Unbound Gravel 2021, Race / Ride

Thread for discussing training, equipment, planning and such for this year’s event.


I am in the lottery for the 100 mile route along with my wife.

We put money down on two Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600s which will be arriving in April. Based on recommendations in the other thread, I may swap the tires out for Teravail Cannonball (Durable) in 42c.

Chose the GRX 600 for the 2x drivetrain, even though 1x is all the rage, my gut still tells me it’s better to have more options especially for gravel. I also liked that the 600 has hydro brakes.

I just finished SSB MV 1 and 2 (recovery week now babyyyy gimme all the food in America) and was planning to do General Build MV because I would like to dabble in crit racing next year. I think I will stick with general build even though Sustained Power is probably more suitable.

If we don’t get accepted into the lottery, we’re going to take those PTO days to do the DC/Pittsburgh ride and back on the GAP and C&O … So either way we need to get our butts ready for a lot of time in the saddle!

EDIT: And one more thing … The plan is for her to draft behind me the whole way. Wish me luck! :dizzy_face:


I am also in the lottery… for the 100 miles.

If I make it in… I will be looking for you guys fellow TrainerRoad members…

I am awaiting for my Orbea Terra M20, GRX8210 2x. I picked 2x mainly because i might want to use this for other uses…including road riding, bikepacking etc.

I still need to decide on my tires for the event, I am waiting to see if I get in. :slight_smile:

For Training:
SSB MV1 - Completed
SSB HV2 - Completed (but the last 2 weeks were hell)
General Build HV - Currently on week 3.
Rolling Race Specialty MV with additional long distance gravel rides when weather improves.


After falling apart in 2019, I need some redemption…but haven’t decided yet if this is the year or not. Right now, I am leaning towards “not” as I don’t think I’ll be able to get the vaccine by then.

Still debating…probably won’t make the call until the last day the lottery is open.

Hmmmm… HV build. How are you finding it? I was going to stick with MV but with an extra geiger and some extra taku sessions mixed in. HV might be better for getting ready to do 100 miles in Kansas though.

I think you only got 9 more days…

HV General build is not bad… A typical week is spaced out enough that you recover. Its easier than SSB HV in my opinion (so far…).
Monday - rest
Tuesday - VO2max
Wednesday - Endurance
Thursday - Threshold
Friday - Endurance
Saturday - Over-unders
Sunday - Sweet Spot
I think this changes for the second block of HV so we will see…

Wellllll you’ve inspired me. I just dumped General Build MV and replaced it with HV.

I may not live long enough to see the lottery results… :unamused:

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I live in the Flint Hills north of Emporia and do all my training on gravel. I am a firm believer in the 2x system and I honestly do not know how anyone properly paces with 1x. The hills out here are extremely punchy, and it’s not unusual to have gradients of 10%+ multiple times over a short ride. I think you made the right decision with 2x and I personally will be sticking with 2x for my gravel races.


Agreed 100%…I ran a 1x in 2019 (40x36) and I would have definitely liked more bailout options. I’ll be switching my Gravel bike over to 2x over the winter.

I have also thrown my head in for the lottery and would appreciate any advice at all.

I’m currently in the gravel race specialty plan build.
I’m going to be getting a new gravel bike before then I’m hoping to go to buy I may go one by as there’s an option with a 1x12 system that would be better set up for bike packing that I might consider.

I live in Northwest Arkansas so I have thousands of miles of very rough big rocked gravel roads going through very pitchy hills.

While I intend to do a few races between now and then for experience. I intend to stay inside on the trainer probably through March. And in March start taking a training weekend once a month. I’ve got a couple routes picked out that are about 150 175 mi from my house out that include 65 to 75 miles of gravel depending on what routes I take coming and going and where exactly I end up.

I intend to do that and at first do it as workouts work in the appropriate energy system. And as it gets closer start making those more long-term race pace efforts.

everything is my weakness. bit my thought here is that dealing with the extra weight and the long-term rides would allow me to improve my handling and pacing on gravel dealing with the sharp changes in pitches we have around here. And I have it plotted so that everyday on the way out I will end up in the mountains. And that way I will start out in the mountains on my day coming back and then be able to have a long smoother effort to try and maintain endurance pacing after I have hopefully exhausted my legs by zipping up and down those hills in a non-embarrassing fashion.

I don’t think two missed workouts a month would hurt me replacing them with something like this especially when I am in desperate need of more time working on handling on gravel. And I did mention that I need to work on pacing, nutrition, recovery, ann training plus general knowledge as well right?

however as I mentioned this is all new to me and I would appreciate and evaluation of my strategy.

I am signed up. Hope to get in. I’m doing SSHV

bike options are cervelo 2x 50/34x 11/34 or kanzo fast 1x 44 x 42/11

There is a decent difference in the BB drop betwen those two bikes…the Cervelo is 6mm lower (in the middle size range) than the Kanzo.

The Kanzo BB drop is closer to a CX frame (usually ~67)…all things being equal, that would swing the choice for me to the Cervelo…but I ma looking for a lower BB drop. Currently using a CX fame for my gravel rig and the extra height that comes with a low BB drop is noticeable, IMO.

I need to spend more time on the kanzo, the cervelo is very good

Ah, yeah…the 58 is where the BB differences start to get reduced, only 3.5mm lower (the 54 and 56 are 6mm lower).

The 54mm higher standover seems…significant. Not certain that is right, TBH. Over 2" taller…maybe because of the a combination of the higher BB and the slight bow in the TT on the Kanzo?

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That stand over is def due to the slope on the tt down. When I discussed with my fit guy he said the kanzo should ride better on gravel.

I’m not sure I understand what the question is here, specifically?

You are in the lottery for the 200 mile, right?

If you nail Base/Build/Specialty on the trainer, eat plenty and sleep plenty to recover, avoid alcohol as much as possible, and mix in a couple of 4+ hours on the bike outdoor days per month you should be like 90% of the way there, right? Eat clean, whole foods, lots of carbs, etc.

And, of course, make a plan for on-the-bike nutrition and make sure any products you plan to use (gels, guus, etc) you’ve tried in training rides ahead of time to make sure they agree with you.

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Thank you.
I am in the lottery for the hundred mile. I know I can finish that.

I want to try to do well and I am anxious about how I will do. I have shot myself in the foot more than once over the last year in my training due to ignorance, or not applying something I have heard and did know to myself.

Also, (I’m not an expert so others please feel free to chime in) I think you could really foolproof it by getting a power meter. Keep yourself pegged at ~75-80% of FTP.

Doing that, and fueling yourself properly with carb-centric nutrition that you’ve already had on long rides, you should really be set up for success.

Personally I am not going to go the extra mile of paying for a power meter on my Cutthroat

I am in the lottery for the 100-mile course. It will be my second race. I am new to this… but a video of this race is what got me interested in biking. I started riding in late September on a Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2.

I used Plan Builder for a gravel race, mid-volume, to start the week after Valentine’s Day (assuming I get in). I am currently doing a Rolling Road Race plan for the Old Man Winter Rally and have mostly survived the interval workouts so far.