Adventure and Travel

Bike Check: Abdullah Zeinab’s Rhino Run winning Curve GXR

· By Bike Hub Features · 4 comments

We watched the dots, and the thrilling race between Abdullah Zeinab and Kevin Benkenstein at the inaugural Rhino Run. Then we heard from Benky about his experience and bike setup. Now we’re taking a look at the race-winning bike, and hearing from the victor and ultra-endurance weapon, Abdullah Zeinab. 

bPnou.jpegSometimes a picture says a thousand words. Abdullah refuelling during the Rhino Run. Image Rae Trew-Browne

What are your concerns and considerations for a ride that long: 

For me, the major concerns can be split into 4 major categories.

  1. The Bike – Making sure the bike is equipped to be able to carry all the necessary equipment and durable enough to make it to the finish line
  2. Fitness – Making sure that your body is in good enough shape to be able to complete the whole event and be resilient enough to handle the stress of whatever may happen along the way.
  3. Mental –  Making sure you’re mentally prepared and trained to be able to deal with whatever you mentally may experience throughout the event.
  4. The Route – Making sure that you have studied the route enough to understand where you can sleep and re-supply for fuel.

How do you charge your devices? 

I carried a 20,000 mAh battery pack with me in my top tube bag. The aim is to stop every 24-hour period and recharge it a little bit but sometimes it doesn’t work out. 20,000 mAh was just enough to see me through the event with only a few hours of recharge.

Do you carry clean bibs? 

I only had one pair of bibs for the event. Every time I got the opportunity to shower I would run some soap through them and air them out to dry.

Do you stop to shower? 

Where it was possible I definitely stopped to shower. Over the whole race, I had four showers. 

EB7db.jpegThe endless quest for calories. Image by Rae Trew-Browne

Where do you sleep? 

It was a mixture of sleeping in hotels and camping outside in my bivvy. Ideally, I would stay just in hotels but sometimes it doesn’t work out due to opening hours. 

How much does what you carry weigh?

I honestly have no idea. I refrained from weighing anything because I didn’t want to know.
I would guess the bike total with all the bags and water would be close to 20kgs.

What keeps you coming back?

There are several aspects of it I really enjoy. Number one is the training. Having something to work towards for several months of the year is extremely enjoyable. Another aspect of this type of racing that I enjoy is the mental state it produces. Being out in the middle of nature, on the limit physically is truly a unique experience and it’s something I have fallen in love with.

8Y0Md.jpegAbdullah rode 48mm gravel tyres, and in hindsight would have chosen to use use “the biggest tyre I could get my hands on”. Image by Rae Trew-Browne

What was the best choice you made with regard to setup?

I think it was the combination of all the components and bags that made the bike setup solid enough to do the race. I had done all my training with essentially the same setup so I was conditioned to how the bike felt with everything on it. Overall all the components were extremely durable. I  had a pretty rough race and crashed hard 3 times and never really broke any components other than bending my derailleur hanger. Another issue I had was smashing my wheel on night one on a rock which smashed the carbon but it ended up holding for the whole race. 

If you could go back and do it again, is there anything you would do differently on your setup?

The main thing I would change would be to use wider tyres. I had never really ridden gravel before the event so I assumed 48mm tyres would be enough. If I could go back I would use the biggest tyre I could get my hands on. 



PLKdH.jpegAbdullah searching in vain for a screw the size of a lentil in the sand. He lost it while trying replace a bent derailleur hanger, and eventually managed to use a screw from his pedal. Images Rae Trew-Browne

What did you carry with you?

Bike Bags:

  • Apidura 5L Racing Saddle Bag
  • Apidura 4L Racing Frame Bag
  • Apidura 1L Racing Top Tube Bag
  • Apidura Food Pouch x 2


  • 7 mesh rain jacket
  • Gloves ( unknown brand)
  • Head buff 
  • Cumulus Windy Wendy ( windbreaker )
  • High-visibility vest
  • High-visibility ankle straps
  • MAAP thermal base layer
  • Rapha Cargo bib shorts
  • Vegan Frotherz Jersey
  • Castelli Base layer
  • Socks x 1 

image.jpegLocked and loaded (and still clean). Image by Rae Trew-Browne


  • Exposure race front light
  • Cat eye omni rear light x 2
  • Garmin edge 830
  • Garmin etrex 30x 
  • Cygnett 20,00mah battery pack
  • Charging cables 

image.jpegNot your average cockpit. Image by Rae Trew-Browne


  • Quick Link
  • Multi-tool
  • Tubes x 2 
  • C02 x 2 
  • Zip Ties
  • Lezyne micro floor pump
  • Derailleur hanger
  • Brake pads
  • Gear cable 
  • Chamois creme 
  • Voile strap
  • Magnum Zefal 1 litre drink bottle x 2 
  • Passport 
  • Credit card
  • Sol emergency bivvy
  • Pearl Izumi arm covers 

Bike Specifications

  • Frame: Titanium Curve GXR 
  • Stem: Zipp 80mm
  • Saddle: Specialized Power Arc Pro Elaston 155mm
  • BB: Curve T47 68 mm – Ekar Specific
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350 24H Centre Lock – N3W Freehub
  • Fork: Curve Ride 400
  • Handlebar: Curve Walmer Bars
  • Shifters: Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 sp – LHR / RHF
  • Rear Derailleur:  Ekar 1×13
  • Cassette: Ekar Cassette 9-42t
  • Rims: G4T 35 – 700C, 21 mm internal, 28 mm external, 35 mm deep, 
  • Headset: Curve 44 mm semi-internal
  • Seatpost: Curve Titanium 27.2 x 350 mm
  • Brakeset: Ekar Caliper w/160 mm rotors
  • Crankset: Ekar 13 sp 38t
  • Chain:  Ekar 13 sp C-Link
  • Tyres:  Rene Herse Oracle Ridge 700C x 48 mm TC Tire – Endurance (dark tan)


Keen to find out more?

Abdullah has agreed to answer questions in the comments from back in Australia, so if there is anything you want to know please pop it below (and be mindful of the time zone differences)



Nov 18, 2022, 9:22 AM

Congrats on a great ride and perseverance in the chase!

Did you ever run out of water? Seems @Benky carried a lot more water.

With what did you refuel on the road?



Nov 22, 2022, 12:21 PM

AZ - what a race.

Either your race winning strategy was perfect or perfect fluke, but you get to decide! In hindsight would you have rested more, or are you happy with the very limited sleep timing you followed? 

abdullah zeinab

Nov 24, 2022, 12:21 AM

@DJuice i never ran out of water but I got pretty close. After a while I began to tape bottles of water to my time trial bars and zip tie some bottles underneath them too. I would carry drinks in the back of my jersey and sometimes stuff some down it. Upon reflection I would try and add a few more bottle cages too my biker to allow for a few extra litres.

I fuelled with mostly drinks, bread, chips, nuts and hot food when I could get my hands on.



abdullah zeinab

Nov 24, 2022, 12:24 AM


I would have liked to have slept more. The first 3 days I checked into a hotel twice and was unable to get any rest so it really took a massive toll on my body. Once my body settled I was able to get a good nights rest at the boarder of South Africa and Namibia which made a huge difference.



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