After Ted King retired from professional road racing, he picked up gravel racing, traveling throughout America to compete on secluded and scenic off-road routes.
His switch to the discipline corresponded with the rising popularity of gravel racing among professionals and amateurs alike. King has twice won the race formerly known as Dirty Kanza, and in 2018 won Grinduro, a race modeled after the enduro mountain bike race format.
It's his win at the Californian Grinduro race that has been commemorated with a custom-painted Cannondale SuperX bike, which King pedaled to a win at the Swamp Gravel Fondo in South Carolina last weekend.
“I’m running a Cannondale SuperX in most of my gravel races," King told Bike Perfect. The Topstone is an incredible rig too, but I tend to opt for that on rides geared more towards exploration. If speed is on the line, I’m generally going with the SuperX.
The deep purple color was painted by Cannondale, the race has a similar purple theme to it so the color suits the achievement.
The bike is outfitted with a mix of SRAM components. King runs SRAM Red shifters and brakes along with a SRAM XX1 Eagle rear derailleur and a 10-50t cassette. A 46t 1x chainring is bolted to a pair of 175mm Force cranks.
Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon wheels are wrapped in Rene Herse 44c Snoqualmie Pass tires, which are set up tubeless and use the brand's Endurance Plus casing. The wheels feature a Son Dynamo hub, which generates energy to power the Sinewave Beacon light that's mounted to the handlebars.
For the cockpit, King is running a 44cm Zipp SL-70 Aero Carbon handlebars and a 120mm Zipp SL Speed stem. The bike features two Arundel Mandible water bottle cages and a MoosePacks frame bag in a custom Volkswagen Harlequin colorway.
Last weekend, King won the nearly 178-mile race in 9 hours and 44 minutes. The race started at 11 p.m. so King's pedal-powered handlebar light was a necessity.
The early-season race provided a chance for the New Englander to test his legs ahead of a season full of gravel and bikepacking events, both of which are disciplines that could get even more popular.
"It’s easier to get into gravel riding than bikepacking, especially the multiple-day stuff because there’s just much more equipment for bikepacking but that said, there are plenty of people who have dipped their toes into gravel and bikepacking and they’re going to do a lot more of it in the future.
Tech specs: Ted King's Cannondale SuperX gravel bike
- Frame: Cannondale SuperX with custom Grinduro paint job
- Cranks: SRAM Force 175mm
- Chainring: SRAM Force 46t
- Shifters: SRAM Red
- Brakes: SRAM Red disc brakes
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle
- Cassette: SRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50t
- Wheels: Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon
- Hubs: Son Dynamo
- Tires: Rene Herse 44c Snoqualmie Pass, tubeless, Endurance Plus casing
- Light: Sinewave Beacon, handlebar-mounted
- Handlebars: Zipp SL-70 Aero Carbon, 44cm
- Stem: Zipp SL Speed, 120mm
- Power meter: SRAM
- Bottle cages: Arundel Mandible
- Frame bag: MoosePacks, Volkswagen Harlequin colorway
- Nutrition: UnTapped