Gravel Grinder Bike Racers Reach Out To CPI

I know what you’re thinking… What the heck is a Gravel Grinder race?  We had to consult the internet too when this application first came to our attention, but it turns out that Gravel Racing is one of the fastest growing bicycle race sports in the country.

Unlike the Tour-de-France, gravel bike racers don’t have a van with a team following them, sponsors, or the lure of big prize money. Terrain can be a combination of asphalt, packed gravel, loose gravel roads, maintenance or B roads, and some single track. The riders are completely self supported and races can run anywhere from 50 to 800 miles.  Two of the most popular events are the Dirty Kanza 200 and the Trans Iowa, which are both over 200 miles long and take even the winners, well over 13 hours to finish.

If you’re a Gravel Grinder, you’re carrying your world on your bike and your back. Race courses go through parks and mountains, over little rocks, and small Volkswagen sized rocks, where trail signs are few and far between. You are riding in the day, and the night, in the hot sun and the rain and mud. Your pedaling is not only propelling you toward the finish line but like a human hamster on a wheel, it is providing power to a couple of critical electrical systems that can make the difference between getting to the finish line, and getting rescued by the park service…

That’s where CPI’ waterproof pendant switches come in.

CPI Waterproof Pendant Switch on Custom Gravel Grinder Touring Bicycle

Getting ready to Grind the Gravel!

Salsa Cycles is a premier maker of Gravel bikes for all levels of off road experiences, including every day folks just looking to perk up their road rides with a little off road fun, as well as serious Gravel Grinder competitors. Our K1005 Waterproof  Maintained Contact Pendant switch was recently selected for a modified Vaya touring bike. The switch is designed to control the flow of generator power between the bike’s headlight and the reserve battery.  Yes you heard that right, serious Gravel Bikes have a mounted electrical generator that converts the mechanical energy of the biker pedaling, into electrical current. This current can be used to power a headlight or by pressing our K1005 rocker switch, the current can be routed instead to charge an onboard battery. This battery powers the bike’s electrical system providing power for driving the Garmin GPS which gives distance, location, and even allows download of the race route.

CPI’s K1005 Maintained Contact Rocker Switch was chosen for all the usual reasons: Extreme reliability and completely watertight operation were key as these racers run through pouring rain, mud and humidity, as well as some serious vibration. Another bonus was the light weight and easy mounting of the switch assembly, pictured here mounted on the main crossbar just below the front handlebar assembly.

CPI Waterproof Pendant Switches Are Versatile Problem Solvers

CPI Waterproof Pendant Switches are designed to meet the challenges of wet, hostile environments and come with a 60 year history of reliable deployment in everything from muddy bicycles, to nuclear submarines. Some of the reasons the switch family has been so successful include:

  • Truly Waterproof – Not “Water Resistant” or “Splashproof”, our standard Neoprene sealing process has been both dramatically durable as well as cost effective to manufacture.
  • Solid Tactile feel – Both regular and “low activation force” options are available.
  • Switches come as either momentary contact or maintained contact as needed.
  • K1005 is a two wire two conductor SPST but special terminations and coil cords are available.
  • Can be custom hardened for extreme temperature ranges (hot and cold), extreme electromechanical endurance, and higher current requirements.

Contact CPI for all your Waterproof Switch Needs

For those considering new applications for our waterproof switches, we can provide samples to test in your prototypes, and engineers to discuss best practices in how to use them and mount them.

Call us today.  We love to hear about new applications for our switches.