Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from photographer DeArmond Lopez of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who shares the fully loaded Salsa Timberjack Ti that he’s currently riding south toward Patagonia. Learn more about DeArmond, his bike, and his philosophy of utilitarian cycling here…
Words and photos by DeArmond Lopez (@premium_drifter)
Hi, my name is DeArmond Lopez, and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am a photographer and adventurer who uses a bicycle to venture into new places. I initially got into cycling while living in northern New Mexico. I would drive around the mountains and eventually get to some rough roads I couldn’t drive up in my Subaru Outback. I had the realization that if I had a bicycle, I could just pedal up there, and if it became too rough for my bike, I could simply just walk the rest.
The gnawing feeling of needing to explore the entire length of a road is what keeps me cycling. This has been my thought process since day one. I prefer to ride into obscure areas that haven’t been heavily photographed, primarily into the backroads of New Mexico and its numerous wilderness areas. Until recently, I would create new bikepacking routes around New Mexico, focusing on under-utilized areas of the state. I don’t cycle for the love of the sport but rather to utilize the bicycle to document places at a slow and personal pace. My rig allows me to travel through rough roads that vehicles will have trouble with and also through urban landscapes without moving too fast. I am currently cycling across Mexico with the goal of reaching the southern tip of Patagonia.
My philosophy concerning my bike is strictly utilitarian. I’ve been working in the bicycle industry as a mechanic for about five years and definitely appreciate a tastefully assembled rig. However, I like my bikes to be rough around the edges and obnoxious with lots of stickers! All I need my bike to do is haul all of my stuff across any kind of terrain, hence the somewhat overbuilt parts on my rig. I consider it a bonus if the bike is tough looking, permanently caked with mud, and has the personality of a hungry coyote lost in a wasteland.
So far, my bike has taken me across multiple mountain ranges, diverse deserts, many miles of hellacious peanut butter mud and sand, and, more recently, beautiful coastlines. I’ve put about 2,000 miles on this build and have yet to have a mechanical while touring (knock on wood). Shoutout to David at Mellow Velo in Santa Fe for gifting me the frame!
Frame Salsa Timberjack Ti
Fork Whisky No. 9
Rims Santa Cruz Reserve 28
Hubs DT Swiss 350 Ratchet
Tires Vittoria Martello 29 x 2.6 Enduro Casing
Handlebars Spank Spike Riser Bar
Headset Cane Creek
Crankset SRAM GX
Chainring Absolute Black Ovular 28t
Pedals Supacaz Orbitron DH
Cassette SRAM GX
Derailleur SRAM GX Mechanical
Brakes Shimano XT 2 Piston
Shifter(s) SRAM GX
Saddle Random Specialized takeoff
Seatpost Thompson Elite Setback
Stem PNW Range
Front bags Salsa Handlebar Cradle w/ Zpacks Dyneema Backpack
Frame bags Salsa EXP Framebag
Rear bags Revelate Alaska-Made Seatpack
Accessory bags Buckhorn Bags Feedbag, Revelate Alaska-Made Feedbag, Apidura Top Tube Bag
Racks Old Man Mountain Divide (front) / Salsa (rear)
Other accessories Tailfin Fork Cages, Ortlieb Gravel Panniers and Accessory Pack x2
Some of my favorite touches to the rig are the Revelate Design Alaska-made feedbag and seatpack. These are some of my oldest pieces of bikepacking gear, and I’ll keep using them until they disintegrate. I like all of my stickers and other nonsense on the bike too. I don’t like my bike to be too flashy and don’t want it to turn heads. I also really like the Spank riser bar. It makes for a comfortable touring position without diluting its rough riding capability.
Since this is a small frame, having a rear rack is essential in preventing the seatpack from rubbing on the tire. I do like the look of having a seatpack with a rack. It’s obnoxious and something taller folks won’t understand! It also allows me to carry way too much gear when needed, which I really appreciate.
You can follow DeArmond on Instagram @premium_drifter.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.
Make sure to set your shared image folder to public!
*By clicking submit, you’re also subscribing to our email list. You’ll receive an opt-in email before being added.
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info…
FILED IN (CATEGORIES & TAGS)
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.