Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser

Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser

The boys at my local bike shop, City Bike Depot, have nearly finished building up a Black Sheep Bike for one of their team riders, Arran Pearson — who is also one of Australia’s top endurance cyclists. He’s going to race it in the 2013 Tour Divide, a 4,418km trek across the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I managed to steal it away for a shoot before it was given a final breakdown and prep.

The Tour Divide is a premiere 20-day endurance cycling event, wending it’s way through the dirt roads and jeep trails of the Continental Divide of the Northern Americas. The route travels through the eastern states and a finishing rider will complete an elevation equivalent of climbing Mt Everest from sea-level seven times. Grizzly bears and mountain lions will be present to cheer him on.

Arran’s belt-driven, 29er Black Sheep is an offered model built to his personal geometry, with minor tweaks to the 800mm-wide bars and the custom racks that will weigh less than his dry bags. He’ll need to be completely self-sufficient whilst on the ‘road’, needing to find shelter each night or bivouac trail-side. A Supernova light system will be a constant companion, powering his Garmin and iPhone.

At this state, Arran was able to give the Black Sheep a test ride, before the City Bike Depot crew break it down, ti-prep every bolt and waterproof the electricals. It’ll be a dream bike for a dream ride: albeit single-stage, solo, self-timed and observed. You can follow his progress via his website, and learn more about the challenge on the Tour Divide site.

Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser
Black Sheep Great Divide Trail Cruiser

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  • itsmefool

    Cool Jones-styled bike, but all that way on a hardtail? Sorry, I’d need at least a Thudbuster on the thing before I’d ride it. Of course, I’m probably older than Arran…

    • Adam at CBD

      Arran is forty, and a Ti bike that curvy rides a whole lot smoother than even a steel bike with a Thudbuster…

      • itsmefool

        Well, I’m older and I’d love to put your statement to the test; care to send me a frame so I can find out? Just kidding. Keep up the good work and best of luck to Arran.

  • Robert Cobcroft

    In other iterations of Tour Divide riders have tackled the variable terrain with some form of suspension and multi geared machines – this is hard core

  • ionkim

    Is somebody know, what is the brake system using here?

  • Lewn

    ionkim, Shimano XTR brakes and finned rotors with maybe the ice-tec rotors stay very cool even on long descents. Brakes use mineral oil and are very reliable, powerful and easy to maintain.

    Also XTR crank and belt drive. Looks like a highly practical bike. I’d love to know the weight of the bike unladen and how it looks fully laden. Also not tempted to have a fork? I think I’d want a ti coil fork.

    I’d love to do an enduro like that, so jealous!

    • Adam at CBD

      We finished the build at the shop this afternoon… 10.3kg with pedals lights and cages… We namaged to get the light and Garmin mounted on a custom mount one of out guys made for the handlebar loop and tidies up all the wiring and cables… Looks amazing, rides even better… Stoked to have been a part of it…

      • Lewn

        10.3kg with pedals lights and cages! Wow!

  • Now&Zen

    As a ‘ cruiser ‘ city bike etc this makes perfect sense . As a race bike to be used on our Great Divide enduro ….. suffice it to say the belts gonna snap … Arran’s gonna get his clock cleaned … the bike trashed and I’ll bet at the end of the day neither bike nor rider will of known what hit them cause its obvious Arran and the builder have no clue what they’re in for . This bike being the Epitome of Fashionista Hipster Pretense vs Reality and Substance. My condolences to Arran in advance .

    • Lewn

      Whilst this wouldn’t be my choice of setup this belt drive isn’t doomed to failure. Belts like this are used on plenty of mountain bikes, and replacement belts are lightweight and I’m sure he’ll bring a few and can be replaced by opening the rear triangle. Got a car? The fan and alternator belts last for ages or haven’t you noticed?

    • Don

      Actually not as simple as you presume to know. I guess you didn’t know a previous winner of the great divide used a belt drive. Just like anything else, there are proper and improper methods of construction and engineering for each type of material used in anything.

    • Arran Pearson

      Equal 1st tour divide (SS)… zero issues with the belt. Might be a hipster fashion statement but it works :)

  • Mostlypedals

    “Trail Cruiser” is right! This is one of the more brilliant bikes I’ve seen on this site. Perfect spec, amazing metalwork. Regardless of how Arran places, he’ll be the best looking rider on the course. Hopefully a styrofoam cooler full of Schlitz (no Fosters allowed in the USA) will find its way to that front rack.

    I can’t wait to see a photo of this bike+rider drifting though a fire road corner, foot down, bikepacking bits flapping hither and yon, trucker cap askew and aviator shades dangling off one ear.

    Seriously, awesome bike.

  • Chris Stirrup

    a single speed really!?

    • Chris Stirrup

      wait my bad, thats a hub setup right?