11 of the best bikes of Unbound Gravel 2022 - Gallery

Riders hit the dirt for the Unbound Gravel 2022 on Saturday morning, heading out into the Kansas sunrise for 200 miles (322km) of racing in the Flint Hills outside Emporia. Cyclingnews got a sneak peak at the top riders' bikes.

The pros racing at Unbound Gravel have access to the top of the line equipment for technical and gnarly gravel races, so it's no surprise that the bikes witnessed in Emporia were among the best gravel bikes of 2022.

Riders were sure to equip their bikes with the fattest tyres with good treads for the unusually wet edition of Unbound Gravel. The organisers were forced to make last-minute changes to the course after mid-week storms caused flooding at several river crossings, making them unsafe. 

More wet weather arrived for race day, and EF-EasyPost WorldTour pros Alex Howes and Lachlan Morton equipped their Cannondale SuperSix Evo CX bikes with Vittoria Terreno Dry's in 38mm.

“It looks like it’s going to be muddy this year so that’s definitely going to be a joker card," Howes said. "It could rain early on, it could rain in the middle and it could rain at the end so it really depends on when and where it rains on this course. Some spots it’ll be fine, and other spots it’ll make for some very tricky riding."

After hot and dry editions for the past few years, Howes welcomed the change in the conditions. “I’m mostly looking forward to the fact that it’s not going to be super hot,” Howes said.

Ashton Lambie, the reigning track individual pursuit champion, left the velodrome behind to rekindle his love of long-distance off-road racing. He arrived at Unbound with a UCI world champion rainbow-striped Lauf Seigla with Vittoria Terreno Zero tyres and a SRAM eTap 1X drivetrain.

Following on the debate on whether the top riders should use aero bars, Sofia Gomez Villafane and Lachlan Morton were among those planning to use bar extensions.

Click or swipe through the gallery above to see 11 of the best set-ups for Unbound Gravel.

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Laura Weislo
Managing Editor

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Managing Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks. Laura's specialises in covering doping, anti-doping, UCI governance and performing data analysis.