#TCR2014 @Chargebikes Steel Plug 5 Prepped and Ready

I am using a steel Plug 5 from Charge Bikes for Transcon.

I love the disc brake features on it and the solid feeling of steel and the extra clearance it offers for larger tyres.

Quite simply a bike, a very good bike. Hard to say what it is for, apart from riding. There is always a reason to take this out and one that gets used by far the most. Great fun and hugely reliable and it will put a smile on your face what ever the weather is doing!



For me, black is the only colour to have a bike in…maybe that or the raw colour of steel, titanium or aluminium. I don’t like flashy bikes in loads of colours…let the quality, component choice and riding do the talking.

SRAM provide all the gears and brakes for this one.



I am running an Exposure Revo Dynamo hub set up with redeye rear light. It is fantastic and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone doing large amounts of night riding. Totally dependable power.

The back wheel is an Easton EA90 Cyclocross wheel. Strong, light and with discs.


Along with that, I have wired a supernova PLUG III into the headtube, allowing me to charge iPhones and Garmins while rolling along.


Alpkit Bags all over. Dry Bag at the front with all the sleeping kit in, Larger seatbag at the rear with clothes in and frame bags with spares, tools, snacks and essentials in that will need to be accessed more regularly.

We are both very excited to start this adventure and would really like to thank everyone that has helped us so much over the last 8 months prepare for this.

All our riding and training partners, people giving route, prep and nutrition.

We would especially like to thank everyone who has helped us with the kit we will be using

Charge Bikes for having so much faith in us and making such awesome bikes

Giro for the most badass shoes, helmets and clothes

Oakley for the sunnies

Alpkit for stashing our kit

Exposure for lighting the way


#TCR2014 @Chargebikes Titanium Skewer Prepped and Ready

After a full summer season of single day racing, time trials and training hard, the time has come to convert Gabs’ Charge Skewer ready for Transcontinental. The good news is, that very little needed to be done to it, as it such a versatile bike.


Gaby’s Titanium Skewer in Race Mode:

Fulcrum Zero Wheels
Continental Grand Prix 4000s 25c Tyres
Shimano Ultegra 6800 11speed Groupset
Deda Carbon Finishing kit
Fabric Saddle and Bar Tape

For transcontinental due to the huge distances that need to be covered each day, a lot of dawn, dusk and night riding will need to be done, so several modifications have been made to enable this.



First up is a new front wheel using a Exposure Revo Dynamo Hub laced to a H Plus Sons 32h Rim. All wiring runs up inside of leg to keep the carbon forks looking tidy.

New Continental Grand Prix Winter Tyres in 25c are on front and rear. A little more puncture protection will help in the long run.



As we will be riding for such extended periods of time and not tucked for the duration, the stem has been brought up a little to allow a more comfortable (albeit, less aero) position.

Wiring runs up the non drive side of headtube to the light unit which provides enough illumination to dazzle owls! Mounted next to that is a Garmin Touring GPS with some very important routes plumbed in. Wiring runs from the Revo light to the rear to power the redeye rear light.

10588870_10152311892838099_278302296_nI tried to keep the wiring as tidy as possible.

Messy, cluttered bikes annoy me…ask Chris Selvik if you are unsure what a cluttered bar set up looks like 😉



Gabs’ view for the next 150 or so hours of riding.

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Charge Titanium Skewer with Alpkit luggage and Exposure Lights….Bring on Transcon2014


You can follow our adventures via:

Ben Thompson: @mansell85
Gaby Leveridge: @gofastergaby 

Or Facebook

Le Tour de Mont Blanc

ben mb

This summer on top of all the one day races and events that we are competing in and some heavy training getting ready for the Trans Continental 2014 race, I have signed up to compete in the Tour de Mont Blanc.

I have never ridden anywhere near as far as this, or done anywhere close to the amount of climbing that is needed to complete this event, but I thought it would be a fantastic chance to see how much I could achieve on a bike. After all, if I was going to try it any summer, then it would be this one after hopefully having come off the back of a good winter season of cycling, xc skiing and running and loads of events to aim for.

The race it’s self will take in 7 Hor Category Climbs and over 8000m verticle of climbing over 330km. This is going to be one hell of a ride and one that I will be looking to complete rather than compete in.

Gaby and I will be completing this course as a recky some time before the event in 2 days to practise camping and touring with as lightweight kit as possible and to gauge where the toughest climbs of the course will be. Also to experience a great ride through 3 countries and climb some cols that we haven’t experienced yet.

If I can compete this event and feel relatively ‘comfortable’ at the end of it, then I feel I will be in a good position to attack the TCR.

“If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it, It’s the hard that makes it great”

The Transcontinental


This summer we have taken on the challenge of the 2014 Transcontinental Race from London to Istanbul (3200km in 14 days just to finish). It’s going to be very physically but also with a huge mental aspect; pushing on through fatigue, steep climbs, navigation and battling through what the weather decides to bring our way. Not to mention where to bivy for the night, what to eat and where to wash?

One thing we have on our side is being lucky enough to be bases in the French alps with iconic climbs on our doorstep and accessible on our lunch breaks. We have been slightly limited recently due to the snow that comes with living in a valley surrounded by some of the largest ski resorts in the world, but we have been using the time to get in some flatter longer rides out towards Annecy and Chambery.

To keep up momentum and to give us achievable goals to work towards we have also entered the following events throughout the spring and summer:

Le Bisou
6/4/14             (141km and flat ish around Bourg en Bresse)

Gran Fondo Ventoux
31/5/14           (170km with 3500m of climbing)

Time Megeve
8/6/13             (145km with 3850m of climbing)

Morzine – Haute Chablais
22/6/14          (160km with 3600m of climbing)

Here is a video from last years Transcon from the guys over at AWOL which gives a small taster of whats to come….