Rigs of the Badlands 2020
The Badlands 2020, a self-supported gravel event put on by Transiberica Ultracycling, follows some of the most remote and challenging terrain Europe has to offer. With help from the participants, we’ve put together a list of over 40 riders who are tackling the event this year, including bike photos and gear highlights…
Travelling through some of the most remote terrain in Europe, the Transiberica Badlands is a 700km self-supported ride through Southern Spain. The route follows mostly gravel/dirt roads and takes in several iconic places including Hoya de Guadix, Gorafe Desert, Tabernas Desert, Cabo de Gata Natural Park, and Veleta Pass. Riders have six days to complete the route and can ride either solo or in pairs.
Until a few weeks ago, the race organizers at Transiberica Cycling reported 161 riders who were confirmed to participate in the event. However the numbers have changed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions; as of the start of the race this morning, there were just over 70 riders in the race. The grande depart took off this morning from Granada, Spain. Be sure to follow their progress live here.
With help from the participants, we’ve put together a list of over 40 rigs and riders who are tackling the event this year. As with our other race rig roundups, we’ve included their name, age, hometown, bike details, bikepacking bags, and favorite gear.
Sònia Colomo Sala
Age 29 / Barcelona, Spain
THE BIKE: Scott Contessa Scale 900 with SRAM GX 12s, FOX 32 Float Rhythm 100mm and tubeless ready MAXXIS Ikon (back) and Arden Race (front).
BAGS: TOPEAK saddle and top tube bag, WOHOO frame bag and AGU steam bag to fill with an extra water bottle and some snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: aero bars, Fenix BC30 light, SeaToSummit ultralight pad, Altus bivy bag, Garmin eTrex to navigate and Edge 530 for backup.
Age 45 / Bryne, Norway
THE BIKE: Steel is king! I will use my trusted All City Macho King during Badlands 2020. This is not a CX race, I know! But it is the only bike I own (except for a fixed gear Cinelli). The bike is equipped with a SRAM Rival 1×11 groupset (36 t crankset and a 11-42 cassette). The wheels are home built with DT Swiss 350 hubs and H plus Son “The Hydra” rims. The choice of tires is maybe a bit unconventional for this type of race but I will take my chances with a tubeless Schwalbe X-One Allround 35 setup.
BAGS: My seat-pack (containing a Sir Joseph sleeping bag, bivy bag and extra clothes), toptube pack (containing a canister stove, tools, lantern, coffee, matches etc), cockpit pack (containing snacks) and accessory pack (containing Real Turmat freeze dried food) are all from Ortlieb´s bikepacking line.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I aim to avoid ants, scorpions and other evil creatures by using my super light Ticket to the Moon hammock. If I can´t find trees to hang it on, I have a couple of credit cards to use on hotel rooms. Due to the Covid-19 situation, I plan to cook most of my meals outside using a MSR PocketRocket canister stove.
Age 28 / Ecuador, Based in England
THE BIKE: Steel specialized Awol custom paint by myself. Absolute Black oval chairing, Shimano 105 groupset, Hunt 27.5″ dynamo wheels, ISM saddle, Cinelli stem, Profile Design aerobars. Little Big Ben Tyres. Exposure lights, Sinewave revolution, Wahoo Bolt GPS, quad lock phone holder.
BAGS: Full kit Apidura expedition bags (foldable backpack included), front bag (2 person tent, 2 cycling kit clothes and a gas canister as i have three races and some adventure along the wayfor 3 months) framebag (tent poles, hiplock, power bank, solo kitchen, 4L water bladder and space for food or clothing) Saddle bag (down sleeping bag, thermal sheet, pyjama, 2 isolated matts, towel. Spare bag (down jacket, ground sheet and bivvy bag). Small top tube (aidkit and spares) Big Top tube (face mask, gloves, cameras). Snack bags (two speakers and empty for food), Extra Rapha front bag( rain coat, wind braker, isulated gillet and spares.
Josep Maria Cabanas
Age 48 / Les Masies de Voltregrà, Barcelona, Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2019 Niner RTL9 Steel. The bike features a pair of Venture WTB 2.1” tires, DT SWIS SP 1600 wheels and Shimano GRX groupset with double crankset (gear combination 48-31T 11-speed ).
BAGS: I will carry three bags: an Apidura Expedition Full Frame pack 7.5L and on the handlebar an Apidura Expedition Handlebar Pack 9L and Apidura Expedition Top Tube Pack 1L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Lightec 550 Ferrino bivy will serve as my shelter with a Ven 2.5 Nordisk quilt. I’ll also be carrying an eTrex 30 for navigation and for lights I’ll be carring to front Iko Core Petlz and rear Bontrager Flare RT.
Age 30 / Granada, Andalucía, Spain
THE BIKE: My bike is a 2020 Kona Sutra LTD named Rocinante, since it carries me on all manner of ill advised trips around Spain. It’s got an e*thirteen 9-46t cassette driven by a 32t ring to hopefully get me up some of the climbs while actually riding the bike. Cockpit is a Ritchey Venturemax XL bar with a Brooks C17 to keep the butt happy, tbd if I’ll run the Profile Design clip ons in a quixotic attempt for speed. Besides the addition of a SON dynamo hub, the stock wheels and 700x50c Ventures have been perfect so I’m running them until they wear out.
BAGS: A trio of beautifully made Helmut Equipment bags paired with a Swift Industries Zeitgeist up front. The custom pink and yellow top tube bag keeps a smile on my face, and holds a large amount of snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Sinewave Beacon headlight is a trick piece of kit that can alternately run off of or charge a battery bank, depending on speed/needs. OR Helium Bivy will serve hotel duty, Wahoo ELEMNT Roam for navigation.
Age 27 / Munich, Germany
THE BIKE: I am riding my 2020 Rose Backroad with a 1x Shimano GXR groupset. Right now I have 28mm tubeless Schwalbe one tires, because I will ride during the Transpyrenees. For Badlands I will change them to Schwalbe one ultrabite 40mm. To ride more efficiently when it’s flat I have Zipp aerobars.
BAGS: I have three bags from Apidura. A top tube bag for the AppCon3000 and snacks. A down tube bag for tools and spareparts. And a full frame bag for a 2 liter Platypus bladder, extra clothes and food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: To be fully self-sufficient, I installed a SON dynamo hub to power my Supernova front and back light. I can charge my Phone and Wahoo Element Roam with the appcon3000 which is also connected to the dynamo hub.
Age 39 / Castellón, España
THE BIKE: Niner 9RLT Steel, WTB Venture tires, SRAM 1×11 Drivetrain
BAGS: Ortlieb / Alpkit / Bontrager
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Front / Rear lights supernova, Front HUB dynamo SO ( Steam / seat post redshift) and the plug III conversor charger, transmission 1×11 10-45
Age 32 / Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Italia
THE BIKE: I’m riding my Wilier Jaroon with steel frame, disc brakes and Shimano 105 groupset.
BAGS: Miss Grape saddle bag, frame bag, stem bags, top tube bag, and handlebar roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Pasol jersey which I consider lucky and I will navigate with my trusted Garmin eTrex and I’m planning to bivvy anywhere possible in order to finish the race within four days.
Andy (sky) Walker
Age 44 / Mallorca, Spain
THE BIKE: Planet X Tempest titanium frame with SRAM force groupset, I’ve added an absolute black 40 oval chainring. Wheels are Royal carbon 29” rims with WTB 50mm Venture tyres.
BAGS: A mix of WOHO and POD sacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Hydration is from a 3-liter Camelback fitted in the top tube woho bag, tools and spares in the pink bottle. Sleeping with a bivi and Thermals on a decathlon aired sleepmat.
Age 38 / Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
THE BIKE: 8bar Mitte V1 3in1, Shimano 105 Groupset, WTB Raddler TCS 40mm.
BAGS: Waterproof Rear Bag from Rapha, Topeak MidLoader, Revelate Designs Front Roll, Gas Tank and Mountain Feedback.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am riding Flats with Straps from Veganski. This gives me the extra comfort when I am not on my bike. The massive battery of my Lezyne Macro GPS for navigation needs just to be reloaded every third day. The sleep system comprises a Thermarest NeoAir Trekker, Yeti VIB 400 sleeping bag, and a Nemo Blaze 2P tent.
Age 26 / Ashdown Forest, UK
THE BIKE: For Badlands 2020 I will be using my 2021 Specialized Diverge, equipped with SRAM AXS groupset and running 10-50 with a 42T chainring. Keeping me rolling smooth on the rough stuff will be some Hutchinson Touareg 45mm Tyres and for the smooth sections I have the TT poles for comfort and some free speed.
BAGS: My bag setup for Badlands will be a complete set from the Apidura Racing series. Featuring 1L bolt on top tube bag, the 4L frame bag and the 7L saddle pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For navigation I’ll be running my Wahoo ROAM unit with a Bolt as a backup, I’ll also be using my Komoot app to check the route when I need to have a detailed look. For finding my way in the dark Exposure Six Pack, A Oakley helmet will be keeping me safe and my PedalED clothing will keep me comfortable.
Age 31 / Tynset, Norway
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding my beloved Trek race machine turned into super bike packing bike. It’s Trek Supercaliber 9.9 with SRAM AXS. As I’m used to ride with powermeter, so it will stay. I’ll just put on a 38t ring. Everything else will stay stock pretty much, maybe I’ll pop on some fast rolling tyres.
BAGS: I’m going for a three bag system: handlebar bag – Evoc, toptube bag (1l) Apidura and huge seatbag also by Apidura expedition (17l).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping in a Bivy, Thermarest sleeping bag and pad will keep me warm during potentially cold nights. Magic shine will light my road with 5000 lumens, I’ll just have to make sure to take enough batteries.
Alvaro Juan Menéndez
Age 59 / Asturias, Spain
THE BIKE: Orbea Terra M20i-D19, 2×11 transmission with SLK 30-46T cranks and XTR 11-40T cassette. Ultegra Di2, Ultegra Brakes, Pro Discover Medium Flare bars.
BAGS: Same bags used in previous events; Oiz 29 saddle bag (14L), handlebar bag (14L) with accessory pocket (4.5L). I’ll add my backcountry frame bag (4.5L) and 1.7L of water in standard bottles + 1L in flexible bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Self-made front support to hold the bags, headlight and navigator; Garmin 30x.
Age 25 / Sussex, UK
THE BIKE: I will be riding is a Kinesis CX Race EVO frameset with Shimano Ultegra 2×11 mechanical. I am running a 46/30 Shimano GRX chainset up front and an 11/34 cassette on the rear. I have a Mavic Allroad wheelset running a tubeless 43mm Panaracer Gravelking on the front and 38mm Specialized Pathfinder Pro on the rear. (I would have chosen a fatter tyre, however thats the largest I could fit on the CX frame!) My bars are 42cm flared Specialized Hover bars and I have a Fizik Antares VS saddle, both giving me comfort and control on the rough stuff!
BAGS: All my bags are Apidura. I love how robust they are, plus they look pretty smart too! I am running the Full Expedition Frame Pack, this will also contain a 2L Platypus Bladder. An Expedition Saddle Pack will contain all of my sleeping equipment, and an Expedition Top Tube Pack for quick access items.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I like the 1.5L Camelbak Chase Bike Vest. Its comfortable to wear even in the hottest on conditions, and provides a lot of space for supplies but mainly water. A Sea to Summit Spark SpI sleeping bag packs down to almost nothing, and is super comfy.
Age 35 / Heemstede, The Netherlands
THE BIKE: I’m riding a Curve GXR fitted with mostly a Rival 11 speed group, 38 in front 10-42 in the back. Running the Curve Grav Al 650b wheels but will change the front wheel for one with a SON dynamo. Vittoria mezcal 2.1 tires, Saddle WTB SL8, Syntace handlebar. Supernova lights & Sinewave Revolution to charge things. To carry enough water, I use Iris cages from King Cage on the fork and on the down tube a Velo Orange Mojave to carry a Nalgene for an extra liter.
BAGS: Not really loyal to one brand. This time I will use a Frame bag from Roque Panda, which is tailor made for a different bike, but suits this one also great! It will be used for spares, tools, food, jacket and a toothbrush. Topeak backloader 6L for sleeping gear and maybe some extra clothes, 2 Food pouches for electronics and wine gums.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I try to bring less each adventure, but I recently bought the Apidura packable backpack that gives me the opportunity to carry occasionally some extra, probably drinks or food.
Age 50 / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
THE BIKE: Bike is home made carbon frame with Pace carbon fork. Frankenbike mixture of components from XT to Dura Ace and back again. Wtb wheels with Thunder Burt rubber on the front and WTB Riddler 45 on back. Brooks swift saddle with Morati ti seat post. Bars are on one Midge. Brakes are trp hydraulic front hyphex and trp mechanical disc on the rear.
BAGS: The ‘bags’ are also home made. The bottom is a 2.6 litre water tank. The top tube bag is a 2 litre case and on top is a snack box. They fix to each other with magnets. I will also use a handlebar bag for sleep stuff and also a small saddle bag for tools and tubes etc.
Age 30 / Glasgow, Scotland
THE BIKE: Pelago Sibbo from Finland. Steel is real! Mix of GRX and 105 components.
BAGS: Bags are Restrap which I’ve had for over 2-years and have stood the test of time! Ortlieb handlebar bag and accessory pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m using an eTrex for navigation. My Shetland puffin patch is a gear highlight!
Age 28 / Amsterdam, Netherlands
THE BIKE: A tuned-up steel Rondo Ruut with an Enigma ADV fork, rolling on super smooth Hope hubs laced to duke rims (by @parallelhandbuilt). Gearing is a SRAM rival groupset, 40 up front, same in the back. For Badlands, the Rene Herse tires will make place for 43c Panaracer Gravering SK’s. A Wahoo Elemnt for navigation.
BAGS: A set of rapha x apidura’s (front and back) and a rapha framebag of the new range.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Prepared for all conditions with a sea to summit sleep system (insulated mat + Trek tk1 sleeping bag).
Age 49 / Chiclana, CADIZ, Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding the Badlands on a 2018 Conor WRC. The bike features a Shimano GRX 2×10 drivetrain with a 30-46T chainring on 170mm cranks, originally with a 11-34 cassette I’ll bet to be sure for the Badlands (because of the enormous ascends) with a 11-42 on the back. Michelin 700x40c tyres on aluminium rims. Shimano GRX disk brakes 160mm front/140mm back. Double tape on the handlebar.
BAGS: My bag setup is a Topeak saddle bag on the back for the wearing kit, also a Topeak frame bag for the electronics, food, and the daily stuff, and I’ll use a 5l drybag on the handlebards for the sleeping kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be carrying a Garmin Edge for navigation. Lightweight sleeping bag with a inflable sleeping pad as a sleeping kit. Two water bottles setted on the bike frame, and a roll up bottle as emergency reservoir. Two powerbanks for recharging electronics, and bike lights. Crocs flip-flops.
Age 46 / Amsterdam, The Netherlands
THE BIKE: Bruce, a 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp. almost completely stock, except for Salsa Cowchipper bars and a Tumbleweed front rack. Seat is a Brooks C15 AW Cambium.l, tyres are Pananracer Gravelkings 43mm. Bruce has crossed New Zealand and is entering his first race with Badlands.
BAGS: Front: Bags by Bird full camo small Goldback. Holds everything… and more! Frame: custom made by my friend Asa Carney. Back: Pedaled Cluster Seat Pack. 13 litre, visible and tough as fuck.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My HEMA coffee maker and Rapha Brevet flyweight wind jacket
Age 30 / Vaals, South-Limburg, The Netherlands
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding Badlands on my trusty Kona Rove Ltd., the 2018 model with Reynolds 853 steel frame and carbon fork and a SRAM Force 1 groupset. I love the simplicity of a 1x drivetrain, and since the 34T x 11-42T combo has brought me over multiple high-Alpine passes before, I’m confident it’ll do the trick in Andalusia as well for me. 650B wheels allow me to fit the nice and thick WTB Byways – a tad more grippy than the Horizons I usually run for everything dry and dusty, but still fast. I switched out the WTB KOM i25 TCS wheel in the front for a custom-built wheel with DT Swiss GR531 gravel rims and a Son 28 dynamo hub.
BAGS: I’ve been running Restrap bags since my very first bikepacking adventures and I am still extremely happy with them. The fact that the harnesses of the handlebar and saddlebag can stay attached to the bike while you remove the seperate drybags to get to your gear is extremely convenient. They also really can take a beating – I’ve subjected mine to numerous multi-day heavy-gravel therapy sessions while heavily loaded, and not so much as a thread came loose. I’m still debating adding their new long Adventure Race toptube bag to my set-up, so I can redistribute some weight from the saddlebag to the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve finally taken the plunge to move from battery-powered lights to a dynamo hub and after months of research I settled on the Sinewave beacon as my choice for a front light. With a 750 lumen beam at 13mph, integrated usb-charger and the possibility to power the light by an external battery (and charge that battery at the same time) – what’s not to like. I’m also extremely happy with my current sleeping set-up: the lightweight but extremely comfortable Exped Synmat UL 7 sleeping mat (475g), a Yeti Passion 3 sleeping bag (470g) and a Alpkit Hunka XL bivy bag (490g).
Frank Van der Veken
Age 50 / Belgium
THE BIKE: My Carbon horse is a Canyon Exceed CF SL, SramX01, 1×12 (34. 10/50). DT Swiss XR1501 rear and at the front a Hand-made DT Swiss XR391 with SON hub powering the B&M IQ-X front and back light. With two SKS anywhere bottle cage’s at the RockShox SID RL, have a total 4x950ml for water supply. The Etrex 32x GPS show me the way, and a MIO405 as backup.
BAGS: Seatbag ortlieb, Salsa EXP Anything Cradle with drybag, top tube toppeack bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: After many kilometers of riding I find my best comfort on a Specialized Power expert saddle together with an Assos Mille GT bib shorts.
Age 60 / Loja, Andalucia, Spain
THE BIKE: I’m riding a 2017 Specialized Epic Hardtail Pro Carbon World Cup. It has an SRAM 10-52 cassette, and I have fitted a Brooks B17 saddle, Jones Loop H Bar, flat pedals (because of foot problems) and a Mason Hunt front wheel with a Son 28 dynamo. The tyres are tubeless: Vittoria Barzo 2.25 front and a Maxxis 2.2 (model tbc) on the back.
BAGS: Revelate front harness, Ranger frame bag and Terrapin seat pack, plus a couple of Moosetreks feed bags (which I use to carry water). I am currently using a Topeak top tube bag as a feed bag, but hope to replace that with something bigger before the race. The bottle carriers are SKS Anywhere mounts and cages. On the forks there are Topeak Versages, with Apidura Expedition Fork Packs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The dynamo runs to a BM E-Werk with cache battery and also powers Supernova E3 front and rear lights. To supplement the dynamo lights, I will have a helmet-mounted Cateye Volt 800 (and spare battery). As a back-up to the dynamo, I will carry an Anker PowerCore 26800 mAh. For navigation I will have a Garmin Edge 530, backed up by Komoot on my Samsung S8. I won’t be carrying a water filter, but have capacity on the bike for at least five litres.
Age 38 / London, UK
THE BIKE: My bike is a Genesis Vapour Carbon CX frame with a mashup shimano 105 hydraulic brakes and shifters and grx rear mech. Hopefully a 34T chainring and 11-42 cassette will get me over the hills. I’ve had some prime carbon rims laced onto dt swiss 350 hubs but am still undecided on tyre choice!
BAGS: I’ll be using an Alpkit Fiana saddlebag for my sleepkit alongside a Straight Cut Design custom frame bag to hold up to 4L of water bladders. I’ll also have an Alpkit top tube bag and a Straight Cut Design “Bagel” bar bag for the small stuff. Having such a small frame and narrow drop bags has limited my water bottle capacity and cockpit setup. This setup should mean I can still carry a lot of fluids when needed and have responsive handling with reasonably clear handlebars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be relying on batteries to keep devices charged so have an anker 26800mAh battery to keep the old faithful garmin 810 going and a “lumenator 800” from mtb batteries. This front light should have enough capacity to get me through 4 night rides allowing for a few hours sleep. For sleep I’ll have an Alpkit hunka bivvy, Alpkit pipedream sleeping bag and Decathlon inflatable mat and pillow.
Iñaki Garcia Leon
Age 33 / Bilbao, Spain
THE BIKE: FabrikBike AIR is a fixie/track frameset Aluminium 6061 Frame (and fork) adapted by myself for this special event to fit gravel tyres, Continental Ride Tour 700x32c. About the drivetrain, the AIR mounts a Shimano 105 crankset with a single-46t-oval-chainring in the front and a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed hub in the rear wheel with a 23t sprocket. Front and rear brakes are the classic Campagnolo Centaur for rims, they provide enough clearances for the wide tyres. The handlebar is made of aluminium with TT endbars and brake levers and double-layer soft handlebar tape for extra vibration absorption. Wheels are custom-made by #Biziosona both to fit the Alfine hub in the rear side and a SP PV-8 3W dynamo hub in the front wheel to supply energy to a 60-Lux B&M CYO PREMIUM RT SENSO PLUS headlight and a B&M LINE SMALL PLUS taillight.
BAGS: 13L-waterproof rear bag by Rhinowalk and a 8L-waterproof framebag by Rockbros mainly to carry extra load of water as the frame has not built-in holes for bottlecages. I’ll carry a 10L backpack with up to 2L waterbag by Decathlon.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 810 for navigation, 20000mAh solar powerbank to charge GPS and phone, 13-in-1 multitool, bike spare parts (tubes, wires, spokes,…), lightweight sleeping bag + air-cushion by Decathlon.
Age 60 / Rasquera, Tarragona, Spain
THE BIKE: Van Nicholas Zion Rohloff 29er. VN Carbon Rigid Forks, Dynamo Hub, Stans Crest Wheelset. Carbon OG Bars, Middleburn Cranks, Maxxis Crossmark 2.1 Tyres. Exposure Revo + Joystick lights.
BAGS: Wildcat Framebag + Saddle Holster, Alpkit Drybags, Acepac TT and Bottle Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Ti Cook kit + 5 days breakfast. 3l Water Capacity. It’s gonna be dry and hot! 100% rechargability of GPS, Lights and Phone.
Pedro “Galleta” Muñoz
Age 48 / San Martín de la Vega, Madrid, Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding a Trek Checkpoint SL6.The bike features a new pair of Gravelking SK 700×43 tires, groupset GRX with Chainrings 48-31 and 11-34 in cassette, Ultregra disc brakes and Brooks Cambium C13 145 All Weather Saddle.
BAGS: For saddle and frame: Apidura (backcountry and expedition models respectively). For handlebar: Restrap.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As sleeping kit: light sleeping, bag, bivy and sleeping pad Inertia from Klymit. For lights finally decided for battery lights. For navigation Garmin Edge 1000. Also carrying a power bank 20.000 mA to charge devices. For water a Camelbak backpack for 1,5 l and a bottle of 750cl in frame.
Age 48 / Granada, Spain
THE BIKE: My bike is a cannondale topstone carbon 105, as it comes from the factory, except covers which are panaracer gravel king 700×43.
BAGS: I’m using a 3L Geosmina frame bag, an 11L Ortlieb seat bag and one handmade handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This is my first race, so I’m hoping I both enjoy and finish the route. The idea is to sleep/rest when I can, so I’ll be packing a bivy bag and sleeping pad. I am going to carry dehydrated food for two days, a raincoat, a jacket, a 20,000mah powerbank and a Bryton 450 GPS.
Karl Krabbenhöft & Nis Alps
Age 30 & 27 / Berlin, Germany
THE BIKE: We have the pleasure to ride 2020 Rose Backroad’s equipped with Rose R-THIRTY Disc wheels, Shimano Dynamo front hubs, the GRX RX810 group, Saint/XTR pedals, cushy Ergon SMC40 saddles and trusted WTB Venture rubber. Nis is riding the Mullet built with 650b wheels with fatter 47c tires while Karl is on the 28″ version. Our SON Edelux II will bring light into the darkness and our Wahoo Roam’s will keep us on track. Not shown are our Rose Aero bars for chill time on long straights. For hydration we have Fidlock mounts and bottles inside the frame triangle as well as under the downtube and on the forks. Their Uni-Connectors give us the opportunity to snap Thermos, our Aero Presses or Ortlieb drybags on the frame/fork as well.
BAGS: Both of us will ride with the 100% waterproof (and lifeproof) Ortlieb Seat-Packs (16.5L), Handlebar Packs (9L), Toptube Frame Packs, Cockpit Packs and Nis has an Accessory-Pack in the front for his cameras and films. In addition to that we will both ride with the Ortlieb Atrack Bikepacking backpacks with Hydration systems.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For sleeping we are bringing the ultralight and superquick to set up Nordisk Telemark ULW tents, their Passion Three sleeping bags and their Ven 2.5 mats. Clothing wise we are trusting Biehler-Cycling. Especially their Gravel Performance Bib Shorts are worth mentioning with their super comfy air-cell chamois which protects our asses on long riding days.
Toni de la Torre Asensio
Age 36 / Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
THE BIKE: Badlands is going to be my second long-distance race and I will be there with my Bellé Cycles GRAR, a steel handmade bike with HED Ardennes wheels and WTB Riddler 700c x 37 tires, a 2×11 drivetrain (Praxis Zayante Carbon 32/48) and Ultegra groupset. About components, I chose Enve, two bottle cage, and WTB saddle.
BAGS: I will use a full Ortlieb setup for my bags. I already used other adventures and I’m pretty happy with the result. The initial setup is based in a saddle-bag, frame bag, and a front bag but I’m still deciding if this is gonna be the final choice or I will choose a lighter setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m comfortable riding with a gilet Camelbak with an extra liter of water and some departments to have some food with easy access. For the navigation, I use a Wahoo Element that guides me in all my Komoot routes.
Age 31 / Madrid, Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2015 Niner RLT 9 with SRAM Rival 2×10 drivetrain (swapped out for a 38/24T MTB crankset), flat handlebars, tubeless WTB Resolute 42mm tires on stock American Classic wheels, Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost and Ergon saddle, with a Wahoo Roam bike computer for navigation.
BAGS: An eclectic mix of Ortlieb handlebar bag, Salsa frame pack, Woho top tube bag, and PDW Bindle floating rear rack with Restrap tapered drybag. I use Gorilla Clips to mount cages on the front fork – one side for a water bottle and the other side for my sleeping bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Platypus foldable water sacks to carry extra water. For sleeping I carry a large tarp with p-cord to use as a shelter in wet weather and to sleep on when it’s dry.
Dani Ayala I Romero
Age 52 / Terrassa, Barcelona (Catalonia), Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding the Specialized Diverge Comp 2020. The bike features a new pair of tire WTB Nano 700×40 mm TCS Light. I have replaced the original chainrings with a Shimano GRX 46-30T.
BAGS: I having a seat pack Ortlieb the volumen 16.5 liters. I’ll probably use an Ortlieb 9 liter handlebar pack for the sleeping bag as well. One liter bottles will mount on the downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The front light is the Knog and the rear light is the Knog Blinder Road R70. I’ll be carrying an Garmin Edge 530 for navigation and I carry a GoPro Hero8 to record everything.
Age 61 / Girona, Spain
THE BIKE: I´ll be riding a prototype Battaglin gravel bike made from Columbus tubing. The bike features a new pair of Rene Herse 48mm Juniper Ridge Endurance tires, a Shimano XTR 12v drivetrain with a 36 T chainring and 10-45 cassette, SP PL-7 dynamo hub, kLite Ultra V2 front light, TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and On-One Geoff handlebars.
BAGS: The mainstay of my bag setup is the Arkel Rollpacker 25 Rear Bag. I also have an Alpkit custom frame bag, two Revelate Mountain Feedbags and a Cordel handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleeping system features the Black Diamond Twilight Bivy, Sea to Summit Etherlight XT mattress, and a Sea to Summit Reactor liner. I’m using a Wahoo Roam for navigation.
Daan van Meeuwen
Age 21 / Girona, Spain
THE BIKE: I’ll be riding Badlands 2020 on the new Ridley Ignite SLX from Eat Sleep Cycle. The bike has 29×2.25 Vittoria Barzo (front) and Mezcal (rear) tyres on a DT Swiss wheelset. I’m running a Sram 1×12 groupset with a 10-50T cassette. I’ll be riding with battery powered lights and a Wahoo Roam.
BAGS: I am running a full Ortlieb setup. A 9L front bag, which will contain my sleeping system and some extra clothing. I’ll also be riding with an Ortlieb frame bag to carry a lot of snacks and emergency spares. To be able to carry enough water, I am using a Salomon hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The wahoo roam is by far my favourite GPS unit. It’s battery life is incredible and being to clearly see where to go on a ride like this is quite important.
Age 29 / My van – somewhere in Europe
THE BIKE: Canyon Grail CF SLX, Shimano Dura Ace/Grx hybrid, DT Swiss wheels. 50/34 Dura ace powermeter and 11-40t SLX cassette. Rusjan bags. Exposure lights.
BAGS: Rusjan Framebag and saddlebag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favourite gear is the 34/40t. I’ll need it a lot! ;)
Raphael Michelangelo Grau
Age 25 / Karlsruhe, Germany
THE BIKE: I´ll be riding the 2020 Transiberica Badlands on the gravel bike Comet Eater 0015, built by the spanish bike company based in Madrid ´The Draft´. This bicycle is crafted using the fillet brazing technique, with a special combination of Columbus Life and Zona steel tubes. The result is a piece that combines flexibility, stiffness and durability in the adequate areas and can adapt to any kind of Badlands ground. Besides this handmade 53cm steel frame, the bike features the Ursus Viper 650b wheels and Vittoria Terreno 47mm tires. For the rocky and steep Badlands terrain I´m gonna use Shimano GRX 800 Groupset (42-11/42) and hydraulic disc brakes. In addition I added PRO Discover components, a Fizik Aliante saddle and aero-bars.
BAGS: I use a student-friendly mix of bikepacking bags from different manufacturers: a Blackburn seat pack, a small Vaude frame bag, a cockpit and food pouch by Btwin and a topeak handlebar-pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m undecided whether to take a solar panel for power generation and a small tent with me. I will navigate with my cell phone and use a mix of bottles and a drinking bladder with a water filter.
Age 26 / Oxford, UK
THE BIKE: Scoppio cyclocross cross bike. Stretched to its maximum with 35mm Panaracer GravelKing SK+ tyres, superstar components clincher road wheelset, campagnolo (49 x 34) front x (12 x 30) rear. TRP linear pull rims brakes. Extra bottle cages mounted with ZEFAL gizmo mounts.
BAGS: Apidura expedition 14L saddle pack modified with extra straps to reduce swing. Alpkit 4L frame bag. On the handlebars, sleeping bag and bivvi bag with a custom Sainsbury’s bag (for life), all mounted with buckle straps.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Specialized ‘bar fat’ gel pads mounted over existing bar tape with an extra layer of tape over that for comfort. Legs.
Juan Fco. Garamendi
Age 42 / Barcelona, Spain
THE BIKE: Stevens Vapor 2017, it is made for cyclocross racing, far from being the ideal bike for ultracycling, but it’s what I have . Aluminium frame equipped with Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain with 42T on the cassette and tyres of 40 (rear) and 42 (front) on the wheels. The wheels are completed with reflective material.
BAGS: 3 bags of different brands. The saddle bag is a Restrap 8L bag. I run Transpyreenes and Transiberica with it, so it should be fine for Badlands. I use this bag for the clothes, the sleeping bag and the mat. The Restrap saddle bag is completed with a Rockbross frame bag where I wear the food and other minor stuff. The front bag is a Topeak, where I have my camera and the botiquin. The bivvy and 2.4 Liters of water are outside the bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The set is completed with lights and the GPS, both are duplicated because I do not want to be in the middle of nowhere, in the shittiest rainy night and have to stop because the GPS device or the light doesn’t work.
Mauricio Aguilar Alvarez
Age 48 / Barcelona, Spain
THE BIKE: I will be riding my 3T Exploro trusted steed with ENVE G27 wheels dressed with super fast and resilient Vittoria Tirreno Dry 48mm tires. On the power train a 38T Absolute Black oval chainring with a 11-42 Cassette. I customized the cockpit with the VapCycling butterfly2 aerobar. The team at The Service Course in Girona tweaked and tuned my ride to absolute perfection.
BAGS: A compliment of Expedition and Racing Series Apidura bags on the saddle, frame, stem, handlebar and top tube. My favorite being the Racing Handlebar Pack which can be configured in any number of ways on the fly for hot, cold or wet weather.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will use a Garmin 530 for navigation and Exposure lights for night riding. For sleeping, my tried and true Sea2Summit ultralight pad will soften the ground and a OR Helium Bivvy will cut the wind and keep me and my Summit SP1 bag warm.
José J. Madrid
Age 47 / Seville, Spain
THE BIKE: For my very first experience in these types of events, I have bet on the Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon, remarking it´s Future Shock 20 mm suspension giving lots of comfort in the off road terrains. Also wearing the aggressive Maxxis Ravager Exo 700x40C with Ultegra RX 11 Speed (11-34T) and powerful Specialized Flux 900 Headlight.
BAGS: I have relayed the whole set in the Spanish brand Geosmina Components, Framebag (5,5 l), Handlebar bag (10 l), Tube bag (1 l) and Saddle bag (15 l). I have aslo placed a 2 liters Camelbak water deposit inside the Fame bag for the expected warm conditions, 2 x 0,62 liter bottles mounted to the fork and extra bottle for the repair kit and tools.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: 15 years old Coleman Tasman Tent, still pretty light and warm, Sea to Summit UltraLight Mat, Decathlon ultralight sleeping bag, Garmin Edge 820 Plus.
Age 31 / Valencia, Spain
THE BIKE: I picked the frameset of Fuji Jari 2.3 bike to build this cheap but reliable bike. The groupset is a SRAM X9 2×10 actuated by TT bar-end shifters, with a 11-42 cassette and 38/24 chainring. The wheels I built for it are normal 36h rims, heavy spokes and sealed bearing hubs by Sunrace. I run a couple of Panaracer Gravel King tires, 700×43. The brakeset is the TRP Hilex. I use the huge Dajia Far bar which I love it.
BAGS: Except the saddle bag, which it is the Rinowalk 10L with a couple of hacks, I’ve sewed the rest of them: half frame bag, toptube bag, stem bag and handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Not the lightest or the fastest setup, but with all I need to survive and enjoy on 720km ride through the deserts and the mountains. Capacity for carrying almost 4L of water. Garmin eTrex20 as a navigation system. The most I like from this bike is the comfort and the absolute climber drivetrain.
Age 26 / London/Nottingham, UK
THE BIKE: I’ll be taking on the Badlands with my Ridley XBOW, decked out with a pair of Panaracer Gravelking SK+ 35mm tires, compact 105 groupset 50/34T + 11/30T, MAVIC Aksium wheelset, Condor CX carbon fork, crankbrothers eggbeater pedals and luxurious double wrapped bars.
BAGS: My bivi, sleeping bag and therm-a-rest will be stored up front in an old deuter compression bag bungee’d to the bars. My Alpkit Analoko 51 (6L) bag sits in the frame for snacks and bits & pieces and I have an Alpkit Airlock (10L) seat pack for kit (which is actually just a drybag liner, but works a treat with some cam straps around the saddle and seatpost – tested out on the TNR and OXDuro).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Rab bivi has been worth every penny and is built to outlast the elements! Also my quadlock phone mount which I will be using for navigation powered by an anker powercore portable charger gets the job done!
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.
Please pass it along...