What's Cool In Road Cycling

Endura Supports Mark Beaumont’s africasolo

Endura is the clothing sponsor of Mark Beaumont’s world record attempt of cycling from Cairo to Cape Town
Endura is excited to be the clothing sponsor of Mark Beaumont’s latest challenge, the Africa Solo. The charismatic Scottish adventure cyclist aims to smash the cycling world record for the iconic African journey from Cairo to Cape Town – a 10,000km (6,300 mile) route, and he will do so fully self-supported. Starting April 9th 2015, Mark will head south through Egypt, through the searing heat of the Sahara desert, over the highlands of Ethiopia before racing the gauntlet of great grasslands to South Africa. You can follow his progress through the GPS map at markbeaumontonline.com and on twitter using #africasolo.

The current world record holder, South African rider Keegan Longuiera, completed the route in 59 days and 8 hours earlier this year. Mark Beaumont aims for less than 50 days. In 2007/8 the ultra endurance adventurer smashed the world record for the fastest cycling circumnavigation of the world by over 80 days, covering 18,296 miles in 194 days and 17 hours. Looking back at the photos of that outstanding journey, Mark rode a custom built Koga Signature Traveller with an aluminium frame and 14-speed Rohloff gear hub and Smitz front hub dynamo, he wore normal, slightly loose fitting cycling clothing, and by the end of his trip he featured an impressive beard.

Turning the clock forward to 2015, we find a slightly different picture of a clean-shaven athlete with a more scientific approach to training and using slick, ultramodern, high-tech equipment. In order to achieve his ambitious goal of cycling from Cairo to Cape Town in less than 50 days, the round-the world cyclist will use the latest high-end cycling technology, from his Koga Solacio disc-equipped carbon bike to his custom made Endura race clothing, the latter manufactured in the company’s headquarters in Livingston, Scotland. The main priority for Mark’s cycle wear is comfort for long distances and climate management; lightweight, fast wicking performance fabrics, and a perfect fit are key here.

After the Perthshire adventurer initially explained his kit expectations and demands to Endura, the company – who also supplies the kit for the Movistar Team – presented Mark with several custom options. He tested these thoroughly in training, and in the end his kit includes a summer weight jersey and bibshorts to provide the best combination of comfort and heat management for his purpose, plus a set of arm sleeves for sun protection in the desert.

The custom Summer Jersey was originally developed for the Movistar Team for super hot summer racing conditions, and extensive climate chamber testing at the University of Kent has gone into it. It is made from ultra light-weight Italian wicking fabrics with a UPF of 25. Cut in an athletic non-flap race fit, it features skin-fit, aerodynamic Lycra® sleeves with raw edge silicone sleeve grippers, a short concealed front zipper with easy grab puller, and a 3-compartment rear pocket.

The state-of-the-art custom Summer Bibshorts combine high performance fabrics with an outstanding fit and beautifully finished details. They are made from Italian power Lycra® fabric and treated with coldblack® technology which dramatically reduces heat build up. The lightweight leg panels are perforated for optimal ventilation, and comfortable raw edge silicone hem grippers keep the legs from riding up. Mark’s seat pad of choice is the 700 series pad, available in 3 pad widths, and he was measured up for his personal pad width – depending on his physiology, riding position, as well as saddle – directly at the Endura HQ.

The custom Summer Jersey and the Summer Bibshorts are available to the general public through Endura’s Custom Range which is manufactured in the company’s headquarters in Livingston, Scotland (https://www.endurasport.com/custom/ – currently only available to UK customers).

Everyday cyclists who don’t fancy placing a full custom order but who are still looking for the perfect fit in terms of cycling shorts can find this with Endura’s FS260-Pro Bibshorts which use the 700 Series pad that Mark Beaumont will ride during his record attempt – the FS260-Pro SL Bibshorts System offers 3 pad width and 2 leg length across sizes S-XXL to achieve an unbeatable body match.

Mark commented: “I am proud to have Endura backing the Africa Solo expedition. The tagline ‘Born in Scotland, Ridden Worldwide’ captures the spirit of what both Endura and I do. And we both know what it takes in terms of burning ambition and meticulous planning to break world records, to be our very best. I am delighted with the kit they have custom made for this expedition and will be taking it to some extreme conditions, especially in the Sahara desert. This expedition is also raising money and profile for Orkidstudio, an impact design organisation whose focus is to benefit children and communities worldwide through innovative architecture and construction. Many of their projects are in Africa and as their Patron I have seen the incredible impact this grassroots organisation has.”

Mark Beaumont’s Africa Solo is being sponsored by LDC, Drum Property Group, Martin Currie, The Wood Foundation, Weir Group, Endura and Koga.

Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont prepares for Africa Solo expedition with a visit to talk to the staff at sponsors Endura and to see his kit for the trip being produced, in Livingstone, Scotland, on 31 March 2015.

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