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Great gravel variety: An SBT GRVL tech gallery

SBT GRVL tech highlights
(Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL is one of the biggest gravel races in the world, with its 3,000 slots selling out in under 10 minutes for the 2022 edition. Held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the race this year attracted the likes of notable pros like Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, along with Leadville winner and Life Time Grand Prix leader Keegan Swenson, who - spoiler alert - also won SBT GRVL to do the LeadBoat double

As is often the case at gravel races, the variety of bikes, tyres and gear found on site marks a stark contrast from the team- and UCI-specified regimentation of professional road racing.

Cyclingnews visited a few riders before the race and caught up with many more afterwards to bring you this gallery. 

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Sarah Max placed fourth on her prototype Argonaut gravel bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Max lives in Bend, Oregon, home of Argonaut carbon bikes (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The yet-unreleased Argonaut gravel bike features a slack front end but tight (415mm) chainstays (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The flattened seatstay yoke serves to add comfort and accomodate wide tyres (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Like many custom brands, Argonaut often uses Enve products, including this cockpit (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Enve's road stem and bar make for a tidy front end with integrated routing (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

A dropped chainstay is a reliable way to get a big tyre in a frame without extending the wheelbase (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Max uses a Stages meter for power on her SRAM Red cranks (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

With a 1x set-up, a 44 is a relatively aggressive chainring for the climb-heavy SBT GRVL course (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Max paired that 44t rings to this 10-44 cassette (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Brennan Wertz placed fourth, outsprinting Alex Hoehn and Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra. This is his Pinarello Grevil (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Wertz runs a 130mm stem (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Wertz after the finish in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Wertz has a 46t ring on his big bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

A SRAM AXS 10-50t cassette gets the Ceramic Speed OSPS treatment (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Wertz races Enve wheels. These Rene Hertz tyres were still on his bike from BWR Asheville, but he changed before race day (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Although Pinarello has a new Grevil F, Wertz raced this older model (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Framebuilder Megan Dean with one of her Moth Attack bikes (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Dean built her Moth Attack CX as a mechanical disc bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Chainstay protector? Some handlebar tape will do (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Panaracer's GravelKings are a popular gravel tyre, and the slicker version is particularly common at SBT GRVL (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Martin Jones doesn't build his own bikes, but he does paint them himself, complete with highly detailed stencils (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Pros have name stickers. Martin Jones has his name painted on (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Martin sanded down his Aethos, then used a computer program to print out stencils. He first painted the blue, then added the blocking and painted the frame white (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

This isn't a stock Specialized symbol; instead, it's what Martin created to match (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

John Borstelmann was one of a few dozen riders doing Leadboat, the back-to-back high altitude competitions of the Leadville Traill 100 MTB and the 140-mile SBT GRVL (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Aero bars for gravel, with rotated levers? Yes, that's a thing (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Borstelmann's FSA chain has seen some miles (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Borstelmann's bottles were still marked from Leadville aid stations (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Unlike at SBT GRVL where outside support is forbidden (but multiple aid stations are provided), at Leadville riders can meet their crews at multiple points (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Team Amani brought two riders from East Africa to SBT GRVL. This is the bike of John Kariuki (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

And this is Kariuki at the finish, where he placed 13th, in between Matt Beers of South Africa and Adam Roberge of Canada (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

You can learn about Team Amani at https://www.teamamani.com/ (opens in new tab) (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

SBT GRVL provided top tube stickers for riders of all distances (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Specialized road and gravel category leader Stewart Thompson raced a Crux with suspension stem and seatpost. Does this point to future developments at the Big Red S? (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Jake Aisenbery of Lauf Mazda had a few extra accoutrements the day before SBT GRVL (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Hunt was showing off its new Gravel Race wheels, a 1,459g set of alloy wheels that cost a fraction of carbon race wheels (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Hunt sells its alloy and carbon wheels consumer direct, which cuts down on the price (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

While a number of brands have dropped the driveside chainstay, Allied elevated the stay on its Able gravel bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Allied builds its bikes in Arkansas, which is booming for cycling now thanks in large part to funding tied to the Wal-Mart heirs the Walton brothers (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The Allied Echo is a 'two-fer' bike that has a flip-chip system that changes the chainstay length and fork length by 1cm so you can use it as a road and a gravel bike with appropriate geometry for each set-up (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Some sparkly paint on the Echo (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Jordan Schleck is another Team Amani rider who raced at SBT GRVL on a Factor (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

This is Schleck at the finish, where he came 35th (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Schleck ran Vittoria's Terreno Dry 38mm tubeless tyres. Most top finishers used a tyre with minimal tread (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Schleck's seatstay was damaged in transit, so he had it repaired (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Yep, Schleck is on the 'narrow is aero train', too (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Australian Ryan Standish races Ventum, a Utah brand (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

That's right - Rocket Sloth (which is Standish's softgoods brand that supports MS research) (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

4iiii power meters aren't commonly seen at gravel races (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Kenda's 4Titude Pro is not yet on the market. Alexey Vermeulen raced these tyres to the win at Belgian Waffle Ride California earlier this year (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Whitney Allison was second in the women's race behind Lauren De Crescenzo. This is Allison's Enve Melee (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Whitney's husband Zach Allison also did SBT GRVL on a Melee (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Unlike the vast majority of WorldTour racers, Allison has a 12-speed Dura-Ace power meter - perhaps because he only recently got this bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The cap on his dual-sided Shimano meter may have come off during the race (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Enve was making stems and bars before it got into production bikes this year (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Sprinter shifters on a gravel bike? Zack Allison says yes. Well, technically the Melee is a road bike, but whatever... (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Shimano's 12-speed sprint shifters, although they look similar to the 11-speed versions, are not compatible with the older drivetrain and vice versa because the wire diameter is different (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The UCI blessed the Melee frame (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Rob Britton raced SBT GRVL on his Felt with a refined Classified shifter system since the one he had taped on for BWR California (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

This button operated the Bluetooth two-speed rear hub, which acts effectively like a front derailleur that you can shift under load (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

This Classified hub can be built into a variety of wheels (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

This is the bike of Niki Terpstra, the former winner of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

And here is Terpstra's Specialized Crux after the finish (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Trash tucked under the saddle? That's a Euro pro move, for sure (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Terpstra had a 50/34 road crank on his 11-speed Dura-Ace drivetrain (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

CeramicSpeed OSPW reduces friction; random grass from the fields increases it (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

A K-Edge magnet holder for Terpstra's Shimano power meter (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Stem notes for Terpstra (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

SBT GRVL organizers went to lengths to tell riders not to wrap their numbers plates around their frames, as this can damage the timing chip glued to the back. Terpstra didn't get the memo (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

An 11-34 provided a 1-to-1 low gear for Terpstra (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

External junction boxes aren't as clean visually as internal ones, but they are a heck of a lot easier to work on (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Specialized's Pathfinder tyres are popular with many riders, and rather mandatory for sponsored athletes (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Ride for Racial Justice co-founder Marcus Robinson had some pink pop on his Cervélo Caledonia-5 (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

The gravel at SBT GRVL isn't as rough as many other big gravel events, so 32mm tyres aren't out of the ordinary here (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Mosaic and Cervélo each donated bike for raffle to support Ride for Racial Justice: https://www.rideforracialjustice.org/ (opens in new tab) (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Artist Gabriel Ortiz was commissioned to do the design, which was painted at Mosaic Cycles in Boulder, Colorado (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Robinson gave Ortiz a few parameters for the design, such as including the red, green and yellow that signify Africa (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Ruth Winder placed third at SBT GRVL on her custom Trek Checkpoint (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Winder's race kit also kits her wildflower theme (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Time pedals are now part of the SRAM family of brands (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

SRAM's Eagle cassette is a flower of sorts (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Winder ran a top tube bag for nutrition (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Under her bag is this quote (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

SBT GRVL tech highlights

Winder's fork (Image credit: Ben Delaney)

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