Dirty Kanza XL Dream Bike Build
WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?
This is the question I’ve been asking myself the last five months after hesitantly accepting Dirty Kanza’s dare, errr, invitation to race the inaugural DKXL – a 350-mile, unsupported version of the notoriously challenging DK200. As if 200 miles of rocky, hilly gravel roads, extreme temperatures, and howling winds weren’t enough… Somehow, 35 of us were lucky enough to get invited and dumb enough to accept this challenge.
All joking and nerves aside, I’m extremely honored to have been invited to this special event along with some fabulous racers who’ve helped shape the world of gravel into what it is today.
After getting over the initial excitement of the event and shock of the distance… well, still working on getting past that one… the big, important questions started to materialize. Possibly most important, other than asking myself what the heck I've gotten myself into, was what bike to use for this crazy event!?! I wanted something light and nimble for the rolling hills (which will add up to over 16,000 feet of elevation by the end of the day) but also something super comfortable since we’ll be crushing some of the gnarliest gravel around for 30+ hours.
The answer? Check out this Bitchn new custom Firefly Gravel Racer and CX Machine….. ooohh yeaahh
Bitchn Grit Racing is stoked to partner with Firefly Bicycles out of Boston, MA this year. Firefly builds some of the most beautiful custom titanium frames I’ve ever seen and it was an incredible experience getting to plan and design this frame from the ground up (more on this process coming soon). After talking through geometry, tire clearance, 1x or 2x, number of bottle mounts, and on and on… Firefly worked their magic and we came up with a versatile design that is perfect for extreme gravel events like DKXL while allowing the bike to moonlight as a cyclocross racer come this fall.
But let’s not daydream about 45-minute races and beer hand-ups just yet. We have some mileage to cover first… Here is the dream machine build that will carry me across 350 miles of Flint Hills gravel.