Bikes of Blaenau 600 2024

Bikes of Blaenau 600 2024

6 June, 2024

A truly Welsh 600km upland adventure through some of the land's finest off-road sewn together with characteristically hilly tarmac, including the Brecons, Berwyns, Black Mountains, Cambrians and Snowdonia. This year, the event is accompanied by the first edition of a women's rally which thirteen women have signed up for.

Commentary will be written by local lass and veteran, Molly Weaver. Follow along here.

Robyn Llewellyn

Age: 38

Location: Hackney, London

Bike: Cannondale F-Si with Silt XC wheels, ENVE cockpit, Deda Jet 1 bars, SRAM XX1/GX groupset and Fizik Arione saddle.

Key items of kit: Gramm custom framebag and Tailfin top tube bag, Exposure lights, and lots of storage with Albion clothing.

Tom Hall

Age: 43

Location: Sussex

Bike: Santa Cruz Chameleon

Key items of kit: Exposure light, Apidura bags and hydration pack, SQlabs inner bar ends. Same rig I used for HT550 last year aside from brakes that work (!) and a new wheel to replace the one I broke on the last day.

Dave Johnson

Age: 46

Location: Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire

Bike: An oddball, homebuilt, rigid, singlespeed! A Lynskey Ridgeline ti frame mated to Torus ti forks and seatpost. Currently setup with a 34t Hope oval chainring and Surly 20t cog for climbing the Welsh hills (hopefully)! Brakes, crankset and bottom bracket are also from Hope. The 29er wheels were built by Andy at Clee Cycles- Stans Arch rims and Hope hubs, the rear being singlespeed/trials specific. Handlebars are high riser from Stooge cycles. Finally the saddle is a Brooks C17.

Key items of kit: Luggage consists of a small fuel bag on the crossbar. A frame bag for spare clothes, food, tools and battery bank. An Aero spider rack on the rear securely holds a dry bag containing sleeping kit. Sleeping kit - Rab sleeping bag, Alpkit Hunka bivvy and a lightweight sleeping mat. There is also a down jacket for cosiness. Lighting is from an Exposure Toro backed up by an mtb batteries light. A Garmin Edge 530 will show the way with phone for backup and downloaded maps.

David Ayre

Age: 38

Location: Sheffield

Bike: Trek Fuel EX5, Zolla Poltava wheels with Hutchinson Taipan tyres, SRAM GX Eagle groupset, Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper post.

Key items of kit: I'll be rocking Apidura backcountry bags (seat post, handlebar and top tube) with an Albion visibility cargo vest, Orb MKII water bottle, Exposure lights, Garmin Edge 830 for navigation and a Peak Design universal bar mount for my phone.

Richie McColl

Age: 48

Location: Bristol

Bike: Mason Bokeh

Key items of kit: Tailfin & Restrap bags filled with sweet and salty treats, a sleeping bag & Bivvy. Might take a tarp if weather looking shitty. Jackets and a spare pair of sockys. Some Sensible stuff like first aid kit that I’ll hopefully never need. All the tools I’ll hopefully never need. Some electrical stuff. 1 x Lucky Robin.

James Griffiths (Giff)

Age: 51

Location: South Shropshire

Bike: Scott Spark RC900 1x SRAM GX 10-50t cassette. XT Cranks with Absolute Black Oval 34t chainring.

Key items of kit: Topeak Rear Loader bag and small top tube bag. Lomo framebag. Drybag strapped to handlebars. Camelback Chase bike vest for water. Alpkit Hunka Bivvy Bag along with a 2 season sleeping bag. Smidge Midge-Proof Headnet. Pair of Garmin Edge 530s. Anker Power Bank.

Tom Avon

Age: 36

Location: South Wales

Bike: 2021 Specialized Diverge S-Works, with SRAM Force XPLR, Stayer 650b wheels w/Conti Race King (2.2), Easton EC90 Crankset, ENVE G-Bar

Key items of kit: Well used Tailfin to store my sleep kit and warm clothes. K-Lite dynamo system & Silva Free head torch attached to my helmet to illuminate the night.

Cara Dixon

Age: 29

Location: Bristol

Bike: Planet X On-One, SRAM Rival, DT-Swiss G1800 wheels and Maxxis Rambler 45mm gravel tyres.

Key items of kit: Tailfin cycling top tube bag, frame bag, down tube bag.

Sarah Hall

Age: 34

Location: Wales

Bike: Sonder Camino w/ SRAM GX Eagle AXS 38 x 10-52

Key items of kit: Bag cocktail of AGU, Tailfin and Camel Chops. Snacks. More snacks.

Ian Howell

Age: 58

Cap number: 19

Location: Ross on Wye, Herefordshire

Bike: Kinesis ATR V2, ENVE G23, Shimano GRX Di2, Quarq Power Meter, Redshift Stem, and Kitchen Sink bar.

Key items of kit: Tailfin, Rockgeist Custom Frame Bag, Restrap Top Tube, Ortlieb Fork Bag, Exposure 6 Pack Front Light, Garmin 1040 Solar, Sea to Summit Ultra Light Sleeping Bag, and Alpkit Bivvi Bag.

Clare Walkeden

Age: 42

Location: Warwickshire

Bike: My extremely bijou and 'twitchy' Nukeproof Digger (2021), Shimano GRX 42t (front) 11-50 (rear), Hunt Superdura Dynamo Disc with Schwalbe G1 Allrounds Tubeless (40 rear, 45 front).

Key items of kit: Lights: Front @exposure.lights Race MK12 and Diablo Helmet. Bags: A mix of bags including Apidura Front Roll and Pocket, Fuel Pod (snacks and charge bar, suncream, etc.), Alpkit Top Tube and Seat Pod (cables, tools, and a few bits), Ortlieb Rear Loader 11L (kit). Tech: Garmin Edge 1030 and Edge 1000 as backup, Anker 20,000 power bank. Sleep Kit: Still deliberating (weather watching) but currently Mountain Equipment Helium sleeping bag, Alpkit Hunka Bivvy, Numo Air Mat, and Elan Hooped Bivvy. Key Clothing: Albion Ultralight Insulated Jacket and Burner, 7Mesh CoPilot and Horizon Jersey, Rapha shorts, Fizik Atlas, and SwiftWick Merino socks.

Sami Bennett

Age: 49

Cap number: 5

Location: Shropshire

Bike: Canyon LUX Carbon, DT Swiss carbon wheels, shimano group set, Maxxis tyres, Fox 32 fork, Ergon saddle, Ergon Sexy bar ends (bring back bar ends 😆)

Key items of kit: Key items of kit: Topeak front bar bag, and rear saddle bag. Alpkit frame bag, Exposure Front light, Evoc waste pack, Smith Session Helmet. OR bivvy, Thermarest sleeping mat, Berghaus elevation 200 sleeping bag. Food: As much as I can pack!