Aaron Johnson | CTR Gear

CTR Gear

February 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

July 15, 2013

Over the last several months, I've slowly cobbled together the gear I think I need to at least fake my way through CTR.  I'm completely new to this, so it's still a work in progress - I'm changing my mind daily about certain things I should bring and not bring.  I'm erring a bit on the conservative side when it comes to being light and fast vs. better equipped but heavier and slower - I'm willing to put up with not being as warm and dry as I might like, but as this is my first time doing something like this, I don't want to be too weight-weenie with things like rain gear, my sleeping system, tools, and spare parts.   I'd rather simply finish the race, rather than finish quickly.  Anyways, here is my setup and gear list:







Bike: Santa Cruz Highball Carbon 29er, size Medium

Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.25 with Snakeskin

Saddle: Still deciding between Specialized Phenom or Specialized Henge. Ass pain is something I've always struggled with, and I've tried a million different saddles - these seem to be the least painful but still not ideal.....

Pedals: Crankbros Candy 1

Shoes: Specialized Rime size 41 (not as stiff/comfy as carbon soled shoes, but way better for all the hiking - they have real Vibram soles)

Saddle bag: Revelate Designs Viscacha


  • Sleeping bag (Mont-Bell Ultralight Super Spiral Down Hugger #3)

  • Bivy (Mont-Bell Breeze Dry-Tec Ultralight Sleeping Bag Cover)

  • Tarp (Equinox Ultralight Nylon Tarp 6'X8')

  • Down jacket (Patagonia Down Sweater)

  • Extra riding shorts

  • Waterproof gloves (Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier WxB)

  • Waterproof booties

  • Long Sleeve base layer

  • Waterproof pants

  • Extra socks (2 pairs)

  • Leg warmers

  • Skull cap

Frame bag: Custom made by Bedrock Bags


  • Extra headlight batteries (Light&Motion 3-cell (2X))

  • AA batteries for headlamp and Garmin

  • AAA batteries for SPOT

  • Extra batteries for GoPro

  • Extra batteries for Sony camera

  • Extra memory cards (mini-SD and SD)

  • iPhone

  • CT Databook and cue sheets

  • Small tripod (Gorillapod)

  • First aid/emergency kit (ibuprofen, band-aids, alcohol wipes, bandages, safety pins, firestarter kit, blister kit, emergency whistle, compass)

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lenses)

  • Spare parts (2 tubes, derailleur hanger (2X), shifter cables (3X), needle/thread, emergency spokes (2X), brake pads (3X), extra chain links, chain quick links (2X), rope, zip ties, straps, spare cleats/bolts, spare chainring bolts, spare seatpost clamp/bolt, spare stem bolts)

  • Tools (multitool, tire pump (Lezyne Alloy Drive presta/shrader, can be used as a shock pump in a pinch), tire boots, patch kit, chain lube, rag, swiss army knife, tire levers, duct tape, Boa tool)

  • Extra ziplock bags

  • Miniature bike lock

  • Chamois Butt'r

  • Chapstick

  • Iodine tablets for water purification

  • Antibacterial cleaning wipes

Topeak Fuel Tank Size Medium, mounted to top tube (for food)

Topeak Fuel Tank Size Large, mounted to top tube (for food and GoPro)

Sleeping Pad strapped to handlebars

Garmin eTrex 30 for navigation

Light&Motion Stella 300 and 3-cell battery mounted to handlebars

Fenix LD22 Flashlight, mounted to helmet

Sony NEX 5N digital camera, mounted to chest

Backpack (Osprey Raptor 14)


  • 3 liter bladder

  • Rain jacket (Arc’teryx Beta SL)

  • SPOT transmitter

  • Extra room for food

  • Money/credit cards/ID

  • iPod shuffle/headphones





                    This is pretty much everything                



This is pretty much everything




So that's what will be keeping me alive for the duration of this race.  Definitely not perfect yet, I'd prefer to not wear a pack but I don't have a good way to carry water if I don't.....but overall I think it's a good balance between being as light as possible yet prepared for nearly any bike breakdown, injury, bad weather, or whatever.......I don't really know what to expect and I'm sure I'll learn a lot about what I didn't need to bring and what I should have brought.  Only one way to find out.  Counting down the days until 4am July 22.......


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