The Road to Kanza – A Newbie Takes on the World’s Biggest Gravel Race

Ben Delaney signed up to the Dirty Kanza 200 with no real experience gravel racing before. This led him to firstly question why did he even agree to this and secondly, how do you actually prepare for 200 miles of racing on gravel?

Luckily DK200 veteran Josh Patterson was on hand to give him some much needed advice. Follow Ben’s journey as a gravel newbie at the world’s biggest gravel race.

Products used in this video:

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CamelBak Hot Cap Travel Mug

CamelBak Hot Cap Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

Give lukewarm the cold-shoulder with the new Hot Cap bottle. A leak-proof 360° cap allows drinking from any side so you can sip subconsciously. Sweat-proof, vacuum insulation keeps the outside of the bottle dry and your beverage hot for up to 6 hours or cold for up to 24 hours. Hot Cap can accommodate contents up to 195⁰F, 90⁰C. For easy cleaning, the rotating valve twists apart and can be removed completely. This cap is compatible with only Chute Mag bottles.

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Impact Protection by CamelBak: Ride Fearless

CamelBak Sternum Protector

Let the scenery, not a sudden impact, take your breath away! Because all riders eventually take a hit, the Sternum Impact Protector™ offers extra protection against minor chest injuries. And because all good stories are best shared with friends, it also features an integrated action camera mount so you can relive the ride once you’re off the trail. This fully adjustable accessory is compatible with the CamelBak family of protection and hydration packs and constructed with the same attention to comfort and functionality as expected from the industry leader.

Features

  • Sternum CE Level II Protector: Protects chest against sudden impact and minor injuries
  • Integrated Action Camera Mount: Compatible with most action camera mounts
  • Perforated for Added Ventilation: Offers air flow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability Offers air flow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability
  • Fully Adjustable Chest and Shoulder Straps: Adjustable to ensure a custom fit for maximum stability and comfort
  • Pack Compatible: Works in conjunction with hydration and impact protector packs
  • Weight: 328 g/0 lb 11 oz
  • Dimensions: 21 x 26 x 3 cm / 8.3 x 10.2 x 1.2 in
  • Fits Torso: 71-116 cm/28-48 in
  • Price: $100

 

CamelBak – Live Fearless

Live Fearless is a new original series by CamelBak that explores what it means to rise above what’s comfortable, to strive for a greater good and to push past one’s doubts or societal expectations.

Stay up to-date will all future episodes by subscribing to the CamelBak YouTube Channel, or get the full experience on: camelbak.com/live-fearless

CamelBak Chase Bike Vest Review

The following is by Ben Delaney from BikeRadar.com

A Hydration Solution for Gravel Racing

Endurance running, gravel racing and the original premise of the CamelBak converge in the Chase Bike Vest. If you are riding gravel events and like the concept of being able to drink with both hands on the bars, then CamelBak hopes the 1.5L Chase Bike Vest works for you.

Yuri Hauswald, winner of the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200 in camo jersey here, helped design the Camelbak Chase Bike Vest for gravel racing

Hydration High and Tight

Of course, you can use the Chase Bike Vest however you like, but the concept came from Yuri Hauswald, winner of the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200 gravel endurance race. He liked the idea of having extra fluid-carrying capacity that didn’t feel like a backpack.

Starting from CamelBak’s Ultra 10 running vest, which sits high on the back and has storage on the chest, Hauswald and CamelBak fine-tuned the design for something that would stay in place while racing, wouldn’t feel hot or heavy, and of course would provide an easy way to drink while keeping both hands on the handlebars.

With a total capacity of 4L / 250 cu in, the pack is on the smaller side, but still large enough to carry a couple of inner tubes, tools and food in the back pockets, plus more food and/or your phone on the chest pockets.

The 4L pack sits high on the back, so you can still reach your jersey pockets

Two stabilizing straps across the chest slide independently up and down.

The material that touches the body on the back and under the shoulder straps is an open mesh with a fair amount of loft to it, to allow for more cooling than a solid material.

CamelBak Chase Bike Vest: How it Feels When Riding

As far as hydration packs go, the Chase Bike Vest is relatively light and airy on the back. It sits securely over rough terrain and can be adjusted for height on the back as well as tightness around the chest.

Still, 1.5L of water on your back plus supplies is a noticeable weight and presence. On a four-hour gravel ride in the Arizona desert, the Chase Bike Vest didn’t exactly disappear on my back, but it wasn’t annoying, either.

Basically a modified endurance run vest, the Chase Bike Vest has front storage and double stabilizing straps

After going through the two bottles on my bike, I was happy to have the extra water in the CamelBak. And, of course, it is convenient to be able to drink while navigating unknown terrain, both hands securely on the controls.

The hose has a quick disconnect to the bladder, so you can quickly switch if need be. and the bite valve has a lock switch too.

As with all CamelBaks, cleaning the bladder isn’t as simple as sticking a water bottle in the dishwasher. The large screw-on cap is wide enough to get a hand inside to scrub, but then you need to wedge something in the cleaned bladder (like the hose) to help the inside dry.

The main selling point, however, is what CamelBak has always offered — a way to drink with both hands on the bars

Ongoing Testing: Gravel Riding and Racing Ahead

As a roadie, I like to travel as lightly as possible, using the bike for carrying water, tools and spares, whether I am riding pavement or dirt. That said, I also don’t like to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without enough to drink.

As with some of my other colleagues, like multi-time DK200 finisher Josh Patterson, I’ll be doing more gravel events this year, where I will continue to test the Chase Bike Vest. I’ll report back here soon.

Specification

  • Hydration Capacity: 1.5L/50 Fl Oz
  • Hydration Type: CRUX™ Reservoir With Quicklink™ System
  • BPA/BPS/BPF Free: Yes
  • Quick Link Disconnect: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 2.5L/150 Cu In
  • Pack Weight: 330 G/0 Lb 11 Oz
  • Dimensions: 33 X 32 X 14 Cm / 13 X 12.6 X 5.5 In
  • Fits Torso: 71-116 Cm/26-46 In
  • Number Of Exterior Pockets: 8
  • Price $100

Single Track Review: CamelBak KUDU Protector 20 Backpack

The following is a review by James Vincent from SingleTrackWorld.com

Redesigned for 2018, the new KUDU range from CamelBak combines a back protector and a hydration backpack all in one. We gave the big 20L version to our main man in the Lake District, James Vincent, to put to the test during some big days out on some of the steepest, rockiest and gnarliest terrain he could find in Cumbria. 

First spotted at PressCamp earlier this year, the Camelbak KUDU 20 sits at the top of Camelbak’s extensive range of cycling specific packs, in both size (20L) and spec (lots of bells, one whistle). While there are other packs in the range of a similar size, the KUDU series feature integrated back protection, and for 2018, has been simplified to just a 10L and 20L model (that’s water capacity + storage), with several key features of the packs getting a bit of an overhaul at the same time.

The KUDU is all-new for 2018. James however, is not.

The CE-certified Impact Protector slides into a sleeve to sit close to your back.

As the bigger of the two packs, the KUDU 20 is most definitely on the larger end of the scale for cycling packs, with numerous straps and expanding pouches covering the surface of the pack, along with the obligatory rain cover buried at the bottom. Unloaded, CamelBak claims the pack weighs a not-inconsiderable 1.5kg (3lb 4oz), which means it needs to be designed well to distribute it’s weight as broadly as possible.

Unzipping ¾ of the way round to allow unfettered access and running the full length of the bag, the vast main compartment also has a small zippered mesh pocket for phones, keys and other essentials.

The soft-lined top pocket is ready for your phone, glasses or goggles.

Ready for a 3L reservoir – though the KUDU doesn’t include one as standard.

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