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Yesterday it wasn't hills that beat me up, it was the mush.

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Yesterday it wasn't hills that beat me up, it was the mush.

Old 07-04-14, 07:27 AM
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Yesterday it wasn't hills that beat me up, it was the mush.

I did a 50-mile gravel ride on a fairly flat route yesterday and had a great time. We've had a lot of rain here (like much of the country) over the past six weeks or so and the roads only had about a day to dry out. Many of the rural roads and trails in my area are sandy or loose gravel and yesterday everything was especially soft. It ended up being a slow ride on some of the minimum maintenance roads and trails. Even the "good" gravel roads were softer than usual. I didn't notice it too much during the ride but I can't believe how sore my legs are this morning. I must have had emphasis on different muscle groups than usual as well because I really feel it in my calves and butt. Good workout but I was surprised just how much work it was.

I have been considering going from my current 40mm Schwalbe Smart Sams to 34mm Bontrager CX0s which are significantly lighter, but after an afternoon in the wet sand, I'm thinking the wider tire isn't a bad thing. There were a few spots where I was wishing I had a fat bike.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:51 AM
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I just built up a mid nineties Diamondback Apex as a rigid 1 by 8 and fitted the fattest tyres the frame could handle (2.3 Specialized)... has been incredible on gravel trails and in the mushy places as it offers enough float for my 145 pound butt to barely leave a track.

I don't think it would handle sand like my Pugsley did but on forest trails which are often soft loam and mulch it runs out very well.

It is like a baby fat bike...

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Old 07-05-14, 07:41 AM
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I have a Surly Straggler with 41 series Knards. They are a little much for paved roads and trails but when I was on a crushed limestone trail that was rain soft they were great. I know what you mean about the mush wearing you down, but then that is pRt of the fun of Gravel Grinding.

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Old 07-05-14, 07:45 AM
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I just built up a gravel bike (a 93 XO-2) and I'm running 26 x 1.5 tires. I doubt I can fit a much fatter tire. I like 65er's idea though of running fat tires on a vintage mtb. Who needs an expensive adventure bike when there are so many great vintage mtbs out there that just need a bit of TLC to get going again.
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Old 07-05-14, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I just built up a gravel bike (a 93 XO-2) and I'm running 26 x 1.5 tires. I doubt I can fit a much fatter tire. I like 65er's idea though of running fat tires on a vintage mtb. Who needs an expensive adventure bike when there are so many great vintage mtbs out there that just need a bit of TLC to get going again.
I started with the rather light racing frame which is built on a True Temper TT Lite tubeset (short butted OX2)... the bike came in at a speck under 25 pounds which is pretty close to my Moulden which is also rigid but is set up for more hard pack and back roads.

I had a number of tyres I was thinking of using but those Specialized Fast Track and Ground Control tyres are an excellent combination for speed and handling on pretty much any kind of surface and the ride quality is very good.

And it is hella fun to ride.
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Old 07-10-14, 12:10 PM
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I did West Side Dirty Benjamin (gravel century) on my CX bike a few weeks ago on Kenda Small block 8's (700c x 38, 120 tpi) it rained like hell all morning and the roads were peanut butter all day. Other than the off road "braaaaap" sections which parts of were only passable on foot, the Kenda SB8's did really well in the mush and they are great on pavement. I also rode them on some single track last weekend in northern Wisco. Handled everything with confidence except the deep sand sections. Only my fat bike would have survived those bits. I don't have a lot to compare them to, but I do really think they are a solid all-around choice.
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Old 07-10-14, 09:31 PM
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...and tomorrow it will be the crosswinds. That is life...KEEP ROLLING
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