BQ 65 Preview: Traversing the Sawtooth Range

BQ 65 Preview: Traversing the Sawtooth Range

The Autumn Bicycle Quarterly take you on a trip across the Sawtooth Range. Long-term BQ readers know that it’s been a bit of a holy grail for us to find a passage across this mountain range, with our first attempts ending in washouts and snow. This time we take the affordable Masi Speciale Randonneur and the Frances Farfarer trailer on the search for a route that crosses these beautiful mountains. Will we make it this time?

The full story (and tests of bike and trailer) are in the Bicycle Quarterly 65. We are finalizing the mailing lists tomorrow, so subscribe today to be among the first to get this exciting edition! Click here to sign up online – it’s easy and takes just a minute or two.

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Comments (6)

  • Masi Dealer Plains

    I am a Masi dealer and I can say that this bike is a very good value. Sure, it’s not 19lbs, but you don’t, as a beginner, want to spend all your money on the bike when the bags, lights, clothing, and other items are probably as important to the success of the mission.
    I just renewed and will enjoy the article. I’m sure Masi will incorporate any suggestions you might make.

    September 17, 2018 at 11:06 am
  • sofauxboho

    Excited to hear your thoughts on the Farfarer! I’ve been on the cusp of buying one for over a month now. I found my BOB Yak trailer drastically decreased performance and enjoyment with any load that would justify a trailer. I’m hopeful the Farfarer is better. Will you compare it to your Taylor/Goéland tailer?

    September 17, 2018 at 1:28 pm
  • Jacob Musha

    The trailer looks interesting! Your camping trip reminded me of a question I have about frame geometry. Going back to BQ11 and looking at loaded camping bikes with a traditional 4-bag setup, the two bikes examined (1948 Herse and 1985 Singer) had relatively narrow tires at 38mm and 32mm. If one were designing a similar bike around wider 52mm tires, would you specify less geometric trail than those bikes have (48 and 49mm)?
    There is so much information about low-trail randonneuring bikes but much less about full camping bikes, particularly when combined with wide tires. I wonder if putting a load on the rear, in addition to the load on the front, would cause problems with the low-trail geometry.

    September 17, 2018 at 1:28 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Those are good questions. Generally, with a low-trail bike, the handling is best if you carry most of the load on the front. If you can’t fit everything in front panniers, I’d place light, bulky items like sleeping bag in the rear. That wouldn’t really require a change in frame geometry, but it might require a stiffer frame to handle the rear load.

      September 17, 2018 at 7:43 pm
  • Keith Lee

    Is that ‘Trail Creek Road’ you are traversing in the first section of the video? It looks familiar.
    I spent last summer bikepacking in the region–started at the GDMBR, then cut west to Idaho and though the Sawtooth Mountain range. The Sawtooths were incredible. Many of the forest roads were destroyed by heavy runoff that year, so it was closed to all motorized traffic, meaning I could ride alone for hours at a time without running into a car, and I could really let loose on the descents. Lots of roads were flooded over, however, which meant a lot of head scratching and fun singletrack detours. And the hot springs!

    September 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      There are a number of mountain ranges called the Sawtooths – for obvious reasons. Our adventure took us to the Sawtooth Range SW of Mount Rainier, between the valleys of the Cowlitz and Nisqually Rivers. However, the Idaho Sawtooths sound awesome, too – we should head there in the future!

      September 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

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