PREP LIKE A PRO – MIND, BODY & SOUL… can’t turn you into a world-class rider overnight, but with advice from the right people we can certainly point you in the right direction.

Often it’s the small details that become overlooked when preparing for a race as tough as Romaniacs. But as the Pro’s know only too well the devil is in the detail.

Here are some handy tips from the best in the business, that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow…

1. Jonny Walker – Look After Your Hands

“Always carry a spare set of gloves. Your hands are one of the most important things you need to look after during the race. If you can’t hold on you aren’t going anywhere. Wet gloves need to be changed ASAP. It softens the skin and will tear them to shreds. Even if your gloves are not wet change them mid way through the day. It always feels good to put a fresh set on. It’s only a simple tip but one that’s often overlooked. In a long race like the Red Bull Romaniacs you don’t want to blister up on the first day.”

jonny-walker-red-bull-romaniacs NewsFive days of Romaniacs is hard on the hands ©Mihai Stetcu/Red Bull Content Pool

2. Paul Bolton – Keep Hydrated

“I’ve done my fair share of Romaniacs and have picked up a few things along the way. Mostly learned the hard way! Top of my list is hydration. You’re going to spend insanely long days in the saddle. Part of that will also be out of the saddle, busting a sweat pushing your bike. You need to have those fluid levels topped up. In the build up to the race, up your daily fluid intake – a few cheeky pre-race beers are cool but don’t go too crazy. On race day I wear a USWE hydration system and squeeze two fluid packs into it. One is just water and the other is energy drink. At the service checkpoints don’t just fill up your bike with fuel, top up your hydration system too – you never know what’s up the road in front of you.”

paul-bolton romaniacs 2013Carrying a hydration system is a must. © Lynn /

3. Graham Jarvis – Power Nap

“Sleep. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep – it’s very important. At the beginning of the week you’ll feel fresh and neglect it but doing that will leave you shattered come the end of it. You need to preserve every ounce of energy you got for when you absolutely need it out on the track. Getting up every morning at 5am becomes a real grind – it wears you down. And after riding for anything up to eight hours in a single day your body starts to slow down. My top tip is to try and catch an hours sleep immediately after the end of each day before you begin to prep everything for the following day.”

graham-jarvis romaniacs 2013Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat… © Lynn /

4. Altus De Wet – Take Care Of Your Mousses

“At the end of each day properly inspect your mousse’s for wear and tear. It only takes a few minutes to take the tyre off but it could save you a whole lot of trouble if that mousse is starting to shred. In Hard Enduro you want to run as soft a mousse on the rear as possible to give you maximum grip in stony river beds and forest climbs. Unfortunately, you have to comprise longevity for grip so it’s important to check for any damage that may have occurred.”

30 31-tyre-changing ISDE-2012 3955Keep an eye on your moouses for wear…

5. Chris Birch – Tool Time

“When taking on a race like the Red Bull Romaniacs expect the unexpected. This is my seventh time racing in Sibiu and over the years I’ve had to do all sorts of repairs imaginable on the mountains. I’ve done everything from getting wire out of my wheels, to saving a drowned bike and fixing engine casings. There’s no roadside assistance and it’s not possible to carry a toolbox but a carefully packed tool bag will hopefully see you right. My tip is to have at least two jobs for every tool you carry. It saves weight and space. A spare gear, clutch and front brake lever are essential along with two spark plugs, tying wire and liquid metal.”

tools Hells-Gate-2014 1686Bring the right tools for multiple jobs