Kit list for LEL (this was a work in progress up until I started riding on July 31st!) – trials and so on included, with commentary. Although I DNF’d, it was due to illness rather than kit (biomechanical, rather than mechanical, problems)
- Bike: Condor Acciaio with a mix of Deda and Condor parts
Campagnolohandbuilt H Plus Son rims, Hope Pro RS4 rear hub, front Son 28 dynamo hub, DT Comp double butted spokes (the Campags are lovely but almost impossible to repair broken spokes etc on the fly; the dynamo is for constant lighting – one less thing to worry about) – the handbuilt wheels turned out to roll just as well, and maybe better, than the Campags. Enough so that I’ve acquired a non-dynamo front wheel version and will sell the Campags, I think. The dynamo front wheel can live on my winter bike when not needed for audaxes.
- Groupset: SRAM (electronic, so I took two spare batteries and the charging unit)
- Pedals: Look-compatible
- Saddle: Brooks Cambium C17 Carved (switched from a regular C17 due to discomfort at around the 300k mark – although still wondering whether to switch to a slightly narrower version. Probably too late now … it was fine)
Camelbak 750mlRandom bottles in bottle cages – Specialized Rib Cage IIreplaced with Condor own brand carbon fibre, which are easier to get the bottles in and out of
- Handlebar tape: Specialized Bar Phat gel pads (on the tops only) and Specialized Roubaix bar tape (this works – and works well with unpadded gloves, see below)
- Tyres: Continental GP4000sII 25c (bike doesn’t take anything wider, or I’d run 28s – reflective version of the tyre for better night visibility; carrying a spare tyre in the saddlebag as well) with Conti tubes – the tubes were not working well. Two valves went within 12 hours.
- Mudguards: SKS Raceblades Pro – easy to fit, worked fine
- Bike computer: Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt – worked well, battery life is good and I find the map screen easy to read
HR monitor: Wahoo TICKR(still not sure if I’ll wear this – I’d rather not risk chafing and I don’t really have the ‘blow yourself up’ riding style where it might help to warn to dial back) – didn’t wear this.
- Cadence sensor: Garmin (these just work)
Speed sensor: Wahoo RPMdoesn’t fit onto the rear hub of the new wheelset, and definitely not a good idea to put it on the dynamo hub. I may not bother trying to find an alternative; it’s mostly useful for steep hills with a lot of tree cover where the GPS signal disappears and the bike computer assumes I’ve stopped (adding insult to my rather slow progress up such hills!)
Exposure StradaB&M Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U (front – includes a USB output to recharge the bike computer, gears, battery etc as necessary. Strada chews through battery life faster than I’d like) – this works fine, although I would prefer a slightly brighter light, overall; random battery operated rear light from local bike shop (on the saddle pack); Fibre Flare (on the seat stays); B&M Ixon IQ (front backup, battery operated) – didn’t have to use the back-ups, the Flares got good comments
- Battery charger – Anker (20000 mAh in drop bag for emergency use, 5200 mAh in top tube bag, recharged off the dynamo during the day as necessary)
- Apidura dry saddle pack (9L size) –
still debating a larger bag … I need to try packing at some point!Now packed a trial run and it’s fine. Carrying tool kit, spare tyre, rain jacket, arm warmers, knee warmers, first aid kit etc. – worked well.
- Handlebar pack –
Carradice Super CApidura top tube bag – I have gone back and forth on this, and settled on the top tube bag as the thing that gets in my way least; the Carradice affects the handling of the bike too much, and I get irritated with a large lump of bag in my line of vision; my frame is just a bit too small for the Apidura handlebar pack to work well Now experimenting with straps etc to make sure the Apidura is cinched up out of the way of the wheel; I have a short head tube so it’s a close fit. Seems to be sorted, strapped up above the top tube/headset junction. The handlebar pack is to carry a spare set of shorts etc for changes at sleep controls, swapping out with clean stuff from the drop bags; the accessory pack clipped to it is to carry a first aid kit, wallet, phone and other small stuff that I may need to access during the ride.– top tube worked fine
- Apidura food pouch
- Apidura dry saddle pack (9L size) –
- Bib shorts: Rapha Classic and Brevet (these have vest-type tops to them rather than the braces style – I find this more comfortable. I use Hoy Vulpine bib-shorts in training for shorter rides (these are no longer available as that project has finished and Vulpine has gone into administration anyway. Drat them) – they’re comfortable up to about 75 miles or so, then less so. Rapha seem to be comfortable forever, and no particular difference between Brevet and Classic really – some style differences only).
random selection of the ones I haveRapha Brevet windblock Gilet: Rapha CC (very very visible – I find drivers give me more space when wearing this)Built into the wind block jersey, including the reflective and hi-vis! Less to carry & think about
- Rain jacket: Rapha core rain jacket
- Base layers: Craft something I’ve had for years/dhb merino 150
Endura/Condor/whatever is in the sock drawerKalf med length – reflective chevrons on the back of the ankles, and lightweight comfort – more visibility, particularly on moving parts, is good. And the stuff in the sock drawer is getting holes, as I now recall most of them are at least five years old … and I’m not wearing Condor snowflake socks in midsummer, no matter how much they amuse me.
- Gloves: Rapha pro team mitts
and Rapha Brevet mitts – on test, so far very goodpassed long rides, sticking with these, they are fabulous – alternating to reduce any pressure issues – the pro team mitts work well with the gel-padded handlebars. Actually work better than padded mitts, because there’s no ridges etc to blister
Specialized ZanteFizik R5 (I started getting hotfoot in the Spesh, and the Fiziks are wider over the toes)
- Toe covers: Castelli (Rain is forecast!)
diluted (1:2) Lucozade Sport Orange and/ornuun lemon/lime tablets
- on bike: whatever I can get at garages etc – also some Fruit Bowl orange bars as not too sweet and easy to eat in portions
- … plus stuff at controls, and maybe breaks en route. MüllerRice or Ambrosia ride pudding, for preference; Weetabix chocolate breakfast drink or yogurt of some sort otherwise. Also wafer thin ham. Carry a spork! – this was a problem: the southern controls were not particularly well-stocked with food, so I had very little to eat at the end of the first day. Not sure how much this contributed to the biomechanical issues that meant that I had to pull out
- double expresso (the Starbucks garage machines are surprisingly acceptable; less keen on the Costa ones)
- Other stuff:
- toothbrush/toothpaste (travel sized, in both cases)
- Shampoo leaves (drop bags can’t have liquids in them)
- Spork (see above … MüllerRice!)
- Disposable contact lenses
- Sunglasses (Oakley photochromatic)
- Toolkit: Lezyne multitool with chain breaker; random tyre levers; multi-spanner (for brake adjustment); zip ties; spare chainlink; Parktools tyre boot (although a new-style £5 note would work …); Parktools glueless tube patches
- Pump: PDW ninja pump with electrical tape wrapped around the middle for emergency use as well (pump attached to bike, with a bottle cage mount)
- Lock: cable lock, manufacturer long-since forgotten, probably Abus. Not particularly robust, just intended to make sure people can’t easily walk off with it if I’ve stopped for food/comfort break etc.
- First aid kit: ibuprofen, 3 plasters, 2 antiseptic wipes, 2 steri-strips, bandage with gauze pad (note: all this – other than the bandage/gauze – fits easily into a small zip pouch. I’ve fallen off enough times – although not that many! – that I know it’s a good idea to carry something to mop up with. Bandage/gauze is to deal with places like elbows & knees where plasters don’t stick well) plus ICE foil blanket, small pack tissues, small pack general wet-wipes
- Sunscreen: P20 SPF30 – decanted into a tube to go in the saddlepack
- Chamois creme: Assos – tried various, this one seems to suit me best.
Note: not sponsored, not ads. These are things I have purchased etc and like – your mileage may vary 🙂