From ultra-light rim brakes and skinsuits to CamelBaks and mountain bikes with aero bars, Belgian Waffle Ride California brought out a huge range of gear as riders of all ages tried to figure out what the ideal set-up was for a half-road, half-“unroad” event.
Here is what we found on the start line and on the course of the 137-mile event in San Diego County last weekend.
Related gear stories:
- BWR bike test: What I learned, what was sagging, and what I loved
- Alexey Vermeulen won BWR CA on this unreleased Enve bike with unreleased Kenda tires
- The Bluetooth internal-hub shifter Rob Britton used to win Belgian Waffle Ride CA day two
Local hammer Brian Scarbrough builds off-road race cars for work and races off-road bikes for fun. He won the BWR Dubbel Header, with the lowest cumulative time between the 137-mile Waffle Saturday and the 77-mile Wafer Sunday.
The Tioga Spyder Twin-Tail-2 isn’t the most common saddle. It weighs 180g with titanium rails.
Sandy Floren, second in 2021 to Pete Stetina, raced an Emonda SLR, Trek’s hyperlight road race bike.
32mm Michelin Power tubeless for Floren.
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) races a Canyon Grail, where the double-decker bar necessitates a low computer mount.
No shortage of color on Cromwell’s bike, which had some of the beefier tires at the point end of the race with Schwalbe G-One Allrounds.
There was a lot going on with Jeremiah Bishop’s cockpit.
The Genuine Innovations tubeless kit is popular with gravel racers, but the company doesn’t make an easy-access mounting kit. So…
Bishop taped and twisty-tied the bacon, tubeless tool, and spare chain link to his stem.
Bishop at the start.
Cyclocross racer Ralyn Nuss often races gravel on her Crux, but at BWR she was aboard this Roubaix with its FutureShock front suspension.
Flavia Oliveira, second to Mo Wilson in the BWR Waffle and first in the Dubble Header, raced this 49cm Crux.
Oliveira’s little bike had a big Golden Eagle on the back, with SRAM’s Eagle eTap AXS cassette and derailleur mated to a CeramicSpeed OSPW system.
Former BWR winner Amanda Nauman races these 35mm René Herse Bon Jon Pass tires in the endurance casing, a tire used by Ted King and Lauren De Crescenzo at the 2021 SBT GRVL.
There were parts of the course where a hardtail certainly made sense, and headwind stretches where aerobars were useful.
James Kinney running what he brung, in this case his Tarmac road bike with Cane Creek’s lightweight ee rim calipers.
Garmin Vector pedals to measure the fun.
Kinney could *just* squeeze 30mm Strada Biancas into his Tarmac.
V for Victory on Nauman’s steerer.
Mo Wilson was running the same unmarked Specialized tire that we have been seeing a lot of in WorldTour road racing.
More than 900 racers took the start at the 2022 Belgian Waffle Ride.
Skratch Labs founder Allen Lim and Outside chef Biju Thomas were supporting Mo Wilson all weekend.
Lim labeled the carbohydrate and sodium content on the bottles he made for Wilson.
EF Education development rider Ethan Villaneda (left in pink) finished 12th in his first BWR, with EF Education’s Alex Howes in his trademark glasses coming in fourth. Griffin Easter (foreground) was third, racing on soon-to-be-released Kenda 4titude Pro 35mm tubeless tires.
Canadian national champion Michael van dem Ham (Easton Overland) had a dropper post on his Giant Revolt. An issue with his Shimano Di2 left him stuck in the 50-25 for the second half of the 137-mile race. He cramped and had to walk parts, but he finished.
The BWR course meandered along Lake Hodges.
Veteran mechanic Dan Large was part of the Elite Racing neutral support team.
Elite Racing had scores of spare wheels and a portable compressor to help any rider who needed them.
Elite Racing had Shimano’s latest 12-speed Ultegra groups on its Time bikes.