Jesse Carlsson Unpacks His Race to The Rock Curve GMX

In this video Jesse Carlsson unpacks his Curve GMX Overlander to show you what he brought along to set the fastest time on what some consider the most grueling ultra-endurance bikepacking race route in the world…

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Race to The Rock follows an incredibly harsh route through the Australian outback to finish at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in a remote and inhospitable swath of Central Australia. The race was created by Jesse Carlsson, co-founder of Curve Cycling. Although Jesse technically didn’t win the race this year — he missed the start by a couple days and led his own individual time trial on the route — he did set the fastest time on this year’s route. Ultimately he covered 3,050 kilometers with 21,200 meters of climbing in 9 days, 22 hours and 28 minutes, averaging 307 kilometers per day. In this video Jesse unpacks his Curve Cycling GMX and discloses a few secrets about his incredibly fast and ultralight setup.

“Many bikes have been smashed to bits on the hellish corrugations and rocks of the Great Central Road. Travelling light obviously lessens the load on the bike but the compliance built into carbon forks and a titanium frame also takes the load off key stress points. Riding without racks also removes a common failure item for bike tourers in remote areas. It is interesting when I speak to folks travelling a bit heavier. They often assume I’m taking big risks and not carrying much. After a quick chat I always learn that cooking equipment is the only thing in their pack list that I’m not carrying. As it turns out I usually have more individual items than most bike tourers, more redundancy (back ups if things break), more water capacity, more items in my emergencies kit, more rain gear and more insulation for the cold. It’s just packed down nice and small. ” – Jesse Carlsson

  • Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video
  • Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video
  • Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video
  • Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video
  • Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video

Jesse Carlsson's Race to the Rock Curve GMX Bikepacking Rig, Video

Learn more about the GMX Overlander

  • Dirk Cajada

    Waterproof and breathable Cuban? Sounds too good to be true.

  • Yeah, I’ve never tried cuben clothing, but I am curious about those pants! I hate carrying rain pants, but I usually do in mountain environments. Something that light sounds excellent, although very expensive I’m sure.

  • mikeetheviking

    I like the idea of cuben fiber clothing because it won’t “wet out” like other fabrics.

  • Ben Gold

    ‘some consider the most grueling ultra-endurance bikepacking race route in the world’ ….. give us a break and yourselves some credibility. This was 1000k on the Munda Biddy Trail set up as a user friendly bike touring route then 2000k of mostly flat fast outback roads. Jesse was cranking along at 35kph if you check his tracking speeds. With 21,000Vm over 3000k, hello! …. try 60,000Vm over 3000k and let me know how you get on ….

  • Hey, this is just reportage, and we were just quoting them regarding difficulty. Hence the author (me) used ‘some consider…’ not having ridden it to vouch for its difficulty. Either way, not sure if you read about their strict application process due to the claim that last year’s event was so difficult only one person finished.

  • Ryan Flinn

    Hey Ben,
    What you seem to be focusing on is numbers. 3000km and 60,000 vert. Thats cool, and you should beat your drum loud and proud dude. I’ll even send you a bottle of Praise from Oz.
    What you don’t seem to fathom is the remote environment with little or no services. The lack of food and water and vast distances of nothing. This is what makes it difficult. I challenge you to do this route in under Jesse’s time. In fact I will give you my brand new GMX worth $9k if you can. In case that is unclear…that’s the sound of the gauntlet being thrown down.. over to you to answer its call…

  • Pony Boy

    Hey Ben, I’ve got some alovera for your burns 😂😂😂

  • Andy Zootie

    thanks for this article, always inspired by people like Jesse and Sarah and the curve crew amongst many. Don’t think i will be taking this challenge on exactly but have been keen and inspired to do my own adventures in my own time. Jesse is machine!

  • Victoria Pearse

    Ooer get out of that and stay fashionable Ben – nice bike up for grabs too! 😜

  • Victoria Pearse

    Not for cycling but outdoor work, we paid over £400 for pairs of Arcytrex waterproof salapettes (however you spell that) and I nearly had a coronary in the shop but 12 years on I swear they were the best money we ever spent. Sometimes it worth forking out

  • Parrish James

    Send him a bottle of Praise mayonnaise. I recommend the 99% fat free one. Its vegan. Great to see cycling and adventure cycle touring getting promoted in any form. We all know we need more people on bikes and adventure teaches us to live with less and enjoy nature. Nice article.

  • Ella Sayers

    Disappointed that writen reportage made no mention of Sarah – a team-mate of Jesse’s and also packing an awesome Curve rig. Although I understand this article is focused on gear rather than the event you’ve got to give credit where it’s due – a shout out does a lot to promote women’representation in these events and encourage other women to join in.

  • Sorry you feel that way. The piece I wrote just a couple of weeks earlier was focussed on Sarah, which is linked in the first sentence of this piece (… and this article is essentially the video that is about Jesse gear choices.

  • Ryan Boeding

    Hi I’m trying to expand my gear repertoire, especially with light but excellent clothing. What brand of pants and jacket did Jesse use that’s carbon fiber? Thanks.

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