Tech gallery: Aero tricks and puncture
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Tech gallery: Aero tricks and puncture

Oct 02, 2023

Handlebar hacks, puncture-repair prep, a paint stirrer, an unreleased groupset and even a Beagle called Sherman

Unbound Gravel is a gruelling event and so the distance, topography and terrain requires significant attention to detail when it comes to gravel equipment choices.

Given the sharp rocks that pepper the course, an easy mistake such as choosing the wrong tyres or even inflating them to the wrong pressure can make or break a rider's race.

What's more, over such long distances, aerodynamics will play a significant part too, especially with the likelihood of long-range attacks, as was the case in last year's women's race, which was won with a long solo effort by Sofía Gómez Villafañe.

Unbound's status as the biggest gravel race in the calendar, even outweighing the UCI Gravel World Championships for a lot of riders, means that competition is fierce.

With every second, watt, and gram mattering more than ever before, riders have taken their marginal gains to the extreme. From optimising drivetrains to aero tricks, or saving precious seconds skipping feed stops with oversized bottles or finding ways to speed up puncture repairs, there are tech hacks galore on the ground in Emporia, and here are the best of what we've found.

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As the Tech Editor here at Cyclingnews, Josh leads on content relating to all-things tech, including bikes, kit and components in order to cover product launches and curate our world-class buying guides, reviews and deals. Alongside this, his love for WorldTour racing and eagle eyes mean he's often breaking tech stories from the pro peloton too.

On the bike, 30-year-old Josh has been riding and racing since his early teens. He started out racing cross country when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s and has never looked back. He's always training for the next big event and is keen to get his hands on the newest tech to help. He enjoys a good long ride on road or gravel, but he's most alive when he's elbow-to-elbow in a local criterium.

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