Justinas Leveika is on a roll! After smashing his way round the Dales Divide to an emphatic victory last month he’s already followed up with another fastest time/first finisher. This most recent success came at the Seven Serpents ultra race in Croatia. Finishing the 850km race in a time of just 59 hours 45 minutes he beat the second place finisher by over eight hours.
We had a chat with Justinas, a key member of our R&D Division, to get a closer look at the unique bike setup he has ridden for both events. This could also quite well be the set up of choice for Justinas’ main target of the year – the Tour Divide.
Justinas’ Trek Procaliber SL
Trek Procaliber SL, OCLV Carbon
RockShox SID SL Ultimate, 100mm travel
Bontrager Kovee XXX, 29” Carbon, tubeless, 29mm internal diameter, 28mm depth
Vittoria Mezcal XC-Race, Graphene 2.0, 29×2.1”
SRAM Eagle ‘mullet’, SRAM XX1 chainset w/Quarq power meter, 38T, SRAM Force eTap shifters, SRAM XX1 Eagle rear derailleur, 12 speed, SRAM XX1 12 speed 10-52 cassette
SRAM Force levers, SRAM Level callipers, 160mm rotors f+r
Handlebar – Deda GRVL, 400mm with flare to 420mm at the drops
Stem – Bontrager XXX 60mmm,
Seatpost – Bontrager XXX, carbon
Saddle – Infinity E1X
Clip-on/Aero bars – Deda Parabolica Dua Alta, high rise spacers
Pedals – Shimano XTR SPD
Prototype long top tube pack
Prototype full frame bag
Five highlights of the build
Drop bars on a mountain bike?
Barring the wheels Justinas has mulleted his Procaliber in a couple of ways. He has chosen to swap from the stock flat handlebar setup to a gravel oriented drop bar. This seems to be very popular with racers currently. Not only does it offer aero advantages over a flat bar but as Justinas points out, it also provides multiple hand positions to increase comfort over long distances.
Comfort is key to success
In Justinas’ words “As soon as I started racing ultras I found out pretty fast, that as soon as you lose comfort in your saddle you’re in trouble! So I tried so many different saddles until Adrien Liechti gave me his Infiniti saddle to try after the Race Around Rwanda and I was sold on this quite unique looking saddle. My ass loves it so I keep it!”
Fast wheels and tyres
Bontrager’s carbon XXX wheels weigh less than 1300 grams making them some off the lightest on the market (sadly now discontinued to buy separately) Combined with the fast rolling Vittoria Mezcals Justinas is reducing his rolling resistance significantly, which in turn helps him save watts and reducing effort. His tyre pressures varies a bit, depending on the load on the bike. Racing XCM 9cross country marathon) it would be about 20psi front and 22psi back. For endurance races this goes all the way up to 30-35 psi.
Mullet Drivetrains win races
Combining SRAM’s Force road shifters and larger front chainring with the American company’s MTB specific rear derailleur and wide range 12 speed cassette gives the best of both worlds; high enough gearing not to spin out on the road but with the climbing capabilities of a mountain goat.
Justinas measures his effort during an ultra using a Quarq chainset spider based power meter. This transmits his real-time power data via bluetooth to his Garmin Edge 1040 head unit. He also uses the Garmin to provide all his navigation and ride information.