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Mike Cotty’s Road to Mont Blanc bike

The bike and equipment for Mike Cotty's 1,000km non-stop challenge in the mountains

Mike Cotty starts his Road to Mont Blanc challenge ride today and this is the bike he’ll be doing it on. The 1,000km ride crosses the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps, and includes 21 mountain passes and over 23,000m of elevation gain.

Mike’s main bike is a Cannondale SuperSix Evo HiMod 2014. The frame is superlight at about 700g, and it features what Cannondale call “Micro-Suspension Rear Stays” which are “subtle flex zones built into the chainstays and seatstays [that] allow the rear wheel to track the ground, improving speed, handling and comfort”.

This is a race frame so it comes with a low and stretched geometry. Despite the distance, Mike hasn’t raised the front end for a more relaxed ride position.

The Speed Save fork is 315g with a 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in tapered steerer.The offset dropouts are designed to provide more compliance without affecting handling.

The groupset is Shimano’s top-level Dura-Ace with Di2 electronic shifting.

The exception is Cannondale's SiSL 2 chainset featuring a one-piece 34/50t spider-ring that’s forged out of a single piece of aluminium for strength. That’s matched up to an 11-28t cassette, so the smallest gear Mike has is 30.9in.

Mike is a brand ambassador for Mavic as well as Cannondale, and the wheels he’s using are Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates.

The tyres are 23mm Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink and Powerlink.

The pedals come from Mavic too. They’re Zxellium SLR Ti using Time’s iClic retention system. Each one has a carbon body and a hollow titanium axle, and Mavic give a weight of just 155g.

The handlebar, stem and seatpost all come from USE: a Summit Carbon bar, a Race stem and an Alien Carbon seatpost.

The lights come from USE’s sister brand Exposure. Mike is using the powerful Reflex (up to 2,200 lumens) along with the Joystick (400 lumens) when less punch is required. He’ll also be using the Blaze rear light.

The saddle is a Fizik Aliante Carbon and the bottle cages come from Lezyne.

Alongside all that, Mike will be using a Garmin 800 GPS computer that’ll provide live tracking. You can follow Mike’s progress online as soon as he begins his quest at midday today (UK time).

The complete bike weighs just 5.9kg (excluding lights). That really is very light indeed, which is just as well considering the distance and the amount of climbing involved in this challenge.

A Mavic support vehicle will be carrying Mike’s backup bike, last year’s version of the Cannondale SuperSix Evo HiMod . That one looks to be specced the same.


Bike spec

Frameset Cannondale EVO Hi-Mod (56cm)
Wheels Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
Tubulars Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink & Powerlink (23mm)
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 11 speed
Brake calipers Shimano Dura-Ace with Swissstop Yellow King pads
Chainset Cannondale SiSL 2 crank with one piece 34/50t spider-ring
Pedals Mavic Zxellium SLR Ti
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace 11-28t
Chain Shimano Dura-Ace
Handlebar USE Summit Carbon (420mm C-C)
Stem USE Race (120mm)
Seatpost USE Alien Carbon (27.2mm x 270mm)
Saddle Fi:zi’k Aliante Carbon
Bottle cages Lezyne Carbon SL
GPS device Garmin 800
Lighting Exposure Reflex, Joystick and Blaze
Weight 5.9kg (excluding lights)

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Arthur Scrimshaw | 9 years ago

I don't understand how a Garmin 800 will provide live tracking?
Anyway good luck ugo  16

dapaca replied to Arthur Scrimshaw | 9 years ago

It won't. He'd need an 810 at least.

Mike Cotty replied to Arthur Scrimshaw | 9 years ago

I used a Garmin 800 as I found this to be the best compromise in terms of navigation (which I was doing myself) and battery life. I used 4 Power Monkey external battery packs to keep it charged on the bike and had 91% charge left at the end.

For the live tracking I used a mobile iPhone app called 'MapMyTracks'. To keep it charged I stuck it in the support car and then took the phone if the car was heading up the road for a while.

Hope that helps! If anyone has any specific questions then feel free to ask and I'll try and answer as best I can.



Roberj4 | 9 years ago

Another epic ride like last year, all the best to Mike.

Philiprints | 9 years ago

He is a magnificent madman.

alotronic | 9 years ago

That's a nice 7-10 day tour route...

I was going to get all Audaxy on this, you know, nothing the beard brigade doesn't do every year around Wales on steel bikes, but then looked at the elevation figure - respect!

Go Mike!

Pub bike replied to alotronic | 9 years ago
alotronic wrote:

That's a nice 7-10 day tour route...

I was going to get all Audaxy on this, you know, nothing the beard brigade doesn't do every year around Wales on steel bikes, but then looked at the elevation figure - respect!

Go Mike!

The second route on here Thonon-Trieste or vide-versa is I suspect partly what his route is based upon with few detours.

This route is 44 cols, 22,000m of climbing, and is a fantastic tour  1

He doesn’t do Simplon pass which is a good choice as that is mainly tunnels going West and a motorway-like descent at 9% for 23km, and manages to fit in a few more mountains to get a bit more climbing in a shorter distance.

Good effort.

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