It’s time to talk about our bikes setups, leaving a bag run-through for the next days before leaving for Morocco.
Our bikes have a lot in common, but of course each of us has different preferences in terms of gearing and details. We will go through Mattia’s and Federico’s bike, since Andrea’s one is still a bit of a work in progress but the choices are very similar to his pair mate for Atlas Mountain Race.
Everybody chose a 3T Exploro Gravel bike. We have to be honest. We did go through the course and talked to many people in these months. Choosing a bike – between gravel or front mountain bike – was not easy at all.
All in all, we went for a gravel bike. We are much more used to it and we might suffer a bit more in some sections. But getting a lot of feedback from people riding on the Atlas in the last months and considering the 350 km of tarmac, we decided to go for it.
Different choices here. While Mattia and Federico chose to go for a 27.5 size, Andrea wanted to stick to a 28er. He figured he wanted to privilege rolling speed.
Mattia will use 3T I28, while Federico and Andrea will ride on Shimano GRX gravel specific wheels. The three sets of wheels are re-built with reinforced nipples and the front hubs replaced by SON dynamos. We could trust only Filippo from Pippo Wheels to do this delicate job on our wheels. Once again, he delivered.
The Ginger&Cumin pair will go with a full Shimano GRX Groupset, with a 30-46 crankset and a 11-34 cassette. This is the minimum gearing approved by Shimano for GRX. It allows a gear ratio of 0.88 that should be fine on most of the route (at least we hope AMR won’t be super cruel in choosing the way up. If not, you will see some hike a bike and suffering. Let’s see!).
Mattia will go 1x featuring a 36 3T Torno crankset. Other than that, it’s going to be Shimano for him too, with a 11-44 cassette.
There’s one thing we love about GRX for sure, and it’s its ergonomy. No other brake levers guarantee that comfort not only in braking and shifting but also just for positioning your hands while riding. We will for sure need it.
Fresh rubber just flew all over the World to get to Italy in time. We will be riding Panarecer Gravel King SK +. It’s a reinforced gravel specific tire that should handle rocks and sand from the Atlas Ground. It will work at its best on dry surfaces, but we’re sure would get us through even if the situation gets wet (and we hope it doesn’t). We’ve read and heard many positive reviews and we can’t wait to test them in Morocco.
Mattia and Federico will use 650b 1.9″ tires, wheres Andrea will go for 43x700c.
We are obviously riding tubeless. We mounted our rubber with swiss made tubeless sealant valves from Milkit. We will also bring a Milkit Booster with us in case deflating for flight will cause pressure lost.
Handlebars, saddles, pedals
The point of contact with our wild horses will be mainly provided by Fizik.
Handlebars from 3T, with Mattia going for a Superghiaia 42 cm, while Federico and Andrea for Superergo, 42 and 44 cm respectively. Everything taped with Fizik Terra Bondcush Tacky.
Same saddle for everybody instead, and that’s going to be a Fizik Argo – Vento R1. It’s a short saddle we simply loved at first sight. It’s comfortable and avoid unnecessary pressure – key for long hours on the bike.
Everybody will dress Fizik Shoes (more in the gear run-through). Federico and Andrea going for Shimano SPDs and XTR pedals; Mattia pedalling with Crankbrothers Eggbeater.
Our closet and storage for the Moroccan week will be provided by Miss Grape. All the three of us will use pretty much the same setup:
- Tendril 4.10 on the handlebar
- 2 Buds on the stem
- Custom made frame bag perfectly matching 3T frames.
- Node on toptube
- Cluster 13 under the saddle
Next on, we will see how we distribute gear and weight between them.
Bottles and bottle cages
When we asked Elite for some big bottles for the expedition, they really liked the project and made some custom bidons with our logo on. We couldn’t expect this, but it looks very cool!
We will be equipped with Elite Fly 950 ml bottles mounted on the fork.
Bottle cages are going to be Elite Prism. Strong holding capacity and side access to ease the reach. Exactly what we need on the bumpy Moroccan surfaces.
Finally, next to the cranks we will position an Elite Takuin to keep our tools handy in case of need.
And that’s all Folks. Next up a run-through of our equipement. And then, it’s time to pack and reach Marrakesh. We can’t wait to be out there riding and see our choices and gear giving its best. Cheers!