By Travis Hauck
I highly recommend a full suspension mountain bike and with some good knobby tires for Singletrack 6. A lightweight 5 and 5 inch trail bike would make for the ultimate Kootenay riding experience but the 120mm xc race bikes with 2.3 tires will most likely dominate the front of the peloton. A full suspension bike will help prevent body fatigue and allow a racer to perform better day after day.
The trails on this year’s ST6 will be rough and rocky at times and knobby tires will help you keep grip on the rock and on the loamy soil. Skinny, slick tires are more susceptible to flatting or cutting in the rough terrain – sure they might get you to the trailhead faster but they might not get you through the entire stage. I will be running 2.35 Maxxis Ardent race tires and have had excellent luck with them in wet and dry conditions.
I am a big fan of the seat dropper post and enjoy the ease of getting the seat out of the way on a steep, downhill section of trail. This year Singletrack 6 is not going to be easy… riders will be pushed to their limits. Bring a dropper post and make the week enjoyable and safe.
It is very important to be well equipped with the proper bike equipment, tools and extra gear to get you and your bike out of the backcountry trails safely. There are wild animals in the area … breaking down and walking out of the forest could be a bit spooky if you are not prepared.
Some important items to carry each day are: pump, chain break, quick-link, Allen keys, a spare tube, patch kit, bear spray and a positive attitude.