The Silk Road Mountain Race is a grueling endurance cycling event, traversing 1,700 kilometers across Kyrgyzstan, and climbing up 26,000 meters of mountains.
Podia’s Max Burgess attempted the 2018 edition upon this custom stainless steel creation by Piotr Lisiecki, an up-and-coming builder from Kraków, Poland.
Preparing for a ride as arduous as the SRMR takes a great deal of preparation and so did this bike, especially as it was actually a collaboration between several parties — the primary one being Reynolds, the manufacturer of the 921 stainless tubing.
Reynolds’ 931 and 953 stainless tube sets are notoriously difficult to work with, so the 921 variety was developed to be somewhat more malleable for frame builders to push around, resulting in a more comfortable ride for cyclists also.
After visiting the Reynolds factory in Birmingham, Max brought a 921 tube set to Piotr, or pi, as he likes to be known, to be transmuted into the Silk Road contender. That magnificent front rack was also constructed by Piotr, with integrated dynamo cabling.
Max also brought bag makers Gramm on board, creators of that enviable ensemble with Fern Fahrrader at this year’s Berlin Fahrradschau, who supplied a full suite of luggage, including an amazing handlebar bag that contains Max’s DSLR and lenses.
A White Industries MR30 drivetrain, bottom bracket, and headset were installed, along with Paul Klampers and Thomson hardware. On a ride like the SRMR, comfort is king, and so Max opted for a Brooks Swift Titanium saddle and leather bar tape.
Max had a strenuous trip through Kyrgyzstan, but regardless of results, the photos he captured along the journey — and the experiences he took home with him — will stay with him forever.