How do you assure precise and accurate shifting when its wet or cold out? For Bart Wellens a little sandpaper does the trick. The two-time world and Belgian national cyclocross champion glues a small patch of the grippy paper on each of his SRAM Red 22 shift levers, making it easier to change gears even if he’s covered in slippery mud or wearing a pair of bulky winter gloves. That’s just one of the unusual touches found on Wellens’ Ridley X-Night cyclocross rig featured in this video from the Global Cycling Network.
The Telenet-Fidea rider is also one of the few top pros using a single chainring. If a course has tough climbing, Wellens swaps on a 42t front ring. Other times he runs a 44t. “That way I never have to worry about my front shifting,” explains Wellens, who also runs a K-Edge chain catcher for additional security.
You’ll also notice that Wellens has a slightly more upright position than his peers, including upturned hoods. He does this to alleviate back pain, which has been an issue much of his career.
Wellens’ pro build is rounded out with Forza bar, stem and seat post, a Selle San Marco Concor saddle, Shimano XT pedals (for better mud clearance than XTRs), Avid Shorty Ultimate cantilever brakes, edco carbon tubular wheels, and a whole quiver of Dugast tubular tires.