In our third Reader’s Rig feature, we peek at the custom Piotr Lisiecki gravel tourer that Max Burgess had built for his attempt at the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race. Read on for details on this stainless steel backcountry hauler, along with some photos of it in action in Kyrgyzstan…

Posted by Lucas Winzenburg

Welcome to the third installment of our new weekly Dispatch series, Reader’s Rig. Each week, we’ll select a bikepacking rig from our reader community to feature on the site. To learn how to submit yours for possible inclusion, check out the form at the bottom of the page.

Some years ago, Max Burgess left his home in the UK for Kraków, Poland, to escape the London rat race and to see more of the world by bike. His exploits there turned into a blog, which then grew into a cycle touring holiday company and micro apparel label called Podia. He still lives in Kraków, and now spends his days exploring and sharing hidden slices of Europe through his company.

Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike

Photo by Carlos Fernandez Laser

Inspired by what he saw from our Tian Shan Traverse route across Kyrgyzstan, Max decided to take on the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race last summer. He knew wanted a special bike for the occasion, so he collaborated with Reynolds Technology and Polish frame builder Piotr Lisiecki, who welded up the frame from Reynolds 921 stainless steel and also created a custom rack with detachable low-riders.

Rounding out the build, Kristin at GRAMM Tourpacking in Berlin sewed a complete set of custom bags. Despite having a beautiful and functional carrying kit, Max ended up admitting he’d overpacked and ditching his rando bag and some gear for a single dry bag partway through the race, before ultimately scratching and deciding to explore Kyrgyzstan at his own pace.

  • Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike
  • Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike
  • Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike
  • Frame/Fork Custom Lisiecki Reynolds 921 frame / Lisiecki steel fork
  • Rims WTB KOM i23 (700c)
  • Hubs SONdelux 12 (Front) / White Industries XMR (Rear)
  • Tires WTB Riddler 700×45
  • Handlebar Thomson Alloy Gravel Drops
  • Crankset White Industries MR30 – 36T Ring
  • Cassette eThirteen 9-46T
  • Derailleur(s) SRAM Force
  • Brakes Paul Klampers
  • Shifter(s) SRAM Force
  • Saddle Brooks Swift Ti
  • Front Rack Custom Lisiecki with detachable low-riders
  • Front Bag(s) GRAMM Tourpacking Pizza Bag, Low Rider Panniers
  • Rear Bag(s) GRAMM Saddle pack
  • Accessory Bag(s) GRAMM Framepack and XL Toptube bag
  • Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike
  • Max's Custom Stainless Piotr Lisiecki, Silk Road Mountain Race Rig, All-Road Bike

You can find Max on Instagram @mxburg. And if you’re thinking about a supported cycling holiday in Europe (or maybe just want to start with a new pair of socks or a jersey), be sure to check out Max’s company, Podia.

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