Calculus Munga Built
When you say you plan to ride the Munga, responses vary from “You’re crazy “to “Wow” or “That sounds painful”
As a keen middle age amateur rider, the last statement might be the most accurate; so when I planned to be “crazy “for the third time this year, I decided from the start the “painful” part should be addressed as much as possible.
When planning a bespoke Munga bike you need to look at the conditions you’ll be riding in most of the time.
Over a 1000km race like the Munga you get a bit of everything, sand tracks, a few rocky single tracks and never-ending corrugations.
You also have strong winds, night riding and sleep deprivation to contend with.
Building a bike to handle the worst of these conditions was the starting point.
I’m sure all Munga riders will agree the corrugations for hours on end is the worst.
I’ve done the Munga both times on a duel suspension carbon bike. For 90% of races this is a perfect bike, responsive, light and with lots of suspension travel…just what you need for 10% of the Munga!
So, let’s get to my Calculus Bike.
What you need is a bike for the corrugations, wind and stable for those sleep deprived nights.
Thinking a bit out of the box it was decided that you don't need a lot of suspension travel, you need volume in the tires and small bump compliance on the front and keeping it as light as possible.
You have to consider the vibrations, which is a killer for the hands and tiring on the body.
A slack Head Tube angle to keep the bike stable on those long straight stretches plus a variety of hand positions.
Working together with Millar Nienaber from Calculus Bikes in Hermanus, the following were done:
• First a custom geometry Titanium hardtail/gravel frame, designed to address vibrations.
• Lauf fork at the front for small bump compliance and to keep the weight down.
• 29” front carbon Nextie hoops with a 2.6 tire for lots of volume to protect the hands.
• 27.5" back wheel with a 2.8 tire, again for maximum volume and also to keep the weight down.
• Drop gravel handle bars for a variation of hand positions and riding on the drops for those head winds.
• 5 water bottle cages on the frame and a frame bag for travel gear.
I know a bike is like a saddle, what works for one may not work for another but thus far this one works great for me!