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Everything you need to know about audax riding

If you’ve been cycling for a while, you’ll probably have heard about audax rides or maybe encountered groups of riders who are kitted out for…

Sunday, Jan 15

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If you’ve been cycling for a while, you’ll probably have heard about audax rides or maybe encountered groups of riders who are kitted out for long-distance audax riding, usually with saddle bags and lights on their bikes.

But what is an audax, how do you sign up and what’s involved? Here’s our guide to all things audax, from the history of the format to the best equipment and kit for these events. What is an audax?

In Latin, ‘audax’ can mean bold, audacious or daring. So it will likely come as little surprise that an audax is a self-supported long-distance cycle ride . Unlike a sportive , it’s not signposted and riders are free to choose their own route from start to finish, although there is often a recommended route.

When we say long distance, we mean it. Audax rides start at around 50km, but most are much longer, from 200km and stretching up to 1,000km. Every four years, Audax UK , which governs audax rides in the United Kingdom, stages the London-Edinburgh-London audax ride of 1,500km and there are similarly long audax events in other countries.

Alongside video manager Felix Smith, BikeRadar’s technical writer Oscar Huckle took on the 300km Moonrakers and Sunseekers overnight audax in early November 2022. He explains what it’s like to ride an audax.

“It’s really enjoyable in good weather conditions and significantly more low-profile than a sportive. The route isn’t signposted and while there is often a suggested route to follow, you are free to craft your […]

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