Rigs of the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race
We’re kicking off our 2023 “Rigs of” series with a look at the third edition of the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco, a 1,300-kilometer unsupported bikepacking race from Marrakesh to the Atlantic coast. Check out our gallery of more than 100 rigs of the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race, featuring bag and gear highlights for each…
The Atlas Mountain Race (AMR) has gained quite a reputation over the three years it’s been running. The event first debuted in 2020, challenging riders to a 1,145-kilometer route across beautiful Morocco. That year, Sofiane Sehili became the first person ever to finish the event, riding the full length of the course in just 3 days, 21 hours, and 50 minutes. Other familiar names at the inaugural event included Jenny Tough, Scotti Lechuga, Jay Petervary, and James Hayden, just to name a few. More than 180 riders participated in the event, but only 123 reached the finish line.
After a canceled 2021 event, the 2022 AMR saw a smaller field of around 140 riders but an equally exciting event with new women’s and men’s records set by Ashley Carelock and Marin de St Exupéry, and the current fastest known time that this year’s athletes will be aiming for is 3 days, 18 hours, and 14 minutes. With that said, the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race follows a slightly longer course and there are more 200 riders registered for the event. It’s bound to be an exciting one.
As usual, we’ve collected bike and gear details for more than 100 riders who are tackling the route this year. Scroll through and get a good look at all the loaded rigs below, then head over to the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race event page to follow along live starting tomorrow.
Mauricio Aguilar Alvarez
Age 51 / Barcelona (Spain)
BIKE: I’ll be racing AMR 2023 on a Canyon Exceed CF SLX with XT brakes, chain, cassette, and SRAM AXS derailleur, and shifters. I tuned the cockpit with parts from SQLab and Profile Design. Wheels were expertly built by Frasen Works.
BAGS: I’ll be packing a custom frame bag by Lucy Rusjan with a full contingent of Apidura bags on the bars, saddle, top tube, and down tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I like Absolute Black oval chainrings. I’m using a 30T on this rig. My kLite dynamo lights on the front and back and an Exposure Joystick on my helmet will help me ride through the 12-hour nights.
Age 27 / Lyon (France)
BIKE: I am riding my beloved “Hector,” a great Chiru Divider 29+. Mounted with the well-known combo Vittoria Barzo/Mezcal 2.35″ tires, WTB rims with Chris King hub in the rear and SON dynamo hub in the front. Everything working flawlessly with a 1×11 Shimano XT drivetrain with a 32T oval chainring.
BAGS: I am running a mix of Tailfin AeroPack, Revelate Designs Harness with Saltyroll, and a mix of Apidura and made-to-measure Wit Slingers bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A magnificent Berthoud leather saddle, my Persuader bar by Tumbleweed, and my multicolor hip bag by Bumpak. I’m also running clipless with Hope F20 pedals and my lovelies Tecnica shoes!
Age 35 / Chavanay, Loire (France)
BIKE: I will ride the AMR with my Roubam handcrafted steel frame that I finished a few weeks ago. It features a RockShox 120mm suspension fork, an XT Shimano groupset, and a pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires.
BAGS: I will use a Miss Grape frame bag and top tube bag, Swift Industries handlebar bag, and a Copra seat bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An SOL bivvy, a small NeoAir Xlite mat, and a Vestra sleeping bag will be my bivouac. I will use a Wahoo Elemnt Roam for navigation.
Age 32 / Amsterdam (Netherlands)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my Ritchey Ultra MTB. Wheels are built by Parallel with a SON 28 dynamo hub at the front. SRAM Eagle drivetrain with a 32T chainring up front and a 10-50T cassette at the back. Tires are Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″, which should be ideal for the route. I’ll also be using a Ritchey dropper and Profile Design aerobars for a bit of comfort.
BAGS: Custom frame bag by Carrie Gere, Apidura seat pack and top tube bag, Tailfin downtube bag, and a simple dry bag strapped to my aerobars. I’ll also be wearing a Salomon running vest for water/snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep system should be pretty comfy with a three-season Cumulus sleeping bag, Alpkit Kloke bivy bag, and Therm-a-Rest Neoair mat. Lighting and charging will come from my kLite setup. I’m hoping to get some nice photos on my Olympus mju-ii, a very small and lightweight 35mm camera that I always take on bikepacking trips.
Age 57 / Wiesbaden (Germany)
BIKE: Custom-made FERN Chuck steel frame with Allygn carbon fork and Allygn front rack. Gevenalle Shifter, 34T Chainring 10/51T cassette. SON Dynamo Hub. Continental Race King 29 x 2.0″ tires.
BAGS: Gramm top tube and frame bag. Gramm front roll and Apidura saddle bag and food pouch. Three bottles and CamelBak with 2L bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Cumulus bivi, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite mat, Nordisk Oscar -2 sleeping bag, Wahoo Elmnt Roam.
Age 41 / Saillans (France)
BIKE: Prototype frame by Mouton Cycles. Bike assembled in my bike shop with Mavic carbon wheels, Shutter Precision dynamo front hub, Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.35″ rear and 2.10″ front tubeless tyres, Shimano 12-speed (10-51T), 32T chainring, Rockshox SID 120mm fork, Thomson titanium handlebar.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Ranger frame bag with 3L CamelBak. Restrap Race saddle bag and Race Aero bar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 1030, Stoots Frontal and Sinewave Beacon. Inertia x Matelas, Paja Radical z1, SOL Escape Lite Bivvy.
Age 58 / Parma (Italy)
BIKE: I will ride Atlas Mountain Race on a titanium Salsa Timberjack equipped with Maxxis Crossmark 2.25″ tyres, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain, 32T chainring, 11-52T cassette, Mavic Crossmax wheels with a SON dynamo hub, and a RockShox Sid 120mm fork.
BAGS: Apidura handlebar bag, frame bag, top tube bag, saddle bag, two handlebar bags with two 750ml water bottles, two-litre Apidura hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Down sleeping bag rated for -6C with an inflatable mattress.
Age 33 / Bensheim (Germany)
BIKE: This one is special because it’s a Rose Bikes prototype. It’s a carbon hardtail with 120mm Suntour Suspension and 2.35″ Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires.
BAGS: To be part of the Tailfin R&D Team is so cool. They made this special framebag for me that fits the bike perfectly. The carbon rack will give me a lot of space for warm clothes.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Ceramic Speed Oversized Pulley, BB and Chain. Supernova front and rear light combined with Busch und Müller E-Werk to recharge my Garmin Edge 1040 after two days of riding.
Age 55 / Velp (Netherlands)
BIKE: I bought this aluminum Cannondale TRAIL 4 3×9 bike secondhand a few years ago not knowing that I would be entering the Atlas Mountain Race a few months later. Apart from the frame, saddle, and front fork, all parts have been replaced. Drivetrain 1×12 (32T / 10-51T), hydraulic brakes, pedals, crank are all Shimano XT. Bottom bracket from HOPE and the handmade quick-release 29″ wheels with SP dynamo from Duke. The weak point of this bike is the Suntour fork. Unfortunately, the budget was used up to improve this. I’ll start on a fresh set of Vittoria Mezcal TNT 2.25″ tires.
BAGS: All the bags are from Revelate Designs. The saddle bag is the Spinelock. I have a backpack for food and extra water for the long tracks as well.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll sleep in an Exped Ventair bivi bag with a Trinordic Inflatable sleeping mat and pillow. I have a Garmin 1030 plus for navigation and will use my cell phone as a backup. The Fenix HM65R helmet lamp with five 3500 mAh rechargeable batteries provides me with light at night. In addition to my dynamo, I have a 24,000 mAh power bank that can top up my phone and navigation. For hydration, I have a 4L crank tank from Adventure Hydration and two 1L bottles on the front fork. Together with a 3L water bladder in my backpack, I have the option to take 9L of water with me if necessary.
Age 58 / Efringen-Kirchen (Germany)
BIKE: I will be riding the AMR 2023 with my reliable Bice Ramingo hardtail. The bike features a SRAM Eagle AXS 1×12 drivetrain with a 30T chainring and a 10-52T cassette in the back. It has a RockShox Reba RL 100mm suspension fork, Cane Creek eeSilk+ Suspension Seatpost, and a SON Dynamo hub up front. The dynamo hub will be powering my Klite dynamo light and my smartphone.
BAGS: I will be using a Tailfin Aero Pack and the custom frame pack is made by Gramm Tourpacking. The top tube bag is from Restrap while the stem bag is a Revelate Designs Mountain Feed bag. On the handlebar, there is a Butterfly system from VAP Cycling with wings and bar ends. For the AMR, I will also be taking a Raidlight Responsiv 18L trail running backpack with a 3L water bladder and some space for warm clothes.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be using my iPhone and the Komoot app for navigation. As a backup, I have the Outdooractive app on my phone and the Workoutdoors app on my Apple watch. I’ll also be carrying camping gear, which includes a SOL Escape Lite bivy bag, an Exped FlexMat and a Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20 sleeping bag. If it gets really cold, I can add my ultralight Yeti down jacket.
Age 38 / Mataro, Barcelona (Spain)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my BMC fourstroke that’s been modified in preparation for the AMR. I installed ergo grips, aerobars, and two 700ml bottles on the fork. Maxis Ikon and Ardent race tires in 29 x 2.2″. A 32T chainring with a 10-50T cassette and SRAM AXS.
BAGS: Bags are all Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for navigation and I’ll be bringing two power banks to charge everything since I don’t have a dynamo system. To sleep I will use all my clothes and an Escape bivvy.
Berten De Canne
Age 53 / Berendrecht, Antwerp (Belgium)
BIKE: Chiru Divider (titanium). Maxxis Ikon tyres, SRAM X01 (1×12) 32T. Front wheels: DTSwiss M442 with SON dynamo hub; rear: FFWD Outlaw (carbon). Crankbrothers Candy 7 pedals. Fizik Antares Verso Evo R1 Adaptive saddle.
BAGS: AGU Venture Extreme (waterproof), Miss Grape Tendril handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nordisk Lofoten 2 ULW tent, Nordisk Grip 3.8M mattress, Yeti sleeping bag. Garmin Etrex 30x and Sigma Rox 12. kLite Bikepacker Ultra V2 and Sigma Buster 1100.
Age 54 / Corby, Northamptonshire (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the bike I built, using a Hongfu carbon frame and RockShox Reba fork, sitting on my Brooks saddle. It’s carried me through some great adventures and has been faultless. Wheels are self-built with SON Dynamo hub running DT Swiss rims wrapped in the ever-trusty Mezcals, 2.25″ up front and 2.1″ rear. Gearing is XT 1×12, running a 32T oval chainring.
BAGS: Bags are a mixed bunch from my ever-growing collection. A Lotus half frame bag for food and tools. An Alpkit front roll for sleep kit, and a seat pack from a brand I can’t remember. I bought the top tube bag on line from a Ukrainian seller.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll carry a backpack with bladder to increase water portage above the two bottles on the downtube and two on the fork. I won’t be carrying a stove on this trip, so will find food along the way. I’ll be sleeping in an OR Helium bivvy with Sea2Summit Spark11 bag, resting on a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir pad. Navigation will be by Garmin 1030 using phone as a backup. I won’t be the lightest or the fastest, but who’s counting. I only have to beat the snail!
Age 25 / Cuenca, Azuay (Ecuador)
BIKE: I will be using a Cube Reaction with Shimano Deore brakes and a SRAM GX groupset. The front tire is a Schwalbe Racing Ray and the rear is a Specialized Fast Track.
BAGS: Esbi bags made in Ecuador.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Going light. I will take an emergency blanket as shelter and a Garmin Enduro 2 for navigation.
Age 29 / Cuenca (Ecuador)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race on a Sobre Dad 10 Steel Hardtail built up around a full SRAM GX groupset, Fox 34 Stepcast 120mm travel fork, and Shimano XT four-piston brakes with a fresh pair of 29 x 2.35″ fast-rolling T7 Fast Track tires.
BAGS: I’ll be using some Ecuador-made bags that I’ve used and abused the last couple of years. I’ll be also taking an Ultimate Direction trail running Vest with a 2.5L bladder and plenty of room for extra storage when resupplying.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Cockpit is equipped with Ergon GP1 grips and Profile Racing aero bars, front wheel is laced with a Shutter precision Dynamo hub and a Sinewave converter to keep all electronics charged. For night riding, I’ll be using a 900Lm Petzl Swift RL light. For maps and navigation, a Garmin Edge and Garmin Fenix as a backup.
Age 23 / Spinea, Venice (Italy)
BIKE: For this adventure I’ll ride my Salsa Cutthroat with some added special stuff. I’ll use Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ on NoTubes Arch (rear) with DT Swiss 240s hub and NoTubes Crest (front) with Shutter Precision dynamo hub and Supernova light. My gears will be 10-50T 1×12 with a 32T chainring, X01 crankset and SRAM GX AXS drivetrain. A pretty large dropbar with VAP Cycling butterfly arm rests will give me lot of different choices on where to put my hands during the days. Last but not least, my comfort will be guaranteed by REDSHIFT stem and San Marco Shortfit saddle. The total weight of the bike with gear is around 18 kilograms.
BAGS: My bag setup is pretty minimal, with a 4L Vap Cycling saddlebag, a full top tube bag by Rusjan, Vap Cycling butterfly Front Bag, and two matching turquoise Buds for a total of nearly 16L capacity.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite item I’ll take with me will certainly be the 15L backpack with 3L bladder, and the NatureHike spring sleeping bag matched with Sea to Summit air mat.
Age 34 / Munich (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my Scott Scale Hardtail with a Fox 34 Performance Elite fork in the front. Tires are Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge with the Endurance casing. I upgraded the drivetrain to Garbaruk cranks, chainring, cassette, and oversize pulley system on the XT derailleur. Hunt wheels with a SON Dynamo in front.
BAGS: Tailfin Rack with Apidura main frame bag (incl. 3L bladder), long top tube bag, two food pouches, and an Apidura expandable backpack to carry extra food for the long remote stretches. Two bottle holders on the fork plus a cage to carry one additional big bottle or food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Supernova lights with SON Dynamo plus a Petzl Nao RL headlight to see well in the night. Sea to Summit sleeping bag, pillow, and mat with a Mountain Wear lightweight Bivy. Garmin Edge for navigation and Ministry of Nutrition food for the first day(s). Oakley photochromic glasses, mix of Rapha, Maap, and Pedaled kit with a Patagonia down jacket and a Gore ShakeDry to keep dry.
Age 34 / Grenoble (France)
BIKE: I’ll be fast touring the AMR on a RAPTOR X-PLORER. Many colors and cool parts, custom cranks from INGRID and full carbon X-PLORER wheelset with TUNE “purple” hubs and rainbow spokes. I’m running a SRAM XX1 AXS groupset with a 34T chainring. Tyres are the PIRELLI SCORPION H ProWall 2.40″. Saddle is custom made Selle Italia SLR Gravel Boost with carbon rails, fitted on a Cane Creek eeSILK+ carbon seatpost for a smooth ride!
BAGS: I’m using a Miss Grape Cluster 13 on the back and a custom set of bags from URSUS, a French artisan in Grenoble, with very cool custom patches on them. Muc-Off tool-bag under the down tube and Camelback Fusion 3L to keep hydrated at all time.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Lights are from Magicshine/Moon with a large-capacity power bank to keep all the electronic stuff running for many days. Wahoo ELMENT BOLT for navigation. Sleeping kit is OR Helium Bivy, PAJAK Radical bag and a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite pad. Cooking stuff is from Evernew Titanium + MSR PocketRocket Deluxe stove. A small Cognac flask for special occasions. And I can’t forget my peanut butter jar on the fork—life saving stuff!
Age 47 / Liege (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race on a DEROY bike handcrafted in Liege, with a Rock Shox SID Select fork, 11-speed Shimano drivetrain, and a SON dynamo.
BAGS: The bike is equipped with Apidura bikepacking bags.
Age 34 / Rives, Isere (France)
BIKE: Rockrider xc900 equipped with Hutchinson Taipan tires in 29×2.25″. With 1×12 (32T/10-50T) SRAM GX Eagle and Shimano XT brakes. It has Mavic wheels and a Shutter Precision dynamo hub up front.
BAGS: A frame bag, a food pouch, a small saddle bag and my small mattress fixed with straps on the handlebars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a Ferino bivy bag, 2/3 Quechua inflatable mattress, and of course high quality Uyn equipment to face the big temperature differences between day and night in Morocco.
Age 40 / Grenoble (France)
BIKE: I am racing the Atlas Mountain Race on a 2021 On One Whippet. It is pretty much the stock version. It has SRAM GX 12-speed drivetrain. I have 2.2″ Maxxis Ikon tires set up tubeless, Ergon GS3 grips and Olight lamp on batteries.
BAGS: I have almost a complete Revelate Designs setup that’s more than 10 years old and 2 pouch bags that leave me some space for three water bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am happy with my setup. Taking a sleeping bag, mat, and some kit for cold and long nights.
Age 62 / Corby, Northamptonshire (England)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Atlas Mountain Race 2023 on TREK Supercaliber 9.7, a full-suspension MTB bought for cross-country racing with my local club, Rockingham Forest Wheelers. This will be its first multi-day ride, so hoping it’s up to the task. Bike is as standard with no modifications aside from a SON 28 dynamo hub up front (my first experience with dynamo lighting) connected to a Schmidt Edelux II light
BAGS: I’ve gone for an Ortlieb framebag for quick access to tools and clothes. On the back will be a Topeak 14L saddleback for toiletries and change of clothes. On the front, a lightweight Sealine bag will house my sleeping gear: Rab storm bivvy, PhD down sleeping bag, 3/4 Therm-a-Rest and a pillow. I’ll have three 750ml mounted water bottles and my trusty Garmin 1030 to keep me on track. My electronics and charging units are housed in a top tube bag for quick access throughout the day. Finally, my Ultra 12 running vest by Rat Race will contain a 2L bladder, food and ‘on route’ clothes for the day.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Shimano ME702 shoes are as comfy as anything, my Petzl Nao + head torch when I really need good definition on the trails, my Six Moon Gatewood cape shelter when I need to get out of the rain.
Age 35 / Bologna (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the great Walden by Mondo Cycles, a local manufacturer from Bologna. It’s a steel frame hardtail MTB with a Rockshox 120mm fork and 29″ wheels equipped with 2.25″ Vittoria Mezcal III XC-trail tyres. Shimano Deore XT 12-speed groupset with a 32T chainring and a Garbaruk 10-52T cassette. Some ugly-but-functional Ergon grips and the aero extensions (and pink bell) borrowed from my friend Dario have been slapped on the riser in the hope they might help soothe the pain.
BAGS: An amazing custom set from Arch consisting of saddle bag, full frame bag, and top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For water, I’ll be wearing an Evoc backpack with a 3L bladder, and another 2L bag in the frame bag, and a 1L soft bottle. Two powerbanks (30,000+20,000mAh) for charging phone, lights, and the Wahoo Roam. Sleeping bag, mat, bivvy and a bunch of warm clothes for the night.
Age 26 / London (UK)
BIKE: I’m racing AMR23 on my Canyon Exceed with a 1x drivetrain, 2.25” Mezcals, SON dynamo, and clip-on mini aerobars.
BAGS: Various from Ortlieb, Restrap, Camelbak, and Topeak.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Klite and 2x Exposure head torches for the long nights. 5L+ water capacity, including a 2L hydration pack. Ortlieb dry bags for packing flexibility. OR Helium bivvy.
Age 45 / Thun, Berne (Switzerland)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat frameset bought in November from Shona (participant of a previous AMR edition), home-built wheels around DT 240 (rear) and DT 350 (front) and a Shimano (crank and chainring)/SRAM (rest) drivetrain with 30T chainring and 10–50T cassette, actuated by a Microshift bar-end shifter. Saddle is a Brooks from my commuter, I hope it gets through (would not be my first saddle to break in Morocco). Brakes are TRP Spyre SLC, the standard ones being out of stock, when I had to order all the parts. Tires are Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” and for the first time ever I try tubeless. The bike is 3.5kg lighter than my Fargo Rohloff, I hope not having any problems with the drivetrain.
BAGS: Mix of Revelate Designs and Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: New (jacket, sleeping bag) or second hand (frame bag) for the race are a Berghaus Hyper 100, a Cumulus X-lite 400 (nights can be cold there) and a Revelate Designs Tangle bag.
Age 46 / Barcelona (Spain)
BIKE: I went “gravel plus” with a Cannondale Scalpel HT 4 on Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″ tires. Swapped out the stock drivetrain and raided parts from two of my other bikes: 1×11 AbsoluteBlack oval 30T, 10-52T Eagle cassette and XX1 AXS derailleur. Bringing a spare set of wireless blips in case I need to setup alternative shifting points due to injury. 30mm internal width Revel rear wheel with Industry Nine Hydra hub, 25mm internal DT Swiss 421 alloy front wheel with SON Dyno. The crazy cockpit is a Jones bar paired with VAP resting bars.
BAGS: Custom Rusjan framebag with 3L Apidura water blatter. Apidura long top tub bag, Apidura snack pouch, Apidura expidition rear bag, Revelate Designs Sweetroll on the front.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Decided to bring my Karoo2 bike computer for visibility and climbing notifications – its only possible since I’m using a dyno which will keep it charged up. kLite front light and an Exposure Lights Joystick for my helmet.
Age 27 / Brussels (Belgium)
BIKE: Canyon Exceed CF6.
BAGS: Witslingers custom framebag housing a 3L bladder, Topeak saddle bag, tailfin downtube bag. Wahoo Elemnt bolt for the navigation. Sleeping wise, I’m going for comfort with a Rab Ascent 500 sleeping bag, Forclaz 500 mattress and emergency bivy.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sinewave Beacon paired with a SON 28 dynamo hub.
Age 41 / Villafalletto, Cuneo (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Atlas Mountain Race 2023 on an ORBEA Alma M30. The Bike features Maxxis Rekon 2.35″ tires, SRAM 10-51T 12-speed drivetrain with a 34T ring up front. Brakes and crankset are Shimano. Orbea OC1 25c Tubeless Ready wheels with a Tyreinvader by Effetto Mariposa.
BAGS: I will assemble a kit of small bags to be light and fast. EVOC 11L framebag, 3 water bottles 0.75L, DPV 7L saddle bag, 1L bottle cage, 1 bottle cage with 0.5L bottle and 2 small DPV over-frame bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For my shelter I will use my Ferrino 600 ultralight sleeping bag. I will have an Accapi Thermal Shirt, a Dynafit Ultralight Down Jacket, a thermal blanket, some medicines, and water filter. For navigation, I will use my Suunto 9 Watch and Iphone 12 Mini Phone.
Age 53 / Munich, Bayern (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the Atlas Mountain Race on a Specialized S-Works HT Ultralight. The bike features a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires, a SRAM AXS 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and Duke wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front.
BAGS: The centerpiece of my bag setup is an Apidura Frame bag, Apidura Tank top tube bag, and Apidura Saddle Bag. 1L bottle and a 2L bladder in my Evoc hip pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite Ultra 2.0 front light with a USB kLite loader. Specialized Backlight. Bivy will serve as my shelter along with my light Yeti sleeping bag. I’ll also be carrying a Garmin 1030 for navigation.
Age 52 / Wuppertal, NRW (Germany)
BIKE: I will once again ride my Rose Thrill Hill full-suspension mtb like I did in the inaugural edition of the AMR. It proved to be the perfect choice for me. It features 100mm up travel front and out back, a Shimano 1×12 XTR drivetrain with 10-51T in the back and 32T in the front. I switched the nice XTR chainring for a Power2Max direct mount spider and a Wolf Tooth chainring as I always want to analyze my power data, as low as the values might be. Charging and lighting stays the same with a SON 28 hub dynamo, a Forumslader charger and the winning combo of a kLite Bikepacker Ultra dynamo light with a smart core power pack powered Lupine Neo. Last time Maxxis Ikon EXO TR tires served me well but this time I’m trying the popular Vittoria Mezcal III XC-Trail TNT in 29×2.25″.
BAGS: The Ortlieb Seat-Pack in the back, an Apidura Expedition Top Tube Pack and in the front a 15L Revelate Designs Salty Roll, which I fastened with a DIY support straddle below my Profile Designs Aerobars. I also have 2 Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbags on the handlebars. I switched around the bottle mounts this time. With the cages still on the fork but now fastened onto the nicely made Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts where I also opted for a cargo cage to move my sleeping mat to the fork, as well as exchanging the below down tube bottle cage for a 3L Tailfin Cargopack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system is staying the same, which includes an Outdoor Research Interstellar bivy, Sea to Summit Extralight Insulated mat, a Sea to Summit Spark I sleeping bag (which is sadly not premium in regard of breathability but packs very small) and Patagonia’s MicroPuff Jacket and Nano-Air Pants doubling up as modular layers for sleeping as well as for biking. Navigation and riding metrics is taken care of by a Garmin Edge 1040 with a Garmin Edge 530 as backup.
Age 47 / Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
BIKE: I am riding my 2020 Kona Sutra LTD, converted with 760mm Envy flat bar and XTR components. Up front, I have the Richter mini aerobars, Exposure Revo light, Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and a dry bag for quick access to warm clothing. I have WHISKY No.9 30w Rims 29″ with a SON Dynamo hub with 700x50mm Panaracer Gravelking SK tire and DT Swiss hub 180 with 700x45mm Kenda Flintridge Pro tire in the rear. I run a 1×12 Shimano SLX crank, 30T chainring, 11-51T cassette, SPD pedals, Redshift suspension stem and seat post, and a Selle Italia SLR Superflow saddle.
BAGS: Lezyne top tube bag (Sinewave Revolution charger), Ortlieb frame 6L (3L bladder, sunscreen and pump) and 16.5L seat bag (sleeping kit).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Shimano GRX hydraulic disc brakes help me stop because I don’t want to.
Age 31 / Vasvar, Vas (Hungary)
BIKE: Specialized Epic Evo Comp, with SRAM drivetrain and brakes. PRO Missile tribar, SQ Lab innerbarends and SON Dynamo lighting (not on the picture).
BAGS: Aka whatever fits this bike from my bike shed. I’m proud I did not purchase a custom frame bag which I will probably use only twice in my life. I have Apidura and Mokush bags with two universal Sea to Summit dry bags which I can fit anywhere with 4 straps. I will use an Evoc Hip Pack Pro with a 1.5L bladder as well.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: KLND bottles and a Columbia Kestrel Trail long sleeve shirt to complete the adventurer look.
Age 56 / Leeds, Yorkshire (UK)
BIKE: An On-One Whippet carbon hardtail with Rockshox Reba 100mm fork gives me a reasonably priced build during difficult supply in pandemic times. I’m running a triple drivetrain—yes triple! This gets me a massive spread of gears with a mix of Shimano 11-speed components and a SRAM cassette on a boost frame. Self-built wheels with DT Swiss XR361 rims and a SP dynamo hub. Tyres are Vittoria Mezcal TNT 2.25″ with tyre inserts.
BAGS: I’m using a 3L bladder in the frame bag with any additional water to be carried in a running vest. A mixture of bags from those I had available except for the custom Alpkit frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The mudguards are to be removed for Morocco. This will be my first off-road race, but I’m an experienced ultra rider with Transiberica and Transcontinental finishes.
Age 26 / Aarau (Switzerland)
BIKE: I will be racing on a SCOTT Spark with SYNCROS wheels and cockpit. Fast tires, biting brakes, clip ons while still having that little bit of extra comfort that comes with a full sus.
BAGS: The Apidura Backcountry series will carry all my stuff. The framebag as a centerpiece forced me to test a hydration pack, which is something I might actually stick with.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I borrowed a really cosy Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag from a friend as the cold temperatures started to make me nervous. Let’s hope he’ll get it back in fine condition.
Age 58 / Plymouth, Devon (UK)
BIKE: I’m riding a Sonder Broken Road with a C1.12 Pinion gearbox. Out back I have a rock solid Onyx rear hub and a SON dynamo front hub with kLite Bikepacker Lltra lights and kLite switch to let me charge electronics during daylight. For a bit of added comfort, I have a RockShox Reba RL 100mm suspension fork. Wheels are built on DT Swiss XM 521 rims with chunky WTB 650b 2.8″ Ranger tubeless tyres to help me roll over the rocks! I won’t be fast but I aim to finish before the snail.
BAGS: I’ve got a Wildcat Tiger saddle bag and a Lion handlebar harness and front pouch coupled with the Wildcat dry bags. I’ve also got an Alpkit custom stingray frame bag plus some Aplkit top tube bags and stem cells for extra water bottles. I’ve also got two soft bottles for extra water and plenty of spare space for food and snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Garmin 1040 Solar is my primary navigation tool which I’m hoping will not need much charging due to the amount of sunshine during the day! My proven sleep system of Alpkit Kloke bivi, ultralight PHD M.Degree 200 K Down Sleeping Bag, Exped Ultra mat and Exped pillow allow me to follow a “sleep anywhere” race plan without having to worry about being cold or uncomfortable. Or sleep deprived!
Age 33 / Koeln, NRW (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Atlas Mountain Race with my sweet Sour Pasta Party with 120mm SID Fork, Hope brakes, 1×12 Sram GX Drive train with 32T chain ring and 10-50T cassette, Vittoria Mezcal tires on Duke wheels with Erase Hubs.
BAGS: The frame bag is self-made by my friend Lewin, all other bags are from Revelate Designs: Mag-Tank, feedbag and Terrapin seat bag. I will also carry a Camelbak vest to always have enough water with me.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am using a Tailfin suspension mount to carry my sleeping gear on my fork. To hopefully shiver not too much in the snow I trust my Cumulus lite line 300 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest Neo Air mat and Outdoor Research Helium bivy. I am using Lupine Piko lights and navigation is done with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.
Age 51 / Leuven (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a custom Pilot titanium gravel bike. For extra comfort on the offroad sections I fitted a Fox 32 suspension fork in the front. Maxxis Recon Race tires with puncture protection, 2.35″ in the front and 2.25″ in the back. Drivetrain is a SRAM Eagle AXS with a 34T chainring in the front. kLite front light powered by a SON dynamo hub.
BAGS: Tailfin rack in the back, Apidura, BBB bags, plus a small backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be sleeping in a Nordisk Lofoten tent with air mat and sleeping bag up to 0°C comfort. Wahoo Elemnt for navigation.
Age 58 / Correggio, Reggio Emilia (Italy)
BIKE: For this challenge I chose comfort and therefore a Yeti ARC carbon frame set up with Cyp 29” carbon wheels with Vittoria Mezcal Trail 2.25” tires, SRAM XX1 1×12 drivetrain with 30T front chainring and 11-50T Garbaruk rear cassette, Crankbrothers Candy pedals, Fizik Tempo Argo R3 saddle, JUIN mechanical disc brakes, kLite lighting system + SON dynamo and power bank.
BAGS: Kickingdonkeybags custom bags consisting of frame bag, handlebar bag, saddle bag, double waterbag, and top bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bivybag Cumulus Ultralight, Sea To Summit Spark SP0 sleeping bag, Ultralight mattress and pillow.
Age 33 / Peak District (UK)
BIKE: I will be riding (not racing) the 2023 edition of the Atlas Mountain Race on my Cervélo ZHT-5. The bike features a Schwalbe Racing Ray on the front paired with a Racing Ralph on the rear fitted to a Reserve 30 on the front laced to a SON Dynamo hub and a Reserve 28 on the rear. I’m running Shimano XTR with a 32T chainring on the front with an XTR 10-51T cassette to keep me nice and spinny. I’ve chosen to use a dropper post and also Fox 34 forks. The saddle is my trusty Pro Stealth off road which has a bit more padding than the standard version with Pro Tharsis stem and bars. The clip on bars come from Deda, they were the only ones I could find with a 35mm clamp! I’ve chosen to use Ergon grips and the little thumb things from SQ Labs. For lighting I’m using a setup from KLite but also some battery powered options from Exposure too. I’ve always found that more lights at night help me with my confidence when it gets a bit rough. This will be my first time doing an ultra on a MTB and I’m excited to see what happens.
BAGS: ALL of my bags come from Tailfin. I’m very lucky to be part of their R&D team so I get to test out some cool prototypes which will be released in the future I’m sure. I’ve actually got so much storage that maybe I’m packing too much but it means I should be covered for the potentially very cold nights (it’s been down to -7 here in the mountains!)
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Some highlights for me are the Suspension Fork Mounts from tailfin too which allow me to carry some water bottles on the fork. I’m using Garmin Rally pedals and a Garmin 1040 solar computer to help me navigate. On the bike I’ll be wearing kit from my friends at Attacus Cycling plus a selection of last minute purchases for the cold from Decathlon around the corner from the hotel.
Age 40 / Munich (Germany)
BIKE: The 2020 Salsa Cutthroat is my partner in crime for 2023 AMR. I will suffer using 2×11, with 28-38T rings and a 11-40T cassette. A SON dynamo will be my power plant for this endeavour. Aero handlebars help me keep my cockpit organized.
BAGS: It’s a mix. I like the Tailfin Aero Bag very much as it does not swing and is very stiff and holds a lot. The Salsa frame bag is a must on the Cutthroat. Apidura helps with a small bag which holds my cables and Appcon battery stuff. Radha Expedition bag will carry food on my drop bar. Additionally I will carry a backpack with a 2L water bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I decided to use a Big Agnes UL tent, as a bivvy seemed a bit cold (at least for this year edition). Sleeping mat and bag come from Sea to summit. I’ll navigate using a Garmin 1030. I updated the bike with a Rock Shox SID SL.
Age 50 / Taunton (England)
BIKE: This is my Specialized Diverge EVO with a few modifications. The EVO comes with flat bars and the future shock in the head tube. I have added a suspension seat post and tt bars. The wheels have been upgraded to hand built Stayer gravel adventure wheels with a SON dynamo front hub and Vitoria Mezcal tyres. The drivetrain is a 1×12 SRAM 38T chainring and a 10-50T cassette. Fidlock twist release bottle in the frame and 3 further bottles mounted on the down tube and on the front forks. Primary navigation is via a Garmin 1040 solar with a Sinewave Beacon front light run from the dynamo.
BAGS: Restrap front harness, dry bag, frame bag and large top tube bag. Rear harness and dry bag is from Wildcat.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The wheels are fabulous with the dynamo paired up with the Sinewave light, making it easy to meet the demands of charging and having enough light at night.
Steven Le Hyaric
Age 36 / Paris (France)
BIKE: I’m going to tackle the Atlas Mountain Race with my new buddy: Girs Nomade. The bike is a Girs Nomade Carbone equipped with a Shimano XT/DEORE drivetrain, a new pair of Maxxis Rekon Race tires, a 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and Enve 27.5″ Enduro wheels with a SON Dynamo hub at the front. Handlebars, stem, and seatpost are all ENVE. Another modification is a Profile Design extension with 70mm shims under the armrests.
BAGS: Restrap Adventure Pack 16L, frame, stem bags. I will possibly have 2x 500ml flasks and 1L soft bottle in my Compressport Trail bag. I’ll have two 800ml bottles in my main triangle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As always, I will use my Garmin 1040 Solar and Garmin battery. Dynamo Sound + Sinewave lamp with USB port and Ravemen in spare + lezyne in rear. Selle Ideale saddle.
Age 26 / Saint-Petersburg (Russia)
BIKE: I will attempt to finish this race on my battle-tested 2020 Cannondale Scalpel-Si Carbon 4 with carbon wheels on Nextie rims that I built myself. I also upgraded the drivetrain to SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with a 10-52T cassette and a 30T chainring. The Lefty fork doesn’t really allow for dynamo, so I use battery-powered Fenix BC26R as my headlight.
BAGS: Custom frame bag made by an Almaty-based manufacturer Nerpa Gear. The seat bag and the handlebar bag are both Ortlieb. I also use Apidura Backcountry Top Tube Pack, as well as Jerrycan by a Saint-Petersburg-based manufacturer Umba Gear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Tarptent Moment DW is my go-to tent. I absolutely love how light and fast to set up it is for a double wall tent. For navigation I’ll use Garmin Edge 1040 Solar. My setup is not the lightest one, but generally it’s the one that I’ve used in my previous bikepacking events and it never let me down.
Age 42 / Athens, Attiki (Greece)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the AMR on a 2021 custom made Gravel Fidusa. The frame is built with Columbus steel tubes with a Columbus carbon fork. The wheels are DT Swiss R500 with 700X45 Pirelli Cinturato Gravel tires. Shifting is a mix of Shimano GRX, Ultegra and 105 with 46-30T chainrings and 11-42T cassette, which works great with the Wolftooth Goatlink.
BAGS: Apidura 14L saddle bag, Blackburn Outpost Frame Bag Large 5.25L (or 6.95L if expanded), Topeak Fuel Tank L top tube bag. On the handlebar I have 2 Blackburn Outpost Carryall bags and a drybag which includes a Columbus ILMB Mattress inflatable mat, a Ferrino Lightech 550 sleeping bag and a Karrimor X-Lite bivi bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As a front light I use the powerful Fenix BC30 V2.0. I have 2 Camelbak Podium 700ml water bottles on the frame and a Zefal Z Box L tool bottle on the downtube.
Age 44 / Buena Vista, Colorado (USA)
BIKE: The Canyon Exceed gets a ticket to come with me to Morocco. Outfitted with a full Shimano XTR, a FOX 120mm step-cast fork, Maxxis Rekon Race tires and custom built DT Swiss wheels—this set up has proven itself many times over on a wide variety bikepacking terrain, trips and races since 2019.
BAGS: All of my bags, except for the frame bag, are stock bags from Topeak’s bikepacking line. The frame bag comes from local-to-me brand Oveja Negra.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For the 800-miles through Morocco, I will carry a minimal sleep kit which includes a SOL bivvy and a 40º Big Agnes sleeping bag. I am going with what is tried and true for a variety of desert weather: Sportful leg and arm warmers, Sportful warm gloves, Sportful vest, spare Sportful bib shorts, GORE hooded rain jacket, OR rain knickers, Montbell down jacket, Montbell down pants, and a Buff. My tire repair and Tubolito tube kit will be extensive to deal with the typical harsh desert terrain. For the night hours, I’m running a K-LITE dynamo light on my handlebar and a Black Diamond head lamp on my Limar helmet. My contact points will be supported by an Ergon SM Men size M/L saddle and Ergon GS3-Small grips. Water capacity is 6 liters via the bottles on the bike and my Apidura hydration pack. The rest of my kit is all the necessary repair items for both body and bike.
Age 34 / Dornbirn, Vorarlberg (Austria)
BIKE: I will ride my 2022 Nordest Britango 2, which I have built especially for this race. It comes with a Rockshox Pike with 130mm front travel, a SRAM GX Eagle 12 drivetrain and Shimano XT 4 Piston brakes. As I come from Enduro and Downhill biking, I hope to make the descendants really fun with this super capable steel down country bike. I am on the heavier side of weight and therefore I use a Bikeyoke Revive 185mm dropper post and Syntace W33i rims with Hope Pro 4 hubs and tubeless 2.35″ Vittoria Mezcal on the back and 2.35 Barzo on the front. Completed with two Fidlock bottles and the bladders across my bags, I hope to have enough water with me for the remote sections. For Light I will rely on my three 20.000mah Power Banks which should be sufficient to power my Petzl Headlight, the chinese noname LED at my bike and my Wahoo Elmnt Roam.
BAGS: Bedrock Bags Entrada (Front), Bedrock Bags Black Dragon Dropper Seat Bag (Back), Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag (with 3L Drinking bladder inside), Wizard Works Voila Stem Bag for Snacks, EVOC Hipback with 1,5l drinking bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will try to find rest in my Outdoor Research Helium Bivy combined with my Sea-to-Summit insulated mattress and my Alpkit down sleeping bag.
Age 36 / Innsbruck (Austria)
BIKE: I will ride my Specialized Epic with an Intend Samurai Fork, Beast Components XC25 Wheels, Continental Race King and Shimano 12-speed (30-51)
BAGS: All the bags are from the awesome brand Tailfin.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Lupine lite setup, Cumulus sleeping bag, SFM mounts from Tailfin for the water bottles on the fork, a lot of motivation from my side. :)
Age 44 / Szczecin (Poland)
BIKE: Specialized S-Works Epic AXS 2020. Tires 2,30”. Drivetrain 1×12 34T / 10-50T.
BAGS: Packman Classic + waterproof bag by Triglav, Hamster (seat harness system) + dedicated waterproof bag by Triglav, custom partial frame bag also by Triglav.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping Bag: LIGHT DOWN -5° by Millet, Backpack: PROLIGHTER 22 by Millet, Garmin 1040 Solar, Bontrager Ion Pro RT 1300.
Age 34 / Freiburg, Baden Wurrtemberg (Germany)
BIKE: I am riding my On-ONe 45650b made out of the finest English steel. Luckily it could be re-welded after a crack in the rear triangle. It was the most suitable option at hand so I revived it. For this race, I built it up with a 1×12 NX drivetrain, a Reba 100mm fork, and some spare parts.
BAGS: The heart of this setup is the handmade frame bag made by a very good friend Lewin. (THANK YOU AGAIN!) It was made out of leftovers and reused material. The strap locks have been to Morocco four times now. The rest is a mixture of brands. Front bag is an Ortlieb handlebar bag and the rear bag is a Blackburn Outpost Elite seat Pack (Thanks Caro!). The small bags are from Apidura and Acepac.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Definitely the frame bag and the revived frame!
Age 56 / Montpellier (France)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat. During the first edition of the AMR I rode with a drop bar, rigid fork, and clipless pedals. This year, I’m using a riser bar, suspension fork, and flat pedals.
BAGS: Bags by Rusjan bag, like all my custom bags for bikepacking, fatbiking and packrafting. Lights from kLite and french Stoots lamp on helmet. Carbon wheels from Asterion Wheels with Schwalbe MTB tires.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: GoPro and Insta 360 X3 to immortalize the trip. Ground sheet to avoid puncturing my air mattress like during the first edition.
Age 39 / Filotrano, Ancona (Italy)
BIKE: I’m riding a Surly Krampus frameset customized by myself. I decided to modify the bike by adding a Ohilns RXF34 120mm fork, Brooks leather saddle, Surly Moloko bar, 1×12 SRAM drivetrain, DT Swiss EX 1700 wheels with Maxxis Recon 29×2.6″ tires, Crankbrothers Stamp 1 pedals, and Lizard Skins Tape and Grips.
BAGS: The bags that I will bring along with me are a waterproof bikepacking set by Agu, including a 17L handlebar bag, a 9L seat bag, and 1L top tube bag. I will also have two Ortlieb dry bags, holding 10L per bag, that will be fixed with a Flixplus strap on the suspension fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will have a Cumulus sleeping bag X-Lite 400 and also a Ortovox Bivi bag that is both windproof and water resistant. For riding during the night I will have a Lupine Piko helmet lamp that is a small but very bright that guide me through even the most extreme conditions.
Age 61 / Brixen, Bressanone (Italy)
BIKE: Trek Procaliber, Lauf 60mm fork, 1×12 Shimano drivetrain 30T coupled with a 10-50T cassette, front wheel is a DT Swiss 401 with dynamo SON 28, rear wheel DT Swiss XM501, Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.25″ tires, Jones H-bar carbon handlebar, FARR Arm Rests, SON Edelux II front light, Lupine Rotlicht rear light, saddle is a SLP dynamic.
BAGS: Tailfin AeroPack Carbon with Pannier 10L, Cyclite top tube bag, Apidura down tube bag, Revelate Designs feed bag, Cyclite handlebar roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: MSR Pro Bivy, Nordisk Grip 2.5 mat, CumulusX-Lite 400 sleeping bag, Garmin Edge 1030. Charging: NC-17 Connect APPCON 3000, Lupine Piko with 6.9 Ah SmartCore battery, repair kit, Camelbak Bike Vest with 1.5L hydration bladder.
Age 43 / London, England (UK)
BIKE: I’m riding a Canyon Exceed CF SLX 2022 with essentially the original spec of Deore XT 34T/10-51T groupset, DT Swiss XRC 1700 wheelset, and Maxxis Ikon 2.35″ tyres. Added Pro Missile alu aero bars, Spirgrips and Ergon GA3 grips for three different hand positions. Also installed Tailfin sus fork mounts to carry 2 bottle cages.
BAGS: Spoked UK custom frame bag, Apidura Expedition Saddle Bag 9L, 2x BBB Cycling Pouch Bag, and a Solomon Active Skin 8 Vest with a 1.5L bladder + 2×0.5L soft flasks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a 2 season Amazon sleeping bag and rely on my different layers to be warm when sleeping, together with a Alpkit bivvy bag and a lighweight-ish Amazon mattress. For navigation, I’ll use a Garmin 1040 as my main co-pilot and a Garmin 530 as backup.
Age 45 / Passignano sul Trasimeno (Italy)
BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat V2 with a 100mm Reba suspension fork. I built it with SRAM 2×11 gearing (26/36T front, 11-42T rear). I like mechanical brakes, I consider them more reliable and easier to maintain, which is why I mounted the TRP Spyre SLC. 29″ Fulcrum Redzone tubeless wheels with 2.25″ Maxxis Rekon Race tyres.
BAGS: The set of bags that I will use is all from Geosmina Components, very light and compact and above all else, waterproof.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will use my tried and tested Mammut Sphere bivy with Cumulus sleeping bag and Therm-a-Rest Neo Air mattress. For navigation I will rely on the Garmin eTrex 30, and for lighting I will bring a Revenem 1200.
Age 52 / Velbert (Germany)
BIKE: I ride a Canyon Lux CF7 full-suspension mountain bike with Maxxis Recon 2.35″ tyres, Shimano XT drivetrain 10x51T, Shimano XT brakes, Profile Handlebars.
BAGS: On the front is a Ortlieb-Roll bag, on the rear the big Ortlieb Seat Bag, and on the toptube an Apidura Frame Bag. Additionally, I’m using a vest from Apidura with a 2L bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit pad, sleeping bag and Liner, Mammut Bivy Bag, Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for navigation, Sigma lights powered by battery and Petzl Nao+ head light. Two power banks for power.
Mattia De Marchi
Age 31 / Noale, Venezia (Italy)
BIKE: I will be racing the Atlas Mountain Race on a Lee Cougan MTB Rampage Innova, with an ISS (Innova Structural Suspension) system at the rear, designed to take advantage of the flexibility of carbon to act as a shock absorber.
BAGS: A special feature is the front bag support Il Coso by MissGrape, providing extra support for the front light and for the front bag. In addition to Il Coso, Miss Grape Tendril 4.10 on the front (sleeping bag, bivy, mattress), two Miss Grape Buds for food and accessories and electronics, the new Big Node, a special custom frame (bike maintenance, leggings, muffs, neck warmer) and 7L Cluster bag on the rear (down jacket, wool jersey, shell).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Ceramic Speed pulley and Ceramic Speed bottom bracket.
Age 40 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be racing AMR on the same 2019 Salsa Cutthroat I brought to Tour Divide 2022. Money can’t buy you love, but is required in abundance if you want a new hardtail, so I’m sticking with what I’ve got and counting on HAB to fill the gaps. On the wheels: 700×55 Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance Plus tires, SON dynamo up front, serviced and refurbished after all the snow on TD gummed it up a bit, and SRAM hydraulic brakes. Fresh 1x 34T ring with a 10-50T cassette. Sinewave Beacon for lights and charging. Comfort bits include Redshift stem, Brooks saddle, aero bars. New alloy handlebars while I wait on replacement for my recalled Cowchippers. PSA to all you Salsa carbon bar owners: check those recall notices and be safe out there.
BAGS: Frame bag by Cedaero. Saddle and handlebar bags by Apidura. Top tube by Oveja Negra. Hoagie Hauler stem bag by R.E.Load. Shouts to Apidura and Cedaero for offering free repairs to a few broken zippers and clips after TD. Keeping bags on bikes and out of bins.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: On TD I was constantly checking elevation profiles on my phone because the Garmin eTrex 22x lacks them. I’ve upgraded to the 32x with its altimeter for AMR. And feeling good about my new Apidura race vest.
Age 25 / Cullompton, England (UK)
BIKE: Frankenstein’s bicycle completed just in time for the event. Wonderful Sour Pasta Party frame with a second-hand SID Ultimate fork, mixture of new and second-hand SRAM Eagle GX, some lovely Hope tech 4 X2 brakes, 29” wheels with SON dynamo hub connected to Edulux II front and rear lights as well as Sinewave Cycles charging device, crowned with Vittoria Mezcals. Handlebar addition of some piping insulation to get aeroooo.
BAGS: I will be riding with Alpkit bags totalling around 32L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite mat, Alpkit ultra 120 sleeping bag and Hunka bivvy should keep me comfy enough for a few hours now and then. In the hope of some excellent power napping I am taking a Sea to Summit luxury pillow. Exposure Diablo II to back up my dynamo light when needed. The insanely light Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 jacket to keep me toasty (colour Moon Moss to keep me fashionable).
Age 37 / Highland, Scotland (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the new 2022 Sonder Broken Road. The bike is set up with a 100mm Rockshox SID Ultimate fork, 1×12 GX AXS Drivetrain, Sonder Alpha XC 29″ wheels laced with new Goodyear PEAK Ultimate 2.4″ tyres and a ‘Rockstop’ tyre insert on the rear. The cockpit is based around the excellent Sonder Confucius bars with bbb aero comfort extensions.
BAGS: I’m using a whole host of Alpkit UK-made luggage (with the exception of a trusty Revalate Designs Sweetroll up front). Highlights are a custom Stingray framebag, and the new design Koala seatpack with exorail support.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: In a continuation of my ‘#bikepackingvoices’ audio project (started on last year’s HT550), I’ll be taking along my Zoom Hn1 sound recorder to capture my own and others thoughts experiences and motivations as they occur out on the trail.
Age 49 / Liege (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the AMR 2023 on my Scott Scale 910. The bike has a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal (2.35″ front, 2.25″ rear) tires and a 1×12 Shimano XT drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 10-51T cassette. For as much comfort as possible, I’ll rely on a SQLab handlebar with their Innerbarends and a Farr aero bolt-on.
BAGS: I’ll be using a complete mix with Revelate Designs for the saddle, Brooks Scape for the frame and top tube, Topeak FrontLoader for the handlebar and finally Riverside for the food pouches.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nothing really special. KLamp and Stoots to help me find my way in the night. Some merino, here and there, to fight the cold.
Age 41 / Arlington Heights, Illinois (USA)
BIKE: Litespeed Pinhoti with a Fox 120mm travel fork, SON hub, and kLite for lights and power.
BAGS: Mostly by Revelate Designs: 10L Splinelock seatbag, Saltyroll on a Salsa cradle.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Definitely the Crank Tank3, the F3 phone mount, and many small custom bits and pieces made with a hack saw, drill, and file. And of course the countless hours spent tweaking everything out.
Age 40 / Sydney (Australia)
BIKE: Flanders Berg. XX1 AXS with 34T x 10-52T. Custom Light Bicycle wheels with Conti Race King Protection tyres. SQLab handlebars, grips, innerbarends and saddle.
BAGS: All Apidura. 4L water carrying capacity.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Carrying a Sea to Summit Spark sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlight mat and a Sol Escape Bivy. Nav’ing with a Garmin 1030.
Age 22 / Liege (Belgium)
BIKE: Deroy steel bike handcrafted in Liege. Rigid fork and titanium handlebar. With Farr aerobars and a Garmin 1030 plus.
BAGS: Enabags (multipack and frame).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Tailfin rear rack and bag.
Age 18 / Cologne (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the AMR on a Stanton Sherpa gen3 with 120mm suspension fork and Vittoria Barzo 2.35″ tires (TL). It runs a Sram GX Eagle with a 32T chainring and 10-52T cassette to climb the mountains. Shimano Deore XT brakes with 200mm (front) and 180mm (rear) rotors help me stop. A SON dynamo hub powers the Supernova m99 dy pro, which is mounted to the aerobars, as well as my rear light. The bottle on the top tube is mounted with Tailfin suspension fork mounts as well as the cages on the fork. My beloved SQlab saddle will enable me to ride long days.
BAGS: I have attached an Ortlieb Seat Pack QR, Revelate Designs framebag and (maybe) a handlebar harness with dry bag. Not pictured is an Apidura top tube bag for quick access. Additionally, I have a backpack with 3L hydration bladder and extra space for food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favourite item is my SQlab saddle because it fits me very well, my light setup and Tailfin mounts to be creative with bottles and cages anywhere on the bike!
Age 42 / Seoul (South Korea)
BIKE: JAEGER ASPEN-S, aluminum frame, drivetrain: SRAM EAGLE, crank: 30T, cassette: 11-50T, saddle: Ergon SR Allroad Core Pro, Ergon GA3 grips, Profile Design Sonic Ergo Aerobar, Teravail Sparwood 29×2.2″ tires.
BAGS: Apidura Saddle Pack 7L, Handlebar Pack 11L, Accessory Pocket 4L , Downtube bag 1.8L ×2, Frame Pack 2L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: GPS Bryton Rider 420, Rider S800, Rigel Power 3600 light, SOL escape bivvy, Sea To Summit UL sleeping pad.
Age 24 / Worcester, England (UK)
BIKE: I will be racing my Vitus Rapide CRX for AMR2023. It’s built with XT Deore and SID Ultimate forks. The tyres are 2.2″ Maxxis Ardent Race filled with Orange Sealant. I’m using Profile Design arm pads without the bars for comfort and SQlabs bar ends to mimic a drop handlebar position.
BAGS: I’m using a mixture of bags from Tailfin, Apidura and Alpkit. All pieces of kit I have used thoroughly and believe are the best for my setup. I will also be wearing a hydration backpack which can hold 2L of water and extra food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My brand new Albion Zoa pants will keep my legs warm while riding and sleeping along with my heavier insulated jacket. I also have an inflatable pillow with my sleep mat, as some luxuries make a big difference.
Age 46 / South Korea
BIKE: Trek 520 for commuting, bikepacking, and bike-touring. Maxxis Rambler 700x50c, 2×10 drivetrain with Shimano GRX and Deore derailleurs and Prowheel crank set.
BAGS: Ortlieb handlebar and seat packs and Apidura framebag. I will be carrying Camelbak Chase on my back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am going to charge all electronics with an Anker powerport solar since I don’t have a dynamo hub. I hope it’s worth it.
Age 40 / Brasov (Romania)
BIKE: Canyon Lux 2020, 110mm Fox 34 fork (overkill for the track). 100mm in the rear. Mix of Shimano / SRAM for the drivetrain. Duke rims and DT Swiss hubs. Schwalbe Thunder Burt tyres front / rear. Pro aero-bars (borrowed from Bagoly Levente).
BAGS: Revelate Designs 14L seatbag, Topeak top-tube bag, Revelate Designs food pouch. Decathlon trail running pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Definitely the Exposure Toro / Joystick lights. The big question mark is if I can keep them charged up during the race. To mitigate the risk of running out of power this time I’m also taking two Huawei 12000Mah powerbanks with 40w supercharging. Theoretically the 5000Mah which I can draw during a 30 minute break should be enough, but it remains to be seen.
Age 46 / Bergamo (Italy)
BIKE: Aluminum Trek (battle name excalibur) I got for my 40th birthday, 2.2″ tyres, Sp7 dynamo hub, Shineway headlight, Cowchipper handlebar.
BAGS: Miss Grape bags, handcrafted bottle cages on the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be guided by an Etrex 20 and for an Edge 1030 backup, a Sea To Summit I sleeping bag, Ferrino Mummy bivy, and a 2L hydration pack.
Age 25 / Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Atlas Mountain Race on a Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29. The bike has 100mm of rear suspension travel and 110mm up front. The bike is set up with the Live Valve system which will definitely run out at some point during the race, but will just mean the suspension is open for a more comfortable ride. I’ve also switched out the winter tyres I had for UK riding for a set of Hutchinson Skeleton tyres set up tubeless for faster rolling speed.
BAGS: As for bag setup I will be running a full Restrap system including the race bar bag, two race stem bags, the long race top tube bag and the race saddle bag. I will also be carrying a Camelbak for extra water capacity.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For lights I am going to be carrying a full Exposure setup including the Six Pack and Toro for the front and two BOOST-R lights for the rear. My bivvy setup includes a Robens Tents Mountain Bivvy and an Icefall Pro 300 sleeping bag.
Age 42 / Medicina, Bologna (Italy)
BIKE: I am racing on the stainless steel Locomotive Scotsman I used during the 2018 Tour Divide. It’s a very comfy and reliable frame coupled with a Niner composite fork and a MTB style handlebar with custom aerobar designed for maximum comfort and vibration dampening Wolf Tooth grips. Wheelset is a custom one with heavy but bombproof SRC Sunringlè hubs, Laser spokes and carbon Reynolds rims. Tires are 2.25″ Mezcals and transmission is SRAM X0 34×10-50T with a steel chainring.
BAGS: Framebags, toptube bags, and handlebar bags are made by Miss Grape, two bottle cage are mounted on the fork for water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I use a Garmin GPASMAP 64S for navigation and Moon Meteor Storm Pro as main light. My sleep kit includes an Outdoor Research Bivy, Sea to Summit sleeping pad and Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag.
Ron van Roosmalen
Age 36 / Grave, North Brabant (Netherlands)
BIKE: A solid 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper. She has many miles already, in various terrain from the European Alps, Balkan to Mexico and Morocco. Just never seems to let me down. I upgraded to a pair of 2.25″ Vittoria Mezcal Graphene tires and a 2×10 drivetrain. It’s great to ride even the steepest climbs. Happy with my Ergon GP3 grips and solid DT-Swiss wheelset.
BAGS: Ortlieb Waterproof 13L packed behind the saddle/post with my sleeping kit. Armybivi, liner and spring sleeping bag. Strapped with Sea to Summit straps. New Boiler frame bag, borrowed from my friend Lowie a while ago, changed the zippers at a shoemaker and patched some holes. Highlander X-Lite 8L under my handlebar with some extra layers. Black Diamond 10L All Mountain pack: 3L bladder, first aid, rain jacket, and spare battery/lights inside.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Found some foam and taped it on my handlebar last time, turns out to be a comfortable armrest for the longer flat sections, it’s still there. Navigated all on my phone with OSM maps. Trying a Garmin Edge 530 this edition. Really happy with my Armybivi, just don’t need to worry, it’s durable, dry, and tough. All amazing qualities for a bit of extra weight.
Age 44 / Turin (Italy)
BIKE: I will be riding my Chiru Kegeti, the groupset is a Sram GX AXS 1×12, 36T oval chainring / 10-52T cassette, Hope RX4+ brakes, SON dynamo hub, tyres are Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″, Ergon seatpost and a Selle Italia SLR endurance saddle.
BAGS: Custom Kicking Donkey frame bag with Apidura 1.5L hydration bladder, Apidura top tube bag, Ortlieb saddle bag, Vap cycling handlebar bag with Toploader attachment.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sinewave lamp, Pro ergo drop and Redshift grips for added comfort, Sol Escape bivvy, Sea to Summit sleeping bag and mat, Rab light down jacket, Biotex thermal shirts, Garmin 830.
Age 52 / Morpeth, Northumberland (England)
BIKE: I’ll be racing the Atlas Mountain Race on my Orange p7 steel hardtail. I’m running Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″ tyres on Hunt Beyond SON dynamo carbon wheels. The dynamo will also operate a Sinewave USB charger. In the rear wheel I have a Vittoria Air Liner tyre insert for added protection. Drivetrain is 1×12 Shimano XTR 32T front / 10-51T cassette. The Pike Deluxe fork is 130mm. Finishing kit is Pro components and I’m running the lightweight 100mm Tharsis dropper.
BAGS: My bags are fully custom from Spoked UK. A front harness holds sleeping kit and the full frame bag will mostly hold spare clothes and food. On the fly food will be stored in the top tube bag. Dr Jon Barnacles have been added to the down tube to hold two water bottles. I will also be using an Evoc hydration pack for extra water storage and additional kit capacity. This set up allows me to retain the dropper post. I don’t like riding a mountain bike without one!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My trusty Rab Neutrino sleeping bag is paired with a Survival Zone bivvy—not a super light bivvy but reassuring, robust, and protective. I always carry one little luxury: a Sea to Summit inflatable pillow. My Albion clothing will also double up as added warmth if we do have some cold nights. Navigation will be through my Garmin 830.
Age 30 / Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my beloved Orbea Oiz H30. It is custom built with a DT Swiss AM wheelset paired with a super noisy Spank rear hub and a SON Dynamo in the front. The highlight of my bike is a new pair of XTR brakes, thanks to my team at TREK GAP for helping me install the brakes.
BAGS: I will carry most of my stuff in a Vaude Transalpin 32+5 Bikepacking Backpack, which worked great for me in the European Divide Trail. I’ll also use 2 fork bags from Vaude and a small seat pack for spares and tools.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Carinthia pillow is definitely the coziest pillow you can find for bikepacking. No nasty air pumping. Thank you Pia for this great present.
Age 46 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: I ride a Canyon Exceed 6 CF with a shortened stem and a 165mm instead of the 175mm crank from the factory. Otherwise the bike would be a bit too aggressive for my physical requirements. Rocket Ron tyres. I ride tubeless. My power source is the SON 28, which is connected to the Supernova E3 Pro 2 and the corresponding E3 rear light. In addition, a Velotor Sport E2 Base charge controller is connected to the SON for charging my equipment, such as the Hammerhead Karoo2. On the handlebars I also have a phone mount and two mounts for my camera gear.
BAGS: I chose the Tailfin AeroPack Carbon with 10L side panniers and a 1.7L Downtube Pack as my main luggage solution. The upper main bag holds most of my sleeping setup, first aid stuff, and a 4L water bag. The side pockets hold supplies for the first few days and my Mountain Equipment sleeping bag. I’m deliberately starting with a bit more to be more independent until CP1. I also use a frame bag (the black version) and a top tube bag from Ortlieb for electronics, tools and snacks. 2 x 750ml bottles plus the Evoc Hip Bag Pro 3 on the man round off the water/snacks setup.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For me, my complete setup is a highlight. I worked on it for a long time. But since I will be filming the trip, my camera setup is certainly one of them: GoPro10, INSTA360 RS One, Sony ZV-1, because it’s small, light, with maximum quality output. Otherwise, we’ll see what turns out to be a highlight and what was superfluous in the end. Happy riding!
Age 40 / Feldkirch (Austria)
BIKE: My bike is a black 2022 self-built Salsa Cutthroat with a RockShox SID suspension fork. I chose a modified 1×11 drivetrain with GRX shifters and a Garbaruk kit to increase the cassette range as well as a 34T oval chainring. I am running Vittoria Mezcals 2.25″. The brake calipers are hope rx4+. The SON28 Dynamo powers my kLite system so I don’t run out of power or light.
BAGS: I’ll be using my proven Apidura bag setup with the exception of a customized frame bag, that has been built by Gramm Bikepacking in Berlin and can be mounted without a single strip of velcro. I also use a small Revelate Designs food pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My highlight is my Lupine Blika headlight, because it’s really bright and the battery serves as a power bank that can be charged with the dynamo hub. I also love my Western Mountaineering Megalite sleeping bag—light and warm.
Age 48 / Richterswil (Switzerland)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my trusty Specialized Epic Evo fully with 29″ Continental Trail / RaceKing tires. Drivetrain is SRAM 32T by 10-52T AXS, a Race Face front wheel with a SON Dynamo hub. Tri bars are Zipp and light and power is provided by kLite.
BAGS: Revelate Designs frame, downtube and feed bags, Tailfin rear pack and suspension fork mounts, Restrap front roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Samaya Radical 1.0 tent paired with a Rab Mythic Ultra 180 Sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad.
Age 44 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: I am riding the AMR on a 2015 KTM hardtail with SID 100mm suspension fork. Choice of tyres is the 29×2.25″ Vittoria Mezcal. Power for lights/navigation is generated with a SON front hub buffered through a ‘Forumslader’. The gear is Shimano XT, 32T in front, 11-51T in the rear.
BAGS: My bags have been made by Gramm Tourpacking and Burgfyr. I will carry 1.5L of water on my handlebar and 3.5L in my backpack.
Age 31 / Saint-Petersburg (Russia)
BIKE: My rig hasn’t changed much since SRMR 2022. It’s the Open One+ frame with a carbon fork and 29” Vittoria Mezcal tires.
BAGS: Fuel tank, frame bag and seat bag are all from Revelate Designs. Fanny pack by Nerpa Gear that I always carry with me no matter what.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleeping bag, base layer, fleece and waterproof clothing are all by Sivera. Sea to Summit sleeping pad, cycling shorts by Veter Cycling. I’ll use Wahoo Bolt v2 for navigation, Fenix HM65R on my helmet for the headlight, and I’ll power it all from a pair of Nitecore NB20000.
Age 33 / Mexico City / Scottish born
BIKE: Mosaic GT-2 X, Shimano GRX groupset, 29×2.25″ WTB Nine line tyres.
BAGS: Brooks Scape range, saddle bag, XL cockpit bag, XL frame bag, two feed pouches and a small camelback for water and extra snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The stealth whip, slightly unforgiving ratio, QUEER cycling cap and a hand-soldered earring made by my mum as a good luck charm.
‘Rapid’ Rich Stoodley
Age 62 / Doncaster, Yorkshire (England)
BIKE: I will be using my Ribble CGR SL GRX Di2 Carbon Gravel Bike but fitted with a RockShox Rudy 50mm Suspension Fork. The 11-speed drivetrain has been changed to 36T front chainring and I’ve fitted an AirBike 11/46T cassette for better spacing, finished with a KMC EL11 chain. Tyres are tubeless WTB NANO SG 700 x 40mm. My aim is to just finish.
BAGS: Tailfin Technical Bikepacking Equipment is my choice, and it’s great. I’m using the the Tailfin Alloy AeroFrame with a 20L top trunk for all my sleeping gear and 2 x 10L mini panniers hold the rest of my equipment tools and spares. I’m using 2 x 1.7L down tube packs on my fork legs to carry extra water and they are positioned perfectly for my light batteries. I also have a small top tube bag for easy access items.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m using an Outdoor Research Helium Bivvy with a homemade outer foil mat for protection and an Alpkit air mattress and RAB Eco Sleeping Bag. I also need to stow some equipment for a medical condition. A Wahoo will guide me with the Komoot route and my phone is attached with a Quadlock Mount. My backside is protected by Veloskin chamois cream. My complete rig, fully loaded, comes in at 25.8kg with water. I’m also taking ‘Little Rapid’ along for the ride.
Age 39 / Styria, Tirol (Austria)
BIKE: Because of the rough roads on the route, I decided to ride a hardtail mountain bike. It’s a Liteville H-3 Mk3, made of aluminum with a Fox 34 140mm fork. The bike has a carbon handlebar, seat post and wheels—all by Syntace. The aero bar allows me to change hand positions and makes me faster on smooth roads. Maxxis Ardent 29×2.35″ tires and rolling tubeless. The SRAM Eagle drivetrain has a 10-50T cassette and a 30T chainring in the front.
BAGS: In the frame fits a regular small Revelate Designs bag. Reisefix handmade bags are on the handlebar, the seatpost and the top tube. They are lightweight and well designed. Water will be carried on the down tube and two bottles in the Topeak wishbone. I’ll also wear a running vest with more water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A gas burner stove and some coffee!
Age 60 / Park City, Utah (USA)
BIKE: OPEN WI.DE SRAM Force/XX1 Mullet 1X Drivetrain 40T Chainring 10-50T Cassette. ENVE Carbon wheels (M50 rear and a new front AG25 build with a SON dynamo hub). Front Tire: Vittoria Mezcal 2.1″, Rear Tire: Maxxis Rambler 45mm.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Tarrapin 14L seat bag, Tangle 1/2 Frame Bag and Pronghorn Harness, Rockgeist Cache Top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite (with Fenix backup), Outdoor Research Helium Bivy, Enlightened Equipment Quilt, and Sea to Summit Ultralight Pad, Garmin 830 with auxiliary battery.
Age 54 / Neots, Cambridgeshire (UK)
BIKE: Trek Procalibre with full XT 11-51T with 30T chainring. Maxxis Ardent race 2.2″ tyres front and rear and the essential SON dynamo hub powering Exposure Lights Revo front and Redeye rear.
BAGS: Restrap race bar bag, Spoked UK bespoke frame bag and saddle rack mount and Restrap top tube bag for tech kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleep kit is an Alpkit bivvy bag and PHD sleeping bag. SKS Anywhere bottle cage adaptors are a godsend for putting bottles wherever you want, and navigation is courtesy of Wahoo Roam.
Age 46 / Kirkby Lonsdale (England)
BIKE: Sonder Broken Road Ti custom frame designed for up to 29+ and 120mm fork. I will be running 29er Hope wheels with Pirelli Scorpion tyres and a Travers Prong carbon fork out front. Carbon Jones H Bar with SQ Lab innerbarends, Hope brakes, SQ Lab Ergowave saddle.
BAGS: Alpkit fully waterproof Deluge handle bar, frame and saddle bags, just in case! Evoc Hydro Pro Hydration pack with 2L bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping setup all Alpkit Pipe dream 200 sleeping bag with silk liner, Cloud base mat and Elan bivi, Garmin Etrex 30x for navigation, Exposure lights, battery cache, Sawyer inline water filter.
Age 38 / Kiel (Germany)
BIKE: I am riding a Canyon Exceed CF7. The bike features Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, a Sram GX 10-52T drivetrain with a 30T chainring and a new Rock Shox Ultimate Race fork. The Syntace XXS aerobar is light and big enough for the Wahoo and Lupine light.
BAGS: I am fan of the Apidura Expedition bags. Featuring a 14L Saddlebag for all my spare or warm clothes, a 5.3L frame bag for electronics and my beauty case, the 14L handle bar bag for my sleeping system. Plus two snack pouches and the 1L Apidura racing top tube for more electronic. Spares and tools live in my downtube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I like my new Lupine Wilma with up to 3600 lumen. The two Akku Packs will bring me 30-60 hours of power through the night. I am also quite happy with my 3L hydration pack and the comfortable Ergon GP2 grips. Of course I love my Cumulus xLite200 sleeping bag (2°) and Therm-a-Rest Uberlite mattress for comfortable nights within the OR Helium bivy.
Age 32 / Rotterdam (Netherlands)
BIKE: My Sour Pasta Party is my XC and bikepacking bike built for all sorts of adventures. I have a kLite setup hanging on a SON dynamo and Schwalbe rubber wrapped around some Duke rims. I almost always run a dropper because they’re hella fun, and I mounted an Ingrid crank because it’s friggin’ pretty.
BAGS: Wit Slingers splittable frame bag and bento box made from Ecopak, Cordel handlebar harness.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I mean, it’s all bright white, that’s a highlight I guess? Place your bets now on how long the bags stay white!
Age 59 / Bornem (Belgium)
BIKE: I will be riding the AMR 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 C 17 Saddle and Profile Design 45/25A aero bars. I will go for the 55-622 Vittoria Mezcal tires.
BAGS: All Apidura Expedition bags, 17L saddle pack, 14L handlebar pack, 4.5L accessory pocket, 14L full frame pack, 1L top tube pack, 2 Backcountry food pouches and a backcountry downtube pack. I will be carrying a 20L Dirt Roamer Patagonia backpack for water and food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system will be an EXPED bivybag, a Valandre Mirage 3/4 sleeping bag with a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite 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.
Age 39 / Essen (Germany)
BIKE: I am going to race the Atlas Mountain Race on a 2022 SANTA CRUZ Blur TR XCO bike. With 120mm suspension in the front and 115mm in the back it should be comfortable enough. Custom wheels by Laufrad-Tuning with 28mm wide NEXTIE rims and a SON Hub in the front. I have chosen the trusted Maxxis Ikon Exo 2.35″ in the front and Maxxis Recon Race Exo 2.35″ in the back. Sram Eagle XX1 AXS setup with a 32T chainring and a 10-50T cassette. Front and back light are by kLite (Gravel version) with USB-Charger and an additional Lupine Piko as a headlight. Cockpit is expanded by Ergon grips and Zipp Aerobars. Navigation will be done by a Wahoo Bolt and a mounted iPhone as backup.
BAGS: Handlebar bag and saddle bag are from Dyed in the Wool. One Tailfin mount at the down tube with a bag for spares and tools. Top tube bag by Apidura for all electronics, documents, and some things I want to keep close. One food pouch by Cordel and one by AUG are tucked under the Aerobars. Four bottle-cages and a USWE 2L hydration bag on my back should be enough to carry the necessary liquids.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I aim at a maximum quality of sleep on those short stops. Therefore, I have chosen a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite, Custom Cumulus X-lite 200 sleeping bag and a Sierra Design Backcountry Biwi, a down jacket and down pants to layer up, a blow-up pillow for additional comfort and sleeping masks and ear plugs to shut myself off.
Age 36 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: Orbea Alma Hardtail with RockShox SiD Ultimate and SRAM XX1 drivetrain with 34T chainring and 10-50T cassette. Schwalbe Racing Ralph in 2.35″ are my tires of choice.
BAGS: The bike is equipped with Apidura bags and two fork cages for additional capacity.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: ZIPP Vuka Aero extensions and SQlab Carbon Innerbarends—both are essential for a variety of positions on the bike. Supernova M99 Mini Pro B54 will provide light for 50hrs. Hammerhead Karoo 2 will show me the way.
Age 28 / Bristol (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Cannondale Scalpel SE 1 full suspension MTB for comfort and capability over rough terrain. The groupset is Shimano XT 12-speed with 32T/10-51T gearing for tackling the steep mountain passes. I’m using a HUNT Beyond custom carbon SON 28 dynamo wheel setup for lighting and charging duties. The tyres are Mezcal 29” x 2.35”. Main modifications to the stock bike are the wheels and tribars, which are there mainly for comfort over the longer flatter stretches. I’ve also swapped out the dropper post as I’ll not be pushing things fully loaded on rocky descents and a rigid post is easier to fit bags to.
BAGS: I’m using a mix of Apidura and Ortlieb bike bags. An 11L Ortlieb seat pack will carry mainly sleep and cold weather gear. The front Apidura 5l Race bag gives easy access to riding kit, and the top tube Backcountry bag is for valuables and phone, plus a K-Lite USB charger. Apidura 1.2L food pouches will carry snacks or additional water if needed. I’m keeping most of my tools and spares low down in an Apidura Downtube bag. I’ll also be wearing a comfortable and ultra-stable Salomon ADV Skin backpack that will hold food, two collapsible water pouches and a 2L bladder, giving me a total water capacity of 4.5L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system is based on an Alpkit Numo mat and Kloke bivvy, with insulated jackets and down trousers. My clothing is from Albion, and the highlight is the layering system, with merino base layers, an Ultralight Insulated Jacket, and a prototype lightweight Zoa puffer jacket. The lighting system is a K-Lite Ultra V2 dynamo front, a couple of NiteRider Cherrybomb rear lights with crazy run times, and a Fenix re-chargeable helmet light. For navigation I’ll be using a Garmin eTrex 32x that I’ve used on multiple trips.
Age 28 / Grenoble (France)
BIKE: I ride a carbon hardtail from Rose Bikes with Continental Race King Protection (rear) / Continental Cross King Protection (front) tires, tubeless. For lights I use Supernova B54 M99 Mini Pro and a headlamp (Sofirn). For multiple riding positions, I mounted aerobars from Decathlon.
BAGS: I’ll carry water in a hydration vest (3L) and have additional capacity in the snack bag. I use 2 snack bags (Decathlon, Agu) to carry food. My sleeping gear and additional clothes are stowed in the Ortlieb Seatpack L. Electronics and easily accessible items are stored in the Ortlieb Framebag and the Tallin frame bag on the top tube. My spare parts are stowed on the Tallin frame bag on the down tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have a fast charging power adapter with 4 connectors. This has proven useful in the past.
Age 26 / Weymouth, Dorset (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be taking the trusty SVEN custom 29er set up, packed with a full set of custom Bags made by Spoked UK. Tyre choice is 2.2″ maxxis IKON’s on DT-swiss rims and hubs, 1×11 drive chain with 11-50T and a 30T chainring to help spin up the climbs!
BAGS: Keeping the bag set up as minimal as I can with a triple pocket full frame bag, 8L saddle pack, and full length top tube bag for food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Double Exposure race lights for the long Moroccan nights, Sea to Summit pillow for comfy power naps, and a 3 season Therm-a-Rest bag for any cold nights out.
Age 27 / Trossachs (United Kingdom)
BIKE: Racing with a Mason Bokeh. With Hunt Carbon X wide rims, built in front Son Dynamo hub, with 47mm Teravail Rutland tyres, running a 11-34T, 2×11 48-31T. For the butt: a very well used Brooks Cambrian C17. To light the way I have some Exposure Lights up top on the dash and one mounted on my noggin. Hopefully this will get the job done
BAGS: Apidura x2 very well used food bags, Apidura Racing top tube bag, Apidura Expedition frame bag, 7L Apidura Racing saddle bag and finally an Osprey Duro 6 Alpine trail pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Mountain Hardwear Kor Airshell.
Age 60 / Brixen, South Tyrol (Italy)
BIKE: Trek Procaliber 9.8, Carbon, IsoSpeed, Fork: Fox Performance 32, Fox Racing Transfer SL Factory post, e*thirteen TRS Race Carbon 30T cranks, Shimano XT M8100 9-50T cassette, Shimano Deore XT M8100 hydraulic disc brakes, Bontrager RSL Integrated handlebar, Front Wheel: XM 421 – DT Swiss, Hub Dynamo: SON 28, Rear Wheel: Bontrager Kovee Elite 30 Carbon, Tubeless Ready, Tires: Vittoria Mezcal III 29×2.25″, Saddle: ISM PL1, Syntace Aerobar.
BAGS: I hope that in the end I don’t carry too many things in the Tailfin AeroPack Carbon, 1 Tailfin mini pannier, Apidura Expedition handlebar pack & Apidura expedition accessory pocket, Apidura packable backpack, Revelate Designs Gas Tank, Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag Handlebar Bag, Apidura racing hydration vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Tracking with a SPOT Gen 4. Front light is a SON Edelux II powered by a Son 28 dynamo and on my helmet. Lupine Piko; rear lights are Bontrager flare RT and Lupine Rotlicht Max LED. Battery chargers are NC-17, Connect APPCON 3000, Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump. I also hope that I find my way safely north with my Garmin Edge 1030 Plus. I want to dream for a few (or more?) hours in my Nordisk Lofoten tent, Therma-a-Rest NeoAir mat and Cumulus sleeping bag… and last but not least that my seat bones are not too strained on my ISM PL 1.1 saddle in my beloved Skinfit tri shorts and Assos half shorts.
Pierre de Wit
Age 41 / Baarn (Netherlands)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the same bike I rode during the inaugural edition of the Atlas Mountain Race, a Canyon Exceed (2019). This time around I made some small changes to the setup, as most of it worked. I have upgraded the front suspension to a Rockshox SID, brakes have better disks and pads (more cooling for the long descents), wheels/Hunt XC-race with Schwalbe Thunder Burt 2.35/2.25″ (front/rear) and I mounted a 30T chainring in the front.
BAGS: This year I got myself a custom frame bag from Rusjan. Next to this I will be riding with two food pouches, a top tube bag, and seat pack all from Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be riding with an Anker power bank, lights from BBB, Wahoo Elemnt Roam, iPhone as spare navigation device. All in all I added more comfort to my bike and kit…and the bike will be customized with stickers by the kids.
Age 53 / Dortmund (Germany)
BIKE: I’m riding a Specialized Epic Expert. Drivetrain includes a 32T chainring with a 10-50T cassette. Power is provided by a SON deluxe with a Forumslader and lights are a Supernova E3 and battery backlight.
BAGS: I am using my trusty Old Man Mountain Sherpa rack, with Vaude Frontbags Ultra Light. At the rear I am using a Revelate Designs VISCACHA saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My navigation is provided by my Wahoo Bolt V2 with my iPhone as an emergency backup. Sleeping kit is a Cumulus Lite Line 300 sleeping bag with Neo Air mattress and a Outdoor Research Bivy. I can carry 4L of water but still have some room left for more.
Age 42 / Liege (Belgium)
BIKE: My friend Phil at Venom Cycle Works found me this bike a few months ago. It’s a Why El Jefe, built with a dynamo hub and a pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tires.
BAGS: A mix of Tailfin and Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A C. POUKI (Made in Liege) stem bag that is perfect for carrying a delicious Belgian trapiste beer or possibly some extra food…
Age 33 / Siegen (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Atlas Mountain Race on my custom (Max) Veloheld Iron. HUNT XC Wide Wheelset are running with Maxxis Forekaster and Maxxis Ardent. Light is a Supernova M99 B54. Weight with water is 22.5kg.
BAGS: Apidura Saddlebag 14L, Apidura Toptubebah 2L, Restrap Adventure Race Handlebarbag and a Custom Framepack by Pratspacks from Ukraine.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit Spark 2 Sleeping Bag, Alpkit Kloke Bivy, Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Airmat, Sea to Summit Reactor Liner, Garmin Edge 1040 Solar, Apidura Racing Vest.
Age 29 / Linz (Austria)
BIKE: It‘s a Rondo Ruut ST1 with a new pair of Ultradynamico Mars 2.3″ tires, a modified 10-47T cassette, with a 44T chainring.
BAGS: My whole bag setup is from Restrap! I’ve been using the race line now for maybe 3 years and I’m still in love with it. I’ve just had to replace the top tube bag once.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I don’t really have an outstanding highlight but I really love my Exped Ultra 5R sleeping pad and my Mountain Equipment Helium 250 sleeping bag.
Age 36 / London (UK)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the AMR on a 2019 alloy SCOTT SPARK 950. The bike features a pair of Vittoria Barzo tires, 2.35″ at the front and 2.25” in the back, and a 1×12 SRAM NX with a 30T Raceface chainring and 11-50T cassette. 120mm suspensions front and rear. I’ve added some Ergon GA3 grips, SQlab inner bar ends, and Profile Design Aero bars for comfort and multiple hand positions. It’s definitely not the lightest bike but comfort is king and as they say, “the best bike is the bike you already own”.
BAGS: All the bags are Apidura. Expedition Handlebar Pack 14L for sleeping system + accessories pocket. Expedition Saddle Pack 17L for spare clothes and bits and pieces. A long tube pack 1.8L for electronics and snacks. A 2.5L full frame pack with a 1.5L bladder and some extra space for clothes. A Downtube Pack for tools. I will also be using a Camelback Chase Vest with a 1.5L bladder and 2x 500ml collapsible flasks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit SP1 (crazy how small and light that thing is). I’ll be wearing some very comfy Quoc Gran Tourer and few items from the great guys at Cascada. For navigation I’ll be using a Garmin 1030.
Age 44 / Roudnice nad Labem (Czech Republic)
BIKE: Swiss full-sus KOBA Sentiero UL (2019). The bike is very comfortable and light. Despite the fact that it’s a full-sus MTB, its empty weight is about 10.5kg. The bike is on Vittoria Mezzcal 2.1″ tires, 1×12 (10-50T) SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain with 34T chainring. Front DT Swiss wheel is mounted with SON28 dynamo hub. All connected to an Igaro D1 USB hub.
BAGS: The frame bag is my own DIY bag. The rest of the bags are Apidura: Expedition seat bag (14L), Backcountry Long Top Tube bag, 2x Backcountry Food pouches.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt v2, backup Suunto 9 Peak, 2nd backup Smartphone. Front Lights: Headlamp Fenix BC30 v2, backup Fenix HM51R. Rear lights: Fenix BC05R v2, backup Fenix CL09. Bivi bag: High Point Super Light 2.0 Cover.
Age 52 / Hamburg (Germany)
BIKE: The bike is a Mason Bokeh, that I have squeezed a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.1’s on to. A Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 drivetrain with an Ingrid 34T chainring and cranks will hopefully get me far up the climbs on a loaded bike before having to push it. DT Swiss 650B rims coupled up front with a SON dynamo to power a Sinewave Beacon light.
BAGS: Basically all the smaller sized Apidura bags, with the addition of an Ortlieb dry bag upfront for sleeping gear. The frame bag has 1.5L water bladder and I’ll be wearing a Salomon ultra-running backpack with bladder to carry another 3L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Karoo2 will be showing me what steep hill I have before me, before I pack it in for a comfy sleep in my Sea to Summit SP2, on a Nemo Tensor sleeping pad, all encased in a Mountain Laurel Designs Bivvy.
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