My Tour Divide Cockpit Setup

by Andy Amick on March 6, 2014

in Bikepacking, Gear

As I write this, it’s 99 days to go until the Tour Divide starts.  Holy smokes! It’s time to start dialing the gear and riding a lot more.  June 13th will be here before we know it.

tour divide cockpit view with jones H bar

Hover over the image above to see details on each component

Bikepacking 2700+ miles creates a few challenges for the cockpit area – multiple hand positions, additional gear attached to the bars, and attaching a front bag for sleeping gear.  Making everything fit and still be functional is a trial and error process.

Luckily, using the Jones H-Bar and a set of clip on aero bars solved the issues of hand positions and gear placement.  For the front handlebar bag, I’ll be using a custom J. Paks H-Bar that will slide over the aero bars rather than attaching to the handlebars. The custom bag should be ready in a couple of weeks, and I’ll definitely write a detailed post about the bag and how it works with the aero bars.

low angle view of aero setup

The addition of the aero bars to my prior bikepacking setup created issues (mounting with the Jones bar) as well as a few solutions (armrests are a nice spot to wrap the hydration tube around).  The key to fitting the aero bars under the Jones loop was flipping the Jones bar over.  With it inverted, the loop is a bit higher than the handlebar bar by just enough to let the aero bars slip under the loop.  I didn’t know if I would like riding with the aero bars, but I have found myself dropping into the aero bars more and more on long rides to take pressure off of the hands.

Another great feature of the setup is using a SON dynamo hub to run the lights and GPS unit.  When you pedal, the devices are powered.  It doesn’t get any easier than that.  The light is a Luxos U by Bush & Muller which has an extremely wide light pattern and is more than bright enough.  The real selling point for the light was it’s USB output which provides the power to run the GPS, or charge other devices like a smartphone or iPod. It’s not clear in the pictures above, but the usb outlet sits below the right side armrest.

One thing missing from the cockpit is a map holder.  Since GPS will be my primary navigation tool, the maps will be stored in the frame bag or front pouch of the handlebar bag for easy access when needed.

There you have it.  A few details on my handlebar setup for the Tour Divide.  Unless I get some crazy idea about a remote controlled bear spray canister or other nonsense, this will be the setup that takes me from Canada to Mexico.

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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  • Good luck to you in June. Your friends here in the South will all be pulling for you. Looks like you have put in some work on your gear and it all looks good.

    • Andy Amick

      Thanks Toby. The start date is approaching fast. Gear is all set and trying to make sure the legs are ready too.

  • Hannah

    Could you elaborate on how you charge the etrex from a usb? I’ll be racing the TD this year and am looking for information on GPS systems. Thanks!

    • Hannah, that’s great that you are riding the TD this year. It’s quite an adventure.

      My GPS was an eTrex 20 that doesn’t charge via USB. I used my dynamo hub to power the eTrex. The GPS also had AA batteries that I could use if I wasn’t moving fast enough or if I stopped.

      Having the ability to run off of USB or AA batteries is one of the reasons I like eTrex. Some of the new GPS models only have the USB option and I know some people had issues with the power output of the dynamo not being enough to continually supply power to the GPS.

      Hopefully that helps. If not, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide more details.

      • Hannah

        Thanks so much for your reply, Andy!
        So the unit was wired into the dynamo hub? (Still trying to wrap my head around the multitude of options for GPS/Light/hub setups!). I’ve really enjoyed your blog about the TD–it’s been such a help in sorting out cue sheets and overall impression of the route!

        • There are a lot of options out there for dynamo and USB setups. For mine, the dynamo power goes into my Luxos U light. That provided power to the light, but the Luxos U also has a USB output port that goes to my eTrex. When I’m riding during the day, the light is off and all dynamo power goes to the eTrex. At night, I was able to ride with both the light and the eTrex on as long as I was pedaling and not walking.

          The other nice thing about the Luxos U is it’s cache battery. That cache provided a minute or two of power to the eTrex when I stopped. So if I stopped to put on a rain jacket, etc, the eTrex didn’t turn off and have to reboot the next time I started pedaling and the dynamo power kicked in.

        • Tom

          Hannah – I did something like this for a seven week bike tour in Europe. Only had to change the GPS batteries one. I used a Biologic ReeCharge Dynamo Kit which converts the 6VAC power coming from the hub to 5VDC for USB. I connected this to the input of a ReVIVE ReStore Solar 1500 mA external battery pack which conditioned the power and provided power to the GPS when ever the wheels stopped turning. This kept the GPS from turning off every time we stopped. I used a standard USB cable to connect the battery pack to the GPS.

          This set up worked better than expected and it was a small weight addition considering we were fully self contained. If you are doing the CD it may be a different story.

  • Tom

    Andy – thanks for posting info about the Jones H-bar set-up. I’m thinking about converting my drop handle bars on my touring bike.

  • justin

    Hey Andy, could you provide a little more detail on how you mounted the IQ2 to your bar? I have one as well and do not have the eyelet on the fork that the light is designed for… I’ve experimented with a couple different setups, none of which have been 100% ideal yet… Yours looks very neat and tidy.

  • Gregg Maloof

    Would you share the brand of clip ons? I love the idea of inverting the H-bars!

    • Gregg, they are Vision clip on bars. Any straight clip ons should work with the inverted Jones bar.

      • Gregg Maloof

        Thanks Andy. David Sorrentino got me back into cycling after 35 years of trolling around in cars. The dude is amazing, and the bike community is generally helpful getting me back up to speed (pun intended). I will post a couple pics of my Breezer Beltway hybrid after Dave builds me my new wheels.

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