Travis McCabe has had a very impressive career as a professional road cyclist, with World Tour experience along with big wins at events like Tour of Utah, Tour of the Gila, and many more. For 2021, the American has shifted his focus and is targeting some of the toughest gravel races on the continually growing calendar of epic events across North America and beyond. And he’ll be doing so aboard his all-new Breed gravel race bike, complete with a custom paint scheme and an incredibly unique selection of components. Read on to learn more about Travis’s bike.
FELT: Tell us about your Felt Breed race bike.
Travis: I’ve been riding the Breed for the past few months now, and I have been able to really get a good understanding of what this bike is capable of. In my eyes, it’s not only a gravel bike, but a bike bred for capability. This can be your “one bike fits all” machine to use on the road, the gravel, and even on some fun singletrack. The geometry is comfortable to ride all day, but still responsive enough to whip around hairpins and navigate through a group in a race, which I think is pretty awesome. Back in February—after building the bike from the frame up myself—I flew out to my old stomping grounds in Tucson, Arizona, to test the capability of the bike. I only had a week to train and about three weeks of rides I wanted to do. I was dreaming of the infamous “shootout,” the miles of singletrack, and all that the Sonoran desert has to offer. Also, with COVID-19 still prominent, I wanted to be respectful of the people in the area and limit my interactions.
FELT: We created a custom paint job for your Breed frame. What do you think of it?
Travis: I think the custom paint job on the Breed is awesome, and I’m stoked on how well it matches my Shimano gravel shoes! I’ve also been working with Castelli to create a custom racing kit, and I think everyone is really going to like how well everything ties in together.
FELT: Tell us more about your bike and some of your other sponsors.
Travis: I’ve been really fortunate to have some wonderful sponsors come on board to support me in my new adventure into gravel racing. Entering into the “privateer” realm of the sport has been a new experience for me, but I’ve found it to be really fun and exciting! I can honestly say that for the first time in my career I only have sponsors that I truly want to work with—I’ve even purchased their products in the past as a customer, so I truly believe in them.
Some of the most important sponsors I have that will contribute to my success this year include Castelli clothing, First Endurance, Shimano, Reynolds, and FSA. It’s extremely important in gravel races to have a reliable bike and components that I can trust. Since gravel races are so demanding not only on the body, but the bike too, it’s a crucial factor of the sport and I have one-hundred-percent faith that I’m working with the best brands in the sport right now. Back when I wasn’t sponsored by them, I was personally buying First Endurance’s MultiV and Optygen and using it year round. It’s literally the only supplement I’ve ever taken and the only one I will continue to take. Now they’ve come out with some really great endurance mix, too—the EFS Pro powder—which is like nothing that’s ever been on the market before. I’m just excited and grateful to have some wonderful partners in this sport and I’m ready to win some big races on my new Felt Breed!
FELT: What other gear and accessories will you be using for gravel racing?
Travis: One of the coolest projects I have going on this year is the development of my very own racing kit with Castelli Cycling. Castelli has been an industry leader in cycling since 1876. Yes, that’s right—1876! I’ve had to race on sub-par chamois for so many years that I forgot what true quality felt like until I pulled on Castelli bibs for the first time this year. So it’s really awesome, that not only am I wearing some of the best kits on the market, but I get to wear a jersey that has meaning behind it as well. I won’t give too much away now, but I really wanted to design something that encompassed the emotions and memories I’ve experienced in both Arizona and Florida while riding.
One aspect I love about cycling is that feeling when you’re riding to a group ride early in the morning and you catch a beautiful sunrise, or when you’re limping home completely exhausted from a workout and the sunset changes the entire scenery. I always felt these moments were something special and I’ll always cherish the simple pleasures of nature and being alive and I feel like this jersey represents those moments for me. I think once everyone gets to see the kit along with the custom paint job of my bike and the Shimano gravel shoes, you’ll also appreciate it—at least, I hope so! No matter what, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone out at gravel events this year, and hopefully we can exchange stories over a beer or two, or three! Until then, keep it up, and get excited for gravel!
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