Matt LLoyd- 27/03/2015
Great article, very helpful
20th March 2015
Written by J Cromack
What you ride and what you wear can be a make or break matters over 24 hours so get ready to go the distance with our insider knowledge.
Revolve24 uses the world’s most challenging circuits that will push you and your kit to the limit so make sure you’re ready. If you don’t do your own maintenance, get your bike professionally serviced, lubed and running smooth. Check tyres are in good condition… we know how fixing a trackside puncture can be at 03:00 and we hope you don’t have to find out!
Actual bike priorities depend on how you’re tackling the race. Teams running short lap splits can concentrate on speed, with stiff frames and dropped positions for aero advantage.
If you’re in a pair or as a solo, you might be riding hundreds of kilometres so a more upright ride position and forgiving ‘compact’ chainset gear ratios might be more appropriate – especially as you’ve noted some Revolve24 race tracks are far from flat!
Don’t be afraid to try small tweaks beforehand either. For example lowering tyre pressures to 90psi or switching 23c tyres for 25c can also add comfort and control you’ll really appreciate by the time dawn comes around or corners get damp with dew. If you’re soloing you might want to consider having thicker, comfier bar tape fitted.
Otherwise, resist the temptation to change anything significant for the race weekend. Being able to trust that your bike works perfectly is way more important than risking reliability for the sake of a handful of grams of drag or a few more watts at the rear wheel. If you have to buy something new be sure to get at least a couple of set-up rides in before the Revolve24 event weekend so you know it works - and how - before you’re fighting for position in the pack on the opening laps.
24-hour racing can be an emotional experience, especially if something breaks. Bring any specific spares you might need (gear hangers, long valved innertubes, Di2 chargers, etc) but also pack ‘pit kit’ such as a spare pair of shared wheels for a fast change between laps. While minitools and C02 inflators rule on the circuit, in the Pit Garage, a decent workstand, a pair of wash buckets and a track-pump makes keeping your bike clean and dialled ready for the next lap easy.
Keep tabs on those laps and your own stats with a bike computer or heart rate monitor, but bring a booster battery for recharging if it won’t last the distance. Head torches are also super useful whether you’ve got a midnight mechanical, or you’re trying to put your bibshorts on the right way round in the dark (we’ve been there!).
Finally, rollers or a turbo trainer are great for a quick warm up/down to keep cramp at bay as night turns to day and they’re brilliant for intimidating other teams with your pro level of prep.
If there’s one piece of advice the best 24-hour racers always share about clothing, it’s “take everything”.
Wherever you are in the world, conditions can change dramatically between the midday sun and the bone-chilling hour just before the sun slices the horizon open so pack for the best and worst possible conditions on the track, in camp and in the pit.
Be versatile with what you wear on the track: arm and leg warmers can be rolled up or down depending on conditions and thin shells can keep you surprisingly warm but still stuff into a back pocket. Pack all your shorts and socks too, as dragging stinking sweaty kit back on for another lap can be enough to crack the strongest resolve, and can rub you raw. Don’t be tempted to wear two pairs of shorts as neither will fit properly and the friction can be frightening. We can’t recommend saddle cream highly enough in an endurance event – it can literally save your ass – and baby wipes are perfect for freshening up before laps.
Finally, bring plenty of warm, dry, waterproof kit for the pits. Whatever the forecast says, tiredness and hunger can make things feel a lot colder than they actually are. Add a few drops of rain to the mix and you’ll appreciate all the comfort you can get. Wear your big jacket down to the handover point: that way you’ll stay warm if there’s a delay and your team-mate won’t get cold heading back to camp.
Great article, very helpful