David Millar x Ostro Gravel at TRAKA 360

Gear up for the ultimate gravel challenge

With the Traka 360 emerging as the biggest gravel event in Europe, an international field of elite athletes descend on Girona, Spain, the first weekend of May to test their skill, their equipment, and their legs against the Catalonian countryside. Riding his OSTRO Gravel, longtime friend of Factor Bikes, David Millar will tackle Traka 360 for the second year in a row.

“The Traka has become Europe’s most prestigious gravel event, there are a number of distances, 50/100/200/360 km. And this year, to up the crazy, they’ve added the 543 km Traka Adventure; I’m not doing that, 360 km seems sensible in comparison,” David explained. “It’s not sensible though, it’s quite mad. I did it last year and had the time of my life, although I was so anxious about the distance that I over-prepared and rode with unnecessary caution. This year, I’m throwing caution to the wind, well, sort of…”

Choosing the right gear for the job

This year will be marked by just how wet the course will be since this April has been one of the wettest on record. “It’s going to be muddy, very muddy. This year my goal is to go as fast as I can.

Photo credit: Sami Sauri

The OSTRO Gravel is a no-brainer in that regard, it was designed to be an aero gravel race bike after all,” David explained.

“I’ve tweaked it to my preferences, keeping the position as close to my road bike as possible, including using a 140/38 Integrated Aero Barstem with my usual double-roll bartape. I know a lot of people like wider bars on their gravel bikes, I guess for comfort and handling, but I’m more comfortable maintaining the same bar set-up as my road bike and don’t feel any compromise in handling.”

David knows that to get the most out of his OSTRO Gravel, having the right tire choice will be key.

“Arguably the most important element to a gravel bike is tire set-up, and this is very dependent on the terrain and target,” he said. “It’s been raining all week here in Girona, and the trails are going to be very different from the hardpack we’re used to at the Traka. I’ve gone for 40mm to give me sufficient clearance between tire and frame and avoid clogging of mud, I did some research and decided on the Tufo Swampero Tubeless, they have the grip to handle wet conditions and relatively low rolling resistance for the road and hardpack sections that make up most of the 360km. I’ve used Muc-off Sealant and am running 40 psi (2.75 bar) tire pressure as a happy medium between traction and resistance.”

Photo credit: Sami Sauri

Finding the challenging fun

To get in some good hours in the saddle ahead of Traka, David made a little trip to Mallorca to grab a few hundred kilometers of riding in the legs. “Last weekend I did the Mallorca 312, a 312 km loop with 4500m climbing, it took me 9 hrs 35 mins. I rode the O2 VAM with Black Inc 48/58 wheels and 140/38 Integrated Aero Barstem: the bike was a dream, agile going up and down, fast on the flat through the wind. That was last weekend though, this week for the Traka 360, the distance is the only similarity between the two events, and it requires a completely different bike: the OSTRO Gravel.”

David is one of those ex-pros who still finds, or indeed has found renewed pleasure in riding his bike, keeping fit, and pushing his limits. “It starts with the fitness. I’ve been riding and running a lot this past year. I’ve fallen back in love with sport in a way that had been missing since before I became a pro cyclist. I’m enjoying doing it for the sake of it, being healthy, having fun, and with events like the 312 and 360, finding ways to push myself out of my comfort zone,” he said.

“I’ve realized that doing hard things is where I derive the most fulfillment, what’s different now compared to most of my sporting life is that I’m not competing against anyone, not even myself. Yet that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be the best I can be, I’m still a total geek for all the tech and science, albeit in my new found amateur way.”

Photo credit: Sami Sauri


OSTRO Gravel by Factor Bikes.


Black Inc Integrated Aero Barstem, size 38/140.


Factor, 0mm setback.


SRAM RED XPLR, crank length 172.5mm, chainring 44T, cassette 10-44.


Black Inc Thirty-Four.


WTB Silverado Titanium.


Tufo Swampero Tubeless 40.


Shimano XT SPD Trail/Enduro.

Special Equipment

Garmin Varia UT800 Front Light x Sigma Nugget Rear Light / Muc-Off Bam Repair Canister

Traka 360 bike set up

7.4 KG

Factor is proud to be represented at Traka 2024 by Rob Britton, David Millar, Team Amani, Jacob Vaughan, Emma Johansson, among many others.

Learn more about David Millar's choice