Last weekend wrapped up my 3rd Belgian Waffle Ride, and it was hands down, the hardest and most competitive of the three BWRs I have done. To put it into perspective, I rode almost 20 minutes faster than I did in 2018 (15th place) and took 17th place this year – which I am quite happy with. (My time from this year would have been 6th in 2018 – I guess thats what happens when Pro Conti and WorldTour riders show up!)
Anyways, onto a complete rundown of the equipment I used over the 135 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing!
Let’s start with the most obvious equipment – the bike.
2018 Cervelo R3 58cm
Token Ventous Zenith 36mm deep carbon clinchers https://www.tokenproducts.com/wheels/road-wheels/420-ventous
IRC 28mm tubeless X-Guard tires – While these have been a great tire choice in years past, going with a 30 or 32 mm with a little tread would have been preferable with how incredibly sandy this year’s course was like the IRC Boken or their brand new Marabella. The descent on Black Canyon was rather puckering sliding around every other turn! I ran 77psi in the front and 82psi in the rear and it was a little high, but I didn’t smash my rim on any rocks, so that’s a good thing.
Dura Ace 9100 shifters, brakes, and derailleurs
Rear derailleur has a Token Suriken oversized ceramic pulley https://www.tokenproducts.com/comps/drivetrain/467-shuriken – This was actually my big time test of the oversized pulley system. I have used it for the past couple of weeks at the famous Athens Twilight criterium and the rest of Speedweek, but running such a piece of equipment is pretty unheard of at a very gnarly gravel grinder – so I decided to see if it would survive (it did). It also allowed me to run an 11-32 cassette (Sram 1170).
Sram Red chain
Chain Lube – I experimented with something a little at this BWR in preperation for DK200 coming up in June. After cleaning the chain, I applied RockNRoll Gold, let it sit for a few minutes, then applied Dumonde Tech original chain lube over top of it. It work perfectly the whole ride, with no issues whatsoever and is probably what I will run for DK200.
Praxis Zayante Carbon 172.5mm crankset with 53/39t chainring https://praxiscycles.com/zayante-carbon-story/ with a 4iiii power meter on the non-drive-side crankarm
Speedplay pedals – These were probably my worst equipment choice – more due to bad luck than personal error. On one of the earlier sandy dirt section about 90 minutes in a rider went down in the group I was in. I was able to stop in time to avoid crashing, but I had to dismount and run through the sandy section. When I jumped back on to remount and clip in, it took around 3 minutes of stomping my feet on the pedals and spraying my cleats with drink mix in order to get back in! Speedplays and dirt do not mesh well.
Ritchey WCS team edition alloy handle bar – 42cm
Ritchey WCS team edition alloy stem 130 mm -7 degrees
Bontrager tacky bartape – This stuff is sweeeeeeet.
Wahoo Elemnt Computer with a Close the Gap hidden bell (these things are super sweet) https://www.closethegap.cc/
Lezyne Power water bottle cages – these are seriously the best cages I have ever run for keeping bottles on your bike. I have used countless others and have lost bottles out of every single one. They aren’t the lightest or sexiest cages out there, but they cost about $10 each and will never, ever, lose your bottle.
Ritchey WCS carbon seatpost
Bontrager XXX Paradigm saddle 138mm
Lezyne Saddle Caddy with one spare tube, 2 tire levers, a multi tool with chain breaker and a Genuine Innovations quick patch kit
Rocket Fuel – I mean, Nutrition
As with any monster ride I do, I started the 2019 BWR with 2 bottles full of H24 Prolong. 250 calories per bottle, some other secret magic stuff and good flavor. I also brought one tablet of H24 Liftoff with me just in case. Liftoff has 350mg of stimulants in a tablet you just pop in a water bottle. I ended up using it about 4 hours in as the two bottles I grabbed were both water and I knew I would be in trouble without some extra go-go juice.
Rudy Project Racemaster MIPS helmet size M – Rudy has done a really good job with this helmet. I have always liked the fit and feel of the Boost 01 aero helmet, and the Racemaster fits very well also, but with a ton more venting and lighter weight.
Rudy Project Tralyx sunglasses with photocromatic lens – The gloomy morning and riding through shaded dirt roads are the 2 factors that had me pick the photocromatic lens over a traditional one.
Jakroo echelon speedsuit – This is literally my favorite piece of cycling clothing I have ever owned or worn. It is the only thing I race in and I would train in them all the time too if I just had more of em! 3 pockets in the back and a cut and fabric that makes you feel like you’re naked. You can unzip it all the way (see hairy chested photo)
Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor – cool fact about this one – if you forget or don’t have a powermeter or cadence sensor, the Tickr will give your cadence based on accelerometers in the HR monitor (basically senses your body bobbing). Friggin crazy cool.
And probably the most important thing I wore at the BWR was Zealios suncreen. I’ve got few relatives dealing with skin cancer and I don’t want to have to do that later in life. Yes, quality sunscreen is expensive, but in the long run, you will be so happy you did it. I didn’t get burned after nearly 7 hours of sweating and riding in the sun and then hanging around the festivities for a few more hours after with just a single application. https://teamzealios.com/products/zealios-sun-barrier-spf-45
Thanks for reading – Keep the rubber side down-