RECOMMENDED GEAR FOR STONE KING RALLY
This gear recommendation page is primarily intended for those preparing to compete in Stone King Rally, the race. If you are preparing for a tour version of Stone King then please use this page as a guide but note that some of the items marked as “mandatory” (e.g. full face helmet & back protector) are not mandatory in a non-competitive setting.
A MOUNTAIN BIKE
We don’t go into much detail regarding exact spec; part of the fun is that people will choose different tools for the job. However, your bike must be capable on long technical singletrack descents and on long ascents. It is essential that your bike is in working order before departure for the event; a full service and fresh “consumables” (tyres, brake pads, etc) is highly recommended.
For detailed tips on how to set up your bike for Stone King Rally, please visit our BIKE PREP page.
Use of a helmet is mandatory at all times when riding your bike during Stone King Rally. However, use of a full-face helmet (with or without removable chin guard) is mandatory for all timed stages taking place in Italy and recommended for the rest of the timed stages, i.e. those taking place in France. For general use, and outside of timed stages in Italy, an open face AM/Enduro-style helmet is absolutely acceptable. There is no contradiction here; helmets can be interchanged as long as the rules in Italy are complied with and as long as you’re wearing a certified helmet at all times whilst riding. If you’re in the market for a new helmet, consider one with MIPS. Of the 24 timed stages in Stone King Rally 2023, 16 are in Italy, 8 are in France.
- that a backpack won’t go well over a classic back protector; but it might go reasonably well over a lightweight back protector (and indeed a lightweight back protector may fit in your backpack, for transfer stages)
- if you already have a backpack with an integrated protector, you’re sorted
- if you use a classic (e.g. not super lightweight, not particularly packable) back protector, the hip pack solution is probably best for carrying food and spares
ON TRAIL TOOLS
On-trail tools and spares. Carrying your own set of trail essentials maximises your chances of successful self-support, i.e. at times when nobody else is around and you have an urgent bike adjustment or repair to carry out.
We would recommend that your day kit consist of at least the following items
- Multi tool (including/and a chain breaker)
- Minipump (consider something like OneUp’s EDC Pump which can either stow a Co2 cartridge or combine with the EDC Tool into one easily portable package).
- Leatherman or other general multi-use tool
- Any unique tools specific to your bike or components
- Spare derailleur hanger
- Powerlinks and/or spare chain links
- Tyre plugs and jabber
- Inner tube
- Co2 cartridge and dispenser
BASIC PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
Please ensure that you carry a personal first-aid kit with you, containing at least the following items:
- Space blanket;
- Two 4″ crepe bandages with several safety pins or bandage hooks;
- Simple painkillers – Paracetamol and Ibuprofen;
- Blister pads – you will need them!
- Mepore dressings (probably better than band-aids/sticking plasters);
- Good support tape (not micropore, something a little tougher – i.e. climbers’ finger tape
- Antiseptic wipes or spray
- Oral Rehydration Sachets;
- Any prescription medication you need for the duration of the event, especially those needing inhalers!
If you are injured and lost (or invisible from the trail) and unable to inform anyone of your whereabouts, this could save your life.
We recommend at least a 3-season sleeping bag. The race takes place at the start of Summer, but it could still be quite cold at night at some of the higher altitude campsites.
A good pair of shoes is essential. Be they clipless or flat pedal shoes, you must be able to walk considerable distance through mountainous terrain in them.
Bring a full set of on-bike clothes for at least 4 days of riding (there are laundry facilities at 1-2 of the campgrounds for a small charge, but it is often a challenge to get clothes dry in the short time available). Do not forget your waterproofs, including longer waterproof shorts or pants!
DAY PACK AND HYDRATION
To assist you in transporting your tools, spares, food, etc on-trail you must use either a backpack or a generously proportioned hip-pack. The choice is yours, and given that there are now several ways to bike-mount your spares and tools, choosing a pack arguably takes more consideration than before. When weighing your options, please bear in mind that there will be occasional long stints between water points, and you should therefore be able to onboard at least 1.5 litres of drinkable fluid.
You need to be able to communicate with us whilst out on the trail and we need to be able to communicate with you via WhatsApp Broadcast. You will also need to use Komoot to aid with your navigation of the itinerary.
Please therefore ensure that you have mobile internet data for both France and Italy, and don’t forget to bring your charger (+ adaptor for continental Europe where necessary) too. All camps do have charging facilities.
There are very few ATM/cashpoints en-route and, although the Stone King Rally package that you’ve paid for includes most things that you’ll need for survival, you should bring some cash as we are 99% sure that you will want or need at least one of the following extras: snacks and beverages en-route, laundry facilities, massage therapy, etc.
Proof of rescue and medical insurance for an extreme sports event. You cannot participate in Stone King Rally without this, and as such, we will check your documentation upon arrival.
SMALL BATTERY PACK
We need to be able to contact you at all times, and you need to be able to navigate autonomously at all times whilst you’re out on the hill. Smartphones can go from 100%-to-empty in well under a day by (e.g.) running GPS-based tools at frequent/permanent screen-on. A small battery pack is a relatively cheap, light and space-economical way of keeping them going.
SPARE BIKE PARTS & COMPONENTS
SRAM’s neutral technical assistance crew will carry a limited range of generic spare parts but, given the range of different bikes and components out there, it‘s impossible for them to prepare for every eventuality. Therefore, it’s important that you bring spare parts that are likely to break or wear out: a spare rear derailleur and chain and any items more specific to your own bike (e.g. derailleur hanger). Bring spare tubes and at least one full set of brake pads too.
(BIKE MOUNTED OR WATCH)
A big phone screen is great for gaining an overview of our route navigation in Komoot, but a GPS device with navigation functionality will connect with Komoot and enable you to follow the itinerary in a battery-efficient manner (e.g. only checking your phone occasionally for map detail).
We recommend The Suunto 9 Peak Pro which has loads of great features and connects seamlessly with the Komoot navigation app which is used for the Stone King race and tours.
Several hours multiplied by several days of standing up and sitting back down on an MTB saddle. Enough said.
Consider goggles for timed stages; sunglasses for transfer stages and general edginess.
It might rain. Bring two pairs.
You obviously need at least one towel but consider bringing a second (perhaps of the quick-drying Microfiber variety).
The race is at the start of Summer, in potentially one of the brightest weeks of the year.
We definitely have some ticks in the forests of Europe. The little bastards.
We appreciate that your clothes bag is not infinitely large, but if you want to maximise the quality of your sleeps, you should investigate your options for some form of pillow.
Polythene ziploc bag(s)
To protect valuables that could be damaged in an otherwise wet day pack.
Useful both on the mountain and back at camp.
Isotonic drink mix / tabs
Depending on how susceptible you may be to cramps, fatigue, etc., you may wish to bring mix/tabs along for your hydration pack.
We provide you with abundant meals and snacks throughout the event. However, this really is a big week of exertion and it’s always better to have more food available than necessary, rather than not quite enough. As such, we strongly recommend that you also carry your own favourite energy/protein bars and/or gels.