The Grandaddy of all Gravel Grinders, the legendary Dirty Kanza 200, is in the books for a couple of overtrained and underpaid X-Men. On a dare, Steve Briley talked Thomas Cooke into signing up for the 2017 edition of the DK200. Steve will deny this and insist it was the other way around. Let’s just agree that moments after signing up online back in February for a race that sold out in a matter of minutes, the gravity of the gravel had sunk in. What followed was months of squeezing in a few extra miles every chance we got, long conversations about nutrition and equipment, and a lot of online research about how to tackle a bike race that would have us riding the pain train for an entire day.
Let’s take a look at the equipment choices:
Frame/Fork: OPEN U.P.P.E.R., Assos limited edition
Drivetrain: Sram CX1 shifting, Eastin EC90 cranks, e*thirteen rear cassette
Wheels: DT Spline XRC 1200 27.5 carbon MTB wheels
Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 tubeless
Gearing: 40t front, 9×44 11-speed rear
Hydration: (2) bottle cages
Notes: blinky flashy tail light, handle bar mount for Exposure Diablo light (which I forgot to bring…oopsie), Speedsleeve packed to the gills
Frame/Fork: 54cm Jamis Renegade
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra mechanical shifters, FSA SL-K crankset
Wheels: Stan’s Valor 700c carbon wheels
Tires: Panaracer Gravel King 35c tubeless
Gearing: 50/34 double chainring, 11×32 cassette
Hydration: (2) bottle cages, plus 70 oz Camelbak
Notes: auxiliary GoalZero battery taped to top tube, in case Garmin needed a charge. Layer of packing foam under bar tape.