Equipment and Nutrition

Index to the information below:


The Shimano Gravel Muster travels along gravel roads that are generally pretty smooth. There are some patches of loose sand and gravel, some corrugations and roughness but on the whole, it is all very ridable.

There are no sections that are really rocky, rough or sharp. There are no steep climbs or technical descents. It is not a very technical place to ride – the roads are generally hard, long and straight.

So what bike and set up do we recommend?

Gravel bikes. This is 100% what they are made for. And specifically:

  • Tyres with minimum 38mm width. Anything narrower would provide a rougher ride. You can go wider but there is no need to source super fat tyres made for sand or mega rocks. Definitely set up your tyres as tubeless as there are some bindis and thorns beside the roads that can provide little punctures. We like the Panaracer Gravelking or Pirelli Cintaruto M.
  • Gears. We rode a 2x 48/31 rings up front and our standard 34-11t cassette out back and this gave plenty of options. There are no major hills, you are not carrying any gear and the only resistance you might find is a head wind on day 2, so you don’t need a lot of gears or an especially big range. 1x with 11-44t (or similar) on the back should also be fine.
  • Water bottles. The ability to carry 2x water bottles is a must – ideally 1lt bidons. There could be 35-40km between water points and in the heat and a headwind this can be thirsty work…
  • Frame. Just make sure its comfortable and you’ve ridden it (lots) beforehand. It’s far better to have a bike you feel ‘at one’ with and can ride for ever than some lightweight / aero machine that makes things a suffer fest.

Mountain bikes are also OK.

  • Hardtails are ideal. You won’t need your suspension much so a hardtail is fine, a lockout for your forks will be welcome.
  • Nothing too specific for tyres, gears or anything else because mountain bikes tick these boxes already.

E-Bikes are also welcome.

  • If you ride an e-bike then that’s also cool – you will be in an e-bike category.
  • Battery life will be key though! Day 2 is a big day and we can carry spare batteries to water points for you but the only chance to recharge will be at camp each night.

Other gear

What do I need to carry?

Compulsory Gear

  • First Aid kit
  • Safety Blanket
  • Note, both these items can be purchased online at time of entry or at regsitration when you arrive in Alice Springs

Repair gear: It’s important to be self sufficient out on the roads so you can help yourself (or others) in need. We strongly recommend carrying the following gear with you on your bike:

  • At least one spare inner tube
  • A pump and/or at least 2 CO2 canisters
  • Tyre levers, puncture repair kit
  • Multi-tool with chain breaker and split chain links
  • Tyre patches (look for Park Tools sticky ones) in case you do get a hole in the side wall that is too big for the sealant to seal and/or a tyre plugging kit
  • Chain lube (small container)

Other gear to carry with you on the bike

  • A GPS bike computer with the course route downloaded. This can also be a phone either in your pocket or displayed via a quadlock style handlebar mount.  The course will be marked (although there are not many turns!) but it’ll give you great piece of mind to be able to see your route and know how far you’ve been and still have to go
  • Water bidons – we recommend 2x 1lt bidons (or as big as you can fit)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection for the back of your neck
  • Other sun protection (like arm sleeves…) if you are especially susceptible to the sun
  • Your own hydration / nutrition products to get you from water point to water point
  • Think about having either a hydration backpack if you are a big drinker
  • Or maybe a top tube bag or other small handlebar / seat post bag to help carry your on-bike food or any excess clothing you take off during the day (although we will also receive this at the checkpoints if needed)

Remember that we carry all your luggage to each camp so you don’t need full bike packing gear…!

Gear for the camps

We will supply a more detailed list of requirements for those camping or staying in the Rapid Ascent tents, but this should include things like:

  • Sleeping bag, pillow slip and towel
  • Power bank and leads for phone and bike computer
  • Chamois cream, sunscreen and more…
  • Warm clothing – it cools down a lot over night
  • Stubby holder…


For riders seeking the best of both worlds or for those more accustomed to a traditional road bike set-up, SHIMANO’s new 2×12 RX820 drivetrain is optimal. Utilising a gravel-specific 48/31 front chainring paired with an 11-34 or 11-36 12-speed cassette, this group delivers a wide gear range while maintaining close gear steps so you can find the perfect cadence whether hammering along the flats, cruising endless dirt road rollers, or taking on the biggest climbs you can find. No rides are out of bounds with this all-road-oriented option. With SHIMANO GRX, you are UNDROPPABLE.

And no mater which new GRX drivetrain you choose, you’ll benefit from SHIMANO’s legendarily precise and reliable mechanical shifting along with integrated chain stabilization that delivers a quiet and worry-free ride. So go ahead, plot your next ride, race, or bikepacking adventure—and know that with SHIMANO GRX you’ll have the right gearing to get you to the finish line, wherever that may be. READ MORE HERE.

The Ultimate Ride Bicycle Centre

This is our retail partner of the event. The crew here have a wealth of information and accessories / components to help keep you on the roads.

Their permanent shop is nearby at Unit 2/30 Stuart Hwy, Alice Springs. Phone: (08) 8953 7297. Shop opening hours: 9:00am – 5:30pm where they can provide full servicing, rebuilds and support for riders.

A temporary bike shop will be set up within the Mercure Resort during registration where they will be offering additional services and sales.

Nutrition and Hydration

The Shimano Gravel Muster is supported by Skratch Nutrition and a range of their products will be available at every water point. We encourage you to try their products beforehand and support them afterwards (because its great stuff!).

Skratch Hydration

Skratch Lab’s Hydration Sport Drink Mix was created for a simple purpose – to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat and to provide a little bit of energy when working out, without offending your palate or gut. Skratch initially created this drink because some of the world’s best athletes needed better!! Conventional sports drinks were undrinkable – too sweet, over-flavoured, and didn’t even replace what was lost in sweat – which defeated the whole purpose, like fighting thirst with more thirst.

The best athletes needed something to hydrate, something to quench their thirst, and something to help them perform better. So, with their help, Skratch reimagined sports drinks, stripping down what used to be a neon-coloured carnival to its bare essentials. In the process, they learned that simple wasn’t just better for elite athletes, it was better for everyone who works hard and sweats.

The result is a sports drink with minimal sugar (4g per 100 ml) and a ratio of sugar (glucose + fructose) that is optimized for faster absorption, an electrolyte profile that actually matches what is lost in sweat (800 mg sodium, 80 mg potassium, 100 mg calcium, and 80 mg of magnesium per litre), and only real fruit for flavour for a light and refreshing taste that you can drink all day. That’s it – less sugar, the right electrolyte profile, and real fruit. So, if you’ve never met a sports drink you wanted to take home, your luck is about to change.

Drink when thirsty. Don’t when not. Repeat as necessary. Click here for an INFOGRAPHIC that explains their process.

Find Skratch Labs at your local independent bike store