Bikes of Trans Balkan Race 2024

Bikes of Trans Balkan Race 2024

1 June, 2024

Frédéric Marchand

Age: 44

Cap number: 14

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

Bike: Canyon Exceed CF7 with a 100mm RockShok SID fork with almost 20000km. 32T chainring with SRAM GX 10x52T transmission. For the race, i'll switch to DT Swiss wheels with Vittoria Mezcal with a SON28 dynamo hub.

Key items of kit: Some Revelate Designs bags, Aeropack from Tailfin. And of course the excellent framebag made by Merit Gear based in Amsterdam. Tarptent Aeon Li, Cumulus Quilt-250, Therm-a-Rest NXT. Garmin Edge 1040 for navigation.

Bart Evens

Age: 44

Cap number: 36

Location: Belgium

Bike: Canyon Exceed CF SLX 8

Key items of kit: Legs

Mihai Lupsan

Age: 35

Cap number: 53

Location: Resita, Romania

Bike: My bike is a 2017 Bianchi Jab, which I've nicknamed Bianca. It has a Rock Shox Reba Solo Air 100mm suspension fork and DT Swiss G1800 wheels with 2.25 tubeless Vittoria Mezcal Tyres. My drivetrain is a 1x11 with a 10-50t Garbaruk cassette on the back and 30t chainring on Shimano XT crank arms and a Deore rear derailleur. I have kept the original 2017 Shimano BR-M447 brakes but have upgraded to 180mm discs front and back. I'm racing on a comfy Ergon SM10 Enduro saddle and on the handlebars I have some cheap Ali Express aero bars which will come in handy if there will by any flat parts on this up and down route.

Key items of kit: I'm packing my tent, sleeping bag and mat into a big drybag mounted on a Axiom bike rack. I also have a Decathlon full frame bag, a Topeak Frontloader handlebar bag and a top tube bag for easy to reach stuff. My lucky item(s) are all the things that my good friends have lent me for this race.

Willy Alcock

Age: 59

Location: South Africa, knysna

Bike: Trek 9.9 Oclv

Key items of kit: Revelate frame and saddle bag. 2 x feed pouches

Martin Moschek

Age: 49

Cap number: 31

Location: Halstenbek/Germany

Bike: Nordest sardinha 2 Titan

Key items of kit: For the TBR, I'm relying on my new Nordest Sardinha hardtail, which I built up especially for this event. It has a SRAM GX AXS drivetrain, with a 32t front crankset and a 10-52t rear cassette. For the tyres I'm again using Vittoria Mezcal with a width of 2.25 inches. They run on Beast XC30 carbon rims, with a DT-Swiss 240 hub at the rear and a SON 28 hub dynamo at the front.

This time I'm using Sinewave Beacon 2 lights with an internal USB charger. The night will be spent in an OR Helium bivy sack with a Cumulus X-Lite 200 sleeping bag and TAR Uberlite sleeping pad.

My bags this time are a mix of different specialities: the long top tube bag from Cyclite, modified for bolt-on mounting. The two-piece full-frame bag is custom-made by 7 Roads from the Ukraine. At the front I use a Revelate Designs Pronghorn Harness with pannier and at the back the Restrap Race saddle bag. I also have a hydration pack and plenty of space for carrying food and drink on the road.

Wolf-Thorsten Witt

Age: 95

Location: Germany

Bike: Orbea OIZ LTD 2024

Key items of kit: Ortlieb, Apidura, Salsa, Zipp Extentions, Minsane Back Pack, Sponser Bottels, Sram XX SL Transmission, Vittoria Mezcal, Garmin 1040, Selle Italia Novus, Fox Factory Shocks 120 mm, PRC Seatpost, FSA Riser Bar, Dt Swiss Wheels, Quark Powermeter, Crank Brother Mailet Pedals, Shimano XTR Brakes. Tubeless Tires.

Benny Simpson

Age: 43

Location: Israel

Bike: Trek top fuel

Key items of kit: Full sus, 29x2.6 tiers, apidura & revalete bags, exposure and magicshine lights, bivy and pad, rain kit, airpods an my fevorite poc sunglasses. No aerobars, no dynamo, no sleeping bag

Lorenz Eimansberger

Age: 26

Cap number: 23

Location: Vienna

Bike: Bombtrack Cale 2022

Key items of kit: Custom Quercus Outdoors framebag and a down tube tool kit to keep all the weight low and centered. Revelate saddle bag for clothes and sleeping kit and a Cyclite top tube bag for electronics and easily reachable essentials. Also, my raised Profile Design aero bars hold a snack bag, as well as my K-Lite dynamo lamp. Not pictured is my drinking backpack with a 2L bladder, as well as two 750ml bottles which I will attach sideways to my downtube - should be plenty to keep me hydrated over long stretches of dry karstic mountains.


Age: 38

Cap number: 108

Location: France 🇫🇷

Bike: BIKE: Girs Nomade with white / gold paint for this project. 

The bike is an MTB Girs Nomade Carbone equipped with a Shimano XT/DEORE 12V mecanics group, Shimano XT/DEORE brake, a new pair of Maxxis Ikon tires, a 1×12 drivetrain with a 32T chainring, and DT Swiss 29 inch wheels with a SON Dynamo hub at the front. Handlebars is ENVE, new special seatpost Cane creek with small suspension, Selle Idéale Saddle, Profile Design extension with 70mm shims under the armrests. 2 tubes / Tubeless material / tools / spare GPS Garmin

Garmin 67i to share my dot (position).

Key items of kit: BAGS: Restrap full frame and saddle bag 8L, 2 stem bags and Canister. I will possibly have 2x 500ml flasks and 1L soft in my Compressport Trail bag. One 800ml bottles on my frame will be a priority though

GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: As always, I will use my Garmin 1040 Solar and Garmin battery. Dynamo Hub SON + Sinewave lamp with USB port and Ravemen in spare + lezyne in rear. Saddle Selle Ideale and Cane creek seat post.

Alexandre Antrope

Age: 39

Location: Grenoble

Bike: Edelbikes, it's a local frame-builder from France. I made it on a internship.

Key items of kit: For this event, I add a down-tube bag to put a extra 1l bottle. I'll bring 2,5l of water. I add also a water filter. I'll use homemade bags excepted of the revelate design harness. I've got a homemade tarp as well that I mount with my bike.

Aleš Cotič

Age: 50

Location: Gornja Radgona

Bike: Cotic SolarisMAX

Key items of kit: Formula Selva 150 mm, Drivetrain Shimano XT, Magura MT5, DT Swiss HX1700, Vittoria Mezcal 29"x2,35, Seat and Bar Chromag, Bags Evoc

Mladen Milic

Age: 52

Cap number: 57

Location: Switzerland

Bike: S-Works Epic

Key items of kit: Apidura - bags Lezyne - lights Profile Design - aero bars Garmin Edge 1030 - bike computer

Joey Landine

Age: 27

Cap number: 112

Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

Bike: Trek Procaliber 9.7 equipped with Sram Eagle groupset, Bontrager Line Elite 30 wheels and Pirelli Scorpion XC 2.4 tires. Sid SL 100mm fork on the front end, and Trek's isospeed decoupler for added rear compliance.

Key items of kit: Full Apidura setup including saddlepack, handlebar roll, frame bag, top tube bag and a food pouch with beer stains from past adventures. Smith Network helmet and Ruckus lenses for safety and style.

Michele Spiller

Age: 52

Cap number: 23900

Location: Lecco

Bike: Bice Bicycle Ramingo

Key items of kit: Monster Cross 29, boost carbon mtb wheels, tyres, Continental Race king protection 2.25. set Vap Cycling bags, 1x11 Sram Force drivetrain, 34-10-50.

Boris Jurc

Age: 33

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Bike: Giant revolt advanced

Key items of kit: I'll be riding the Trans balkan race on my trusty Giant revolt advanced gravel bike. I have modified the bike so that it can climb well as well as well as go fast on the flats. Im running sram axs 1by, 40t front and a 10-50 casette. For suspension i chose just the Redshift suspension stem, combined with Terraveil Rutland 47 mm tyres. Im running Hunt alloy 4 sesason gravel rims. The bikepacking bags are all Apidura expedition/race and an Ortlieb saddle bag. For navigation im using my Wahoo Roam and a Garmin pheonix watch for backup. For night riding i chose my Magicshine Ray 2100 lamp and Leyzene hecto drive 500 with a headlamp for backup.

Thomas Georg

Age: 43

Cap number: 120

Location: Karlsruhe - Germany


Key items of kit: SRAM AXS - FOX Fahrwerk - APIDURA, & ZEFAL Bags - MINSANE Carrier

Emma Johnson

Age: 45

Cap number: 113

Location: Suffolk, UK

Bike: Bianchi Nitron

Key items of kit: Built by Elmy Cycles

• Bianchi Nitron carbon frame with Fox suspension forks. • 32t on the front 10-50, 12 speed on the back, for the ascents. • Tri bars • 29” tubeless tyres with reinforced walls for the rocks.

Justus Wiegand

Age: 23

Location: Kassel, Germany

Bike: I'll ride the Trans Balkan on a Sour Purple Haze. It's custom built and features 1x drivetrain 38/11-50 with purple details. It's a mix of Shimano GRX and Garbaruk parts. In the front wheel I have a SON dynamo hub to power my lights. I choose to ride the Vittoria Mezcal 29x2.1"

Key items of kit: The highlight of my setup is my Supernova M99 DY Pro powered by the dynamo hub which is damn bright. And I don't have to worry run out of battery.

de Raikem Thibaut

Age: 34

Cap number: 20

Location: Belgium

Bike: Willier 501XN in 1x11 ( 30 x 10-46 )

29" Tubeless Continental RaceKing

Key items of kit: Saddle and handlebar bags are my two main bags for the TBR 2024.

The two small frame bags are for easy access to small object and small refueling. One bottle holder will serve for the toolbox and other one for special drinks as my camelback will hold my water ( 2L )

Jochen Böhringer

Age: 44

Cap number: 44


Bike: I’ll be riding the Trans Balkan Race on a 2024 ORBEA OIZ M LTD full suspension bike. The bike will hit the ground with Wolfpack Speed 2.25” tires. The XCO geometry and 120mm of front and rear suspension will guarantee a lot of fun in the descents. As I prefer to pedal smoothly with high cadence my 1×12 SRAM Transmission setup is prepared with 32T chainring on the front and 10-52T cassette at the rear. To be aero and comfortable in the flats I have some Syntace C3 aerobars attached to my cockpit.

Key items of kit: I'm riding the first time with my brand new tailfin AeroPack Carbon and tailfin top tube and downtube packs. That allows me to get rid of my big handlebar bag. That should improve bike handling and aero dynamics. Looking forward to test it on this demanding track.

My power meter will help me not to over pace at the beginning and kick my ass when watts drop too much during the race. I will go for a SON dynamo hub setup with kLite front light to be able to ride at night and charge my garmin, mobile phone and AXS batteries during the day as well.

Matt Schweiker

Age: 38

Location: Chattanooga Tennessee USA

Bike: Litespeed Pinhoti III Titanium hardtail. This bike is made in my hometown of Chattanooga Tennessee USA and named after on of our best backcountry singletrack trails. Custom Rockgeist lace-up frambag, Maxxis IKON 2.2's

Key items of kit: Western Mountaineering down bag, SON dynamo hub, Sinewave Beacon V2, Garmin 1040 for navigiation

Sven Brenner

Age: 45

Cap number: 9

Location: Munich, Germany

Bike: - Santa Cruz Chameleon Carbon with Rock Shox Pike fork

  • 29er Mavic Crossmax carbon wheels with Kenda Rush Pro SCT tires in 2.2", filled with Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle tubeless sealant
  • Shimano XT-M8120 4 piston brakes front and rear. Especially the 2.3 mm thick Brakestuff Punch 203 mm rotor at the front offers amazing braking performance.
  • Shimano XT-M8100 drivetrain with Wolftooth Direct Mount 30 teeth chainring and 10-51 XT cassette
  • Stages Powermeter
  • SKS Mudrockers front and rear

Key items of kit: - Tailfin Suspension Fork Mounts with a Tailfin Cargo Cage and an XLAB Gorilla XT bottle cage mounted on either side. The XLAB XT bottlecages are extremely strong and make it really impossible to lose a bottle on bumpy roads. I will carry one 1L water bottle and one 5L Tailfin Cage Pack on either side of the fork. The Cage Packs will carry the tent (MSR Hubba Hubba NX), sleeping mat (Sea to Summit Ether Light XT) and anything else needed for sleeping.

  • The long tent poles are nicely fixed to a Restrap bumper bar below the handlebar (very cool possibility to carry the tent poles, when they are too long for any bag)
  • Apidura bags: Expedition Saddle Pack, Backcountry Full Frame Pack, Backcountry Rear Top Tube Pack, Backcountry Long Top Tube Pack, two Backcountry Food Pouch Plus, Backcountry Downtube Pack, Packable Musette
  • Lighting system: Two Moon Helix Pro rear lights, one Moon Rigel Max and one Moon Rigel Pro front light
  • Powerbanks: one Anker 737 (superfast chargeable with 100 W) and one lightweight Nitecore NB10000
  • several 100 W USB-C cables
  • Garmin Edge 1040
  • Anything, which needs to be charged is USB-C

Aaron Hardin

Age: 33

Location: Tucson, AZ USA

Bike: Specialized Epic Pro

Key items of kit: I will be riding a very new to me Specialized Epic and a 120mm Sid ultimate with some mix of components from Berd, Roval, Sram and Formula, with batteries for shifting. Tires are Race Kings with orange seal, hopefully I wont feel the need for the 2.4" I left at home. The frame bag I made before coming out will make its maiden voyage, Ortlieb Front and Rear. My favourite top tube bag failed before coming out so I have a tailfin bag for extra food and an Apidura for small bits and battery charging. Sleep kit will be Outdoor Research Bivvy, uberlite pad, and a Feathered Friends Flicker 30 Quilt. Lighting is Exposure Toro and on my helmet helmet an Exposure Joystick as well as an adjustable Petzl to see my snacks at night. Navigation is Wahoo with a Garmin Spare. Water potential is upto 7L with a combination of Uswe pack, down tube bottle and stem bottle, sawyer filter onboard. Luxury items are SQlab Inner Bar Ends, Birkenstocks, and my foam roller I bring on all my big adventures.


Age: 33


Bike: Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1, Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR, Crank HollowGram 34T, Fork Lefty Ocho 120 Carbon, HollowGram Carbon Wheels

Key items of kit: Agu Venture Tube Frame 4L bag, Riverside Saddle Bag 15L

Lorenzo Baccifava

Age: 34

Cap number: 62010

Location: Italy

Bike: Curve GMX+ Titanium Dirt Hoops Carbon 29+ SP Dynamo Rear hub DT SWISS 350 Vittoria Mezcal tires 29x 2.25 Sram GX groupset 10-52 chainring 30t Fizik Vento Argo Adaptive saddle

Key items of kit: Ortlieb Seat Pack 9l Apidura Full Frame Pack 12l Apidura Top Tube Pack 1l Apidura Backcountry Hydration Backpack Supernova M99 DY PRO Seat To Summit sleeping mat Millet sleeping bag Salewa Bivy

Harry Whiles

Age: 27

Cap number: 93

Location: Weymouth , Dorset, UK

Bike: Lapierre Xr 7.9

Key items of kit: Thermarest Hyperion 20 , Outdoor research helium bivvy, double exposure race for the long nights💡

Matteo Recanati

Age: 47

Cap number: 72

Location: Bergamo

Bike: I will try to cross the Balkans, with the Sacranonk, in steel, built in Bergamo by my friend Liber. Mezcal 2.1 tires. Wheel with Sp PD8 dynamo, and Sinewave Cycles Beacon, and I will follow the green line of the Etrex display, as a backup an edge 1040.

Key items of kit: I mount Missgrape bags, I will sleep in my Sea To Summit sleeping bag, if I have the strength and breath, I will inflate a mattress and a pillow. I've already had enough rain, but I'll still bring the Gore-tex Enduro... and let it be a good adventure!!!

Jürgen Sorger

Age: 37

Cap number: 82

Location: Austria

Bike: Trek XCaliber 8 2015 Groupset: Shimano SLX 3x10 with XT Shifters Brakes: Shimano XT Wheelset: DT Swiss XM 421 with Pancho MTB Hub Tyre: Continental Crossking 2,20 Fork: RockShoxx Reba RL 100 mm Saddle: Brooks Cambium C13 Grips: Ergon GS3 SQLab 410 Inner Barends

Key items of kit: Acepac Saddle Bag Relevate Design Frame Bag and Front Roll 7R Food Pouches Brooks Scape Top Tube Bag Topeak CagePack Vaude First Aid Kit Topeak Versamount for Bottle Cages

Tent: MSR Hubba HP1 Sleeping Bag: Carinthia D400 Down Mat: Robens Vapour Mat

Light: Magicshine Monteer 6500 Headlight: Led Lenser Navigation: Wahoo Elmnt Roam

Markus Barden

Age: 27

Cap number: 4

Location: Regensburg, Germany

Bike: Fairlight Holt. 120mm fork, 2.35 Vittoria Barzo, klite with charging, lupine piko headlamp.

Key items of kit: Custom wheelset Duke alloy rims with SP-Dynamo in front and Hope Pro5 in the back by Melvin @adv_whls. Leica Mini II 35mm point and shoot. Good snacks.

Keenan Cook

Age: 39

Location: Fredericton, Canada

Bike: Kona Unit

Key items of kit: I built a bike for the race around a Kona Unit frame that I ride as a single speed commuter, trying to choose components for their durability and ease of use. I’m running a mechanical GX drivetrain, a SID Ultimate fork, and wheels built around DT 350 hubs with Pirelli Scorpion XC RC 29x2.4 tires. At the last minute I decided to add the new Old Man Mountain Axle Packs with bottle cages for a bit more water storage, and the Cane Creek eeSilk+ seatpost for comfort.

My bags are well-used Apiduras that have been on a lot of adventures already, and a sleeping bag/bivy set up that I’m hoping was a good choice instead of a tent…

We’ll see shortly if they were wise decisions!

Fabio Lucantoni

Age: 47

Location: Italy

Bike: Salsa Cutthroat V2 with a 100mm Reba suspension fork. I built it with SRAM 2×11, 29″ Fulcrum Redzone tubeless wheels with 2.20″ Maxxis Ikon tyres.

Key items of kit: BAGS: The set of bags that I will use is all from Geosmina Components, very light and compact and above all else, waterproof. I will use my tried Helium bivy with Cumulus sleeping bag and Therm-a-Rest Neo Air mattress. For navigation I will rely on the Garmin Edge 530, and for lighting I will bring a Revenem 1200.


Age: 39

Location: Follina

Bike: Trek procaliber, Sram GX, Enve rigid fork, Mavic wheels Crossmax XLR

Key items of kit: Bag Kit Tailfin Lights: Exposure Race Sleep system : Outdoor Research Helium Bivy, materassino Klymit Inertia XLite, cuscino Sea to Summit Aeros ultra light, Silk Blend Liner Clothing ROSTI, Down Jacket MERU, Rain gear Gore

Hanna Claesdotter

Age: 34

Cap number: 13

Location: Salzburg

Bike: Nothing too fancy here: I'm riding a Trek Procalibar 9.6 with a 100mm Fox 32 SC fork, Vittoria Barzo/Mezcal 2.25” tyres and 30T/10-51T gearing. Lights are Gemini and Silva, all battery powered as I'm still saving up for a dynamo wheelset. I’ve added SQlabs trekking bars with inner bar ends, Ergon GXR foam grips and SMC saddle for comfort. The luggage is a mix of Cyclite, Ortlieb, Restrap, Roswheel, Straight Cut design and various homemade additions, adding up around 23kg total weight before food & water. I’ll also wear a Salomon running vest with 2.5L of water & extra snack storage. My shelter is a Durston X-Mid tent, with an Exped inflatable mat and custom down bag from Cumulus.

Key items of kit: My favourite items are a legionnaire hat for sun cover, toasty sleeping socks for cold nights and a trail bell to let the bears know I'm coming!

Valerio Cecchini

Age: 33

Cap number: 13244

Location: Riyadh (KSA)

Bike: Frame: Locomotive Blue Train S [Steel] Fork: RockShox with shock absorber [30mm] SPRL Wheels: DT Swiss 446D with hubs DT Swiss 370 Tyres: 700x50 Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Tyres Set up: Tubeless Drivetrain: Shimano 105 2x11 transmission with a GRX 46-30 crankset and an 11-42 cassette Brakes: TRP Hydraulic disk brakes with 160+160 mm rotors Pedals: Shimano PDM 520 Saddle: Brooks C15 Saddlepost: KAHA Engineering Handlebar: KAHA Engineering + Top & Drop grip inserts Aerobars: Trimax Clip On Stem: DEDA ZERO100 TEAM 100mm -20°

Key items of kit: BAGS:

  1. Apidura Expedition Frame pack
  2. Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack 14 L
  3. Apidura Expedition Top Tube Pack Bolt -On
  4. Apidura Racing Aeropack
  5. Cyclite Food Pouch x2
  6. Cyclite Backpack


  1. Sol Escape Bivvy
  2. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Mat
  3. QUECHUA camping pillow


  1. GPS: Garmin 850 Edge with Garmin Handlebar Mount
  2. GPS Back up: Garmin Fenix 6 pro with TUSITE QuickFit Mount
  3. Camera: Insta360
  4. Iphone 13 pro with QuadLock
  5. Compass


  1. Lezyne Super Drive 1600XXL
  2. Lezyne Helmet Micro Drive Pro 1000
  3. Moon Cerberus Rear Bike Light X2
  4. Onight 710 Front Light 300 lumen
  5. Brightside helmet light (backup)


  1. 10.000 m VEEKTOMX MiniPowerbank X 2
  2. Anker Fast Charger 45W
  3. SKROSS TravelPro universal adaptor (2 USB)

Jelle Bokkers

Age: 36

Cap number: 8

Bike: Specialized Epic with SRAM GX eagle and I changed the stock wheels for some smooth rolling DT Swiss wheels

Key items of kit: Tailfin fork pack on their suspension fork mounts, Rab Alpine bivi and sea to summit spark to keep me dry and warm at night, lifestraw peak squeeze bottles to keep me hydrated and a small pour over coffee filter to keep the spirit high!

Manuel Rauwolf

Age: 39

Cap number: 310

Location: Munich Germany

Bike: I'll be riding my 2012 Centurion Backfire Ultimate. The bike's comfortable enough to spend long hours riding and it has proven itself to be super reliable throughout the last years. For light and electricity I use a dynamo hub with a sinewave cycles beacon 2 and a supernova rear light.

Key items of kit: A set of apidura expedition bags to fit my clothes, equipment and sleeping kit and a selfmade top tube bag for snacks. I carry a small running vest as well for easy access to more food and things I need while riding.

Brice Pézeril

Age: 42

Cap number: 66

Location: Champsecret, Normandie, France

Bike: La Forêt of SauvageBike, Duke wheel, SRAM groupset…

Key items of kit: Décathlon/Apidura bag, Sinewave lights, inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, tarp.

Alice Lemkes

Age: 32

Location: Aboyne, Scotland

Bike: Sonder Signal Ti with notable upgrades like 155mm Hope cranks and carbon wheelset.

Key items of kit: Mudguards (are never ever a bad idea)

Prototype Travel bag for buses and trains (attached to downtube) can double up as groundsheet or tarp if needed

Restrap Hydration vest - 2L water and a waterproof storage area. 2x soft flasks to increase capacity to 3L if needed.

Tony Ramenda

Age: 39

Cap number: 69

Location: Leipzig

Bike: I drive an Orbea Alma. It has been a reliable companion for me on rough terrain for 4 years and gives me a lot of joy.

Key items of kit: Top tube bag and saddle bag are from Restrap. My favorite is the frame bag, which comes from Whitslingers from Leipzig, my hometown. It fits perfectly into my frame. It's important to me to have plenty of space for water. For this I use 3 x 0.75 liter water bottles and a drinking bladder with a volume of 2 liters. I have a hub dynamo from SON, a SuperNova lamp and a Lupine lamp for the helmet. In addition to many small utensils, I also accompany me with a bear bell, which prevents a surprise encounter with bears.

Burkhard Pauli

Age: 48

Cap number: 62

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: I will be riding the Trans Balkan Race with a custom Salsa Cutthroat V2. The drivetrain is a Ratio powered 1×12 MTB XX1 Eagle drivetrain with a 34T chainring and 10 to 52 cassette. I have added a Rockshox SID Ultimate 3P for the TBR to get hopefully some comfort back when the Balkan Party gets to rough.

Key items of kit: My frame bag is custom made from Rogue Panda Design combined with some bags from Apidura (race line). I'll be using a tent from Big Agnes (Fly Creek) to get some shelter. Sleeping bag and sleeping mat are from Therm-A-Rest


Age: 39

Cap number: 95

Location: Belgium (Laarne near Gent)

Bike: Rocky mountain Vertex Fox 32 - Shimano XT/SLX - Fulcrum Redzone Carbon wheels. Lights: gloworm X2 (10.000mah)+ Fenix headlight in front / fenix bc05r + Leyzene backlights. Gps: Wahoo Bolt V2.0 + Coros Vertix 2 FARR armests + innerbars for extra comfort

Key items of kit: Bags: Ortlieb QR saddlebag, Blackburn framebag with 3l Apidura bladder, Acepac food pouches and Acepac toptubebag, Topeak Frontloader. Sleeping: Therm-A-Rest neoair, Sea to summit spark 1sleeping bag, Mountain Hardwear nimbus UL1 tent. Extra's: Katadyn Befree filter.

Elliott Norris

Age: 44

Cap number: 119

Location: Suffolk, UK

Bike: J. Laverack Contour Ti - SRAM AXS XX1 - Fox Factory 34SC - Crank Bros Synthesis - HOPE Pro 5 hubs - Easton EC90 SL cranks - HOPE RX4 callipers. Set up with a drop bars and SRAM Red levers.

Basically a relatively classic Ti MTB with drop bars for the monster gravel feel. It’s a bit of a mix and match. Looking at previous rigs, running a rigid bike is a hardcore move. Chapeau to the gravel riders! I went for the softer option!

Key items of kit: Garmin 1040 Solar - Restrap Race bags - Exposure Lighting - Criterion Down Bag - Thermarest Sleep Mat - Nordisk Lofoten 1 - Windburner Stove (for the all important coffee!).

Tried to keep it all relatively compact, but it all adds up. Love the Restrap kit, so nicely made and love the fact that each item is signed by whoever made it!

Michal Šnajdr

Age: 37

Cap number: 55

Location: Brno, CZE

Bike: Qayron One.Dr CrMo 1x Mullet drive train with Garbaruk pulley cage and 50z cassette

Key items of kit: Salsa Anything Cradle Basta Gear custom frame bag Ortlieb seatbag Don 28 dynamo. Custom fork mounts adapters (bottle cage DS, Devatero cage for tarp NDS)

Friedrich Matzen

Age: 30

Cap number: 55

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Bike: I bought a used 99% stock Specialized Epic Hardtail (2019/2020) for this race. I only added Innerbarends from SQLab and waxed the Chain.

Key items of kit: Light: SON Dynamo, Supernova M99 DY pro

Bags: mostly Ortlieb, which are great and very durable in my opinion

Sleeping: MSR Hubba Hubba tent (2 persons, so big + relatively heavy but comfy and lots of space), Thermalrest mattress, normal 3 season sleeping bag

Tires: Vittoria Mezcal XC-Race, I am running them with tubes and packed 9 spare tubes so let's see how this goes.