Rigs of the 2023 Silk Road Mountain Race (SRMR)

The Silk Road Mountain Race is a grueling bikepacking race that tests riders as they make their way across the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. For the fourth year running, we’ve rounded up details on more than 70 rigs that will be on the course for this year’s event. Find them all here, complete with bag and gear highlights for each…

One of the most anticipated events in the world of ultra-distance bikepacking is back for 2023, and we’re excited to follow along once again. The Silk Road Mountain Race is a 1,880-kilometer unsupported race through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan using a route made up of gravel, doubletrack, and old Soviet roads that have long been forgotten and fallen into disrepair. In previous years, riders have faced heavy rain, freezing temperatures, gale-force winds, and snow. Anything is possible in the Tian Shan Mountains.

The race starts tomorrow, August 12th, with a midnight grand depart from Karakol. This year’s course is said to be the longest and hardest yet. It’s longer, more remote, and there are significant stretches where riders are above 3,300 meters in elevation. The course difficulty ultimately depends on the weather and conditions they’ll face, but there’s no question that the route will take riders to some of the most spectacular locations in the country. It will revisit some highlights from previous years and take in a couple new places. According to the organizers this year, this is also the most competitive lineup yet, which means that some competitors will be pushing themselves harder than usual.

With the help of this year’s participants, we’ve gathered details on more than 70 rigs that will be lining up for the grand depart on Saturday. We’ve included details on each rider’s bike, bags, and other highlights, as well as their age and hometown. Check them out below, and then head over to the 2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Tracker to follow along live.

Aishoola Aisaeva

Age 25 / Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I will be riding the SRMR 2023 on a 2022 LIV Tempt 0 hardtail mountain bike with a lightweight ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame that is specially designed for women. It has a Shimano Deore 1×12 groupset, a front air suspension fork, Kenda Booster 29-inch wheels.
BAGS: I have a great bag set up from Ortlieb, which includes two black matt 1L Fork-Packs, 15L Handlebar-Pack, 11L Seat-Pack. I also have two Fuel Bags and a Tool Bag from NerpaGear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am carrying Spark UL Sleeping Bag, Sea to Summit UL Air Mat, FreeLite 1-person UL Tent, and Wahoo Element Bolt GPS for navigation.

Burak Akin

Age 38 / Freiburg (Germany)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Scott Scale 925 with a mullet wheelset from SILT and a pair of tubeless Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires. The drivetrain is 1×12 with a 10-52T cassette and the front chainring was swapped to a 30T. I have Zipp Vuka aerobars installed and some small bar ends from SQlabs.
BAGS: Ortlieb 4L frame bag, Cyclite 2L top tube bag, Revelate Designs 15L front roll which is my favourite. Also have two food pouches attached to handlebar and one down tube bag are from Apidura. Last but not least, Tailfin for main storage which has a second 1L bottle attached underneath.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Hilleberg Enan which is around 1kg deserves to be carried for cold Kyrgyzstan nights. Spark SP2 sleeping bag, and Etherlight XT pad from Sea to Summit. I have gravel short bibs from Dos Caballos, a local brand of Freiburg, also long bib pants from Pedaled. Both have pockets for stuffing food for long stretches. Also will be wearing EVOC 1.5L hydration pack. I’m a night owl who enjoys to cruise in the dark. Noctigon DM11 mid-range thrower attached to aerobars along with LedLenser H8R headlamp will brighten my night. All electronics and XTAR-2 powerbank are using 21700 batteries for interchangeably.

Eliot Alpert

Age 28 / Truckee, California (USA)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2021 Specialized chisel with mostly stock components. Upgrades include a new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, a Redshift shock-stop seat post, an ergon saddle+grips, and a custom handlebar that I welded from other handlebars.
BAGS: All homemade at the local makerspace (Truckee roundhouse). The blue rip stop nylon is theoretically waterproof but I am not confident. They match and fit the bike which seems to be more important to me at this point.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am particularly proud of my rear rack. It is also homemade, using a road bike fork and some sheet metal from an old street sign, this thing embodies my spirit for this race.

Vlad Alyokhin

Age 22 / Almaty (Kazakhstan)

2023 SRMR rigs

BIKE: KTM Myroon 29′ Limited Edition 2016.
BAGS: Custom frame bag, stem bags and top tube bag by NerpaGear. Top tube tool bag by SarmatianBags. Revelate Designs Spinelock 16L saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Just awesome gear for this race.

Erik Arnewing

Age 38 / Stockholm (Sweden)

2023 SRMR rigs

BIKE: I’m racing on a full suspension Specialized Epic Expert which will hopefully keep me somewhat comfortable. SRAM Eagle AXS GX/X01/XX1 groupset with a 34t ring and 10-52t cassette. Wheels are a mix of Roval in the back and DUKE with a SP dynamo hub up front. Specialized Renegade/Fast Track tires are fast and reliable. I also kept the dropper post for those gnarly descents but maybe more so for easy mount/dismount 6 days in. Aerobars and inner bar ends to help with hand numbness.
BAGS: A mix of Apidura and Revelate Designs which all are absolute stellar. But the key piece is the custom made framebag from Swedish bag maker L’atelje.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit Spark II bag, Exped mat and Nordisk Lofoten UL tent for sleep and shelter. POC clothes and helmet. Salomon backpack with water bladder and soft flasks. Garmin Edge 1040 Solar for navigation. kLite and Fenix will guide me in the dark.

Nathalie Baillon

Age 33 / Grenoble, Isere (France)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: My bike has been specifically built for the Silk Road Mountain Race. I will ride a light titanium Alpha Raptor SL hardtail mountain bike customized with SRMR drawings. It is mounted with a Rockshox Sid Ultimate fork, a SRAM GX Eagle AXS Lunar groupset with a 32T chainring and 10-52T cassette and the wheels are carbon rim Alpha Lite Series 29′ Boost mounted with Pirelli Scorpion XC RC 2.2″.
BAGS: I have a custom-made Batsoul framebag, 4 pouch bags, a lightweight Cyclite aero bar bag, 1L top tube bag and a 16L saddle bag with the particularity that I already broke it a few days before the start and have a quick fix to close it. I also attached a hike-a-bike harness on the frame.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will use an Outdoor Research Helium bivy bag, a Sea to Summit Spark III sleeping bag and a Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite mattress to sleep. I already accidentally cut the mattress with my knife chasing a big spider during acclimatization and it is deflating in 2 hours with the patches. I am afraid to run out of power because my dynamo stopped functioning and I won’t be fast so I have 3 powerbanks and many spare batteries with me. I also brought some ski gloves and 4 pairs of socks, one being waterproof.

Christian Biehl

Age 58 / Schlangenbad (Germany)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Canyon Grand Canyon Aluminum Hardtail MTB. Shimano XT chainring 30T and cassette 10x50T. Shimano Dynamo Hub. B+M IQ-X Light. Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″.
BAGS: Gramm Top Tube, Restrap Frame Bag, Wohoo X-Touring Harness, Accessory Bag, 2 Food Pouches and Ortlieb Saddle Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Cumulus X-Lite400 Sleeping Bag, Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite mat, Nordisk Lofoten UL Tent, Primus Lite Cooker, Camelbak with 2l bladder. Wahoo Elmnt Roam.

Tristan Bogaard

Age 30 / Bergen, North Holland (Netherlands)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: For my first-ever race, I’m riding my trusted Tout Terrain Outback. With its steel frame, wide flat handlebars, reliable 29” WTB wheels and bomb-proof Pinion C1.12 gearbox + Gates belt transmission I should be more than covered in the Kyrgyz wilderness. My SON dynamo with Cinq USB-C outlet will keep small electronics charged, and the Hans Dampf tubeless tires from Schwalbe will soften the terrain’s effects.
BAGS: Running a full Ortlieb kit, because being waterproof is my top priority. I’ll wear a hip bag that’ll act as storage for my camera and water bottles. Additionally, I’ve added two massive Roadrunner Autopilot stem bags for an insulated bottle (chai!) and snacks. One bag fits almost 35 snickers so my friend Conan’s ‘one bar per hour’ advice will be taken rather seriously.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Every piece has been chosen with care, but those that stand out are my Wechsel Exogen 1 tent for better sleep, ten Firepot dry meals for better health, my makeshift camera tripod for documentation and some new Patagonia rain pants in case Kyrgyzstan gets moody.

Jochen Bohringer

Age 44 / Tamm, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2023 ORBEA OIZ M LTD full suspension bike. The bike will hit the ground with Wolfpack Speed 2.25” tires. The new geometry and 120mm of front and rear suspension will guarantee a lot of fun in the descents. As I prefer to pedal smoothly with high cadence my 1×12 SRAM Eagle AXS setup is prepared with 30T chainring on the front and 10-50T cassette at the rear. To be aero and comfortable in the flats and to fix my handlebar bag properly I have some Syntace C3 aerobars attached to my cockpit.
BAGS: Two Apidura food pouches attached to my handlebar will carry finger food and an additional bottle of water. All other bags are also from Apidura and well-proven in other races already (Handlebar pack, saddle pack, downtube pack and top tube pack). Not able to take a picture of the final setup at the moment. But you can have a look on my Insta as soon as the race kicks off.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Power2Max NG Eco power meter will help me not to over pace at the beginning and kick my ass when watts drop too much during the race. I will go for a SON dynamo hub setup with kLite front light to be able to ride at night and charge my wahoo, mobile phone and AXS batteries during the day as well.

Chris Brits

Age 48 / Bristol, Connecticut (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be racing the SRMR on a Specialized Epic Pro 2023. This year the bike features the Baryak expedition front setup with Spank drop bars, SRAM AXS 12 speed Eagle drivetrain. A new pair of Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires, a modified 1×11 drivetrain with a 30T chainring, and Nextie Carbon wheels with a SON Dynamo hub up front. One other modification is the Aeroe rear bag system for full use of suspension and dropper post.
BAGS: My bag setup is mostly Revelate designs custom except the rear bag is Aeroe bag system for my sleep system, Mag Tank-2000 top tube bag, and 2 Revelate feedbags. Downtube I have the joeybag most cooking and food. 1.5L Nalgene bottles will be mounted to the fork and USWE hydration bag with 3L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Outdoor Helium bivy will serve as my shelter along with an Big Agnes Star Light UL sleeping bag and Sea To Summit UL Air Mat. I’ll also be carrying a Garmin 1040 solar for accurate GPS tracking and the solar will minimize my recharging needs out on coarse.

Holly Budge

Age 44 / Winchester, Hampshire (United Kingdom)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’m excited to be riding an Enigma Explor, titanium gravel bike, with the added addition of RockShox front suspension forks, Pirelli Gravel M classic 570 tyres with a SON Dynamo hub up front and a Shimano 12-speed drivetrain.
BAGS: I’m using mainly Topeak frame bags, including the MTX Trunkbag DX (12.3L) fixed on a MTX BeamRack, a Frontloader (8L) and a Toploader (0.75L). I’m using Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts with Cage Packs (1.75L) and 1L bottle cage mounts on both sides. The centrepiece is a Ortlieb Frame Pack (6L). Plus, a couple of small saddle bags and a nosebag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Terra Nova Laser Compact Tent, with a Mountain Equipment Firefly Sleeping Bag, will hopefully keep me toasty in the lower temperatures. I’ll also be carrying a Hammerhead Karoo 2 for navigation and using a kLite Lighting System to light up the way!

Lorenzo Carraro

Age 24 / Mirano (Italy)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: For this adventure, I decided to use my tried and tested Salsa Cutthroat, quite fast in the gravel sections and sufficiently MTB in the more hardcore tracks. The bike features a RockShox SID SL Ultimate suspension fork with Vitoria Mezcal 29×2.25” tires on mavic XM1030 rims and a SON28 dynamo hub, SRAM Etap Rival AXS with SRAM GX AXS MTB rear derailleur, Wolf Thoot 30T chainring and SRAM GX 10-52T cassette.
BAGS: The centerpiece is a custom waterproof Rusjan framebag with custom long top tube. In the front, I have a Miss Grape system with a Vap Cycling dry bag with my sleep system. In the rear, a Miss Grape 13L saddle bag with clothes inside for rain and cold. To hydrate, I use a Salomon 15L hydration vest with a capacity of 3L of water in the back and one more liter divided into two flask in the front and the possibility to put some important things like food, spot and documents in the waterproof pocket.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For the night, I will bring a sleeping bag suitable for temperatures down to 4 degrees, a Sea to Summit Ultralight air mattress and a ferrino bivy. For navigation, I’ll use a Garmin Edge 830 GPS. For night riding, I will have front and rear son lights and a helmet light.

Manu Cattrysse

Age 34 / Hamme (Belgium)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I will be racing my trusty Chiru Divider with a 120mm Rockshox Sid ultimate, tuned with a RLC-damper. Wheels are Hunt Proven carbon XC-race setup with a Son28 dynamo to power the K-lite bikepacker pro. Tyres are tubeless with cushcore inserts and Vittoria Mezcal 2.25’s. For this race I went back to old-school mechanical 12-speed gearing with 32T in the front and 10-52T rear just because it’s Kirgistan and I want to be able to fix stuff out here if needed.
BAGS: Tailfin R&D prototype aeropack and frontroll-system, Tailfin 1.5l Fliptoptube, a mid-size framebag and a small proto top/saddletube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit Spark 2 sleeping bag and pad. Navigation are etrex 30x and Edge 1040 solar. As usual I am wearing my Peloton de Paris clothes and 7-mesh Revelation jacket and Thunderpant in case all hell brakes loose. Race-vest is the Osprey Duro 6L, mainly for food and quick access to smaller items.

Peter Consalvi

Age 28 / Hereford, Maryland (USA)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: Two months into a year long tour from Mongolia to Spain my beloved 2014 Surly Disc Trucker and I are making it to Kyrgyzstan in time for SRMR. I’ve got 700c-45mm (1.7″) Schwalbe G-One Overland tires, a SON 28 dynamo hub, and a KLite USB charger/front light system. My rear rim developed several cracks a week before the race so I’m riding a slightly sketchy “Guanjin” Chinese wheel I found in Bishkek.
BAGS: Seat pack and handlebar bag are by Ortlieb, various other bags from Revelate and Rock Bros. For snacking while biking I have an old phanny pack and a sweet $6 red chalk bag I got in Kazahkstan, both on my handlebars. For hydrating while biking I have a 3L Camelbak Omega Resevoir. I really like oatmeal so I’ve got two water bottles filled with oats on my fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My tent, sleep system, and backpack are all by Big Agnes (Copper Spur UL Bikepacking tent, Zoom UL pad, Lost Ranger 15F 3N1 sleeping bag, and Ditch Rider 32L backpack). Buddhist prayers scarves from Nepal and Mongolia are wrapped on my handlebars and I’ve got my riding partner Buc’ee dangling from them too. I’ll be wearing TX4 La Sportiva approach shoes, which have been a great combo with my Japanese MKS Allways pedals. The shoes are grippy enough to keep my feet firmly on the pedals but also great for all the hike-a-bike I know I’ll be doing. I’m carrying crocs for river crossings.

Fabio Crosara

Age 23 / Spinea, Venice (Italy)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: For this adventure my ‘ride or die’ will be a Salsa Cutthroat customized with a 100mm Sid Ultimate fork. My light kit is Supernova Design lights on dynamo Son hub. 52-10t SRAM cassette, SRAM GX AXS derailleur and 30T chainring for maximum the comfort. Carbon custom wheels with Vittoria Mezcal 2.10” rear and 2.35” front tires.
BAGS: Mixed set up with Vap Cycling handlebar bag and arm rests, Rusjan Bag top tube, Geosmina waterproof saddlebag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The best gear on my bike would certainly be that lovely jar of color-matched peanut butter on the fork! This is going to be a big one! Cheers to everyone out there.

Arnaud Duruisseau

Age 50 / Pantin (France)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: A stock Canyon Exceed CF6 with 12-speed Shimano SLX 30×10/51T, Ergon saddle and grips, BBB inner bar ends.
BAGS: A mix of Alpkit, Apidura, Ortlieb, Reload and Salomon.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 830, Knog PWR Mountain, GoalZero Venture 75, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite, Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag, Nordisk Lofoten UL1 tent, Decathlon MT100 synthetic down jacket.

Doug “coldbike” Dunlop

Age 55 / Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be bringing my 2023 Trek Top Fuel with Fox Factory suspension, Sramano drivetrain with GX AXS dérailleur with XT chain and cassette with an Absolute Black oval chainring. René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires on Shimano XT wheels with Cush Core XC inserts meet the ground.
BAGS: An absurdly large top tube bag handles hydration and electronic storage, along with rain gear. The frame bag allows heavy things to be kept low. The 7roads rack holds a custom Porcelain Rocket front bag of the brake hose. OMM Elkhorn holds my mat and tent in the back while it and the fork get Ortlieb mini bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m erring on the safe side of the safety/lightweight continuum, bringing a tent, -20° sleeping bag, and a big first-aid kit. I can carry up to 6L of water, and lots of food. My Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest sleep pad is light, fast to deploy, and hard to destroy. I have 2 power banks, a pedal cell generator and wall plugs for keeping my computer, lights, cameras and shifting going.

Lorenz Eimansberger

Age 25 / Weyarn (Germany)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2022 Bombtrack Cale steel frame in a beatiful blue metallic and teal color. The bike is fitted with a RockShox SID Ultimate Fork, DT SWISS alloy wheels, a SRAM GX 1×12 drivetrain and Magura MT-5 four piston hydraulic brakes. I’ve gone for the trusty 2.25″ Mezcal for my tires and have added Vittoria Air Liners to be extra safe. An aero bar on spacers, as well as many ergonomic parts by SQ-Lab will keep me reasonably comfortable over long distances.
BAGS: I am running Cyclite bar roll, large top tube bag and saddle bag as well as a custom framebag made by Quercus outdoors. Also, I have fitted the cheapest feedbags I could find from a chinese brand – they have served well so far!
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A SON Dynamo will light up my kLite lamp as well as charge my other electronics. The downtube stores most of my tools and spares in a bottle cage. What you can’t see is I am going big on creams and pills for various aches and pains. Let’s hope I won’t need them!

Jono Freeman

Age 30 / Bushwick, New York (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be astride (or pushing) a mostly-stock Santa Cruz Highball S up and over the Kyrgyz passes this year. Modifications include: SON Dynamo, K-lite electronics, 2.25” Mezcals, Zipp Vuka bars, a whole roll of racers tape, and a sticker of my wife on the toptube.
BAGS: Mostly Revelate Designs with a couple Roadrunner Feedbags my wife and I used for our cross country tour. Fairly standard setup with front bag for sleep kit, rear bag for clothes, feedbag for snacks, electronics in the mag tank, medical in the jerrycan, and a 3L bladder/food in the framebag. Downtube is wrapped in enough Voile straps to surround the earth and/or expand my storage.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I‘ve been riding off-road for the past 7 years on a 33c CX bike, so the whole MTB/suspension/flatbars thing is a highlight for me, but I’m most excited about a playlist every single one of my friends and teammates contributed a song to. If that doesn’t keep me going then I don’t know what will.

Michael Gaffey

Age 47 / Boston, Massachusetts (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I am riding my same 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 the same WHISKY No.9 30w Rims 29″ with a SON Dynamo hub with 700x 50mm Panaracer Gravelking SK tire and DT Swiss hub 180 with 700 x 45mm Kenda Flintridge Pro tire in the rear. I run a 1×12 Shimano SLX crank, 30T chainring, 11-51T cassette, SPD pedals, Redshift stem and seat post suspensions and 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.

Ildar Giniatullin

Age 37 / Almaty (Kazakhstan)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I will be riding on a Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 3 2022, Shimano Deore 10x51T. Geoff handlebar. Maxxis Arden Race front + Maxxis Icon back wheel tires. Sram G2 ultimate brakes, Brooks Cambium C13 saddle.
BAGS: Tailfin Aeropack Alloy Rack, Tailfin AP 20 Trunk Top Bag, Tailfin Cargo Cages X4, Tailfin 3L Cage Packs x2, Tailfin 5L Cage Packs x 2, Cargo Straps. Inner Frame custom Nerpagear bag, 2 handlebar food bags by Nerpagear. 1 Orange framebag by Nerpagear.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 840 for navigation + Suunto 9 peak watch as backup navigation system.

Cristian Grillini

Age 36 / Bologna (Italy)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: Sonder CaminoTi frame, Cyp wheels custom whit Dynamo Son28 in front wheel, Pirelli cinturato GravelM 700x45mm tires, Rockshox XPLR Rudy fork. kLite light system.
BAGS: KickingDonkey custom Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin for navigation.

James Hayden

Age 32 / Pallars Sobira, Catalunya (Spain)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Fairlight Holt with Hope components and SRAM AXS GX shiftng, Beast TR30 wheels by Parallel Handbuilt, Son dynamo and Klite
BAGS: Tailfin custom framebag and front roll, with rear rack. Plus a little backpack for big resupplies.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Proper mountain equipment to keep my dry and warm from Rab. Plus the Thudbuster seatpost to hopefully stop my rear getting busted by washboard!

Roland Heilmann

Age 35 / Zurich (Switzerland)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’m Riding a Bearclaw Thunderhawk from 2020 that I upgraded with a Fox 32 Suspension for the Silk Road. Normally I ride without it. Rims were built up with WTB and Industry Nine hubs in rear and a SON hub up front. Tyre choice is 40mm Raddler from WTB.
BAGS: Framebag is custom made by DITW. Seatbag is from Revelate Designs and front bag from Restrap.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Propably the Nordisk Lofoten Tent which actually has a smaller Pack size than my sleeping bag.

Jelena Helmreich

Age 32 / Hilpoltstein, Bavaria (Germany)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: Cube Elite C:62 Pro 29 Carbon Hardtail with Rock Shox Reba RL and OEM Fulcrum rear Wheel and a custum built Wheel by WizzWheels around a SON 28 Dynamo hub. Tire choice is Continental CrossKing in 2.2″ rear and 2.3″ front, both tubeless. Full Shimano XT 2×11 drivetrain. Front light is a KLite Ultra Adventure connected via a switch with a LumiCon USB Charger, that means charging batteries at daylight and light at night.
BAGS: Restrap saddle bag and front bar bag, the frame bag ‘xtreme’ and a top tube bag from Topeak to hold all my charging gear and batteries. I also carry two food pouches.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: SON 28 hub powering a KLite Ultra Adventure light connected via a switch with a LumiCon USB Charger, which holds two 3500mAh batteries. Batteries are charged whenever the front light is not needed. My aerobars are also an essential. Shimano EH500 SPD & Flat Cage Double Sided Pedals give my feet some freedome to move.

Robert Hickman

Age 61 / Brooklyn, New York (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) the 2023 SRMR on my Salsa Fargo Apex. I come from a road background and drop-bars and a Brooks B67 Saddle are where I’m most comfortable. I’ll have a 11-46T cassette with a 32T chainring, along with Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.4″ front and rear tires, and a SON dynamo to keep my devices recharged between stops.
BAGS: I’ll be riding with a mix of bags, all tried and tested. My sleeping kit is held in my Salsa Anything front fork cages as well as my Apidura Expedition Frame Pack. Warm clothes, rain gear, and tools are packed in my Ortlieb Gravel Pack rear panniers. Refried beans and tire repair are held in my Ortlieb Seat-Pack Saddle Bag. Electronics and essentials lie in my Ortlieb Ultimate6 Pro M Handlebar Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My trusty MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent will serve as my shelter along with my Therm-a-rest Neoair XLite Sleeping Pad. I’ll be carrying a Wahoo Elemnt Roam for navigation, and will be doing the entire route in my Shimano SD5 Sandals.

Wolfgang Hiltscher

Age 60 / Munich, Bavaria (Germany)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be using my beloved VPace T-Trail Titanium Bike with a 140mm Pike Fork. The drivetrain is by SRAM 30/52T, brakes are SRAM Guide double piston and large Discs (203mm+180mm), the wheels are self-built with DT Swiss 350 hubs and rugged XM481 Rims. The tires are Continental Race King Protection and Cross King Protection with Cushcore inserts. The electronics (iPhone and Garmin 1030 plus and Lupine power bank) are powered by a Pedalcell Dynamo. Lighting by Lupine SL Mono and my battery powered Lupine Wilma fixed on my helmet. This will help me to see all the obstacles in the darkness.
BAGS: Wild mixture of many brands including a custom made framebag by Gramm Tourpacking with an Apidura bladder inside, Aerobar bag by Cyclite, Toptube bag by Apidura, Tailfin rack and one additional 10L pannier just for food. In my dyneema backpack by Loacker I will carry my rain gear only (Gore Paclite jacket and trousers) and a second bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My ski mountaineering sleep system includes an OMM Primaloft sleeping bag, OMM Primaloft pants, Mammut Primaloft jacket, and very cosy down booties by Sir Joseph. I hate cold feet. My tent is a Nordisk Lofoten 1, not heavier than a good bivy bag and built up in two minutes.

Benjamin Hohn

Age 35 / Jena (Germany)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: Salsa Cutthroat with 100mm front suspension. Roval Control wheels, 2.35″ Mezcal tires and a SON dynamo up front. SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain (30T x 10-52T) and kLite lighting + charging.
BAGS: Rogue Panda custom framebag, Tailfin top tube bag, Revelate Designs seat bag and Cyclite aero bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Hilleberg Enan tent, WM Terralite sleeping bag, Nemo tensor sleeping mat and an inflatable pillow. There is always a comfy bed at the side of the road.

Sarah Hughes

Age 31 / Mill Bay, Vancouver Island (Canada)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’m racing my first SRMR on my 2021 Landyachtz Play Bike 2.0. I won the frame and had it built up as a hardtail mountain bike with this race in mind. I’ll be rolling on Stans FLOW tubeless wheels, with a Vittoria tire combo: Martello in the back, Mazza in the front. Drivetrain is 1×12, with a 32T chainring. My wrists will be grateful for the cushy Marzocchi Bomber Z2 suspension fork and Jones H-Loop Bar with Ergon grips. I have a SON dynamo hub for charging and lighting my way with a Busch and Muller IQ-X. 
BAGS: I have a variety of bags on this beast. A Blackburn frame and top tube bag for spares, mechanical kit, first aid, and other bits, Apidura seat bag and handlebar bag for sleep kit and clothes, a Thief watering hole II and Lezyne caddy in the cockpit for electrolyte refills, snacks, and goodies from shops, and two Sea to Sky 5L dry bags on the fork for cookware and food. On my back I’ll have a Chase Camelback with 1.5L water capacity and a Nalgene bottle on the down tube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m taking my trusty Big Agnes Fly creek 1 tent with a new Delphus -9 MEC down sleeping bag, Nemo Tensor pad, and MEC inflatable pillow. Comfort and warmth is key, so I have quite a bit of down and merino in my kit. My hands will be toasty and dry thanks to my bright blue industrial thermal fishing gloves.

Josh Ibbett

Age 35 / Cambridgeshire (United Kingdom)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: For my first attempt at the Silk Road Mountain Race I’ll be running my Mason RAW steel hardtail. It has a Sid ultimate 120mm fork and I added a Redshift suspension seatpost for extra comfort. Groupset is Shimano XT mechanical with Enduro bearing upgrade for the bb, jockey wheels and headset. Wheels are custom HUNT Beyond Carbon Dynamo fitted with ReneHerse Fleecer Ridge 55mm tyres in the Endurance casing.
BAGS: I am using a full set of custom Tailfin R&D division bags. The frame bag houses food, rear Aeropack holds my sleeping gear and Albion Zoa insulated jacket, and the bar bag holds my riding layers.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve packed for every condition imaginable. My Albion Zoa rain shell and trousers are for rain, Albion Zoa jacket, a balaclava and warm gloves for the cold and my trusty Albion pocket no shorts and jersey for my day to day riding kit.

Catherine (Cat!) de Medici Jaffee

Age 37 / Durango, Colorado (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2023 Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2020 Chumba Stella Titanium steed. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Crossmark II 29X2.25 EXO TR tires, a 2×11 drivetrain with a 36x26T chainring. For my wheelset, I have custom Astral rims to Son Dynamo and DT Swiss hubs. I have Thomson titanium handlebars, Cane Creek Cane Ergo grips, and XT Hydraulic 4 piston brakes. Some recent upgrades I’m excited about include a Bar Yak expedition with arm rests on the handlebars and a kLite Ultra adventure lighting system.
BAGS: On my frame center, I have a Revelate Designs Ranger bag filled with bike tools, parts, and food. On the front, I have a a Revelate Pocket bag where I store my sleep system, secured to my handlebars with an Oneja Negra snack pack. Along the top tube, I’m sporting a foot-long J Pak which I love. This is for my tech and more snacks. In the rear, I have a Wanderlust seat pack containing clothes, and you guessed it, snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be using a 1050 Garmin Solar series for GPS and so far I’m encouraged by how long it lasts. I use a custom-designed Cumulus sleeping bag and a Rab Bivvy to sleep. I’m also bringing a Jetboil this time, and looking forward to accessing more calories than when I attempted the SRMR in 2021. Snacks, snacks, snacks.

Anthony Jouannic

Age 33 / (France)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: My setup is from the French brand Origines and I will be riding on the Graxx II and the “Ekar” group from Campagnolo. 38T chainring and a 10-44T cassette, Prymahl C35 pro wheels, 700×40 tubeless tires, with a Son Dynamo hub. I added a 500g SMP saddle for comfort and aero bars raised 70mm for as many different positions as possible.
BAGS: Most of my bags will be from Restrap for a total of 35.5L with its 14L saddle bag, the 10L handlebar bag, 7L aero bag, and 4.5L frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Samaya Assault ultra will serve as my shelter with a solar powered Suunto Vertical to show me the way. I’ll be packing a Western Mountaineering sleeping bag with a Therm-a-Rest for good night sleeps at 3,000 meters.

Katja Kircher

Age 50 / Linkoping (Sweden)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding (and probably mostly hiking) a full-sus Scott RC Pro from 2022. The front wheel features a SON dynamo hub, both wheels were built by my friend Federico Conte at tensegrity.se, for the front lamp holder I got help from my colleague Arne Johansson, and the two red bags were handcrafted by my friend Titouan Ayroulet at l’ateljé. So the setup is very much an act of friendship, a great way to start.
BAGS: Apart from the frame and top tube bag mentioned above the remaining bags are all Apidura: the backcountry saddle pack, downtube pack, handlebar pack and two lunch pouches. Additionally I’ll have a small backpack from Salomon.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Time will tell what the highlights are, but I hope it’s not going to be tools! Maybe the red spoke nipples that make me smile or a bit of food that I suddenly find in the middle of other stuff.

Lukas Klement

Age 28 / Kourim (Czech Republic)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I will ride a bike that is custom printed with ZEBRA and decorated with an inscription in Hebrew that says the Israeli phrase “Good people in the middle of the road”, it is my strength for the journey and also a very deep memory. Technically, it’s an HT with dropbars.
BAGS: The panniers are Apidura, where the emphasis is on minimalism, and each pannier separates individual pieces of equipment. Panniers that can be operated without dismounting the bike are filled with items that will be used on the road or need to be quickly at hand. The saddle bag, on the other hand, is filled with very changeable items and a drybag with a sleeping bag on the handlebars. On the fork there is a mattress and a bivvy bag, things that don’t mind the rain. The whole set is completed with an Apidura 14l backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The thing that could be highlighted is the GoPro, which will ensure that the story I experience continues after the race, because the memories are the most. Lastly, my mindset to push hard.

Lajos Koves

Age 39 / Varpalota (Hungary)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: This is my XL OPEN WI.DE Sram Force AXS 1×12 (50-10/38 powering the K-lite MTB light. It’s a workhorse of a bike and my go-to guide rig for bikepacking races. I have kitted it out with DT Swiss M502 27.5er wheels laced into a DT350 rear hub and Shimano dynamo upfront. Maxxis Icon 2.2″ tyres providing the grip and “suspension”. Aside from a new bar and stem for fit purposes, the rest is pretty much stock. Selle San Marco Ground CFX is the perfect choice to avoid the saddle shore.
BAGS: All bike luggage is from Apidura frame and saddle bag along with two fuel pods on the top tube. I will also be taking a Salomon Active Skin 8L hydration backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: All the cold weather and rain gear to keep warm in the Kyrgyz wilderness. I’m taking a mix of GOREWEAR products with me. Blistering hot temperatures during the day, high chances of rain and snow and riding through the night are all things to be considered. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for navigation with a Garmin InReach mini + Komoot maps on the phone as redundancy. I am using Cumulus Lite 200 sleeping bags and paired with a Sea To Summit insulated sleeping mat.

Moritz Lemmermeier

Age 38 / Vienna (Austria)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll race the SRMR on my 2018 Genesis UK Longitude. The bike features MAXXIS 2.8″ tires, a Shimano Deore 2×10 drivetrain and a SON Dynamo hub up front. One nice modification are the SQlab Innerbarends 410/402, which I just love.
BAGS: The heart of my bags is the custom Gramm Tourpacking frame bag. It goes along with a Revelate Terrapin seat pack, an Acepac top tube bag and two Acepac juice bags as well as a Revelate mount combined with an Ortlieb roll on the handlebar. A 1.9L Klean Kanteen bottle will be mounted to the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I defenitely enjoy my Cumulus PANYAM 600 sleeping bag and Sea to Summit UL Air Mat along with the MSR Hubba NX. I‘ll be carrying a Garmin etrex 30x for navigation.

Adrien Liechti

Age 38 / Geneva (Switzerland)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: I’ll racing my 2nd SRMR on my Bombtrack Cale AL, with a tuned FOX 34, DTSwiss 1200 XMC Wheels, a fresh pair of Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge Endurance tires, SLX/XT 11-speed groupset and indestructible CaneCreek eeWings titanium cranks.
BAGS: Full Apidura setup including their new Backcountry Hydration Backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleeping system is lighter and more efficient than in 2021: Cumulus XLite300, Therm-a-Rest Uberlight and HPA GrandAir bivy. All my clothes are from Café du Cycliste and of course I will still wear white shoes and socks.

Dmitriy Makarov

Age 32 / Stepnogorsk, Aqmola (Kazakhstan)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I will be riding on a Canyon Exceed CFR LTD, 2023. SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS system 1×12 with 34T front and 10-52T rear cassette. Old Ergon GP4 grips and Shimano XT SPD pedals.
BAGS: This will be the third time at the start for my Apidura bags (2 of them recovered by Apidura). Apidura Expedition seat pack and Backcountry handlebar bags. Deuter backpack with 1.5L camelback and two 750ml bottles will be enough for this race. No dynamo, no water filter, no stove.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I know about secret locations on the route…

Victoria Makarova

Age 23 / Stepnogorsk, Aqmola (Kazakhstan)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I will be racing in the Silk Road Mountain Race 2023 on my Canyon Exceed CF SL 7.0 Pro Race. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis Ikon 2.2″ tires, a modified 1×12 drivetrain with a 34T chainring, and new Ergon GP2 grips.
BAGS: Apidura bags and small Deuter Rase backpack with 2L hydration pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Flat Wellgo Pedals and Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoes will give me more comfortable. Outdoor Research Helium bivy will serve as my shelter along with an Therm-a-Rest Corus -6 quilt. With me will be my favorite and simple red windbreaker, which is already 8 years old. I’ll also be carrying an Garmin Edge 1030 plus for navigation.

Frederic Marchand

Age 43 / Lausanne (Switzerland)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: Canyon Exceed CF7 with a 100mm RockShok SID fork. 32T chainring with SRAM GX 10x52T transmission. DT Swiss wheels dressed with Maxxis Ikon 2.3″ (tubeless) and the front wheel has a SON28 dynamo hub.
BAGS: Mostly Revelate Designs stuff (Saddlebag, Feedbags, Toptubes, Saltyroll, Egress) and suspension fork mount from Tailfin. And of course the excellent framebag made by Merit Gear in Amsterdam.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike itself. Then my sleeping stuff: Tarptent Aeon Li, Cumulus X-400, Therm-a-Rest NXT. Garmin Edge 1040 for navigation, Jetboil Mightymo for warming some foods.

James Marchi

Age 35 / Nuneaton, Warwickshire (United Kingdom)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Canyon Grand Canyon 5. No changes have been made to the standard factory spec except for adding clip on aero bars and Maxxis Ikon tubeless tyres.
BAGS: Apidura 14L Expedition saddle bag. Alpkit 20L deluge handlebar bag. Decathlon 1.5L Riverside frame bag. Wildman 1.5L E2 top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Alpkit Soloist tent and Pipedream sleeping bag. Decathlon Forclaz mattress. Garmin Edge 530 for navigation.

Brendan Mason

Age 61 / Beijing (China)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: A 2019 (4th start attempt due to pandemic) Chinese titanium monster 29er boost hardtail paired with Taiwanese fat carbon forks. DeoreXT 1×12 (30t, 10-51) and XTR four pot brakes paired with 203mm rotors. Sun Ringle rims and Schwalbe NobbyNic 29er 2.6” tubeless rubber front and back providing 1.4kg each of rolling protection, plenty of grip and a touch of softness when needed. Clip-on TT bars, because it’s windy out there. Sleep system: OR helium bivy, a rather heavy old KIMM Lite -10C bag (which kept me warm on those cold Saharan nights a long time ago), an old Therm-a-Rest 3/4 mat. Electrics: Two headlights providing three nights of light, two rear lights, Garmin 1040 solar and a 530 as backup guiding the way. Two Li-Ion batteries (30k + 10k), a superfast charger and a small bluetooth speaker for when I need cheering up (omg everyone else has dynamos, eek!). Ergon GP3 Grips, Mont Bell titanium mug paired with my super cool titanium Spork, rattling loudly of course.
BAGS: A full suite of RockBros bikepacking luggage (thanks guys). With additional racks under the downtube and forks (not shown) for additional water carrying duties. An old North Face 2.5 litre backpack, one bottle on the handlebar and a Sawyer filter in case I get thirsty.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Curated and super stress tested with help from Serk Frontier Cycling, a one-off Central Asian themed headtube sticker (thanks Owen). Brooks C17 SRMR special edition saddle and an inflatable seat pad for when things get a little tender where there is no sun. Super cool photochromatic sunglasses to stop me squinting in the bright sun. Helmet strap tan line stripes precisely cultivated and a MvdP military style haircut giving me heaps of trail-cred.

Henry Merk

Age 34 / Bavaria (Germany)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: Vitus Rapide CRX with RockShox SID suspension fork. Wheelset with SON Dynamo hub, DT Swiss 350 and Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″ tires. Shimano XT M8100 Groupset, 30/10-51T gearing, 200/180 hydraulic breaking. Stem, handlebar, seatpost from Newmen.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Ranger Frame Bag, Mag Tank, Mountain Feedbags. Apidura backcountry 10L saddle bag, 7L handlebar bag, downtube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Klite lighting and charging system. Wahoo Bolt for Navigation, smartphone as backup.

Ondrej Mohyla

Age 36 / Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding SRMR on 2021 Salsa Cutthroat. The bike features pair of vittoria Mezcal 2.1″ tires, 1×12 mechanical drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 9-50T cassette.
BAGS: Mix of Apidura, Ortlieb and custom made Rogue Panda full frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Full frame bag, Hope RX4 brakes, Rockshox SID Ultimate 100mm fork, and an unbreakable mind.

Quentin Moreau

Age 43 / Brussels (Belgium)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: A pretty much stock Orbea Alma M20 aka ‘The Green Giant’ with a Fox 32 StepCast fork, eeSilk suspension seat post, RedShift aerobars and inner bar ends for comfort. The drivetrain is classic Shimano XT with 30T chainring and a 10-51T cassette. DT Swiss wheels shod with Vittoria Mezcal in 2.35″. A PedalCell dynamo, old-school solution reinvented, will keep electronics and lights charged.
BAGS: A Tailfin AeroPack with Carry Anything cages for extra volume. Tailfin front fork mounts for a bit of extra volume and flexibility. A fantastic small Restrap aerobar pack for the whole sleep system. Remainder are those still functional from a set of Apidura bags and a hydration vest.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A modular sleep system from British brand PHD made of a 0°C sleeping bag, a mandatory warm down jacket, together with down pants and booties: weight efficient with full kit below 1000gr, comfy down to -15°C, with very warm layers to be just toasty while tired or in challenging weather. A fast & light bivvy bag only since intending to rather nap in ditches but take the occasion of a comfy guesthouse every now and then. Other notably well-functioning pieces of kit are a headlamp with massive autonomy as main lighting and ultralight power banks as buffer from Nitecore brand, a Castelli jacket in Polartec Alpha for its supreme versatility. Two Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for navigation. Merino everywhere for the kinda lack of smell. Top and bottom hard shells to face unfriendly skies.

Tom Moschitz

Age 51 / Blue Mountains, NSW (Australia)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Canyon Exceed SRMR edition. Optioned up to deal with long stretches of no resupply, a hefty amount of climbing, the inevitable never ending washboarded flats and the four seasons of weather this race will potentially throw at its riders.
BAGS: I feel like I’ve paid for extra baggage allowance for this race adding two Salsa Anything Bags, attached with Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts and Tailfin Cargo Cages along with a Revelate Designs Joey Downtube Bag. The Tailfin Aeropack feels like a proper Business Class Upgrade. My Treadlite Australia Framebag is well proven. The remainder are a swag of Revelate Designs including a Harness and Salty Roll upfront, 2 Mountain Feed Bags, a Jerry Can, and Gas Tank for my all loose ends.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My cockpit is a real highlight for me this race. I have my iphone running Gaia Maps, Kamoot, my favourite playlists and podcasts attached via a Mous Intralock Stem Mount. My InReach Mini, Wahoo Elemnt Roam and Knog PWR Road headlight are mounted to a set of Profile Design Sonic Ergo 43a bars with the help of a 76 Projects TT Mount. The result is a razor sharp line of all the data, detail and entertainment I’ll need to keep trucking at a steady pace in the right direction.

David Moss

Age 66 / Wellington (New Zealand)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: Santa Cruz Highball C running 12 speed Shimano XT drivetrain, 30T chainring. Maxxis Ikon, SP Dynamo with K-Lite front and rear. Profile Aerobars.
BAGS: Revelate Designs Framebag, Tailfin Aeropack and downtube pack, Bike Bag Dude for cockpit bags, Bar Jam harness with a Paper Roads Dry bag/front roll. Restrap Hike-a-bike harness. Cane Creek thudbuster ST seat post.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Six Moons Design tent. Etrex 30x for navigation with a Wahoo Roam as backup. Small cooker with a few days worth of freeze dried meals.

Feras Nahar

Age 36 / Freiburg (Germany)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Alloy Hardtail Specialized Chisel which I managed To build completely only one week before the race. I am using a set of Roval Control Carbon 29 wheels with a SON dynamo front hub. The drive train is 1×12 Sram Eagle, a mix of Sram GX and X01 rear mech with a 10-52T cassette and 32T chainring upfront. The cockpit includes a Ritchey handlebar and stem combined with comfort attachments like SQlab horns and Zipp Vuka aerobars.
BAGS: A mix of different bags. I will rely mainly on the 20L Tailfin Alloy Aero Pack which I paired with 2x Ortlieb Fork Packs (5.8L each) on both side legs of the rack. The frame triangle is fitted with Brooks Scape frame bag for food and fast accessible items. On the cockpit side: Restrap long top tube bag for electronics with 2x food pouches: one is from Revelate Designs and the second is custom made by Sündlin Bags in Berlin. The latter has become my permanent peace of kit on all my trips.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nemo Hornet 1P Tent which weighs less than 900g with a warm Therm-a-Rest Questar 32F/0C down sleeping bag. Since SRMR is a remote race I will rely essentially on the Sinewave Beacon front light for charging my devices apart from its amazing illumination capabilities. Last but least a practical piece of kit is the Hirnstif side dual bottle cages adapter.

Sarah Olson

Age 45 / Bozeman, Montana (USA)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Salsa El Mariachi Ti 2014, 2×11 SRAM GX drivetrain 36/24 – 10/42, and Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires.
BAGS: Apidura bar (11L) and saddle (14L) bags, Revelate frame bag, gas tank, and feedbags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Drivetrain has 17 gear inches for the hills! Felix BC26R light, Sea to Summit Spark UL 18F sleeping bag, and eTrex 30 for navigation.

Miguel Angel Tapia Pardo

Age 51 / Melun, Cely-En-Biere (France)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: For the 2023 edition of the SRMR, I will be riding my first SRMR on a Specialized Epic with a 100mm SID fork, 30T chainring, and a 10-52T cassette.
BAGS: I’m using a mix of bags. A Tailfin setup with food, sleeping bag and underwear for the cold. Under the downtube, a tailfin bag with the tent, sleeping mat and the repair kit. The Apidura frame bag, the top tube with power supply and electrical bits. Saddle bag with 1.5L of water, rain gear, and first-aid kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike is very well balanced and the highlight is the dynamo setup and my kLite lamp as well as my handmade wheels from Adrien.

Sami Pasanen

Age 36 / Alavus (Finland)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: My choice of bike is a custom Pässilä Bicycles Kytö titanium frame built by Tuurin Pyörä. Same bike as last year, but I have made some updates. The difference between last year and this year racebike are Son dynamo frontwheel, aerobars and some updated bags. I’m using a SDG Bel Air 3 saddle, Ergon GA3 grips and SQlabs Innerbarends to provide some comfort. I changed a new pair Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.25″ tires.
BAGS: I use several bag brands. My handlebar bag is Topeaks and saddlebag is Revelate Designs. I Will be using Alpkit custom framebag, stem bags are Blackburn, and my top tube bag is Geosmina. I also have a 15L Uswe backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be using Nordisk Lofoten ULW tent, Cumulus Xlite sleeping bag, and Therm-a-Rest Xlite Neoair pad and a pillow. GPS device is a Garmin Edge 530.

Isidre Guitart Perera

Age 65 / Manresa, Barcelona (Spain)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road Mountain Race 2023 on a 2019 Trek Caliber. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis IKON 2.0” tires, a 1×12 drivertrain (10×52) with a 28T chairing. In the front, a DTSwiss wheel with a SON Dynamo hub connected to a Cinq Plug battery inside the direction, the one that suplies energy for charging a 10,000 mA powerbank, and this the GPS (TwoNav), lights and mobile when necessary. I mount a Dedda bar with arm rests on the handlebars, Ergon GS2 grips, and an Ergon SMC Core saddle. I carry 2 bottles of 1.5L for water on the fork and two small bottles (0.5 L each) rear the saddle.
BAGS: Topeak Backloader (15L), Apidura Topframe, Frame bag Rockbross, Topeak Frontloader, Topeak Barloader and 2 Tailfin Cage Pack on the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The drivetrain and chairing are both Shimano XT and the shifter is an SRAM GRX.

Nick Percival

Age 61 / Devon (England)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Sonder Broken Road Ti with Rockshox Sid Ultimate 100 fork. The front wheel is a Hunt rim shod to a Son dyno hub , the rear wheel is DT Swiss xm481 rim on a 240 hub with extra grease to silence the buzzing bee. I’m trying out the RH Fleecer Ridge tubeless tyre after years on Mezcals. The rear has a tyre insert in for when the occasional tiredness line choice gets a bit lazy.
BAGS: Bags are a mix of Alpkit, Restrap, Tailfin and Revelate Designs. I’ve tried to reduce some packing volumes by using non-pump roll down vacuum bags. This has given me room to pack several kg of freeze dried meals as I struggled to find food that worked for me last time I attempted the SRMR. So yes, I’ve got a stove and hope my bags will get lighter each day as the food is eaten.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Son dynamo hub powers the Exposure front light and a Sinewave USB outlet to a Voltaic Systems through battery to keep the Wahoo gps and iPod running. Sleeping kit is a lightweight Sea to Summit bag and a small Terra Nova tent plus a Therm-a-Rest mat. I will be spinning an oval 28T front ring and a 10-50T cassette to hopefully reduce the amount of walking.

Vlad Podofedov

Age 28 / Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’m riding SRMR23 on a Vitus Rapide CRS (carbon frame, RS Sid fork, WTB wheels, Shimano Deore transmission). Also I use Jones Bar replica.
BAGS: For bags, I’m using a Revelate Designs saddle bag, custom frame and top tube bags by my friend and little tool bag by Nerpa Gear. I will ride lightweight and with an unloaded handlebar.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Regarding my gear, I am still deciding what to take and will focus on the weather forecast. I live in Kyrgyzstan and have such a privilege

Ed Procter

Age 52 / Hope Valley (England)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road on my Cotic Soda Max, their Titanium hardtail. It is complete with DT Swiss forks and Hunt wheels shod in 2.35″ Maxxis Ikons with Cushcore XC inserts. A SON dynamo hub up front will be keeping me charged. The bike features a Sramano setup for gearing, with a Shimano XT 10-51T cassette and 30T chainring to help with the hills, shifted with a Sram GX AXS wireless shifter. I’ve also fitted an eeSilk suspension seat post for my comfy Brooks C17 saddle. My brakes are Hope E4’s.
BAGS: I’ve got a mixture of Ortlieb and Tailfin for my bag setup. This will be the first time I’ve used a full-frame bag, so I’ll be carrying my water with a Camlebak, which has an inline filter.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve opted for a Hyperlite Ultamid 2 shelter, and I shouldn’t go hungry carrying a hundred weight of Real Turmat dehydrated meals, with Reindeer Stew being a firm favourite! My main GPS will be my trusted Etrex 20x.

Tom Quirk

Age 47 / Zurich (Swtizerland)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: A YT Industries Jeffsy Uncaged 6 I call “The Benefits of Being 47 and Single.” The bike features many SRMR-inappropriate components including a full XX1 AXS drivetrain and the battery-sucking Rock Shox Flight Attendant suspension system. I’ve replaced the dropper for a rigid post and the flat bar with Ritchey Kyote alt bars. On the plus side, it’s got 150mm of squish and is rolling on 2.6/2.4″ Rekons on Crankbros Synthesis wheels.
BAGS: Sea to Summit dry bags on the fork (2.5L) and in the Restrap Race saddle harness (8L). A Restrap Race toptube bag (2L) and an Apidura Backcountry downtube bag (~1L). Will also have a hydration pack for extra water and food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As always, my VJ Sport Maxx trail running shoes. I don’t understand why you would start an 1850 hike in stiff cleats. Almost 60,000 mAh in powerbanks and batteries to feed the phones, Flight Attendant/AXS system and lights.

Max Riese

Age 33 / Salzburg (Austria)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’m riding my Cervélo ZHT-5 Hardtail Mountainbike with 2.4” 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 Lab. I changed the fork to be a SID but not the SL version with 35mm chassis and I hope this one survives the race.
BAGS: All I need to access quickly is in my Ortlieb frame bag with rolltop 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. Kyrgyzstan is relentless so I am carrying some rain and thermal gear in a dry bag strapped to my bars and to food pouches to munch all the snacks I can even on remote stretches. That’s it.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Sea to Summit Spark III sleeping bag and a Sea to Summit insulated mattress 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 and Outflow puffy in combination with a Revelation GoreTex Pro jacket and Thunder 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!

Dmitry Ruchkin

Age 34 / Moscow (Russia)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: My bike is built around a Specialized Epic HT frame with RockShox SID SL Select 100mm fork. SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 transmission, 30T chainring, 10-50T cassette. DT Swiss 350 hubs, RaceFace ARC 30 rims, Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.25″ tires. Brooks C15 Carved saddle. FARR Aero MTB handlebar + arm rests, Ergon GS3 grips, Togs.
BAGS: An awesome framebag, which was custom-made and hand-painted by Sarmatian Bags. The initial design was based around traditional Kyrgyz shyrdak carpets, in the end we went for a simpler one, but still retained the traditional ornaments. The idea is not to show off, but rather to celebrate Kyrgyz hospitality and nomadic culture. Feedbags also by Sarmatian Bags. Long gas tank by Nerpa Gear. Jerrycan by Umba Gear. Restrap saddle bag and Rogue Panda Canelo V2 harness.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Mainly excited about some new lightweight gear: Tarptent Moment DW tent, Sivera Vezha sleeping bag, Arcteryx Cerium LT down hoody and Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer pants.

Tomasz Sawka

Age 44 / Nysa (Poland)

2023 SRMR rigs

BIKE: Drivetrain changed to Garbaruk, front 30T rear 11-50T, carbon wheels from Dandy Horse, added a suspension saddle and even wider 50mm Pierrelli Cinturato M tires I hope it will be enough to survive in this terrain.
BAGS: Combination of Apidura and Jack Pack. I will take seat bag, frame bag, top tubee bag and handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: This time I would like to have some more comfort, so will take a small tent, Sea to Summit mat and sleeping bag. Light its convoy with 2 extra batteries and head light from Lupiene with two extra batteries. It should let me ride two nights without charging.

Niek Schumacher

Age 31 / Utrecht (Netherlands)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Salsa Fargo with a Shimano GRX/XT 2×10 combo, which has been a great choice to conquer the roads in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan over the last two months. It doesn’t have suspension but the Vittoria Mezcal 2.35″ do a good job in providing some well-needed comfort. The DT Swiss wheels are hand spoked, with SON dynamo hub, by Horizon Bicycles in my hometown Utrecht. I’m also running a SON dynamo hub, PRO Missile aero bars and Ritchey Venturemax 46cm handlebars.
BAGS: The front roll is from Decathlon and on the back I strapped a 22L Ortlieb dry bag for most of my gear and a 10L one for my rain jacket, gloves and other items I want to have handy. On the frame I have a 6L Apidura framebag and for snacks my handlebars are equipped with two Agu snackpacks and a Decathlon toptube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My gear carries quite some legacy from my last two months of touring, including a 2-person MSR Hubba Hubba. It’s definitely not the lightest setup but it does give me confidence to survive even the toughest conditions Kyrgyzstan can throw at me.

Fergus Seccombe

Age 32 / Stroud, Gloucestershire (United Kingdom)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the SRMR on a Canyon Grizl SL 6. It’s all standard spec apart from the 50mm Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite tubeless tyres and Fizik Tempo Argo saddle. I’ve also switched the handlebars to more flared Spank Flare 25 440mm bars to allow for more room around the bags and shifters.
BAGS: I’m using Apidura Expedition bags to carry my equipment. A 17L saddle pack at the back, full frame pack with water bladder in the middle, and a handlebar pack + accessory pocket at the front. There’s also an Apidura bolt-on top tube bag for electronics and a 500ml storage bottle for tools underneath the downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A bright yellow Mountain Hardwear Phantom Alpine –9C bag, Therm-a-Rest Neolite and MSR Carbon Reflex 1 tent form my sleeping system. I’ll also be using a Garmin 1030 Plus for navigation.


Age 41 / Paris (France)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: Vitus Rapide FS, Hunt Proven carbon wheels with SON dynamo, René Herse Fleecer ridge tired, Rockshox SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, SID Luxe Select+ rear shock, Shimano XT M8000 12-speed groupset (32T front, 10-51T rear) with XTR pedals. 180mm rotors Fizik Alpaca saddle. Pro missile carbon aerobars
Supernova M99 DY front light and e3 tail light, Gamin edge 1040 Solar for navigation.
BAGS: Miss Grape cluster 7 saddle pack, big nose top tube bag, Internode custom frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The new Miss Grape ILCOSO front bag system which singlehandedly made me change my mind about having a handlebar bag.

Kevin Shang

Age 28 / Los Angeles, California (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding a Surly Krampus I purchased on Facebook Marketplace. Most of the parts were sold with the bike, including a Jones H-bar, a Selle Anatomica saddle, and a 12-speed SRAM Eagle 10-52T cassette. I swapped the tires for 2.3″ Continental Mountain Kings.
BAGS: The Facebook Marketplace seller threw in the bags along with the bike. It’s a mish mash of bags, including Revelate saddle bag, harness, 2 feed bags, Salsa fork bags, and a custom frame bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m using a Nemo Disco 15 sleeping bag and a Sea to Summit Ether Light XT sleeping pad. For navigation I’m using my iPhone and a Wahoo ELEMNT. The true highlight of my gear is my race partner Ethan, who will keep morale up during the race. (If you don’t see his rig posted, he probably forgot to submit it).

Stephen Shelesky

Age 29 / Jackson, Wyoming (USA)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding an Otso Fenrir Ti Flat Bar with a 1×12 Sram GX Eagle Drivetrain, RockShox Pike Select front fork, Vittoria Mezcal 2.35” tires, an Industry Nine rear wheel and DT Swiss front wheel with a SON Dynamo Hub.
BAGS: I’ll be running a full Revelate Designs setup with a Ripio Frame Bag, Spinelock 16L seat bag, Sweetroll + Egress pocket up front, 2 Mountain Feedbags, a Mag Tank, and Jerry Can. While not photographed here I will also mount a Polecat bag on the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Nemo Sleep System, particularly the Dragonfly Bikepack OSMO which packs down a bit smaller than some counterparts if a proper tent is desired. Also very stoked on my Sinewave Beacon 2 Light!

Sam Snowden

Age 32 / Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington (New Zealand)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: My trusty Bombtrack Cale AL. Suspension fork and dropper to make the most of the route. Dynamo hub on We Are One carbon rims, running a Klite setup. Brand new set of Mezcals.
BAGS: Representing the rad folks of Wellington with bags from Stealth and Wayward Riders.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit sleeping bag and OR bivi for some comfy snoozes. Dehy meals from home with a stove for mood boosting coffee when required.

Eduard Urrea Sole

Age 60 / Begues, Barcelona (Spain)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding the Silk Road Mountain Race on a 2021 Trek Supercaliber. The bike features a new pair of Maxxis IKON 2.0” tires, a 1×12 drivertrain (10×52) with a 28T chairing. In the front, a DTSwiss wheel with a SON Dynamo hub connected to a Cinq Plug battery inside the direction, the one that suplies energy for charging a 10.000 mA powerbank, and this the GPS (TwoNav), lights, cameras (Insta360), and mobile when necessary. I mount a Dedda bar with arm rests on the handlebars, Ergon GS2 grips, and an Ergon SMC Core saddle. I carry 2 bottles of 1.5L for water on the fork and two small bottles (0.5 L each) rear the saddle.
BAGS: Topeak Backloader (15L), Apidura Topframe, Frame bag Rockbross, Topeak Frontloader, Topeak Barloader and 2 Tailfin Cage Pack on the fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The drivetrain and chainring are both Garbaruk, and the shifter is a SRAM XX1 AXS.

Maxim Sotnikov

Age 52 / Almaty (Kazakhstan)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: Canyon Grand Canyon CF SL. SRAM X9 2×10 24-39T front and 11-36T cassette. RS SID 100mm, TRP brakes, DT-Swiss wheels, Thompson seat post, Fizik saddle, Ritchey cocktip. SRAM Rival shifters. Maxxis Icon front, Recon race rear tyre.
BAGS: Restrap fix plus belt cockpit bag, Nerpagear and Apidura top tube bags, Blackburn frame bag, Revelate saddle bag, Tailfinn bag system, Topeak Blackburn cages, Nerpagear food bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Favorite Iron flask with Vodka.

Ethan Stockwell

Age 29 / Los Angeles, California (USA)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: We got here a Surly Troll. This particular troll likes lurking on top of bridges rather than beneath them.
BAGS: A smorgasbord of bags from Relevate, Apidura, Swift, Bedrock, and Rockgeist, and two Wakka plates to strap more stuff to my fork.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: We have a janky charging build based around the Velogical rim dynamo and a SON headlight. We also have Kevin who is going to navigate us through the course which is pretty great. He requires no electricity, just Gu gel.

Dylan Taylor

Age 51 / Bozeman, Montana (USA)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: Salsa El Mariachi Ti 2012, 2×11 SRAM GX drivetrain 36/24 – 10/42, SON Dynamo hub, and Vittoria Mezcal 2.25” tires.
BAGS: Apidura bar (11L) and saddle (17L) bags, Revelate frame bag and gas tank, and UD ultra pack with 3L reservoir.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Flexx MTB bars for added comfort to protect my hands, kLite, Durston X-Mid Pro 2 tent, and Sea to Summit Spark UL 18F sleeping bag.

Andrei Tereskin

Age 34 / London (United Kingdom)

2023 Silk Road mountain race rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding my Sonder Broken Road. I have the SRAM GX Eagle system with a 32T chainring and 10-52T cassette. Ergon saddle and grips with flat tops, Spirgrips handles and Ridefarr aero bolt-on.
BAGS: I have a mix and match of bags from different manufacturers. Tailfin in the back, Apidura race top tube bag, Ortlieb rolltop full frame bag and Nerpa harness with Alpkit drybag in the front + feedbag from Revelate Designs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Zpacks Plex Solo dyneema tent together with featherstone quilt and Therm-a-Rest xlite pad will be my sleep system / shelter.

Trevor Tuckwell

Age 38 / New Westminster, British Columbia (Canada)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding a 2023 Specialized Epic hardtail that I’ve stripped down and rebuilt. The drivetrain is SRAM AXS with a mix of xo1 and xx1 parts. For the brakes I went with TRP DH EVO’S (180mm in the back and 203mm in the front). With the exception of the front hub I opted for Chris king bearings throughout the build. The wheels are from We Are One Composites, made in Kamloops, BC. They are 32 spoke count from the Convergence line.
BAGS: A mix of Tailfin and Andrew The Maker. I’m also sporting a 20L dry bag from Mountain Equipment Co-op as a handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I really like the triathlon bottle cage set up under the saddle, the idea was keeping the bottles out of the dirt. The guys at We Are One laid extra layers of carbon to my wheel set as I’m a bigger rider which I thought was definitely worth honourable mention. Using a Durston tent and a Feathered Friends sleeping bag.

Dilara Tuna

Age 34 / Brussels (Belgium)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I suppose my bike and setup is more of the budget version. The bike is an Orbea Alma H30, but I call him Massimo. The wheels have been upgraded from the original to Dt Swiss XT 1900 now, tubeless and because of peer pressure, I am running Vittoria Mezcal. The fork is also exchanged for a RockShox Recon. Other than that, it still has the original Sun Race 11-51t 12-Speed and OC1 Alloy forged Boost 32t.
BAGS: When I was in Ankara I found a local bikebag designer in a shop and bought some of her bags, feedbags and a toptube bag so this will be an ideal way to test them. Her brand is called Lindanihan and she puts an immense amount of passion and eye for detail into her products. My backloader is my very first bikepacking investment, a 15L Topeak Backloader, I also added the Topeak Versacages.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m bringing a MSR HubbaHubba fly, as we were supposed to do the race as pair. I brought a 2 person tent and saved a few grams by leaving the inner body at home. Let’s see if my Spark II will be enough, otherwise I will also bring my dearest friend, my Café du Cycliste puffy Gilet which has probably accompanied me more than any other cycling clothing item. A Salomon Trail running vest on my back and the biggest highlight probably my 20 euro Sandals from Turkey which I have tried and tested in the Taurus and they will hopefully dry faster than my cycling shoes during river crossings. For which I have clipped on flat pedals on one side of my SPDs.

Yanick Ueltschi

Age 23 / Basel (Switzerland)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be taking on this years Silk Road Mountain Race on my 2022 Specialized Diverge Gravel bike. The only changes I made are adding a SON28 Dynamo Hub in the front wheel which powers my lights, and I went for bigger tires. I chose the Michelin Power Gravel 47mm (1.75″), which is the max size the clearance on the bike allows. And even though I might regret it, I went for a 38T chainring which won’t make the steep climbs any easier.
BAGS: I decided to be as minimalistic as possible with my bags. I have all my sleeping gear and warm clothes in my Topeak saddlebag. The Ortlieb Framebag will mostly be used for food and water if needed. In my Apidura bag I store all my electronics stuff and more food. I’ll also carry a small backpack where I’ll put all my rain gear and more water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Instead of taking a tent with me, I have packed only a Vaude bivy that hopefully stays waterproof even during the heavy storms that can occur in Kyrgyzstan. Most of my other sleeping kit is from Sea to Summit which turned out to be the right choice even for very cold nights. For charging my phone and my garmin I carry a total of 30,000mAh of power banks with me.

Quinda Verheul

Age 33 / Rotterdam (Netherlands)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: I will be riding the Silk Road 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. The drivetrain is a SRAM GX Eagle groupset with an Ingrid crank (32T x 10-52T). I have a SON dynamo up front and my favourite Onyx hub out back. Lastly, I’ll of course have my kLite lighting and charging setup, with an Outbound light on my head for the extra-techy bits.
BAGS: For bags, I have a custom Tailfin handlebar bag, Carbon Aeropack, and a big top tube bag. I have four liters of water, 2L hidden in my frame bag, and bottle mounted on my down tube, and a reservoir on my back.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A bivy will serve as my shelter along with a tarp tent, Therm-a-Rest Vesper quilt, and a Therm-a-Rest mat. My jerseys are merino wool from Velocio and an AXS Luxe bib short. Shoes are Fizik Ergolace, for comfort while hiking or biking. For extra insulation I’ll bring my Cumulus down pants, Decathlon mt500 down jacket, and for the rain my Rab rain pants and 7mesh jacket. Further shoutout to Styrkr for helping me stockpile calories for the long ride ahead!

Hendra Wijaya

Age 57 / Bogor, West Jav (Indonesia)

2023 SRMR rigs

BIKE: Canyon Exceed CFR. Drivetrain is Shimano XTR 1×12 (10/51), 32T chainring. Wheels are DT Swiss XRC 1200 spline 30. Maxxis Icon 3C Exo TR 2.35” and 2.20” tires. Ergon GS3 grips. Son 28 Dynamo Hub, KLite Front & Rear light. Lupine Neo Headlamp. Suunto Vertical GPS Watch, iPhone 13 pro.
BAGS: Eiger frame bag and Top tube, Apidura Saddle bag, Revelate harness. Sea to Summit dry bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bivy Exped, Montbell sleeping bag, water/wind proof jacket, Down pant, Water/windproof trouser, TNF Down jacket. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress. Sea to Summit drybag, Q36.5 gloves, Black Diamond thermal glove, REI waterproof gloves. Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX running shoes, Darn Tough socks, Oakley sunglasses.

Konstantin Willeke

Age 35 / Tubingen (Germany)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: I’ve cycled with this bike with minor modifications from Germany to the start of the race in Kyrgyzstan and I couldn’t have been happier. The bike is a Rose Backroad, with 650b rims from Lightbicycle, 2.2″ Continental RaceKing tyres, SON dynamo & light and an Igaro D2 charger. My drivetrain is a 1x SRAM AXS Mullet Setup with a 36T chainring up front and a 10-52T cassette in the back. On my handlebar, I’ve installed Syntace C3 aero bars with bar end shifters. The aero bars have been great for the trip so far but they haven’t seen too much use in the high mountains. For the race itself I changed the stem to a Redshift ShockStop, hoping for a bit more comfort on the endless washboard roads.
BAGS: Framepack and top tube bag are from Revelate Designs. Tailfin AeroPack in the back. In the front I have a Restrap aero bar bag and a simple dry bag strapped to the top of the aero bars. I also have two large candy bags from Gramm attached to the stem.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I aimed for a setup that would work well for the race but also for a long bikepacking trip. The result is sleeping gear that is probably more comfortable than average: Zpacks DupleXL tent, Sea to Summit Xlite mat, Nemo Fillo Pillow, and a lot of down clothing by Culmus Equipment: Down quilt, jacket, pants, and shoes. So far, even cold night in the Pamirs haven’t been terrible. But let’s see what Kyrgyzstan will bring.

Harry Williams

Age 26 / Cheshire (United Kingdom)

2023 srmr rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding as a pair with my dad, and we’ll both be riding on a Sonder Broken Road. It includes SRAM’s GX Eagle Drivetrain, a Sonder Confucius handlebar to allow room for more attachments, Brooks B17 Saddle for comfort, Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, and Rockshox Sid Ultimate forks. The wheels are DT Swiss EX511 and were custom built by Rich and Shona from Keep Pedalling, alongside Vittoria Mezcal tyres.
BAGS: The frame bag, seat pack and top tube bag are all from Apidura, while I’ll have a 10l dry bag from Ortlieb on the front which will contain my sleeping equipment. I’ll be using a Salomon ADV SKIN 5 vest to carry food and water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have a Rab Mythic 400 sleeping bag as part of my sleeping system which should keep me nice and warm at night, a SON Dynamo hub for lights and charging equipment, an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, and a Garmin Edge 830 for navigation.

Angus Young

Age 27 / Blandford Forum, Dorset (England)

2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Rigs

BIKE: Despite some rumours, I will not be running my Mason Cycles InSearchOf fully rigid and have opted for a 110mm Rockshox SID. For wheels I’m using the Hunt Beyond Carbon Dynamo onto which I have mounted 29×2.35″ Vittoria Mezcals. For gearing I have opted for shimano GRX Di2.
BAGS: New for me for the SRMR are Restrap’s race range of bags including the full frame bag. This gives me enough space to pack everything I need without the need for a backpack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll be wearing dhb’s aero ultra clothing which I have worn for over 20,000km of bikepacking so I trust it inside and out. I’ll also be starting the race off with my pockets jammed with Rawvelo bars and gels. SRMR is not the sort of race that you should be cutting corners with kit so I have plenty of warm kit and a full sleeping system. I now can’t wait to get stuck in. Wish me luck.

Artis Zugs

Age 41 / Riga (Latvia)

2023 SRMR Rigs

BIKE: I’ll be riding The Silk Road Mountain Race on an old Scott coffee bike. Nothing serious, just a daily ride for fans.
BAGS: Modified Apidura bags. I’m creative and patient. I knew my needs for equipment, had my vision how it should look like and made it happen. Handmade.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Free mind, happiness and empty legs.

TrackerCheck out the 2023 Silk Road Mountain Race Tracker page to follow along on the live tracking map, find our Rigs of the SRMR roundup, and see more event coverage. Find it here.

Further Reading

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Bikepacking Race Rigs


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