At 856km, the Mongolia Bike Challenge covers some serious mileage. Sitting down to consider the nature of the course, which includes vast tracts of double track trails as well as some 13,400m of climbing, Mike and I had forever enjoyable task of putting together a bike for me to take on the Challenge.
Enter the Whyte 29-C through Australian distributer Carbuta. With a rapidly growing reputation, we’d heard from a number of riders that the British 29-C was one of the best 29ers they’d experienced. I’m 179cm, but owing to feedback from the aforementioned riders, we chose the large frame size, providing me with a nice long wheelbase upon which to steadily navigate the Mongolian plains.
The bright green livery of the frame contrasts with a matt carbon finish. It’s a beautiful effect. RockShox’s Reba RL has received decals to match, completing the picture.
Shimano XTR M9000 has set yet another standard, being Shimano’s first mountain bike groupset to feature an 11-speed cassette. This, combined with the fast nature of the Mongolia course, means a single chainring is all that’s needed. The stopping power of the matching hydraulic brakes will bring Stan’s Crest equipped wheels to rest at the end of each day. Maxxis’ Ardent Race and Ikon’s have proven their grip and reliability beneath the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team, and I’ll be packing spares of each en route for Ulaan Batar come August.
Check out the photos below. What do you think? What bike would you take to tackle the course in Mongolia?