Race report by Nathan Heronen, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team.

After hitting the Grizzly 100k race in Big Bear for the second time this year, I think I finally got my gear and bike setup dialed. The race is 100k (~63 Miles) with about 8000-ft of climbing and part of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) MTB race series. Much of the race is technical singletrack for extended periods of time. Bike and gear choice can really make the difference between a good day and a rough day. Below is a list of what I chose and why. While I still struggled during the race, I felt good about all my gear choices. This is the setup I would choose for any similar distance race in the future.

Kona Bike for the 2015 Big Bear Grizzly 100Bike

  • Frame: 2014 Kona Hei Hei Supreme 19’’ - Full carbon frame with great stretched out geometry
  • Fork: Rockshox Reba RL 100mm - Super simple XC fork that is easy to service and a touch lighter than the aluminum crown SID
  • Cranks: Race Face Next SL Carbon 175mm - These bad boys are feathery light
  • Chainring: Wolftooth 30t Cinch Direct Mount - The WT cinch rings have a little better chain line than the stock Race Face and grab the chain a little better
  • Chain Guide: MRP upper guide low direct mount - If a bike gets raced, it gets a guide. The narrow wide chainrings are good but not perfect
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face BB92 Cinch 30mm
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR
  • Chain: SRAM XX1 Degreased and lubed with Squirt lube - I recently switched to Squirt. It is clean and lasts really well in dusty conditions. The chain needs to be degreased and clean before starting to use this lube
  • Cassette: SRAM XO1 10-42
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40
  • Stem:  Truvativ T30 90mm -6deg
  • Handlebar: Race Face Flat Wide Next 720mm
  • Grips: Santa Cruz Palmdale - I was using silicone grips for a while but they gave me a disconnected feel
  • Seatpost: Race Face Next SL Setback - Because the seat tube angle is nearly 75 deg on the Hei Hei I need a little setback in the seat
  • Seat Collar: Control Tech
  • Seat: Ergon SM3 Medium - I have had great luck with all the Ergon seats, they fit great
  • Wheels:  Stan's Crest 29 - I have been racing on this set for 3 years and have held up great
  • Front Tire: Maxxis Ikon 2.2 TR
  • Rear Tire: Maxxis Ikon 2.2 TR EXO - EXO in the rear for extra side cutting protection
  • Sealant: Stan’s  4 oz each tire
  • Rear Axle: Shimano XTR - The formula axle that comes on many Konas is very fussy. The Shimano one feels and works great and is lower profile
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore w/ Kool Stop Metallic Pads - The Deore brakes works great and weight the same as XT. On this particular bike the exit angle of the rear caliper works better on the Hei Hei frame
  • Brake Rotors: Avid HS 160mm Front and Rear

Bike Gear for the 2015 Big Bear Grizzly 100Pack

  • Pack: Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0 - I have really liked using these running backs for endurance riding.  hey are built SUPER light and having bottles easily accessible makes refiling at aid stations much easier.  Also using bottles in a race like this helps with pacing of nutrition intake.  
  • Bottles: 3x 24 oz Camelbak Podium Bottles - I typically kept 2 full and kept the other in rotation. The nozzle of the Camelbak bottle makes it easier to drink from all day.  It is soft rubber and doesn't need to be opened every time I need to drink.  Easier on the teeth. 
  • Drink Mix: Carbo Rocket Orange - 3 scoops per bottle + 200mg salt. 1 bottle per hour. Packed enough mix for 7 hours
  • Other nutrition: 1 flask of hammer gel, 2 pickle pops
  • Spare Lube: Tiny bottle of Squirt Lube
  • Spares: Shifter cable, Length of chain with a quick link on each end, Park instant patches
  • Tool: Crank Brothers 19 multi tool
  • Flat Fix Kit: 2x 16 g CO2, I small tire lever, Strapped to seat with Awesome strap, 3x3 Piece of plastic for botting a tear (made from hang card for Maxxis tires)
  • Back up pump: Crank Brothers small Power Pump

Other Pack Items, Just in case: Small tube of sun screen, Single pack of Chamois Buttr, 1 cotton bandanna


  • Glasses: Oakley Radarlok XL Straight Stem w/Black Iridium Lens - While I normally use a contrasting lens, for a race this long having my eyes as shaded as possible was priority one
  • Helmet: Smith Forefront White - White for the hot days to repel the heat. 
  • Shoes: Giro Privateer with Horst Engineering Short (11mm) SS Toe Spikes. 
  • Arm Coolers: Pear Izumi - These are great for keeping the sun off.  Also can be doused in water for a nice cooling effect. 

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