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Gravel races??

Old 08-28-06, 01:15 PM
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briscoelab
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Gravel races??

Anyone here ever done some gravel road races? There seem to be a lot of those around here during the fall/winter months. I'm debating on trying one with my older road bike, maybe seeing if I can fit some 27c tires on there. Maybe I should just get a cross bike and be done with it
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Old 08-28-06, 02:23 PM
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First of all, get a cross bike. You'll ride it more often than you think, especially if there are a lot of dirt roads near you. It really extends your season.

Most riders that took part in the Cone Azalia race here in Michigan in April used regular road bikes with beefy tires.
Or I should say, the ones who used beefy tires did much better than those who used regular tires.

I was amazed at the fact that many of the riders in the Pro-1-2 race were racing their "good bike".

Carry a spare tube with you in the race, because race support with be non-existent, and you'll be stranded by the road for a while. Basically, if you flat, you're done. You just want to get back to the S/F area.
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Old 08-28-06, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
First of all, get a cross bike. You'll ride it more often than you think, especially if there are a lot of dirt roads near you. It really extends your season.

Most riders that took part in the Cone Azalia race here in Michigan in April used regular road bikes with beefy tires.
Or I should say, the ones who used beefy tires did much better than those who used regular tires.

I was amazed at the fact that many of the riders in the Pro-1-2 race were racing their "good bike".

Carry a spare tube with you in the race, because race support with be non-existent, and you'll be stranded by the road for a while. Basically, if you flat, you're done. You just want to get back to the S/F area.
You dont need a cross bike for a gravel road race. They are nice but a gravel road race doesnt justify the cost. Run the 27's if you can fit them and use high pressure. at the cone azalia I got away with 23's but most people using them flatted in the first couple miles of bad roads.

whats wrong with racing your "good bike"? Its a very competitive race and most of it is on paved roads including the sprint
I advise against using good wheels unless they are very strong, but the bike didnt take any damage.
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Old 08-29-06, 06:22 AM
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One think noticable on the Dirt roads around here (MI) is the much steeper grades on short hills and in general more rollers. Due to lack of or different construction standards. Makes for some fun riding, great for training.
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Old 08-29-06, 06:38 AM
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I'm totally in favor of racing "good bikes" on dirt. I was 'amazed' because most riders I know tend to baby their bikes obsessively.

And I only suggested he buy a 'cross bike because they're fun, and good to train on in the winter.
Or maybe even race 'cross with them.
(That last line is a friendly jab at all my friends who have 'cross bikes but never race them.)
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Old 08-29-06, 07:26 AM
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There is a race here in the Spring that features about 2 miles of dirt road w/gravel on a ~10 mile loop. Everybody uses good bikes. I rode Zipp 404s with Conti Comp Tubs NP.
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Old 08-29-06, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. Any idea how large of tubulars will typically fit in a "standard" road bike? I guess I just need to order up some tires and start experimenting. I know I want a CX bike to do some cross races anyhow... just need to come up with some cash
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Old 08-29-06, 08:54 AM
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flythebike -- Poolsville?

If it is all gravell I'd use my cross bike but if it's just gravel sections I'd use my road bike. I ride gravel roads all the time but then I don't baby my bike either.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
flythebike -- Poolsville?

If it is all gravell I'd use my cross bike but if it's just gravel sections I'd use my road bike. I ride gravel roads all the time but then I don't baby my bike either.
These would be all gravel.... some on more "dirt" roads with some gravel... and others on real gravel roads, where it will be a little loose.

Do you typically run nobby cross tires? or wider road tires (like Vittoria Pave) in terrain like this?
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Old 08-29-06, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
flythebike -- Poolsville?

If it is all gravell I'd use my cross bike but if it's just gravel sections I'd use my road bike. I ride gravel roads all the time but then I don't baby my bike either.
Yeah I'm just talkin' Poolesville. Just 23s.

Whole different ballgame if you're talkin' deep gravel.
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