Unbound Gravel 2023

Arundel Mandible.

I’ll have the 650b 45mm on my bike. I will keep them because of the volume and they are ok rolling

From the people with experience,

Which gear setup did you have?
I’m in doubt to use a 46x10-36 or a 46x10-46.

For context. It’s a 13 speed drivechain and I’ll probably be a bit north of 4 watt/kg.

That would be correct. I first thought the Bat cages were the best but the liter bottles do not fit well into them.

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I ran a 44 with a 11/42 and I wished it was a 40 with an 11/42. Unless your at the pointy end of the race I think having more gear would be better.

This year I am running a 46/33 with a 10/36

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I did the northern course and had a 40x36 smallest gear……I would not do it again without a 1:1 option.

Every major gravel race I have done since then, I have used my 1:1 at some point.

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You’ll definitely want those bigger cogs. Being able to spin up the hills is a huge advantage.

I had a 44 10-50 on for the day.

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Remember Amber’s best piece of advice….”I never met a lower gear I didn’t like.”

It is funny because it is true. :wink:


I ran a 40x11-50 last year. I never felt I needed another gear and didn’t spin out.

That said, I think I’m going with a 42 or 44 this year.

:raised_hand: plotting my first XL. There was a huge thread about lights on facebook that yielded the amount of options you might expect for any gear question. I’m leaning toward using an Outbound Detour with a portable battery pack to supplement the runtime of it and also my head unit.

so we’ve talked aero bars, tires, training, lodging, gearing, and pro rider gossip. now time to hit up nutrition.

What are some nutrition plans? what has worked before? gels or liquid or real food? favorite brands?

I’ll likely be on the bike for 15 hrs. I’ll probably eat real “food” to begin with (primarily clif bars), then transition to gels.

I’ll also have more variety of stuff at the aid stations - in particular salty snacks like pringles or potato chips.

I don’t like having nutrition in my bottles - as I like to keep hydration separate from nutrition. So I’ll run just electrolyte mix in my bottles.

I’ll be aiming for about 300 cals per hour.

Nutrition is so individualized there definitely isn’t a one size fits all and probably one of the most important things to practice prior to the event. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Even the pro’s are very variable in what they use.

A couple of general thoughts:

Ideally you want to shoot for 250 - 400 calories an hour. If you are new, start on the low end and build up and see what your gut can handle. Carb intake should ideally be 80-100g an hour, but again mileage can vary. Some people can handle even more, but it’s going to be much different being able to handle > 100g an hour for 2 - 3 hours versus what might be a 12 hour plus day.

Important decisions to make are do you want to eat your calories or drink your calories? This will impact what mix you carry in your bottles. For me I’ve found it easier to eat my calories and focus on getting my electrolytes with mix. After lots of trialing over the years I’ve found Skratch works best for me and is what I carry as my main drink.

For food, I tend to do a lot of ClifBloks. I do two ClifBloks every fifteen minutes and then rotate something else in for the last fifteen minutes of the hour - usually either an UnTapped Waffle, but sometimes a gel. This, combined with an average of 1 bottle of Skratch an hour, gets me in the 80-100gm of carbs an hour range.

For really long events like Leadville, I’ve found it harder to take solids in the second half, so I really try and get them in during the first half (UnTapped Waffle at the 45 min mark of each hour). In the second half I’m more likely to take more gels and will start to substitute some of the ClifBLoks with gels as well. I use a mix of SIS gels, Torq gels, and UnTapped Maple Syrup gels. I don’t like the super concentrated gels like GU, but again personal.

Again, the big thing is practice ahead of time and figure out what works. Then don’t change it up on race day. Fueling is going to be one of the most critical things for an event this long.

Anyone out there doing this race on a 650b setup with fast rolling 2.1s by chance?

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My nutrition plan has fallen apart each of the past two years, usually in line with the heat of the day (which was fortunately limited last year).

I struggle a bit to figure out what exactly to change as replicating the combination of heat and duration is quite difficult in training. I think the main thing I’ll focus on this year is simply more consistency with intake and being more regimented with intake on a set schedule vs trying to notice the smart reminders from my garmin.

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Mine falls apart on race day also.

I have noticed I fall apart due to going to hard and it shuts down my ability to process incoming food

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For me drinking enough liquids is always a challenge. I’ve started taking sips every 10 minutes to make sure I at least get through at least a bottle an hour.

I like Maurten powder and gels. If it’s hot I have no issue getting through bottles. But I also like untapped waffles and their syrup.

My waist pack has 50oz of plain water so I can add that as well.

So I will likely use Maurten drink powder. I will eat some salty snacks at the checkpoints.

I have a lot of practicing to do between now and race day as nutrition is a challenge for me

I’ve fallen apart due to not drinking enough in the heat and my stomach completely shuts down and I have no choice but DNF as no liquids in the heat is a recipe for disaster.

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This has happened to me twice at Leadville.

In may past two years at SBT GRVL, I’ve done much better with drinking (which allows me to eat), and pacing. And finished both times reasonably strong. Whereas at Leadville I was destroyed.

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I will likely be doing the XL on Rene Herse 27.5 x 2.1” knobbies, the Umatnum Ridge. They’re awesome tires