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Bike suggestion - for both general usage and off road

Old 01-18-22, 06:30 PM
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Cramic
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Bike suggestion - for both general usage and off road

Hi all,

Iím mainly a road cyclist, using a Giant TCR, but have signed up for the following event:

https://tourofmargaretriver.com/seven/

It will be 170km of ďThe route has only 2.6kms of single track at the finish and virtually no fire trails. All the roads used in SEVEN are unpaved and well-formed with a mix of dirt, gravel, hard-packed clay, quartz grit and mica. They wind, climb, switchback and descend through pine plantations, state forest and farms. The best way we can describe the roads of SEVEN is ďparallel single trackĒ. They are exciting, challenging and magnificent to ride.Ē with 3000m of gain and gradients up to 20%.

I donít expect to be doing this sort of cycling often, so donít want to break the bank and am thinking hiring something suitable might be the way to go.

But, in addition, Iíd also like a more general usage bike to use as my sons grow older. Something that I could perhaps attract a trailer to. The TCR and full cycling gear seems a bit silly if Iím just tootling around with small children.

Is there anything that would tick both boxes?

Thanks and hopefully not too silly a question!
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Old 01-18-22, 06:34 PM
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PeteHski
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They all seem to be riding it on XC mountain bikes, except for the guy walking his gravel bike up a hill!
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Old 01-18-22, 08:56 PM
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This probably a bit far fetched, but I thought I would post it. I don't ride gravel so I am open to as much ridicule as can be given.

BF won't let me post the link so you'll have to search Google for:
Tire Recommendations - Partial Gravel Ride w/ TCR Road Bike



Since I'm not riding it, possibly a 650b wheelset with 40mm tires, a GRX RD running a 36t to an 11-42, and at least 10 lbs of frame protection tape.

John

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Old 01-19-22, 12:10 AM
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I would think that several Surly models (Midnight Special, Cross Check, Karate Monkey) would be suitable choices. None are gonna win races, but they all take wide tires, have great storage capability, and can run all manner of gears. They're not super-expensive, and they're durable as hell, perfect for trailering the kids around and eventually riding with them. Kona would be another brand I'd look at, the Rove and Sutra models, especially.
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Old 01-19-22, 10:40 AM
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Cramic Since you're a relatively new rider, I'd go with a more conservative choice and a "Trail" or "XC" MTB, rather than a drop-bar gravel bike. I don't know what kind of bike-handling skills you've got, but i'm going to assume that it's pretty limited regarding off-road. A 'Hardtail' MTB with front suspension and 'flat' bars will be a lot more forgiving and easier to handle, especially on fast, bumpy descents.

"Trail" MTBs are kind of your general-purpose all-arounders, definitely the most common type you'll come across, and they come in a wide range of spec (and budget) Will do fine on the trail, but be equally OK just knocking around with the kids.

"XC" bikes are highly-focused off-road racing bikes. They are fast climbers, with quick handling as well as the ability to deal with technical terrain. IF I was doing a 125-KM off road race, I'd pick something like a Cannondale Scalpel. However, these are the kinds of bikes that 'work better the harder you ride them' so they don't really make great 'around town' bikes. (also, they inhabit the upper ends of the spec sheet, so $$$$)
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Old 01-19-22, 01:20 PM
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I may have mis-understood your question(s).

Do you want to find a bike to ride SEVEN and use the same bike to pull your kids around in a trailer?

I think they are mutually exclusive.

You can pull kids in a trailer with anything from a good used road bike to an older mtb. There is no special bike for that. Been there done that.

John
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Old 01-19-22, 01:42 PM
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I would pass on this event. It requires at a minimum a gravel bike with the appropriate tires and skills that you do not have as someone who has spent all their time on perfectly flat paved roads. It is like taking a Prius on an off-road trail and hoping for the best.

My local bike shop sells used 26" mountain bikes for $250 and these would be ready to go if you have shoes for use on platform pedals but the distance will still be daunting for a novice.
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Old 01-19-22, 02:00 PM
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It will be 170km of “The route has only 2.6kms of single track at the finish and virtually no fire trails. All the roads used in SEVEN are unpaved and well-formed with a mix of dirt, gravel, hard-packed clay, quartz grit and mica. They wind, climb, switchback and descend through pine plantations, state forest and farms. The best way we can describe the roads of SEVEN is “parallel single track”. They are exciting, challenging and magnificent to ride.” with 3000m of gain and gradients up to 20%.
Hardtail XC mountain bike (120-130mm fork), 29x2.3 inch tires.
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Old 01-24-22, 01:44 AM
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Cramic
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Thanks for all the advice. Certainly given me food for thought, inc. whether to tackle the event at all.

I just so happened to go for a cycle with a good friend of mine for the first time and noticed he was on a gravel bike. He happens to be leaving for a year and said I could use his bike.

I'm thinking I might try and do a few gravel rides through February and March locally and see how I go. If all well then do SEVEN, if not pull the pin.
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