Dirty Boar

Dirty Boar weapon

This article gives an overview of the kind of material we recommend you use when riding one of our events.

This article is NOT the one and only truth. It's just based on our own experience and what we have seen at participants in our events. So use from it what you want. 

You probably know this but lets start with 2 obvious things:

  • Because it's a pretty long ride, you need to be properly trained. Not only physical but also mentally. Especially if it's a rainy edition. And we can say from experience that the chance of rain is 50%.

  • Your bike needs to be in a very good working condition. You do need a bike that is capable of going offroad but you don't (always) need the latest bike tech and it doesn't have to be gravel-specific. 

Click here for some of our training rides.

Because we do love some bike tech, lets take some more about tips for your bike set-up 

  1. What kind of bike

  2. Which tyres

  3. Rim or disc brakes

  4. How many gears

  5. Suspension

  6. Carrying food & drinks

  1. What kind of bike 

    Our events are open to all kinds of bikes, as long as they are suited to go off-road. But most riders use a gravel bike. This is also our preferred choice because the route mostly consists of fast rolling gravel roads. Our partner Ridley their range of gravel bikes are called Kanzo. These bikes are designed by a team that know and have been riding gravel for several years. You will see this in the little details of the bikes. In the Kanzo range you will definitely find a gravel bike that suits your riding: Fast, Adventure, All Road and even Electric. But as said, you can also ride a cyclocross bike, mountainbike (with suspension or hardtail), adventure bike, trekking bike.... We have seen all these kinds of bikes at the start line. 

  2. Which tyres 

    The most important part(s) of the bike are the tyres. So you want to be sure you are making the right choice here. 

    If you want our advice: The Panaracer GravelKing ! We don't just say that because Panaracer is our partner. We have been riding the GravelKing already for several years ourselves. 

    Because it's hard-packed gravel, the tyre profile doesn't need to be rough. Most of the roads will be hard-packed so, even when it rains a lot (like in 2017), you don't need mud-profile.  Within the Panaracer GravelKing range you can choose between slick, semi-slick, gravel and a profile with a bit more "bite".

    We recommend AT LEAST 32-33mm tyres. If you are able to fit bigger tyres (36-43mm) you will have a more comfortable ride - which will save energy that you might need towards the end of the ride. We ride 40-43mm ourselves.

    For a bikepacker we recommend you fit at least 40mm tyres because of the extra weight of your bags (and the track might also be a bit rougher at certain places).

    If your rims are tubeless-compatible, then we recommend to go tubeless. But if you don't have tubeless wheels, then just ride what you have. You won't find a lot of sections with big rocks, so you should also be fine with regular clinchers at the right pressure.

  3. Rim or disc brakes

    Disc brakes are the preferred choice. We know people who rode it with rim brakes BUT they need to be in PERFECT working condition!

    In 2017, due to the rainy condition, a lot of people rode the last 20-30km without a front or rear (disc) brake. Therefore we strongly recommend you bring a spare set of brake pads (doesn't matter if you use disc or rim brakes).

    For our bikepacker we highly recommend you have disc brakes because of the extra weight.

  4. How many gears 

    Bring anything you want: 1x11; 2x10/11; 3x10/11; or even singlespeed! There will be some climbing, but you should be fine with a standard set-up for off-road/cross. For our bikepacker you will need to keep in mind the extra weight of your bags.

  5. Suspension 

    If set to the right pressure, the tyres will already give some suspension. And the wider the tyre, the more suspension (even more when tubeless). But if you are suffering from the rough gravel roads it might be worth investigating different suspension options. Double wrapped handlebar tape, stems or seatposts with some suspension and even forks with suspension.

  6. Carrying food, drinks, material

When riding in the Hautes Fagnes you will probably not see anybody for 10-20km or more. So you need to make sure you have everything you need to keep moving (inner tubes, water, food...)

We suggest you bring what you usually do when you go for a long (>70km) off-road ride. But be sure to check our recommendations about what to bring at the bottom of the event page. Check out Lezyne if you are in need of a tool, pump....

The Hautes Fagnes can be pretty cold in the morning. So you might be starting with some extra layers which you probably want to take off when the climbing begins and the temperature rises during the day.

You might not be able to stuff everything in your jersey pockets. So a handlebar, frame or saddle bag or a light backpack is a good thing to have.

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