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  1. #1
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    equipment adjustments for the 2008 STP

    Last year I did the 204 mile Seattle-to-Portland bike ride on my touring bike. While it was fairly comfortable I felt like I was working a bit harder than the people on "go fast" bikes... especially on hills. Well this year, I have myself a "go fast" bike. A carbon Cannondale Synapse. For the STP, I plan to swap out my saddle on the "go fast" bike for my brooks B-17 on the touring bike. I'm also planning on switching the 23mm tires for 28mm tires.

    I think these changes will help with this year's ride. I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions on whether or not these are wise adjustment.

  2. #2
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    From my perspective, I ride 28's for ultra comfort with chipseal and because it eases shoulder and neck pain on real long rides. I have a bad shoulder and it really helps. However, STP is relatively flat and almost perfect roads. One could argue that 23's are perfect for stp. Is your reason for the 28's comfort? I have ridden STP on everything and it doesn't seem to matter. I get to the end. For 28's I ride the Gran Bois 28's. Real soft feel and ride. Very smooth and comfortable. However, they do tend to puncture a bit more. Some 28's feel really lunky. Pick a good set of tires. Are you riding the distance in one or two days or one? No matter what, you're riding a lightweight bike and will undoubtedly move over ground fast. I also like Michelin pro race 25's for longer rides. Anymore, I only ride 23's for training rides and for longer rides Either Michelin 25's or Gran Bois 28's. I am sure I would be in the minority as most ride 23's for everything.

  3. #3
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    I'll be riding the one day. Yes, the reasons for the saddle and tire changes are specifically comfort. I don't want to stop for punctures so I'm looking for a tire with reasonable puncture protection - I've picked out the continental grand prix 4 seasons that comes in a 700c x 28mm. I've used this tire on my daily commutes and it has performed well. I'm not too concerned about speed... just finishing.

  4. #4
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Run the 23's at 100-110 psi instead of 120-130, the biggest problem most people have with narrow tires is they jack the pressure up.

    Also, make sure you ride at least a century before hand with the different saddle to make sure it doesn't cause fit issues.
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  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'll be riding it once again with the same equipment: carbon Trek, 23c Vredstein Tricomps at 140 lbs. on Rolf wheels. Different saddle this year: Specialized Avatar. Good combo. I'll be shooting for 10-12 hours, depending on mood, conditioning, and companions.

  6. #6
    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    I run Michelin Pro2 Race 25's at 95 - get a more comfortable ride and great rolling tire. I don't think STP roads need 28s - unlike say Ramrod or High Pass Challenge where sections are very rough. I run my B17 on my titanium Merlin all the time.
    Andiamo!!

  7. #7
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    i'll be on my "go fast" bike w/ brooks saddle & 23's - like others have said, the STP roads aren't all that bad, I don't think wider tires are a must for that ride.

    and as others have also pointed out: you can do the STP on pretty much any bike. i saw a guy (girl?) pulling a 50-rider paceline on a mtb bike with knobbies! (at 25 mph no less)

    for the HPC i might use 25's but last year i made it on my 23's. for me, the main change for the HPC will be clothing - last year i just about froze up there on windy ridge!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    for the HPC i might use 25's but last year i made it on my 23's. for me, the main change for the HPC will be clothing - last year i just about froze up there on windy ridge!
    What's the "HPC?" Where is it held?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I'll be shooting for 10-12 hours, depending on mood, conditioning, and companions.
    10 hours? If I were shooting for that, my equipment choices would be toyota or honda? And my only "depending on" would be the price of gas. Give a wave when you fly by!

  10. #10
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    What's the "HPC?" Where is it held?
    HPC = High Pass Challenge, a new (1st one was last year) cascade ride that involves LOTS of climbing!

    it starts way down in packwood, wa, just south of mt. rainier. ride up to (aptly-named) Windy Ridge and back. Stats:

    * 114 miles
    * 7500+ feet of climbing
    * 10 Hour time limit

    and if you finish sub 7 hours you get a little gold medal! (i got one last year, but barely)
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  11. #11
    big ring MIN's Avatar
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    This year I plan to ride on tubulars. 22c. Last year I did it on 23c clinchers (Vred Fortezza).

    I might get a bigger saddle pack this year to accommodate my mostly liquid diet during the STP (Hammer Perpetuem.)

    I am shooting for sub 10 hours this year. I did it 10:30 last year.

  12. #12
    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    The HPC has some very rough sections of road - especially the second to last 30 miles - if you are on carbonfiberboy's Vredestein 23s at 140 lbs you better wear a seatbelt! I rode 28s on it last year on my new at the time steel bike (now deceased). It helped quite a bit and I still did it in 6:30.
    Andiamo!!

  13. #13
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    Last year I did the 204 mile Seattle-to-Portland bike ride on my touring bike. While it was fairly comfortable I felt like I was working a bit harder than the people on "go fast" bikes... especially on hills. Well this year, I have myself a "go fast" bike. A carbon Cannondale Synapse. For the STP, I plan to swap out my saddle on the "go fast" bike for my brooks B-17 on the touring bike. I'm also planning on switching the 23mm tires for 28mm tires.

    I think these changes will help with this year's ride. I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions on whether or not these are wise adjustment.
    There are no hills on this ride, just one bump.
    I did it on a rock hard aluminum bike last year with a full on race saddle and 120 pounds in 23s with no pain or issues. I don't think it requires any equipment changes. Hek, I'm 50+ and not even an athletic guy and I did OK.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    With only 1,951' of climbing you should be able to fly on this double. I just did the Solvang Double and had an overall time of 12:14 and it had 7,520' of climbing, the fastest time was 9:04. I use 25's at 95-100 psi.
    Make mine a double!

  15. #15
    Fear no hill
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    for the HPC i might use 25's but last year i made it on my 23's. for me, the main change for the HPC will be clothing - last year i just about froze up there on windy ridge!

    All I wanted to do when I got up there was to get down it was so cold. This year even though it will be a little more work. I may ride the touring bike just so I can pack enough clothing for windy ridge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    There are no hills on this ride, just one bump.
    I did it on a rock hard aluminum bike last year with a full on race saddle and 120 pounds in 23s with no pain or issues. I don't think it requires any equipment changes. Hek, I'm 50+ and not even an athletic guy and I did OK.
    OK... now put your twin brother on your back and ride. That's what I'm facing. I'm not a cyclist by nature. So, the equipment used by a non-athletic 120 lbs person isn't going to hold up as well and be as comfortable for a 5'10" 220 lb guy. Sometimes I think what I am doing here is akin to a 120 lbs person lying on there back underneath a 300 lb barbell and someone saying, "now just lower it down to your chest and then lift it off until you can straighten your arms... and gimme 10 of those. You can have a little rest and we'll do 10 more." I'm 45+ and I'd be OK with the 300 lb barbell but cycling 200+ miles in one day... I need every advantage I can get just to finish.

  17. #17
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    OK... now put your twin brother on your back and ride. That's what I'm facing. I'm not a cyclist by nature. So, the equipment used by a non-athletic 120 lbs person isn't going to hold up as well and be as comfortable for a 5'10" 220 lb guy. Sometimes I think what I am doing here is akin to a 120 lbs person lying on there back underneath a 300 lb barbell and someone saying, "now just lower it down to your chest and then lift it off until you can straighten your arms... and gimme 10 of those. You can have a little rest and we'll do 10 more." I'm 45+ and I'd be OK with the 300 lb barbell but cycling 200+ miles in one day... I need every advantage I can get just to finish.
    No no no. That's 120 in the tires. I'm 150 or a bit more.
    And a 300 lb barbell would hold me down forever. I don't think I could move it, much less lift it.

    Work on seat time, and take it easy on the ride.

    But I am sympathetic. I've just -- foolishly, signed up for teh Davis Double....
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  18. #18
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    No no no. That's 120 in the tires. I'm 150 or a bit more.
    And a 300 lb barbell would hold me down forever. I don't think I could move it, much less lift it.

    Work on seat time, and take it easy on the ride.

    But I am sympathetic. I've just -- foolishly, signed up for teh Davis Double....
    I'm not the smallest sprocket on the bike, I'm 6', 230# and 56 years old. The Davis Double is a great ride, you'll have fun. Unfortunately, it's the same day as the ride my wife and I put on or I would be there. It's real hard to tell the wife you're not going to help her with the ride you both put on, they don't even think it's funny to suggest it.
    Make mine a double!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    No no no. That's 120 in the tires. I'm 150 or a bit more.
    And a 300 lb barbell would hold me down forever. I don't think I could move it, much less lift it.

    Work on seat time, and take it easy on the ride.

    But I am sympathetic. I've just -- foolishly, signed up for teh Davis Double....
    Uh Oh! I was gonna say the Davis Double would be no problem for you... but you gained 30+ lbs since the last post. Good luck to you... no harm done in a couple of amatuers settin' their goals high. It's always good to give things a try. It's preparation and training time that are the real challenge anyway.

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