The Rift 2021 (Iceland gravel race)

Some basic recomendations from a local:

  • Full disclosure, I am familiar with the Lauf guys, but have no stake in the company nor the event.

I have not ridden the course yet, but I have driven parts of it some years ago.

The road surface varies quite much and can change drastically quite quickly.

Lauf True Grit AXS - 42/50 ratio, WTB Raddler 44mm tires, tubless off course.
Framebag, size small (as pictured). Two 500 ml bottles.

Baselayer, short sleeve jersey, wind resistant arm warmers, bibshorts, knee warmers, wool socks, XC type shoes, wind resistant gloves, vest in pocket.

Best case (this should not be expected):
Baselayer, short sleeve jersey, bibshorts, regular socks, XC type gloves, vest in pocket, light armwarmers in pocket

Worst case:
Baselayer, Gabba jersey, wind resistant arm warmers, bib shorts, wind resistant leg warmers, woolen socks, winter shoes, winter gloves, rainjacket in pocket.

I will be bringing all of the clothing variants with me to the campsite, just in case.

Local weatherforecasts can be viewed here (in English):
I have circled the relevant area below screen:

Please feel free to reach out on my insta (@bragifreyr) or here if you have questions. I will do my best to answer as well as possible.

I am so stoked!


Thank you for the recommendations.

How likely are punctures with the gravel found on the route? Are punctures usually small enough for sealant to work?

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The gravel is not like Unbound gravel. This gravel was ground by glaciers so much of it is round and without sharp edges. You will also encounter quite a lot of “volcanic gravel” which is sharper in nature. Ted King takes a look at this here: King of the Ride: The Rift, Iceland's Stunning Gravel Race - YouTube.

That being said, I will be carrying a patchkit and a tube along with my tubeless plug repair kit. I really don’t want to be stuck out there in the middle of nowhere. It’s very remote.


Great info, thanks….pretty much everything I was planning on bringing. Specifically bought a Perfetto jersey (updated Gabba) this year thinking it could be the perfect option, depending on the day.

I did a simulated Rift ride today…drove out to western IL where gravel roads are plentiful. Did 116 miles w/ ~9k feet of climbing. Brutally hot and windy day……but got it done solo, so hopefully the final piece of the puzzle. Last really long ride before the race……will drop some volume but keep up my intensity until we leave in ~2 weeks.


This just in - racebible:

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Think I’ve settled on my set-up (bar the aero bars, they are still being debated)

Specialized Crux
42T 11-46
WTB resolute on the front, Pathfinder on the back (Unfortunately limited by some chain stays)
Small frame bag

Clothing… I’m bringing everything. But the staples I’m sure will be Merino bib’s and a shake-dry jacket. Fingers crossed for Hawaii shirt weather

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That is a solid set- up….good looking bike.

I’ve been struggling finding a frame pack that works for me. I tend to have narrow knee movement relative to the bike and everything I have tried, my knees hit. I even brush my bento box occasionally.

So I am probably going with a handlebar bag, even though I hate them. :man_shrugging:

My race day set-up (minus the HB bag, which arrived yesterday). I also installed a 11-40 cassette this week with a 40t chainring up front for a 1:1.


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For your viewing pleasure I have found videos of people driving some of the roads that will be used in the Rift. It should give some idea about the conditions we are about to embark on.

Please note. It’s difficult to say if the videos are from the exact segments of the roads we will be using, and it is also hard to know the direction the drivers are going. Also, conditions may vary between years, months, weeks and days :slight_smile: It’s just for a general idea.

Road F210 - Fjallabaksleið syðri (Southern backcountry route)

Road F225 - Landmannaleið (also somtimes called Dómadalsleið (Doomsvalley route)

The route that connects the routes above, called Hrafntinnusker, isn’t to be found on YT:

Road 264 - Rangárvallavegur

Hopefully this can further fuel your excitement and over thinking of this event.

I will be staying in the campsite in Hvolsvöllur in my old Coleman Cheyenne pop up camper if I can find a vacant spot :). Don’t hesitate to come knocking. I will have my tools and floorpump if you need to borrow. You will recognise it from the pink, white and green Lauf TrueGrit.


Awesome…thanks for the videos. Love the guys getting out of their vehicle to check and see how deep the river crossings are before they drive through! :rofl::rofl:

I’l definitely watch all of them before we get out there.

Really looking forward to this….I’ll be w/ 3 other guys and we’ll likely be wearing a neon yellow kit with a black stripe mid-chest that says GTE.

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@bragifreyr …quick question re: the weather. My weather app is showing ~12*C everyday through next Thursday, w/ 50-80% chance of rain.

What kind of rain are we looking at usually? Is it a steady rain, light drizzling, etc? Do the videos from the 2019 event give a good indication of what most days are like in terms of precipitation?

I know any one day can vary form the norm, but just wondering what the “norm” is…any insight appreciated!!

I was wondering the same thing. I have a nice rain jacket but unless the temps are in the 40’s or cooler I get way too hot. I can handle 50’s with light showers with a vest and arm warmers. However, it’s a downpour I will have to put the supposedly “breathable” garbage bag on.

I’m boxing the bike up after my ride tonight.

Ok. The weather in the Icelandic interior is unpredictable. You should not put any faith in long term predictions.

Regarding the rain. There is no definitive answer really. I guess the rain is usually light compared to n-American thunderstorms. On the other hand it rarely rains vertically as there is almost always accompanying wind. In such case a “breathable” garbage bag is a blessing :joy:

Expect temps between 8 and 12 degrees C and some, usually westbound, wind Check the forecast evening before on

I’ll try to post my thoughts on the weather here eve of if my nerves don’t get the better of me and I forget :slightly_smiling_face:

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Nice bike too!

Yea frame bags are really a bit of a pain. I’m relatively happy with the one I found but still hits the knees every now and then which is off-putting. Also helps having XL frame.

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What about backpacks, like the Camelbak Chase?

Absolutely an option…I decided against a Camelbak because 1) I don’t really like riding with something on my back, and 2) I don’t think I’ll need the primary purpose of the Camelbak, i.e. hydration. I don’t drink much on the bike, it won’t be hot and, between the river and aid stations, there should be ample opportunity to stay hydrated w/ just bottles.

But that is just personal preference…having the extra storage of a hydration pack, plus the extra liquid if you want it, is a very viable option.

I’m undecided… I may wear my CamelBak chase pack for tools and Gore Shake dry jacket. Plus fuel, drink mix etc.

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Hi all

my club is doing a “warmup” groupride on the 21st of July if some of you are in Reykjavik.

Link to FB event with instructions in English:

No strings attached. Just show up and ride :wink:

I’m guessing there will be beers…

Hmmmm…we land that AM in Reykjavik, but we are planning on driving out to Vik and staying there Weds night. Would be fun to ride after we land, but don’t think we can get all 4 of us, plus assembled bikes AND bike cases / luggage in our rental van.

We will get up to the race sire on Thursday, build bikes there and then do a quick shakeout ride (and the social ride on Friday).

Getting really pumped up for this trip!

Too bad. There will be extensive discussions, nay, arguments (probably fistfights) on correct race attire, PSI, tire width and correct carb intake.

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Well now that you put it like that…:thinking::thinking::thinking:


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