The OTT is a major focus for us this year - we'll be doing trail work and as riding as much of the route as possible in late July/early August. We need a bike that's ready to take on 670 miles of backcountry singletrack…a bike that won't flinch at the scale of the route, that will climb like a goat and descend with confidence equally. The FUEL EX 29 strikes a perfect balance between capable trail bike and marathon cross country.  We're going to put it through its paces.

The fork is a 130mm FOX FLOAT 34 15x110. Drivetrain is Shimano XT 1x Di2 (11-46 cassette). Front chainring is a 30 tooth Wolftooth Components. The chain is a TAYA Onze 111 (UL). Wheels are Knight Composites TRAIL 29. Dropper is the KS Lev Integra. Saddle is the ERGON SMC3 Pro. Grips are ERGON GE1. Handlebar is a carbon EASTON Haven 35. Tires are Maxxis Forekaster 2.3 (rear) and Maxxis Minion DHF 2.3 (front). The Forekaster was our Spring tire choice, designed for loose or wet conditions, so we may switch to an Ikon for as a fast dry conditions tire later in the summer. The jury is still out on the 1x drivetrain being suitable for bikepacking. I'll continue testing with some loaded rides and see how it goes. Stay tuned on that…

So far this bike is incredible! In 3 rides I've gotten 17 PR's. (Not something I usually pay much attention to, but the bike is fast and it inspires me to ride). I can't wait to see where this bike takes me. Thank you to River City Bikes for the Di2 build expertise. I could not have done it without them. Interesting build note - the battery went in the fork downtube and is held in place with velcro!

Bags will be by Revelate Designs. They're OG and their new products continue to raise the bar. We'll be using a Pika seatbag, a custom frame bag, a Mag-Tank and probably two Mountain Feedbags. We'll post photos of the bike loaded as soon as we have the bags sorted.

A huge thank you to everyone that contributed to the build. We're extremely grateful.