Ivar Slik and the 2023 edition of Unbound Gravel


Article info


Ivar Slik was born to ride bikes

Ivar Slik was born to ride bikes. After falling in love with the sport as a child, Ivar graduated to ten years in professional road cycling, in both continental and pro continental teams. Road, MTB, gravel, he's done it all. Continually switching it up, he's taken the podium's top step in multiple disciplines.

We did sit down with him for a conversation after the dust settles on the latest instalment of Unbound.

Ivar’s race setup:

200 miles riding in the toughest conditions require a lot - for both Rider and Gear.

“After a sticky mud bath section I noticed the rear derailleur cable was broken and I could only ride on the 11th. With 310 km to go"

Ivar Slik

Unfortunately, the 2023 edition of Unbound didn't present him with the chance to take back-to-back wins. Swamps of mud and difficult conditions put many riders out of contention early on in the race – Slik ploughed on to the finish with only two working gears. A potential victory was snatched from him with a mechanical. Still, that's just how gravel racing is. It's not about winning all the time (as many elite riders won't) but embracing the race as it unfolds. Taking the conditions in hand and enjoying your time on the bike while grafting to the very end.

Ivar’s race setup:

  • Wilier RAVE SLR - Limited Unbound Edition

  • MICHE Carbo Graff Route wheels - Limited Unbound Edition

  • Shimano 52-36 Dura Ace crankset

  • GRX rear derailleur

  • Fi’zi:k saddle

  • Integrated Wilier 140 mm stem + handlebar

  • Schwalbe G-One RS 40mm tires

  • Sweet Protection Falconer Aero 2VI Mips helmet

  • MAAP I.S. Skinsuit

  • Sweet Protection Shinobi RIG® Reflect Sunglasses

The life of a gravel racer is full of ups and downs, and it can be even tougher maintaining race performance as a privateer. Events come thick-and-fast across a packed International schedule, with athletes often globe-hopping the leg-shattering circuit without any team support. Nobody helping with physio, pesky visa submissions, nutrition strategy - making sure you get from point A to B with minimal stress. It can, at times, feel similar to the amateur experience – pulling up to a race with your kit in the car and hoping you’ve not forgotten anything important (you know, like a bike!). Privateers have to race, recover, bounce back and be ready to go again without many of the perks from a professional team environment. Despite the many challenges, Ivar Slik has found his groove in the privateer life, forging his own path to progression and podiums in gravel racing.

Gear Guide

Road Collection

Discover Sweet

Stronger. Lighter. Better.



Redeemer 2Vi® Mips Helmet wins Design & Innovation Award 2024

Sweet Protection’s Redeemer 2Vi® Mips time trial helmet won the 2024 Design & Innovation Award in the category of “Equipment Road”. Considered to be the Oscars of the bike and outdoor industry the Redeemer was especially highlighted for its excellent design, ease of use and aerodynamic benefits. This led to a strong impression of its performance for the jury ultimately awarding it as the best in the category.

Read more



The Hunt Is On

Sweet Protection and the Norwegian Uno-X Pro Cycling Team get ready for the biggest sports moment in cycling. The countdown and the final arrangements are being made.

Read more



Virginia Tech Bike Helmet Ratings

New Falconer 2Vi® Mips Helmet and Bushwhacker 2Vi® Mips Helmets Among Leaders

Since 2011, Virginia Tech researchers have been providing unbiased helmet ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets. The helmet ratings are the culmination of over 15 years of research on head impacts in sports and identify which helmets best reduce concussion risk. This work is done as part of Virginia Tech’s service mission and is 100% independent of any funding or influence from helmet manufacturers.

Read more



Redeemer 2Vi Mips

Engineered with Formula 1 aerodynamic expertise, and developed in collaboration with the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, the Redeemer 2Vi® Mips might possibly be the fastest helmet on the planet.

Read more