THE BIKES OF UNBOUND GRAVEL

While the 2022 Unbound 200 can be remembered for many things (the rain and mud, men’s sub-10 hour finish time,  a rookie women’s winner, and Peter Sagan showing up) one additional additive could be the number of European bikes and products that found themselves mixing it up – and winning – among the locals.

THE UNBOUND GRAVEL BIKE GALLERY

Without a doubt, Nathan Haas’ custom-painted, Campagnolo-equipped Colnago G3-X was easily the most beautiful bike in Kansas. The former road pro used the bike to finish in 18th place. Photo: Colnago

 

Look’s fully outfitted 765 Gravel  RS bike was getting a lot of attention in the expo.  Having room for four bottles is impressive.

 

Ridley was showing off a new Kanza Fast fitted with some integrated bags from Apidura. The joint project began earlier in the year and went through 19 different iterations to get to the final product. Wind-tunnel tests showed that the bike was 17 watts faster with the bags than without. However, what surprised us most was…

 

…when we saw the bike at the finish line with the bags intact. So much for thinking it was just a display model!

 

Sure, having enough water is a priority, but this setup was akin to having an aquarium mounted in the frame…and how about that handlebar/aero extension combo?!

 

As evidence of the growing influx of mountain bike technology, BMC exhibited a non-production URS bike sporting a Fox 32 TC fork and AX dropper post.

 

Brian McCulloch’s Bianchi Zolder Pro was running an IRC “mullet” tire combo, consisting of a 42mm IRC Double Cross tire up front and a 38mm version in the rear. Brian finished 28th place.

 

Women’s XL winner Cynthia Frazier packed her 3T Exploro Ultra to the max for the 350-mile effort that took just over 22 hours to complete. She rolled with Apidura bags and a combo of Hunt wheels and Schwalbe G-One tires.

 

Men’s 200 winner Ivar Slik rode an Italian Wilier with Italian Miche wheels mounted with Schwalbe tires and a Shimano GRX/Ultegra drivetrain with Look road pedals.

 

Last year’s winner Lauren De Crescenzo’s muddied-out Colnago G3-X was a good indicator of what the conditions were like.

 

Peter Sagan and teammate Daniel Oss were aboard matching flat black Specialized Cruxes running Shimano GRX drivetrains.

 

Payson McElveen rode his American-made Allied Able with its unique single-sided, elevated chainstay.

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