[You are at post 02 about my Transiberica Race. If you first want to know what it is all about, check my post 01]
Yeeees, I know, kiddies… you want to know all about the gear and what kind of things I’ll bring on the Transiberica Bike Race. So here we go… First I’ll give you a quick text summary. Then point out a few items that I (ex)changed or added to my setup; further down you find a complete packing list. Plus some pics on the way…
This Year’s Bike and Setup
Of course: My Rose Pro DX Cross from 2015, but I just call her lovingly „Rose“ <3. Rose runs on Sram Force22 (disc) and has an alloy frame and carbon fork. Her custom compiled gearing of 46/33 (front) and 12-36 (rear) will hopefully get me up allll the climbs while still allowing me to pick just the right cadence/force at any point (no large gear jumps). For comfort, Rose is equipped with Continental GP5000 tubeless tires in 32mm, a Redshift ShockStop suspension stem, Profile Design T4 aero bars, a Specialized Power saddle and gel pads under the bar tape. I decorated Rose with tons of reflective tape, but my favourite accessories are still: a little rear mirror and my beloved bell that is modestly hidden under Rose’s elbow pads. Sometimes it goes off accidentally and then it’s as if Rose and I were having a vivid conversation; yes, that’s how lonely it can get on the road sometimes.
– bike only: 10,8kg (without bags and rack, but including all adjustments like aero bars, dynamo, light/electronics, pedals etc…)
– bike with empty bags: 12,4kg (incl. Tailfin rack)
– bike with luggage: 16,5kg (excl. food & water)
And some more kit…
This season’s kit colours are turquoise/orange for the summery Miamy look that I think will fit the Spanish heat. Additionally, I’ll bring a light pink merino Buff for that extra bit of quirky but homey living room flair and for its versatility (remove sweat from my eyes & warm my ears at night).
My bedroom consists of a bivy, light mat & silk liner + boxers & shirt dedicated to clean sleeping. My Wahoo Elemnt (+ phone backup) in combination with a SON dynamo hub and Edelux II light will show me the way while an Igaro D2 USB-charger and a 13000mAh powerbank will make sure I never run out of juice. A carefully curated bike-mech/spare-parts compartment (incl. rear derailleur hanger & spokes) and babywipes/chamois cream/ointment will rule out most show-stopping technological or biological malfunctions.
The bags are arranged to reduce the frontal area (aero) and optimize accessibility: 2 food pouches in-line between the aerobars, a fuel tank and phone sleeve behind them, small frame triangle to still make 2x 1L bottles fit, and my newest acquisition: a Tailfin rack & trunkbag.
What’s new? (gear-wise)
If you’re interested in my gear (well… you’re here), you can also check my post on my Transcontinental Race preparation in 2018 where I go through the reasoning regarding many of my gear choices. Here’s some more…
Tailfin luggage system
Like so many riders recently, I exchanged my standard-style seatpack (great working Specialized Burra, 10L) for a Tailfin setup (alloy, quick release trunk bag).
a) even more rigid construction than the Specialized Burra
b) much easier access (namely from top) and handling (quick release)
c) larger volume
d) slightly lower center of mass
This allows me to store all luggage incl. sleeping gear in the back and therefore do without a drybag strapped under my aero-bars = less weight on the handle bars.
Position of food pouches
Now with the aerobars free, I moved my 2 food-pouches (Revelate Designs) in-line between the aerobars. Previously they were mounted left and right behind the handle bar under the elbow pads.
The advantages now:
a) easier access
b) a smaller frontal area (more aerodynamic; yes, it does matter)
c) simply a much tidier cockpit (matter of aesthetics)
I switched from SPD-sl (road system) to SPD (MTB system). This was because I needed new shoes anyway (got numb toes in my otherwise excellent Shimano S-Phyre) and to be more flexible and worry less about my shoes in case I have to walk small gravel/rubble sections. At the same time it also makes the shoes more practical in any situation off the bike.
Even though they are the most expensive option, I opted for Shimano XTR pedals because the have the lowest stack height and I hope it will get closest to the feel of a road-system. Even if the effect is rather psychological than mechanical: I wouldn’t want to put pressure on the pedal and have the feeling my foot wants to rotate around the pedal axis because it is (or feels) too high above it.
For shoes I got the Shimano XC7 as I really liked my previous Shimano shoes (S-Phyre), and they have a “wide” (larger volume) version. They are very stiff (didn’t want to risk feeling the smaller contact surface of SPD) and have a moderate bottom profile and are overall rather clean looking and “racey”. To allow for better air ventilation in the hot Spanish summer, I added some larger holes with a pair of hole punch pliers (Danke, Rainer Zeller für Idee und Zange!); the result looks good, but I didn’t test it; fingers crossed.
USB dynamo charger igaro d2
After a lot of disappointment with the Plug5 Plus by Cinq (very cumbersome installation and failed immediately in the rain) I needed a new device. After consultation of other riders in the scene, I opted for the UK-made Igaro D2. Admittedly there were some issues with the batch of units at first; but Igaro customer support is phenomenal, and ultimately they managed to sort everything out and now I have a well working device.
I mounted it on top of my Redshift Rockstop stem. I made sure to let the cables enter/exit without making the sockets vulnerable to the elements and fixed everything with cable ties. Now I have a USB outlet going straight into my fuel tank bag; perfect.
Lighting: son edelux ii
I had made this adjustment already 1,5 years back, right after my Busch&Müller IQ-X lamp failed again in the rain on my Three Peaks Bike Race 2019. The IQ-X’s beam is absolutely perfect and incredibly powerful. But its housing and general build is disappointingly flimsy. So instead I went for the crème de la crème: SON Edelux II (and rear-light), i.e. the same manufacturer as my high-end SON dynamo hub. The beam is fantastic (just not as great as IQ-X), but especially: it’s super robust and water tight. Additionally I installed everything with sturdy SON coax cables and properly soldered in some plugs. To allow myself to fix the rearlight to the Tailfin rack, I added an extension cable at the back and also built simple fixtures to attach the rearlight to either the tailfin or the frame directly. In the whole coax cable routing I also included a little split-box to neatly plug in the power-chord for the Igaro D2 USB charger. I’m incredibly satisfied with this lighting setup.
Cockpit bags: Fuel Tank & phone sleeve
I really liked my Blackburn Fueltank bag; but after so many years and heavy use, the zipper failed. Decided to go for something slightly more compact, and with the zipper positioned in a way that I guess makes it less prone to failure: The Revelate Designs ‘Gas Tank’. Really like it; it’s very stable on the top tube, and access is perfect.
Additionally I got a separate Tatonka phone pouch that I velcro-tied to the side of the stem. Admittedly it doesn’t look great, but it’s super functional, aero, and good use of that space in the cockpit. Now I can more easily access the phone for quick photos etc.
smaller chainring: 33T
Changed the smaller chainring from 34 to 33 teeth (by TA Specialties), i.e. even slightly lighter gearing than I had already. So my geating is: 46/33 in the front and 12-36 in the back (custom cassette). Probably that 3% difference will not be so significant. But it’s the smallest I can go on my crank, and the surprising side effect: shifting is much smoother now. My 46T chainring (Sram) is designed to work best together with 36. My former 34 chainring consequently didn’t shift so smoothly. But the combination with that 33 ring does a perfect job for some reason.
Redshift suspension Stem
I now ride a Redshift suspension stem: it’s essentially a stem that has some rubber inserts that allow for a slight suspension. It is hardly noticeable, which is great because: originally I feared it might feel too soft/uncontrolled, but that’s not an issue at all. Essentially I simply notice that I’m willing to stay in the aero bars on even slightly bumpy road surfaces. So: overall it’s less tiring on hands and arms, without any compromises on a solid steering feel.
Wheels: DTSwiss custom build
Nothing fancy, but works very well: I got these wheels built already 1 year ago. Simply because the rims of my old set were done. They were built by Reinald of Komponentix in Berlin; had to be custom built because I wanted my SON dynamo in stable rims. Overall really sturdy wheels and very affordable (620€ excl. SON hub). Removed all labels, and they look fantastic.
Hiplok Security Tie (“lock”)
Previously I used an Otto Lock.Now I felt it is too bulky in comparison with how much it protects the bike (namely: hardly). Instead I got a Hiplok Z Lok Combo, as it gives equally little protection, but packs smaller.
- ID card
- hardcopies of documents (incl. Corona stuff)
- health insurance card
- contact details
- pay cards
- some cash
- iPhone SE
- Wahoo Elemnt (updated & with routes)
- headphones Sennheiser bluetooth
- USB charging cables: 2 micro, 1 C
- Anker USB charger (4 ports)
- Anker power bank 1300mAh
- iPhone cables, 1 short & 1 long
- mini leatherman (no name)
- multi tool (Lezyne)
- air pump (Lezyne, with digital pressure gauge)
- extensive puncture set (incl. tubeless plugs etc.)
- 2 tire levers
- piece of old tire
- cable ties (many!!)
- shoe lave & thin thread
- Sram chain link
- rear derailleur hanger
- gear inner cable
- chain lube (Squirt dry lube)
- replacement spokes & nipples
- 2 pairs of brake pads
- schrader valve adapter (to use gas station pumps)
- Buff merino multipurpose head scarf
- spare socks (Assos summer socks)
- spare bib-short (Rapha basic)
- spare base layer (LaPassione summer)
- merino arm warmers (Mavic)
- white UV protection arm sleeves 50+ (Castelli)
- down vest (Endura)
- rain jacket (Endura)
- high visibility vest
- boxershorts (for sleeping)
- T-shirt (for sleeping)
- toothbrush (cut off, obviously ; ) ), toothpaste, shampoo
- wound healing cream (Bepanthene)
- baby wipes
- chewing gums
- chamois cream
- sunscreen 50+ (for babies, like me)
- micro fibre cloth (for glasses)
- silk liner
- sleeping mat (Thermarest ultralight)
- bivy bag (MSR AC bivy)
- 2x 1L-bottles
- Hiplok (small cable tie lock, number lock)
- mini backpack (Decathlon)
- light plastic bag (to separate clothes, sleeping gear etc.)
- helmet (Suomy Gun Wind)
- Glasses: Adidas Proshift with photochromic prescription lenses
- short gloves (LaPassione Duo Gloves; light padding)
- bib-short (Rapha basic)
- short jersey (Morvelo summer)
- base layer (LaPassione summer)