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Our inaugural winter fat bike rig roundup is here, featuring none other than the world’s longest-running winter ultramarathon, the iconic Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. Find details on more than 20 riders and rigs that are planning to tackle the 350 or 1,000-mile 2023 Iditarod Trail Invitational here…
The Iditarod Trail Invitational is the world’s longest winter ultramarathon by fat bike, foot, and ski, and it follows the historic Iditarod Trail from Knik to Nome, Alaska. It’s known as one of the most challenging experiences on the planet. Participants brave extreme physical, environmental, and mental challenges as they work their way along the historic Iditarod Trail. Requiring self-sufficiency and the considerable resilience to make it through up to 30 frozen days and nights, the Iditarod Trail Invitational has built its reputation on notoriously inhospitable conditions and minimal outside support.
Every year, riders gather to take on the 350 or 1,000-mile route. Some finish, and many are forced to scratch. Even the most prepared athletes must dig deep to come out on the other side. While it might not be the largest, this is a particularly exciting rig roundup for us here at BIKEPACKING.com, as it’s our first time featuring a winter fat bike event. Ultralight race setups are replaced with carefully planned winter survival rigs, complete with massive sleeping bags, proper stoves, and insulated pogies. With help from the organizers, we’ve gathered details on more than 20 riders who signed up for this year’s event, complete with bike, bag, and gear details for each. The grand depart is this Sunday at 2 p.m., and we’ll be adding a live tracking map to the event page when it becomes available. For now, let’s dig in to this year’s rigs.
Age 40 / Chapel-En-Le-Frith, Derbyshire (UK)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: For my first attempt at the ITI350, I will be riding my trusty 2017 Felt DD30. It’s a 1×10 setup with 28T chainring and 11-46T cassette. I’ll be running a SON Dynamo hub paired to an Exposure Revo light.BAGS: Up front, I have a prototype ChargedCow Chunky Brisket bar harness. The frame bag is a homemade roll top frame bag. At the rear, I’m running a Salsa Alternator rack with Ortlieb Gravel Pack panniers.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For holding my flask of hot chocolate to the forks, I’ve got some King Cage Many Things Cages in titanium with blue Voile straps. Keeping me warm at night will be my Rab Expedition 1200 down sleeping bag paired with an Outdoor Research Helium bivy and a Cocoon Vapor Barrier Mummy Liner.
Age 49 / Fairbanks, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 1000BIKE: I will be riding a Meriwether Cycles built/Corvus Cycles designed steel bike. Twelve speeds, with super low gearing, Nextie 100mm carbon wheels with DT Swiss hubs. What can I say, it is a bike, I ride it, and love it!BAGS: I will be using a frame bag from Tyson Flaharty Designs, mini panniers from Bedrock Bags, a front harness plus a few other bits from Revelate Designs, and finally several Oveja Negra Bootlegger bags.
Age 37 / Fairbanks, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 1000BIKE: 9:ZERO:7 Lynx. HED 100 rims on DT hubs. 45NRTH Husker DU 26 x 4.8″ tires. Magura MT 8 brakes. Shimano XTR shifter and derailleur. SRAM XO1 10-52 cassette. Time pedals. SRAM XX1 crankset.BAGS: Self-made frame bag, handlebar bag, top rack bag, and pogies. Revelate Designs feed bags, mini panniers, and Mag tank bag.
Age 52 / Anchorage, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 1000BIKE: I’ll be aboard a 2023 carbon Trek Farley featuring a 12-speed SRAM drivetrain with a 30T chainring. I’m rolling on Nextie Xiphias 27.5″ x 95mm rims laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs and shod with fully studded 45NRTH Dillinger 5s.BAGS: My bags are mostly circa 2009, garage-era Epic Designs (oops, I mean Revelate!) bags. Revelate Joey downtube and Pole Cat bags complete the bag system.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: New, integrated Trek front rack keeps the -40-degree bag off the front tire and creates room for cables and hoses. Garmin eTrex 35 for navigation. MSR XGK stove to burn anything flammable. La Sportiva Spantik liners inside 45NRTH Wolfgar boots for toe retention.
Age 45 / Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: 2020 Salsa Beargrease Carbon NX Eagle. I’ve upgraded my stock wheel set to a carbon wheel set from Whiskey Parts Co. with DT Swiss 350 hubs in the front and rear. 45NRTH Dillinger 5 tires and a SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with a 30T chainring.BAGS: I use a lot of bags to store everything from food and tools to extra clothing. At the center of everything is my Salsa EXP Series Frame Bag, which fits my frame like a glove. I also carry one Salsa EXP Series Anything Cargo Bag under the frame for my large thermos. Revelate Designs rounds out the rest of my bags with an Egress Pocket out front of my Sweetroll and Harness that complete my handlebar setup. My cockpit consists of two Revelate Designs Feedbags, a Mag-Tank 2000 Bolt-On for even more calorie storage and a Jerrycan. Finally riding behind me on my rear rack is a pair of Revelate Design Nano Panniers.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My must-have gear consists of my Revelate Design Wampak insulated hydration pack which keeps 100 ounces of water close to me and unfrozen. An Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy for shelter, Sea to Summit -40° mummy bag and Therm-a-rest RidgeRest sleeping pad completes my sleeping kit. I will be navigating with my Garmin eTrex 22x and will be carrying a Garmin inReach Mini 2 for satellite communication.
Age 48 / Flero, Brescia (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be riding or pushing a Singular Puffin steel frame with Kuroshiro Enso Carbon Rim, Hope hubs, Dillinger 5.0 Tires. H-loop Jones Bar.BAGS: Bags are mix of Revelate (Ranger Frame Bag, Nano Pannier), Alpikit (Airlok dual 20L, 2 x Stem Cell, Fuel pod rear 1L + Fuel pod 1.5L ), Miss Grape (Trunk Miss Grape 6L), Salsa Alternator Rack, VAP holster, Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cages.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: 46L homemade “extra tank green bag” that will hold sleeping bag, mattress, bivy sack, and down jacket mounted on an extended Salsa Alternator rack.
Age 50 / Florence, Arizona (Italy)
BIKE: Binary Gordita , 1×12 SRAM XX1, Wolf Tooth 26T chainring, Nextie wheels with studded Dillinger 5 26×4.6″ behind and 26×4.8″ up front.BAGS: Bike Bag Dude frame bag, top tube bag, jerrycan bag and fork bags and feed bags.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Favorite item is my mountain hardware-40 sleeping bag.
Age 36 / Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: My bike is an Otso Voytek, with a 1×12 drivetrain, 32T Wolftooth chainring. The wheels are Lithic Rhyolites mounted with a Dillinger 5 up front and a Dillinger 4 in the rear, both studded in case of ice and overflow.BAGS: On the fork I have 2 Sturdy Bags XL Cargo Cages, and a Sturdy feed bag as well. A Hoot Ventures munchie bag on the other side. Cedearo pogies. Revelate frame bag and Sweetroll on the front. Hike-a-bike panniers from Alpine Luddites round out the collection.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Marmot CWM -40 degree sleeping bag deserves special attention. It’s comfy, cozy, and I look forward to napping in it. Shout out to my husband in 2006 when he bought the Whisperlite stove that I’ll be carrying with me to melt snow. For navigation I’ll be using a Garmin Etrex 32x, and if things go wrong, I’ll also be using a compass.
Age 54 / London (UK)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Salsa MukLuk Carbon, DT Swiss wheels, 45Nth tyres, Hope hubs, brakes, rings. Customised with blue ano’ Hope (so ‘90s) and sparkly blue bling strips from Fatty Stripper.BAGS: A big mix of stuff that I found works, and is easy to set up: Apidura fuel tank and bar roll, Salsa frame bag and Anything bags, Revelate lunchbox bag, Alpkit dry bags and feedbags, Arkel panniers.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have spent so much time poring over my kit, that it’s hard to single out the favourite child. I do look forward to snuggling down in my -40-degree Tundra sleeping bag, and I always enjoy Expedition Foods freeze dried when I am out of the trail. But really, the magic is the Mukluk. It is so much fun to ride. It makes me feel like a kid again.
Age 67 / Newtown, Pennsylvania (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: 2014 Lamere Fat Bike. HED Big Deal wheels with studded 45NRTH Dillinger 5 tires. Shimano XT 1×10 drivetrain.BAGS: Revelate Designs throughout including Ripio frame bag, Sweetroll, feed bags and Nano Panniers mounted on an Old Man Mountain Rack.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Western Mountaineering -40 Bison GWS Expedition sleeping bag. Velocio soft shell vest. Navigation with Garmin 1030. eTex 22x and Gaia as backup.
Alan “Dirty Teeth” Jacoby
Age 45 / Bellevue, Idaho (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Sylvester a.k.a. Sly, my Why Big Iron Ti fatty.BAGS: Smorgasbord of JPaks, Rogue Panda, Nuclear Sunrise, Cedaero, Revelate, Amazon.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Not sure yet, but I’ll let ya know after the race on my YouTube channel. Best of luck to all the participants! I look forward to riding and sharing some fantastic memories with y’all!
Age 51 / Spearfish, South Dakota (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Why Cycles Big Iron.BAGS: Dirt Bags Bikepacking custom frame bag and 4 Deep down tube bag. BarYak Ultra with Talon harness and 16L front roll. Ride Forward rear custom dry bag. Revelate micro panniers.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Onyx FAT Hubs laced to 26x105mm Carbon Rims!
Age 50 / Anchorage, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: I’ll be embarking on my rookie ITI on my beloved 2021 Fatback Corvus. It has a GX Eagle build and is wearing a Fatback Big Su wheelset, Dillinger 5 studded tires, and Fatback Sweet 16 carbon bars.BAGS: With the exception of an uber-rugged and functional framebag made by Becker Gear in Fairbanks, AK, my bags are mostly of Revelate Designs origin and include two Mountain Feedbags, a Gas Tank, a Pronghorn harness and drybag, an Egress Pocket and Nano Panniers. Revelate Expedition Pogies will keep my hands toasty.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be navigating with an Etrex 32x and the Gaia app on my phone when its battery isn’t frozen. I’ll stay warm in my Mountain Hardwear Phantom -40-degree sleeping bag paired with an Outdoor Research Helium Bivy as necessary.
Age 28 / Wasilla, Alaska (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding a 2023 OTSO Arctodus rolling on 26 x 4.8″ HuskerDu tires wrapped around 95mm carbon wheels with Onyx hubs. Shimano shifter and derailleur with Sram XD cassette, BB7 mechanical breaks, and the oh so comfortable Wren Perseverance handle bar.BAGS: Most of the bags are made by Susitna StitchWorks including the frame bag, top tube bag, top tube handle (for hauling the bike up steep hills), feed bags, and handle bar bag. I am also using Revelate Designs micro panniers, Dogwood Designs pogies, and of course a small Naglene on the down tube for repair kit.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For the cold winter nights I will have an older Marmot CWM -40 sleeping bag, a Sierra Designs Backcountry bivy and a Therm-a-Rest Zlite sleeping pad. I will also have a white gas stove for melting snow, a Garmin Etrex 20 for navigation, and FENIX lights that use 123A lithium batteries for those dark nights.
Age 53 / Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)
BIKE: This is my second ITI350 on Donkey, my trusty Salsa Blackborow. This year he got uprgraded to Nextie Xiphias 85mm 27.5” rims on DT Brig Ride 350 hubs and Terrene Yippee Ki Yay 4.4” tires with about 150 Gripstuds each. A Sram GX Eagle drivetrain with 10-52T cassette, Wolftooth Camo 28t chainring and XX rainbow chain. Paul Klampers and 2.5 finger levers do the stopping and a Crank Bros Highline dropper for downhill and SQ Lab Ergowave 145mm Saddle for some cushion. Up front is a Whisky carbon 17 degree bar, Blivet foam grips and SQ Lab inner bar ends.BAGS: Bags include two sets of Arkel Ultralight Panniers, a Rockgeist Blackborow stowaway bag, Salsa Fat Frame bag, Apidura direct mount lunch box and Pro snack bag.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Gear highlights are the Rolling Dale custom Ti rack with generous handle for hiking, Mountain Hardware -25 bag, and Rab Summit tent. You’ll never use a bivy again after you’ve used a tent. Cool extras are the Katoolah K10 crampons with SPD cleats mounted in them on the Anything Cage on the fork, Wiggys Pogies and waders in the panniers and a MSR Whisperlite International to keep me hydrated and fed. Yes, I totally coaxed the chickadee with some sunflower seeds.
Age 55 / Navacerrada, Madrid (Spain)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Salsa BlackBorrow. Tires: Johnny 5 studded. 1×12 drivetrain with Rotor (oval) 30T Chainring. Wheels: HED 100 mm. Handle Bar: Jones. Poogies: 45NRTH. HUB: Hope. Saddle: SELLE SMP. Sponsor: PA-CYCLING.CCBAGS: Miss Grape + 2 Oveja Negra handlebar bag. On the rear: Roberto’s mom hand made (with love) big suck for the sleeping system.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: OR BivySack, Mountain Hardware Sleeping bag in Goretex -40F (I need to sleep and I prefer to sleep out side instead inside any cabin if busy). Therm-a-rest sleeping pad. Waiders: Mod. GIUDITTA! Garmin Etrex 32 + Garmin Map 66I.
Age 33 / Madison, Wisconsin (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: 2022 Trek Farley 5. I’ve added a few upgrades to the stock configuration: Corvus Big Su 27.5″ carbon wheels fitted with Dillinger 5 tires, a 26T Garbaruk oval chainring, and a few Shimano M8100 drivetrain parts stolen from my gravel bike. An 800mm Salsa Rustler handlebar has SQlab Innerbarends hidden in self-made pogies; Cane Creek Ergo Control Bar Ends rest on the outside. Jack the Rack hangs off the front of the bike and the rear sports an Old Man Mountain Divide Fat rack. Rok Straps cinch everything down. A Sinewave Beacon is mounted to the fork along with Problem Solver Bowties and an Arundel Looney Bin cage.BAGS: Revelate top tube and frame bag, Mountain Laurel Designs Ultra Poco Panniers, Exped compression sack, and two custom X-Pac feeder bags made using this pattern as a base.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m in the MYOG camp. I design and sew my own gear. My midlayer uses a combination of technical fabrics to keep me warm and dry in a variety of temps. One of my big gripes with pogies is losing the leverage of bar ends while climbing. To solve this, I drafted my own pair of ultralight pogies that allow the handlebar to pass through the end.
Tetonia, Idaho (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Salsa Blackborrow, i9 hubs, 100mil Head rims, Salsa Alternator rack, D5 tires, Revelate Designs Expedition Pogies, and Brooks C17 saddle.BAGS: Salsa frame bag, Jpaks custom bags behind the seat post, Cedaero devils kettle, speed goat stuff sack, and Porcelain Rocket microwave panniers.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: So much gear! -25 Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, Wolfgar boots with intuition liners, high vis triangle, Bikepacking Roots stem cap to remind me of the community, Salomon running vest with 3L reservoir.
Age 42 / Eagle River, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: I’ll be riding my very much not stock 2015 Trek Farley 6. It has carbon handlebars and seatpost from Whisky Parts, a 1×11 drivetrain with a Shimano 11-51 cassette and 32T absoluteBlack oval chainring. I’ll be rolling on studded 26” tires with a 45Nrth Dillinger 5 on the front and a Dillinger 4 on the rear and using Hope Tech 3 brakes with a 4 piston in the front and 2 piston in the rear. A Blackburn Outpost rear rack will help carry my gear and Ergon GP1 grips will keep my hands and wrists comfy with Sticky Fingers brake lever grips to help insulate from the cold.BAGS: My bags are mostly Revelate Designs, including Ranger frame bag, Jerry can, Nano panniers and Egress pocket. I’ll also be using a Wolftooth B-RAD bag for my tire repair kit, an Apidura downtube pack, a 20L Gila drybag from Rogue Panda and a 36L Exped waterproof compression bag for my sleeping bag. I’ll also have a 20L Hydro Flask inside an OR water bottle parka on my fork.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Revelate Designs Expedition pogies will be keeping my hands and snacks warm. A Marmot CWM -40 sleeping bag with an OR Helium bivy and a NEMO Switchback foam sleeping pad will be my sleep system, and a Klymit Roamer tarp if it’s snowing. I’ll mostly be using my iPhone with the Gaia app for navigation with an eTrex as backup.
Age 48 / North Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: I’ll be riding the ITI350 on a 2022 Salsa Mukluk featuring 45NRTH Dillinger 5, 26 x 4.6″ tubeless tires and a 10–51T, 12-speed drivetrain. On my handlebars are a pair of Revelate Designs Expedition pogies and an Ollie-approved fire-engine decal bell for scaring off the moose.BAGS: My frame bag is a Salsa Expedition Series while the remainder of the bags are from Revelate Designs, including: the Mag Tank 2000, two Mountain Feedbags and a front Egress Pocket for snacks. I also have a Tailfin 1.7L Downtube Pack for tools and misc I hope to never use.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For my gear I’ll be carrying a cozy Rab sleeping bag and bivvy, strapped to my Salsa rear rack with a lightweight Axion rear saddle bag storing a cold weather puffy and pants, food and a MSR Whisperlite stove and pot. I will navigate using the stars but have an eTtex 30 for backup. I will be wearing head-to-toe 7mesh clothing with a few other accessories for good measure.
Age 46 / Palmer, Alaska (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: 2018 9:Zero:7 Lynx running Dillinger 5 studded tires on Nextie 85mm rims laced to Industry Nine Torch hubs, Shimano 11-speed drivetrain, Raceface cranks with 26T chainring, SRAM Level Ultimate brakes. SQLabs saddle and handlebar, Ergon grips.BAGS: JPaks bolt-on framebag and top tube bag, Revelate Designs Expedition Pogies, other bags a mix of Revelate Designs, Porcelain Rocket, and Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks. Old Man Mountain rack and dry bags by Exped.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My go-to trail snack throughout the race will be the tried-and-true freeze-friendly bikepacker bars homemade by my wife.
Age 56 / Bogor, West Java (Indonesia)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Fatback Corvus FLT. Drivetrain 30T, Sram X01 Eagle 12 speed 10-52T. Wheels Bigsu Carbon 27.5″. 45NRTH Dillinger 5 Studded Tubeless. Saddle PRO Volture. Crankbrothers Stamp 2 flat pedals. Son 28 Dynamo Hub, KLite Front & Rear light. Lupine Neo Headlamp. Suunto 9 Peak Pro Titatnium GPS Watch, eTrex 30 GPS Handheld. iPhone 13 pro.BAGS: Revelate Designs frame bag, panniers, handlebar bag, stem bags, and pogies. Salsa Anything Cage and an Apidura Down tube bag.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, Mountain Hardwear Down Parka and Mittens, Exped Bivy, Therm-a-Rest Air and foam mat, and a MSR stove.
Age 50 / Bend, Oregon (USA)
ROUTE: ITI 350BIKE: Corvus Akio. I love this bike. I’ve been riding Fatback/Corvus bikes since 2010. Each iteration gets a tad more dialed in.BAGS: Revelate Designs bags – frame, pronghorn, jerrycan, feedbags, gas tank. All awesome and durable. I’ll have two Hyperlight Mountain Gear stuff sacks front and back.GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My picture shows a slightly different setup than what I’ll be using. I’ll have a Revelate Pronghorn for ease in pulling gear off the bike and a rack with a stuff sack for the same reason. It’s a time tested setup that rides great and everything is easy to access. I also switched sleeping bags a number of years ago to a Western Mountaineering Kodiak. It doesn’t have the sub zero temperature rating, but is sized larger so I can slide right in with all my clothes and stay comfortable (most of the time).
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