Bikes of Trans Balkan Race

Bikes of Trans Balkan Race

31 May, 2022

The inaugural edition of any race demands riders to pack for the unknown. With a speculative idea of the terrain and conditions in they will face in Slovenia and Montenegro, riders must pick a bike for the race they expect to face with no previous kit lists to follow.

Header image from Rugile Kaladyte.

Marco Sartori

Name: Marco Sartori

Age: 34

Cap number: 71

Location: Torino, Italy

Bike: Salsa Cutthroat with mullet SRAM AXS groupset. Light Bicycle carbon rim, Redshift stem.

Key items of kit: Miss Grape prototype handlebar bag, custom Rusjan fullframe bag and top tube bag, Miss Grape seatbag. CamelBak vest for hydration. Klite dynamo light front and rear, Exposure Diablo on helmet, Hammerhead Karoo 2, SON dynamo hub, 2x Nitecore 10000 powerbanks Cumulus Xlite 200 sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite mat, custom bivy.

Ben Koch

Name: Ben Koch

Age: 30

Location: Germany, Sonnenbühl

Bike: BIKE: I’ll be riding the 2022 TransBalkanRace on a Open U.P. frame with Vittoria Tirreno Dry tires (different to the picture) on Campagnolo Shamal wheels. I went for a 1×13 drivetrain (38×9-42) with the Campagnolo Ekar. For hopefully little pain, I’ll be sitting on an Fizik Antares Evo R3 saddle.

Key items of kit: BAGS: My bag setup is a 2l top tube bag from Apidura, a 5l frame bag from Revelate Design and a race saddle bag from Restrap. My water will be in a backpack. GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: Sleeping in a SeaToSummit SPO I on a Thermarest Ueberlite mat. For riding in the dark I’ll have a Lupine Neo on my helmet. For navigation, I rely on a Wahoo Roam.

Sabina Knezevic

Name: Sabina Knezevic

Age: 31

Cap number: 42

Location: Malmö, Sweden

Bike: Cannondale F-Si Carbon 4 with SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 12-speed drivetrain, a Lefty Ocho 100mm fork and Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc brakes. Adjustable BiSaddle SRT 2.0, Ergon GS3 grips and PRO Missile Evo Clip On Aerobar for comfort. Hopefully.

Key items of kit: Where the Lefty does not allow for a dynamo, Exposure Lights MaXx D MK13 and Exposure Diablo MK12 save the night. The plan is to camp, so the sleep system and outer tent by Sea to Summit will provide quality sleep, even if it's short. Everything will be carried in Revelate Designs bags and a musette to carry things to and from the bike.

Cyril Chermin

Name: cyril chermin

Age: 48

Location: Amsterdam

Bike: I ride a steel 2017 Specialized AWOL called Bruce. Supernova Dynamo front hub, Chris King in the rear. 1x11 SRAM setup with trusty TRP mechanicl disc brakes... it's almost old school now. Custom frame bag, Ortlieb in the back and side cages on the front fork

Key items of kit: A Saint Christopher hanger travels everywhere with me although I am not religious. And the small Bialetti coffee maker comes along, even during races.

Paolo Luciani

Name: Paolo Luciani

Age: 40

Location: Torino

Bike: Salsa Cuttrhoat 2020, Crankset race face 32t derailleur Sram gx axs Shifter Sram rival etap axs Casette Sunrace 11-51 12V Carbon wheel giant

Key items of kit: Frame bag Rusjan Custom Saddle bag ortlieb Exp anything cradle top-load kit Head lamp petal nao+ Front light exposure race Rear light exposure trace r

Jürgen Mikusch

Name: Jürgen Mikusch

Age: 39

Location: Styria, Austria

Bike: Nordest Sardinha II with custom paint, Hunt Search Dynamo wheels, Specialized Fast Trak Grid tires 2,6/2,35, full Shimano SLX, Stooge Moto bar

Key items of kit: WhatHappened frame bag, VAP saddle bag, Alpkit bar bag, Acepac toptube bag, Sinewave Beacon front light

Robin Patijn

Name: Robin Patijn

Age: 32

Cap number: 64

Location: Sweden

Bike: My two-wheeled weapon of choice for the Trans Balkan Race is the Mason InSearchOf. The bike is built with a Mason x HUNT 'Son Dynamo' 29 Boost wheelset, Teravail Sparwood 29x2.2 tires and SRAM Rival 1X with TruvAtiv Stylo DUB 34T chainring and 11-42t cassette.

Key items of kit: I am quite happy with my full sleeping system from Sea to Summit for comfy nights camping and the Sinewave Beacon to charge the electronics on the go. But the key item I have with me, is the Fujifilm X100F camera.

Fabio Lucantoni

Name: Fabio Lucantoni

Age: 45

Location: Passignano Sul Trasimeno, Perugia, Italy

Bike: I will be driving the TBR on a Salsa Cutthroat v.2. The bike is equipped with a 2.25 "Maxxis tire and a sram 2 × 11 with 26/36 rings on the front and cassette 11-42 drivetrain

Key items of kit: BAGS: I ride with Geosmina Components front bag and rear bag and custom frame bags Polaris Cicli.

GEAR HIGHLIGHTS mammoth ultralight bivy and Cumulus sleeping bag, and a Sea To Summit mattress. I will also bring an eTrex20 for navigation.

Kristof Seyen

Name: Kristof Seyen

Age: 37

Location: Geel, Belgium

Bike: Kona rove ST, Shimano GRX groupset 38t x 10-40t.

Key items of kit: Restrap bags (cockpit, framebag, saddlebag, food pouch).

Domenico Grisorio

Name: Domenico Grisorio

Age: 38

Location: Torino

Bike: Salsa Cutthroat

Key items of kit: Vedere posti nuovi 😁

Pascal Vanhove

Name: Pascal Vanhove

Age: 52

Cap number: 92

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Bike: Pilot custom titanium frame, Shimano XT groupset 34x10-51t, Fox 32 Performance fork, DT Swiss XRC 1200 wheelset, Conti Mountain King 2,25" tyres, Jones H-Bar, Profile Design aerobars, ISM PM 2.0 saddle

Key items of kit: Bags and Water: Frame, saddle & top tube bags Apidura Expedition, Handlebar bag Alpkit Tivaro, Stem cells Agu Venture "ACT5", 3 x 1 litre bottles, Katadyn BeFree water filter

Electronics: Son dynamo hub, kLight Bikepacker Ultra v2 light, NC-17 Connect Appcon 3000 converter, Garmin Etrex 20x gps, iPhone 8 with Komoot, Sony RX0 M2 camera, Petzl Tika headlight

Sleep System: Nordisk Lofoten 1 ULW tent, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping mat, Nordisk Fever Ultra sleeping bag, cotton liner, Exped Air Pillow UL

Clothing: Assos Mille GTC Kiespanzer bib shorts, Bodhi jersey, Bodhi gillet, Gore C7 rain jacket, Haglöfs down pull-over, Craft base layer, GripGrab long finger gloves, Pearl-Izumi X-Alp Elevate shoes, Specialized Prevail helmet

Péter Oláh

Name: Péter Oláh

Age: 37

Cap number: 60

Location: Zsámbék, Hungary

Bike: I will ride the Trans Balkan Race on a Bombtrack Hook EXT C equiped with Shimano GRX 2x11 groupset and Kogel Ceramic BB. I got 30/46 chainrings and 11/42 cassette. I will roll on 650B size DT Swiss G540db wheels and 2.25 Vittoria Barzo tires and a Specialized Power saddle.The cockpit is complete with a Redshift shockstop suspension stem and 44cm Salsa Cowchipper handlebar.

Key items of kit: I will use a mix of Revelate Designs/ Mokush Outdoors/ Acepack/ Ortlieb bag combo. I got a SON dynamo hub and a kLite Bikepacker I. My sleeping system rely on a 3F UL 1 person tent and just a minimal sleeping bag + mat.

Cristian Grillini

Name: Cristian Grillini

Age: 35

Cap number: 31

Location: Bologna Italy

Bike: Sonder Camino Ti Sram force 1 11 (40/11-42) CYP wheels Gravel (son28) Pirelli Cinturato M 700 45

Key items of kit: All bags ALPKIT K-lite front and rear (lights and AC-DC) Navigation Garmin

Christofer Olsson

Name: Christofer Olsson

Age: 38

Cap number: 61

Location: Enskede

Bike: I'll be cruising along on my custom built Nordest Sardinha 2, HUNT Trail Wheels (Dynamo front wheel), 1x11 Shimano XT groupset, Vittoria Mezcal 2.35" F/R (tubeless), Bombtrack BPC fork (Widefoot Cargo cages on each leg), Fred bar, Easton Riser bars with SQlabs innerbarsends. Bike is made for long days on the saddle, while being comfortable. Think comfy tractor, instead of stiff sports car.

Key items of kit: Whenever I've done bikepacking trips, I get tired of hunting the next power outlet (once found, you have to hang by it for a bit too long), so I'm running a SON dynamo, with kLite lighting/charging setup. I'll have two battery packs for the "oh sh*t" moments. For navigation, I'll be using Wahoo Elemnt Bolt v2 (OsmAnd on my phone as backup). Katadyn BeFree water filter and SMD Lunar Solo tent for shelter. Using some Wolf-Tooth B-Rad goodies to have 3 bottles on my down tube as well.

Bas Wit

Name: Bas Wit

Age: 46

Cap number: 87

Location: Netherlands

Bike: Salsa Fargo (2016) with Rockshox SID select 100mm fork (comfort for my flimsy wrists) and a Salsa 52cm Cowchipper. Profile Design aerobars as pizza tray up front. Shifting is done with modified Sram Rival converted to 12 speed and mated to an Eagle GX derailleur. Front ring 30 with 10-50 cassette. 29" wheels with DT 350's and Vittoria Mezcal 2.35" tires ideal for long gravel roads and dryer conditions (guessing it will be hot, with the occasional thunderstorm).

Key items of kit: As owner of I like to try out new gear on races like this, but also rely on some trusty classics. Sleeping wil be done in a MLD tent on a Thermarest Uberlite (curious to see how it holds up) paired with an Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt. This is stuffed in the Acepac harnas on the front with sleeping kit. DIY home-made framebag from X-pac which holds 2 liters of water, cooking kit (alcohol stove and toaks pot), waterfilter and some small stuff. Seat bag is a Revelate Designs Terrapin 14L with spare clothes, rain gear and too much food (because I'm afraid to get hungry along the way). Acepac fuel bag and bottle bag for small things.

Fabian Burri

Name: Fabian Burri

Age: 32

Cap number: 15

Location: Bern, Switzerland

Bike: Unique Cinelli MTB Hardtail, Rock Shox SiD 100mm Fork, 650b Wheelset, SRAM GX axs 10/52 cassette and 36t Garbaruk oval chainring.

Key items of kit: Grayl waterfilter, Swiss army knife and solar powerbank.