In a recent video in partnership with Red Bull TV, Colin Strickland has taken viewers through his workshop at his home in Austin, Texas. In Strickland's own words, this is "where projects go to come to life, but also, where some projects go to die."
The video was originally published onto Red Bull TV's Instagram and Facebook stories on Friday, however, Cyclingnews reached out to Strickland for further info on some of his favourite parts of his workshop and his go-to tech choices.
Above Strickland's workbench features race numbers, medals and plaques for his achievements. The 33-year-old Texan made a name for himself in the Red Hook Crit scene; short fixed-gear city-centre criterium racing of up to an hour in length, but really turned heads with an 80-mile solo breakaway at the 2019 Dirty Kanza 200, beating the WorldTour's Lachlan Morton and Pete Stetina.
For an on-road criterium specialist turned off-road endurance athlete, it's perhaps unsurprising to see a range of bikes at Strickland's disposal. Everything from Pinarello track bikes to full suspension S-Works mountain bikes exist in his pedal-powered arsenal, along with a healthy dose of Enve wheels. His two-wheeled obsession doesn't stop there though; three motorbikes also have a home in Strickland's "secret lair".
One of the most-utilised features, the workbench is "where projects go to come to life, but also, where some projects go to die," according to Strickland, who added "I have a large array of hobbies, and I am ashamed to say that organization is not my strongest of suits. My large workbench is very productive, but not very organized."
The centrepiece of the Red Bull athlete's workshop has to be the lineup of helmets. Most of which are custom painted in the Red Bull livery to mark the Texan's inclusion in the exclusive club, in which he sits alongside the likes of Chloe Dygert and Wout Van Aert. The S-Works Evade and Prevail sit aside a POC Ventral.
Looking at Strickland's tech, there are lights aplenty. In the above photo alone, we can see five rear bike lights and a Specialized Flux front light. However, it's the cycling computer that Strickland is keen to share.
"My Wahoo Elemnt ROAM is one of my most essential pieces of Tech," Strickland states. "It provides me with essential in-race turn-by-turn navigation to keep me on course on the desolate roads of Kansas, but it also serves as my friend and brutal training coach, relaying brutally honest info about my rides such as power output, speed, heart rate etc. I do not leave home without it, because if it's not on Strava, did it really count?"
No, Colin, it doesn't.
Ditch the tubes
Today's tyre technology is a long way away from the skinny 23c road tyres of old, and unsurprisingly for a gravel endurance athlete, tubeless tyre technology is the go-to choice for Strickland, who recommends we all ditch the tubes:
"I have an array of high-volume air pumps, compressor, rim tapes and valves of various sizes, and gallons of sealant from Orange Seal to keep all of my 18+ tubeless race wheels mounted with solid tires, inflated, and ready to roll," he told Cyclingnews. "Tubeless tech is still a dark art to many, but I am here to tell you that tubeless has become very reliable on MTB, gravel and road, and I recommend that everyone ditch the tubes and stop wasting valuable ride time fixing flats."
With today's best gravel bikes continually blurring the boundaries between road, mountain bikes and everything in between, gravel groupsets have a big responsibility when it comes to compatibility. The types of races on offer in the endurance gravel scene can range from glorified cobbled-classics (evidenced by Pete Stetina's choice of bike for Super Sweetwater), to snow-covered events where a mountain bike wouldn't go amiss.
"I have built (assembled) no less than 15 Shimano Di2 electronic groupsets in the last year," Strickland explained. "I run blends of Dura-Ace, GRX, Ultegra, and XTR Di2 on my quiver of road and gravel bikes, and I will not be going back to mechanical shifting. The cross-compatibility is incredibly smooth, making it ez[sic] to optimize a build blend with the best attributes of each Shimano series. The Di2 shifting technology is so advanced, that these bikes rarely need anything besides an hour each month on the charging station."
- Road bike groupsets: a comprehensive guide
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