The fourth Transcontinental bike race starts in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, at 10pm tomorrow (Friday 29 July) evening, with last year’s winner Josh Ibbett being among the favourites to arrive first at the finish in Turkey.
Josh has shown us the equipment that he’ll be using over the coming days (he finished in just under 10 days last time). There’s really not a lot of it. The all-in weight is 12.5kg (27.6lb) while Josh himself weighs 72kg (11st 5lb).
Over to Josh for all the details.
The significance of the large number 3 in the picture, by the way, is that this is Josh’s third Transcontinental.
The Mason Bokeh Ti bike is light and comfortable, developed for ‘FastFar’ riding.
[The Mason Bokeh Ti detail shots in the pictures don't show the bike built up as Josh will be riding it across Europe]
It’s a Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupset with an 11-28 cassette. Di2 means I have light and easy shifting. I carry the battery charger for a mid race top up. The 28-tooth sprocket is for the Alps and the Dolomites.
I use a Rotor 3D chainset with 52/36-tooth Q-Rings [not the Shimano Ultegra chainset in one of the pictures above]. I think these help when I am super tired. They keep the pedal stroke smooth especially when the cadence drops in the last part of the race. I also find that they help on the climbs. Going for a mid compact is a good compromise between a standard and a compact chainset. It’s not too hard and, on the other hand, there’s no excuse to go really easy!
These are Hunt 38 Carbon Wide Disc wheels [Josh works for Hunt Bike Wheels] with Schwalbe One Pro 28mm tyres. Light and fast, these are a great balance of weight and aerodynamics. The tubeless tyres roll fast and offer puncture resistance. I also carry two spare tubes and a plug kit just in case!
5 Handlebar and stem
I use a USE Ultimate bar and stem. I’ve gone for a Summit Carbon bar to shift some weight for the mountains.
It’s a Fabric Scoop Flat saddle with custom graphics. This is comfy in the time trial position and when climbing.
I have an Exposure Toro and Joystick for front lighting, and a Blaze for the rear.
I use a Garmin eTrex 30 that runs on AA batteries. This GPS is a Transcontinental veteran that has also travelled to New Zealand twice and to Southeast Asia. It just keeps going! AA batteries can be bought all across the world so there’s no excuse for getting lost!
9 Bolts, spacers, headset cap
I use Mount Zoom spacers, ti bolts and headset cap. The tiny weight savings all add up!
10 Frame bags
These are from Miss Grape, the same as I used last year. The perfect size to fit my kit and my frame, The top tube bag houses my first aid kit, suncream, dry shower gel, skin repair gel, lube and charging cables.
The Gore One is the most incredible rain jacket I’ve ever used. It’s super warm, super waterproof, and the pack size is tiny.
My Gore Active gilet is water resistant, windproof and it has a tiny pack size.
13 Base layer
My Morvelo base layer has the smallest pack size I’ve found.
14 Arm and knee warmers
These are merino wool.
It’s a Hunt jersey, naturally.
They’re from Assos.
I have two pairs of Torq socks. These are my luxury item. You’ll never appeciate a fresh pair of socks until you’ve cycled 1000 miles without a wash or change of clothes.
The Giro Synth helmet offers a great balance of aerodynamics, light weight and cooling.
Oakley Jawbreakers. Just because!
The Giro Prolight SLX 2s are light, comfy and, most importantly, the Velcro fastening makes for easy adjustment and removal when on the go and/or tired.
21 Toe warmers
I have these ones from Gore just in case the weather turns bad in the mountains. They take up no space but make a massive difference to warmth and comfort in bad weather.
22 Long finger gloves
These are from Gore. They make a huge difference in the cold or rain and on long Alpine descents.
23 Bivi bag
This is a Rab custom Survival Zone Bivi. The guys at Rab kindly stitched a mosquito net into my bivi. This should allow better ventilation in southern Europe and keep out those pesky mosquitoes.
24 Sleeping bag liner
This Rab silk sleeping bag liner is lighter than a sleeping bag and it keeps in some warmth.
25 Sleeping mat
Klymit Inertia XL. This is another luxury item, I saved so much weight/space on other kit that I can now take this for extra comfort (a relative term!) and better sleep/ recovery. I can blow it up in 2 breaths.
26 Other items
• 2 Euro USB sockets
• 2 credit cards
• Passport and European health card
• Torq Recovery nutrition for the first day or so
• 2 Torq water bottles (750ml)
• Multi tool
• 2 spare spokes
• Tyre boot (cut down milk bottle)
• Pack of self adhesive tube patches
• Electrical tape
• Zip ties
• Tubeless tyre plug kit
• Casio digital watch – to make me wake up after my three hour sleeps
For more details on Transcontinental No.4 go to www.transcontinental.cc
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.