Rider: Maggie Livelsberger
Ride IG: Large_Marge03
Bike of choice: Cache Steel in Midnight Blue
Lives in: Erie, PA USA
Tell us about the event:
Gravel Worlds is a weekend long grassroots style event in Lincoln Nebraska that includes an expo, panel discussions and group rides. The race line-up features an ultra-distance running event, the Land Ho 50k and gravel races from 50k, 75 mile, 150 mile and 300 mile. The terrain is mostly gravel including some minimal maintenance roads and is non-stop rollers, so fondly referred to as the “gravel seas”.
Tell us about your event and outcome:
I rode the 300 mile Long Voyage which included just shy of 16,000 feet of elevation. It started in Lincoln and stretched down into Kansas and back, and the rollers never stopped. We set off at 5pm on Friday and rode through the night and Saturday afternoon. This was my first time tackling a distance like this so I constantly reminded myself to stay steady and not get caught up with the excitement of the start line speed. In the end it paid off, and I finished as the third overall female as well as first place female single speeder.
What type of riding do you generally do?
I have gotten into endurance riding this year so I am really still dipping my toes. I love anything from a short and fast gravel day, to riding single track, to bikepacking and this bike handles it all.
How tall are you, and what size Cache are you riding?
I am 5’2” and I ride the 49.5cm frame in steel. I searched for a very long time for a bike that offered stand-over height that was comfortable from everyday riding to more aggressive riding.
"I am constantly blown away by how this bike handles."
As a short rider, it is not often you can find a bike that fits with no toe overlap with larger tires and wheels. Knolly really took the time to engineer a bike (in 6 sizes) that fits and performs incredibly well for every type of rider.
Tell us about your bike/build kit and did you do anything custom:
I knew I wanted to ride and race single speed and like many bikes, the stock Cache isn’t set up to be single speed capable so I really worked to (mostly) custom build up a bike that fit my goals. I have smaller hands so kept the GRX brake hoods and brakes since I like the feel and fit of them. I built the rest to suite single speed riding
-Bottom Bracket: First Components threaded eccentric bottom bracket. This allowed me to forego a chain tensioner for a cleaner single speed look
-Crankset: Rotor Vegast 165mm crankset, 24mm axle fit the EBB
-Wheels/Tires: I rode a mixed setup front Wheel-Hunt Mason Adventure 650b with son dynamo hub and rear Hunt 650b carbon. Both had a Maxxis Rambler 650b x 47 tire. I like a little more cushion from a bigger tire and this is the set that has the dynamo hub for bikepacking (the smaller tire has more clearance for a seat bag for me). I have the Endless Bike Girl spacers and cogs on the freehub and either trade between that or Wolftooth cogs. For this event is ran 40x19 gearing
-Bars: Pro Discover Carbon 44cm. I run a wider set of bars to offer more leverage on the climbs but also allow more space for a bar bag when bikepacking. I have a set of Oury grips on my drops for a little added comfort.
How did you pack the bike for a self-supported event?
I was not sure about carrying all the water and tools needed so I did go a bit overboard here. I used the Oveja Negra superwedgie (a small it fits this bike perfectly) with tools, spare parts, food and arm warmers. Fuzzy Stitchworks toptube bag for electronics, sunscreen, phone, wallet and chapstick in here, and a Fuzzy Stitchworks Feeder bag to fill with snacks at each gas station stop. I also wore a hydration pack with water however I think I’d put this in the frame bag in the future.
What’s next this season?
The Arkansas High Country South Loop. This will be my first bikepacking race and I will be riding single speed. I will be fine tuning my set up over the next month but overall the set up will be similar. I'll be using the new adventure fork so I will have some extra space for gear or bottles there which is great since frame space on a smaller bike is limited.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never ridden a carbon fiber bike. I’ve heard too many horror stories about broken bikes and I know how hard I am on gear. I have found steel comfortable and overall my goal is to enjoy adventures on the bike rather than always racing so I found it fits my needs perfectly. Knolly does a nice job of keeping the weight down for a steel (or titanium) bike and I’m happy with how it feels for long days in the saddle.