Beautiful Vistas. Big Climbs. Poudre Canyon Magic. 

A simple overnight trip from Fort Collins, accessible and with good riding.

After a summer of mountain biking and big mountains, it was time to do something close to home. This route is straight from our heros over at and we owe them a great deal for setting this one up. The pages below document our attempt at this route and our impressions of the route.

If you're looking for a mild route around northern Colorado, this one is for you. 

Route Brief: 

For this ride, we wanted something in our own backyard, fortunately the great people at developed a route that quite literally starts in our backyard. We rode Red Feather Ramble in early Fall and the Colorado scenery gave us quite a show. Among the highlights of this trip were Old Town Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir,  Masonville, Pingree Park, and of course Red Feather lakes. This trip is the perfect length for a weekend getaway and is nearly completely rideable considering the entirety of the route is either paved road or hard pack gravel.

Bikes and Gear:


Why Cycles S7. Size Large. Build Kit: Sram X01 Mechanical (1X12). Notable components: Why Cycles Titanium handlebars, Sram G2 Ultimate brakes, Absolute black chainring, Industry Nine Enduro 305 V2 wheels.

Trek Checkpoint SL6. Size 56cm. Build Kit: Ultegra (1x11). Notable components: Ceramic speed pullies, DT Swiss GR1600 wheels (650b)

The S7 was Abe's original titanium bike and has a special place amongst all other bikes. The S7 platform was originally designed around 27.5"+, but this bike was swapped out to 29" wheels using one of our favorite wheelsets, the Enduro 305 v3. On the polar opposite of the bike world is the Checkpoint, a gravel bike outfitted with a set of DT Swiss GR1600 wheels (650b) to make the bike more stable and ready for the rigors of bikepacking. We managed to fit a 2.2" wheel up front on the checkpoint with room to spare- which speaks volumes on what an adaptable and versatile bike the Checkpoint is and although we can't sell you a Trek - we won't ever say they're bad bikes!


For this trip we had contrasting storage setups, on the S7, we used frame bags, while on the Checkpoint the approach was more akin to pannier bags. Both worked for this route- although on some of the washboard sections on the trail, the Checkpoint setup suffered, conversely the pannier approach allows for more storage and greatly enhanced packing and unpacking speed. However some bikepacking purists will point out that racks rattle and "if it rattles, eventually it will break!".  Among the highlights of the gear was the Checkpoints rear rack mounted Topeak trunk. We felt the Trunk had an excellent price point and was incredibly versatile  in terms of storage and general usability. 

Both bikes were appointed with Oveja Negra gas tanks (and the S7 had a matching saddle bag)- we've spoken much about Oveja Negra and are huge fans of these Colorado made products. We'd also like to give Apidura a shoutout for the framebag on the S7- despite the swoop of the triangle, Apidura managed to make a bag that utilized the available space without the need for a custom bag, Apidura even offers an online template tool to determine which bag will fit your bike. 

One painpoint on this trip was the MSR trailshot water filter - we felt the filter slowed faster than it should have considering the relative clarity of water we were filtering. For our next trip, we'd like to bring along a bigger and more robust filter.

If you're planning a trip and are unsure of which direction to go in with any of your adventure riding decision, let us know, we're here to help! Message us!


Bottom Line on Bikes and Gear:

Both bikes passed the ride test with flying Colors - The Checkpoint is an incredible gravel bike and dabbles in the world of bikepacking better than expected, especially when outfitted with 650b wheels and some minor adjustments to its dropouts. However when it comes to the winner, the answer is clear - the S7; when it comes to comfort, versatility, and sheer beauty, titanium reigns supreme!

Interested in the bikes or gear? 

Abe's can get you riding most everything we write about!

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