Bikes of the Highland Trail 550

Bikes of the Highland Trail 550

13 May, 2021

Annie Le

Age: 31

Location: Scottish Highlands

Your bike: Salsa Spearfish, wearing her 29er shoes. Maxxis Forecaster front and Maxxis Ikon rear (for no particular reason, that's just what i own). Hope X2 brakes and Hope flat pedals. Big ugly, but hopefully comfy Ergon GP3 grips. Bontrager Yatra saddle for happy bits.. Oh, and a 28t chainring so i might be able to ride up dem hills.

Your key items of kit: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo tent for a safe place to cry when it all gets a bit tough. Quilt, no mat, don't want to get too comfy! Fuzzy hat for cosy ears. Exposure lights and battery pack for emergency charging and keeping the night hallucinations at bay. Etrex 20 so no excuses for accidental short cuts. No stove or I'd be drinking tea all day. Many tubeless plugs and my big fast pump, gotta be faster than the midgies! And of course my granny beige midge net.

Ben Anderson Millington

Age: Same as wheel size this year

Location: Highlands, Scotland

Your bike: Cube AMS 100 which is still almost stock with Nemesis wheels, Schwable Racing Ray and Ralph tyres and a mixture of SLX and XT for the drivetrain and braking. I have made some small alterations to contact points. I replaced the carbon seatpost with alloy, no dropper too much faff. Aelous Comp saddles. as I'm used to it but always testing saddles is there an answer. Ergon g2 grips to avoid nerve damage, I learnt the hard way a few years back. Tannus insert in the rear for security, it's proved itself useful too many times to count. Lucky Fox water bottle.

Your key items of kit: Revelate Design Bags mostly, mix of second hand and a local shop stocks them. Sweetroll handlebar bag I found the stash area brilliant for my waterproof on the move. Spinelock, what a seat pack, blows my mind except for the adaptability to other seats. They say they're working on that... Fingers crossed. Montane Jaws 10 trail running bag and soft flask (not pictured) stashed in handlebar bag and a few Backcountry straps for extras en route. Clothing mixture of Fox and Endura kit. Sleeping system is an Alpkit Bivvy with an unbranded summer bag plus my Rab primaloft jacket, Marmot synthetic shorts and Rab winter walking mitts with Decathlon overgloves, this is also my warm kit. No cooking set up carried, who wants hot food and warm drinks. Electronics include Garmin 520 for nav, InReach Mini for safety and phone as backup for both with large-ish external battery pack for recharging electronics and lights. Luxuries will be a set of normal headphones.

Christopher Sleight

Age: 47

Location: Stirling, Scotland

Your bike: I’ll be riding my Merida Big Nine carbon hardtail with Stan's Arch rims and Hope Hubs. Tyres are a Bontrager XR4/XR3 combo, both in 2.4” width. It’s a Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain with an 11-46 cassette and 30t chainring.

Your key items of kit: Bags are a mix of Alpkit, Apidura, Revelate Designs and Wildcat. The seat bag works with my dropper post and holds a set of full waterproofs and a warm synthetic jacket. Sleep kit and a shelter (bivy and tarp) are in the bar bag. I’ll be wearing a runner’s hydration vest to carry extra food and liquid. Light provided by an Exposure Diablo on the bars and a Petzl headtorch. Garmin Etrex for navigation. Warm, fluffy socks for sleeping in!

Liam Glen

Age: 30

Location: Bristol, England

Your bike: Stooge Scrambler. Running it singlespeed with a 34x20 gear. 29x2.6” WTB Ranger up front and a 29x2.25” Onza Svelt out back.

Your key items of kit: I’ll be carrying everything in an Apidura seat pack, DIY frame bag and an Apidura handlebar bag (depending on how much clothing I decide to take). In addition I’ll have a 15l running rucksack/vest for food, easily accessible clothes and up to 2l of water. For shelter, I’ll be using an Alpkit Rig 3.5 tarp + Titanium Goat Kestrel bivy, held up by Bearbones carbon poles. Sleeping bag is an Alpkit job that’s been on every trip I’ve done for the past 6 years. I’ll wait until I get to Tyndrum before making my final clothing selection, but safe to say it’ll be more than in 2019!

Andy Jefferies

Age: 50

Location: Muddy West Dorset, England

Your bike: Frankenbike: started life as a second-hand 2016 Charge Cooker, now mostly not. Rockshox Pike 120mm forks, 27.5” wheels with WTB 40mm industrial strength rims and 2.8” WTB Ranger tough tyres. Second-hand Rohloff 14 speed hub, 36t x 15t cogs, Brookes Cambium C17 saddle, ebay Jones bars, Gorilla tape and cable ties.

Your key items of kit: UralTour bag set; Garmin eTrex 30x GPS; Petzl head-torch; home-made charity shop straps for backpacking bike; Astral Brewer water shoes; Rab down jacket, sleeping bag and bivvy bag; everything else merino; big bag of chocolate covered coffee beans.

Crispin Hoult

Age: 51

Location: Trossachs, Scotland

Your bike: Much ridden second-hand Canyon Dude, now 4 years with me and just received it's first upgrades. Scavenged XX1 cassette and derailleur with 28t chainring from Wolf Tooth. New post-lockdown wheels from Nextie arrived (at T-minus-48hrs!), fitted with 4.0 Jimbo Jims, build by Slam69.

Your key items of kit: Luna Solo tent with NeoAir mat and OMM Raid sleeping bag in Wildcat front harness. Navigation with Garmin 810 and printed map backups. 45 Nrth Japanther shoes, Paramo Quito Analogy jacket, BAM bamboo socks, Morvelo Overland shorts. Trusty c. 1998 The North Face top still going strong. Exposure Axis helmet light. Snacks and electronics in AcePac fuelpod and stem cell. Open-ear headset with episodes of podcasts by Patrick Farnsworth at BoD. Servicing by Aberfoyle Bike.

Ruth Crewe

Age: 33

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Your bike: Orange Clockwork hardtail, 27.5" WTB ST TCS wheels, 2.4" tyres (Onza Aquila folding bead going on there in a few weeks, not shown in photo), Shimano deore 10 speed cassette with 11-42t on the back and Suntour Zeron 30t  on the front, Rockshox Judy fork.

Your key items of kit: Topeak front roll, Topeak saddle bag and Topeak frame bag. Specialized top tube bag, Podsacs stem bottle bag + a 10L rucksack. All my sleeping kit is heavy but as a first timer I'm not going to throw too much money at this! 2-person Vango TBS micro tent, full-length Ecotek air mattress, 3+ season The North Face Blue Kazoo 600 down sleeping bag. Clothing: 1 pair lycra cycle shorts, 1 pair Evans thermal tights, 1 t-shirt, 1 merino longsleeve, 1 Patagonia windproof Pertex, 1 Arcteryx Goretex jacket, warm gloves + £3 pair of plastic work gloves, 3 or 4 pairs of socks. Luxury item: Merino sports bra (maybe not that much of a luxury!?), 1 pair loose running shorts, bluetooth earbuds, maybe a few motivational notes to self for the dark miles!

James Craven

Age: 28

Location: Bristol, England

Your bike: Cannondale FSI hardtail, Pacenti i30 wheels with dynamo hub, Vittoria Barzo/Mezcal rear tyres. Sram GX 1x12 10–50t gearing with 34t chainring, custom barend/pad setup, Ergon GP3 grips. Supernova E3 Pro 2 and Supernova rear light.

Your key items of kit: Bags from Alpkit and Ortlieb, and a rucksack with bladder. In the packs are PHD sleeping bag & Alpkit Elan hooped bivi bag. Wahoo Bolt for navigation. Igaro D1 and battery pack for charging.

Steve Waters

Age: 54

Location: Chinley, Peak District, England

Your bike: Sonder Transmitter Carbon with Rockshox Pike 130-160mm forks. Hunt Trail Wide 27.5” wheels; Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6” tyres (tubeless). – I had this set-up in 2019 and – whilst not fastest - it was great fun on the technical descents such as Torridon and Glencoe; Drivetrain: 32T oval chainring and 11-46 11-speed cassette; Shimano SPD pedals; On-One OG handlebars with on-board bar ends found on Amazon. Bad weather kit: After my 2019 experience, I am being cautious and will take a Rab Mens Kinetic Plus waterproof/softshell jacket and 7mesh Revo Gore-tex 3/4 shorts for changeable conditions plus an R7 Goretex Shakedry Trail waterproof jacket and Montane Minimus waterproof overtrousers for sustained downpours. For the hands I have neoprene gloves and Buffalo mitts. Woolie Boolie socks as always.

Your key items of kit:  Luggage: Wildcat Lion front harness (hung from a Thorn Accessory Bar MK2 T Shaped to prevent cable-rub); Alpkit Airlok Xtra 13l dry bag and Acepac Bar Bag; Ortlieb Seat Pack M 11 Litre; Revelate Mag Tank 2000 Top Tube Bag. Navigation: Garmin Edge 530. Lights: 2 x Exposure Joysticks. Sleep system: Cumulus 250 down quilt, Thermarest NeoAir Xlite mat, Borah Gear Ulltralight Bivy and Deschutes tarp shelter with Bare Bones carbon pole. Hydration: Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System 0.6L, Elite Fly 950ml bottle (with cap and home-made restraining strap), Precision Hydration PH 1500 electrolyte tabs. Cooking: Gas stove and Alpkit MytiMug 650 cooking mug with various Firepot and Summit to Eat dehydrated meals. – I didn’t take a stove last time, but am assuming there will be fewer dining options this time. Shoes: Either Northwave Spider Plus 2 or Shimano XM7 depending on the conditions and forecast.

Emma Holgate

Age: 36

Location: Aviemore, Scottish Highlands

Your bike: Trek Top Fuel 9.8 GX, Bontrager carbon wheels, with Maxxis Ardent on the rear and a Bontrager GR5 on the front, 32T front ring with 12 speed 10x52 cassette. Lock out ability on shock and forks, short travel full sus, 120 mm RockShox SID Select+ fork, 115 mm of rear travel with a RockShox SID Luxe Ultimate shock.

Your key items of kit: A mixture of packs from a great secure Evoc front roll to a neat Altura seat pack and then durable and very functional Revelate top tube bags. Clothes OMG I cannot decide, I think it will be very last minute although I will have full GoreTex waterproofs to try and stay as dry as I can for comfort. Luxury's? Hmmm, toothbrush! I'm going light, but quite apprehensive about how minimalist but with safety in mind too, so still have 1st aid and enough warm layers to survive the ever-changing Scottish mountain weather.

James Hayden

Location: Girona, Spain / England

Your bike: Canyon Neuron with Shimano XTR groupset

Your key items of kit: Bags and rucksack (not pictured) are Rusjan. All clothing is Endura.

Dawn Anderson

Age: 36

Location: Cairngorms, Scotland

Your bike: BH lynx 4.8, Shimano XTR wheels, brakes and 2x11 transmission, Vittoria Gato 2.2” on rear, 2.25” Peyote on front.

Your key items of kit: Nordisk Lofoten tent, Sea to Summit Spark III sleeping bag, Thermarest Neoair 3/4 mat and down booties because I hate cold feet at night!  All packed into an Alpkit handlebar bag.  Oh, and Colin the Caterpillar's…..  Be carrying a rucksack for food and layers - no space on the frame for a decent sized bag.

Gary Davies

Age: 43

Location: Cardiff, Wales

Your bike: 2017 Scott Spark 930 (Full Sus). Wheelset: Stock Syncros 3.0 Boost front and back. Tyres: Vittoria Mezcal TNT G+ 29". 2.6" front and 2.35" rear (max ability within fork & frame). Groupset: SRAM GX1 1 x 11 with exception of 30T Shimano XT crank and 10-48T Garbaruk cassette and cage. SRAM chain. Garbaruk kit not in photo. Handlebar: Alpkit Love Mud Confucius. Bar ends: Giant Contact Ergo (multiple hand positions). Handlebar bag: Apidura Backcountry 8L (bivvy, sleeping bag, mattress, tarp).

Your key items of kit: Seatpost bag: Alpkit Koala 13L with Exo Rail. Deck luggage: 2 x Alpkit Stem Cell XL and 1 x Apidura Top Tube BackCountry Food Pouch. Toolbag: Topeak Burrito Tool Wrap (not in photo). Luxuries: Front mudguard (Rapid Racer)

Phil Clarke

Age: 50


Your bike: Jones plus LWB, steel frame and forks, singlespeed (32/21), Middleburn cranks, Hope hubs, light bicycle carbon rims, tires are Bontrager Chupacabras, Shimano SLX brakes, carbon loop bars, WTB speed seat, PNW pine dropper post. It's been round before (with gears) so should be fine.

Your key items of kit: Revelate seat and bar bag, Wildcat frame bag and Topeak front bag. DD flat tarp or Deschutes (depending on weather forecast...), Borah bivvy, Thermarest NeoAir full length, Cumulus 150 quilt or Ultralight 350 bag (depending on forecasted temps). Memory for nav backed up by a Garmin Dakota. Looking to be cool and breezy so full length Endura trousers, HH top and a Torm jersey. Not sure if I'm taking my sunnies yet. Shimano MT91 boots, Montane Gaiters, Berghaus Goretex trousers, Paramo Velez smock. Endura lid, Specialized gloves and waterproof work gloves for the rain. Will be taking a meths stove and plenty of food as there may be supply issues on the Northern loop.

Jim Higgins

Age: 47

Location: Inverness, Scotland

Your bike: Transition Spur with a 32 oval chainring and 10-52 cassette. Eagle AXS electronic shifting. Vittoria Barzo 29x2.35 (front) and Vittoria Mezcal 29x2.25 (rear).

Your key items of kit: Custom frame bag, top tube bags and stem bag by Straightcut Design based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Apidura 5l saddle bag. Miss Grape Tendril bar bag. Tool caddy under the down tube. Exposure Lights. My sleep system (in the bar bag) is a Rab Alpine bivy, Sea to Summit SP1 sleeping bag and NeoAir mat. The saddle bag holds minimal extra clothing including waterproof jacket and insulated gilet. In the frame bag I have a 1 litre bladder and whatever "stuff" will fit in the remaining space!

Mike DeBernardo

Age: 38

Location: Milngavie, Scotland

Your bike: Brother Cycles Big Bro.  29x2.35 rear, 2.6 front, single speed 32x21, faux-Jones handlebars, XT brakes, Brand X dropper.  

Your key items of kit: Homemade frame bag from another bike that mostly fits, homemade seat bag and snack bags.

Alan Goldsmith

Age: 57 on day 2 of HT550 (hopefully!)

Location: Wiltshire, England

Your bike: Trek Top Fuel 29er. 1x12 drivetrain (30x10/50). Dropper post. 2.4 inch tubeless tyres with rear tyre liner for the water bars.

Your key items of kit: Ortlieb seat pack and handlebar bag. Revelate/Alpkit top tube bags. Osprey Tallon 22 rucksack to keep some weight off the bike for the many hike-a-bike sections. Favourite item of kit is a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 tent. Sleeping kit: PHD sleeping bag (this has started every HT550), Thermarest Neoair 3/4 mat. Essential kit: Sunglasses/sun screen! Midge net, 2 pairs Woolie Boolie merino socks, 7Mesh waterproof jacket, Primaloft insulated jacket, merino top, washing up gloves. Electronics: Garmin Etrex for navigation, 2x Exposure Joystick lights, Spot tracker, phone for photos and a power bank. Luxury item: Gas stove/Ti pot for coffee/hot drinks and porridge. Spares: 4x brake pads, mech hanger, 2x inner tubes, gear cable, quick links, Garmin Etrex, lithium batteries, various bolts, cable ties, duct tape. Tools: Pump, shock pump, multi-tool, puncture/tubeless repair kit.

Nick Carter

Age: 50

Location: Inverness, Scotland

Your bike: Titus Fireline. Titanium 29er. Tyres; 29 x 2.25. SRAM Eagle 1 x 12 (11-50). 

Your key items of kit: Mix of Podsacs, Topeak and Altura bags. Favourite bits of kit; my SP Dynamo hub and my mp3 player.

Johnny Baker

Age: 54


Your bike: Trek Top Fuel 8 - was out of the box in November but recently overhauled including adding a beefier XR4 on the front, a Nuke proof bottom bracket and a smaller 30t Unite front ring. I've replaced worn out jockey wheels with Superstar ones. Comfy contact points are Ergon grips, SMC saddle, Togs and Crank bros Candy seven pedals. I may throw on Mudhugger mudguards.

Your key items of kit: 12l Synchro backpack for day stuff and food. Rab sleeping bag, Klymit mat plus spare socks and Johnson's baby powder stashed away in Revelate bags. Kit includes Nordisk tent in seat pack and MSR pocket rocket stove. (If the forecast is good weather I would just go with a bivvy bag). I'm taking some cool weather kit this year like an extra buff and a Patagonia Micro puff hoodie. Plus I'm packing a full hardshell with a decent hood and goretex shorts and overshoes! Food includes a couple of Firepot meals and a lot of Mountainfuel, especially their Feel (very) good bars. My Midge net, Happy bum and superb Bite free repellent will be close to hand in a surprisingly weatherproof Mag tank. Electronics include a Garmin Etrex 30 a Zendure battery and some Lithiums. At 11pm I intend knock off for the day, but if I get a night shift I'll find my way with a Joystick and Bindi headtorch. Luxuries include: I've just got an ebay nano pod with some tunes to ride with for the first time. Reading glasses. My 10 year old has made me a teeny felt Oak bud baby for company; I think it still counts as being unsupported.

Tom Vincent

Age: 43

Location: Stroud, England

Your bike: Specialized Epic Expert set up pretty much stock except for a DT Swiss 232 dropper post, Farr carbon bars, SQLab Innerbarends, Vittoria Barzo tyres and SRAM AXS groupset.

Your key items of kit: Bags: Revelate FS frame bag, Ortlieb seat pack, Apidura Racing long top tube bag, small (c.1kg) dry-bag bar-roll fitted to drjOn DeWidget Strapdeck, Osprey Raptor 10 backpack (mostly empty and ready for stocking up on pizza/biscuits/roadkill etc), Revelate Mountain Feedbags (maybe, preferably not to keep the front end lighter). Navigation: Garmin 830 and eTrex 30x backup. Sleeping: 3f UL Gear bivi-tent (suitably re-proofed and seam sealed), Thermarest Hyperion 32UL sleeping bag, Klymit Inertia X pad (cunningly installed with an unidentified slow puncture limiting sleep to 4hrs). Clothes: Morvelo Overland Adapt waterproof shorts, Gore Wear Shield leg warmers, Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light jacket, numerous glove combinations including OMM Kamleika Waterproof Overmitts with Core fleece liners, Kamleika waterproof pants, Montane Minimus waterproof jacket, Haglofs L.I.M Essens down jacket, Fizik Terra Ergolace X2 shoes (with thin non-absorbent insoles so they dry quicker), DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks, neoprene socks, and a handful of merino base layers. Also taking a stove, cup/pot, coffee and some freeze dried food as I know I’ll mess up the timing at the stores/resupply points, also a hot drink at 5am in the freezing rain is the difference between misery and abject misery. Lighting: Exposure Race Mk14 front light, Petzl Actik headtorch, Smart Superflash rear light (because 2 AAA batteries last 30hrs on flash, it’s very bright, and it’s dirt cheap so I won’t cry myself to sleep if it falls off and I don’t notice).

Lars Henning

Age: 40

Location: Oxfordshire, England

Your bike: 2016 Santa Cruz Highball 29 with Fox 32 fork and Hunt XC Wide wheels

Your key items of kit: Mix of Alpamayo and Wildcat harnesses & bags carrying a Cumulus quilt & Neoair mat with my DIY bivy bag & tarp. Though I might swap for my Lighthouse Solo tent at the last minute depending on weather! Etrex 35 Touch for navigation, Exposure lights, Osmo Action and lots of snacks!

Steve Chapman

Age: 37

Location: Shropshire, England

Your bike: Custom 853 steel frame made by my mate Ben Yarnold of @teme_frameworks Stans rims on Hope Pro 4 hubs, Maxxis Rekon tyres 29” x 2.6, RaceFace crankset with steel RF chainring, Deore 10sp cassette (11-46T)and rear derailleur. Travers Prong XC Carbon fork (so good!), Ergon GP2 grips (essential when it gets hurty).

Your key items of kit: Bar bag is Alpkit 13L, frame bag is Alpkit custom with half-surgeon zip, seat pack and top tube bags are Apidura. No cooking equipment as warm food is available often enough to keep you going, plus it’s a faff when you’re tired (which will be always after day 1 😃), I’ll be taking a tent outer and footprint this year as bothies are off limits and the forecast looks bad. It’s a bit of extra weight but will be totally worth it if needed, better to have your house with you when the weather’s bad.

Chris Johnstone

Age: 66

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Your bike: My bike is a Salsa Mukluk running my summer wheelset: 29x2.6 Vittoria Mezcal with a Son dynamo providing lighting and power via B&M USB-Werk. I will have Exposure lights and a cache battery for back-up. The drive train is 1x11 with11-50t gearing to get me up the hills. The On-One Geoff handlebar gives me lots of comfortable hand positions and places to carry my kit.

Your key items of kit: I have a mixture of bags from Revelate, Alpkit and Apidura for food and tools. The seat bag is for a bivvy bag, sleeping bag with no sleep mat, waterproof and dry clothing. I will use a Garmin Edge 530 for navigation and Komoot on the phone for a backup. Still to decide on which shoes: vented that will dry quicker or un-vented that will keep my feet warmer, my feet are still recovering after the Dales Divide a couple of weeks ago where my cleats wore out. I will make it back for the finisher’s party, somehow!

Iain Cormack

Age: 47

Location: Cairngorm National Park, Scotland

Your bike: Flyxii 29+ with rigid fork, Bontrager Line plus wheels with Vittoria Bombolini 29 x 3" front and rear. Shimano SLX 11 speed 11-4t6 with 3t2 oval front. Charge Spoon saddle and On One Geoff bars. 

Your key items of kit: Bikepacks are a mix of Blackburn, Alpkit, Podsacs & Alpamayo bags. Terra Nova Laser Competition tent, Exped Airmat Lite, Bergaus Intrepid 1000 bag & silk liner. Germin eTrex20, 2xAnker 20,100 powerbanks, Moon Meteor Storm light, Rab Waterproof jacket, Endura w/proof trousers, down jacket. Luxuries: Muc-Off CC chamois sachets, Jelly Babies, Waterproof paper routemap & roadbook and a bell for the West Highland Way.

Huw Oliver

Age: 30

Location: Aviemore, Scotland

Your bike: Salsa Spearfish, Fox 34 Step-cast forks, Reynolds TR429 wheels, Raceface Next SL chainset with OneUp 28t chainring, Shimano XT/XTR 12s drivetrain, Hope Tech X2 brakes with 180mm rotors, Maxxis Ardent Race and Rekon race tyres, both EXO 2.35.

Your key items of kit: Revelate Designs custom frame bag, Revelate Pronghorn harness, Mag Tank 2000 bolt-on and Revelate Shrew seat bag. I'll keep some gear in an Inov8 running vest on my back. I'm using a SOL lightweight bivvy and OMM Mountain Raid 1.6 sleeping bag. Exposure Race handlebar light and Axis helmet light. Garmin eTrex 30 GPS. As well as plenty of sweet snacks I've also packed plenty of nut butter to keep fuelled!

Nick Bubb

Age: 42

Location: New Forest, Hampshire, England

Your bike: Cube Elite C68

Your key items of kit: Neoprene socks

Ian MacNab

Age: 65

Location: Hebden Bridge

Your bike: Frame is an On-One Scandal 29er, custom built by me. Tyres are a front 2.3" Specialized Fastrak and rear is a 2.1" Specialized Fastrak. Gears are 32t x 11-42. Carbon bars, dropper post, and 130mm forks.

Your key items of kit: Bags: Revelate Front roll and accessory bags, Ortlieb rear, and DIY frame bag. Sleeping system: Goretex bivi bag, NeoAir matress, Western Mountaineering Highlite down bag. Lights: Exposure Revo Dynamo on bars, Exposure Joystick on helmet. Navigation: Garmin Etrex 20, plus spare Etrex 20 as backup. Favourite kit: Granite designs cowbell aka "cricket bell". Aim: make it to the start, then get to the finish, anything else will be a bonus.

Chris Moorhouse

Age: 51

Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Your bike: Stanton Sherpa Ti with a standard triple chainset.

Your key items of kit: A mixture of Wildcat, Alpkit, Restrap and Surly. Bar bag attached by a Surly rigid cradle, top tube bag a modified Restrap Race. Frame bag a trusty Wildcat. Seat post bag and harness are Wildcat.

Robbie Lyall

Age: 41

Location: Perth, Scotland

Your bike: Specialized Epic, Hope/stans crest wheels, Specialized 2.1/2.3 tyres, Sram XX1/NX mix groupset.

Your key items of kit: Exposure lights, Garmin eTrex and Wahoo Roam as back up. The garmin has been playing up! Mix of bags, Custom Wee Cog frame bag, Wildcat seat and handlebar bags, Alpkit stem cell, Apidura top tube pouch, Endura bibs & merino socks, Gore overshorts, Columbia outdry waterproof jacket, cheap waterproof trousers, Arixci tarp, Tyvek bivy bag, Mountain Equipment sleeping bag, Klymit X frame torso mat.

Mike Dennison

Age: 55

Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Your bike: Travers RussTi Titanium hardtail, with a Travers Prong Carbon fork. SRAM Eagle 11-50 cassette and a Rotor 32t Q ring up front. 650B+ wheel set with a SON front hub, and WTB 2.8” TrailBlazers.

Your key items of kit: Mixture of Apidura and Wildcat bags. PHD down bag and Alpkit Cloudbase mat, with a 6 Moons Lunar Solo tent, a micro stove and some freeze dried meals thrown in as last minute additions! Garmin 800 with a cache battery for Nav, with paper maps as a backup. Exposure Revo and joystick lights.

Jorne Bluekens

Location: Belgium

Your bike: Lapierre carbon X-Flow 912, with 27.5” wheels. Favourite gear will be as light as possible (30 O-ring in front, 36 in back.)