As of today, Friday, February 3, 6 pm, more than 200 participants are on their way to ride 1,300 kilometers within 8.5 days through the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, climbing more than 20,000 meters of altitude.
The Atlas Mountain Race is now taking place for the third time and there can be no complaints about a lack of variety: while the first edition in 2020 was characterized by heat, the second AMR in October 2022 literally fell into the water and had to contend with a fair amount of rain. This year, cold and snow seem to challenge the riders and I am already curious how different the tactics are and how well the equipment was planned.
And as every time, the editors of Bikepacking.com have collected lots of bikes and information about equipment and prepared them under “Rigs of Atlas Mountain Race 2023” . This time there are 102 bikes, which I now traditionally evaluate in detail as part of my Bikeanalytics. (Here you can find all my Bikeanalytics on Tour Divide, SRMR and AMR)
With this I want to give the nerds among you more insight into the components and materials that are used in the Atlas. And on the other hand also derive possible developments.
Compared to the AMR 2022 not much has changed. However, MTBs are now absolutely dominant and only a few diehards are still trying to get through the Atlas on gravel bikes.
But more participants are relying on 29″ than last year (90% this year vs. 68% in 2022). And suspension is also finding more space on the bike: 77% are relying on comfort this year. Last year, it was only 60%.
Flat bars are also clearly in the majority with 81% (67% in 2022) (which is logical). Interestingly, 59% additionally rely on an aerobar and thus create more grip positions and thus also relief. Last year, the share was 33%.
And carbon continues to gain ground: the share of carbon bikes has risen from 49% to 57%. And when it comes to rims, more and more are opting for carbon: 50% are rolling on carbon this year.
In the case of luggage systems, I have now also tracked the Tailfin users again. In 2022, only very few were on the road with this carrier system. This year it is already 15% who transport their luggage in this way. Among the bag brands, Tailfin has also made it into the top 3 with 17%, next to Revelate Designs (17%) and behind top dog Apidura with 37%.
From the hard facts to the soft: compared to AMR 2022, the average age has increased from 36 to 41. I also recorded nationalities this time and interestingly the majority of participants are from the UK and Germany.
As there are always voices that I should only evaluate the bikes of those who have then also made it to the finish: The bike is certainly important, but often not decisive. In the Atlas Mountain Race, physical fitness, resilience and mental strength are what count.
And of course the color of the bike matters: like last year, the majority has a black bike, followed by titanium colors and gray. So if you ever want to participate in this race, you should choose among these colors to be on the safe side 🙂
Bikeanalytics: The bikes of the Atlas Mountain Race 2023
(in comparison with 2022)
And here the data again as single pictures: