Two Yorkshire-based independent cycling companies, Restrap and Woodrup, have come together to collaborate on a special bike built specifically for the Transcontinental Race, a gruelling 4,000km journey from Belgium to Turkey starting on 24th July 2015.
Woodrup has built a custom frame while Restrap has developed a new strapless magnetic frame bag as part of it's forthcoming Carryeverything bikepacking bag range.
The 2015 TransContinental Race has no fixed route but there are checkpoints that all participants must pass through, which obviously influences the chosen route. This year the race starts in Flanders, Belgium with checkpoints at Mont Ventoux, Assietta, Vukovar and Lovcen.
The inclusion this year of 40km of Alpine gravel road on the French-Italian border dramatically influences tyres and bike choice, making a gravel or adventure bike with capacity for wider tyres with a smidgen of tread arguably the preferred choice. Everyone will have their own idea on the perfect tyre for the route though.
Woodrup Cycles is a Yorkshire-based frame builder that has been making frames since the 1940s. It has built this beautiful frame from Columbus Max steel tubing and it features disc brakes and plenty of clearance for some big tyres. There are some lovely details, like the rear brake bridge for example. Just lovely. And the paint job is pretty special too.
Restrap produces a range of bags (their latest product is a magnetic belt currently on Kickstarter) designed to withstand the demands of everyday cycling. For this 4,000km race the company has created its new range of Carryeverything bicycle bags, which they're launching in June, but here's a first look at what you can expect.
The Carryeverything range is designed for the increasingly popular sport of bikepacking, long-distance unsupported racing like the 4,000km Transcontinental Race. Events like these place an emphasis on speed with very little stopping time factored in, it’s certainly not as leisurely as traditional cycle touring, it’s a race to the finish.
There are going to be three bags in the Carryeverything range, a Bar Bag, Saddlebag and Frame Bag. The Frame Bag is really interesting because it attaches to the frame with magnets. No straps in sight. Small magnets attach to three fixture points in the frame and the bag is simply anchored at these points. Obviously the frame has to be designed specifically with these mounts, which this Woodrup is. Not only does it look a lot cleaner, the bag is less likely to scuff the paint and from the video above, looks quite sturdy.
The Frame Bag is manufactured from double layer waterproof fabric with a water repellant zip. It’ll be available in three sizes, from 1.5 to 3.5 litres, and three colours. The Bar Bag and Saddlebag are both made from similar waterproof materials. The Saddlebag has a 13 litre capacity and uses magnetic buckles for easy opening and closing. High strength and contrasting para cord is used to tighten or loosen the load.
The Bar Bag has a 13 litre capacity and is secured to the handlebars using a three point fixing system with a magnetic fastening system that makes packing the bag very easy, even with gloves. Both these bags also use snap pins as part of Restrap’s modular approach, allowing other smaller bags to be easily attached for extra storage, as you can see demonstrated in these photos.
This special bike will be used by Timothy Pulleyn, rider number 78, and has been built up with a SRAM Force CX1 1x11 groupset, with a single ring chainset and large ratio cassette to hopefully provide all the gears he’ll need. On such a long distance event and with the likely high weight of the fully laden bicycle, it’s unlikely he’ll miss the higher gears that such a setup sacrifices, but will appreciate the simplicity, and one less thing (front mech and gear cable) to go wrong.
There are hydraulic disc brakes too, with Shimano disc rotors attached to a Chris King rear hub and dynamo front hub, with Pacenti rims. There’s a set of time trial extension bars, a popular modification for bikepacking bike builds. A dynamo front hub will power the lights and a stem top cap with a USB port will keep electronic devices like GPS computers topped up.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.