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Bikes of Great British Divide

Bikes of Great British Divide

24 July, 2021

Warning: this feature contains offensive wallpaper which some readers may find distressing.

Kate Sullivan

Age: 49

Location: Doncaster, England

Your bike: My much loved Bombtrack Hook EXT, I hope we are still friends in a few weeks. Running 650b wheels with 2.2" Maxxis IKONs, tubeless. Ritchie WCS Venturemax bars. 11 speed 1x SRAM Rival set up, replaced the stock 40T Chainring with a 30T, for the sake of my knees! Lights: Exposure Maxx D to floodlight the way. No dynamo, got some charging bricks so will have to stop to charge these every few days.

Your key items of kit: Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM and Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT for a back up. Clothing: Rapha Cargo bibs and tech tee, Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody, waterproof socks. Sleep kit: My very old Alpkit Ordos 2 tent, its not the lightest out there but it does pack down small, I can put it up blindfolded, it's roomy and it keeps the midges out (mostly), so it's coming. Therm-a-Rest Hyperion sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest NeaAir XLite mat. Bags: a mix of Apidura, Alpkit and a homemade frame bag. Many Voile straps and a Decathlon micro rucksack for additional snacks. Spares: 2 x mech hangers and many spare brake pads, let's hope they're enough. I wouldn't be without the DynaPlug tubeless repair tool. Luxuries/other: midge/tick repellant, lip balm, kenesis tape and multivitamins.

Craig Bunyan

Age: 35

Location: Romsey, Hampshire 

Your bike: Built by The Woods Cyclery in Lyndhurst: XL Ritchey Outback frameset, DT Swiss rims laced to SON28 and hope Pro4 hubs with 27.5x 2.1" durable Teravail Rutland tyres. Shimano R7000 groupset, 30/46t AbsoluteBLACK chainrings, 11/36t cassette and Shimano XT SPD pedals. Ritchey Classic finishing kit, Sinewave Beacon front light, Supernova E3 rear light, Specialized Power saddle. Wolftooth bar tape and ESI grips on the drops

Your key items of kit: Alpkit Soloist tent, Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag, Exped Synmat HL sleeping pad. Ortleib saddle and frame pack, Restrap handlebar bag. Alpkit top tube bags and Wizardworks snack bags. 2x wahoo bolt GPS units charged by 2x 10,000 mAh powerbanks. D15 Clothing: Fizik Terra X5 shoes, MET Trenta helmet. 90% clothing from DHB because it just works: long and sleeveless merino base layers, arm and leg warmers and merino socks.

Stevan Brown

Age: 43

Location: Crawley, West Sussex

Your bike: Lynskey MT29. RideFarr Chromo forks. On One Geoff bars. Stans Arch 29” wheels with Shwalbe Racing Ray/Ralph tyres, both 2.25”. SRAM Eagle NX/GX mechanical gearing, with a 32t chainring and 11-50 cassette. Sram Level TL brakes.

Your key items of kit: Saddle pack and custom frame bag from Alpkit. Topeak Fuel Tank. Restrap handlebar bag. Two stem bags from amazon. Two 1 litre bottles on the forks. My riding and weather gear is mainly Decathlon and DHB stuff. I’m taking two sets of riding gear to alternate when required. Naturehike down bag, inflatable mat and Cloud up 2 tent. Lezyne 1600xxl front light with two rear lights. I’m not running a dynamo. I have a small 10,000 mah power bank in the top tube bag for my Wahoo Element Bolt and a larger power bank to top up phone and lights when camped. I intend to find some accommodation every 3-4 days where I’ll recharge everything including myself!

Josh Ibbett

Age: 33

Location: St Neots, England

Your bike: Mason InSearchOf, custom Hunt wheels, WTB Nano 2.1 tyres, Shimano GRX Di2 groupset. RockShox SID fork and Miss Grape bags

Your key items of kit: Pack list is pretty similar to my list for GBDURO last year… minus cooking appliances and a week's worth of food. I’ve included a slightly warmer long sleeve jersey and 3/4 length rain shorts this year, just in case…

Sam Davidson

Age: 30

Location: Bristol, UK

Your bike: Trek Procaliber 9.5 with Tailfin Aeropack & front drybag. All stock parts except ergon grips & half flat spd pedals for the inevitable on/off hike a bike! Looking forward to the 50T cassette sprocket for everywhere north of the Severn Bridge

Your key items of kit: In terms of kit for 2 weeks of unknown weather, I'm convinced merino & minimal is the way forward! An UL survival bivi teamed with a lightweight tent stored on the handlebars is a sleeping setup that I think should cater for a quick power nap at midnight on a lumpy Welsh hillside, or a full relaxing 10hr camp by a Scottish loch to regain some sanity. Lighting is dual Exposure (is there any other way?). And navigation is a Garmin etrex with an Edge 800 backup. A couple of quick charge batteries & other gubbins stored in a Restrap top tube bag will support these as I move too slow off road for my dynamo! The cavernous Tailfin takes most kit, but my Salomon running vest is a welcome addition as it eats gear & food, meaning a bit less on the bike. This also gives the option for a water bladder freeing up a bidon cage for a small thermos. 500ml of strong coffee + 3 sugars = All the late night riding power!!

Jon Kelley

Age: 35

Location: Farnham, Surrey, UK

Your bike: Bike is called "Ol' Shonky". She's a no brand Chinese frame that I've built up at home as follows: carbon Chinese frame, 29er, carbon rigid fork, WTB i29 rims laced onto a Koozer XM490 rear hub and an SP Dynamo PD-8X non-boost 15mm front Dynamo hub, using Sapim Race spokes. I built the wheels. XT mechanical drivetrain with 11-42 cassette. Blackspire snaggletooth 30t chainring. SLX brakes, Gorilla metallic pads. Niner carbon seatpost, Selle Italia titanium saddle. 600mm flat bars, 100mm stem, negative rise and slammed. DMR V12 flat pedals, 2x elite flyweight bottle cages, Busch & Muller IQ2 Luxos U front light and USB charger. Front tyre is Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.2" and rear is Maxxis Ardent Race 2.2". Both setup tubeless.

Your key items of kit: Alpkit Hunka bivvy, Berghaus Intrepid 700 Sleeping Bag, Gore Oxygen jacket. These three items have been carefully packed by aggressively ramming them into my Apidura seatpack (which has a rear light attached to it) I have some other not very interesting stuff coming with me too: ibuprofen and paracetemol, hayfever tablets and nasal spray, insect repellent, backup USB front light, small battery pack (3000mAh single 18650 cell), Garmin Edge 800 with Nukeproof topcap mount, USB cables for phone (S10e) and Garmin, small decanted bottle of Finish Line Wet lube, small decanted bottle of tubeless spaff Stans. 1x 29er inner tube and tubeless repair kit. Topeak Mountain Morph pump. Crank brothers multi-tool with chain breaker. 2 spokes (1 each of the sizes used in the wheel build). Needle and thread for tyre repair. Camelbak Rogue backpack with water bladder. Zip ties. Gorilla tape. 1x 500ml and 1 x 750ml flyweight bottles. That's the hardware. I'll be wearing a custom printed t-shirt that I made for the event, baggy shorts with some bibs underneath, DC casual shoes with a waffle pattern sole that should stick to the V12s nicely and some neon orange socks for a bit of additional dynamic visibility for the road section. I'll start and finish in the same clothes. I pity anyone downwind of me.

Michael Travers

Age: 48

Location: Canewdon, Essex

Your bike: I am the owner of Travers Bikes and I make Titanium frames, so I will be naturally riding one of my own designs: the Travers RUSSTi EVO with my own designed carbon fork the Travers XC Prong, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with Garbaruk 10-52 cassette, Hope Tech 3 X2 brakes, Zwatt carbon powermeter with Garbaruk 30t chainring, Travers Titanium H2 Handlebars, Travers Titanium H2 seatpost, Travers Titanium stem, Hope Tech Pro 4 rear hub rear SON 28 Boost dynamo hub on Nextie carbon rims and Maxis Icon 27.5 x 2.8 front, 27.5 x 2.6 rear. Ergon GS2 Grips plus Ergon Saddle.

Your key items of kit: kLite Bikepacker ULTRA MTB dynamo light with kLite USB and kLite Qube dual Rear Light. 7rbags.com custom frame bag, Toppeak MTS bag with Tetrarack M2.

Andy Dodd

Age: 28

Location: Derby, UK

Your bike: Sonder Broken Road, SRAM Eagle NX 11-50. 32T. SRAM Guide T brakes. Confucius handlebars. Tailfin Aeropack.

Your key items of kit: The nature of these events means that every bit of kit is a key item! I'm not in it to win it, so I'm leaned towards the comfort side a bit more than some will have. Sleeping system comprising Alpkit Elan hooded bivvy, OMM Raid 1.6 & inflatable pillow of course. Clothing anywhere from Shorts and S/S jersey to full wet weather gear revitalised by Grangers. Headnet and midge spray! Electronics consist of 2 x 20000mAh battery packs to keep Wahoo Elemnt Roam, phone, lights & DJI Osmo charged. Nutrition system includes Alpkit Kraku stove, Ti mug, some Firepot meals, with plenty of snacks!

Harry Fletcher

Age: 28

Location: Nottinghamshire 

Your bike: Salsa El Mariachi, 29x2.3" Mezcal tyres, Chris King and SP Dynamo laced onto DT Swiss 421 rims, XTR groupset, Thompson finishing fit.

Your key items of kit: kLite front light, a mixture of Alpkit, Revelate Designs and Apidura bags, Sea To Summit sleeping set up and Nordisk Lofoten tent. Clothing is a mix of Patagonia and 7mesh.

Ian Grace

Age: 52

Location: Horley / Windermere, UK

Your bike: Planet X Mutsu Titanium frame with Rockshox - 29" tubeless set up. 2X11 Shimano XT gears and brakes, Son Dynamo hub. Tailfin rear bag. Redshift Sports bars and grips, with Yak bar extensions on a Fred bar. Quad Lock mount for phone. Profile Designs flip up tri bar rests.

Your key items of kit: Not packed yet, but Rapha Cargo shorts (just brilliant), Teranova Laser photon tent, Tivex ground sheet, Alpkit sleeping mat and OMM 1.6 sleeping bag. MSR stove with Planet X titanium pot. Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation and iPhone / Fenix 6Pro for back up. Sleep kit on bars, Clothes in the Tailfin, Electronics on top tube bag, Snacks in fuel can bag and anything else (toothbrush, suntan lotion, Gurney goo, spares, pump, food etc etc in the frame bag.

Niel Copeland

Age: 46

Location: Balcombe, West Sussex

Your bike: Shand Bahookie drop bar, Salt Carbon wheels shod with Barzo front and Mezcal rear tyre, DT Swiss forks, Hope RX brakes and a Di2 mashup of XTR and DuraAce, Rotor inPower cranks. Amazing that Shand turned this around in 6 weeks from conception to first ride with both Salt and Butternut Bikes helping with accelerated parts delivery! I've built this bike up to be the ultimate long distance off-road speed machine!

Your key items of kit: My trusty Tailfin aero pack is the heart of the luggage system. Sleep kit is an OR Helium bivy, Big Agnes sleeping bag and mat, all wrapped up in an Apidura bar bag. Snacks in the feedbacks and frame bag. Navigation is taken care of with the Garmin Edge 1030 plus and extra cell, should only need to recharge once. Front light is an Exposure Diablo and rear a Cat Eye. Power is a 10k mAh power bank and 3 port USB C charger. Clothing includes an Endura Pro insulated jacket, Gore Shakedry top, Paclite waterproof trousers, and a thermal top and running shorts so I have some off the bike evening wear.

Stu Taylor

Age: 44

Location: Kirkby Lonsdale, England

Your bike: Sonder Dial, Hope Wheels and Components, Pirelli Scorpion Tyres, Carbon Jones Bar with Ergon grips, Brooks Saddle with Ultimate USE Vybe seat post, Alpkit bikepacking luggage bags and Tailfin Aeropack.

Your key items of kit: Saddle and seat post combo to help avoid saddle sores. Sleeping setup Alpkit Soloist tent, Pipe dream sleeping bag, Cloudbase mat and Alpkit riding clothes and layers. Navigation using Garmin eTrex and iPhone Komoot backup. I'm trying to keep the bike balanaced and the weight spread evenly across the bike, using a front bag and rear Tailfin Aeropack, but I may add small frame bag after some last minute faffing.

Donnacha Cassidy

Age: 32

Location: Killarney, Ireland

Your bike: Specialized Stumpjumper frame, SRAM XO/XX 2x10, Maxxis Aspen 2.2 tubeless, Stans Crest MK3 rims with SON dynamo and kLite light, Garmin eTrex.

Your key items of kit: Front roll: SOL Bivy, Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner, bug net, pillow and merino wool layers. Seat pack: some clothing and extra room. Frame pack: tools and electronics. I’ll have a Salomon vest for carrying food.

Carolyn Chambers

Age: 35

Location: Oban, Scotland

Your bike: Fairlight Secan, Hope components, Rotor power meter and Shimano GRX Di2

Your key items of kit: Wahoo ELEMNT for nav and Quad Lock for phone which will be my back-up nav. Assos Laalalai shorts as it’s the only chamois that doesn’t give me sores! Lightweight Cafe du Cycliste Audax jersey. GORE Shakedry waterproof jacket as it's light and packable. OMM Halo waterproof trousers. Mixture of Apidura and Restrap bags, as I find this combo keeps weight central and provides easy access. Exposure Strada main light, Diabolo and Joystick as backups. 2x 10000 mAh battery packs.

Chris Hinds

Age: 36

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Your bike: 2008 ish Gary Fisher Superfly (semi-retired until a few weeks ago), some SRAM Apex borrowed off my CX bike with some flared bars that were kicking about. Old but gold XTR chainset with a custom Rolhoff chainguide.

Your key items of kit: Planning on using Rapha Cargo bibs with the Brevet jersey for plenty of pocket space. Stem bags and tool roll are custom Coubywan X Albannach bags. Front dry bag is held in place using the super neat DrJon Bagworks strap deck and Albannach Voile straps. Kit wise, after snoring/choking myself awake on Transpyrenees I’m really excited to have a bit of luxury with my Big Agnes AXL pillow. This is also my first time riding with a Dynamo so I’m looking forward to seeing how this changes my planning and tactics for this ride without having to plan around charging times.

Jon Large

Age: 53

Location: Ryedale, England

Your bike: Shand Bahookie with Rohloff drive, Gates belt, carbon Jones loop bar, 27.5 Hope Fortus 35 rims with 3.0 Rocket Rons, Son 28, Thudbuster LT (not in photo) and Infinity seat. Huge thanks to Saul at Shand for helping with some last minute maintenance.

Your key items of kit: Revelate Designs (RD) Sweetroll with hammock and CF tarp (MLD Trailstar and Ookworks inner if weather looks bad - there’s room for the bike in here too!) and PHD half bag and quilt. Jones H-bar pack with electronics. RD Mag Tank for food and Adipura feed bags for Ti mug/Alpkit stove/coffee/food and water bottle. RD Ranger framebag for toolkit, spares, pump, first aid, food and to-hand-clothing. RD Spinelock 16lt for clothing and wash kit. Wearing Assos trail shorts, NZO shorts, Alpkit and Decathlon merino jerseys, and GORE Shakedry jacket and Ground Effect Gore-Tex shorts. Using a Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM for navigation.

Thomas Casey

Age: 30

Location: Colchester, England

Your bike: Cotic Solaris max XL . Fox 34 with no volume spacers, Reverb dropper post with Ergon saddle, Mavic wheels with Son Plus Dynamo wired to a kLite charger. 2.35" Maxxis Ikon up front and a 2.2 "Pirelli Scorpion on the rear

Your key items of kit: Bags are a combination orfRestrap (new custom frame bag) and Topeak, I will also be using a very light Evoc hydration backpack. I have an Exposure light so I can make use of the South Downs descents on the first night :) . My luxury item is my 4 poster Big Agnes sleeping bag and pad, I plan to use 0 hotels. I also have a supper comfy pair of trusty Mavid XA shoes

Alun Lewis

Age: 43

Location: Bournemouth, England

Your bike: It's a steel Ribble CGR with Wild Cat frame and seat packs, and Alpkit top tube bag with 2 large stem bags for food and electrics. I have the kLight MTB light and Son Deluxe Dynamo hub. The frame is finished with orange Hope cranks and rotors with Hunt Superdura wheelset.

Your key items of kit: Apart from the 2 bottles on the frame in taking a 1.5l bum bag for water. I'm taking a Terra Nova tent, Big Agnes quilt and Therm-a-Rest. A merino top, leggings and a change of cycling kit. Also taking a small stove. Hope it's enough 🙏

Richard Beaumont

Age: 54

Location: Sheffield, England

Your bike: Trek 1120, Bontrager carbon wheels and 3” tyres. 

Your key items of kit: I'll be navigating with Hammerhead Karoo 2, Alpkit Aeronaut tent with Rab Neutrino 200 sleeping bag. Rapha cargo short cos I like the pockets and a The People's Poncho (keeps everything dry and you don’t sweat to death).

Sam Phillips

Age: 19

Location: Lincoln, England

Your bike: Commencal Meta HT AM. Rockshox 35 Forks with 150mm of travel. WTB Rims with SON28 dynohub connected to a Sinewave Revolution. 29 x 2.2” Continental Cross Kings. Shimano XT/SLX with 11-50 cassette and 32t chainring. Sram Level brakes. Ritchey seatpost with fi’zi;k Tiaga saddle. Ride Alpha bars and stem with DMR Brendog Deathgrips.

Your key items of kit: Alpkit Soloist. Berghaus sleeping bag. Sea to Summit mat. Alpkit Kraku stove with titanium mug. Dehydrated meals. Spare set of merino riding clothes plus waterproofs. Tools and spares. Garmin Edge 1030+ for navigation with Komoot on phone as backup. Moon front and rear lights. 20100mAh battery and dynohub to keep everything charged. All rammed into a mixture of Alpkit, Podsacks, Topeak and homemade bags.

Maurice Guy (everyone calls me Mo)

Age: 29

Location: Corfe Mullen, Dorset, England

Your bike: Sonder Camino AL set up on GRX 11 speed. Everything’s pretty much as it came from sonder, I’m still running the 11-42 cassette with a 40T chain ring, the only thing that’s changed is the front wheel, which I had built for the event around a SON 28 dynamo, the tyres which are continental race kings in 700cx50mm. And I’ve added some aero bars just to give my wrists a break.

Your key items of kit: My accommodation is an Alpkit Soloist tent, Alpkit Numo Matt, Mountain Equipment Firefly sleeping bag. I’ve got a Rab down jacket, an old but trusty Marmot waterproof coat to keep my warm and dry. an Alpkit Kraku stove, a titanium pot and a couple of dehydrated meals. (I prefer taking some food and a way of cooking it, I think the extra options it gives you make up for weight, it’s not such as issue if you can’t find anywhere for dinner or you choose to ride on a bite late or the weather turns and you have to hunker down early). 2 pairs of Sealskins waterproof socks: one knee high and one regular. The knee high ones are great for wading through undergrowth or streams. I’ve got a SON front light and Sinewave usb charger running from the Dynamo. I’m using a Garmin Edge 530 for navigation with my phone for backup. I’ve got a Dakine waste pack for hydration and snacks. I’ve got two spare tubes, spare mech hanger, spare gear cable, a chain quick link, a couple of spokes and some brake pads.