Rigs of the 2023 Hellenic Mountain Race
Created by the folks behind the Silk Road Mountain Race and Atlas Mountain Race, the all-new Hellenic Mountain Race is a 940-kilometer unsupported bikepacking race through the rugged mountains of Greece. We’ve gathered rig and gear details for more than 50 riders who are taking on the inaugural event, and you can explore the full gallery here…
The Hellenic Mountain Race is a fixed-route, unsupported, single-stage cycling race through the mountains of Greece. The 940-kilometer route follows a mix of steep forested slopes, technical terrain, and remote areas with more than 100 kilometers between resupply points. There are 100+ people signed up for the grand depart, which takes off from Meteora early tomorrow morning. With harsh weather conditions in the forecast and some 40,000 meters of climbing ahead, the riders are in for a challenge.
With help from the organizers and participants, we’ve gathered bike, gear, and rider details for more than 50 folks taking on the 2023 Hellenic Mountain Race, which you can find below. The mix of rigs includes everything from rigid gravel bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes—the beauty of an inaugural event with many unknowns. After checking out the rigs, head over to the event page to follow the riders’ progress live.
Age 38 / Stockholm (Sweden)
BIKE: I’m racing on a full suspension Specialized Epic with Brain dampers. Rolling on Roval/Duke wheels, Spesh Renegade/Fast Trak rubber and a SP dynamo hub up front to keep the k-Lite Ultra running.
BAGS: I’m super stoked on the custom made and stupid light frame bag from independent Swedish bag maker L’Ateljé. The rest of the setup is tried and tested Apidura Expedition and Backcountry.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: MSR e-Vent bivy, Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag and Exped mattress will serve as shelter. Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation.
Age 39 / Romagnano, Verona (Italy)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the HMR 2023 on a Locomotive Midnight Express, the frame is built with Grade 9 Ti tubes. Flat Bar Mounted with Spirgrips and Niner Boost RDO MTB Fork. The bike features Continental Race King 29×2.2” tires with BlackChili Compound, a 1×11 drivetrain Sram, and Custom Wheel with Hope Pro RS4 hub at the rear and a SON Dynamo hub upfront. Shimano XT Brake and Shimano XT SPD Pedals.
BAGS: The centerpiece of my bag setup is a custom Rusjan Frame bag full water-proof. I am also running a Rusjan 16lt custom seat pack, and a small Rusjan upper-tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For the night, I will bring an Emergency bivy and inflate pillow. To navigate the route, I’ll use my Garmin eTrex 30 and my iPhone as a backup. Light: Supernova E3 Pro2 Front light and E3 Tail Light 2 rear light and a Petzl Tikka helmet light.
Age 25 / London, England (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I will be tackling the HMR aboard my custom built Mercer Hardtail mountain bike fitted with a 120mm SID Ultimate, GX AXS/Shimano XT group set, and Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.35″ tyres.
BAGS: I am running a mix of bags, including a Giant saddlebag, Topeak top tube bag, and a custom Ride and Get Lost frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The beautifully crafted Mercer frame.
Age 37 / Bend, Oregon (USA)
BIKE: Myrad Windigo custom titanium frame designed by myself and fellow ultracyclist, Alex Jacobson. Chris King bearing-bits. Loam Equipment frame bag. AXS mullet drivetrain (Force and X01) and 10-50t Garbaruk cassette paired to an Ingrid 34T crank set. DT Swiss handbuilts with a DT350 rear hub and Shutter Precision dynamo up front. Sinewave Beacon headlight, SON dyno rear light, and Profile Designs carbon T3 aerobars (good for pushin’). Cockpit is Thomson. King Cages for gin on the fork and downtube. Brakes are Paul Klampers. Squishy bits include an Ergon saddle, Supacaz bar tape, and Maxxis Ikons in 2.2×29″. Kudos to Erich and Julia at Chariot Bike in Bend for the endless maintenance, stylish photos, and bottomless espresso.
BAGS: Revelate MagTank top tube bag, Rockgeist saddlebag for kit and Stake bag for repair stuff. Loam Equipment frame bag. Forgot to bring any other bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: puffy pants and peanut butter, yo.
Age 33 / Vaals, Zuid-Limburg (The Netherlands)
BIKE: A Kona Honzo Al/Dl with handbuilt DT Swiss wheels and a Son 28 dynamo hub in the front, 1×12 setup with a 28T chainring, 100mm dropper post, WTB Trailboss 2.25″ front and back and a WTB Koda saddle.
BAGS: Custom framebag and stembags by Witslingers, Restrap 4L saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The framebag fits a 1.5L Apidura bladder in the lower compartment. Restrap bumper bar installed between the headset spacers will hopefully protect my cables from rubbing against the drybag in the front, and forms a nice attachment point for a Sinewave Beacon light with integrated USB-port that will help me to get through the night and keep my navigation charged. Sleeping set-up is ultra lightweight with a Sea to Summit Flame sleeping bag, Exped synmat UL, and Alpkit Kloke bivy.
Age 35 / Truckee, California (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding an Ibis DV9. The bike is set up with Shimano XT brakes and a SRAM X01 drivetrain with GX cranks. The wheels are carbon Berd wheels with rope spokes, and the tires are Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″.
BAGS: The bags are a mix of things I sewed myself (and recently learned still need some holes patched) and Revelate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep system consists of an Outdoor Research Helium bivy, a 50-degree Enlightened Equipment Apex quilt, and the plush Big Agnes Axl Air pad. To make up for forgetting my GPS at home for SRMR 2022, I’ve packed both a Wahoo Element Roam and Element Bolt.
Age 42 / Holmfirth, West Yorkshire (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Hellenic Mountain race on my Van Nicholas Revelstoke MTB. It’s 6 yr old now and been battered around various events already, but super comfortable and stable loaded. A rigid carbon fork to save on maintenance. It runs a 2×11 XT groupset 22×46 bottom gear! A Cane Creek suspension seat post for comfort. I’m using Vittoria Mezcal tyres, 29×2.6″ on the front and 2.35″ rear. Son Dynamo front hub powering an Exposure Revo light.
BAGS: Back to traditional rack and panniers for me. An Old Man Mountain Rack carries some Revelate Nano panniers. Then a Salsa cradle front rack to carry my Alpkit dry bag stuffed with my bivy kit. Apidura gas tanks and pouches.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Using tried and tested OMM sleeping bag, merino underwear and Primaloft jacket for sleeping. A waterproof I hopefully won’t need then usual club kit. Two pair of shorts and some UV arm warmers to hopefully save the sticky arms from using sunscreen.
Age 26 / Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)
BIKE: BMC Twostroke 01 with GX AXS and XT Brakes.
BAGS: Salsa Anything Cradle up front with an accessory pocket, two Road Runner Copilot Stem Bags, a custom HMPL Frame Bag made in Vancouver with an integrated Apidura 3L Bladder, two Apidura Backcountry Top Tube packs, an Apidura Expedition Downtube Bag for tools/spares, and an Apidura Expedition Saddle Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The wheels are new We Are One Composites Conversion rims, hand laid in Kamloops, then built up in Vancouver to a SP Dynamo Hub and an I9 rear hub by my friend Jacob aka Randognar. Tires are Pirelli Scorpion XC H’s with Tannus Tubeless Inserts. Lots of climbing means a 30T up front with a 10-52T cassette in the back.
Age 31 / Belgium
BIKE: I’ll be riding Hellenic Mountain race on my Curve Kevin of Steel, named Skye. The build features SRAM Rival, Curve 650b Grav Al + SP Dynamo front, Maxxis tires, Curve Walmer Bar, and a kLite Bikepacker Ultra MTB (w. charger and Qube flashing light).
BAGS: Apidura Race saddle bag or ‘my closet’, Restrap frame bag, ‘the garage’, Apidura Race top tube bag that holds electronics, Apidura Backcountry feed bags one as pharmacy, one for food! Sea to Summit waterproof bag or ‘the bedroom’. I also carry a Salomon backpack for water, food, sunscreen etc.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My biggest fear is running out of power or without light, therefore my absolute highlight is my kLite Bikepacker Ultra MTB (w. charger and Qube flashing light).
Age 38 / Oberursel, Hessen (Germany)
BIKE: I will bring a 2021 Cube AMS 100 C:68 SL Teamline with me to the Pindus Mountains. With 100mm front and rear suspension it will aid me well on my mission to accomplish this very challenging adventure. I will ride a Schwalbe 2.25″ XC Tire setup (Racing Ralph and Ray) alongside the proven 1×12 Shimano XT Setup with 10-51/34T gearing. In order to have some hand position options I added some aero bars.
BAGS: I am an engineer and I LOVE the full Tailfin setup. Sturdy, well designed, plus very handy with lots of space. I have the Aeropack (clothing) + 2x 10L side panniers (sleeping gear) at the back. On the front I have 2x Cages with 5L Cage Packs (Toolkit/First Aid + Hygiene/Free Space). And lastly I use a Downtube Bag on the top (Powerbanks/Smartphone/Purse/etc.). For nutrition I attached ~2.5L of water in my 4 Fidlock Bottles and 2 Snack Pouches. I will for sure have one of the heavier rigs!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I think most riders will bring a small bivy, but I will start with my cheap Naturehike tent, that served me well until now and will hopefully shelter me from any rain during sleep, which is my personal nightmare. Besides that, one piece of gear will have to stick out: My 38 year old body + mindset, that will hopefully drag me over the finish line!
Age 47 / Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
BIKE: I am riding my 2021 Kona Rove LTD, fitted with a 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 on the front 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 CS-8100 cassette, SPD XT pedals, Redshift suspension stem and seat post, and a Selle Italia SLR Superflow saddle.
BAGS: Lezyne top tube bag (Sinewave Revolution charger), Moosetreks stem feed bag, Ortlieb frame 6L (3L water bladder, pump, and peanut butter) and 16.5L seat bag (sleeping kit).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Exped Mira I HL tent due to the week long rain forecast.
Age 37 / Zimnicea (Romania)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Hellenic Mountain Race on a custom frame I built myself in 2020 during a course with The Bicycle Academy. Lauf fork, Panaraicer tires, a DI2 1×11 drivetrain with a 32T chainring and Deore XT rear derailleur.
BAGS: Apidura bags.
Age 33 / Koeln, NRW (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Hellenic Mountain Race with my Sour Pasta Party with 100mm Reba 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: Bags are from Revelate Designs and Apidura: harness with Egress pocket, feedbags, Terrapin seat bag and long top tube bag. I will also carry a Camelbak vest with a bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The combination of Egress pocket and Restrap racing dry bag with side pockets provide lots of storage for sweets. Sleep system should be comfy with STS Spark 1, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir and an Outdoor Research Helium bivy.
Age 30 / Brussels (Belgium)
BIKE: This bike took me to the finish line of the AMR 2022 the day of my 30th birthday and I couldn’t think of a better horse to tackle the Mountains of Greece with. Kona unit X 2020, SID fork, Thomson finishing kit with Hope Fortus wheels and X2 brakes, had to change the chainring to 30T with a 10-52T cassette for the climbing involved during this race.
BAGS: I’ve tried a lighter set up with my bags this time as I will carry a Patagonia trail vest as well as my trusty Revelate Designs frame bag for sleeping and repair kit, Rapha bar bag up front, Aeropack from Tailfin for clothing and two pouch bag from my good and talented friend George at MOGA BAGS.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gear highlight is a new pair of Hope X2 brakes, a lot of climbing involve a lot of descending and I’m sure I’ll rely on them a lot.
Age 34 / Utrecht (The Netherlands)
BIKE: My Surly Karate Monkey surely isn’t among the lightest of the bunch, but it’s gold, it’s fun, it’s the bike I have. Repack Bike Shop put it on a little diet and made it even more fun, with AXS shifting, an eeSilk suspension seatpost and a SID Ultimate fork. It’s equipped with 29” wheels hand built by Parallel with a SON dynamo up front, Hope Pro 5 out back and 2.35” Vittoria Barzo and Mezcal tires.
BAGS: As a small woman packing my bike is always a bit of a challenge. In the mix: Apidura Backcountry, Swift Industries, and a custom made Carrie Gere frame bag. I’ll be wearing a Salomon ADV SKIN 12 running vest to carry more water and snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite Bikepacker ULTRA v2 and Fenix HM65R helmet light for safe riding during the night. Furthermore: Alpkit Kloke bivy, Exped Synmat HL sleeping pad, Therm-a-Rest Ohm sleeping bag, Nemo Fillo Elite pillow. Furthermore: AirPods Pro 2. Music and Siri monotonously reciting texts will keep me going. Furthermore: pindakaas, of course.
Age 35 / Munich, Bavaria (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the HMR 2023 on a hardtail MTB frame with a carbon fork. It’s an unlabeled ODM frame with components from the B2B carbon manufacturer YishunBike. The bike features Leeze carbon wheels CH i25 MTB BASIC with a SON Dynamo hub up front, Schwalbe MTB tires Racing Ralph 2.25″, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain with a 34T chainring, Supernova M99 DY PRO front and E3 Tail Light 2 and Ergon GP2 handles.
BAGS: Apidura Backcountry Full Frame Bag 4L with a 3L hydration bladder, Racing Saddle Pack 7L, a Racing Top Tube Pack 1L, and an Expedition downtube pack 1.2L.
Age 50 / Copenhagen (Denmark)
BIKE: 3T Exploro LTD with a 36T chainring and 10-52T cassette from SRAM AXS. Wheels are Hunt 650b SON dynamos equipped with 48mm Rene Herse slicks. Suspension stem fitted together with Wolf Tooth’s 5mm thick Supple bar tape to provide a little comfort (will probably wish for more).
BAGS: Bike is fitted with a Ripio framebag, Pronghorn handlebar bag and two feedbags from Revelate Designs. In addition a Wildcat Drover saddlebag and long top tube pack from Apidura is mounted and I will also be wearing a Camelbak Chase 8 hydration vest/bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Dynamo will be powering a Sinewave Beacon for lighting and shelter during nights will be in a Nordisk Lofoten 1 ULW tent. Navigation will be by a Wahoo Roam.
Age 39 / Wurzburg (Germany)
BIKE: My raw fully rigid MTB is a stripped Fustle Causeway frame with 3T carbon fork, NEWMAN wheels, Shigura brakes, SRAM X01 drive and Easton Crank.
BAGS: My bags are a mix of Restrap, Topeak, and Wolf Tooth.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The long reach gravel bike frame combined with a flat bar.
Age 47 / Windsor (United Kingdom)
BIKE: 2014 Giant TCX SLR Cyclocross bike (Triggers Broom) that has been raced for years and has been my go to bike for gravel adventures, commutes, and even Roubaix. It’s consistently reinvented by Graham Collier at St Albans cycles who I think loves it more than I do. For HMR its running Rene Herse 42mm Hurricane Ridge tires on DT Swiss XR391 disc rims. It has a SRAM AXS shifting on a 12 x 1 set up. Fizik saddle and Zipp bars. Total dry weight packed is 17.2 kg. This should drop as some of the consumables disappear. Navigation with a Garmin eTrex and a Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt for stats and back up Nav. Sleep system includes an Outdoor Research Helium Bivi, Half length Therm-a-Rest and an ultralight sleeping bag by Mountain Equipment.
BAGS: All Revelate Designs bags that I used in the TCR #2 and #3 with the exception of the Apidura bar roll.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For the first time I’m leaving the dynamo at home and taking a massive Anker Powerbank (thanks KJL) and an Exposure Toro paired with a Joystick. I also have a selection of bear themed snacks as my mate knows I’m terrified of them. I will be wearing my QUOC GT shoes that were outstanding at the AMR, great on and off the bike.
Age 40 / Harrisonburg, Virginia (USA)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Hellenic Mountain Race on a 2021 Canyon Exceed Hardtail with a Rockshox SID 120mm fork, 1×12 SRAM AXS drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 10-52T cassette for all the climbing ahead. The cockpit features comfy Ergon grips and Profile Designs aero bars for extra hand positions on the tarmac. Contact points are rounded out with Shimano XTR pedals and an Ergon SR Allroad saddle mounted on a Thomson seatpost. Tires are the trusted Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge in the Endurance Plus casing with a CushCore insert in the rear.
BAGS: Extra clothes and spares are stored in a Tailfin AeroPack, an Oveja Negra half frame bag and top tube bag will be used to store tasty snacks and other items close at hand.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a SON dynamo hub to power a kLite gravel light and keep electronics charged.
Age 27 / Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
BIKE: I’ll be racing on this prototype UpRock hardtail from Curve Cycling. It’s equipped with a 120mm SID Ultimate, a Sram AXS XX1 drivetrain, and carbon rims also from Curve. Dynamo setup is from K Lite and powered with an SP hub.
BAGS: Packing pretty light for this one, I’m just running a Vole seatpack and two feedbags from Revelate Designs, as well as a giant top tube bag from Jpaks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m stoked to have a dropper post on this bike, it’ll make the chunky descents a little more fun. I’m also really pleased with the cockpit of this bike, the combination of the big squishy grips, rubbery bar ends and carbon brake levers is extremely comfortable and I’m hoping it helps mitigate some of the inevitable numbness that comes with these rides.
Age 36 / Innsbruck (Austria)
BIKE: I will ride my Specialized Epic with a Intend Samurai Fork, Beast Components XC25 Wheels build with PI ROPE spokes and NONPLUS COMPONENTS Hubs, Continental Race King and Shimano 12 Speed (32-51T).
BAGS: All bags from 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 34 / Sepsiszentgyorgy, Kovaszna (Romania)
BIKE: I decided to put a challenge in the already challenging inaugural edition of the HMR, and opted to do it on a Ten:07 Unicorn Cargo Bike. I believe that cargo bikes are the missing link between cars and bikes and if I manage to pull this out, I hope there will be more people going for cargos rather than second or third cars. This bike right here is transfrankenstein’ed with a few parts from my fully, like the whole 29″ rear wheel (which fit snuggly in the 28″ frame), shifting system and cockpit. Other than that it’s the stock model, without the fenders and I believe the kickstand will remain home as well. The bike already had a full SON lightning system on it. Oh, and I’ve upped the discs to 180. I really think that there are not many mountain cargos with TT bars running around with a purpose.
BAGS: I don’t think I’ll need any fancy saddle or frame bags with this ride. I just slam a light backpack under the cargo net and I’ll be good to go. I’ll take my favourite easy access Hungarian-made Mokush feedbags and toptube bag, though.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m really looking forward to have some nice rests on the detachable cargo rack, which is the key feature of this cargo bike.
Age 43 / Courchevel (France)
BIKE: I’ll be riding my 3T Exploro Ultra gravel bike. SRAM Eagle drivetrain with a 30T chainring up front and a 10-50T cassette at the back. Tires are René Herse 650B x 48 Juniper Ridge TC’s with endurance casing. I’ll also be using Profile Design aero bars for a bit of comfort.
BAGS: I have a Miss Grape bolted top tube bag, an Acepac frame bag, an Acepac 16L dry bag and harness combo seat pack, and a simple dry bag strapped to my aero bars. I’ll also be wearing a Salomon running vest for water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A SOL bivvy, a NeoAir Uberlite mat, and a Cumulus quilt will be my sleep system. I’m taking some fantastic Firepot dehydrated meals with me to be sure I stay fulled up. I will using a Garmin eTrex 30x for navigation. My cycle clothing will be all GOREWEAR, including a full set of their excellent waterproofs.
Age 38 / Geneva (Switzerland)
BIKE: I’ll racing the HMR on my BOMBTRACK Cale AL, with a FOX 34, DT Swiss 1200 XMC Wheels, Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance tires, SLX/XT 11-speed groupset.
BAGS: Custom full frame bag by Marion & Quentin and a mix of other brands for the rest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: No aero bars this time because of all the climbing.
Age 34 / Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria (Germany)
BIKE: I’m riding a Vitus Rapide carbon hardtail with a SID suspension fork. Handbuilt wheelset with SON Dynamo hub, DT Swiss 350 in the back, WTB KOM Light i25 rims and a pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires. Shimano XT M8100 Groupset with 30/10-51T gearing and 160/180mm hydraulic breaking. Stem and handlebar from Newmen, Profile Design aerobars, Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, Ergon GS3 grips and a Ergon SMC Core saddle.
BAGS: I am using a Revelate Designs Terrapin Saddle Bag, Ranger Frame Bag, Mag Tank, Jerrycan, two Mountain Feedbags and a Tailfin 3L Downtube Pack. I’ve gone for a 3L bladder in the frame bag and a 0.5L bottle in the feedbag for mixtures.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Quite impressed with the installed kLite lighting and charging system, works so well. For navigation, I’ll use a Wahoo Bolt v2 and my smartphone as a backup.
Age 52 / Blue Mountains (Australia)
BIKE: I’ll be riding what I’ve dubbed my Canyon Exceed HMR edition. Upgraded to deal with the seriously insane amount of climbing, it now features a 28T front ring, wider Ritchey WCS Carbon bars and Ergon GS3 grips. To make the descending a little more manageable, I’ve added a Canyon VCLS Flex seatpost, Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″ tires and SwissStop RS brake pads.
BAGS: Treadlite Australia have created an awesome custom designed feature-packed framebag for me. The remainder is a swag of Relevate Designs including a Harness and Salty Roll upfront, Spinelock saddle bag out the rear, and 2 Mountain Feed Bags, a Jerry Can, and Gas Tank for my all loose ends.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: All the smaller details that really make this rig setup work for me, including a Knog Bilby Headlight, drj0n Bagworks DeWidgets, Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts, Flex Thumb Togs along with some super functional clothing including a North Face Shakedry Jacket, Sportful Gore-Tex Infinium Gilet and Sharkskin Chillproof Gloves.
Age 43 / Seoul (South Korea)
BIKE: Surly Grappler, Shimano 11-Speed, Ultegra ST-R8000, Deore m5100×36T, 11-51T cassette, Mavic Crossmax29 wheels, Ergon SR Allroad core pro saddle, Profile Design Sonic Ergo, Teravail Sparwood 2.2” tires.
BAGS: Apidura Saddle Pack 7L, Backountry Full Frame Pack 4L, Surly Petite Porteur House 2.0 Bag, Surly 8-pack Rack Black.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bryton Rider 420 GPS, Rider S800, Rigel Power 3600 light, SOL escape bivvy, Black Diamond Bipod bivy, Sea To Summit UL sleeping pad.
Age 43 / Skopelos (Greece)
BIKE: Κορυδαλλός is a Chirp Chirp Cycles Titanium adventure bike with Sram Rival 1×11 drivetrain. Gear ratio is 32/11-46. Ritchey drop bars. Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.1″ front and rear. TRP mechanical disk brakes. Bombtrack front hub and Novateck rear.
BAGS: BBB dry bag under the aero bars, Deuter frame bag, Topeak top tube bag, Newboler Ali-baba saddle bag. BBB cages on the fork , plus small backpack with 2 litre Camelpak.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike itself of course.
Age 36 / Rosenheim (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a custom Bombtrack Cale AL with a RockShox SID 100mm front suspension and a dropper seatpost. Rolling on 29er Astral Serpentine Carbon Wheels with a SON dynamo in the front and White Industries XMR read hub paired with WTB Ranger 2.25″ Tires tubeless. SLX 7120 brakes. 170 mm Aluminum Cranks from Leonardi Racing with XT Pedals and Quarq Powermeter Spider. Gearing is a 32T oval chainring in combination with a 9-50T cassette from Leonardi Racing. Cockpit is mostly SQ Lab – 30X Handlebar with 710 grips combined with Innerbarends. Seido Saddle. Navigation with Garmin Edge 530 and smartphone with Quadlock Mount as a backup.
BAGS: Set of Ortlieb Bags: Framepack RC, Seatpack QR plus the super useful Fuel Pack. Extra Water/Food capacity gives a Evoc Hydration Vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The awesome dynamo lights from Supernova. M99 DY Pro plus E3 Taillight 2 light up the nights.
Age 32 / Salzburg (Austria)
BIKE: I’m riding my Cervélo ZHT-5 hardtail mountain bike with 2.2” Pirelli Scorpio RC tires, 1×12 SRAM XX1 groupset. 32T chainring and 10-52T cassette. Reserve XC Wheels custom with SON dynamo hub and full kLite Dynamo light setup. An Ultra Bikepacker v2 MTB up front and safety cube in the back plus kLite USB charger. I am trusting a Posedla custom 3d printed saddle. No aero bars this time, only inner bars from SQ Labs.
BAGS: All I need to access quickly is in my Ortlieb frame bag with roll top closure. My electronics and some snacks are in the Ortlieb Fuel Bag top tube bag and a small Ortlieb Saddle bag is carrying my sleeping system. That’s it.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Sea to Summit Spark III sleeping bag combined with an OR Helium Bivvy is my ultimate resort to get some rest and shelter from the elements. Trusting my 7mesh Freeflow insulated jacket in combination with an Oro shake dry jacket and Revo pants to be able to go through everything nature throws at me. Wahoo ELMNT Roam v2 is my trusty navigation companion and QUOC Gran Tourer XC will keep my feet comfortable. Alba Optics photocromatic glasses are giving me prime vision night and day! I opted for a POC Omne Eternal helmet with integrated light to be visible and safe!
Age 58 / South Wales (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the #HMR2023 on my trusty Sonder Broken Road. The bike is shod with a pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.35” tires and has a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed (10-50T) groupset with a recently fitted 30T Chainring. There’s a SON Dynamo upfront with a Hope hub on the rear. I also have Jones H-Bars fitted for comfort as well as to give me more cockpit space.
BAGS: This year I’m using a Tailfin AeroPack to the rear and have an Alpkit Bar Bag out front as well as a mixture of Top Tube bags that I’ve picked up over time. Additionally, I have a pair of cargo cages fitted to the forks and a tool bottle fitted under the downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Without doubt my Brooks C17 saddle along with my kLite powered by the dynamo that’s complimented by my helmet mounted Fenix HM61R. I’ll also have my trusty Garmin eTrex 32x as backup for a recently purchased Garmin Edge.
Jules De Roeck
Age 27 / Brussels (Belgium)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the HMR on a Ritchey Ultra 2022 with a Rockshox SID ULTIMATE 120mm fork. The bike is equipped with new 2.2″ TNT Mezcals, SRAM GX AXS (30×10/52), a SON dynamo hub powering my Supernova lights, Ergon grips and Deda aero bars.
BAGS: Full custom set up by MOGABAGS. I will have 2L of water in my Camelback and 750ml under my down tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bivy, mat, and sleeping bag from Sea to Summit. Navigating with a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.
Age 30 / Cadiz (Spain)
BIKE: A do-it-all Surly Midnight Special. It’s got Vittoria Mezcal 27.5 x 2.35″ front and 2.1″ back, 32T chainring together with a 11/42T cassette and a new GR1600 wheelset.
BAGS: A custom Alpkit full-frame bag, a Restrap top-tube and a light Silva 10L vest for the water bladder and extra storage. I should be able to carry 2.5-3L of water to survive the remote sections and the Greek heat. Tools in a DHB mini saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Probably the Redshift suspension stem, needed for the these races. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, Pearl Izumi clothing, Lezyne 1000XL and a 450 lumen Petzl headlamp on the helmet.
Age 30 / Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)
BIKE: I will be racing the Hellenic Mountain Race on my 2021 Surly Karate Monkey named Belinda. The bike features 2.35″ Vittoria Mezcal tires on Hunt Wide MTN V2 wheels. The drivetrain is a 12-speed Shimano SLX groupset. A Brooks C17 saddle and SQ labs 16×30 handlebars for comfort.
BAGS: Revelate Designs frame bag and top tube bag, Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion saddle bag, Rockgeist Honeypots.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A donut sticker on the top tube to keep my eye on the prize. Mountain Hardwear phantom -1 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad and OR helium bivy as my shelter.
Marin de Saint-Exupéry
Age 27 / Vevey (Switzerland)
BIKE: I am pleased to ride this stunning piece of steel, a Fairlight Holt build with a Rockshox SID Ultimate, XTR groupset, Hunt Proven XC wheels and Vittoria Terreno tires. Not forgetting the SON dynamo and Sinewave light.
BAGS: Bags are from the Apidura racing series, a frame pack and a saddle pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I like to keep it light and efficient, so my favorite gear is the stuff I leave at home, but I never forget to take my Albion ultralight jacket, ridiculously light and packable. I also bring a rain jacket just in case.
Age 22 / Surrey (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’m racing on my trusty Specialized Epic full sus, 100mm rear travel paired with a 120mm fork. I’m running a 28T chainring, SQ Labs 30x handlebars, 2.4″ Maxxis tyres, and some super high stack profile design TT extensions. All put together at the UK’s finest cycling clubhouse, The Archive.
BAGS: I’m running a custom frame bag from Straight Cut Design, paired with matching toptube and stem bags. My sleep kit is housed in a 3L downtube pack from Tailfin, attached to my seatpost.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleep set up consists of an OMM sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest mat, SOL bivy and a Decathlon pillow. In addition to this I’m taking the Zoa lightweight jacket from Albion, which serves as an essential part of both my sleep and riding kit. Water, snacks and packable layers will be stashed in an unreleased Albion visibility cargo vest, which has proved to be a game changer for big days in the saddle.
Age 43 / Rome (Italy)
BIKE: We can’t all be the best but we can do our best. This is my philosophy while riding my Canyon Lux Trail CF7 Columbia Blue 2022. The bike comes with standard equipment (1×12 drivetrain with a 34T chainring), apart from a Fabric Scoop Elite Shallow saddle and Ergon GS1 grips.I hope I’ll enjoy the full sus on the 50% off-road track!
BAGS: The masterpiece of my bag setup is a custom kit from Polaris Cicli, with a full length top tube bag, frame bag and a pair of Bike and Finger (food pouch), brilliantly matching my frame graphics. I am also running a Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack, which works with the dropper seatpost and an handlebar bag Alpkit Airlok Dual 20L and Kanga.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A lightweight Ferrino Rider Pro bivy will cover my Carinthia G 90 sleeping bag and a cheap but reliable air mat. I’ll be carrying an eTrex 30x for navigation and a Led Lenser MH10 headlamp to roll at night.
Age 38 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: Chirp Chirp Cycles Titanium Prototype with Sram X01 / Sram Force 1×12 Mullet drivetrain. Gear ratio is 34 / 10-52T, that should get me up those greek hills. Vecnum freeQENCE suspension Stem. Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.25″ in the front and 29×2.10″ in the back, extra wide Ritchey drop bars, Hope RX4 brakes, Hope rear hub, Hope Crankset with Gabaruk Chainring, SON dynamo hub and Sinewave Beacon lamp.
BAGS: Restrap frame and top tube bag, old and dirty Topeak backloader and a drybag strapped to the aerobars. Blackburn cargo cages on the fork for some extra storage space for snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The titanium frame from Chirp Chirp Cycles is definitely the highlight. Sleeping bag and bivy are custom fitted from Cumulus and will keep me warm and dry at night, the Grayl water filter will hopefully come in handy on these long stretches without resupply and I hope the Vecnum freeQENCE suspension stem will keep my hands alive!
Age 35 / Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)
BIKE: Curve GMX+, Microshift 10 speed (normally single speed but not this time around), Chandler highway Bridge Bars, Curve 29 carbon dirt hoops on DT Swiss 350 rear/ SP front shod with Maxxis Chronical 29×3″ tyres (that are probably 1,000km past their serviceable life), Klite Grav lite, klite single usb ac charger.
BAGS: Revelate Designs seat, feed and top bag. Restrap frame bag. Gives me the shits they’re not all matching.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: SOL escape, pump and mat both found on side of road. Probably should be taking more.
Sydney, NSW (Australia)
BIKE: XS Pivot Les 27.5 set up fully rigid with a Curve fork. Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tyres, DT Swiss rims, Sram 1×11 drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, carbon everything.
BAGS: Bike Bag Dude custom frame bag, Revelate 8L seat pack and feed bags, and various random top tube bags, down tube bag, and 12L handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: kLite light powered with SON hub, TT bars with 50mm riser, Garmin eTrex, Z-packs tent, and Ultimate Direction running vest.
Age 45 / Berlin (Germany)
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Hellenic Mountain Race 2023 on a Fern/Allygn prototype featuring a custom steel frame made by Flo of Fern-Bicycle. It also features a front-rack and, in my opinion, the most beautiful carbon-fork, also made by Allygn. The sound of shifting/braking is silently processed by a SRAM Eagle/Force AXS unit with a granny gear up to 34/52. A Tune/SON hub-combo paired with Duke carbon-rims will touch ground on Rene Herse Umtanum Ridge (Endurance).
BAGS: This beautiful custom bike carries a meticulously chosen set of custom Gramm-Tourpacking bags. The front rack carries a wide version of the Diamond-Bag with additional side pockets on both sides and plenty of space inside to stay organized with my camera system that I will bring to the race. Very special to this bag-system is the lack of velcros/straps: toptube bag + frame bag are bolt-on, which leads to a pretty clean picture.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I‘ll be sleeping in a Western Mountaineering NanoLite Quilt on a STS Ether Light XT mattress. If it gets wet I‘ll set up a STS tarp to stay dry from above.
Martijn van Strien
Age 35 / Tilburg (The Netherlands)
BIKE: I’ll be crossing Greece on a Focus Atlas Carbon. There’s not a lot of stock parts left on this bike as I’ve had to tune it quite a bit in hopes of finishing my first Nelson Trees race. A mullet drivetrain with SRAM Force and GX Eagle components, Fox 32TC suspension fork, custom Leeze CH30 wheels with SON dynamo hub at the front and Profile 35A aero bars should keep me going in relative comfort.
BAGS: All my food, electronics, and clothing is stored in a set of Tailfin bags and Aeropack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I don’t want to jinx it but I’ve got a lot of faith in these 50mm Panaracer Gravelking SK+ tires with Vittoria MTB inserts, they haven’t let me down in previous races so I’m back to them after some terrible experiences when I tried something else.
Age 45 / Lake District, England (United Kingdom)
BIKE: Sonder Broken Road Ti, Hope wheels, bars, brakes, drivetrain, 1x Eagle.
BAGS: Alpkit Deluge waterproof bags on saddle, frame, handlebar, fuel pod, 2 Alpkit stem cell bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Hopefully I don’t need it but a memory foam neck collar after suffering Shermer’s neck during the AMR 23. Hope oval 30T chainring with 11-52T Sram Eagle should be enough for all the elevation! Alpkit Soloist tent and sleeping set up Cloudbase mat Pipedream 200 with silk liner.
Age 35 / Queens, New York (USA)
BIKE: 1989 Bridgestone MB-1. Adding a little more hot sauce to this already spicy route by going singlespeed, most likely 36x22t. Still loving my dynamo’d ceramic rim brake Mavic 517s with Maxxis Ikons 2.35″/2.2″.
BAGS: Mostly Revelate bags but with an Outer Shell drawcord handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Fujifilm X100F camera. SOL emergency bivy. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm pad with a leak I still haven’t found yet. 3L Hydrapak bladder in framebag. Sinewave Beacon. Wahoo Bolt v2. Still staying sharp with Velocio clothing. Hanging off the saddle rails, there’s an omamori given to me by my friend Alan which he picked up on a visit to Kiyomizu Kannon-do, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The charm is for “wish fulfillment.”
Age 33 / Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
BIKE: I will be riding the Hellenic Mountain Race on a Sour Pasta Party. The bike is equipped with a new pair of Schwalbe tires, Racing Ray in the front and Ralph in the rear, and 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain with an Ingrid crankset. White Industries wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front built by Parallel HQ. Another favourite is my kLite setup and Pro aero bars on the handlebars.
BAGS: I have a custom Travel Atelier frame bag, a Tailfin Carbon Aeropack, Apidura top tube bags and small handlebar bag. I hide four liters of water between my frame bag, and bottles mounted to my down tube and handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A bivy will serve as my shelter, along with the Mountain Equipment Xero 200 bag and half sleeping mat. I will also be carrying a Garmin for navigation. My jerseys are made of merino wool and are from Velocio for the wildly changing weather were having, and that’s paired with my fave Velocio bibs as well.
Age 47 / Bohemia (Czech Republic)
BIKE: I will be riding my new SOUR Lemon Kush. The bike features a custom-painted RockShox Rudy fork, SRAM Force Mullet groupset, and the most gravel-ready ZIPP 101 wheels fitted with SON Dynamo up front and a set of 2″ wide WTB Ranger tires. ZIPP aero bars on top. Lastly, a very important part is the Wahoo Element computer for navigation.
BAGS: I always use ORTLIEB bags. There is nothing better than German-made waterproof bags. The top tube bag is a Berlin-based Gram.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am carrying a Nordisc tent. It’s 500 grams and smaller than my inflatable mat. I’m also using the new WTB Gravelier Saddle.
Age 27 / Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Cannondale Scalpel hardtail with a GX AXS rear derailleur and Shimano chain and cassette. Gear ratio is 30-51T for all the steep climbs and a Fox 32 Factory Step-Cast fork for the rocks and bumps. A Shutter Precision boost dynamo hub paired with a Sinewave beacon will power my electronics.
BAGS: I’ve got a Salsa Anything cradle and dry bag + accessory pouch up front, Apidura snack pouches, top tube bags, saddle pack and down tube bag, finished off with an Oveja Negra Bodega full frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: EVOC hydro pro 3 + 1.5L hydration vest for water, snacks and handy items I’ll need throughout the day. I’m also happy to be carrying a 7mesh Skypilot paired with goretex rain pants to keep me dry. The real highlight for me for this event though is that my fiancé and I are racing as a pair.
Age 56 / Hay on Wye (United Kingdom)
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Travers RUSSTI EVO. The bike features a pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.3″ tires, 12-speed Shimano XT, Hope cranks, and MASON X HUNT Search 29 MTB wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front with K-Lite lighting setup.
BAGS: I will be using Alpkit bar bag mounted via DrJ0n Gfunks and deck. Top tube bag is new Tailfin product and I am also using Tailfin Alloy AeroPack with Apidura frame bag and mini bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll also be carrying a Hammerhead Karoo and Garmin 66i for navigation.
Age 38 / Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
BIKE: This is a made-in-London, Quirk Cycles SUPERCHUB features 3D additive manufacturing for its unique dropouts and seat cluster printed out of 15-5 stainless steel. Despite weighing less than standard brazed plate dropouts, they make a stronger part that distributes the stresses of the frame more effectively due to the continuous skin between tubes and printed parts. The system integrates the seat clamp inside the top tube for super clean lines into the stays, and SRAM’s UDH hanger is used for a readily and easily replaceable part. People will give bust me for using SRAM Level T brakes but there’s something wonderful about customising cheap parts with in-house anodising and Hopp Carbon reservoir caps. The chainstays sit slightly longer than most at 433mm which means this bike climbs like a champ (just like me!), but to keep the ride feeling lively rob kept the BB high at 60mm, raising the centre of gravity and preventing the frame from becoming overly planted. 2.4” tyres shoe this sled and fork travel is at a short but cushy 100mm for perfect float and traction. *chef’s kiss*
BAGS: Old Man Mountain (OMM) yet-to-be-released fully waterproof (apparently gonna be a handy feature for this race!) panniers and trunk bag paired with a super sturdy Old Man Mountain Divide rack. I love racks! Custom @Timba.Equipment made in Dresden top tube bags tailored to match the bike. Candy B. Graveller Ortlieb waterproof bag on my saddle holding my 20-year-old folding Therm-a-Rest mat!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My well used snack sack was a gift from a tragically deceased intern at my company, Rei Miyoshi. I think about Rei quite often. Before AMR #1, I sewed my wife’s letterman jacket letter on the bag along with a rare Twotone 5-year patch designed by my friend Yorit Kluitman. Also worth mentioning is my Goal Zero battery, which should make riding with no dynamo, no problem!
Age 28 / Ashdown Forest (United Kingdom)
BIKE: For the Hellenic Mountain Race I will be on my Canyon Exceed Hardtail with an Enve Rigid fork. A mixture of Shimano XT and XTR components with a 36T chainring and 10-46T cassette. Other features include Hutchinson Kraken 2.4″ tyres, a negative rise stem, and some narrow bars.
BAGS: I’ll be using custom Straight Cut Designs frame bag and an Apidura Racing 7L saddle pack. I’ll also have an Apidura Hydration vest for all my water and a few other bits.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Quad lock for my phone, I find this really useful for all day riding. I’ve also got the brand new Suunto Vertical Adventure watch, it has solar charging so recon that’s going to be a game changer!
Age 48 / Italy
BIKE: Trek Supercaliber, Roval carbon wheels with Schwalbe G-one 2.25” tyres, drivetrain with 32T oval chainring and 11-51T cassette, MKS xc-iii flat pedal, Profile Designs aerobar, a little bell on the top of the aerobar to advise the fauna.
BAGS: Rusjan-made framebag, Ortlieb seatbag, Columbus fork bag, and another Rusjan bag on the handlebar.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will use an Alpkit bivvy bag and Sea To Summit air mat, Endura MT500 jacket and Gore pants for rain, for navigation I’m using a Garmin inReach 66i and Fenix 6x.
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