Gear choices can make or break a rider’s gravel race. After rolling across the finish one second shy of SBT GRVL winner Alex Howes last year, Peter Stetina is making some radical changes to his bike choice for 2022.
“I’m basically taking a 180-degree opposite approach to last year,” the 2021 LeadBoat Challenge winner told VeloNews Saturday evening in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, after rolling in to town from the Leadville Trail 100, where he finished in eighth.
This year, he’s keeping his Canyon Grizl gravel bike, the model he raced to third place at SBT last year, in his van and turning to the Canyon Endurace CF SLX, an endurance road model he usually races at Belgian Waffle Ride events.
Taking inspiration from Howes, Stetina has jammed as thick of tires as he can into the road frame, definitely far exceeding the recommended tire clearance. VeloNews got a look at the bike, built with a mixed set of Shimano wheels and IRC tires, a Shimano GRX Di2 2x groupset, and PRO components, as his mechanic was tinkering with the final set up for race day.
Trying to fit in as large volume tires as possible into his Endurace, Stetina turned to a mixed set of Shimano wheels and IRC tires. In the rear, he had the new GRX gravel wheel, and in the front an Ultegra C50 road wheel.
The Endurace CF SLX has an official listed max tire size of 30mm. To Stetina, that’s more of a suggestion.
Up front, Stetina has a 36c IRC Boken tire. The 21mm internal rim width the Ultegra C5o wheel keeps it truer to the listed size.
In the back, Stetina has a narrower tire, a 33c IRC Boken Doublecross. When paired with the 25mm internal rim width of the Shimano GRX gravel wheel, however, it balloons out closer to 35mm.
Stetina had essentially decided on his tire pressure Saturday evening, but was still mulling over dropping a single psi from each tire to account for the cold start. Last we asked, he was planning on 35 psi up front and 42 psi in the rear (the somewhat large 7 psi difference is due to the narrower tire in the back).
Stetina is running a 52/36T road crankset and an 11-34T cassette.
Road pedals are also on tap for Sunday. “You don’t have to dismount at SBT GRVL,” explains Stetina.
The Endurace seatpost flexes to take the edge off of gravel roads.
These carbon PRO Discover handlebars flare out 20 degrees in the drops. Stetina is using a 120mm stem.
There is a motif of raccoon paw prints throughout Stetina’s bike and kit, and even on his van. The reason? Both raccoons and Stetina are scrappy.
Prioritizing cages with a vise grip on bottles over the lightest option possible, Stetina has chosen these plastic cages made by Canyon, badged over with PRO logos. “I’ve never lost a bottle with these,” he says, noting that he lost a bottle today at the Leadville 100 with a different cage.
There’s a lot of flare on these bars. Stetina is running a Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT computer.
The tire clearance is tight in the back as well.
Stetina’s mechanic Big Tall Wayne, who was busy applying setting up the bike and applying fresh bar tape Saturday evening, gets a shout out on the chainstay.