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Renting gravel, 29er, cross bike?

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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.

Renting gravel, 29er, cross bike?

Old 12-08-14, 11:52 AM
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Renting gravel, 29er, cross bike?

I have some buddies that are planning on doing the dirty kanza 200 in 2015. The bikes I have are a 2007 Trek 1500, 2008 Trek 7.3 fx, 2013 Cannondale CAAD10, 2003ish Cannondale CAAD r600 or something like that.

Of the above bikes, would it not be wise to use either of those? If not, I don't think I can get the 'approval' to buy a gravel, 29er or cross bike at this point from the wife. Is it possible to rent bikes from somewhere for a week? Wondering if that would be an option. If not, anybody know of some super cheap deals on a bike that can fit tires that would be able to handle the gravel found in the dirty kanza?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 12-08-14, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by kevmk81
I have some buddies that are planning on doing the dirty kanza 200 in 2015. The bikes I have are a 2007 Trek 1500, 2008 Trek 7.3 fx, 2013 Cannondale CAAD10, 2003ish Cannondale CAAD r600 or something like that.

Of the above bikes, would it not be wise to use either of those? If not, I don't think I can get the 'approval' to buy a gravel, 29er or cross bike at this point from the wife. Is it possible to rent bikes from somewhere for a week? Wondering if that would be an option. If not, anybody know of some super cheap deals on a bike that can fit tires that would be able to handle the gravel found in the dirty kanza?

Thanks for any advice!
By super cheap I'm talking less than 300. :-o
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Old 12-08-14, 12:21 PM
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The DK200 is not just some gran fondo or charity ride. Be sure that you carefully read the fine print before you sign up. I believe 32mm would be a lower limit to reasonable tire choice. I think it would be unwise to ride a rental bike, because you should be field-testing your gear leading up to the event.
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Old 12-08-14, 12:22 PM
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This monster-cross bike has good wheels, 3x9 Shimano divetrain and disc brakes. It can fit a 700x40 or larger tire. It fits the profile.
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Old 12-08-14, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by flargle
The DK200 is not just some gran fondo or charity ride. Be sure that you carefully read the fine print before you sign up. I believe 32mm would be a lower limit to reasonable tire choice. I think it would be unwise to ride a rental bike, because you should be field-testing your gear leading up to the event.
They also run a 100 mile event the same day.

100 miles in the Flint Hills of Kansas equals 125 miles on the KATY Trail.
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Old 12-08-14, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by flargle
The DK200 is not just some gran fondo or charity ride. Be sure that you carefully read the fine print before you sign up. I believe 32mm would be a lower limit to reasonable tire choice. I think it would be unwise to ride a rental bike, because you should be field-testing your gear leading up to the event.
No no, I totally realize it's not a gran fondo or charity ride. Nothing wrong with thinking, I've got the fitness - or definitely will by then, find somewhere that have trusted models to rent, put some pedals on, adjust the saddle, bars, etc... to match the fit from my road bikes. Yearly I put in over 5000 miles. Pretty sure I've got the fitness to finish. Just need the gear. I do understand the 'must field test' thing though, which couldn't be done with a rented bike.

On another hand, would a my trek 7.3 fx do ok enough? I've got Schwalbe Marathon studded winter tires on it right now. 700x35c. I don't know how well the 7.3 fx frame would do though for a ride that long.
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Old 12-08-14, 01:39 PM
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AFAIK the 7.3 is the only bike in your stable that takes a bigger tire than 25mm, so right there it's your only choice, but really it's set up for commuting/comfort riding.

I would start poking around for a used cyclocross bike or 29er hardtail. It's a good time of year to start looking. Perhaps selling one or two of your road bikes would gain you some financial and spousal credit.
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Old 12-08-14, 04:44 PM
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Some one posted "renting" a Wall Mart Bike rode it a while then brought it back and got a Refund.
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Old 12-08-14, 08:21 PM
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I would take some of the drivetrain and other parts (drop bars, saddle, seatpost, stem, wheels) from one of your road bikes and put it on your Trek hybrid. Then run some wider tires (700x35 or larger) on the hybrid, and you'd probably have something rideable on gravel that isn't grossly overweight. The only issue you might have is gearing - unless your road bikes have compact cranks and a wider range cassette (say and 11-28), you may end up with gearing that is too high for gravel. A 53/39 crankset would simply not work well for the lower speeds you have on gravel roads. You could always buy a cheap compact of cyclocross crankset too.

If you are serious about the event, I'd sell some of your bikes or other stuff to come up with the money for a dedicated gravel bike. On a event like the DK, you are going to want a bike you can be on for 14+ hours. Plus, I think you have some pretty nice gravel roads up there in NE Missouri that you could really enjoy on a gravel bike.
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Old 12-11-14, 12:40 PM
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Craigslist. People are selling cross bikes in STL right now if you're patient. Or put drop bars on the Trek 7.3.

If you can't find a cross bike that will work -- consider doing a drop bar MTB conversions https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...nversions.html

Find an old Rockhopper or something, slap a $20 bar and some $70 bar ends on there and hit the road. I've done something like this and if I didn't have the cross bike I'd feel perfectly comfortable using it on the DK.

I don't live too far from the Flint Hills and I used to live in them. I went down there a few weeks ago and did 75 miles just to see if 200 miles is realistic. I rode my steel cross bike with 38s. I was fine. You don't need a real aggressive tread -- yeah the roads are rough, but they're still roads.

I'm lucky that the guy who has won the DK multiple times also runs my LBS - he told me a lot of flats happen because people go too fast at the bottom of hills on the creek crossings & cattle guard crossings; that's where all the big chunks of gravel end up because of gravity. Granted I only did one ride down there but I took it easy at the bottom of hills and I didn't flat.
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