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  1. #1
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    Minimum preparation time for a 300K brevet on a new bike?

    Maybe it's post-hurricane mental weirdness, maybe I'm just strange....
    But, I'm considering trying a 300k brevet on a new-to-me bike on the 22nd or so - and I don't even have the bike yet. It's being shipped Tuseday/Wednesday so I might have it this weekend.

    Not only is the bike new/not "fitted" to me yet, it's a SWB(short wheel based recumbent) and I've not even ridden my LWB (long wheel based recumbent) Easy Racers Gold Rush Replica for weeks (lacking motivation).

    What with post-hurricane recovery work on my house, yard, etc., I probably will only be able to get in 1 - 4 metrics and/or a 200k between now and the 300k brevet date.


    So, the question is, how dumb is this idea? Seriously.
    Completely foolish?
    Totally out of my mind foolish?
    Just plain arrogant to think I won't pay a heavy physical price?
    Ballsy?
    Stupid (as opposed to foolish)?

    Something else?

    Feel free to comment...ridicule..whatever.

    (I'v survived Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, Isaac, Betsy and Camille at close range... comments won't ruffle my feathers.)

  2. #2
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    I'd say not too foolish. It sounds like you'll have a chance to get a few longish rides in, which will let you know if there are any major mechanical or fit issues. I rode a 300k in March, on a bike that I just finished building up the day before, and taken on a 10 mile test ride. I knew it could get ugly, but it ended up working out great. I used that bike for the rest of the series. If you feel comfortable taking the chance, go for it - if not, take a bike you're more familiar with.

  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    I would feel uncomfortable doing that. Obviously, it will probably be fine, but I want known solid equipment for longer rides.

    I think you should consider arranging sag support so you don't have to involve the ride organizer given the heightened potential for ride-ending issues.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I think you should consider arranging sag support so you don't have to involve the ride organizer given the heightened potential for ride-ending issues.
    That is a very good point, and should definitely be part of the consideration. When I used my unproven bike, it was on a local ride. If a mechanical I couldn't handle on the roadside had occurred, there were a number of people I could have called for a ride, without inconveniencing the organizer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I don't know, I did a 600k on a bike that I finished building the night before. The frame on my other bike broke the weekend prior. It wasn't a big deal. I think the only thing I had to deal with was a barrel adjuster after the rear DR cable stretched a little. Of course, it isn't the most ideal situation because you want to put a few miles on the bike and get it sorted out first. If you have it set up with your contact points in the right postions there shouldn't be any physical issues. On the recumbent I don't know what kinds of fit issues you'd have to deal with.

    If you can ride a few metric centuries before hand, I don't see a problem at all.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well ... back in April 2010, Machak, my Marinoni Ciclo was stolen. We had been camping on the Easter long weekend and doing a hub-and-spoke style tour with the idea of logging some distance before the 300K the following weekend. We got quite a bit of distance in ... and then my beloved bicycle was stolen.

    I still wanted to ride the 300K, so Rowan took my mountain bike frame (a mountain bike which I had hardly ever ridden) and coverted it to a road bicycle. Toward the end of the week, I spent a few minutes on the bicycle, on a trainer, working on fit. Then I spent a few minutes on the bicycle riding around the hotel parking lot just checking a few things. And then I rode the 300K.

    It wasn't ideal, but it was doable.


    If you figure you can "get in 1 - 4 metrics and/or a 200k between now and the 300k brevet date" ... that sounds like quite a bit of riding to work out any issues you might have.


    NOTE: I would not suggest doing this sort of thing to someone who was not comfortable with long distances. If you are comfortable cycling long distances, you have endurance and strength. You already have a good idea of nutrition, hydration, pacing, etc. ... and how a bicycle should fit you. You've already got most of the tools you need to get through the 300K.

  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    If you don't have time to dial in the fit, it's probably not a good idea to take it on a 300k.

    If you can set up the fit on the new bike to match a fit that you already know works, then it's a question of how much faith you have in the reliability of the new-to-you machine.

    That said, what's the rush in putting the new bike into action? Why not stick with a bike that you know works for those distances?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    If you don't have time to dial in the fit, it's probably not a good idea to take it on a 300k.

    If you can set up the fit on the new bike to match a fit that you already know works, then it's a question of how much faith you have in the reliability of the new-to-you machine.

    That said, what's the rush in putting the new bike into action? Why not stick with a bike that you know works for those distances?
    All good points. I'll respond to the last one first... Never been that distance. Longest ever was about 140miles on a GRR/LWB.

    Fit? Only ridden a SWB 20 miles in one ride once; other rides were less than 20 each and all told, only 50 or so. Never tried to "fit" a SWB before, but how hard can it be? Adjust the seat recline. Slide the seat forward backward. Pedal. Right?

    Shrug. Gotta try something to get my head outta hurricane recovery mode.... like physically taking today off from "recovery efforts". It gets to ya.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmweaver2 View Post
    Gotta try something to get my head outta hurricane recovery mode.... like physically taking today off from "recovery efforts". It gets to ya.
    Maybe that's why Rowan and I are on a 7.5 month Round-The-World mostly-cycling tour. After 3 years of fire recovery mode ... we had to get out of the area for a little while.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmweaver2 View Post
    Fit? Only ridden a SWB 20 miles in one ride once; other rides were less than 20 each and all told, only 50 or so. Never tried to "fit" a SWB before, but how hard can it be? Adjust the seat recline. Slide the seat forward backward. Pedal. Right?
    That's a start. The bars and riser make take a little fiddling to balance out various, partially conflicting issues like seeing over the bars - shin clearance - arm extension - arm angle/levelness - thigh interference when turning. It takes me a while to get any new 'bent setup the way that works best. And here I am talking about more than fit. Simple things like bottle mounts, light mounts, etc.

    Also, a highracer handles completely differently from a LWB like what you have now. It even seems to tax the muscles sightly differently. You may have a sense of how much or how little importance this may be for you personally, from the bit of test riding you've already done.

    My advice is to look at the bike/body position and adjustment of those riding highracers, including the hardware setup inso far as bags, bottles, lights, etc. is concerned, and take some amount of inspiration from that.

    Once your get your setup done initially, post a profile pic of yoursef on the Bacchetta forum or BROL and folk can offer helpful critique. I will offer some. I promise to be polite.

    Good luck! You've got some stuff to sort out, but it's al do-able. You'll have to get crackin', though.

    -Tom

  11. #11
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    Have fun out there.

    I rode PBP07 on a bike I first saw a day beforehand. There were a few stops to tweak saddle height and to tighten various bolts. Otherwise it was fine. YMMV

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