Zero mechanicals, Zero failures, Zero complaints (about the bike) - Many have enquired and many more are curious. What exactly did Jesse use for the Trans America Bike Race in 2015? Here is every detail regarding his build, his apparel and his equipment accompanied by a note about it.
Bike Build Specs
- Frame - Curve Belgie Disc Ti size Large - The only modification was a third cage mount under the down tube.
- Fork - ENVE Road disc 2.0 Tapered - Performed flawlessly as usual.
- Drive Train - Shimano DA9070 DI2 - We ran external wiring with an internal battery mounted outboard. This allowed quick and easy replacement, repair or diagnosis of any faults that may have arisen.
- Cranks - THM Carbones Clavicula M3 - 175mm, 30mm Spindle. Compact spider. Light, look amazing and are light
- Chainrings - Praxis Works - Round Compact 50/34. Shift well (When installed correctly), wear well.
- Cassette - Shimano Ultegra 6800 11sp, 11-28t. Wear well. Wide range. Reliable.
- Chain - Shimano Ultegra 6800 11sp. See above
- BB - THM Carbones - BSA 68mm threaded cups for 30mm Spindle. German made goodness. Developed a tiny bit of play, but still spin freely and smoothly.
- Handle Bars - Haero Carbon H-380 - The lightest Tri-Bar we could find. More German made goodness.
- Stem - Bontrager RXL - Was supposed to be a Thomson 4X but time ran out on us.
- Brakes - Shimano R785 DI2 Road Disc Hydro Shifter/Brake system. Absolutely flawless!
- Wheel Hub - Front - SP-Dynamo SD-8, 24H, 6-Bolt Disc. SP reliability. The best functioning, best value Dyno hubs on the market.
- Wheel Hub - Rear - DT Swiss 240s, 28H, 6-Bolt Disc, 11sp. One of the most reliable hubs ever. That is all.
- Wheel Rims - Curve 50mm x 23mm Full Carbon Disc adapted. Using the standard 50mm rim mould we remove excess material and treatments from the rim brake track.
- Wheel Spokes - DT Swiss AeroLite, J-Bend - 2x all over. They are light and they work well.
- Wheel Nipples - Sapim Secure Lock 14mm Alloy, Built with Sapim round brass nipple washers. Super reliable nipples. Love them!
- Rotors - JetBlack 140mm 6-Bolt Super Light steel
- Tyres - Continental Gran Prix 700 x 25 - Swapped out to Continental GP 4 Season 700 x 25 at Newton Bike Shop after over 2500 trouble free miles (4025km's) Incredibly never had a flat. Filled with SPEX sealant by OzRiders. Aussie made tyre sealant.
- Tubes - Continental 60mm valve.
- Rim Tape - Foss adhesive wrap on. Foss products are great.
- Headset - Hope Type 2 Integral Top cup and Hope Type H External Bottom cup - Hope run a double seal design and is best for keeping bad things out.
- Seat Post - Tune Schwarez Stuck 27.2 x 350mm - Light but totally usable on a daily bike.
- Saddle - Tune Speedneedle Alcantara - Looks horrible for the backside but once settled in is comfy.
- Pedals - Shimano DA9000 - Reliable, and the cleats and almost walking friendly.
- Bartape - Lizard Skins - DSP 3.2mm tape. Aside from a tiny bit of wear on the right side it looks hardly worn.
- Cages - Seat post - Arundel. Down tube - Lezyne with integrated pump holder. Seat tube - Zefal
- Front Lights - Dyno Light from K-Lite mounted to side of head-tube. Exposure Diablo mounted to helmet
- Rear Lights - Lezyne Femto Drive Rear LED Light, Skully on helmet and a third rechargeable rear light bought in Portland attached to bag strapped to seat post
- Computer - Garmin E-Trex 30 with US Topo 100k maps on SD card
- Bidons - Two SiS 1L bottles
- Shoes - Rapha Climber's Shoes
- Jersey - Rapha Brevet
- Base Layer - Rapha Merino Base Layer (sleeveless)
- Knicks - Rapha Classic Bib Short
- Shorts - Rapha Touring Short - Coz touring not aerobics
- Socks - Rapha Brevet
- Arm Warmers & Knee Warmers - Rapha merino
- Gloves - Rapha Pro Team Mitts (short finger)
- Glove liners - Rapha Merino
- Rain Gloves - Gore Bike Wear Men's Road Cycling Gore-Tex Gloves
- Wind / Spray Jacket - Ultra-light Pertex Montane jacket that packs down to nothing. No longer made.
- Rain Jacket & Pants - Zpacks breathable Cuben Fiber (customised for better fit for cycling)
- Helmet - Kask Mojito
- Glasses - Oakley Jawbone (prescription). Transition lenses which work in all light conditions
- Buff - Possibly Jesse's most loved piece of equipment. He lost his before the start and made a new one from the arm of a t-shirt the night before the race started
- Safety - SPOT device, Fluoro ankle straps (helps with rain-pants too), high-vis tape stuck to seat-stays and other points on the bike, rear-vision mirror attached to glasses, marine safety whistle, chlorine tablets for emergency water treatment
- Pump - Lezyne Road Drive. Wrapped with insulation tape and cloth tape (for emergency repair)
- Sleeping mat - 5mm closed-cell foam mat, cut to size. Super light.
- Insulation Layer - HAGLOFS L.I.M Barrier Pro Hood Men's Jacket. Synthetic ultra-light hooded jacket
- Beanie - Zpacks Micro-fleece
- Bivvy - SOL emergency bivvy
- Bike Bags - Revelate Designs mountain feed bags (x2) and gas tank bag. A Jannd saddle bag was added at the last minute in Portland to allow faster access to certain tools, tubes and vitamins
- Dry Bags - SeaToSummit 4L and 2L dry bags. The larger bag attached to seat post with a stretched Arundel Stainless Steel Bottle Cage and some velcro straps. The smaller was attached to the aerobars with velcro straps. Smaller bags could have been used, but extra room allowed for storage of additional supplies if needed
- Tools & Spares - Lezyne multi-tool, Leatherman Squirt PS4, separate loose 4 and 5mm Allen keys (to access difficult spots), Lezyne glueless patches, some cable ties of various lengths, spare chain ring bolt, a few spare bolts of various lengths (eg for seat collar, head stem), two tyre levers (sized to all tighten crank tensioning bolt), spare spoke of each length (nipples and nipple washers), bottle of Dri-Flo lube, cut-down toothbrush to clean chain / cassette, small rag to clean excess lube from chain, FibreFix emergency spoke replacement, valve extenders (x2), valve core remover, chain quick-link, presta valve converter
- Electronics - iPhone 5 (photos, videos, alarm clock, music and back-up navigation / route notes / elevation profiles), headphones, Sinewave Reactor for charging via USB from dynamo hub (died in the heat earlier on. Jesse needed to revert to using wall chargers), spare USB charge packs / batteries, Di2 wall charger, wall charger with two USB outputs, charging cables (USB to mini-USB, USB to micro-USB, USB to iPhone 5, Exposure Diablo charging cable), spare batteries (AAA for SPOT, AA for eTrex 30, 2032 batteries for Lezyne rear light)
- Rear Light - Cygolite Hotshot SL
- Personal Care - Sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitiser, Neosporin antibiotic creme with anesthetic, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Vitamins (multi-vitamin, iron, magnesium, ginseng), Caffeine + vitamin B tablets, toilet paper in zip-lock bag, tooth brush and tooth paste.
- Other - credit cards (two of them), driver license, passport, cash in zip-lock bag (ensuring good supply of dollar bills and quarters for vending machine use), elevation profiles & route cues (printed)
Other interesting facts
- Jesse has never owned road shoes / pedals before this race. His first ride on road pedals was only three weeks out while trying to break in a pair of Rapha Climbers shoes using borrowed pedals.
- Not one flat tyre for 7,000kms - Thanks Continental.
- One hiccup occurred early on just before the race. In the final rush before departure, the small chain-ring was installed backwards, affecting shifting. A last minute check-over from the guys at River City Cycles in Portland Oregon spotted the problem and they rectified it just in time.
- Custom elbow pads were made out of closed-cell foam pads and velcro. These were shaped using woodworking tools from my home workshop.
- Jesse is very particular with cleat positioning. The stock hole drillings on the soles of the Rapha Climbers shoes do not allow the cleats to be moved far enough back for Jesse's preferred position. After a quick consultation with Raoul Luescher of LuescherTeknik regarding carbon sole modification, then a bit of trial and error in house, Jesse called upon engineer friend Carl Maroney to fabricate some cleat hole plate adjusters from 3mm Titanium plate. As with all of Carl's work, the adapters worked perfectly
Bike Build Credits
Steve Varga - Curve Cycling
Mike Finlay - Bike Force Docklands
Shoe plate mods
Francis Iezzi - Electricity Works