Great British Escapade 2022
I will be riding the Great British Escapade on Thursday 8th September 2023, starting at 17:00, you can follow my progress here. The event is a self supported (you have to carry all your kit and have no team or outside help) and is 479km, mainly offroad event.
The bike itself is a Travers bespoke DIRTi EVO, all of the DIRTi EVO's are bespoke made to your requirements and needs. This versions is a monster mullet! SRAM Force AXS leavers, XX1 AXS Rear mech, Garbaruk 10-52 cassette and a Hope Tech Crank with 36t chainring, I normally run a 38t which covers pretty much everything I do on the road and offroad but due to the type of event "keeping moving" is more important than speed, so hense the smaller 36t. The setup seems to cover pretty much all my gearing needs, you can climb up the steepest offroad climbs but still travel along at 40kph on the road.
Everything about the setup is done for simplicity, ride comfort and speed, paring everything down to making it as mechanically bullet proof as possible. This was the main reason for the wheels, Nextie 650b gravel rims with Halo 47mm tyres, these can handle everything you throw at them offroad without being draggy on the road.
I have made 1 concession to comfort with the Redshirt stem, it has 20mm of travel and combined with the 47mm tyres takes most of the buzz out of the trail. The bars are my own Travers flared carbon bars (not yet avaliable).
The frame bag is amazing, I had it made bespoke by 7roads (in Ukraine) I have all of my sleeping kit in there, spare clothes and my food! plud they also supplied the reflective elements on the saddle and set tube.
How to power your lights, GPS and phone is always an issue when you are out in the wild, the hassle is all taken out of your hands with the kLite system. I have a kLite "Always on" switch under the Garmin which send power to the kLite Bikepacker Ultra (road version) and to the kLite USB charger, I have the USB always powered, so the kLite Qubes are "always on" and the other spare USB slot I have plugged directly into the Garmin (because this trip will be just a couple of days I charge the Garmin directly, if it was longer I would charge a cache battery, then power the Garmin/USB from that). I also have a spare rear battery light that I can charge vis the kLite USB if needed as a backup, plus a Exposure Joystick mk 13 I use on my helmet, I only every use this for technical section or if I stop and need to look in my bags etc. I am not suing the standard kLite mount for the bikepacker Ultra, it is attached below the Garmin keeping it out of the way.
I do mess around with my setup and like things simple, tried and tested, the last thing you need when you are in the middle of nowhere is your kit playing up and you do not know how to fix it.
The Tools I carry...
The bike is setup tubeless with squirt sealant and so far in the last 5000km I havent punctured...actually I have but the sealant has alway filled the hole and I havent lost pressure but I always carry items that give me multiple options to solve an issue.
So I also carry a Tubolito ultra light innertube, If all else fails, I can stick that in, I also carry Stans Dart with spare darts (in the pocket of my Evoc hydration pack, so I can get access to it quickly), I also have a Park tool sticky boot to repair any long slices in the tyre. To get the tyre back to pressure I carry 2 Co2 cannisters 25g and Topeak Mounatin DA pump. It might sound like overkill but it gives you options, when you are tired and your hands are cold, things don't always go to plan.
I also carry...
Lezyne multi tool
2 x tyre leaver
spare eTap Battery
15ml Squirt chain lube
cloth - stops the tools rattling and for wiping hands
12 speed quick link
Charmast 10,000 mAh cache battery
Cables for charging
Sleeping bag, Bivy bag, inflatable pillow, inflatable mat
Precision Hydrartion 1500
Food - pancakes, nuts, jelly babies - everything else I will pick up along the way (hopefully)
Evoc hydration pack
Small lightweight lock
I will probably start the event with shorts, undervest, track mitts, SS jersey, armwarmers, helmet and gillet, I will also carry a rain jacket in the frame bag.
This is the first event I have used a hydration pack but I have been training with it and I can carry 1.5ltr of water which seems fine, I will also carry an extra water bottle in the frame bag to fill up on sections I know will have long gaps between shops or water taps.
HAND BUILT TITANIUM FRAMES.