Your Ultra light Fat Bike
We love new gear toys at The Ho Chi Minh Trails. So, when it came to selecting the right bike setup for the most dangerous trail in the world, we thought to ourselves, what bike we would want if we were a customer. That's when we sat down over an irish coffee and decided to make a list. Mark "It has to be SRAM XX1". Pavel "Too bloody expensive". Mark “But it is the best for our conditions". Pavel "Ok, we want that". Mark "Got to have 45NRTH tires. I did 10,000 km on mine old sets". Pavel "Good. They will last 10 trips. It will provide us quality and save us money". Pavel “Steel frame easy to repair, but it is so heavy". Few more irish coffee and Mark “What about aluminum? Very tough and light". Pavel “Yeah, good idea!" Then it happened, our friend joined our conversation. James “How about Alubooyah bikes. Aluminum and bamboo union?” Pavel “Lightweight, tough...” Mark “Made from jungle for jungle”. Well that’s the chapter of how the dream bike list was born. It was continued with even bigger story of how it has been tested in rigorous conditions of The Ho Chi Minh Trails under hot sun or rain, on rough terrain for several years.
A lot research went into finding a bike tough enough to handle the trail. If you looking to put your own bike together we highly recommend this setup.
ALUBOOYAH FAT BIKE FRAME
It took us a while to get here. We tested 3 different bike frame setups in extreme conditions running through remote jungles, mountains on The Ho Chi Minh Trails. We needed something special to handle the tough trail.
The Alubooyah “is a cross-country trail bike that is a fat bike.” FAST and RESPONSIVE! How fast? Amanda Miller came home with stars and bars from the 2015 Fat Bike National Championships, pro women’s class. When you want an ultra-fast fat bike that still rides smooth in rough terrain, the Alubooyah is our choice.
Why bamboo, you ask?
The Tam Vong bamboo is stiff and absorbs vibration three times better than carbon. For those long rides in the saddle, the damping abilities of the bamboo keep you fresh and comfortable.
Has been our choice from day one of our research, having used them with over 10,000 km of test on road to hard trail. It was an easy choice after all. Designed for trail riding, 45NRTH Vanhelga brings traction technology to an entirely new level. Dual compound rubber lengthens tread life in the center of the tire while enhancing cornering control on the sides. Triple-siped shoulder knobs boost traction on off-road. Vanhelga’s deep and open tread pattern sheds tracks flawlessly when the trail becomes soft and sloppy.
Yes, we know we are mad to use SRAM XX1 as there one of the most expensive gear set on the plant but when it comes to giving our customer the best we spared no expensive. SRAM XX1 was built with a dedicated 1X drivetrain philosophy — making it simpler, lighter and more durable than any other. No matter where we ride, no matter what you’re up against: SRAM XX1. UNSTOPPABLE. This was a hard choice regarding the cost on this gear system, but after testing over 2 years on The Ho Chi Minh Trails it was an easy decision as we wanted the best for the bikepacking expedition fleet.
BaryaK made in the usa.
The BarYak is one of those rare pieces of expedition gear that we got from the very start, over 5 years ago and has never failed us since. We love the way we can mount good range of stuff on this system from Garmin GPS, bike light and cameras to special Kokopelli Rogue Lite packraft. Also, while riding long day BarYak gives us the option to change our hand position many time in a day
INFINITY L1X-SERIES SEAT
Here is one of those things we really don’t think about when spending a fortune on a bike. Like when we started put together an 8,000-dollar bike with best components and expensive setup, but at the end of 50 km trail ride you’re in pain or red raw. What is the point of overspend if it is not comfortable. 2 years ago, we researched seats from Infinity, which designed by a doctor in California. Straight away from the first day it felt comfortable. By day 2 we stopped using anti-chafe cream. By day 3 we were not using paddled shorts. What more can you say? However riders are welcome to bring their own seats while on tour.
With the ever changing seasonal 700 km trail, that even changes daily, we need a fork that can handle the tough terrain and solid load. The Lauf Carbonara is based around the idea of eliminating excessive “moving parts”, and therefore, less friction, less maintenance. The monocoque carbon fiber structure delivers incredible strength, plus it also looks badass. We know one can buy 4 bikes for the price of one of these forks, but we also know that we right on track by offering the best gear to our customers.
45NRTH Heiruspecs Flat Pedals
It’s worth stressing that 45NRTH built these pedals as “fat bike specific”, so we wanted to give them the real test on The Ho Chi Minh Trails. Dry mud, wet mud, river crossings, hard terrain riding for several hours a day and Heiruspecs still deliver extra grip, control and comfort. These 45NRTH Heiruspecs pedals worth every cent and great for The Ho Chi Minh Trails tours.
Ergon grip with a 2-finger,
Enter the Ergon GR2 grips. These lock-on grip/bar end combos do more than just add that nice extra hand position of bar ends, they offer comfort and control. We were surprised at the increased feeling of control the extra surface area of the grip gave. Especially on longer rides.
shimano xt m8000 brakes "BAD ass"
We contacted Shimano to get us the updated 2016 Deore XT M8000 brakes for review. We had experienced on the previous model of XT brakes, and we liked even more the revised version of those with IceTech vented pads and sandwiched rotors that provide more power with less overheating risk on downhill parts of The Ho Chi Minh Trails. The SHIMANO XT brakes were a very reasonable upgrade that gave a new life to our trusty custom build bike.