Though known best for big wins on tough courses like Wildflower (2014, 2018), Ironman Lake Placid (2016, 2018), and Coeur d’Alene 70.3 (2015, 2016, 2019), Heather Jackson is no stranger to daunting single-sport pursuits. Last weekend, the New Hampshire native took on her latest challenge—the Unbound Gravel 200, a grueling off-road race across 200 miles of Kansas prairie that somehow still had 9,000 feet of elevation.
After a crash and mechanical, Jackson finished 24th—midway in the pro open women’s pack—with a time of 11:49:46 across a muddy route that saw rain showers throughout the day. Take a look at pics and specs of Jackson’s Unbound rig, taken before the grimy event.
Jackson rode a Specialized Crux covered in stickers from her major sponsor, Florida-based Waterfall Bank—the same bank that put on the Couples Championship back in March.
Obviously nothing new to triathletes, but off-road and gravel riders have been adopting aerobars over the last few years to help out on the long, windy straightaways that many exposed gravel races have. Here, Jackson uses Enve SES Aero Extensions, cut to a J-Bend shape and strangely mounted to Enve’s SES AR Road Handlebar.
Before the event, Jackson had Specialized Pathfinder Pro 700x42c tires mounted to Enve carbon wheels, but it’s possible she changed them out on race morning, given the expected conditions.
Jackson uses a Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt cycling computer mounted directly to her Enve stem via an Enve Road Stem Computer Mount.
For this long (and rough) race, Jackson chose a custom-branded (and long-discontinued) ISM Breakaway saddle.
Jackson chose Shimano GRX Di2 electronic components for her Unbound ride with a 1x front and a 45-tooth Wolftooth chainring.
Jackson’s Crux is riding on Enve SES 3.4 Road wheels rather than using Enve’s gravel-specific line.
As there are very few aid stations and no support crew allowed at events like the Unbounded Gravel 200, Jackson—like many gravel riders—chose to use a top-tube mounted Bento box from Dawn To Dusk, the Teklite Tubie 285 for nutrition (in addition to a hydration pack on her back).
Jackson chose to ride Shimano XTR pedals.
As nutrition and hydration are crucial in a 200-mile off-road race, Jackson elected to use two 24-ounce water bottles held on by two Dawn To Dusk Kaptive 14 carbon water bottle cages.