


    Sunday:
    Pipe Dream 5 Miles

    Monday:
    AM:
    Mag 7 - 22 Milles
    PM:
    Slick Rock - 10 Miles

    Tuesday
    AM:
    Dead Horse Point 14 Miles
    PM: Arches National Park Hiking

    Wednesday
    Whole Enchilada 33 miles

    Thursday
    Navajo Chaco Loop 18 miles

    Friday
    Hymasa/Captain Ahab Huckfest - 9.0
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  24. #24
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    Iíll be there Monday- Wednesday
    AM riding 🚵🏽
    PM recovering at the brewery 🍻

  25. #25
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    I'm in town but with a lot mellower schedule :-)

    For such a short period of time you have a good plan. Let us know how it goes!

    PM me if you want to meetup at the brewery. I would love to hear your impressions of the trails.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  26. #26
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    We tried to eat at the brewery last night but it was a 1 hour wait. Based on the parking lot tonight it was the same today too. We ordered pizzas to be delivered to the condo.

    We rode Pipe Dream straight outta the condo yesterday on 2 hours sleep. Ended up being 21 miles all said and done.

    Today we didnít get to do SlickRock. First shuttle we could get for Mag 7 was 10:30 and they ran late. We didnít start pedaling til 11:30. We took the mans route and skipped Poison Spider and got down the mountain via Gold Rim and Portal instead. That was THE gnarliest stuff Iíve ever ridden.

    We didnít finish til 5 then still had to pedal back to town. 29 miles total and we are all TOAST! Light ride and hiking Arches tomorrow. Letting the legs rest. Iím fried.

    Whole Enchilada Wednesday. How much gnar does it have compared to Gold Rim and Portal?
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  27. #27
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    TWE is a lot of stuff like your first half of Mag7. But opens with the high alpine stuff (mud, loam, etc).

    Much more mellow, but it is very long and exhausting, don't underestimate it. You can never bring too much water.

  28. #28
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    Thanks John. Felt good on Mag but all the hike a bike towards the end really wore us down. I think whatís impacted us most is elevation above sea level. We usually ride at 1000í and our high points are 2500í. Starting at 5000í has really hurt my stamina. Not much to be done about it though other than take a recovery day and be ready to hammer TWE on Wednesday.
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    Thanks John. Felt good on Mag but all the hike a bike towards the end really wore us down. I think whatís impacted us most is elevation above sea level. We usually ride at 1000í and our high points are 2500í. Starting at 5000í has really hurt my stamina. Not much to be done about it though other than take a recovery day and be ready to hammer TWE on Wednesday.
    Same for us last month although the heat got us too. Mag7 became a bear with the climbing and then the tech on Gold Bar and Portal. But you will recover quick and will have a blast on what you can do of TWE (not sure about conditions). It is a great ride and is much more tame compared to Portal. There are some hike-a-bike sections particularly on Porc but you will have a blast. Take plenty of water as John recommended. The altitude and the hard work will require it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    Thanks John. Felt good on Mag but all the hike a bike towards the end really wore us down. I think whatís impacted us most is elevation above sea level. We usually ride at 1000í and our high points are 2500í. Starting at 5000í has really hurt my stamina. Not much to be done about it though other than take a recovery day and be ready to hammer TWE on Wednesday.
    Funny. The thing I like about Moab is it's 2000 feet LOWER than here. Still hard work, though! Especially after a long drive.

  31. #31
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    My first time doing Mag7 I bonked on Gold Bar. DIdn't have enough food nor enough water. Didn't know what I didn't know. A buddy had extra (he was a stronger rider than me), and bailed me out of a bad situation.

  32. #32
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    Same here. Out of food 1/2 way through Gold Bar and out of water at the end of Portal then still had the 5 mile pedal to town.

    Even worse my Turbine Dropper took a dump, leaking air somewhere. I had a Fall Line (same as a Turbine) as a back up and installed it this morning. The brake was acting up on Deadhorse, it finally bit the dust too.

    Wound up at Chili Pepper Bikes and bought a Giant 150mm Dropper. Their mechanic (Will-super helpful bro, thanks!) told me they put them in all their rental bikes because theyíre super problem free and when they die the damper is 60$ and swaps out super easy. AND it has a 2 year warranty. All pluses in my book!

    Bike is maintenanced and all ready for TWE tomorrow!
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  33. #33
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    Out of towners usually underestimate the significance of "Moab Miles".

    Commonly heard, "TWE is 34 miles, 8k' all down hill!"

    But they don't tell you about the 1500' of climbing, some over 11k'. And the ride details "on paper" don't properly describe riding on the rock; even descending on the rock is very exhausting. It will also take a toll on your bike. If there's a weakness, it will be exposed on TWE.

    I have ridden with friends who basically destroyed bike parts (headsets, wheel hub bearings, etc), especially on Porcupine Double Track. That section is brutal.

  34. #34
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    Just got back from a quick Moab trip.
    It was my first time in the area and first time riding the trails solo.
    I rode Slickrock Day 1. TWE Day 2. Mag 7 on the last. Probably out of order but it worked out. I had a blast riding! The views and scenery are breathtaking. Itís almost as if youíre riding on another planet.
    If youíre heading out and have never been no worries. I saw plenty of riders everywhere. There are also a lot of ATV and dirt bike folks around. Take a shit ton of water. I donít know how people ride there in the summer months. Even in the middle of October it can be warm. I went through 3L before I finished TWE (LPS/Porcupine) and Mag7 (before Portal).
    I ended up renting a bike for Mag 7 because mine was busted up after TWE. A mechanic in town told me that ďMoab will exploit every weakness in your bikeĒ. He was spot on.
    Iíll be back in 2018 for sure. So many trails

  35. #35
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    Utahjohn nailed it!
    Also
    If you are looking for service or repair work on your bike be prepared for a wait or possible delays. I went to 3 bike shops between 2-3:30 one day trying to fix some busted parts I had from TWE and none of them could repair before the next days ride. They were all nice but just busy with other bikes.

  36. #36
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    We have ridden 5 days in a row. Starting Sunday afternoon on 3 hours sleep we rode 20 miles, then 29, 14 (then hiked Arches that afternoon), 33, and 31. Today Iím struggling to get motivated to get out of bed with the winds whipping 30+ mph. I may just pedal in to town, eat a good breakfast, buy my son some souvenirs and call it a good week with no injuries or even crashes.

    Iíve never ridden a MTB more than 80 miles in a single week. Moab was the perfect place to do nearly 130!
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  37. #37
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    would you mind listing the failed parts? it'd be helpful & interesting to know what to double check before showing up in Moab the first time
    Quote Originally Posted by 6280 View Post
    Utahjohn nailed it!
    Also
    If you are looking for service or repair work on your bike be prepared for a wait or possible delays. I went to 3 bike shops between 2-3:30 one day trying to fix some busted parts I had from TWE and none of them could repair before the next days ride. They were all nice but just busy with other bikes.
    breezy shade

  38. #38
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    Iíd definitely say make sure youíre brakes are in great working order as well as any and every bearings in the Bike.
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  39. #39
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    You're limited to what you can bring if you're flying in and renting a car.
    When I drive down, I bring a bike stand and my tool set, spare wheelset with cassette and discs on both wheels, spare chain, sealant, pump, shock pump, tubeless plugs, brake pads, tubes, derailleur hanger and tires. I've never had to change a wheel, but I've replaced a disc, cassette, pads, chain, hanger and a tire. Make sure everything is tightened before you go. Check stuff after each ride. Sometimes stuff dies after a couple rides.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 10-20-2017 at 10:11 AM.

  40. #40
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    To add to the list of things to check before each ride or to have with you on a ride that seemed to be needed more often in Moab than other places I ride (east coast):
    1. Check shock linkages to make sure they are tight.
    2. Check rotor bolts
    3. Check brake pads
    4. Have spare derailleur hanger
    5. Make sure stem bolts / handlebar bolts / headset and any other bolts are tight
    6. I've taco'd an aluminum wheel, now have carbon but I would recommend a spoke wrench
    7. Check your tires for any rips or wear spots - the rock is incredibly hard on tires. Bring tire plugs

    Finally, the bike is less important than the engine - brings lots of water! The altitude and the heat (I've chosen poorly for timing of my trips to Moab) combined with gross underestimation of the time it takes to cover each mile have lead to rides that were much longer than anticipated.

  41. #41
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    Last two posts ^^^above^^^ are spot on.
    I ended up losing my front bike due to a crash near the beginning. Sucked. Same crash bent my front wheel and broke a spoke.
    At some point one of the seat rails got damaged and made a horrible cracking sound the rest of the way down.
    BB bearings damaged. Creaking noise.
    Bent pedal and 3 pins ripped off.
    I crashed a few times. OTB twice.
    I wouldnít trade that day for anything Iíve done on a bike ever.

  42. #42
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    I thought I was done after Thursday, but after a solid eggs Benedict at Pancake Haus Friday morning I realized itíd b a shame to leave without riding Slick Rock Loop. Itís amazing how steep some of those rock faces are! Strava claims some of them are ~50% grade, but thereís so much traction that you can just put your chest on the bars and keep cranking! Our group of 6 mostly made all the big nasty climbs EXCEPT the one reeeeeally long one that basically takes you to the top of the highest point of the loop. That one was tough just to hike!

    All in all a great week. No crashes or injuries. Only mechanical issues was a dropper post that was suspect before I even left the house so I wasnít surprised it died.

    My typical week is ~40 miles of pedaling and this week we did 140. Iím whipped! But itís a good tired. Scratch this one off the bucket list.
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

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