Rigs of the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race
The 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race kicks off in Kyrgyzstan in just a few hours, and we’re excited to share a collection of nearly 60 rigs that’ll be taking on this year’s course. Find a massive gallery of photos and details on each bike and its rider here…
The third edition of the Silk Road Mountain Race (SRMR) will begin in Kyrgyzstan later today, with close to 100 riders from around the world taking on the equally beautiful and demanding 1,800-kilometer (1,120-mile) route through the Tian Shan Mountains, which packs in some 30,500 meters (100,000 feet) of climbing on a diverse and rugged mix of trails (check out our Tian Shan Traverse route from 2016 to get a sense of the terrain). We’ll be sharing a handful of reports from the field throughout the race, but in advance of the grand depart, we’re happy to present short profiles from around 60 riders, including a photo of their rig and details about their bags and kit. Find them all below, and follow the race on our Tracker page for more during the next couple of weeks!
Age 28 / Zurich (Switzerland)
BIKE: My adventure rig is a Surly ECR with 1×11 30T and 11-51 cassette. Paired with 29“ DT Swiss rims, Vittoria mezcal tires, and BB7 mechanical disc brakes.
BAGS: I love my Porcelain Rocket frame and saddlebag. On the front, I have two Rockgeist stem bags and an Ortlieb front roll with all my sleeping gear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m bringing a Hyperlite Ultamid 2 as a spacious shelter, plus some Swiss chocolate and a big tube of peanut butter.
Age 44 / New York City (USA)
BIKE: Curve GMX+, Walmer 55cm bars, Curve Carbon Dirt Hoops with Mezcal 2.6″ tyres, and an SP Dynamo hub. Drivetrain is SRAM AXS Red/Eagle mullet (10-52) and Ingrid cranks with a 34T chainring. Thomson stem and post.
BAGS: Framebag is a custom Rogue Panda Double Decker bag with a matching Top Tube bag. Apidura Expedition Handlebar and Saddle Packs. Two Curve Rocket Pooch fork bags. Three one-litre bottles mounted to the downtube with a 2L bladder in the frame bag for extended distances between stops.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite Ultra V2 MTB light up front with a Qube flashing light out back. Tarptent Protrail Li will keep me dry with a Therm-a-Rest bag and pad. OneUp Components pump with integrated tools. Garmin Edge 530 & inReach Mini for navigation. An Orucase B2 MTB bike bag will get it there safely (thanks, Kyle!).
Age 45 / Zurich (Switzerland)
BIKE: I’m riding a 2021 Solace Cycles OM-2p, built to crush and shipped to Switzerland by Jeff Allott in Westport, NY. The setup is based on three principles: being bombproof, comfortable, and flexible. Bombproof: Ti frame, Pinion and Gates drivetrain, Magura MT7 4-piston brakes, Industry Nine BC360 wheels with a 2.6″ Rekon Exo+ in front (not shown) and Ikon in the rear Comfortable: Lauf TR Boost fork, Redshift Shockstop seatpost, and Tioga Uncover Stratum saddle, the 2.6″ rubber, Ergon grips, and raised Pro Missile aerobars.
BAGS: Flexible: A rack to strap extra water/food to and to create some points to grab during the hike-a-bikes; a Dom Gorilla cage on the downtube for heavy stuff that can be quickly detached if I need/want to throw the bike on my back; a small Ortlieb frame pack to keep the top tube and seat tube grab-able. Most gear is in two Sea to Summit Big River dry bags. I’ll wear an Ultimate Direction FKT vest with a 2L bladder for hydration and snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m more of a mountain runner than a cyclist. My VJ Sport Maxx trail shoes should speed up the hikes and provide some traction during the inevitable emergency exits from the bike on the downhills!
Age 30 / Liege (Belgium)
BIKE: I will be riding the SRMR with my trusty 2019 Orbea Terra. It is equipped with a Shimano GXR/Garbaruk 42T/10-46T mono drivetrain. The wheels are HUNT 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide mounted with Hutchinson Touareg 40mm tyres and Vittoria Air-Liner.
BAGS: After a long time riding with a mix of Miss Grape and Apidura, I will have a complete set from Miss Grape for this adventure. If this configuration is usually enough for my European trips, I have added fork supports and an extra water bottle holder to carry more water and food. I will most certainly bring a hip pack with a water reservoir.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: CAMP Minimal 1 SL tent as a shelter. A Garmin 1030 Plus and its additional battery for navigation.
Age 34 / Helsinki (Finland)
BIKE: I have a Stanton Sherpa to get me over the mountains, with a 120mm fork, 1×11, 11-46, and a 28T chainrinng. Old-fashionedly narrow carbon rims with a dynamo hub, powering an Exposure Revo light. I’ve also got a Fenix BC 30 V2 battery light with spare 18650s that have a micro USB port on them so I don’t need a separate charger for the cells if I need to charge them. There’s an aerobar, inner bar ends, Ergon grips, the only saddle I’ve used for years, and 2.35″ Mezcals with a Vittoria insert on the rear.
BAGS: Homemade framebag, seams are sealed with Seamgrip. All the small heavy stuff in the bottom, while the upper part is mostly for food. I made the handlebar harness myself a couple of years ago, and it carries my sleeping bag, pad, and warm clothes. Saddlebag holster is a Restrap holding an Alpkit tapered drybag, with a tent and rain gear in it. There’s some space for food in both of those too. Blackburn stem bags for a water filter, snacks, and stuff. Drj0n Strapdeck holding a Kleen Kanteen.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Big old padded leather mittens, bought from a flea market years ago and used for several snowy winters, should be cozy in the mountains. MSR Pocketrocket stove in a small pot, Lanshan tent, NeoAir Xlite pad, Cumulus X-lite bag, Specialized Rime 2.0 shoes. I often use a hydration pack, but for this, I decided to only take a small packable backpack for when I need the extra space. While I have a habit of getting by with a rather minimal kit, this actually has pretty much everything covered, with backups, yet it’s still relatively lean. Nothing dangling, rides like a mountain bike.
Age 31 / (Scotland)
BIKE: Titanium Omnium CXC, Carbon Fork, 650b x 47mm on the front and 45mm on the back (the max my clearance will comfortably allow), 1×11 drivetrain, 4-season Hunt Wheelset and SON dynamo, Zipp time trial bars with mounted Dynamo front light.
BAGS: Saddlebag with tool pouch on top, full frame bag, cockpit bag, two feed bags for water, a handlebar bag, and a dry bag strapped to the time trial bars for quick access to rain gear. All bags from the Brooks England Scape range.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Lots of additional capacity for food (I’m a hungry boy), and a focus on comfort and warmth instead of counting grams.
Age 59 / Devon (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ve really been enjoying the ride and capabilities of this Sonder Broken Road. It has undergone many guises depending upon the terrain and tour it is undertaking. For SRMR, I will be pedalling a 30T 1×12 Sram XX1 chainset to a DT Swiss rear and a SON dynamo hub on a Hunt front hoop. Tyres are a new set of 2.35/2.25″ Vittoria Mezcals. The front end has Reba 100mm fork, Jones loop bars, and endurance/aero bars. This setup does give lots of possible positions to help reduce fatigue. I have XT twin pot brakes to slow it down. The perch is an ISM Prologue, which I have found least uncomfortable for both sitting upright and tucked. The Exposure bike lights are both directly dynamo powered, and I have a helmet-mounted Exposure Diablo if additional lumens are needed for anything technical.
BAGS: I predominantly have a set of robust Alpkit bags based around a custom Stingray frame bag. This houses a USB port powered off the SON hub to recharge the battery pack and tech. Also in the frame bag are bike spares, tubes, pump, water filter, tent poles, and some food. The seat bag is an Apidura 17L Expedition to carry spare dry, warm, and wet weather clothes. The fork bags carry an MSR Access 4 season tent and an MSR Wind Pro stove to provide some comfort and shelter. I’ll navigate with an android phone running Komoot and a Garmin 830 with GPX backup. Overall, not the lightest adventure racing set up, but considering the remoteness and mountainous weather extremes, I have opted for some protection.
Age 57 / Johannesburg (South Africa)
BIKE: 2021 Nordest Sardinha 2, running a SRAM GX 1×12 drivetrain with a Wolf Tooth 28T chainring. Stans/WTB wheels with an SP Dynamo Hub. An SQlab saddle will take care of the rear whilst a Jones H-bar, Ergon grips, and Redshift Shock-Stop stem will take care of the front end. kLite’s Bikepacker Pro V2 dynamo light with USB and bar switch will light the way. A Garmin Etrex 22x for navigation with Komoot maps on my phone for backup.
BAGS: They’re a combination Bedrock and Revelate Designs. Frame and tank bag from Bedrock with Feedbags, Sweetroll, and Spinelock from Revelate.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleeping system consists of Six Moon Design’s Lunar Solo tent, Klymit’s Ultralight V sleeping pad with a Katabatic Gear Quilt. Cooking will be taken care of with an Alpkit Koro Ti stove.
Age 46 / Halstenbek (Germany)
BIKE: As at the Atlas Mountain Race, I’ll also rely on my Salsa Fargo Titanium in Kyrgyzstan. Shifting is with a SRAM Rival 1×11, combined with a Garbarauk cage. I run a 30T oval chainring at the front and a 10-50 Garbarauk cassette at the rear. The tyres are again Vittoria Mezcal with 2.25″ width. They roll on DT-Swiss HX 491 rims (no compromises!) with a DT-Swiss 240 EXP rear hub and a SON 28 hub dynamo at the front.
BAGS: I usually use Ortlieb bags, but I decided to use Revelate Designs bags for the SRMR, as they are quicker and easier for me to handle. In the front is the Pronghorn handlebar harness with packsack in M + Egress accessory bag. In the frame is the Ripio frame bag in L and on the saddle rides the Spinelock 16L. The Spinelock and Harness System allow me to pack, compress, and mount my bags quickly and easily. For the top tube, I chose the Salsa TopTube EXP, which has a cable channel for my kLite USB charger. I also have a Restrap Stem Bag on the handlebars to carry a water bottle or food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My equipment is the actual result of my years of experience with bike travel and bikepacking. New are the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1 Bikepack tent, my new Cumulus X-Lite 400 sleeping bag, and the kLite Bikepacker Ultra V2 light, which comes with a USB charger that still works quite well at low speed. And the light is fabulous. For the long and slow passages in the dark, I also rely on my Petzl Swift RL headlamp, which has a lot of light with 900 lumens and already did a good job in Morocco. I also opted for a Profile Design Sonic Ergo 35a Aerobar for more comfort. For the pedals, I’m going with the Shimano XT PD-T8000 click/platform.
Age 48 / Hlucin (Czech Republic)
BIKE: My SRMR 2021 bike is Trek Supercaliber 9.7 with some upgrades. 1×12 SRAM X01 mechanical drivetrain with 30T chainring and 9/46 e*thirteen cassette and proven 29 x 2.2″ Continental RaceKing Protection tires. SON Dynamo hub in front will power my Supernova E3 front/rear lights. The comfort will be under the responsibility of Brooks C17 saddle, Ergon Grips,, and Profile design T4+ aero (I mean resting) bars.
BAGS: Front Acepac bar drybag and harness with my sleeping system (tent, mat, sleeping bag, tyvek). Ortlieb saddlebag is my biggest luggage for all other stuff. On the handlebar are two Acepac feed pockets, and the last is a small B-TWIN frame double bag with bike repairs and some electronics.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nordisk Lofoten tent, Cumulus X-lite 400 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest mat, Garmin Oregon for navigation. The moose toy “Kipli” as a mascot will protect me as he always does!
Kenneth Bruun Jorgensen
Age 47 / Copenhagen (Denmark)
BIKE: I will be riding my custom-built titanium hardtail from BenBen Cykler in Copenhagen. We spent a lot of time together in the workshop getting this bike completely dialed in to my needs, and I find it perfect. It runs 29 x 2.35″ Ikons on a wide carbon rim. Up front is a SON dynamo to power a kLite torch and my power bank. It took some time to find the right saddle, but I ended up with a Specialized power, with a huge cut-out. I haven’t had any numb parts since, so love it. I am putting my faith in a 30T chainring and 10-50 cassette. It has a pike 120mm fork and both an aerobar and bar ends on the inside of the grips. Hopefully, all that comfort and different positions will keep me on the bike longer.
BAGS: The bags are a mix of Revelate Designs and Apidura. In front, I use a Sea to Summit drybag for my sleeping kit, strapped to the aerobar. This will be my first trip with the long top tube bag from Apidura. I already like it for its bigger volume. I will also carry an Osprey Talon 11l backpack for water (and inline filter), and for those extra snacks to bring on the “road.”
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m definitely most excited about riding this new bike on a longer ride. I have trained on Danish singletrack, but to go into the big mountains is going to be so much fun on this rig. Also, I am psyched about the kLite front light and the SON hub. I haven’t ridden with a dynamo before but already loved the test riding.
Age 51 / Sindelfingen (Germany)
BIKE: My bike is based on a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat frame, with a modified Shimano GRX drivetrain with 2×11 46/30 to 11-40 transmission. It has a SON dynamo and 29″ x 2.4″ wide Wolfpack Speed tires. I tried several combinations of Wolfpack tires, but the Speed are by far the fastest and I hope it is not getting too muddy. Bike was built up by Basis Fahrradwarenladen in Stuttgart.
BAGS: Bags are a bit of a mixture. I use Apidura frame bag on Salsa Anything cages, Expedition Fork Packs, and a bolt-on top tube bag are from Apidura as well. The saddle pack is from Ortlieb, the front roll is from Salsa, and the Jerrycan from Revelate Designs. I use a 2.5L water bladder in the frame bag and two bottles on the frame and handlebar in an Apidura Food pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love my super light Nordisk Lofoten tent and my Cumulus sleeping bag. I also carry a Cumulus down pant for cold periods. For navigation, I use the Garmin 1030.
Age 53 / Kontich (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a Curve GMX+ specifically built for this race. The bike features a pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.35” tires, a 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain with a 34T chainring and a 10-52 cassette on the back. I will use mechanical Avid brakes that I recuperated from my fat bike, a SON Dynamo hub up front, and a VAP Butterfly 2 handlebar system.
BAGS: A custom Restrap Frame bag, I am also running a Brooks Scape seat bag and an Apidura Racing top tube bag. Waterproof Revelate Polecat drybags for my fork mount cargo cages. Three one-liter bottles will be mounted on the downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be carrying an eTrex 30 for navigation. A kLite Front Light with USB charger. A Nordisk Lofoten2 tent with a Marmot Phase 20 sleeping bag. Real Turmat freeze-dried rations. Katadyn Tactical BeFree Filter and Hadex chlorine solution.
Age 38 / Brasov (Romania)
BIKE: Canyon Lux M8000, Mavic wheels
BAGS: Designs seat bag, harness, and feedbag
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Running inserts with 2.35″ tyres and low pressure. I’m wondering how this will work out.
Age 32 / Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2019 Kona Blast. The bike features a pair of WTB Trail Boss 2.25” tires, a standard 1×10 drivetrain with a 28T chainring, and WTB ST i29 wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front. I am also using a Cycle4Charge V3 USB charger. One other modification is an aerobar with armrests on the handlebars.
BAGS: I am using Apidura’s 14l Expedition handlebar pack with the accessory pocket, a full-frame bag handmade here in Bishkek, 17l Expedition Saddle Pack, 2 Lezyne food pouches plus, and the bigger Expedition top tube pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am using a regular tent with Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad (both are not ultralight). I’ll also be carrying a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for navigation.
Age 53 / Macclesfield (England)
BIKE: Custom Ti 29er built by Alchemy Bikes in Colorado back in 2016, with Salsa Firestarter carbon fork. The bike incorporates a Rohloff hub with low/high gear ratios of 56%/293%. I’m running Teravail Sparwood (Durable) 2.2” tires on a Stans Arch EX wheelset. The brakes are TRP Spyre mechanical disc. Power comes from a SON Dynamo hub paired with the Sinewave Reactor light/USB unit.
BAGS: A well-worn Revelate seat pack and feedbags, Alpkit custom framebag, and a single Salsa Anything cage on the left fork. New additions are the Butterfly handlebar bag system by VAP Cycling out front and the Apidura Long top tube bag. Water will be stored in a large bottle mounted on the right fork and I’ll carry a 2L Camelbak.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My tent is the Nordisk 2 ULW. I’ve gone for a Therm-a-Rest Hyperion -6C bag combined with a silk liner and a Therm-a-Rest Neoair xlite. Wet/cold weather protection is provided by Arc’teryx rain and down jackets plus some Gore trousers. I’ll be mounting a Garmin 1030 Plus for navigation.
Age 33 / Vilnius (Lithuania)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a Teliaveli gravel bike. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Rambler 650b tires, a modified 1×11 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and light bicycles carbon wheelset. I will use an aerobar for greater comfort.
BAGS: I will use three different brand bags this year. BBD frame bag, Apidura saddlebag and down tube bag, and Ortlieb handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An Elan Alpkit bivy will serve as my shelter along with an Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag and Alpkit Numo sleeping pad. I’ll also be carrying an eTrex 32 for navigation. This year, I will be without a dynamo hub, so I will have several large power banks to charge the devices and the main Exposure sixpack lamp.
Catherine de Medici Jaffee
Age 35 / Durango (Colorado)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2020 Chumba Stella Titanium steed. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Crossmark II 29 x 2.25″ EXO TR tires and a 2×11 drivetrain with a 36x26T chainring. For my wheelset, I have custom Astral rims to Son Dynamo and DT Swiss hubs. I have Thomson titanium handlebars, Cane Creek Cane Ergo grips, and XT Hydraulic 4 piston brakes, making things a little easier on my hands, which are still recovering from some lingering neuropathy from chemo treatments.
BAGS: On my frame center, I have a Revelate Designs Ranger bag filled with bike tools and parts, and on the front a Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness with a Revelate Pocket bag, where I pack my sleep supplies. In the cockpit, I have two Wanderlust Rattlesnake Stem bags for water and snacks, and a Revelate Jerrycan and Mag-Tank that I’ve filled with first aid and more snacks. In the rear, I have a Wanderlust seat pack containing, you guessed it, snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For sleeping, I have a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Bikepacking tent, a custom-designed X-LITE 300 Cumulus sleeping bag, a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad, and an Etrex 22x for my navigation. Other notable highlights include a slingshot and a Boggle set from the 90s I’ve modified for bikepacking that straps to my bags. And a cup.
Age 31 / Granada (Spain)
BIKE: My bike is Rocinante, a 2020 Kona Sutra LTD that I probably should’ve just built from a frameset at this point, oops. It weighs as much as a mid-size sedan. I’ve added a 10-52T Eagle GX mullet drivetrain (Ratio conversion kit) spun by a 30T chainring, 700 x 55mm René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires in the Endurance Plus casing, SON 28 dynamo hub, Sinewave Beacon, Ritchey VentureMax XL bars with Profile Designs aero bars on top, Shockstop stem, and the ubiquitous C17 saddle. My theory is that its rather Clydesdale proportions will translate into reliability that lets me keep up with everyone whose bike weighs 4kg less. We’ll see, but I love this bike unconditionally.
BAGS: I’ve got quite the hodgepodge of bags, but the party piece is my custom full frame from Quercus Outdoor Equipment, a new maker located in Valencia making some beautiful stuff. Swift Industries Zeitgeist hung under the aero bars, Helmut Equipment saddlebag and top tube bag, Decathlon stem bag, and a Miss Grape fork bag round out the luggage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo Elemnt Roam, 20,000mAh battery pack, and an Exposure Joystick headlight to back up the dynamo setup. Accommodations are an OR Helium bivy, Therm-a-Rest XLite pad, Sea to Summit pillow, and Mountain Hardwear Phantom -9C bag. I’ll be bringing a Jetboil Stash and a couple of kilos worth of dehydrated meals, peanut butter, and instant coffee to supplement the resupplies in Kyrgyzstan. Besides that, a whole bunch of warm and waterproof clothes, and a reminder to enjoy the views taped to my stem!
Age 55 / Bogor (Indonesia)
BIKE: Canyon Exceed CFR. Drivetrain is Shimano XTR 1×12 speed (10/51), 34T chainring. Wheels are DT Swiss XRC 1200 spline 30. Maxxis Icon 3C Exo TR 2.35” and 2.20” tires. Ergon GS3 grips. Profile Design T2 aero bars. Lupine Neo (front light), Rotlicht Max (rear ligt), Piko (helmet light). GPS watch Suunto 9 Peak, GPS Navigator Etrex 32.
BAGS: Eiger frame bag, Apidura seat pack, top tube bag, Revelate harness. Sea to Summit dry bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bivy Terra Nova, sleeping bag Montbell, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress. Hydrobag TNF, Black Diamond mittens, Pearl Izumi gloves, Montane waterproof gloves. Raidlight Hyperlight MP water/windproof jacket and pants. TNF Thermoball Jacket. Montane Primaloft pants, Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX running shoes, Darn Tough socks, GoreTex shoe covers. Montbell thermal bike pants, etc.
Age 31 / Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2021 Why Cycles El Jefe 29er. The bike features a SRAM Eagle GX Dub B2 groupset and a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.6” tires on DT Swiss 30mm rims with a SON Dynamo hub up front and a rear Hope Pro4 hub. I went with 12-degree sweep Thomson Ti MTB bars with Profile Legacy II aerobars.
BAGS: I’m running a Topeak seat pack, Atwater X-Pac top tube bags, an Atwater X-Pac frame bag, and Cactus Outdoor Love Handle and Glove Box bags on the bars. Three Blackburn Outpost cages will be mounted to the fork and downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be packing a Tarptent Protrail and my trusty Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping mat and a -5deg down fill bag. Also sporting Time ATAC pedals, which will undoubtedly make me much faster and stronger.
Age 58 / Bornem (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the SRMR on a Dutch-made Santos Travelmaster 3+ with a Rohloff speed hub, Gates carbon drive belt, SRAM hydraulic brakes and mechanical shifters, a SON 28 Dynamo hub with a SON Edelux II front light, Brooks C17 Saddle, Profile Design 45/25A aero bars, and 50-622 Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires.
BAGS: All Apidura Expedition bags, 17L saddle pack, 14L handlebar pack, 4,5L accessory pocket, 14L full frame pack, 1L top tube pack, and 2 Backcountry food pouches. I also will be carrying a 28L Nine Trails Patagonia backpack for water and food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system will be a Nordisk Lofoten 2 tent, a Valandre Mirage 3/4 sleeping bag with a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm sleeping pad. My navigation will be the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus with a Garmin Edge 830 as a backup. Batteries will be 2 Anker power banks. I will switch between 2 Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL as a helmet light. Cooking will be done with a Jetboil MicroMo. Filtering water with the MSR Trailshot.
Age 46 / Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
BIKE: My bike is a 2017 Giant Talon 1. It is the same bike I raced 2019 SRMR, which I bought specifically for this race. This is an Aluminium hardtail equipped with SR Suntour Epixon 27.5″, Air Spring, 100mm fork. I have my second set of tires, a Maxxis Ikon 27.5 x 2.2″ on the front wheel and WTB Nano 2.1” in back. I have no reason why I choose this combination of tires, just found WTB Nano labeled as “#1 choice for TD and JayP’s favorite tire” in one of Bishkek’s bike shops. The core of this machine is a 2×10 Deore drivetrain with FSA Comet 24/36 crankset.
BAGS: It is truly a small collection of different bikepacking brands on my bike. Oveja Negra Font End Loader holds Restrap 14L Dry Bag for sleep system. Alpkit’s Cockpit Bundle is on the handlebar and top. Alpkit’s previous model of Fiana 12L saddlebag. There is a small custom-made pouch for tent poles strapped to the saddle and saddlebag to make this setup more stable and secure while on the go. And finally, a Moosetreks frame bag completes my setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be using Alpkit Soloist Flysheet with tent poles and Kloke Bivvy Bag. In this combination, I may choose when to use them together or separately, depending on the weather, location, and my physical condition. I am using an unbranded -5C 1.1kg sleeping bag and air mat.
Age 30 / Dresden (Germany)
BIKE: This Veloheld IconX Ti will be a first-time participant in the race. I rode the previous model from Germany to China through all kinds of terrain in 2019, so I’m really confident with this new model, which is almost similar despite being a Titanium frame. Veloheld is a lovely local manufacturer seated in Dresden and offers beautifully customizable steel and titanium bikes. As a 1x enthusiast I went for my well-proven adventure gearing: 38x 9-46 (damn I love that 9 tooth cog!). Other beloved parts are my Canyon VCLS 2.0 Seatpost (never again without!) and BEAST Composites wheels (which also are manufactured in Dresden). Ah yes, everything put together with my own hands, as it’s important for me to know every tiny screw of the bike I’m riding.
BAGS: I’m very proud to carry some custom-made bags of Sven, a local manufacturer in Halle, called Reisefix (frame bag and food pouches). Very impressed by the quality of his work. Aerobar harness and saddlebag by Restrap; the holster System works flawlessly. Also a large Apidura top tube bag. I’m really happy with this compact setup, which evolved from my long-distance bikepacking trip – Pedalskillcancer goes beyond the greatest peaks in 2019.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For me, the whole setup is a highlight, as it’s well-proven over several years and adventures, but if I had to pick some: the custom orange paint job on the Veloheld frame, the Forumslader (Dynamo charger) which, powered by a SON Daynamohub distributes up to 1000mAh and has never failed, the waterproof Galaxy A3 with Locus maps – Navigator and route builder with the most wonderful maps I know, and of course the Indian bamboo flute which I always carry on my trips.
Age 34 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on Suicycle Taiga frame. It’s a prototype that was designed to be a gravel bike that can also handle the SRMR. The bike features Vittoria tires, Mezcal 29 x 2.1″ in the rear and Barzo 29 x 2.1″ in the front on custom DT Swiss wheels with a SON Dynamo. I went for a 1×12 drivetrain (34×11-50) with a SRAM AXS mullet. For hopefully little pain, I’ll be sitting on an SQlab 611 saddle.
BAGS: Full Revelate Designs bag setup. Terrapin 14l seat bag, Harness, Saltyroll, and Egress bar bags, Ripio, Jerrycan and Gastank frame bags, Mountain Feedbags, and Polecat bags at the fork. My water will be in a backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping in an MSR Hubba NX tent in a Sea to Summit Spark IV sleeping bag on a Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated mat. For riding in the dark I’ll have, next to my SON light at the bike, a Lupine Neo on my helmet. Carrying a stove and small pot as well as a Milkit booster in case I have to pop my tires back into place. For navigation, I rely on a Wahoo Roam.
Age 35 / Geneva (Switzerland)
BIKE: I’m riding the SRMR on a fully rigid titanium Curve Uprock. Curve carbon fork, Shimano XT 1×11, DT Swiss XM481 rims, Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tubeless tires, SON Dynamo and DT240 hubs, Sinewave light, Ergon GP2 grips.
BAGS: A custom frame bag from ByMarion&Quentin in Dijon, a Revelate Designs Gas Tank, an Apidura Expedition 9L handlebar pack, a Rusjan saddle pack, and Apidura food pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An OR Helium bivy, an Aegismax sleeping bag, and a Sea to Summit UL air mat. I’ll use a Garmin eTrex 30 and a Garmin Edge 1030 for navigation.
Age 57 / Benicia, California (USA)
BIKE: For the 2021 edition of the Silk Road Mountain Race, I will be riding a Chiru Kegeti with ENVE gravel 46cm bars and mountain fork. The bike has SRAM Force shifters that have been modified to work with an Eagle X01 rear derailleur using a Ratio Technology 12s upgrade kit. The gearing is 10-52 34T. The bike rolls on Maxxis Ikon 2.20” tubeless tires mounted on WeAreOne Faction wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front. The bike is also fitted with a Lynskey titanium seatpost. The seapost’s 25mm bowed setback adds a surprising amount of comfort to the ride.
BAGS: Cedaero Frame Pack, Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seat pack, Revelate Designs harness with Egress Pocket, Rouge Panda Oracle Downtube Bag, and two Rockbros top tube bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For sleeping, I am bringing a Tarptent Aeon Li, an Enlightened Equipment quilt, and a Klymit Static Sleeping Pad. Navigation will be done using a Garmin 1030 plus with an iPhone using RideWithGPS and Komoot as a backup.
Age 54 / (South Africa)
BIKE: I will be doing the SRMR2021 on my six-year-old trustworthy titanium GT Xizang 29er with a Fox 32 SC. The drivetrain is an old-style 2 x 10 Shimano XT, with a Rotor REX 2.2 crank 36/22 (would have preferred 39/25 but you can’t find the chainrings anymore) and an 11/36 cassette. The 22/36 combination will hopefully flatten the hills! Brakes are Shimano XT and I will be using the Richie Mini Silver aero bars. Maxxis Ikon 2.35″ tubeless tires front and back and an unbranded wheelset from my wife’s bike. WTB Rocket saddle.
BAGS: Nothing fancy, I prefer the harness-type bags and will be using Acepac saddle and handlebar bags. Sleeping kit in the front and the rest in the back. Will also take a small backpack for food (maybe extra water as needed) and my quick change clothing.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Lights are from the South African brand Extreme Lights and the two 6,800 mAh battery packs should give me 100 hours at 200 lumens. Headlamp with AAA batteries. GPS is a Lezyne MEGA XLS and my phone will be my backup. Not taking a stove. Sleeping system is a Trekmates Squall Bivi Bag that I got from eBay and a down sleeping bag (-5) and blow-up mattress from French brand Decathlon.
Age 52 / Seaside, California (USA)
BIKE: I will be riding my time-tested and much-loved companion of more than three decades: a 1988 Ritchey Ultra. It features a Deore XT M730 “three-by” drivetrain (48-38-22) with the extra small chainring made possible by an Avid Microdapter2. Coupled with a six-speed Uniglide cassette (12×34), the setup provides a gear range of 618% that hopefully will help me make it to the finish line.
BAGS: Revelate bags in the middle, Ortlieb on the front and back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nordisk Svalbard 1 SI tent, Garmin eTrex 32X, allegedly bulletproof Ryde Andra 30 rims laced with Sapim strong spokes, a SON 28 dynamo hub powering an Edelux2 headlight and a Sinewave Revolution for keeping my power bank charged. Oh, and a warm REI down sleeping bag for those not so long, but cold nights on the Jayloo. With only a week remaining before the start, I’m still trying to find peanut butter here in Bishkek, but did buy some excellent Turkish halva the other day
James Mark Hayden
Age 31 / Catalunya (Spain)
BIKE: Canyon LUX SLX with Shimano XTR 30/10-51T. Rusjan bags and Tailfin rack. Handbuilt wheels with SON Dynamo and kLite.
BAGS: Front roll: Sleeping kit, Frame bag: food and Endura clothing, Top tube bag: electronics, Tailfin rack: Endura clothing, Rusjan side panniers: food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This bike is absolutely dialed, everything is bespoke. Having raced SRMR in 2019, I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to ride at the race, I’ve moved from a Hardtail to full sus, and I think this will make a huge difference on some of the sections. I have slimmed down my kit a bit, having more knowledge and confidence, plus Endura have made some custom prototypes for me. I am so pleased with how it’s come together, it’s a dream to ride.
Age 41 / Ebenhausen (Germany)
BIKE: The bike I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on is a 2020 Salsa Fargo. It’s the bike I raced last year’s Atlas Mountain Race on. The Salsa runs on Vittoria Mezcal tyres, 2.35″ in the front, 2.25″ in the back. The drivetrain is a 1×11 with a 30T chainring and a Garbaruk modified SRAM Rival that shifts an 11-50 cassette. Brakes are TRP Spyre, rims are DT Swiss HX 491 – a heavy-duty setup.
BAGS: My bag setup contains a little bit of everything: Revelate Framebag, Gastank, and Saltyroll carried by a Salsa Anything Cradle. The seat bag is Ortlieb, the two food pouches are Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The SON dynamo hub fuels the kLite Bikepacker Ultra V2. My Sleeping Setup contains the Big Agnes HV UL Bikepacker Tent and a custom-made Cumulus X-Lite 400 sleeping bag.
BIKE: 2017 Canyon Exceed CF 9.0 Pro Race
BAGS: Custom Annibale frame bag, Butterfly Gun handlebar bag from VAP Cycling, Shimano Discovery 15L saddlebag
Age 33 / Panevezys (Lithuania)
BIKE: I’ll be riding Santa Cruz Highball fitted with a Reserve rear wheel and custom-built front wheel with SON dynamo hub. The drivetrain is a SRAM/Shimano mix with Garbaruk 32T chainring and 10-52 SRAM cassette. The bike features Jones handlebars and Ergon grips. For night riding, I’ll be using Sinewave dynamo front light and Lezyne rechargeable rear light.
BAGS: Mix of Apidura and Relevate Designs frame and handlebar bags, Tailfin rear pack and side cages for extra water and dried food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Fizik Terra EL X2 shoes to keep my feet comfy whether it’s biking or hiking. Navigation will be done using Wahoo. For sleeping, I’ll carry a Big Agnes bikepacking tent, a Therm-a-Rest inflatable mat, and a Sea to Summit Spark IV sleeping bag.
Age 37 / Veszprem (Hungary)
BIKE: For the Silk Rod Mountain Race I will be riding my OPEN WI.DE on 650b DT Swiss wheels and 2.2″ Maxxis tyres. My groupset is 1×11 SRAM Force with 36T on the front and 11-42 out back.
BAGS: I will be running a full set of the Apidura Expedition packs for all of my kit, including the full frame bag, front, rear, top tube, and snack pouches.
Age 49 / Skulte (Latvia)
BIKE: Bike My Specialized S-WORKS Epic Full Suspension 2019 is my sport bike modified to be my bikepacking rig. It has SRAM Eagle XXI 36T + 10T-50T Cassette and Panaracer Driver Pro PR Tubleles tires.
BAGS: All bags from Apidura and Wolf Tooth Components.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wolf Tooth Titanium Morse Cages, King Cage fork cages, MagicShine lights, Big Agnes Copper Spur 1P UL Tent, EXPED AirMat HL M, MontBell sleeping bag, Castelli cycling apparel.
Age 38 / Krakow (Poland)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2019 Rondo Ruut CF2. Customized wheels from Dandy Horse with a SON Dynamo hub featured a new pair of Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Mixed TLR 650b x 45mm tires. Among all other modifications, the most important is a 34T oval chainring from Absolute Black with standard gravel cassette 10-42T.
BAGS: Apidura Expedition set composed with Saddle Pack (17L) for clothes and food, Handlebar Pack (9L) for sleeping equipment and Frame Pack (7.5L) for spare parts food and water canister. In addition, I’m going to use two food pouch bags and a top tube pack for electronic stuff.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The North Face Assault Bivy with Malachowski UL sleeping bag and Sea To summit UL Mat for comfort. For navigation, I will use Garmin (Edge 1030, GPSMap64sx as a backup). Sinewave Beacon will be used to charge all my electronic devices during the day and for lighting at night.
Age 37 / Dresden (Germany)
BIKE: I’m riding a Veloheld Iron.
BAGS: My bags are from Ortlieb.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My camera equipment.
Age 16 / Victor, Idaho (USA)
BIKE: Rodeo Labs Show Pony with Shimano XTR cranks and cassette, XT derailleur, and XT 4 piston brake. Wheels (rear) Industry Nine Ultralight 280 and a SON dynamo hub up front, paired with a 2.25″ Mezcal in the back and a 2.35″ in the front. ENVE M6 handlebars (780mm) with a pro (80mm) stem. Pro aero bars and seat post.
BAGS: Exile Designs frame bag. Rockgeist top tube bag. Tailfin rear rack and bag. FBJ Creations aero bar bag. Zefal bottom tool bottle
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Stoked on how light my sleep kit is. No tent, just a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir pad, a Montbell bivy, Sea to Summit 40-degree bag, and a Western Mountaineering jacket.
Age 44 / Rotterdam (Netherlands)
BIKE: Hand-picked in part-scarce times by Joergen of Parallel Handbuilt: a steel Sour Pasta Party, in a colour modest by day, party by night! Hand-built Duke Crazy Star wheels, running tubeless Teravail Sparwoods. The SON dynahub should power my electrical needs like the blazing kLite torch, Garmin 830 navigation, and the batteries for the SRAM GX Eagle AXS derailleur (which serves my 10-50 Garbaruk cassette and 32t Praxisfront cog). My trusty old Cane creek Thudbuster will be there to rescue my spine, while the RockShox Sid saves my arms and shoulders.
BAGS: The handmade Traevel Atelier frame bags fits my frame snuggly, keeping my freight centered, while my Apidura saddlebag and Vaude Trail bags hold our two-person tent (I ride as part of a Team with Abel Schooleman), clothing, and camping gear. Hoping that my aerobars are not coming along in vain!
Age 32 / Sepsiszentgyorgy (Romania)
BIKE: For my second take on the rough SRMR route in Kyrgyzstan, I’ll be coming back with a whole different concept. I’m accepting the weight penalty and going for comfort. My weapon of choice is a 2014 Specialized Epic FSR, which I’ve updated and tweaked to become the perfect bikepacking rig. It has an AXS rear mech with 52T cog for going up, and a KS Lev Ci dropper for going down. The handlebar has full control on the Karoo2 head unit, dropper, lights, and gears all under my fingertips. All is rolling on what is the highlight of the bike, the all-new Revolution rims by kLite, featuring two extra Innegra layers, and Vittoria rubbers.
BAGS: Regarding the bags, the absolute highlight is the saddlebag, which is the recreation of the long-gone Porcelain Rocket Mr. Albert dropper compatible bag. It’s made by a new Hungarian bike bag creator on the market, Mokush. The long top tube bag and the feedbags are also his creation. Framebag and fork bags are made by the Australian BikeBag Dude.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be riding lightweight, so only taking a homemade bivy with a sleeping bag. For such remote areas, a stove is a must in my book, so that’s coming with me also. Electronics and lights will be powered by the trusty kLite Ultra system.
Age 45 / Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
BIKE: 2020 Kona Sutra LTD, WHISKY No.9 30w Rim 29″, DT Swiss hubs 350 (f) 180 (r), 700 x 45mm Kenda Flintridge Pro Tire, 31/48T chainrings, 11-42T (Wolf Tooth Goat Link), Shimano GRX components, SPD pedals, and Redshift seat post and stem shocks. It weighs 25.2 lbs on my bathroom scale.
BAGS: Lezyne top tube bag, Topeak FrontLoader 8L, Ortlieb frame 6L and seat 16.5L bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I don’t deserve my ENVE Composites G Series Gravel Drop Handlebar, carbon 48cm.
Age 31 / Salzburg (Austria)
BIKE: This year, I am riding a 2021 Bombtrack Hook EXT-C. The bike has 2” WTB Tires, a Nano in the front and a Venture in the back. Groupset is 1×12 and a mix of SRAM Force AXS and GX Eagle AXS. I am riding a 40T chainring in the front and a 10-50 cassette back. The bike features kLite’s new Revolution wheels with an SP Dynamo Hub. I am also running the kLite Ultra Bikepacker 2 headlamp and USB charging system.
BAGS: I’m mostly running Ortlieb bags. For this race, I am experimenting with their Fork-Packs as quickly accessible storage. I am also running a Revelate Designs MagTank top tube bag and a food pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am trusting a Sea-to-Summit Spark III and an Etherlight insulated mattress my comfort, while I am using an Outdoor Research Helium Bivvy as a shelter. I’m happy to run a full 7mesh kit for rain and thermal protection and my Quoc GTs as the footwear of choice. For Navigation, I rely on a Wahoo ELMNT Roam and a Bolt as a backup.
Age 31 / London (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tires, a 1×11 drivetrain with a 32T chainring up front, and 11-46T out back for those long ascents. I’ll be keeping it lit with an Exposure Revo hooked up to a SONdeluxe dynamo hub.
BAGS: I’ll be using a Revelate Salty-roll attached to a Salsa EXP cradle, a Revelate feed bag, and two Salsa bags attached to anything cradles on the forks. I have the Salsa direct mount frame bag, a Revelate Mag Tank, and the Apidura Expedition saddle pack to keep me clean. The total volume is around 38 litres. I’ll be carrying a 1L bottle on the bike and a 3L bladder on my back with an additional 11L of storage for freeze-dried meals and Kyrgyz delicacies.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ul1 will keep me dry at night with a luxurious down bag rated to -10. I’ll also be carrying a Garmin eTrex 32x for navigation. The total loaded weight is 26kg, excluding the backpack.
Age 39 / Brooklyn, New York (USA)
BIKE: I’m riding my trusty Santa Cruz Chameleon. Rocking fresh 2.25” Vittoria Mezcals and a 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring. HiFi carbon hoops with an SP Dynamo PL-8X hub. Whisky No.9 Mtn Boost Fork. Flat bar with Ergon grips and Thompson cockpit.
BAGS: A variable showcase of American bag manufacturers. Rogue Panda smashed it out of the park with a topo fade to match the accent colors of the bike and wheels. Bombproof Porcelain Rocket seat bag, Outer Shell stem caddies, and tool bag. JPak Footlong SnakPak for all-day on-the-go snacking, and to round it out a Revalate Jerry can and Sweetroll out front.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A custom battery, wiring harness, and 3D printed lighting setup from a close friend and mad scientist, Steve Bartlett. Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo for shelter and Alpkit Pipedream 400 bag. Merino everything.
Age 35 / Riga (Latvia)
BIKE: For the 2021 SRMR, I’ll be racing with Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV, complete with WTB wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front that powers a SINEWAVE Cycles BEACON light. My groupset is SRAM Eagle 12-speed with a 36T chainring. Brooks Cambium C15 saddle, Ergon grips, and WTB Ranger Tubeless 29 x 2.25” tires.
BAGS: Fully equipped with Brooks Scape travel bags!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo ELEMNT Roam to keep me from getting lost and Voile Straps to keep everything together.
Age 60 / La Mans (France)
BIKE: A 30-year-old Specialized mountain bike.
BAGS: Blackburn cages with Restrap bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A tarp, a bivy, and a good sleeping bag (not sure of the brand).
Age 43 / The Hague (Netherlands)
BIKE: My SRMR rig is my new Sour Pasta Party, custom built by Joergen Trepp of Parallel Handbuilt in Rotterdam. It has a SRAM GX 1×12 drivetrain with a Garbaruk 10-52 cassette and a 32 chainring. I’m using a SON dynamo hub to power the kLite headlight.
BAGS: Revelate Pronghorn front roll and a Revelate Spinelock seat bag, which work really well together.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 830 for navigation and a Fujifilm XT-20 to relive the race when we’re back home.
Age 45 / Riga (Lativa)
BIKE: I’m taking the same bike I rode for the 2018 SRMR, my Genesis Longitude steel. I’ve upgraded it with new WTB wheels, WTB Ranger 29 x 2.25″ tires, and TRP Spyre (instead of Shimano hydro) brakes.
BAGS: A full set of Brooks SCAPE travel bags.
Age 35 / Modena (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a steel custom bike designed for adventure together with Erman Bike. Magnatòtt is his name, which literally means “eater of everything,” which is perfect for anyone who hungry for adventure, life, and food.
The bike features an out-of-fashion but quite awesome 2×11 drivetrain (38/24T with 11-42) which can handle pretty anything. Comfortable seat, 2.4” tires, and rest bar. The only downside is that doesn’t have an engine.
BAGS: Full frame bag, saddle bag, top tube, and food poach from Apidura (Backcountry series).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Full frame bag, saddle bag, top tube, and food poach from Apidura (Backcountry series).
Age 55 / Muelheim an der Ruhr (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Cannondale F-Si Hi-Mod Limited Edition with HT D1 platform/clipless pedals and Syntace C3 Aerobars. I added also a few changes, including a 40T chainring instead of the stock 42, a 16° angled carbon handlebar from Sqlab for more comfort, and Conti RaceKing ProTection 20 x 2.2″ tyres. I trust most of this.
BAGS: Blackburn frame bag, the only one that seems to fit. All the other bags are from Apidura, a first-generation Backcountry set. A Topeak VersaCage on the left for a tent and a Fidlock magnetic bottle holder on the right.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As the space between the aerobars is reserved for an Exposure Race light, I added two carbon bicycle handlebar extenders from GUB, one for the front roller and one for the quite large Wahoo Elmnt Roam. I carry a Salewa Vector UL 22 rucksack (86 g) for quick access to my rain gear and warm clothes when needed.
Marcos de Paiva Bueno
Age 37 / Oulu (Finland)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2021 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2019 Santa Cruz Highball. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Reckon Race 2.35” tires, a Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain with a 30T chainring, XTR hydraulic disk brakes, and Stans Flow MKIII wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front, which is powering a Son Edelux II light and Cinq5 Plug III to charge my devices. I’m using a Brooks C15, Ergon grips, and a Deda aerobar for some comfort.
BAGS: The centerpiece of my bag setup is a custom Alpkit Frame bag. I am also running a Topeak seat, handlebar, and 2x top tube packs, as well as two Aresta feed bags. Four 750mL bottles will be mounted to the fork and saddle, plus a 2L Klean Kanteen thermos bottle on the downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Hilleberg Enan 1P tent will serve as my shelter, along with a Sea-to-Summit Spark II sleeping bag and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Therm Mat. I’ll also be carrying a Garmin 1030 plus for navigation and an MSR Pocket Rocket with Sea-to-Summit X-Kettle to boil water for drinks and food.
Age 47 / Wurzburg, Bavaria (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my Ghost Fire Road Rage, which is a super-fast mule on 2.2″ horseshoes and 11-50 gear range on 32T (not yet mounted). DT Swiss hubs with SON Deluxe Dynamo.
BAGS: A potpourri of things that just work best for me. Apidura saddlebag and top tube, Ortlieb Handlebar bag, and Blackburn Full Frame bag (that fits quite perfectly in the frame). I’m also riding with a small backpack from Deuter.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: No surprises with Sea to Summit sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress, and Big Agnes Copper Spur tent. I’m navigating with Wahoo ROAM and maybe Garmin eTrex. The only surprise for me will be the kLite Bikepacker Ultra, which I’ve never used since I bought it just a few weeks ago.
Age 52 / Birmingham (England)
BIKE: My bike is a Sonder Broken Road, rigid carbon forks, Carbon 650B plus wheels with 2.6″ Vittoria mezcal tyres. It has 1×12 gearing with Hope cranks, 32T oval chainring, and Crank Brothers eggbeater pedals. Dynamo hub with a kLite USB charger and light, so no power issues! Brooks leather saddle with a Hope carbon seatpost.
BAGS: All my bags are made by my good friend Steve Moatt of spokeduk and are fully race-proven.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My OMM synthetic jacket takes some beating and I have a new Columbia Outdry jacket that will keep the worst rain out.
Age 26 / Bristol (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ll be attempting the 2021 SRMR on a Surly ECR, running a lovely pair of Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge 29 × 2.2″ tyres on Stans Arch carbon Rims to offset the weight of the Rohloff hub on the back. It’s also fitted out with Cane Creek eewings cranks and an eesilk seat post to take the edge off the rough stuff. On the front, I have Jones bars with Aerobar armrests and a Gnarwhal.
BAGS: I have an eclectic collection of bike bags, a Mr. Fusion Porcelain Rocket seat pack, a custom Rockgeist bolt-on frame bag and down tube bag, a Revelate designs Sweetroll with Egress Pocket on the handlebars, and two Oveja Negra Snack bags. On the Top Tube is an Apidura Racing Long top Tube pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m a fan of Big Agnes tents, so I’ll be using a Fly Creek HV1 for the race, a super lightweight and roomy tent. To keep warm at the higher altitudes, I have a Down Jacket and trousers From PHDesigns.
Age 49 / Victor, Idaho (USA)
BIKE: Rodeo Labs Show Pony prototype outfitted with an XTR drivetrain and brakes with a 32T chainring. Rolling i9 UL280 wheels with a SON front hub and Vittoria Mezcal tires (2.35F, 2.2R). HED flip-up aerobars mounted to a Fred Bar.
BAGS: A variety of bags will carry my luggage. Exile Designs frame bag, Rockgiest top tube bag, custom aerobar bag by FBJ Creations, and a Tailfin rack with a prototype bag connected to it. A Tailfin Cargo Cage on the downtube with a Zefal bottle is carrying my repair/tool kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m running a typical racer kit for a mountain environment. I don’t typically bring a pad but this round I am bringing a NeoAir. I have my sleep skirt and a proper synthetic fill jacket, both made by Nunatak.
Age 27 / Warsaw (Poland)
BIKE: Trek Superfly 9.8 2016 with a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” TNT tires, a 2×11 drivetrain with 24×40 gear, Dandy Horse wheels built with DT Swiss components and a SON Dynamo hub up front, Brooks B17 Imperial saddle, and Cane Creek ST seatpost.
BAGS: Triglav front and rear plus front accessory and downtube, Jack Pack framebag, Apidura top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Gossamer The One tent, Cumulus X-Lite 400 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest Neoair mat, Sinewave Beacon light, Garmin 530, and iPhone 12 for navigation.
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