Aug 13, 2021

Silk Road Mountain Race Bike Check

Aug 13, 2021

Jenny Tough takes on the Silk Road Mountain Race. Take a look at her bike setup.

Silk Road Mountain Race Bike Check Jenny Tough rides a Canyon Exceed | © G-Jun Yam

Kyrgyzstan isn’t top of most people’s cycling holiday destinations due to its remote landscape but that’s exactly why ultra-endurance riders flock there every year. The Silk Road Mountain Race is arguably the most difficult and testing races in the world.

The Silk Road Mountain Race 2021
  • Start: Talas, Kyrgyzstan
  • Finish: Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan
  • Distance: 1800 kilometres
  • Elevation: 30,500m

Contrary to previous years, the race will begin at 10pm after a 5-hour bus ride from Bishkek. Once there, they’ll use the power of their bike lights to guide them through the mountains they’ll immediately find under their wheels.

The race is demanding of both rider and bike. This year, Canyon ambassador Jenny Tough will line up for one of her biggest challenges this year. Jenny has completed the race before, but after a reduced year of racing and adventure, she'll be digging deep on the Kyrgyz mountain roads in 2021.

SRMR: Jenny Tough's Canyon Exceed

Bike Canyon Exceed
Tyres Vittoria Mezcal 2.25"
Variable pressure throughout the race
Modifications No dropper post
Aerobar armrests only
Prototype cockpit design
Kit Highlights Hydrophobic down sleeping bag
Insulated sleeping mat
Bivvy bag (shelter is mandatory for this edition of the race)

Jenny comes from a background of mountain running and adventure. When she first raced the SRMR, she didn’t even own a mountain bike at the time. Her relatively small amount of experience in this race and her lack of confidence meant getting to the start line a huge achievement.

Now though, it’s game on. She now has 3 years of cycling under her belt and not just any cycling: extreme conditions and a whole host of ultra-race events to her name.

"I now use my mountain bike more than my road bike, so the main motivation in coming back is to test my skills and see if I’ve improved," says Jenny adding that the SRMR comes with added risks and challenges. "In the wilds of Kyrgyzstan, you simply have to be more conservative in your choices because the consequences are higher."

A big part of my heart lives in this country

Jenny Tough

"It’s hard to define the ‘perfect’ setup for a race of this nature," Jenny says regarding her choice of bike and kit. "Last time I underbiked on a gravel bike but this time I’m deciding to tip the scales the opposite way by taking big wheels and front suspension. The Exceed will enable me to keep up with the guys on the long hike-a-bike sections because it’s so lightweight."

Jenny Tough Exceed

Shop Jenny’s Exceed

A fast, lightweight 29er for the toughest riders on the toughest races.
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