Welcome back to the amazing journey two friends had in Western New Mexico and how that journey provides a great platform for discussing the important points of preparing for and enjoying a bike tour. Last time in part II John and I climbed up the Mogollon, a gnarly 5000 ft climb up Bursum Road to the second highest point of our trip and we discussed how to properly plan a route and the things to consider when looking at a map to pick out where you want to go. Today we are going to continue the journey and discuss choosing the right bike gear for your trip, specifically bikes and bike setup. I know this might sound like a fairly obvious task, but I have learned from experience, that when you are relying on pedal power and you are at the mercy of the elements having the right amount, of the correct gear, makes a big difference.
For John and I, we knew that our trip was going to consist of mostly dirt forest roads, some ATV track and some pavement, so fat tires were going to be a must. Whether you are into 29 or 26 mountain bikes, having fat tires when your touring off road makes a world of difference. The geometry of a mountain bike is slacker then that of a road bike providing more stability off road while carrying a load. This might be subjective, but I feel like the beefier design of an MTB also lends it self to carrying bike panniers or pulling a bike trailer. It would be like putting a bunch of weight on a race horse when a donkey would do much better in the long run, but that’s just my personal opinion.