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Bikes of Seven Serpents 2024

Bikes of Seven Serpents 2024

11 May, 2024

A set-route race between seven checkpoints from Slovenia through Croatia and its islands finishing in Trieste, Italy along a mix of gravel and secondary roads. Last year's event was hampered by pre-event rain and mud, but the forecast this year looks much more pleasant. On the cards are 850km with 16,000m of climbing, a handful of which will be done on foot.

The 98 solo riders and 13 pairs tackle this gravel race starting at 7am on Sunday the 12th May, you can follow along with veteran Marcus Nicolson's commentary here.

Nils Opgenorth

Age: 28

Cap number: 50

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Bike: Canyon Grizl CF SLX with a SRAM Mullet Rival eTap GX Eagle AXS groupset. A 10-52t cassette in the back and a 40t chainring in the front. DT Swiss GRC1400 wheels with Specialized Pathfinder Pro 47mm tires. Canyon shock-absorbing seatpost and a Brooks C15 saddle.

Key items of kit: In terms of sleeping gear I tried to stay fairly minimal with an emergency bivy, sleeping pad and a down jacket. Exposure Lights - MaXx D MK13, which should hopefully bright up the trails more than enough :)

Louison Bangerter

Age: 29

Cap number: 6

Location: Saint-Légier, Switzerland

Bike: Sauvage La Piste Titanium frame, carbon fork with a mix of Campagnolo Ekar and Ekar GT (38 x 10-48t). Duke baccara carbon wheels with a front dynamo (Son 28) hub. Specialized 47mm tyres (rhombus at the front and trigger at the back). Ass saver to keep me dry in muddy conditions.

Key items of kit: Custom Akao Design framebag to store clothes and sleeping system (inflatable mattress, bivy bag, and inflatable pillow for extra comfort). Restrap top tube bag for easy access to key items (Swiss Army knife against wild bears!). Restrap food pouch for the sweets, and Evadict hydration vest with a capacity of 2.5 liters.

Maya Christofori

Age: 32

Cap number: 7

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: 8bar TI Drachenberg

Key items of kit: Custom bike bags from Gramm Tourpacking.

Rainer Huber

Age: 47

Cap number: 39

Location: Mengkofen, Germany

Bike: Scott Spark RC, SRAM GX Eagle AXS, Wheels Syncros Silverton, Schwalbe Racing Ray & Ralph tires, 34t x 10-52t.

Key items of kit: Profile Design Aero-Extensions, Cyclite Handlebar Aero Bag, Topeak Backloader, Lupine SL Mono. This is my first time doing something like this and I hope I don't have my equipment set up completely wrong.

Stef Claes

Age: 25

Cap number: 113a

Location: Lommel, Belgium

Bike: I’ll be riding the Pastel gravel bike, made in Salzburg. The bike features a fresh pair of Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tires 700x45mm, a 40T front chainring and a 10-52T SRAM Eagle cassette in the back. The front wheel features a SON dynamo hub connected to a kLite front light.

Key items of kit: Bags: I’m running a Tailfin in the back, Apidura top tube & frame bag.

Stefan Urleb

Age: 43

Cap number: 75

Location: Austria

Bike: Simplon Razorblade III SL

Key items of kit: Apidura: Saddlebag 9 lt, Framebag 3 lt, Aerobarbag 2 lt Cyclite Top tube Bag 1l. Hydration Back for Food and Water.

Gernot Siebenhofer

Age: 38

Cap number: 67

Location: Murau, Austria

Bike: Specialized Diverge, Shimano GRX 810. Garmin Rally Pedals. Spatialized Tracer Pro 700x47c Tires

Key items of kit: SON Dynamo. Supernova M99 DY Pro and Supernova Airstream light system. Ortlieb Bags.

Daniele Gambarotto

Age: 43

Cap number: 34

Location: Treviso - Italy

Bike: 3T Exploro Racemax with Shimano GRX 1x12v groupset.

Key items of kit: Miss Grape Bag full kit and complete Assos Cycling apparel.

Oliver

Age: 43

Cap number: 65

Location: Salzburg, Austria

Bike: Specialized Crux with Shimano GRX 12 40/10-44

Key items of kit: Supernova lights. Garmin 830. Saddlebag Apidura 9l incl. Sleeping bag/mattress, 2x food pouch Apidura/Cyclite, Cyclite frame bag and top tube bag, Apidura Hydration bag incl. 2l water + 2l on the bike. 16 kg race ready.

Helge Meyer

Age: 44

Cap number: 116

Location: Earth (Germany)

Bike: I pair the Seven Serpents with a Curve gmx+, powered by an Ingrid 32T crank and 9/50T ethirteen cassette. Shimano XT gears and brakes. It rolls on a Hunt dynamo wheel set with Vittoria Mezcal 2.35.

Key items of kit: The key element is the frame bag from the legendary Witslingers, it eats up pretty much all of my equipment. Especially my food containers and Holy Fats. Minimal sleeping set and indispensable Aeropress set are distributed between Restrap bag and S2S drybag of the butterfly. Tailfin toptubebag swallows electronics and power bank. Hydration vest from Apidura.

Klite provides light at the front and rear as well as a Lupine red light. The cockpit is from SQLab with VAP cycling Butterfly 3. Navigation with Garmin Edge and smartphone as backup.

Jos Voorbraak

Cap number: 87

Location: Eersel, Netherlands

Bike: Vannicholas Rowtag titanium bike, 2x12 SRAM etap, DT Swiss 240 hubs, DT Swiss XR331 rims, 3T stem, seat post and bar.

Key items of kit: Lupine piko light, Revelate Designs framebag, cargo bags and top tube bag, Tailfinn Aeropack, Pirelli 45mm tires, Sella saddle and time paddle.

Stephen LaDyne

Age: 53

Cap number: 97

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Bike: Open U.P. with 2x GRX. Hunt Wheels with Tufo 44c Swampero / 40c Thundero tubeless. Apidura bags. Roval Terra seatpost. Wahoo GPS. Garmin radar. Knog Blinder 900.

Key items of kit: Wooden fork/comb. Power bank. Mini clothes line. Foolish thirst for adventure!

Ralph Bergner

Age: 32

Cap number: 10

Location: Kehl, Germany

Bike: Raymon HardRay Nine 6.0 and tyres 40c. Handle bars Pro 45°.

Key items of kit: Saddlebag Ortlieb, frame bag Rockbros, sleeping bag+sleeping pad Forclaz (Decathlon) and Wahoo.

Bastian Mensing

Age: 36

Cap number: 114

Location: Fritzens, Austria

Bike: 1of1 G.01 - Lakes ‘n’ Knödel Edition. Shimano GRX 40t x 11-44t.

Key items of kit: Bags: CYCLITE TopTube Large, Frame Bag Large, Food Pouch, Saddle Bag, Race BackPack. Liquid: 2x KEEGO 0.75l and 1.75l Bladder.

Martin Groth

Cap number: 95

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Cotic Solaris Max frame and probably the longest rigid fork in the galaxy (Trek 1120)! Tune wheels keep on turnin…

Benedict Baumann

Age: 27

Cap number: 117

Location: Bad Aibling, Germany

Bike: Kona Rove LTD steel frame self built with DT Swiss GR1600 wheels and WTB Riddler 45c tires. For gearing I use the Shimano GRX 820 with a 40 tooth chainring and a 10-51t cassette.

Key items of kit: A mix of Ortlieb and AGU bags. Using a Salsa Cowchipper handlebar with a 24° flare and width of 420mm to get a good handle. For navigation, I use Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. An additional bottle of water on the bottom of the frame. Power banks, lights, etc. for sure! ;-)

Christoph

Age: 45

Cap number: 88

Location: Bremen, Germany

Bike: After last year's experience, I will be taking my mountain bike to Ljubljana. Comfort is king. Cervelo ZHT-5 with Mezcals with 2.25.

Key items of kit: Lights from Lupine, a power bank with quick charger. I'm not sure yet whether I'll pack my sleeping kit. Tailfin Aeropack and a small top tube bag from Apidura.

Alessandro Poletti

Age: 32

Cap number: 45

Location: Bergamo, Italy

Bike: Bergamont Grandurance 8, Grx 1x11 with 36t chainring from Wolftooth Comp, Syncros Capital 1.0 X40 carbon wheelset with Pirelli Cinturato Mixed 45mm.

Key items of kit: Syncros bags set, Lezine Light set, Wahoo Roam.

Clemens Peti Melms

Age: 34

Cap number: 93

Location: Kaltland, Germany

Bike: Ridley Kanzo Adventure, SRAM Rival x GX mullet, Schwalbe Thunder Burt 29", Supernova B54 light, Deda aerobars and Elite.

Key items of kit: Tailfin frame bag and Cyclite top tube bag.

Johannes Seitz

Age: 27

Cap number: 111

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Bike: Canyon Grizl, my tyres are the Schwalbe G one Overland 50s which are more like 47 mm wide.

Key items of kit: The Handlebar bag might be the most interesting setup on my bike. It is from Stuttgart based bike bag manufacturer @fo.goods and has a custom mount for my light, the knog blinder 900. The setup is held in place with the sixtysix - a steel pipe that is mounted to the handlebar. In this bag will be the sleeping bag, pillow, toothbrush etc.

Additionally my saddle bag from Ortlieb contains all clothing and my isolation mat. I have two jackets with me, one shell and one down jacket, a few spare tools, batteries, cables. Max and I split the tools and emergency equipment that we carry.

I have the Canyon aero frame pack which contains additional stuff like a pump and the powerbanks and my top tube bag from Canyon which contains snacks and one powerbank which is charging my Wahoo or my light.

Looking forward to go on to the journey with my buddy and roommate Max.

Ride hard, drink soft!

Kathrin Springet

Age: 44

Cap number: 69

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Sonder Camino Ti with SRAM Rival, Newmen Evolution SL wheels, Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 700Cx50, Garbaruk freewheel, and SQ-Lab 614 saddle.

Key items of kit: Evoc Handlebar Pack Boa 5L, Evoc Seat Pack Boa 8L, customized Evoc Frame Pack, Evoc Multi Holster, Apidura Expedition Top Tube Pack, and Keego Bottle.

Tobias Reischle

Age: 50

Cap number: 59

Location: Munich, German

Bike: Curve GXR (AKA Kevin) 56 with Campagnolo Ekar, NEWMEN SL XR 25 wheels, and Panaracer GravelKing SK 700x43 tires.

Key items of kit: Evoc Seat Pack Boa WP 8L, customised Evoc Frame Pack WP M, Evoc Multi Holster, and Specialized 2x0.75 bottle.

Max Zorn

Age: 29

Cap number: 111

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Bike: I'm riding a Canyon Grail - the one with the double decker cockpit. I upgraded the wheelset to the 40mm Allroad BASIC Gravel wheels by LEEZE, equipped with tubeless Schwalbe G-ONE RS 45-622 (that measure 42mm irl and barely fit in the frame). Groupset is a mix of 2x GRX 800 in the rear and 600 in the front. I did change the cassette to a 11-40 which works surprisingly well and, together with the 46/30T crankset, will hopefully provide enough gearing for the steeper climbs and the tired legs. The chain is hot waxed, which I hope will last a while before I have to apply lube during the race.

Key items of kit: The bike's cockpit and missing attachement points pose a bit of a challenge for finding the right bags. I chose to not use any handlebar bag, as I always find the positioning and handling awkward with the double decker cockpit. Instead, I went with the Tailfin AeroPack Alloy, where I'll carry my sleeping setup (Sea-to-Summit Spark II sleeping bag, a bivy, and a lightweight pad), as well as spare clothes. I also use an Ortlieb frame bag and a Tailfin top tube bag for what I need during the day (snacks, battery packs, armlings, etc.) and some larger items (pump, spokes, straps...). My tools are stored in a locally made bag by fO.goods. For lighting, I use Knog Blinder front and rear lights, and a Black Diamond headlamp. I 3D-printed an attachment for my front light, so it mounts directly to the Wahoo. Apart from my water bottles, I'll be using a USWE hydration vest with a 2L bladder, which should bring me through the remote areas. The lucky item will prolly be a bear bell that a fellow serpent gave me for my birthday.

Franz

Age: 62

Cap number: 70

Location: Vienna, Austria

Bike: Cannondale Hardtail (1997) with Shimano XTR 3x9

Key items of kit: Riverside saddle bag (Decathlon), 7Roads custom frame bag (7rbags.com) and Fenix lights.

Marco Ricci

Age: 28

Cap number: 60

Location: Milan, Italy

Bike: Bergamont Grandurance Expert, Shimano grx 2x10, Pirelli Cinturato gravel M 700x50.

Key items of kit: Syncros saddle pack, Syncros frame pack, Apidura backcountry top tube, Apidura downtube pack, Syncros Nanaimo 1200 front light + a little nobrand aerobar not so useful. Apidura backcountry backpack + 2l hydration pack.

Daniel Sommer

Age: 49

Cap number: 68

Location: Switzerland

Bike: MTB GT

Key items of kit: Sleeping bag, Rucksack and stuff sack.

Michael Kneip

Cap number: 110

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: Kocmo Daytona X robust titanium frame, 1x12 SRAM AXS (44 - 10/52) and DT Swiss carbon wheels with Tufo 48 tyres

Key items of kit: Accessories: Restrap Frame Bag/Top Tube Bag, Cyclite Food Pouch, Tailfin Aero Pack, SON Dyno and Light, and Lupine Pico Headlight.

Ariane

Age: 50

Cap number: 110

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: SOUR purple haze with SRAM Force AXS 38 and 10-52, Duke handbuilt wheels by velo.local, 48mm Tufo Thundero

Key items of kit: Bags: Restrap Frame Bag for electronics and food, Stem Bag for more 1 bottle, everything remaining in the Tailfin Aeropack. Restrap Harness for all those hike-a-bike parts

Light: Lupine SL Nano with 2 battery packs and Lupine rear light

Enrico

Age: 51

Cap number: 118

Location: Switzerland

Bike: Specialized Diverge

Key items of kit: Apidura

Saskia Martin

Age: 36

Cap number: 46

Location: Germany / UK

Bike: Juliana Quincy - 'Ol' Faithful'. Arkane 650b with SON Dynamo. Switching up this year, running a Teravail Rutland in the front for extra grip and a slicker Teravail Cannonball in the back. Learnings from last year: opting for easier gears - 36-42T. I don't think it will help my climbing skills.

Key items of kit: Hoping to be blessed with better weather. We have gone lighter this year with Apidura kit set up and Salsa bag in the front with cage for the small bike needs. Apidura hydration pack on body.

Timo

Age: 36

Cap number: 58

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Santa Cruz Stigmata with a GRX 2x11 setup which results in 46/31 in the front and 10/34 in the back. Got tubeless 45mm Pirelli Cinturato RC on some carbon Duke rims with hope hubs

Key items of kit: All bags are Apidura. Sleeping gear with some spare clothes in the back, most other stuff in the framepack and the toptube pack will be mostly used for stuff which you need acces to more often.

Timo Rokitte

Age: 39

Cap number: 98

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Bike: Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 1by, Shimano GRX with 38T chainring at the front and a 11-46T cassette at the back. The wheels are Zipp 101 700c with Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite 50mm.

Key items of kit: Bags: Tailfin AeroPack Carbon, ROSE Smart Reflect Top Tube Bag, Newboler Frame Bag and Cyclite Food Pouch. Garmin Edge 1040. The front light is a Supernova M99 Mini Pro B54 with self made adapter to run and charge from my power bank. Cyclus AS2 pro electric pump. Frilufts summer sleeping bag, LACD Bivy Bag WPB, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir and way too many snacks.

Ahmed Uzejnovic

Age: 29

Cap number: 76

Location: Schwarzach im Pongau, Austria

Bike: Bike: Canyon Grizl CF SL6, 9.84 kg, equipped with Shimano GRX, Rambler 700x50c tires, and DT Swiss C1850 wheels.

Key items of kit: Key items include a Rockbros frame bag, Rhinowalk top frame bag, Waterfly waterproof saddle bag, Wahoo Element Bolt V2, 36000 mAh power bank, multitool, Marmont rain jacket, rain pants, down jacket, and biivouac bag.

Sven Wagner

Age: 45

Cap number: 79

Location: Germany

Bike: Standert Erdgeschoss 27.5

Key items of kit: Bikepacking Bags custom from reisefix.cc

Miguel Vilacha

Age: 38

Cap number: 11

Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Bike: Cannondale Topstone Carbon (M) with Shimano 105 mechanical groupset, Stages power meter, DT Swiss GR 1600 wheels, Syntace C3 aerobars, Easton stem and handlebar, Ergon SR Allroad Core Comp saddle, Levelnine Carbon seatpost, KMC X11EL black chain, ceramic pulley wheels, Ergon BT gravel handlebar tape, Time ATAC XC12 pedals, and Challenge Getaway Pro 40mm tires.

Key items of kit: Apidura x MAAP saddle (7L) and frame bag (4L), Decathlon pouch bags, CamelBak Podium Chill 710ml bottle and 2x Fitlock 590ml water bottles, Magene L308 rear light, 2x Knog Blinder 1300 lights, Knog rear light, and Quad Lock.

Korbi

Age: 26

Cap number: 117

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Cinelli Zydeco

Key items of kit: Bright Handlebar, frontbag, framebag and rocket 🚀

Markus Ott

Age: 60

Cap number: 101

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Bike: Factor LS

Key items of kit: Apidura & Tailfin

Oscar Huckle

Age: 26

Cap number: 40

Location: Bristol, UK

Bike: This is my custom Niner RLT 9 RDO with Campagnolo Ekar and Fulcrum Rapid Red 5 wheels. I've used this frameset for bikepacking and epic rides in the past and I find it very comfortable and versatile with its 50mm tyre clearance. Although I typically run a Campagnolo Shamal wheel on this bike, I thought I'd go with my Fulcrum winter wheels to stand up to the route's abuse and they're shod with new Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RCX tyres. I love the RC tyres and hope the RC X's will be better suited to the monster gravel on the route. Rounding off the build is an Easton EC70 AX flared carbon handlebar, a Roval Terra seatpost and my trusty Fabric Scoop saddle.

Key items of kit: I'm predominantly running Apidura Expedition bags because I've really got on with these in the past. However, I've switched to an Apidura Backcountry top tube bag for the extra storage and I'm using the Niner frame bag as it integrates with the frame. I debated using fork bags too but after seeing the minimalist set-up's, I've decided to go a bit lighter and wear a hydration vest instead. As for sleep, I'm carrying a Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight sleeping bag, a Big Agnes Rapide SL mat and an Alpkit Hunka XL bivvy, just in case.

Massimo Ronchin

Age: 59

Cap number: 100

Location: Venice, Italy

Bike: Salsa Cutthroat 2021, mix Shimano XT and GRX, wheels Damil Crest mk4, tires Vittoria Mezcal trail 29x2.25

Key items of kit: Taifin aeropack system, lights Ravemen, sleeping bag by Sea to Summit.

Keith Wallace

Age: 38

Cap number: 80

Location: Amsterdam

Bike: Canyon Grizl, SRAM Rival with Eagle X01 derailleur, 52 rear cassette, 42 Front and 50mm Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tires.

Key items of kit: Mix of Apidura and Tailfin bags

Pascal Yoncaova

Age: 32

Cap number: 82

Location: Zürich. Switzerland

Bike: Scott Addict Gravel 30

Key items of kit: 46-30/11-34 — 45-622 Schwalbe G one bite

Rafael Lange

Age: 34

Cap number: 44

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: Orbea Alma Carbon HT equipped with SRAM Eagle XX1/GX AXS drivetrain, Garabruk 12-speed cassette (52 teeth), Rotor Aldhu crank with 34-tooth chainring, carbon wheels with Continental RaceKing tires. Featuring SQLab aluminum handlebar, Profile Design aerobars, and Spirgrips inner bar ends.

Key items of kit: Apidura saddle bag (sleeping system), Apidura toptube bag (snacks) and a Ride and Get Lost custom frame bag (electronics, hygiene, medicine, toolkit).

Matti

Cap number: 116

Location: Earth (GER)

Bike: Canyon Grizl cf 8 Trail. Shimano GRX 812 10-50 cassette 40t chainring-50mm Schwalbe G One Ultra bite.

Key items of kit: Tailfin and Apidura.

Markus Brigl

Age: 34

Cap number: 21

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Rose Backroad. Shimano GRX 31-48 / 11-42. Wheelset: CarlZ Z42. Schwalbe G-One R 45mm. Frontlights: Lupine SL Mini with 2 battery packs / Headlamp. Backlights: Sigma Blaze

Key items of kit: Bags from Apidura, Cyclite and Restrap. Filled with 2nd Kit, Rain jacket, Down jacket, Powder/Bars/Gels, Tools. 1l Bottle + 1,5l Evoc Hydration pack

Felix Albrecht

Age: 42

Cap number: 3

Location: Switzerland

Bike: BMC URS ONE

Key items of kit: Infinity bike seat, Bookman Volume 1500 Light, Quark Power meter, Tailfin bags, Redshift Kitchensink and Bag, Fumpa Gauge, Fancy Rainbow Chain!

Patrick Peritz

Age: 58

Cap number: 52

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Bike: 8bar Tflsberg Steal #stealisreal. Shimano GRX, custom carbon fork and rims, Ergon carbon seatpost, Redshift stem and Schwalbe G-one RS 45mm.

Key items of kit: Cyclite bags. Snake talisman from my kids.