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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-15-17, 07:46 PM   #1
vintagerando 
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Training bike vs "competition" bike

Hi. I have steadily increased my mileage of the last eight months. I am putting in on average 500 miles a month. I DNF on an organized 200 km ridea while ago, maybe 2 yrs. I have not made another attempt since. I was riding a steel Rawland Stag with front bag, and seat bag. I true touring setup. This coming Spring I plan to take a shot at a 200k, maybe a 400k. The bike I have been using over the past year is a carbon Giant Defy Advanced 0. Looking way into the future.....it seems this is not a great bike for equipping for long rides; it will be a challenge to attach bags, fenders, etc. So, am I doing myself a disservice by training on this bike if, in the future, I will need to change to a different bike for 200k, 400k organized rides?
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Old 10-15-17, 07:50 PM   #2
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Adding to my original post.....The other possibility is to figure out a way to make the Giant Defy work as a distance touring ride.
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Old 10-15-17, 08:09 PM   #3
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I don't think there's any compelling reason to switch bikes if you're trageting a 200k/400k. Get a frame bag and/or a rackless handlebar bag, some clip-on fenders, battery powered lights and you'll be fine. A lot of long distance riding is done on bagless/fenderless bikes.

I'm of the thought that it's better to ride what your have (while reasonably prepared) to determine deficiencies and then make changes than try to start with the "perfect" set-up.
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Old 10-15-17, 09:50 PM   #4
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This is a disc bike, so there are limitations for attaching anything to front fork and rear seat stays. What is a solid brand for handlebar mounted bag? I know there are a million different handle bar bags. Any good experience with a particular brand?
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Old 10-16-17, 07:15 AM   #5
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You are getting way ahead of yourself. 200K is little more than a normal century, which requires no extra "rando" gear such as lights,fenders, racks or huge bags. There is a big difference between 200K and 400K. Depending on where you live, you should have time to get in a 200K or at least a century before it gets cold, see if distance cycling is your thing.
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Old 10-16-17, 11:07 AM   #6
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I like using the dill pickle handlebar bag, it fits on my carbon roadie without a problem. Lightweight, modern materials so it's waterproof, and rackless. It's not huge so you can't carry a change of clothes but it's got room for arm/leg warms and a whack of bars. IMO it's not enough weight to affect the handling, it also has an optional map case which is good if you use cue-sheets. I don't carry tubes or tools in my pocket, those go in tiny under-the-saddle bag.

Bikepacking type saddlebags work well on almost any kind of bike with a seatpost it seems, I've never used one so I have no idea what they are actually like. The only time I use a bigger saddle bag now is on 600K and longer rides where I am carrying a full change of kit. I've got a fendered touring bike but I do a lot of rainy brevets in the summer on my roadie without fenders, I get soaked either way around here... it's not bad when it's above 20C.

I've only been at the rando thing for 3 seasons now but I've moved toward carrying less and less stuff in general.
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Old 10-16-17, 11:28 AM   #7
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Around here (north Texas), for 3/4 of the year, you don't need anything special really to go ride a 200k. So yeah, any bike that's reasonably comfortable will work.
If you live some place with large temperature swings or where it's just cold/wet, or if part of the route is gravel, look at some other options.
I don't know if you do yourself a disservice by training on one bike and then using the other for the event, but it's helpful to get any bugs worked out of your bike setup before you do the longer rides. IE, best to have some miles on it before you jump into a 400k.
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Old 10-16-17, 11:36 AM   #8
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Specificity and Adaption to a particular machine for long efforts is a lesson I learned long ago from the adage "Train like you race, race like you train." Although I have bikes set-up to be as close to identical as possible in terms of fit and contact points getting as much seat time on my actual LD bike as practical before a LD ride makes a big difference in quelling those little nagging "issues" that arise late in a hard/long day.

That being said if you have a machine built up to your specs as the dedicated LD bike it will require the testing that long endurance rides, hill/power work and in lousy weather provide. Seat time will give the answer to "Is this the LD machine for me at my fitness level and for the distances/terrain I'll ride"? Sometimes the answer is "No" or "Not Quite" and the iterative process of modification or replacing a machine based on lessons learned begins. Only seat time can tell and there is no one right "type" of LD machine for everyone although there certainly are hardware fads that come and go.

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Old 10-16-17, 03:05 PM   #9
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I do the vast majority of my spring training on a Wabi Lightening SE fixed-gear and my brevets on a Jamis Aurora Elite touring bike which is obviously set up quite differently than the Wabi.

I would ride a 200k, maybe a 300k on the Giant. 400k and longer, I'd take the Rawland. I'd probably take the Rawland on the shorter distances also to make sure everything was dialed in.
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Old 10-16-17, 05:49 PM   #10
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thanks for all the responses.
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Old 10-16-17, 06:20 PM   #11
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There's no substitute for bonding with the machine you'll be using on your brevets as mentioned above, but I find value in riding a variety of bikes. My fixed-gear teaches/reminds me how to dig deep on climbs. My go-fast bike which is set up with lower bars than the others forces me to work on my flexibility.
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Old 10-16-17, 09:33 PM   #12
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Use the Defy. Lots of bikes like the Defy are used successfully by randonneurs. Sure, it's nice to have a bike that is better suited to randonneuring, but for a 200k, it's no big deal. And the performance is probably better than many of the rando-specific bikes
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Old 10-25-17, 06:29 AM   #13
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Whether you complete an event depends more on how you train for it than what bike you ride. That includes learning when and how how much too eat, what pace to keep, how long to keep your stops, etc. What bike you ride is secondary (within reason). Just make sure it fits you (handlebar height, reach, seat height, etc) and you have a saddle that works for you.

For four seasons I rode all my randonnes (200 km to 600 km) on my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket folding bike. A guy in our club makes a point of showing up for each randonnee he joins on a different bike, riding anything from a Surly fat bike with 4 inch tires to a 7 speed shopping bike to a 26" MTB.

I've done many of my 200 km randonnees with just a small handlebar bag (just big enough for tools, one spare tube and a USB battery) plus a seatpost bag or saddle bag to bring food, jackets, etc. You're not going to be riding through the night or across a huge variety of terrain in a 200 km.

Having more carrying capacity becomes important only on the longer rides where you might need more clothes or be prepared for changing weather.

Get some experience riding long distance before you spend money on a different bike when you already have one. The practical experience will help you understand what it is that need for the job.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:18 PM   #14
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I've used my carbon Trek for all my rando work. I never needed any more carrying capacity than an ordinary large saddle bag, and I carry much more food with me than do most folks. Rather than ride a slow bike, buy faster (lighter, more compact) extra gear.
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Old 10-31-17, 05:54 PM   #15
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This is a disc bike, so there are limitations for attaching anything to front fork and rear seat stays. What is a solid brand for handlebar mounted bag? I know there are a million different handle bar bags. Any good experience with a particular brand?
Check out EO Gear bags. They mount on the seat post and are sized from 2.3L (classic Ford, 4 cylinder engine block size! oops, wrong forum...) to almost 10 with a 7L in there as well.
Otherwise if you're comfortable your Giant stick with it.
I'm thinking of a "rando rig" as well - mostly because i can but also because I've heard it's a courtesy when riding rando and brevet. Great excuse for another bike
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Old 11-06-17, 03:22 PM   #16
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I'm thinking of a "rando rig" as well - mostly because i can but also because I've heard it's a courtesy when riding rando and brevet. Great excuse for another bike
What does this (bolded part) mean?
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Old 11-06-17, 03:45 PM   #17
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Giant Defy is a great bike for long distance/audax rides .... get some Apidura bags, dynamo lights, a decent saddle, tubeless ready rims with good tubeless tyres such as IRC or Hutchinson 28 and you can ride Indipac or similar long distane rides

this is the sort of setup that you can achieve:

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Old 11-06-17, 08:14 PM   #18
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What does this (bolded part) mean?
I've spoken with some randonneurs and they said it's bad form to ride without full fenders. Anyone riding behind you gets sprayed on wet pavement - I can see the point. I don't think the seat post mounted fenders will do since it's more about not spraying the person behind you.
I'll know for sure next season when I show up on my Evo!
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Old 11-06-17, 08:25 PM   #19
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I've spoken with some randonneurs and they said it's bad form to ride without full fenders. Anyone riding behind you gets sprayed on wet pavement - I can see the point. I don't think the seat post mounted fenders will do since it's more about not spraying the person behind you.
I'll know for sure next season when I show up on my Evo!
Ah ok. I know what you are saying, and you are right. Fenders certainty are polite. I think I was confused because you didn't actually mention fenders. I have fenders on several bikes but none of them are what most folks would consider to be a classic rando bike. And it takes more that fenders to meet the rando bike stereotype, if thats what you like.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:00 PM   #20
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depends on the customs where you live. Very few of the randos I ride with have fenders. And we live in a temperate zone rain forest. Ok, so technically not correct, but it rains here.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:21 PM   #21
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I have fenders and I live in the desert. They keep the trash off my chain and they kept me from getting sprayed with cold rain on the last brevet I did, where I got hailed and rained on at the same time, while pedaling into a headwind and up hill (seriously). Are they absolutely necessary for randonneuring? Definitely not; the two other people I rode with that day did not have them at all and they did just fine.

To answer your original question, ride whatever bike makes you happy enough to ride that day. Go on 80+ mile rides regularly; that seems to be where my hydration and nutrition deficit kicks in if I'm not careful. Get used to riding whatever bike you choose at those distances and you'll have no problem completing a 200k with hours to spare. Time limits are not a concern as long as you keep your control stops to no more than about 20-30 minutes and keep moving.

Do you keep track of your average speed now? If you can average even 12 mph over the course of a 50+ mile ride, you should have no problem finishing if you don't have a nasty mechanical.
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Old 11-07-17, 01:10 AM   #22
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some (not all) of the Audax rides in the UK require fenders mainly due to the fact that people will/may be riding behind you. On the details /description of the ride, they will stipulate that fenders are mandatory. I use my Giant TCR (carbon framed) bike, and I will be getting Crud clip on's for these rides.



it is also often suggested that your rear lights should be set on constant mode (not flashing)
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Old 11-07-17, 06:04 PM   #23
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... And it takes more that fenders to meet the rando bike stereotype, if thats what you like.
Agreed - though the majority of us aren't too concerned with stereotypes. Which leads me to...

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depends on the customs where you live. Very few of the randos I ride with have fenders. And we live in a temperate zone rain forest. Ok, so technically not correct, but it rains here.
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately you are taking away my justification for a Ti framed bike! All I have to fall back on now is the 'n+1' rule...
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Old 11-07-17, 06:56 PM   #24
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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to mislead you. Of course you need a new Ti bike that will fit fenders or be banished to the 'C' ride at your local bike shop.
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Old 11-07-17, 07:58 PM   #25
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Agreed - though the majority of us aren't too concerned with stereotypes.
All I will say is that the true definition of a 'rando rig' is one that is ridden on randonees. And by that measure, almost any bike is a rando rig. Truely. After that there are only preferences. Ride what you like. Chances are that will evolve over time as well.
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