Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

12-hour Endurance Racing (like D2D) Kit Review

Posted by Jez | October 6, 2010 | 8 comments so far

There’s nothing like an endurance race with biblical proportions of rain and mud to test equipment to the max so here’s a few things that worked and didn’t with my kit list.

Lupine Wilma

This light was a recent purchase. I’ve recently felt outgunned in the lighting arms race so treated myself to this ahead of D2D.I had expected it to last 3 laps on full power but because of the stupidly long lap times I had a low battery warning flash up on my third. This warning light saved my bacon really as I then discovered my back up light didn’t work so I switched the Lupine onto its low setting to get me home.

They stood up to the conditions fine but I would change some of the flexible settings to suit a solo ride even better as I don’t think I need to run them on full from the start with a plodding solo pace.

Exposure Joystick Light

I’d normally run this in tandem with a bar light but for an all night effort it was kept as my back up and only intended to get me to the end of a lap if my main light failed. Unfortunately when I needed the Joystick it simply didn’t work.

Luckily, however, the guys from USE were providing the charging tent this year and they cleaned out the battery port and got it going again in a jiffy. They also gave me a red LED plug-in which acts as a rear light and also conveniently keeps the charging port from getting full up with moisture and mud. Top customer service but a little worrying it let me down when I needed it.

It had never happened before in the rain though so I put it down to the horrendous conditions. Apparently just a simple bit of tape over the port can work too if you ever have face a similar problem and need a quick fix.

Endura bib shorts

I decided that a night time race was safe to bring out the lycra and even though I got wet (soaked…) they didn’t cause any discomfort and remained comfy. I should use them more really as they are undoubtedly more practical in the rain than baggies.

Northwave winter boots

I like these normally, they’re totally waterproof but aren’t too bulky so are ideal for southern winters where full on winter boots are a little overkill. However, they suffered the eternal winter boot problem of filling up with water and remaining wet. Not nice and there must be a better solution.

Avid brakes

I used Avid’s own brand sintered pads and they stood up pretty good considering the conditions but eventually wore out. I’d be interested to know whether those running shimano suffered at all as they seemed designed to retract more.


The non waterproof ones got wet through and the waterproof ones filled up with water! Either way my hands ended up like soaked prunes. I’m never going to throw out old gloves again and use them endurance racing. Fresh gloves each lap is definitely a good morale boost when conditions are bad.

Tea mug

Would have been fantastic but I forgot it.

For Goodness Shakes Recovery drink

Other moles mentioned these were good and I agree. The chocolate is my favourite and really does seem to help. I don’t feel so exhausted the day after a big ride and having a choccy milkshake is a nice way to recover.

Base camp

Mole HQ at these events is getting increasingly sophisticated. Gazebos coupled with a gas heater make life comfortable and don’t underestimate the power of good team morale.

On-One geared hardtail

The bike held up reasonably well. No doubt a singlespeed would have been a good choice in the mud bath but it’s amazing how much a derailleur can put up with and keep working. The main problem is wear and the cost of upkeep in the mud and I haven’t had the willpower to look at the potential bill since.

Overall I think that very little clothing can cope with the conditions faced this year and I think the best option is accept you’ll get wet and just take enough clothes to be able to change regularly. Waterproof gloves and boots just seem to collect the water is my conclusion.

Filed under Racing, Reviews in October 2010


About the author

I've been riding around in circles for quite some time now but only regularly in last few years since meeting the moles. Wannabe endurance racer but too lazy to train. And compete. I'll just stick to the circles. I can do circles.

There are 8 comments on ‘12-hour Endurance Racing (like D2D) Kit Review’

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  1. Dave says:

    Endura bib shorts get my vote very time given that I do actually wear them every ride!

    Now as I only did one lap I’m not sure I can tell you about the pad wear but there was some pad left on the back and they were red kevlar. Front was an old set of sintered so they did wear out. I think anything would have worn out though.

  2. tony says:

    My own personal kit feedback is

    Lumicycle bar and helmet 1130 lumens light – in “mid” 400 lumens power setting – which was plenty to see by at 5pmh. They lasted fine until 4am and I hadn’t even changed over to my spare batteries. I think that Adam, Darren and Amanda all had problems with water in their Lupines?

    Endura waterproof shorts – great didn’t even get a soggy short insert.

    Mudgauards – I rode with front and rear crudguards, plus a home-made inner tube fork brace guard. I was still covered but nothing got into my eyes and my backside was relatively dry. There were some riders out there completely covered.

    Specialised winter boots. As per Jez. Warm and filled with water.

    Avid brakes – changed 3 pairs of pads and a pain to change!

    Bike – I reckon that the ideal bike would have been something like a Alfine hub geared fame with big mud clearences, running deep mud tyres like trailrakers and a front fork with lots of clearence ……..just like the bike I left at home …….doh!

  3. Matt says:

    I ran two sets of lights without issue for a total of 3hrs 10 – an Exposure MaXx-D on the handlebars in mid setting and a Four4th lights flood on my crash helmet, mainly on normal but often on high. At the speeds I was going I had no issue seeing!

    Apart from that my main worry was getting too hot in the mild weather, despite the wet. I had a base plus windproof gillet on my first run and then a base plus my trusty Gore Phantom on the slower run. I was never bothered by the wet to be honest.

    Brakes were pretty shot after the first lap (why does the back always go first?) but I didn’t bother changing them for the second – pointless waste of pads given that the gloop was always going to slow you anyway – so it proved too, the front had enough to stop me, the back was redundant. Must have been that fisting tip from Colin…

    Recovery drink… will be investigating these as after my sugar bonk clearly my pasta prep is not enough and it’s time to pay closer attention to fuel/nutrition.

  4. Dazzler says:

    not to sure about the lupine lights.

    mine packed up 30mins into the first lap. now they don’t work so that race cost me £450 & Amanda’s lupine is playing up.

    not happy…..

  5. paul901 says:

    Matt, I’m not sure you can predict when you’re going to hit the wall no matter how disciplined the hydration and nutrition. I have suffered with it for years on the road, maybe once a year maybe a few times.

    Generally though: sleep; plenty of it and avoiding late nights; no or little alcohol (no problem in my case but the consumption of some of the Moles would have me in trouble); sensible steady eating as in no absence of or huge meals out of pattern beforehand; no big swings to the riding regime i.e you might flatten yourself on previous rides without realising and not recover in time.

    From this distance I am wondering if the latter happened to you i.e. you had little riding time until the final week then rode once or twice, your body would have tailed off fast from where you left off in the summer and your pre-D2D rides would have been getting used to riding again but lots of damage and rebuilding going in there in the muscle fibres and the tank was empty.

    I could be wrong but my theory is that those rides needed to be your week 1 of 4, you needed a week 2 the same, a hard week 3 and then completely back off to a casual couple of spins for the week before the event. In other words, it’s not whether you rode lightly beforehand but how it fitted into your pre-event riding.

    I’m still staggered at the riding reports dotted around about the bike carnage to drivetrains and brake pads. I was shocked by the running repairs I posted about i.e. bent chainrings leading to new and better chainset and front pads completely gone in 3 dry months. Like nothing I have ever experienced cycling but it now feels like I have got luxurious long-term use and I wonder what the winter is going to put the Whyte through.

  6. TurnerGuy says:

    I am sure my old 8 speed drive train coped with the mud better than the 9 speed – nowadays it is painful to feel the grinding through the drivetrain as soon as some mud gets into the chain but I used to ride the 8 speed about 70 miles a weekend all year, though deep mud on the bridleways churned up by horse and rain, and don’t remember the same feelings.

    I have an 8 speed ‘comb’ device that attached to the rear deraileur mount that swept the mud out of the rear cassette, and now I am trying to find a 9 speed version.

  7. Jem says:

    My pads still have a little left on them after 3 laps, but need changing.

    Running Shimano xt with Superstar kevlar up front and sintered on rear.

    To be honest I did’nt even use them on the last lap, just stopped pedalling and the mud slowed you more effectively than wet gritty brakes.

    So all in all pleased with the xt’s.

    Agree with the gloves, waterproof filled with water!!!!

  8. Amanda says:

    Well my light was good for the 2 laps and did not fail on the actual race but as Darren says its not working at present. I also used the Ayup lighting system and can say I am very impressed with it, can’t fault it in any way and it seems to last a long time.

    As for brake pads went through my Kevlar pads in 2 laps and that’s without using them. These were not new but managed to wear it down to the metal so have now got a nice wee groove in my disc.


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