My Dirty Kanza 200 Rig: That New New Old New.

I didn’t consciously decide to do gravel racing.  It just kind of happened.  Like all things in life my life (for better or worse), I let things happen organically.  I’ll discuss my happenstance switch from professional triathlon racing to gravel enthusiast in a future blog (or vlog) post to drop ASAP.  Regardless, I find myself this weekend headed to the famed Dirty Kanza, in Emporia Kansas, where I’ll race 206 miles in the flint hills outside of Emporia, Kansas.

Honestly, what you pick to ride for such an adventure completely depends on your user requirements.  Usually, I’d just set things up as a comfy rolling buffet.  But after surprising myself at RPI last year, I have the scary delusion that I might be able to stay near the front of the race for a bit.

With that in mind, here is a gallery the setup I’ll be rolling on this Saturday.

IMG_3339

To be honest, my frame and fork are 3 years old.  I ride what I’ve got.  And luckily, what I’ve got gets the job done.  It’s a 2015 BSB 9 RDO that I use for UCI CX, gravel, shredding single track, and even (gulp) training on the roads.

If you know me though, you know I’m a HUGE Rolf Prima Wheel Systems proponent.  For DK200, I’m rolling on a HOT set of Hyalite ES Carbon rims with the XR center lock hub spec.  Lightweight, 23mm internal width and bombproof (or at least Ganterproof) these bad boys will take anything I can dish out.  And I’ve thrown everything at them.  Rolf Prima wheels just keep coming back for more without blemishes or EVER going untrue.  They’re as incredible as the people that make them in Eugene, Oregon.

IMG_3353

For the past year I’ve been working with SRAM and have finally kitted this rig out with In the past a mixture of SRAM Force and Red parts.  I’ve had four separate instances of untimely chain derailments on other setups.  I’m happy to report that my beta testing on this SRAM setup yielded exactly zero chain slap or drop.  The Force 1 clutch derailleur and X-SYNC(r) chainring are straight-up #DYJ (do your job).

IMG_3342IMG_3341

I have to be honest, the Red shifter and caliper were the result of an ordering mistake on my part, but hey they’re awesome.  So I’m gonna roll with it.  Literally.  Hydraulic disc brakes are the standard.  Stop fighting it.  Assimilate.

IMG_3349IMG_3360

In working with SRAM, I’ve also spec’d this steed with Zipp cockpit and seat post.  I absolutely love the ergonomics of the Service Course 80 handlebars. (Yes, I ride aluminum bars because… well,  I break nice things.)

IMG_3345

But what is probably more interesting than what parts I’m using are the little goodies you might have noticed.  For instance, I chose to put a Revelate Designs Mag-Tank on my top tube.  For the aero weenies amongst you, yes it’s not the most “aero” bag.  HOWEVER, it’s huge, and most importantly, it has a slick magnetic enclosure that does not require a brain or dexterity to use.  I’ve tested it and it does not open without my approval.  Also, it closes itself.  Amazeballs.

IMG_3370

Tires.  I’ve seen a lot of back and forth and beta testing online.  The more I think about it, I think, everyone’s overthinking it. 😉  As a 172 pound dude that likes to shred hard… I’m running 40c Rambler.  It rolls fast, and handles well.  I don’t usually find myself wishing I had more traction.  Or more comfort.  Or less rolling resistance.  So I’m sticking with what seems to work.  You can’t race if you’re standing on the side of hte road with changing a flat with your sweet prototype paper-thin high-risk high-reward tire choice.  Besides, I hear the Flint Hills are made of… Flint.  Yeah, that’s sharp stuff.  Soooo… I’ll run Tubeless (TR) at a low-ish pressure and EXO Sidewall protection.  Done. 

As for flat repair, no frills there either.  I use an old velcro strap and a bunch of electrical tape to hold: 2 tubes, 2 CO2s, tire lever, quick link, tire plugs, some duct tape, and a multitool w/chain breaker.   This is pretty much my exact setup from Xterra pro racing.  Anything more might be paranoia.  It worked for Xterra, so it should work now, right?  I’ve toyed with the idea of running it down by the crank if it’s dry out, but I’m be a bit nervous about it getting sucked into the drive train.

IMG_3374

Since I’m planning on documenting as much of the adventure on front and rear GoPros, I’m using local Boise company K-Edge’s amazing computer and GoPro mounts.  On the front, I’ll run a combination GoPro/Garmin mount (RAD!) and a seat rail GoPro mount on the rear.  (Another reason why I didn’t put my flat kit under the seat.) 

IMG_3376IMG_3375

Well, there she is.  The three year old workhorse!  To quote Han Solo, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts kid.”   Hope to see you in Emporia this week!  Say hello and please stop by Mohn Standard on Thursday at noon for a Velocio fun ride, the GU ride and Velocio pop-up shop on Friday! Hope to see you out there!

GPTempDownload

Make sure you test out your rig!  (and get air with BOTH wheels if you can…) 

How to Survive an Idaho Winter. -or- Nordork-a-saurus Rex

Winter, it’s been real

But I’m off to San Diego

I need me some sun

 

Music:

People Press Play, “These Days” Album: “S/T”, (C) Morr Music 2007

EBB, “I’m All Made of Music” (Juri Hulkkonen Remix), “I’m All Made of Music” EP, (P) Gaymonkey Records 2008

 

Rudy Project! (Product Giveaway Entry)

Last year I started a relationship with Rudy Project. They make awesome sunglasses and helmets for cyclists, triathletes, runners, cross country skiers, and other athletes.  Working with Rudy Project is a great fit for me, since I’ve been using Rudy Project helmets since 2007 and the Sterling has been my all-time favorite helmet for racing and training.  This year, I’m happy to partner more closely with this awesome brand.

To celebrate this relationship (okay, and the release of the new 2017 Racemaster helmetRudy is giving away  5 matte black Racemaster helmets packaged with 5 matte black Fotonyk sunglasses.  ($500 MSRP value)  Here’s a picture of the stealthy new lid.  It’s so light I had to make sure it was still on my head. 😉

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2664.

I love the Rudy Project Sterling helmet.  I tried the Windmax helmet this year and might like that one even more.  HOWEVER, Rudy has really knocked it out of the park with this new helmet.  At first glance, it looks very similar to those other two, but it’s definitely not. It has an beautifully sleek profile.  It’s incredibly light.  It has has a whole new retention system (and as you can see in the photo) an incredibly sleek strap system. It fits like a glove, looks great, has plenty of ventilation, and basically disappears on your head.

Q: What more could you want???

A: Incredible new eyewear dock.

Well, it has that too!  (See pic below)  The design on the dock is impressive.  The glasses just turn into part of the helmet. Internal rubber guides keep the glasses from touching your head and still allow ventilation. The fit is snug enough that there is NO WAY those glasses are coming out in a mountain bike race.

I love good design.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2668.

So, after all of my ranting… if you want a chance to score a free Racemaster helmet of your own (and a pair of Fotonyk Glasses!) then just enter the contest….

To enter: follow the link HERE and enter your email address.

That simple!  The deadline for contest entry is midnight Feb 28th.   There are also 10 second place prizes of Rudy Project trucker hats!  GOOD LUCK!!!

Champion System

I’m proud announce that 2017 will be my third year partnering with Champion System as my official apparel sponsor.  I’ve been racing in Champion System custom technical apparel for years before I was sponsored, and it’s clear to me that it’s a great fit. (Pun intended)

The CS design lab makes kit design accessible for non-design oriented athletes.  The quick proof turn-around and streamlined order workflow takes the frustration out of the ordering process.  And the option to create a team store full of hundreds of custom branded goodies is AMAZING.

For the athlete, a uniform serves several purposes.  First, it needs to work well to help you perform at your best.  Second, it must look great.  Whether your uniform showcases your sponsors or just your personality, either way it has to look the part.  For the past two years Champion System has exceeded my expectations in with regard to both.  Allowing me to achieve goals and share my journey with others while also conveying a bit of my personality and brand.  -Awesome.  Their products perform and they showcase my sponsors in exactly the way I intend.  So I’m excited to extend this partnership and I’m very proud to be representing a company that is as committed to providing high quality technical apparel and customer service to the sports community.

Check out the exciting new 2017 Cycling Line at www.champ-sys.com !

cgfullres-13-of-13-smaller