Rigs of the 2021 Badlands
The 2021 BADLANDS kicks off in southern Spain this weekend and follows some of the most remote and challenging terrain in Europe. We’re excited to share a collection of nearly 70 rigs that’ll be taking on this year’s course. Find a massive gallery of photos and details on each bike and its rider here…
Set against a dramatic and diverse array of remote landscapes in southern Spain, the 750-kilometer 2021 BADLANDS event has nearly 265 riders registered in men’s, women’s, and pairs categories. We’ve worked with the participants of this year’s event to collect bike and gear info for around 70 riders who are tackling the route. Scroll through and get a good look at everyone’s rig, then head over to the 2021 BADLANDS event Tracker page to follow along live starting on Sunday morning at 8:00 local time, and stay tuned for more coverage. Thanks to all the riders who sent in their info; good luck out there!
Age 40 / Paris, France / @sofianeshl
BIKE: Bombrtrack Hook EXT with Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc wheels; Réné Herse Oracle Ridge 700/48; Shimano GRX Di2 1 x 40 (11/42); Pro carbon gravel bars with Fizik terra bar tape; Fizik carbon seatpost; Fizik Argo Saddle; Shimano XTR pedals; Shimano Dura Ace rotors
BAGS: Miss grape bags
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Supernova Airstream II front and tail light
Age 54 / Basel, Switzerland
BIKE: For this adventure, I’ll ride my 2015 Salsa Cutthroat. The bike runs with a 1 x 12 AXS drivetrain. I like the Continental RaceKings in 29” and with a SON 28 dyno hub and a Sinewave Beacon, I generate the power for my Garmin 530 and the other electronics,, like my Petzl headlamp, phone, and second GPS. A HUNT Superdura serves as a rear wheel. It’s a tubeless setup with 120ml NoTubes sealant each. You never know.
BAGS: I like and trust Revelate Designs bags with the small Egress pocket, the Pronghorn, and Cutthroat framebag. Feedbags as additional space for water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Definitely the King Cage titanium bottle cage for its stiffness, and my Swiss army knife. For the night, I will use two Mountain Equipment ultralite bivibags to protect my Therm-a-Rest Uberlight. Save weight, get weight. It’s a game.
Age 33 / Berlin, Germany / @marianzange
BIKE: I’ll be using my Rose BackRoad with SRAM Force 1×11 and a 38T chainring. I’m running HUNT gravel wheels with Schwalbe G-One Bite. My front wheel is fitted with a SON dynamo hub and for lights, I’m using the Exposure Revo Dynamo front and rear lights. For some relaxation during the ride, I have added Profile Design aerobars.
BAGS: I’m using a combination of Apidura and Ortlieb bags. Apidura saddle bag, top tube bag, and food bag. The handlebar and frame bags are from Ortlieb. I do have a bit too much empty space in my bags, but those are the smallest I have.
Age / Girona, Spain / @christianmmeier
BIKE: This is the Belle ATER 2.0, based on what we learned from the first bike that I used last year for most races. We updated the 2.0 with the new ENVE Adventure Fork which allowed us to tune the geo to be more similar to that of my gravel bike. We also went back to a traditional seat post and made the front triangle as big as possible to allow maximum space for bags. The bike is ENVE where possible, seat post, bars, M525 29” rims laced to an SP Dynamo front hub and DT Swiss 240 rear hub. Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge 29” x 2.2” tires. Ceramicspeed bottom bracket, headset, and jockey wheels. Ingrid POP crankset and cassette. kLite lighting and charging setup. VAP Cycling aerobars. Shimano GRX Di2 groupset. Wahoo Roam for navigation.
BAGS: Apidura frame pack and Cordel seat pack. I will be riding with a Black Diamond Distance 8 backpack and water will be in the way of soft flasks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike really is the highlight for me, Kiko and I spent some time really trying to build the ultimate bike for bikepacking adventures, big tire clearance, small tubes for compliance, and geo for riding long hours at a time.
Age 28 / Norwich, Norfolk (UK)
BIKE: My steed for Badlands is my Bombtrack Hook EXT 2021 custom made by the chaps at The Woods Cyclery (cheers guys!). Hunt X Mason 650b wheelset. Teravail Sparwood 2.1” up front, Cannonball 47mm rear. Shimano GRX groupset with an 11-46t cassette because there’s 15,000m of elevation. Hope/Ritchey finishing kit. Brooks B17 saddle which I’ve had for years and will never get rid of.
BAGS: Apidura frame bag and 14L saddlebag. My sister Emily makes rad bags (check out Worm Designs) and I’m using a burrito and top tube bag made by her. 2L hydration bladder in the frame bag, and fork bottles (spot the Buckfast bottle).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping setup is a Alpkit bivvy and mat, ME down helium solo bag. Wahoo Bolt for nav. A variety of lights, running off a few battery packs. Think that’s it!
Age 43 / Leicester, UK / @dave_tommo78
BIKE: Ridley Kanzo, with a resprayed frame (by Paul Milnes Cycles). SRAM Force 1x with a 38T Absolute Black oval chainring and an 11-46 cassette. Wheels are Prime Audax dynamo 650b with 44m tubeless Gravel Kings. Using a Wahoo Elemnt Roam for navigation.
BAGS: Revelate Designs. Front harness is where my sleeping kit will be stored: Snugpak Stratasphere hooped bivvy, Alpkit air mattress and down sleeping bag. Frame bag for spares and essentials, top tube bag for electricals, and a seat pack for spare/emergency clothing.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My Cranktank4 from adventure hydration which stores 4L of water in the space of two bottles, could prove absolutely invaluable in the hot Spanish dessert.
Age 52 / Vila do Conde, Porto (Portugal) / @jquimiss
BIKE: Cervelo Àspero, Panaracer Gravelking 650b x 48 on Prime Kanza Carbon wheels.
BAGS: Apidura Bolt-On Top tube bag, Apidura Expedicion Sadle Bag, and Brooks Scape Handlebar Pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The minimun gear, only a bivy, a jacket for the cold nights, and lots of food.
Age 56 / London, UK (Born and raised in Papua New Guinea)
BIKE: I am riding the MASON Bokeh Ti (58cm). A titanium framed bike with Sendero WTB 47 tyres. It has a 1×11 drivetrain with a 38T chainring driving forward at no great speed HUNT 650B Wheels with a SON dynamo on the front. All mechanical gear is SRAM Force 1. Lighting up the dark will be a Sinewave Beacon on the front and an Exposure Zenith Helmet light. A Blackburn Day Blazer 800 on the handlebars will be my backup light when I am not cycling fast enough uphill to keep the dynamo light running.
BAGS: It is an all Apidura bag setup with a 17L Expedition Saddle Pack at the rear, Expedition Frame Pack underneath, Expedition Handlebar Pack up front, and an Expedition Top Tube Pack. Three one-litre bottles will be mounted on the various tubes. Additionally, I will be wearing an Osprey Duro 1.5-litre Hydration Vest
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Hunnka (Alpkit) bivy will be my bed for the night as I snuggle up in my Icebreaker (NZ) thermal long johns and merino wool vest. Sleeping soundly like a small bear in winter on top of my ultralight Sea to Summit Air Mat.
Age 33 / Plettenberg, Germany / @mariuskarrr
BIKE: I’m riding a Cervélo Áspero GRX 1x with Zipp 303s and Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Mixed Terrain in 40mm. The bike is equipped with a 40t chainring and an 11-46 SLX MTB cassette. The stem, seatpost, and handlebar are from Easton. The saddle is an SQlab 611 ergowave. For comfort, I mounted Profile Design Sonic Ergo 43a aerobars. I’m using a Wahoo Elemnt Roam for navigation and my phone as a backup. The lighting I use comes from Lezyne and is rechargeable, 2x Mega Drive 1800i for the front and 2x Strip Drive for the rear.
BAGS: Apidura Racing Saddle Pack (7L), Apidura Racing long Top Tube Pack (2L) and the Apidura Racing Frame Pack (4L), plus a small CAMELBAK hydration backpack with a 1.5L bladder.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: North Face synthetic down jacket, Ortovox ultraliht Bivy, Camelbak hydration backpack, and the lightweight Apidura Racing Series.
Age 29 / Madrid, Spain / @timpano_de_acero
BIKE: For Badlands 2021, I’m riding my adventure bike, a Ridgeback Ramble 2.0 with custom paint, equipped with SRAM Rival and Apex groupset, and running 11-46 with 40T Rotor Q-Ring chainring. On the front wheel, I use a 42mm WTB RESOLUTE for the more technical sections and 40mm HUTCHINSON TOUAREG on the rear wheel. I use aerobars to go fast on the plains and change positions.
BAGS: My bag setup is from the Apidura Racing series, the 5L saddle pack and Racing Long Top Tube Pack 2L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For navigation, I’ll be running my Wahoo ELEMENT BOLT with a 10,000 mAh power bank, and to ride safely at night I will use my Supernova Airstream 2 up front and for the rear the Exposure Tracer MK1.
Age 30 / Wilsmlow, United Kingdom / @ricardotorrao
BIKE: I’m going to be riding this years Badlands on the 2021 Specialized Diverge Comp. Not only comfortable but super reliable in pretty much any terrain or obstacle. The bike features a 2 x 11 GRX drive train with a 34T chainring. Zipp 303 S wheelset and Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 40mm tyres to keep me fast and safe. Another modification is my Ceramic Jockey Wheels by the French company Nova Ride. Bags can’t go wrong with Restrap handlebar, Frame, saddle, and top tube.
BAGS: When it comes to bags, my setup is strictly Restrap, the full ‘Carry Everything’ collection. Allowing me to carry all the essentials for the journey. Handlebar bag is a ‘Bar Bag Small’ carrying my sleeping system. The frame bag is the ‘Frame Bag Medium’. Top Tube bag is a ‘Bolt on Tube bag’ and finally the ‘Saddle Bag 8L’.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I got to say, I love my Hammerhead Karoo2 and I could definitely highlight the climber feature as it’s super useful and allows me see the detailed profile of an upcoming climb and manage my efforts accordingly. I’ll also mention that Restrap’s realiable, strong, and slick bike bags play a huge role in my ultra-distance races and projects, they never disappoint. I love my Sungod Airas and would never leave the house without them. My Specialized S-works Recon MTB speed of light edition shoes are what keep me pedalling for long hours – comfort and power transfer, simply the best. Finally my Tactic Kit, specially the Signature Collection is like no other, feels like it was custom made!
Age 48 / Amstelveen, The Netherlands / @ gertjan_s
BIKE: I’m riding a Cannondale Topstone, Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes, 46-30 / 11-34. The drop bar has a 30-degree flare combined with aero bars. For Badlands, I’ve mounted a Redshift Shockstop suspension stem. The rims are DT Swiss 531 GR with a SON 28 dynamo combined with a Sinewave Beacon front light. The tubeless tires mounted are Schwalbe G-One Bite 45mm.
BAGS: The Apidura Handlebar Bag stores my complete sleeping system. Revelate Mag Tank, Apidura 4.5L Frame Bag, two stem bags to carry 0.5 L of extra water each, and a 10L Revelate Spinelock Saddle Bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Sinewave Beacon front light (with USB hub) gives me the flexibility to operate self-reliant, free from mandatory re-charging in hotels. My sleeping system consists of an Alpkit Kloke bivvy, a Lowlander sleeping bag,, and a Sea-to-summit ultralight sleeping mat. Light weight and easy to set up.
Age 35 / Amiens, France / @ gravel_amiens
BIKE: I will ride a steel Fuji Jari 2.5 with a mix of Shimano GRX and 105. Drivetrain is 11-34 and 30-46. The wheels are HOPE 20 five PRO4 with Pirelli Cinturato 700 x 40mm.
BAGS: Four bags of different brands. The saddle bag is a zefal Z17. I love this bag, it’s cheap but resistant. I use this bag for my sleeping bag and mat. The frame bag is Restrap with all my repair kit and power banks. Front bag is Ortlieb 9L for clothes and bivy. Top tube bag is a Woho for food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I know it’s not the lightest set up but it’s all I have and it’s realiable and robust. The Fuji with my Hope wheels is very confortable and to me, this is the key to try to finish this race!
Age 43 / Cerdanyola, Barcelona, Spain / @mwlibwanji
BIKE: I’ll be riding the Badlands 2021 on a Bombtrack Hook Ext C. The bike features a new pair of Hutchinson Touareg 2.0″ tires and a 1×11 drivetrain with a 40T chainring GRX Di2.
BAGS: The centerpiece of my bag setup is a Ortlieb frame bag. I am also running a Revelate Snack bag, Columbus top tube bag, an Ortlieb saddle bag, and Duo custom Velodrom handlebar bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: A Sea to Summit bivy will serve as my shelter. I’ll also be carrying an Garmin Edge Explore for navigation.
Age 26 / Savoie, France / @triple.buse
BIKE: I’m riding a Fuji Jari 1.1 from 2019, which has been my endurance bike for my first two ultra-races. I chose to go for a SON dynamo setup with a Supernova front light, a new pair of Michelin Power Gravel 47mm tires, as well as some cheapo but rather lightweight Decathlon aerobars. Hopefully my 46/30 to 11-34 ratio will be enough to get me up in the steep sections, otherwise I’ll just have to push through!
BAGS: I’m trying to go lightweight with the bags: I’ll have Restrap’s top tube and half-frame packs, which will mainly contain food and some electronics and other misc stuff, a 7Roads rollbag as a mini saddle bag for tools and fixes, and finally a drybag strapped to the aerobars for extra-clothing.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve been loaned a Salomon gilet that will host a water pouch for extra hydration and some food. Also bringing a Stoots headlamp for extra visibility at night time.
Age 55 / Madrid, Spain / @corre.sponsal
BIKE: I will bring my 2018 Specialized Diverge equipped with Di2 gearing. Awesome ride that has served me on several short to medium duration (up to three weeks) trips, including two bikepacking trips throughout California. For Badlands, I’ll go 48/32 front and 11-36 rear – hope ascents will be doable with that. Furthermore, I have switched from 28″ to 27.5″ DT-Swiss rims – both for slightly easier gears and to accomodate 47mm Specialized Pathfinders. Lights are Supernova 99 mini on a powerbank I will charge throughout the day with a SUN dynamo; I’ll carry a Garmin UT800 as spare. Tail light is a Garmin Varia radar. Rotor inPower cranks hopefully will prevent me from overpacing. Syntace C2 Clip Aero Bar for the smoother intersections.
BAGS: Bags are a mixture of Ortlieb (Handlebar Pack & Seat Pack), Blackburn (Outpost Frame Bag) and No Name (top tube). Sleeping system consists of an inflatable Decathlon Forclaz 500, Millet Light Down sleeping bag, and my 35-year-old Ajungilak Bever Bivi Bag, all in the Handlebar Pack. I try to limit gear and did think about leaving the Seat Pack at home, but now I will carry it for flexibility.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Cateye bar end mirror – may not be needed in Badlands, but I really love it. Great thing to have riding on highways and especially freeways in the US, even with Varia Radar attached to the rear.
Age 39 / Bath, UK / @bikepixi
BIKE: I’m riding a Genesis Vaypour Carbon CX frame with Stans Ironcross wheelset and 38mm Schwalbe B-One bite tyres. It’s got a Shimano 105 hydraulic road groupset modified a little with a single 36T chainring, an 11-42 XT MTB cassette, and GRX rear mech. Hopefully enough gears to get up the climbs and grip to get down them!
BAGS: My bike frame is a tiny 49cm, so I’ve gone for a custom Straight Cut Design frame bag to make the most of the space. It can take up to 4L of water in bladders so I’m ready for the desert. My handlebars are also tiny G-funk clamps and a strapdeck from drj0n bagworks plus V-pipe straps provide a super neat solution to carry my summer sleeping kit. I have a saddlebag for some clothing and tools, top tube bag for electronics, and snack bags for munchies and other handy bits all from Apidura.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I don’t have a dynamo so have got a super-sized Anker cache battery to keep my small lights, Garmin 530, headtorch, and phone going for four days. I’ve also got a combo of 400 lumen head torch from Silva and 500 lumen front light from MTB Batteries with a bespoke giant battery which should have four nights of juice on low beam. I’ve got two 2L Hydrapak seeker bladders with a tube to carry water, so should be able to keep going for a long time between refills, even in the hot weather.
Jon Kepa Gerrikagoitia
Age 50 / Oñati, Basque Country, Spain / @jkgerrik
BIKE: I’ll ride a BMC Team Elite with a rigid fork. I’ll use a 1×11 Shimano drivetrain (11-46 cassette and 34T in front). The tyres will be 2.25″ Vittoria Barzo in the front wheel and maxxis ardent race in back.
BAGS: I’ll take a Topeak saddle bag and a Decathlon handlebar bag. Both have been twice in the Transpyreenes with very good results. As the frame has no room for a frame bag I have two small bags in the top frame tube to have additional space. I think two 750ml water bottles in the frame will be enough, but I’ll take a light bag in case more liquids or food are needed.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The sleeping kit will be a light inflatable mattress and a bivvy bag. A down jacket will do the work of the sleeping bag.
Age 41 / Deventer, Netherlands / @kctanyeri
BIKE: I’m riding a 2020 Specialized Diverge. A lot of time has gone into getting the bike to where I wanted it to be. I’m running a Shimano GRX 810 2x groupset (46/30 front 11/34t cassette). The wheels are Hope RD40 Carbon with RS4 hubs which are an absolute dream! For tires I am going with the tubeless set up of Specialized Rhombus 42 which are more grippy and should be more puncture resistant than my normal Pathfinders. Handlebars are ENVE G-Series Carbon 42c, they have proven to be the best investment I made so far on this bike. Lights are Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL front and Lezyne Strip Drive Pro rear. I’m using the Wahoo ELEMNT Roam for navigation.
BAGS: I’m Running the Apidura 7L Racing Saddle Bag for clothing and a bivy, a 1L Racing Top Tube Bag for food storage on-the-go and a 4L Racing Frame Pack which contains a mix of tools and handy essentials. I will be sticking to the bare essentials to keep the total weight down.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Apart from the course, I see two challenges. First, carrying plenty of water can be crucial, so I am bringing my Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance vest. It’s crazy lightweight (175gr) and can pack 3L of water and extra food. Second, the sun, which is why I will be wearing the Velocio Radiator Mesh Jersey which has UPF30 Sun Protection.
Age 28 / Angers, France / @damien_bar
BIKE: I’ll be riding the TRANSIBERICA Badlands 2021 on a Girs RnR. The bike features a pair of Panaracer 43mm tires on a Super Sonic pair of wheels, a SRAM Force 1, 11-speed with a 11-42 gear cluster with a 40T chainring.
BAGS: I will use my favorite bikepacking configuration for the race: a custom 4.5L frame bag handmade by Arch and an Apidura 9L seat pack. I’ll carry 2.1 liters of water (2 bottles on my frame and 1 on a stem bag) and use a tool box on my downtube.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I think I’m not going to sleep a lot and I’ll use a battery for the charging of my devices (phone, GPS, lights).
Age 46 / Bryne, Norway / @henning_presenning
BIKE: I’ll be riding my 2019 Basso Palta gravel racer. The bike is equipped with a SRAM Rival 1×11 groupset (38T crankset and a 11-42 cassette). The wheels are home-built with DT Swiss 350 hubs and H Plus Son The Hydra rims. I’ll be riding tubeless with a Schwalbe X-One Allround 35 setup.
BAGS: My seat bag, top tube bag, and cockpit bag are all from German producer Ortlieb.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have tested several ways to pack my top tube bag. I was never really satisfied until I found a whisky cardboard tube (Oban by the way) in the attic. The whisky tube, containing most of my essentials, fits perfectly into the top tube bag. I’m also excited about my one-person tent from Big Agnes, specifically designed for bikepacking. I am looking forward to a starlit sky with minimum light pollution in the Gorafe and Tabernas deserts.
Age 30 / Livingston, Scotland, UK / @jaredl.l
BIKE: A carbon frame from Planet X I’ve built up with mostly Shimano components on 42mm Specialized Rhombus tyres. It’s been fairly well tested on UK gravel now. My biggest concern for Badlands is my easiest gear of 34-34. I can grind my way up most gravel climbs I’ve found around Scotland but never tried 15,000m in one go.
BAGS: Ortlieb seat, front, and frame bags, with a Topeak top tube pack for snacks.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure battery lights and Garmin 530 to find the way. Recently got a Hope rear wheel because freehub failures aren’t fun. For Badlands I (panic) acquired a big bottle carrier and fork cage to bring my water capacity over 3L. A bivvy bag as I want to enjoy the views and not ride all through the nights.
Age 27 / Livingston, Scotland / @biglozza_j
BIKE: Sonder Camino Al built up with a mix of Shimano road and MTB components, SON 28 dynamo paired with a DT Swiss 350 rear hub and DT Swiss 650b gravel rims (handbuilt in Glasgow by Torvelo Bike Repair), Schwalbe Ultrabite 2.0″ tyres. It’s basically a drop-bar MTB at this point but it’s so confidence inspiring!
BAGS: Right mix of bags – trusty Ortlieb seat pack with my sleep system, Camel Chops front bag for electronics etc., Apidura fork bag for easy access to my layers and waterproofs (which I really hope I don’t need – wear them enough at home!) and most importantly, my Topeak top tube bag for snacks. I’ll also be carrying a Camelbak Chase vest for an extra 1.5L of water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve swapped out my 34T chainring for my 30 tooth MTB chainring because 15,000m of climbing is not to be underestimated – just hope I haven’t gone too far and made the flat sections unnecessarily slow! Gotta spin for the win though, right?
Age 45 / Basque Country / @taller_bici_bilbao
BIKE: Surly Midnight Special with WTB 700 x 40mm tires, a SON dynamo hub, Rotor 2IN power 46-34 cranks, and an 11-36 cassette.
BAGS: Apidura Expedition saddle bag 14L. For water, a Camelback 2 liter reservoir and two 0.5L bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin 1030 for navigation.
Age 33 / Girona, (Catalonia) Spain / @amasfi
BIKE: I will participate in the Badlands with the number #167, the bicycle is a gravel of the MMR brand, model X-TOUR 00. Mounted with GRX Di2 derailleur, two chainrings and Pirelli Cinturato 45 tires. The bags used are from the Woho brand.
BAGS: I use four Woho brand bags, two for the front handlebar, a small handlebar bottle holder, and one for under the seat.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am equipped with the best clothes from Giordana and I hope I do not have to use the sleeping bag that I carry in the front bag!
Age 32 / Berlin, Germany / @cyclingrapha
BIKE: Votec VRX prototype, Continental Terra Hardpack 50mm, Rotor crank 38T, Shimano GRX cassette 11-42, Fulcrum Rapid Red 5 DB wheels.
BAGS: All Apidura: Expedition Frame Pack (4.5L), Expedition Saddle Pack (9L), Expedition Handlebar Pack (9L), Long Racing Top Tube Pack (2L).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sea to Summit Spark II sleeping bag, Alpkit Hunka XL bivvy, Sea to Summit UltraLight Mat, Wahoo Element Roam & Bolt 2
Francisco Montoya Ramírez
Age 42 / Almeria, Spain / @congrio5
BIKE: An old Canyon (Grand Canyon CF SL 8.9 from 2013). Two Silk Road Mountain Race in its frame. Maxxis Crossmark II 2.1 tires. 2×10 drivetrain, DT Swiss 1500 rear wheel and Fulcrum Red Passion 3 from wheel.
BAGS: Ortlieb bags, four one-liter bottles. Revelate Designs Gas Tank.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: MSR Reflex Carbon 1 tent, Enlightened Equipment quilt, and Therm-a-rest NeoAir Xtherm. Garmin Oregon 700 for navigation.
Age 44 / Frenkendorf, Switzerland / @fc_graveller
BIKE: I’m riding Badlands on a 2017 NINER RLT 9 Steel pedalling a 1×11 drivetrain with a Wolftooth 30T oval chainring and a 10-42 cassette. WTB Raddler 44mm tyres on HUNT rear and a SON dynamo hub on a Duke front wheel.
BAGS: All Revelate Designs bags: Pronghorn (7.5 l), Egress accessory bag, Tangle frame bag, two Mountain Feed Bags, and a Terrapin saddle bag (8 l). These bags can be mounted robustly and quickly on the bike. On the fork and the frame I have capacity for three liters of water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ll carry a Borah Gear bivy, a NeoAir UberLight mat, and a Yeti sleeping bag in the front roll for some sleeping comfort. To power my electronics and light at night, I’ll use the Sinewave Beacon.
Age 38 / Copenhagen, Denmark
BIKE: Niner RLT RDO with GRX shifter, 11-40 cassette to conquer all that elevation.
BAGS: Saddlebag from Ortlieb. Frame bag, top tube, and snack bag are all Rockgeist.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: highlights: Light and head unit holder was 3D printed by a friend, love it and sits real well on the bar extensions. Second highlight is the custom made sleeping quilt, also made by a friend, super comfy and light.
Age 35 / ALFARRÀS, LLEIDA, SPAIN / @adrins_rt
BIKE: Steel is real! And my bike is a Niner RLT9 Steel with a Fulcrulm Red Power wheels and tubeless ready WTB Venture Road Plus 650 x 47mm. It’s got a SRAM GX 12s (10x52t) and Absolute Black oval chairing (38t) ready for climbing and enjoying.
BAGS: For frame (some food, tools, bike lock, batteries, and electronics), top tube (headlamp and some accessories) and handlebar (sleeping kit) Apidura expedition models (5L, 1L, and 9L respectively) and for saddle (clothes, aid kit, chain lubricant, and a rag) Roswheel Attack 10L with the Woho X-Touring V2 Stabilizer.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My sleeping system features a Highlander Trekker 50 sleeping bag, Sea to summit UltraLight mat, and it depends on weather conditions a Salewa Powertex I. For navigation, I’ll be carrying an eTrex 32x and Edge530 for backup. For lights I’ve decided for battery lights and I also carrying a power bank 26,800 mAh to charge devices.
Andy Sky Walker
Age 46 / Mallorca, Spain
BIKE: The bike is a self build, based on a Sturdy and lightweight and good value Planet X Tempest Titanium frame. Its running SRAM Force 1 x 11, with a Garbauk 11/44 range cassette and a 36 tooth Oval Chainring, wheels are custom build Stayer carbon rims on a SON dynamo front hub and Hope rear, Salsa CowChipper bars, Brooks Cambium Carbon railed saddle, my tyre setup for the Badlands is a WTB Venture 700 x 50mm, tubeless of course.
BAGS: Bags are a mix of Woho and Ortlieb waterproof bags, and I’ll be carrying a small cooking stove and food with me.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I have a beautifully crafted ARose composite Hydro Keg that holds 2.5 litres of water, its insulated and sits low down in the bottom triangle so the ride of the bike is kept nice and balanced.
Age 39 / Gothenburg, Sweden
BIKE: Cannondale Topstone 1 AL 2020. Pretty much the standard setup. I added double tape on the handlebars for more comfort. I’m also using a Canyon VCLS seat post to reduce the vibration and Gravel King 43mm tires. My phone for directions with a Quadlock holder.
BAGS: I’ll go with a front set up from Blackburn for the sleeping bag,, as well as on the seat post for clothes and some gear. In the frame, I use a Vaude bag for quick access to clothes, lamps, and tools.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Not material but nutrition makes the biggest difference for me. Maurten helped me to get rid of my stomach problems during long rides and really made the difference for me. It makes me proud that they are a company from Gothenburg.
Ulrich “Uba” Bartholmoes
Age 35 / Munich, Germany / @ubartholmoes
BIKE: Badlands will not only be a premiere to me as my first ever off-road ultrarace, but also my first ever race on the brand new SCOTT Addict Gravel which was launched recently. I’ll try to test it a bit in harsh and challenging conditions. I’ll ride it equipped with the SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset and an Enve SES 3.4 Allroad wheelset with Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Hard Terrain tyres.
BAGS: As usual the main aspect on my whole setup is to keep it light and simple! I use a minimalistic and also super lightweight Apidura kit out of the Racing Series for my luggage with clothes in the saddlebag, food, and spare parts in the Top-Tube and Frame packs.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I love the Apidura Musette, which I carry on the seatpost. I use it a lot on the quick refuel stops to grab as much food as I can. I guess this will be a good item for Badlands with just rare resupply options.
José Luis Tejedor
Age 42 / Fuentepelayo, Segovia, Spain / @jltejedor15
BIKE: I’ll be riding Badlands 2021 with my old Berria Bravo RS1. It’s not the fastest but hope to be comfortable enough to finish the challenge. The bike features a new pair of Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 40mm TLR with 1×10 drivetrain SRAM XX1 and 32T oval ring x 10/42 cassette.
BAGS: 1 x Apidura Expedition Frame Pack 4.5L + 1x Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack 9L + 1x Apidura Top Tube Pack 1L.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation with my Garmin Edge 830. For lighting, I will be helped by Olight RN 1500 supported by Bontrager Ion 200 + Flare R and a Peltz Headlamp as backup. Extra energy thanks to 20,000 mAh powerbank. Not small sleeping bag (5-15ºC) if sleep is needed. Armrest handlebars (with no bars) and a total of 2.2L water capacity in three bottle cages. For extra superpower, always with me, my homemade chorizo.
Age 36 / Zsámbék, Hungary
BIKE: I’m going to ride a Merida Big Nine 8000 hardtail with 1x12s SRAM Eagle X01 groupset 30T chainring and 10/50 cassette, RockShox SID front suspension, Reynolds wheels and 2.25″ Schwalbe Racing Ralph / Racing Ray tires, a Prologo saddle and a Profile Design Legacy II Clip On Aerobar and SQLab inner barends.
BAGS: The rolltop full frame bag, the top tube bags and the stembags are custom made by Mokush Outdoor.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will use a 1,000 lumen Nitecore HC 65 light and just a very minimal sleeping system. I also will take a USWE Patriot 9 backpack with a 3L bladder. Going to navigate with a Garmin Edge 530 and a Garmin Instinct watch as a spare.
Age 31 / Bensheim, Hessen, Germany / @Seb_Breuer
BIKE: Badlands means Aero and Adventure, so I decided to ride my 3T Exploro Race Max. I am using Acros Components like the headset and the wheelset. The rear and front lights are by Supernova and the tyres are a Schwalbe G-One 40mm prototype. To control the pace, I will use the Garmin rally cx200 and a Garmin Edge 1030 Plus with a bigger battery capacity. In the event of a breakdown, I rely on the TomTool multitool from SKS as well as the SKS Air Flex Racer mini pump. I will sit comfortably on a Selle San Marco GND Comfort.
BAGS: Equipped by the Italian designer Miss Grape, I am going to use a frame bag (Internodium 40.6) in combination with a top tube bag (Node Road) and an aero handlebar bag (prototype).
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Personal highlight is the Supernova Triple2 frontlight. It’s like floodlighting in the football stadium. And for sure the Ceramicspeed OSPW (Oversized Pulley Wheel system). Fast is everything.
Age 37 / Madrid, Spain / @itsanaventura
BIKE: I’ll be escaping reality on my favorite rig – a custom-built 2021 Specialized Diverge Expert. In addition to having clearance for my 700 x 47mm Tracer Pro tires, the frame features the SWAT storage area in the downtube for keeping everything I hope not to need – spare parts, tube, pump, rain jacket. I’ll be extra stable going through the loose terrain in the Tabernas Desert with my wide rim gravel wheels, the Roval Terra CLX Evos. To help reduce finger numbness and pain from shifting I’ve chosen SRAM Force eTap/Eagle mullet 1×12 with a 40T chainring. I like the SRAM set up because the extra batteries are smaller to carry and easier to charge than the Shimano electronic. For the saddle, there is only one choice for women: the Specialized Mimic.
BAGS: Bag choice on a size 49 frame is never easy. There isn´t a lot of room for error. To maximize space, I´ve chosen a custom AlpKit frame pack with reflective piping and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, which are super fun at 1 a.m. on the trail. They make me smile during the hardest parts of the night. On the fork are Topeak Versa Cages with Specialized fork and seat packs. The handlebar bag is new from Rapha and it is the perfect size for a small bike and the mounting design eliminates the risk of coming loose and rubbing on the tire. Also, it is mustard-colored, which contrasts with the raspberry of the frame, and I love it.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favorite pieces of gear are my patches and a custom bottle I had made up for my mom’s 60th birthday. We went bikepacking together in Belgium and it is a great reminder of all the badass women in my family.
David Sebastian Lopez Restrepo
Age 36 / Copenhagen, Denmark / @davidlopezrestrepo
BIKE: Custom carbon Vogel GF-001 Horizon gravel. Gevenalle shifters and derailleur, 2xx drivetrain with 50/39 chainring in front, 11/32 in the back, and a DT Swiss wheel set.
BAGS: Saddle and handlebar bags are Ortilieb, framebag is Birzman and the small top bag was made by my brother.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The bike was built by Vogel Bikes this summer for an art project in which I designed and painted the frame, then I rode it for one month from Copenhagen crossing Germany, the Alps in Switzerland, Italy, and Slovenia, recording soundscapes for a podcast called “Sounds of the Route.” The details and features of the bike are cyclocross-inspired and have already taken me on a fantastic 2,000km journey, now ready for Badlands.
Age 30 / Manchester, United Kingdom / @chasingthepeloton
BIKE: Cannondale Topstone. Thanks to a combination of lockdown boredom and Lachlan Morton’s 2020 exploits, I decided to ‘get into’ more serious cycling, so I bought the same bike as him and entered the 2021 edition! Although I’m under no illusion that it’ll will get me round as fast as him! Nothing drastically different from the stock set up, 303s wheels are probably the most significant upgrade. Don’t worry, I’ll also be swapping out the pictured tyres for 38mm Gravel Kings.
BAGS: Restrap frame and top tube bags, maybe also a Restrap Bar bag (depending how muuch stuff I finally decide on bringing) instead of the Almsthre canister bag pictured.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The AMANI Saddle, featuring the flags of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, kindly given to me at the Migration Gravel Race 2021. AMANI do awesome work helping to give competitive opportunities to East African cyclists. Go check them out at TeamAmani.com.
Age 24 / Amsterdam, Netherlands
BIKE: I’ll be riding Badlands on a Cannondale Topstone Carbon equipped with Shimano 105 throughout. In terms of gearing, I’ve managed to stick an 11-40 cassette combined with a 30/46 out front. Wheels are Zipp 303s, set up tubeless with Maxxis Rambler 40mm tires. Finally, the finishing kit comes in the form of a PRO discover medium handlebar and PLT stem.
BAGS: The bags I’ll be running are a mix of Apidura and Restrap. I am still unsure about whether to run a handlebar bar bag in order to carry more food.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will be using a Spanninga Thor 1100 as my primary light and navigation will be provided by my Wahoo bolt. In addition to three bottles on the bike, I will be running a hydration pack.
Age 42 / Palma de Mallorca, Spain / @lorenzo_giudici
BIKE: I will be riding the Badlands on a Cinelli King Zydeco with SRAM Rival 1×11 groupset and WTB Riddler 37mm tires.
BAGS: All my bags are Apidura Expedition Series: 14L Saddle bag, 9L Handlebar, and 4,5L Frame bag. Moreover, I will carry a 3L Camelbak and two .75L bottles for hydration.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I will navigate with a Garmin Edge 830. For resting, I will carry an inflatable sleeping pad and a bivvy bag. Two power banks for recharging lights, mobile, and GPS device.
Age 31 / Peak District, UK / @ChrisHallRides
BIKE: I’ll be riding (not racing) my Cervélo Aspero 5 built up with Shimano GRX Di2 featuring 48-31 on the front and 11-40 XTR cassette on the rear. I’ve got a set of Parcours Alta 650B wheels with a SON Dynamo hub and with a Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite on the front and Schwalbe G-One Bite on the rear. Navigation coming from Garmin with an Edge 1030 Plus computer with the additional battery pack and the dynamo lights are from K-Lite. I’ve gone for a set of TT flip up bars and a trusty saddle from Pro, the Stealth saddle which has been my go to for several years now.
BAGS: My absolute favourite bag I have been using for a few years now at Atlas Mountains and for bikepacking across Australia is the aeropack from Tailfin. I love how stable it is and ho much you can hold. The rest comes from Apidura. I prefer a full frame bag with a bladder and the top tube bag is bolted on and features the dual USB charger from kLite so I can keep everything charged up too.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’m going pretty lightweight in terms of sleeping kit with a lightweight bivvy and summer sleeping bag which were just what I had laying around at home. In terms of other on bike kit, my mates at Attacus are providing me with some awesome cycling kit to wear which I have been using now for several years. I’ll be taking a down jacket for when it gets a bit fresh as well and a mirrored helmet from Lazer, a special edition Genesis they did which hopefully will somehow help with my head overheating. The theory makes sense to me but lets see how that feels if it creeps towards 40 degrees C!
Age 27 / Copenhagen, Denmark / @russellhugo
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Planet X Tempest SRAM Force 1, the bike is pretty much stock except for some Schwalbe G-One ultra-bite tyres (50 at the front, 45 at the back), and big flared Ritchey VentureMax handlebars. I changed the front chainring to a 34 so I’m at a 34-42 ratio.
BAGS: I’ve got a mix of Acepac and Apidura, Acepac seatpost bag and stem-bags, teamed with Apidura full frame pack, toptube bag, and tri-bar bag. There are also various bottle cages and innertubes strapped around the frame
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve added a Redshift Shockstop stem to smooth out the bumps, will wear a race vest for extra water capacity, and keep a party shirt in the seatpost bag in case I need to lift my spirits. I’ll also be bringing my friend Ben.
Age 26 / Stockholm, Sweden / @bencaldertravis
BIKE: Specialized Diverge 2018, upgraded with GRX 810, aero bars, 42mm WTB Resolute tyres, and Hunt dynamo wheels. I would have gone for bigger tyres but 42s is the biggest I can fit, hopefully between them and my budget mullet I can get over those big climbs.
BAGS: Bags are a pick and mix, Apidura full frame bag and seatpost bag, Restrap top tube bag and stem bag, and three Acepac stem bags.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My two highlights are the dynamo set up and my budget mullet. Hopefully the mullet will still be a gear highlight by the end of the race, if it holds together. I will also be brining my friend Hugo.
Age 52 / Tonbridge, Kent, UK
BIKE: Mason Bokeh which I’ve had for more than four years and is still the favourite bike I’ve ever owned. Wheels are Hunt x Mason 650B with Pirelli Cinturato 50mm tyres. Drivetrain is SRAM Force 1 with 38 and 10×42, which I fear isn’t low enough after seeing the profile!
BAGS: A mix of Apidura on the front and frame and an old Rapha Apidura on the rear, which isn’t waterproof as I’ve found out a few times during our lovely English summer. I’ve also got a Restrap top tube bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I’ve become slightly obsessed with how to carry enough water so now have a hydration bladder in my frame bag – haven’t used one for ages but having the tube on my handlebars reminds me to drink!
Age 31 / Wexford, Ireland
BIKE: I’ll be bringing my good old reliable Surly Long Haul Trucker. It has seen me through many adventures already, so I’m excited to bring it to Badlands. My gears are 11-34 in the back and a triple up front running 48-36-26. I will be using a Crank Tank for my water system so I can comfortably carry four litres. My Brooks B17 saddle will keep me comfy while my dynamo light up front should allow for some night riding if needed.
BAGS: My handlebar bag is an Ortlieb that I’ve custom painted myself. I drew a picture of my dog on it so I don’t miss her too much. The frame bag was custom made by my mother-in-law.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: My favourite bit of gear is my butterfly style handlebars. They give me all the hand positions I need as well as allowing for a nice aero tuck if needed.
Guejar Sierra, Granada, Spain
BIKE: Niner RLT 9 RDO carbon frame; Industry Nine gravel wheels; Tune stem; Pro seatpost; Ultegra powermeter crankset 34/44; SRAM Red eTap; EVOC bags.
Age 37 / Mataró, Catalunya, Spain
BIKE: I am going to participate in Badlands 2021 with my Marin Headlands 2 with a 700 x 50mm Goodyear Connector tire in front and 700 x 44mm WTB Raddler in back. I have mounted an 11-50T Sunrace freewheel with a 38T chainring to be able to face the climbs.
BAGS: I have an Apidura frame bag and an Orlieb saddlebag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: For navigation I will use my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, and I will sleep in a bivouac sol escape cover and an inflatable mat.
Age 30 / Vilnius, Lithuania / @Tempo_the_courier
BIKE: Santa Cruz Stigmata with Zipp 303s wheels
BAGS: Custom bags made by Vpaintz
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Amazing custom bags from Vpaintz, courier-made bags from London. Rotor direct drive crankset and amazing Zipp tangente tyres on Zipp 303s wheelset.
Rafał “Lesovik” Palowski
Age 32 / Warsaw, Poland / @tripaloski.co
BIKE: I’ll be riding a steel Breezer Radar Pro with a mixed drivetrain, combining Shimano Altus, SRAM GX, and Apex parts. It’s a 2×10 / 36–26T front, 11-36 rear, just enough to let me go gently up those steep climbs up ahead. For increased control and traction on descents, there’s the Ritchey VentureMax dropbar and 29 x 2.2″ tubeless Continental RaceKings on DT Swiss wheelset. I’m slowing down this workhorse with TRP Spyre brakes. My saddle is Brooks Cambium C17 Carved. I’m also giving myself a bit of relaxation with aerobars, where I also keep my headlamp and Wahoo Elemnt Roam.
BAGS: My sleeping system (PAJAK Radical 1Z down sleeping bag, LESOVIK Solo tarp, Klymit Inertia XL inflatable pad) and spare clothing will go inside Triglav Hamster, a holster saddlebag. Food, tools, and electronics will ride inside in Ride and Get Lost custom framebag, although it was suited for my other bike. Apidura Racing Handlebar will carry my kitchen and hygiene set, and Apidura Racing Top Tube Bag is a place for the phone, a pocket knife, documents, and some other minor items.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The core element of my carrying system is Salomon’s ADV Skin 12, a running/hydration vest with extra capacity for having all daily essentials always at a hand’s reach. Sleeves, Buff, day’s worth of carb bars, electrolytes, and an extra 2l of water in a Source bladder is my way to go. In terms of fueling my body, I’m going to rely on my complete nutrition powders (that’s why I have a shaker on my handlebar). For ease of mind, I’m bringing wireless headphones and a Spotify playlist composed by my friends just for this race.
Age 27 / Cimadolmo, Treviso, Italy / @asjapaladin
BIKE: My bike is a wonderful purple 3T with Campagnolo Ekar. I’m sure it will bring me at the finish line with my Fulcrum wheels and my Pirelli tubeless without problems. I have a special symbol on my bike, a little Panda on the tube that looks at me and joins me in every ride.
BAGS: My Miss Grape bags cover my bike and it looks more beautiful with them, too. I have the Node, where I put the essential, two Buds for one more bottle and the electronic devices, a 7l Cluster for clothes, bivy, airbed, and the Internode for food, candies, chocolate. I’m also bringing a Camelbak backpack to have more water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Oh, I think the best thing I bring with me in this adventure is my partner Federico.
St Jean de Luz, France / @jugrvd
BIKE: I will be riding Milou, my MR4 (stainless steel edition) from 2-11 cycles. The letters MR come for Modern Rando, an idea that comfort makes you ride longer and faster. My GRX 800 groupset will power those Enve G27 650b Rene Herse Juniper Ridge tyres (48mm) keeping the ride smooth and grippy. I also mounted a 36T chainring to make sure I am always able to climb without breaking myself.
BAGS: A set of bags from Cordel: 3.5L Burrito at the front, 3.5L frame bag , and 6L saddle bag.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: I am carrying a light sleeping kit (less than 450g) composed of a bivvy (Moonlite), a cotton sleeping bag liner (Sea to summit) and an air matress (Therm-a-Rest Uberlite). For making my nights and early mornings brighter, I will trust my dear Sinewave Beacon and a Black Diamond headlight attached to my helmet. Because a desert is a desert I will also carry two insulated bottles, allowing me to always have a liter of ice cold drinks.
Age 31 / Zurich, Switzerland / @mellowidol
BIKE: I’ll be racing my Canyon Inflite CF SL7 with Ultegra RX with 46/36 and 42/11 in the back for the nastier climbing. The CX geometry is sporty but smooth. For Badlands, I am using tubeless Zipp 303S tires (fast, clean, neat) with Zipp G40 XPLR 40mm tires, due to the limitations of the frame. Big shoutout to Cedric, the best mechanic on earth, who helped me with the detailed fine-tuning of the setup.
BAGS: The Apidura trio comes in handy: in the front, I will be storing the sleeping equipment, a light mat, and a sleeping bag from Cumulus. In the back, the clothing and spare parts. In the frame pack, I will store snacks and electronics. The top-tube pack offers direct access to further snacks. Additionally, I will camel up with a Camelbak for the longer desert parts. No further shelter, since I count heavily on the currently ongoing heatwave.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: PRO Stealth Offroad saddle is keeping the important areas smooth. For lightning, I will use Lupine Neo 4 on the helmet and some smaller lights on the frame. Moncler glacier shades ensuring the vision, and some pretty neat playlists help to remain the focus and sanity.
The Hague, The Netherlands
BIKE: I’ll be riding Badlands on a Merit Gravel Plus. My bike features DT-Swiss XMC 650B rims with a new pair of WTB Byway tires. Parallel Handbuilt hooked me up with a Ratiotech setup with a 38T chainring and a 10-52 cassette. This should get me over the steep climbs. I installed Deda TT bars for some comfort and Gloworm Lights to be able to continue riding during the night.
BAGS: My bag set-up is a combination of Restrap’s Adventure Race top-tube bag and frame bag and Ortlieb’s saddle bag. I will be carrying a Salomon hydration vest for extra water.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: An Alpkit Hunka bivy will serve as my shelter along with a Sea To Summit UL Air Mat and a Nordisk Passion Three sleeping bag.
Age 57 / Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland
BIKE: I’ll be riding a Ribble CGR SL with full Shimano Ultegra groupset modified only with 12-40 rear sprockets to get me up the hills. The wheels are Hunt 30 Carbon Gravel with Hutchinson Touareg 40mm tyres. This is a lightweight gravel bike spec’d for speed so don’t know how well it is going to handle being all rigged up.
BAGS: Due to the limitations of my bike frame (sloped top tube, no fixing points) I decided to go with the huge volume, super stable, Tailfin Aeropack Carbon pannier system as main storage system. I have an Apidura 9L Expedition Handlebar Pack on the front for carrying the light stuff. I will be using a camelback vest to carry a bit of extra water, some snacks, and various other bits and pieces.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Trusty Garmin 830 with battery extender for navigation. All the rest of the gear is bargain basement stuff as I do not know if I will be doing something like this again!
Age 39 / London, England / @colinross
BIKE: Carbonda CF696 frame, DCR wheels 24/30 rims, SP Dynamo. 45mm Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tyres. R8070 Di2 hydro with 46×30 GRX Chainset and 11-40 Cassette. Zipp bars and tt extensions with Di2 shifters.
BAGS: Roswheel Saddle and Frame bag, Apidura Top Tube and Food pouch, Decathlon food pouches. Topeak Versacages with 1L Nalgene bottles.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Roswheel bags were designed by my friend Miles who is launching Jack the Bike Rack. He has been a great help, lending me kit and giving advice. I wanted to be able to carry plenty of water as I’m Scottish and not built for the heat, hence the versacages with 1L each. Along with a Decathlon bumbag with a bladder in it, I should be able to carry 4.5L with me.
Age 36 / Copenhagen, Denmark / @perseumandillo
BIKE: Mason Bokeh from the end of 2018. Built the bike myself with R8000 groupset, Hunt wheelset, Ritchey WCS carbon parts, and Sqlab 612 saddle.
BAGS: Restrap L frame bag, and Restrap L saddle bag. Apidura Racing Top Tube Pack (because the magnetic closure is a godsend compared to my previous zipper bag), Ortlieb Handlebar Accessory-Pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Specifically for Badlands, I updated my gear ratios to tackle the amount of climbing on gravel during the event. Absolute Black Oval Chainrings 46-30, XT cassette 11-42, Woolftooth roadlink, Dura-Ace chain. Also went with Specialized Pathfinder Pros in 42mm tubeless, and I am running Profile Design T4+ extensions with 40mm spacers. Ravemen PR1200 front light and Exposure Lights TraceR MK2 With ReAKT rear Light.
Age 32 / ITEN, Kenya / @sulekangangi
BIKE: 2021 Revolt Advanced 1, very versatile frame and it’s designed with endurance positioning and shorter chain stays for precise handling, agility, and control. The result is confident speed in all situations, from out-of-the-saddle climbs to rugged dirt descents.
BAGS: Brooks England.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Probably my sleeping bag.
Worcester, UK / @adampalin
BIKE: Quirk Mamtor (custom) with Ultegra Di2 groupset. Parcours Alta dynamo wheelset. Deda/Pro finishing kit.
BAGS and GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Bags are from Alpkit. Lights are exposure. Gadgets are Garmin. Aerobars are from Profile design. Super excited to ride!
Age 29 / Cafeteros de Colombia / @pedal.ea
BIKE: Bombtrack Hook Ext steel bike from 2020, 27.5″ dynamo hub Hunt wheels, Vitoria Mezcal tyres.
BAGS: Apidura set of bags, top tube elenctronics and documents, framebag empty and small bladder. Seat bag sleeping and warm equipment.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Cute knitted rabbit under my wahoo Roam. Stickers, I have many stickers for people!
Age 29 / Ciaccini, Tuscany, Italy / @damianifed
BIKE: Custom painted 3T Exploro Race Max, 700C Fulcrum Wheels, Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 40mm tyres. Full Miss Grape bags setup: Cluster 7, Internode, Node, 2x Bud.
BAGS: I’ll use an ultratrail backpack for a 2L camelbak and to carry food, while keeping a light setup for the night in my saddlebag. Everything else will basically be dedicated to food and the repair kit.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: It’s a pretty consolidated gear kit I’m refining race after race. One thing I can’t go without – especially this time that I’m riding in a pair – is my JBL speaker!
Age 48 / Fairfax, California, USA / @oliviadill
BIKE: Moots Routt RSL, Shimao GRX, Astral Wanderlust Wheels, WTB Resolute 42 tires.
BAGS: VAP Cycling Butterfly 2 Front System, Revelate Designs Terrapin Seat Bag, Apidura Frame Bag and Top Tube Pack.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo Roam, Camelbak Chase Vest, Bivo Water Bottle, My cycling kit: Velocio (CONCEPT Radiator Jersey, CONCEPT Bib Shorts, TRAIL Gloves, Signature Socks, Ultralight Rain Jacket), Helmet Kask Mojito, Koo Sunglasses.
Age 41 / Getxo, Biscay, Basque Country
BIKE: Planet X titanium frame, Tempest model. Selfcor carbon fork. Handlebar, stem, seatpost, and wheels are Zipp. Saddle is Brooks Cambium C15. Groupset Shimano GRX 810 34T, cassette e*thirteen 11-speed 9-46. Chain KMC Gold Ti. Tires Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 700 x 40mm. Use a SON dynamo with lights Supernova E3 Pro on front and Supernova Airstream tail light on the rear.
BAGS: Apidura Expedition Series saddle pack, frame pack, and backcountry food pouch.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Garmin Edge 1030.
Age 52 / Oslo, Norway
BIKE: Ghost Fire Road Rage modified to 2×11 with 26/42 Rotor rings in front and Leonardi General Lee 9-36.
BAGS: Bags are a mix of Apidura, AGU frame bag (light and big) and Ace Pac front bag for aerobars.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sinewave light and SON Deluxe hub saving me from charge angst. Leonardi cassette 9-36 giving me both low and high (enough) gears.
Age 26 / Manchester, UK
BIKE: I’ll be tackling the Badlands on my Salsa Cutthroat 2021, or it might be tackling me, yet to find this out. I’m running a complete GRX810 drivetrain with 2x Chainset (46-30) and 11-speed cassette (11-34) which I hope gets me over the Sierra Nevada without too much hiking involved. The Cowchipper drop handlebars strike a great balance between comfort and control. This will be our biggest challenge to date for sure. I’m riding tubeless with the Teravail Sparwood tires.
BAGS: I’ll be carrying my gear on the bars for the most basic bedding I could justify in Salsa’s EXP anything mount with top-load dry bag, hanging off the front I have the Salsa front pouch. In addition to this, I’ve got the direct mount frame bag, twin fork-mounted water bottles, and a tool kit mounted to the underside of the downtube. I’ll carry a CamelBak vest to boost my water carrying capability.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The front pouch is great for keeping snacks on the road to keep me going. It’s probably my favourite just for the contents it is carrying. My second favourite is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Lite air bed, not sure how many hours I’m expecting to get on that for this trip.
Age 37 / Brighton, UK / @christian_sanderson_
BIKE: My trusted steel steed, the Brother Mehteh! Running a mechanical shifting with hydraulic brake modified SRAM Force 1 (1×11), 38T crankset, and Sunrace 10-46 cassette. Rolling on Hunt adventure carbon 650b on tubeless 50mm Soma Cazaderos, perched on a Brooks C17 and hanging on for dear life to my 52cm Ritchey WCS Venturemax / Profile Design Sonic ERGO 45ARs Aerobars. Let’s have it.
BAGS: Beautifully crafted, bespoke Straight Cut Dyneema frame, top tube and bar bags paired with a Canyon x Apidura saddle pack to loving cradle my water bladder, snacks, food,, and kit. Along with the Tailfin Cargo Cages on both front folks to carry some extra juice for the long hot miles ahead.
GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Wahoo Roam (great bit of nav kit), Exposure Toro MK12 (to keep me going through the night), and an emergency survival bivvy (I’m putting all my faith in that one piece of kit, wish me luck).
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