Kit & Equipment

My bike & build kit choices, also clothing, food, lights etc. This is relatively new, so please come back and look again as the list and detail behind each choice grows.

A summary of the key pieces of kit and equipment that I use for my long training rides, for race day and for endurance challenges such as the South Downs Double and the England-Wales-England

Bike #1: Santa Cruz Tallboy
My 29er Carbon Tallboy is as recognisable and as familiar a sight as me and my ginger beard. The two of us in tandem make an unmistakable sight on the race course. Chosen by me for the additional traction of the 29er wheels coupled with the efficiency of the VPP suspension system to provide a fast, efficient yet comfy ride. The additional stiffness of the carbon chassis and taper steerer allow accurate handling when fatigue starts to set in, giving that extra little bit of control when it matters most. This also makes the bike a great trail weapon for mid-week night ride tear ups in the woods!
Sometimes you just need to grab a hardtail and wring it's neck along a ridge-top, up a hill  around a racecourse or through your favourite tight singletrack just a little bit faster than you did that section last time. Bring on the Highball.....

Handlebar Light: Exposure Revo
Dynamo lights have finally come of age, and Exposure are at the forefront of this technology, all in a tiny and lightweight package, and have matched their ground breaking light to the lightest and most efficient dynamo technology from Shutter Precision to provide a hub the compliments the Revo perfectly. Say goodbye to turning down your light to conserve battery life, say good bye to charging batteries, say goodbye to mid-ride mathematics on burn time.... say hello to the Revo!

Handlebar Light: Exposure Six Pack
Second to none illumination, there is no better when it comes to racing through the night. Add the racer's edge of the cable free design and quick release bracket, plus an amazingly low weight for the light output and there is no substitute for Exposure's brightest offering, the Six Pack

Helmet Light: Exposure Diablo Mk. 2
The Diablo Mk2 offers levels of light on your helmet that were previously only possible on bar lights due to the size and weight of what was necessary, and here it's offered without an external battery. For longer burn times at maximum outputs the option to add an external battery and the 900lumens on offer mean there is no other option when it comes to partnering the astonishing Six Pack on the bars. I often use this with the triple cell piggy back battery to allow me to run one light right through the night on higher power when called for on the more technically challenging race courses.
Anonymous on the bike, a good handlebar goes unnoticed and lets the rider get on with his job in comfort and without any cause for concern. Appropriately light, the FL carbon riser bar does just that.
Seatpost: USE Sumo Carbon
All it has to do is keep the seatpost a set distance from the frame. But it has to do this without ever slipping, without too much flex, with a minimum of weight, provide all the adjustability I might ever require and then do this without ever being noticed. The Sumo does all this for me, and it looks good, as far as seatposts go, too!

Small & light but the forged base of the tool pieces, wioth large flat sides (as opposed to the bent wire shapes on everything else out there) make this a genuinely useful, stiff tool with everything covered including a torx head and chain tool. Irreplaceable.
Lezyne Alloy Drive CFH (mounted on frame)
Replaces my normal lightweight pump and separate CO2 head with the valve protecting flex hose that niftily doubles as pump head and CO2 adaptor. Genius! Nice & shiny too :-)
The bottle cage mount stores the CO2 canisters, saving valuable race course seconds getting them from the saddle bag otherwise
Luggage #1: Alpkit Stingray Framebag (custom for bike!)
When the race, or just the ride, takes more than a day and my needs turn from a multi-tool to breakfast and spare clothes, a framebag is the only way to travel. Alpkit make one of the best out there and only make custom shapes to fit your frame. Mine seems indestructible as well as absolutely waterproof too. Good times :-)
From this...... this in just a few days!
Luggage #2: Lezyne Caddy (size medium)
I keep everything I need to keep the bike rolling on the frame and out of my pockets. With the pump mounted on the bottle cage everything else; tube, tool, mech hanger, quick link patches & tyre repair (plus keys & card not on race day) gets stored in the rugged Leyne caddy in a size medium to get a 29er tyre in without having to use a vice! The multi-tool, the most commonly reachd for item, sits neatly in its own pocket to save valuable seconds and to stop me spewing the contents of my pack into the mud during night race repairs!
Drivetrain Lubrication & Cleaning Juice Lubes
I ride a lot of miles, through a lot of mud. I also work full time and have a girlfriend. This keeps me very busy. Anything that helps me neglect my bikes and frees up time between rides is, therefore, a very good thing. Having tried just about every lube around, I'm currently enjoying a very happy time with Juice Lubes, who have an answer for every condition I choose to ride my bikes through and then back this up with cleaning products to make my bike as good as new again when I get home.

Braking RWD - (Race Winning Designs) Sintered Brake Pads
Just as drivetrain lubrication is critical for me, so is brake pads performance. I ride a lot of miles in all conditions and all weathers, so it's important to have pads that will both last and give me consistent performance. There are also plenty of horror stories out there of the consequences of riding with poor quality pads, so I'm delighted to have partnered with RWD, a brake pad specialist, and to be able to rely on their over 30 years of brake pad development and manufacture to keep me going (and stopping!) all year round.
Helmet Kask Mojito
Light and comfy are the two basic requirements for a helmet (safety I can not comment on or quantify, but is already well covered through UK & European testing legislation!), and the Kask Mojito has both of these ably covered. Replacing the already popular and race proven Kask Vertigo, this is a helmet I can easily forget is even on my head. I've yet to ride it in the summer months, as it's new for this winter, but the SKY team have been using it in their warm weather training camps, and I believe they know what they're doing!
Saddle: Syncros FL
Arguably one of the most critical parts of the endurance racers kit list, comfortable contact points, in particular the saddle, can make a huge difference to your result, affecting how hard the rider can work as well taking the edge off, or adding to, your enjoyment of the ride

Dynamo Hub: SP PV-8
Supplied by the lovely and very supportive folks at IDC, this hub keeps my lights powered, not just all night but all year! Also charging my headtorch, phone and GPS, this little wonder has become a permanent fixture on my bike for commuting, touring, thrashing around the woods with my mates and now racing! No more battery charging woes, no more lugging round heavy batteries (this little dynamo is lighter!), hello full brightness lights all night :-)