2nd August 2017
The Racing Collective's Bokeh 105 Hydro
The stock 35mm Panaracer GravelKing tyres have been swapped for road-specific 28mm Schwalbe Pro-One items.
Mounting space for lights, trackers, GPS etc. is always compromised on bikes that are built up to 'ultra-endurance' spec.
A really practical feature that TRC has added to his Bokeh is this crown-boss system which acts as a fixture for additional bar-mounted equipment.
For this race it's helping TRC to see and be-seen at night. An Exposure 'Strada' re-chargeable light is lighting his way across Europe and some 3M reflective tape helps improve his daytime visibility.
It looks complex but this feature-packed cockpit is standard issue for ultra-endurance rigs. Tri-bars allow TRC to maintain a more aero-dynamic and comfortable riding position for the 4000km+ journey across Europe.
He's using the tried-and-tested Garmin eTrex unit that Markku also uses on his Resolution. Although this GPS unit is starting to look dated (and it is, by Tech standards) it's always present at these events because of the convienient AA-battery replacement and its robustness. TRC can mount his mobile phone on his stem talking and internet access on-the-bike.
3 large Apidura 'Food Pouches' hold all of TRC's nutrition and some spares. These handlebar mounted pouches are really easy to access from any riding position, they make great use of the cockpit space and their minimalist design takes some stress out of deciding where to put 'stuff'.
Tons of thought went into designing our 4 Season Disc wheelset so it's nice to see them still being used at the highest levels of road cycling. We developed these wheels with our friends at Hunt Bike Wheels to be the ultimate year-round disc wheelset. Needless to say that we're really proud of this wheelset and it was great to see Hunt on SO many bikes this year.
Like TRC has opted for this year, Josh Ibbett also used Schwalbe Pro-One tubeless tyre when he won TCRNo3 on his Definition, so they're a reliable and proven tyre choice.
Despite the clear benefits of tubeless tyre technology in puncture resistance and ride quality, it's not infallible. A spare tube is carried that can be fitted to the tyre to restore pressure after violent contusions.
When the Bokeh is loaded up some of its design features become more apparent, in particular a few of the unique features of the top tube. Our ovalised Dedacciai top tube was proven for strength on our Definition and it makes a really stable mount for frame + top tube packs.
The rear-mech cable MultiPort is positioned so it's out of the way, it doesn't interfer with pack mounting, and the packs don't compromise its route-path so gear shifting performance is optimised.
Every last bit of storage space has been put to use on this Bokeh. The third bosses at the base of the D.Tube holster emergency tools and lesser-needed kit.
For some transcontinental racers it's not so important to keep things as light as possible. The Shimano 105 series is the ideal reliable, replaceable, and affordable groupset for many ultra-distance riders. The 'entry-level' title that 105 is often given is unfortunate. TRC proves that it's more than capable for the highest levels of distance-racing; TCR completions; CrossDuro veteranship; and Grinduro conquering.
We also think that the all-black groupset looks rad. Even more so when it picks up witness marks from thousand-mile, continent-crushing journeys.
We're stoked to see the Bokeh 105 Hydro being properly ridden at this level, to see all of its features being put to the test and most importantly, the adventures that it's taking TRC on.
You can follow his TCR progress in THIS blog that we're updating daily throughout the TCR.