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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-02-09, 10:58 AM   #1
rugerben
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Am I stupid/crazy?

I want to ride a century in my local Tour de Cure.

Nothing special there. A guy on a road bike riding a century is a fairly common event.

But I'm working out a deal with my LBS for them to sponsor me. As part of that deal, I'm offering to ride the century on my Giant TranSend DX that I bought from them last year. It's my daily commuter bike, and it's worked wonderfully well in that role.

I've changed out the rear derailleur for Deore LX, and the handlebars are now Trekking Bars from Nashbar. The tires are Panaracer Pasela TG 700cX32.

Pretty much everything else is stock. I figure I'd remove the rack and fenders for the century ride.

I've done a half century on this bike and was perfectly comfortable the whole way.


What think ye' long distance cyclists? is doing a century ride on a bike like this a stupid and futile attempt? Is my youthful exuberance (I'm 24 YO) and piss n' vinegar getting in the way of common sense?

I really feel like I could really do this if I train hard for it. I have till June 14th to train. I feel like it's not THAT big a deal to do a century on an entry level hybrid, but when I hear myself say those words I say "Ben, you must be outta yer mind!"

This is the bike in its stock state. As I said, I've swapped out some critical parts.
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Old 04-02-09, 11:11 AM   #2
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Nope, not stupid or crazy. I did several centuries last year on a box stock Trek 7300 hybrid. With your set up you'd be more comfortable.

Personally, I'd check the weather forecast before removing the fenders, and I'd leave the rack on and lash a trunk to it for carrying spares, toolkit, snacks, arm/leg warmers, rain gear etc.
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Old 04-02-09, 11:29 AM   #3
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Yeah, why not? Looks like a perfectly fine bike to do a relaxed, takin' it easy century on. You're not going to roll in with a sub-5hr finish time on it, but I don't think that's your plan. Get some bottle cages on there, and you're set.


I did a couple century rides on my old Stumpjumper with 1.75" Marathon Plus tires, full racks and fenders/mudflaps. Took me 8.5 hours, but I finished.
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Old 04-02-09, 11:43 AM   #4
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If I can do it on a single-speed cruiser, surely you can on that. And I'd leave the fenders and rack on, myself.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:44 PM   #5
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Wow. thanks guys. I appreciate the encouragement. OK you got it. I'm doing this. Come hell or high-waters, I'll do it. I am hoping for a 6.5-7 hour time. I can roll at 17 MPH on that bike pretty consistently for a long time, and it's got gearing that would get me up a wall if it had to.
Good idea about fenders and rack.

Oh, and Clifton, I do have double water bottle cages on there already. I was thinking of hooking up a third to the handlebars.

Let's see what happens.

I'll keep you updated.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:51 PM   #6
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Wow. thanks guys. I appreciate the encouragement. OK you got it. I'm doing this. Come hell or high-waters, I'll do it. I am hoping for a 6.5-7 hour time. I can roll at 17 MPH on that bike pretty consistently for a long time, and it's got gearing that would get me up a wall if it had to.
Good idea about fenders and rack.
I did a 350 mile, three day AIDS ride on a Trek 730 hybrid, so as others have said, doing a century on such a bike isn't a big deal.

6.5 - 7 hour overall time though? That's a bit of a challenge on a hybrid with its non aero body posture. How windy is the century route? What was your time on your half-century?
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Old 04-02-09, 01:40 PM   #7
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12 or so weeks until a century for a reasonably healthy rider is definitely doable. You have plenty of time to train. Although I agree with spokenword that 7 hours, including stops, is a bit unlikely (especially with a hybrid position, wide tires and platform pedals).

I wouldn't worry about taking off the fenders or rack, you're likely to need 'em. In fact I'd put together a kit of stuff you need for the century, and carry it on your longer rides -- e.g. basic tools, patch kit, spare tube, extra food, extra water, jacket.

You should also get a cycle computer, maybe I'm missing it but I don't see one one the bike.

Also, since you've got so much time you may want to try a couple of variations like skinnier tires (if your rims will allow that) and clipless pedals (or at least some type of clips).
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Old 04-02-09, 02:13 PM   #8
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Nope, not stupid or crazy. I did several centuries last year on a box stock Trek 7300 hybrid. With your set up you'd be more comfortable.

Personally, I'd check the weather forecast before removing the fenders, and I'd leave the rack on and lash a trunk to it for carrying spares, toolkit, snacks, arm/leg warmers, rain gear etc.
+1. I did my first century on a nearly-stock Trek 7000. The bike you're showing will be more comfortable.
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Old 04-02-09, 02:43 PM   #9
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An acquaintance of mine (a 50-ish woman) has done several MS150 rides (100 miles on Saturday, 50 on Sunday) on a beat-up, ancient, heavy-as-a-dump-truck mountain bike . . . with the knobby tires still on. She didn't set any speed records, but she finished comfortably.

You'll be fine.
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Old 04-02-09, 04:37 PM   #10
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If I can do it on a single-speed cruiser, surely you can on that. And I'd leave the fenders and rack on, myself.
Mount a mini-keg on the rack.

Back in my late 30's or early 40s I did a 70+ mile ride on a mountian bike, only change I might has made was slicks.

Course I'm the fool that did a double before my first organized century.
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Old 04-02-09, 06:08 PM   #11
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who cares? People do century rides on 40lb commuter bikes with 500 gram tires. you're full.
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Old 04-02-09, 06:45 PM   #12
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12 or so weeks until a century for a reasonably healthy rider is definitely doable. You have plenty of time to train. Although I agree with spokenword that 7 hours, including stops, is a bit unlikely (especially with a hybrid position, wide tires and platform pedals).

I wouldn't worry about taking off the fenders or rack, you're likely to need 'em. In fact I'd put together a kit of stuff you need for the century, and carry it on your longer rides -- e.g. basic tools, patch kit, spare tube, extra food, extra water, jacket.

You should also get a cycle computer, maybe I'm missing it but I don't see one one the bike.

Also, since you've got so much time you may want to try a couple of variations like skinnier tires (if your rims will allow that) and clipless pedals (or at least some type of clips).
I plan to try out 700X28. They'll fit on the rims.

I already have a cycling computer. It's just not in the picture.

I plan to get "campus pedals" where they are clipless on one side and platform on the other. That way the pedals will still be easy for commuting, but when I want to clip in I'll just put on my SPD shoes and clip right on.

Great idea about dragging a kit along with me on training. Brilliant.

To answer other questions, no idea how long my half-century was. I actually think it was closer to a metric (60mi) but not positive. It was a year ago already and I was just doing it for pleasure rather than trying to beat a certain time.


Some inspiring stories on here! Thanks again guys.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:23 PM   #13
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+1 on the 28's. I just switched from 32 CityRides to 28 Gatorskins. I haven't noticed any drop in comfort, I think they're faster on the road and I had no problem riding for 20 miles on hardpack/gravel rail/trail.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:21 AM   #14
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Sure you can do that! I did! A little training and you'll be good to go.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:16 AM   #15
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That's a perfectly reasonable bike for a century. I once saw a guy on Seattle to Portland (200 miles over 2 days) doing it on a unicycle. Another was a 9 year old kid doing the whole thing on a single speed BMX bike. On big rides, you see all kinds people riding all kinds of bikes and it really puts in perspective how road worthy your own bicycle is.
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Old 04-07-09, 04:54 PM   #16
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I've done a supported century on a portion of the Allegheny Passage (Frostburg, MD to West Newton, PA) on my 33 pound Trek 6500d with 2.1" knobbies on it. I averaged about 15-17 MPH the whole way, and completed it in around 7 and a half hours with a couple brief pit stops, and some downtime due to a mechanical issue early on.

If I can do a century on that, I'd say a century on your hybrid should be cake.

Just get a little training in, add some bottle cages, and make sure you stay hydrated with more than just plain water. I had a 3 liter camelback on my back, and a bottle of diluted gatorade on the bike. The camelback lasted me all day, but I went through a bottle of gatorade about every 30-35 miles.

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Old 04-07-09, 05:04 PM   #17
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I did my first century on a 35 lb Ross mtb with knobbies and road pedals on it. My road bike broke the week before and that was all I had.

It was fine except by the end my shoulders hurt a lot. I'd have liked more than one hand position. Consider bar ends.

Some other riders get ticked off when you pass them on climbs on a mountain bike.
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Old 04-07-09, 05:37 PM   #18
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Your bike looks fine for a century; I wouldn't think twice about it. I did a hilly 92 mile ride on my heavier Giant Boulder last summer, with knobbies and platform pedals even. It wasn't bad at all, but I wasn't in a hurry.

The one thing I really missed was drops. Descending without them really sucks, kind of like having the payoff for all your hard-earned climbing squandered by wind resistance.
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Old 04-13-09, 10:34 PM   #19
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I've done two centuries on mountain bikes, knobby tires and all. Even went on a tour with a mountain bike. It may be more work, but if you still finish, who cares! Go out and ride!
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Old 04-14-09, 08:04 AM   #20
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Go for it, but don't burn all your gas at the beginning of the ride. Ride slower than you think you can go because you may need the extra energy later. You can always pick up the pace later.

A fellow rider on a cross country trip had a bike that must have weighed 30 pounds. He was from the U.K. He didn't set any records, but neither mountains nor wind stopped him.
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Old 04-14-09, 08:39 AM   #21
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When I was in high school, one of my teachers did the full length MS150 on a hardtail mountain bike with knobby tires, and he was in his mid 30s. I don't think you'll have a problem.
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Old 04-19-09, 08:29 PM   #22
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Wow. All these replies are certainly inspirational.

I got the full sponsorship from the local shop. They are sponsoring the $150 minimum donation, giving me a jersey with their logo, and giving me 30% off any item that I buy for the sake of the ride. I also have an open invitation for future charity rides.

I was in the LBS today, and one of the guys there was telling me about nutrition. He recommended some gels by a company called Goo. He said that I will HAVE to eat.

I expect there is lots of info on this sub-forum about nutrition. I will need to learn about:

1) What I should be eating while training.
2) What to eat/drink in the days before the ride.
3) What to eat/drink while on the ride.

So far I've done a bunch of riding and running, and even did two very hilly half-centuries on two consecutive days this weekend and I am not even sore, so that's encouraging.
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Old 04-19-09, 09:36 PM   #23
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+1 to leaving it as is, adding some cages and off you go! be sure to carry plenty of banana bread, though.
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Old 04-27-09, 09:27 AM   #24
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My 1st century was on a Mountain Bike with Knobbies, I was 14 or so at the time
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Old 04-30-09, 06:57 AM   #25
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You should wear a tie too! Do they make a lycra one?
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