Monday, January 14, 2013

Packbike: 1997 GT Xizang

I've had the Xizang for awhile now, and in hindsight, I can honestly say it's the best bicycle purchase I've ever made. Credit goes to Chad DeVall of Red Barn Bicycles on the build. He put it together a few years ago as a low-tech, durable, lightweight single-speed. Exactly what I had been looking for in a packbike.

Chad acquired the frame from a guy who used to weld titanium for GT bicycles, back when they were based in Boulder. When GT moved their titanium production overseas, he was let go, and found a job welding recumbent frames for Lightfoot Cycles, in the Bitterroot Valley.

A while back, this guy blew a rear shock, and came into Red Barn asking if Chad would be willing to trade a replacement shock for a 1997 NOS Xizang frame he had made. Without hesitation, Chad said yes. He built it up, rode it a few times, then put it up for sale in the shop, where it sat for 3 years, until I found it this past March.

It's hard to find anything wrong with Chad's build, and so far I've only changed the tires and added bar ends. I've looked at the possibility of a ti seatpost and fork, but they're expensive. Almost as much I paid for the complete bike.

I don't see changing much else. It's a simple, light, versatile bike, and I think it'll be in the quiver for long time to come.

Full Specs:
Frame - 1997 GT Xizang (titanium)
Fork - Vicious Cycles (tt steel)
Crankset - Shimano Hone m601
Chainring - Blackspire 32t
Freewheel - White Industries 20t
Chain - KMC x9
Bottom Bracket - Shimano XT Hollowtech
Headset - Cane Creek 110
Brakes - Paul Motolite
Brake Levers - Paul Love
Stem - Titec 130mm
Handlebar - Titec Hellion
Bar Ends - Cane Creek Ergo I
Saddle - Fizik Antares
Seatpost - Easton EA70
Front Hub - White Industries
Rear Hub - White Industries Eno
Rims - 26in Mavic xc 717
F Tire - Conti X-King 2.4 Protection
R Tire - Conti Race King 2.2 Protection


  1. The only time it gets over 20lbs is when it's wearing studded tires. Usually, it hangs out somewhere between 19.25 & 19.75. Not too bad for no carbon ;)