What do you need to ride in London Edinburgh London? Matt Page’s bike and gear for a 1,500km autonomous classic


After a hiatus of five years instead of the usual four due to Covid, London Edinburgh London is back for 2022 with a course of more than 1,500 km, with nearly 2,000 runners setting off in the early hours of Sunday morning to take on the iconic challenge.

As has been the case since its inception in 1989, this standalone Audax event is described as a “bike ride” rather than a race, but the 125-hour limit means many participants will be looking to keep up the pace. That certainly seems to be the case for road.cc and off.road.cc contributor Matt Page, who has chosen an aero road bike as his weapon of choice.

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There are no real rules or regulations on the bike or equipment required to participate, and unlike some Audax events, mudguards are not mandatory. Although the ethos of the event is to do it self-sufficient, there are checkpoints with facilities to check the runners, including food, drink, tools and mechanical support, and even sleeping quarters and showers on some of them. For navigation, there are no route markers, with riders choosing to follow the GPX files provided, or use traditional route maps.

Matt’s pick might be a far cry from your usual Audax bike and not exactly ready for huge distances, but he tells us the Cannondale SystemSix is ​​a bike he’s spent a lot of time on and is convinced that it will take him to the finish in less than 100 hours.

The bike and the finishing kit

For the impatient among you, let’s start with a full list of bike specs and gear:

Cannondale System Six
Shimano Dura Ace 9170 groupset
52/36 Hologram crankset
11/30 tapes
Scribe Aero Wide+ 60mm carbon wheels
Continental GP5000 TL 25mm tires
Saddle Repent Artax GLM
Enve SES Aero Handlebar
Enve Aero Extensions
Kalloy Uno stem
Favero Assioma Duo power meter pedals
Specialized Rib Cage II side-access bottle cages
Straight Cut Designs Custom Frame and Top Tube Bags
Dr j0n DeWidget Top Tube Bag Stabilizer
Strada MK10 AKTIV front light
Exposure TraceR taillight, w/ Racewear Direct seat post mount

As we mentioned before, the heart of the platform is a Cannondale SystemSix frame, a bike built for speed with deep aero tube profiles. It comes equipped with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9170 11-speed groupset, 52/36 crankset and 11-30 cassette. The brakes are also Dura-Ace, with smaller 140mm rotors chosen.

While some high-end SystemSix off-the-shelf bikes feature the KNOT integrated handlebar and stem, Matt went with a more traditional setup. The Enve Aero handlebar primarily features internal cable routing and a Shimano EW-RS910 Di2 junction box mounted on one end of the handlebar.

london edinburgh london 2022 matt page enve aerobars

Matt installed Enve Aero clip-on extensions, a choice that prioritizes comfort over speed with thick padding running the length of the bars to reduce pressure on the palms.

Matt Page London Edinburgh London 2022 bike 2

The wheels are the Scribe Aero Wide+ 60, fitted with 25mm Continental GP5000 TL tires mounted without a tube. Favero Assioma Duo power meter pedals are installed, although Matt says he won’t be looking at the power at all during the ride, opting instead to look at the data afterwards.

London Edinburgh London 2022 Matt Page straight cut bag

Some specially designed parts for the event include a custom Straight Cut Designs frame bag and top tube bag, with narrow profiles to give plenty of knee clearance and maximize internal room on the 54cm frame.

A nice addition is the Dr j0n DeWidget top tube pannier “stabilizer”, a bracket that fits under the top cap to provide a secure attachment point for top tube panniers, designed primarily for low headroom bikes. pile.

Matt Page London Edinburgh London 2022 Bike Check Frame Bag

Matt’s frame bag will include a large 20,000mAh battery and extra gear for warmth and rain protection. Pictured above are spares from his frame bag that will be stored during the event bike checks, including a spare GPS computer, more nutrition and spare charging cables. All spare parts including tubes, tools and patches are in the rear saddle bag.

Matt will rely on the Wahoo Elemnt Roam for navigation, and lighting is provided by Exposure with the Strada MK10 up front and the TraceR in the rear, the latter held down with a Racewear Direct seat post mount 3D printed. For extra visibility, a reflective Safety Pizza hangs from the rear of the Repente Artax GLM saddle.

Deposit bags

All runners participating in London Edinburgh London receive two small bags, which are taken to the checkpoints of their choice. In the bags, the riders can put extra spare parts such as food, clothes or whatever may be needed to facilitate the trip. With checkpoints visited twice – once heading north and again heading south – this means that there are four points at which a runner can access personal items.

Matt Page London Edinburgh London 2022 Carry Bag

Matt’s carry bags include extra tubes, a spare jersey, base layers and electronics to ensure all devices can be charged and used throughout the event; although most of the space is devoted to nutrition, with high-carb sources such as gels, chews, and powdered energy drinks, as well as some denser comfort foods included.

You can dotwatch London Edinburgh London here, and Matt – who at the time of writing has already passed the second checkpoint in Boston – wears number A16. Check back for Matt’s write-up on his experience in London Edinburgh London in a few days…

Would you choose a bike like this for an audax? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, as always.


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