Gear List for the 2023 Atlas Mountain Race

Jeff Kerkove
3 min readFeb 13, 2023

The Atlas Mountain Race is rugged and very challenging course through the high Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountains of Morocco. In 2023 230 participants challenged the 830-mile route which featured a leg busting 72,000 ft of climbing. Below is a complete gear list which I pedaled and pushed to 12th place in a time of 5 days. To prepare for this event, I used LW Coaching’s pre-built 12 week 2–5 day bikepacking race training plan. You can get the same 12 week plan for $99 here.

This bike has seen a lot — the Canyon Exceed, size L. This is the same bike I used at the 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race.

Here is the core of the set up: Canyon Exceed (size L) with Shimano XTR 1×12 with 30T, Fox 34 SC 120mm fork with remote lock-out, Ergon SM Men Team saddle (size M/L), Ergon GS3-Small grips, Profile Design aerobars custom cut to length and tuned with Ergon GXR grips and Ergon CRT Arm Pads, K-Lite Bikepacker Ultra dynamo light, SPOT Tracker, Garmin eTrex 32x GPS, Maxxis Rekon Race 2.4 tires.

  1. Oveja Negra Bodega frame bag (size L) filled with 1.5 L bladder, body / self care items, small Topeak battery pack for charging phone and MP3 player, Toilet paper, bike repair items, paint stick for mud, Topeak Mountain DA G mini-pump, Passport, AMR brevet card and cash.
  2. Topeak BackLoader (size 6L) filled with Sportful SuperGiara bib shorts, Sportful Arm Warmers, Sportful Leg warmers, GORE Shake Dry hooded rain jacket, Outdoor Research Helium rain pants cut off mid-calf, Montbell Superior Down Jacket, Buff x2, Sportful warm gloves, Sportful wool socks, CEP compression socks.
  3. Topeak FastFuel Bag filled with 50 SPF sunscreen, Zinc chapstick, MP3 player, Black Diamond Flare Headlamp
  4. Topeak TopLoader filled with food
  5. Topeak FreeLoader x2 filled with food, spare AA and AAA batteries, FinishLine Wet Chain lube, Katadyn BeFree water filter
  6. Topeak FrontLoader filled with Big Agnes Pluton UL 40º sleeping bag, Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow, Montbell Down Pants, SOL Escape Bivvy. No sleeping pad was carried.

Not picture is a Apidura Hydration pack with a 1.5L bladder + 2 HydraPak UltraFlasks. Total water capacity for my full set up was 6 Liters. I never used or carried more than 3-4L at a time due to the unseasonably cooler temps.

On my body I had a Limar Air Stratos helmet with a Black Diamond headlamp zip tied to it, Sportful SuperGiara jersey and Bibs, Sportful Gel short finger gloves, SockGuy SGX wool socks and Pearl Izumi X-Alp Mesa shoes

Overall everything on this list worked perfectly. Knowing what I know now about the AMR environment and how cold it can truly get at night, I would change a few things. First, I would bring even warmer gloves. While my hands stayed mostly warm, I could be even more comfortable by simply upping the warmth rating of my gloves. I would also consider a switching out the Canyon Exceed hardtail for the 100mm full-suspension Canyon Lux. The course is relentless and choppy. No doubt a fast full-suspension would be more comfortable and faster in the long run. This was proven this year, by the overall winner pedaling a 120mm full-suspension to a winning time just under 4 days.

The Strava file from the race can be viewed at https://www.strava.com/activities/8530830382

Questions or comments on my gear choices or the event? Please post up a comment.

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Jeff Kerkove

I ride for Team Topeak-Ergon. I work full-time for Ergon in the US. Living and adventuring from 8000 ft in Colorado.