Bikes of The Unknown Race 2024

Bikes of The Unknown Race 2024

9 April, 2024

For the second edition of the Unknown Race little more is known than last year! The checkpoints change each year, as has the start/finish line for this edition, and are not released before the start. Riders will only find out the first checkpoint an hour before the start, the second CP at the first CP, and so on until they return back to Vienna approximately 1,000km later.

Last year's event saw temperatures overnight drop dramatically, particularly in the Alps' valleys, so riders will need to be equipped for varying spring weather in the mountains. This is made even more of an art given they don't yet know where they will be going.

From the race, rider Andrea Romano put together this video of the bikes here:

Follow along with the race from our commentary here.

Will Vousden

Age: 35

Cap number: 12

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Albanach Torragar frame with GRX Di2 and 32 mm tubeless Conti GP5000 tyres mounted on Duke World Runner 50 rims. 11-36 cassette and 30-42 chainrings for some nice lower gearing.

Kit: Restrap frame bags and aero bar bag. But the star piece of kit this year for me is an Igaro C1 light/USB charging combo, which I hope will solve my USB charging woes once and for all.

Jair Hoogland

Name: Jair Hoogland

Age: 39

Cap number: 1

Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

Bike: I ride a J. Guillem Orient Dura Ace Di2 Disc Titanium Road Bike. Tyre choice: Continental 5000 GP 32mm. The bike is equipped with SON Dynamo hub and Supernova Lights.

Key items of kit: I stow my luggage in three different bags: Handlebar Aero Bag of which contains mostly food. Cyclyte Framebag Large which contains electronics, repair kits and some stuff for personal hygiene Cyclite Saddle bag which contains extra clothes in case of bad / cold weather.

Marco Hoeksema

Name: Marco Hoeksema

Age: 42

Cap number: 34

Location: Appingedam, Netherlands

Bike: Canyon Endurace CF SLX9.

Key items of kit: Mix of Apidura and Restrap bags will do the job.

Erik Steinberg

Name: Erik Steinberg

Age: 53

Cap number: 10

Location: Linz, Austria

Bike: Self built bamboo frame, chinese 11-speed groupset with mechanical disk brakes, Hunt wheels with SON dynamo hub and Igaro D2 USB power converter, 35mm Continental GP 5000 tubeless tires, Redshift Switch Aero aerobars and seatpost, ISM saddle, lights: Edelux II, Garmin Varia, Berthoud fenders to keep my ass dry.

Key items of kit: Sleeping system (bag & pad) and warm cloths in tailfin aeropack, the rest fits into the two frame bags. Custom built carbon aerobar bag with integrated Garmin and smartphone mount primarily for quick access to food.

Arno Burgi

Name: Arno Burgi

Age: 60

Cap number: 15

Location: Dresden, Germany

Bike: Norco Threshold Carbon, Newman Carbon wheels with Hope/SON Dynamo Conti 5000 AS - 28mm. Shimano GRX groupset and Infinity bike saddle.

Key items of kit: Apidura bags, Wahoo, Supernova light, Lupine Piko light NC17- Appcon 3000 power bank.

Norina Tondar

Name: Norina Tondar

Age: 22

Cap number: 42

Location: Ulm, Germany

Bike: Stevens Arcalis, SRAM Force

Key items of kit: Apidura Bags (Full Frame, Long Top Tupe and Saddle Pack); Lupine Lights ('Piko' for the helmet and 'Rotlicht' for rearlight); Evoc Hydro Pro hydration vest; probably one spare SRAM battery.

Thomas Ettema

Age: 42

Cap number: 65

Location: Haarlem, Netherlands

Bike: Brand new Fairlight Secan 2.5 (56R) in black with a nice mix of old and new, black and silver, components. 1x12 Etap with 44-11/44 gearing and an older set of GXP cranks. Duke rims with Hope and Son hubs and 38mm Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tires. Set of Velo Orange 45mm dented fenders for style points. SInewace beacon and SON rear light for safety and a clear view. Zipp bar with a mix and match TT clip-on from Ritchey.

Key items of kit: Wahoo for navigation. Bags are a mix of Restrap and Revelate with a nice custom Witslingers framebag stealing the show here. Minimal sleeping setup as backup, hope to rely on hotels for this early spring adventure. A proper mix of clothing from various brands, decided to not purchase any new cycling kit until all the old is worn out. Still undecided if I will keep the fenders on or off, might decide last minute based on the weather forecast. If removed, I will add some waterproof stuff to my packlist....

Geert Bonnema

Age: 41

Cap number: 77

Location: Netherlands

Bike: For the Unknown Race I am riding my Trek Checkpoint SL. This is the same bike I rode last year in the TCR where I crashed after 60km's. Groupset is Campagnolo Chorus 2x12 (mechanical), 48/32 front rings and an 11-34 cassette hopefully allowing me to climb all the unknown mountains in the race.

I'm running Schwalbe Pro One 30mm tubeless on 30mm high and 30mm wide rims. It's a very smooth and comfortable tire that should also help me out when the surface gets a bit rough.

Fenders are SKS Bluemels with a Toetector from Ass Savers, but if the weather is good I might take them off.

Key items of kit: For lights I'm running a Sinewave Beacon 2 front light and a B&M Secuzed rear light/reflector. These are powered by a SON28 dynamo hub. The Beacon 2 also allows me to charge my other electronics when I don't need full lights.

Top tube bag and saddle bag are from Restrap and my frame bag is from AGU. For sleeping I'm carrying an emergency bivi, Nordisk Oscar sleeping bag, sleeping mat from Sea to Summit and an inflatable pillow.

For navigation I'm using my Garmin Edge 830 and my phone that I can mount on my stem.

Felix Heine

Age: 46

Cap number: 41

Location: Leipzig (Germany)

Bike: Orbea Orca Aero from 2020 with ordinary aerobars

Key items of kit: Restrap toptube and framebag, Garmin 1040 & Varia Radar, Lupine SL AF, no sleeping gear - my bum needs a pad made of freshly washed cotton.

Felix Hirth

Age: 31

Cap number: 61

Location: Reutlingen, Germany

Bike: BMC Roadmachine, Shimano Ultegra Di2, Dynamo + Supernova Lighting and Deda Aerobars.

Key items of kit: Apidura Saddlepack, Apidura full Framepack, Cyclite Toptube Bag Large and Saddlepack Stabilizers with bottle cages.

Philipp Brandstetter

Age: 28

Location: Geltendorf, Germany

Bike: Trek Checkpoint SL6. 1x12 SRAM XPLR AXS

Key items of kit: Bontrager adventure Boss Bag, Ortlieb Seat Pack 11L, Garmin Edge 530. Lezyne 1600XXL and Lupine Rotlicht Max und.

Martin Granadia

Age: 44

Cap number: 14

Location: Austria

Bike: BMC Roadmachine 01 THREE. Shimano Ultegra Groupset with Powermeter, Zipp 303 Firecrest wheelset with 30mm Pirelli tires.

Key items of kit: Tailfin rack and bag at the back (for clothing and stuff), Cyclite framebag for tools and nutrition, cyclite front bag holding a drink bladder and the battery for the Lupine Piko. Zipp extensions with high rise for more comfort, two titanium Keego bottles.

Will have a blogpost online on within the next days with a more detailed description of my equipment. ;)

Gregor Wechselberger

Age: 47

Cap number: 71

Location: Austria

Bike: 8bar slebst aufgebaut mit Sram Force AXS wide 43/30 Casette 10/33 Alles Gewachst C-bear Lager bei der Kurbel und Schaltröllchen. Sattel Sq-lab Sattelstütze Ergon Lenkerband Ergon. Reifen Grandprix 5000 30mm Tubless. Felgen Pancho mit Nabendynamo von son inclusiver Beleuchtung. Lenker Zipp aero Eda mit wireless blips von SRAM. Pedale Assioma Favero einseitig.

Key items of kit: Taschen wie am Foto. In der Arschrakete: Regengewand Daunen Hose und Jacke, Pivi, Unterlegsmatte, Sockenschuhe zum gehen,1 Trikot und Hose Legin und Merino Unterhemd zum schlafen. Unterrohr Pulver zum Trinken da ich nichts anderes vertrage ( Fruktoseintolleranz)nehme ich alles mit.für ca30mal auffüllen. Oberrohr : Powerbank und Akkus mit Kabel und Stecker. Aero Pack: Armlinge Beinlinge Sachen für die Nacht. Navi : Garmin Edge 1040 Solar. Garmin Vario Radar als Rücklicht. Sp-connect Halterung fürs Handy.


Cap number: 78

Bike: Viner Maxima RS 4

Key items of kit: Myog Framebag for clothes like rain jacket, down jacket, arm warmers, leg warmers etc. TT bag by my friend Max for snacks, camera, spare batteries and power bank. Small tool bag for spare tubes and tools. Clip on aerobars.

Urs Mannhart

Age: 49

Cap number: 63

Location: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Bike: A Fairlight Strael 3.0 steal road bike will be my company.

Wheels: H Plus Son The Hydra, home built. Tyres: Soma Shikoro 33mm, with tubes. Aerobars: Pro Missile. Electric Power: Son 28 Dynamo. Crankset: Soma New Albion 34/50. Breaks: TRP Spyre 160mm.

Key items of kit: Framebag: Restrap. Saddlebag: Wili wili tree drybag, attached to a Minoura bag stabilizer. The bag for my bivi and the food pouches are home made. Spare tubes and tools I have placed in the low bottle cage.

Valentin Ogrzewalla

Age: 26

Cap number: 25

Location: Freiburg, Germany

Bike: Frame: Stevens Easton R-P-R 4 Racer; Groupset: Shimano Ultegra; Rims: Mavic CXP 30; Tires: Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons 25 mm; Saddle: Brooks B17.

Key items of kit: Sleeping System: Camping mat, sleeping bag; Lights: Shutter Precision dynamo, B&M Luxos U frontlight, Trelock backlight; Music: JBL GO 3 😇

Maximilian Gutmensch

Age: 37

Cap number: 35

Location: Lower Austria

Bike: Specialized Crux 2016, heavily modified. Shimano GRX crankset & 11-36 cassette for improved climbing.

Key items of kit: Vaude + Restrap Bags, Pro aero cockpit. Sigma Lights + Powerbank(s). Sleep system is provided by credit card... ;-)

Jakub Micorek

Age: 30

Cap number: 116

Location: Graz, Austria

Bike: Canyon Endurace CF 8. Added 11-40t casette for the steep hills, DEDA Aerobars and Redshift dual-position seatpost.

Key items of kit: A mixture of Apidura bags in the middle and back of the bike, storing electronics, a bivy, a sleeping bag, clothes for cold and rainy weather. The Cyclite aero bag and pouches are mainly for storing food. Added an additional bottle cage below the frame. Lights: Lumintop B01 mounted on a 3D-printed Aerobridge, rear light on the saddle bag.

Roland Bartmuss

Age: 55

Cap number: 147

Location: Germany

Bike: Salsa Vaya (2012) CroMo frame and fork

Key items of kit: Mix of Bags as shown, Knog PWR headlight with spare batteries (doubles as powerbank for Garmin headunit), Cateye and Garmin Varia rear lights, Rival 1x11 with 38 chainring and 10-42 rear cogs plus Garbaruk cage, same bike as used in all our other races (sometimes using 11-46 rear), Maxxis Rambler 700x40c

Christine Bartmuss

Age: 55

Cap number: 148

Location: Germany

Bike: Kona Rove AL 700 (2022)

Key items of kit: Apidura race Bags, Garmin headunit, mechanical Rival 1x12 (ratio technology conversion) with mechanical disc brakes (absolutely sufficient for my style of riding), 38 chainring with a 11-50 sunrace cassette and garbaruk cage, cateye rear and front lights, additionally Knog PWR front light with spare batteries (aka powerbank), Specialized Pathfinder pro 700x42, same bike as raced in RAR24, Seven Serpents quickbite, Badlands etc.

Dries van der Kleij

Age: 44

Cap number: 101

Location: Belgium

Bike: Specialized Crux Comp. Decided to buy this bike as both a light climbing bike and a bike for some gravel here in my home playground. But after riding it for a couple of months found it quiet spectacular as a general do-it-all racebike, which made me opt for this bike over my Trek Domane also for this Unknown Race. (Plan to upgrade it to a mullet setup and some better wheels and add a Vecnum suspension stem for a bit of extra comfort for off-road adventures, but for now keeping the standard stuff on it.)

Key items of kit: Groupset: SRAM Rival - 42T - 11-44 11speed. Tyres: Challenge - Strada Bianca Pro HTLR 45mm, low rolling resistance + rather good puncture resistance should be able to take me anywhere. Bags: mix of Apidura and Cyclite with enough room for a couple of 20-hours non-stop rides. Sleepkit: None. Just 2 survival blankets and a my full cycling wardrobe to ride in -10 to +25°C, including Winter gloves and Overshoes. Lights: Garmin Varia for safety as backlight+radar! (Would recommend organizers of these type of events to make this mandatory), Lezyne 1300XXL as my thrusty frontlight. Power: 100W + 30W chargers, 20000mA powerbank (Ugreen) Taking an iPad for my route planning. :-)

Aleksander Wanowski

Age: 44

Cap number: 11

Location: Vechelde, Germany

Bike: Nickname: "Black Dragon" Modell: Carbonda, CFR696, 54cm Groupset: SRAM Rival GX Eagle Etap, 44T, 10-52 Wheel set: DT-Swiss front RR481db, rear C1800 Tires with tube: 32-622(700x32c) Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Aerobars: Profile Design Sonic Ergo 50a with 70mm spacer Saddle: PRO stealth sport 142mm SON Dynamo, B+M IQ-X & my, Cycle2charge, Redshift Suspension Stem

Key items of kit: Handlebar: Restrap 7L Race Aero Bar Bag (for spare cloths, leg and arm warmers, rain cloths,...). AGU 2x 1L Snack-pack (for GoPro, Coca-Cola 0,5L or snacks). Apidura 13L packable backpack.

Frame: Apidura 4,5L Expedition frame pack (for tools, powerbank, battery lights,...) Apidura 2L Racing long top tube pack - never without (for snacks, documents, money, smartphone,...) Tailfin 18L AeroPack Alloy (for sleeping gear, bivouac + Sea to Summit Spark 2, warm jacket,…). Adventure Hydration Cranktank3 (for water or liquid nutrition)

Peter Kuhn

Age: 41

Cap number: 83

Location: Ulm, Germany

Bike: 2024 TREK Checkpoint SL 5 with Shimano 12 speed, 46/30 crankset and 11-36 cassette. Wheels with Schwalbe G-One Speed 30 mm.

Key items of kit: Apidura seatpost bag and Cyclite aero bar bag. Top bar bag by Zefal. Supernova E3 Pure lighting system powered by a dynamo and further a battery powered light. Additionally AC/DC converter from Cycle2Charge to charge a powerbank and electronic equipment. Quadlock phone mount and also mounted centered a Garmin 1030 Plus. Evoc hydro pro backpack with 1.5 l water as well as 1.5 l in bottles. Few tools and spare parts in bottom bottle.

Paul Merkel

Age: 24

Cap number: 108

Location: Gießen, Germany

Bike: Arc8 Eero built up with: SRAM Rival XPLR (46T chainring), ZIPP 303s, Continental GP 5000 S TR in 32mm, Favero Assioma Uno road pedals.

Key items of kit: Topeak saddlebag with topeak wishbone, rest Apidura. 3 bottle cages that are fiddly to get bottles out of, 3 mismatched bottles, 1kg of Maltodextrin in ziplock bags that will get me in trouble should I get randomly searched at a border, no space for aerobars next to the stupid broad stem :( (Outdoor research bivy, Thermarest x-lite, -3°C - 2°C sleeping bag).

Lukas Klöckner

Age: 27

Cap number: 9

Location: Siegen, Germany

Bike: Cervélo Caledonia-5 frameset. Black Inc. handlebar 400/120mm. Light Bicycle WR40 wheels with BikeBeat Hub. Schwalbe Pro One TLE 28mm. SRAM RED/Rival eTap AXS (50/37 - 10-33) with QUARQ powermeter. Speedplay Zero pedals,

Key items of kit: Brooks Scape Handlebar Pouch handlebar bag. Giant H2Pro framebag, size:M. Topeak MondoPack saddlebag. Lezyne Macro Drive 1400+ front light. Lezyne Strip Drive rear light.

Andy Georges

Age: 46

Cap number: 126

Location: Oostende, Belgium

Bike: I will normally be riding my Genesis Fugio 30 (2021), which is a steel all road bike. Currently it has 650b SWS handbuilt wheels, Rene Hersé Bon Jon Pass (48mm) tires, a ZIPP aerobar. I'm using a SON dynamo, front and rear light. Drivetrain is 1x, 40 at the front, 11-42 at the rear, 11 speed GRX-810 groupset.

Key items of kit: Apidura Aerobar bag for emergency kit (down jacket, blanket). Apidura top tube bag for battery, cables, .... Apidura 4l frame bag for spare tires, pump, food. Apidura 9l seat bag for spare clothing and layering, toothbrush and toothpaste :) Brooks handle bar bag for rain gear.

David Kalla

Age: 36

Cap number: 17

Location: Vienna, Austria

Bike: BMC Teammachine SLR01 2019. Shimano Ultegra Di2 11s, 50-34 / 11-34. Pancho Rush GFS 45 Wheels. Tires: Tufo Comtura Prima tubeless, front 30mm rear 28mm as measured. Waxed chain for the first 1-2 days, then probably chainging to wet lube ;) Profile Design aerobars with mounted phone and Wahoo.

Key items of kit: A mix of Canyon framebag for electronics, tools and hygene. Apidura/Canyon Saddlebag for clothes and Cyclite front bag for food. Fenix BC26 front light with swappable usb-c chargable battery, a small long lasting rear light, Lezyne spare light, Garmin Radar. 10000mAh Powerbank + wall charger. No sleeping setup, as the weather probably will force us to look for a room anyway.


Age: 34

Cap number: 102

Location: Turin, Italy

Bike: Curve Belgie Disc V2, Shimano Ultegra Di2 50/34 - 11-28, Light Bicycle wheels + Chris King hub.

Key items of kit: Restrap 14l saddle bag: down jacket, rain shell, sleeping mat. Restrap 4,5l frame bag: emergency blanket, electronic gears, power bank, rain jacket, spare tools.

Christophe Dijkmans

Age: 32

Cap number: 113

Location: Liege, Belgium

Bike: Wilier ZERO SLR - Prepared with love as always by my friend and mechanical ERASE Wheels (Hubs made in Belgium, not only a sticker...) with the new Hutchinson Blackbird 28mm TLR tires. Fizik Argo Vento R0 saddle as sofa. SRAM Red AXS 48/35-10/33. Shimano PD-ES600 pedals - I definitively prefer to ride MTB Shoes than Road ones on Ultra events.

Key items of kit: Tailfin Packs, Exposure Lights, Albion Gears and Garmin Edge 1040 Solar.

Sebastiano Frandino

Age: 26

Cap number: 59

Location: Vienna, Austria

Bike: I will be riding my Open UP with some road-ish modification. Sram mullet drivetrain, 10-52 in the back and garbaruk 46t in the front. The tires are Rene Herse Barlow Pass 38mm for some extra comfort in the unknown. Profile design aerobars and k-lite lighting system powered by a SON dynamo hub.

Key items of kit: Last minute panic packing given the weather forecast with subzero temperatures. Spark1 sleeping bag, SOL escape bivvy and sleeping mat. Most bags are from restrap while on the handlebar is a ortlieb drybag with 2 voile straps.

Henning Sydow

Age: 32

Cap number: 82

Location: Vienna, Austria

Bike: Veloheld titanium frame, Duke/DT-Swiss wheels with Schwalbe Pro One 28mm tubeless, Everve Ezero saddle and mixed 1x11 groupset (Sram cassette 10-42, Sram Red crankset, Shimano XTR derailleur and GRX shifter).

Key items of kit: Custom framebag by vonberg (cheers to Jakob), saddle and toptubebag are apidura racing, Lupike Piko and Rotlicht Max, Supernova Airstream 2, Wahoo Elemnt Roam and two Nitecore powerbanks.

Luc Delwiche

Age: 42

Cap number: 135

Location: Namur Belgium

Bike: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8 aero. Shimano Ultegra Di2 12 speed (52/36 x 11-34) Wheels : Fulcrum wind 40 DB. Saddle : Specialized Power Pro Mirror. Tires : Continental Grand Prix 5000S TR in tubeless of course.

Key items of kit: Restrap top tube 2l, Restrap frame tube 4,5l and Apidura expedition saddle bag 9l. No ride without my Garmin varia, Lezyne 1300xxl, Garmin Edge 1040. Pedals - powermeter : Favero assioma uno. For sleeping : Inflatable mattress - sleeping bag. Sunnies : Oakley sutro lite sweep. Helmet : Abus Air breaker.

Andi Scheuerpflug

Age: 31

Cap number: 58

Location: Köln, Germany

Bike: Canyon Endurace 7.0 AL with a Shimano 105 Group and DT Swiss Endurance LM wheels

Key items of kit: I Use the frame bag and seatbag from "Ortlieb", the top tube bag is from "Restrap". My main light setup is a lupine mono sl and the lupine Rotlicht. My spare light set up is from "sigma". For sleeping I have the "Sea to Summit" Spark 2 and a protection sheet from OBI. For my Motivation through climbing i have a small JBL Box on my seatpack.

Jana Kesenheimer

Age: 29

Cap number: 93

Location: Innsbruck, Austria

Bike: Specialized Aethos Pro 2024

Key items of kit: My top item is probably my Cumulus Xlite300 sleeping bag for a cozy cold night. Another “highligth” (haha 🌟) is my Supernova M99 Mini. And the Evoc bags offer the perfect solution for my small bike frame (49cm).

David Hamann

Age: 24

Cap number: 55

Location: Freiburg, Germany

Bike: Bulls Grinder 1

Key items of kit: Sleeping Bag, Air Mattress and Food Pouches.

Moritz Fallgatter

Age: 27

Cap number: 123

Location: Vienna, Austria

Bike: Bicycle Centurion × bikestore würzburg

Key items of kit: Top bag of my hiking backpack. -10°C degree sleeping bag (comfort). Picture of my family.

Nick Rotter

Age: 33

Cap number: 21

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: Fara F/All road

Key items of kit: Last minute picture on the way to the start. Sleeping Setup (mat, inlet, sleeping bag, hat), snacks snacks snacks! 2nd pair of long bibs, short rain trousers & long rain trousers, warm overshoes, winter gloves, hand and toe warmers, repair kit and 20.000 mAh powerbank.

Since the bike arrived on tuesday, the Unknown Race will be the very first ride, so cross your fingers, everything will work out.

Henry Paegel

Age: 21

Cap number: 97

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Bike: Riding my 2016 Trek Crockett in beautiful Frosty Pink! Despite it being a cross frame, I enjoy it for long distances as well. Built it up with reliable SRAM Rival/Force equipped with 40x10-42 gearing. Running WTB Exposure 30's (32mm) setup tubeless. Plus Quarq powermeter to measure how slow I ride up hills and dynamo Lights (Bumm IQ-XS) for peace of mind.

Key items of kit: Seat Pack with SOL Escape Bivy, Sleeping bag, Puffy Jacket and some clothes (Gloves, Baselayer, Socks) and spares. Frame Bag for everything else incl. 20Ah powerbank to charge my devices (mainly phone and Wahoo Bolt V1). Toptube bag for the important things and snacks :D

Eugenio Pasquato

Age: 21

Cap number: 73

Location: Padova, Italy

Bike: Trek Domane

Key items of kit: Frame bag with water bladder and lots of food storage; no sleeping system this time, just enough clothes in the saddle bag Top tube bag with electronics and tracker :)