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  1. #1
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    Gravel bike worth it in Ventura/LA?

    I consider my self a cyclist more then a mtn biker. I got a road bike I love, a mtn bike (that is better then my skills) that I don't really love, and an interest in getting a gravel/cross bike. I live on the border of T.O. and Simi and looking to explore more of the area between Simi and Fillmore/Piru and other places like that. The only issue is lots of the fire roads can get really step so I'm not sure of the ride-ability of a lot of those areas. Same thing applies to the Angeles Crest. The only other thought is that some of the places I ride the most, like Cheseboro and Sycamore, are mostly smooth trails where this type of bike would work fine.

    Anyone get a gravel/cross bike and find they never used it or really loved it in Ventura or LA county?

  2. #2
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    When I lived in WLA, I used to go for a weekly ride in the evenings up Sullivan Ridge and pretty much every week, I got DUSTED by a couple guys on cross bikes. They passed me on the uphill as though we were on flat ground and I was standing still. It actually seems to me that a cross bike would be perfectly suited for all the fire roads, if you were into that sort of riding.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  3. #3
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    Up in Ventura off the 33 out of the north end is a road called Sulfer Mountain Road. When I first got into MTB that was the place I learned how to pedal, it is just a long gentle grade fire road and would be perfect for cyclecross. I only ever road a few miles up and then back down, but I hear it goes much further.

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  4. #4
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    political comment my ass
    Last edited by 2w4s; 5 Days Ago at 12:36 PM.
    nothing witty here...

  5. #5
    Dirty triathlete
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    Put road tires on your mountain bike sell the road bike, problem solved.

    Redlands Strada Rossa Ride: March 18, 2017

  6. #6
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    You can't really explore the hills between Simi and Piru. Maybe once they open up Los Alamos Canyon then you'll be able to. Also the trails in those areas are in a bit of disrepair so while you might be able to ride a cross bike it might not provide for the most comfortable experience.

    Also you can encounter some decent climbs that a cross bike isn't geared well for. I'd pick a lightweight HT instead. Much better gearing even at 32/36 f/r than a cross. And wider tires which help with grip.

    I've ridden a cross bike on a lot of trails but with the gearing and tire width, out of seat climbing is a lesson in futility as it's nearly impossible to keep traction on the sand over hardpack.

  7. #7
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    Get a gravel bike that can handle some 50mm+ tires, and get a triple crank (yes, I'm old skool) if you want to ride instead of push up the steeper bits. I'm looking at a Vaya myself. None of the roads/trails in Pt. Mugu, except Hell Hill, require a little ring. Many of the Angeles Crest fire roads can be done in the middle ring. Locally, the Dough Flat road out of Fillmore (north end of Goodenough Road) goes on for freakin' ever, and is pretty darn pretty right now. Happy Camp Canyon is a quick (muddy, right now) loop, but when the ground dries out there are some sandy bits that will make 50mm+ tires attractive. Happy exploring!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by unaware View Post
    You can't really explore the hills between Simi and Piru. Maybe once they open up Los Alamos Canyon then you'll be able to. Also the trails in those areas are in a bit of disrepair so while you might be able to ride a cross bike it might not provide for the most comfortable experience.

    Also you can encounter some decent climbs that a cross bike isn't geared well for. I'd pick a lightweight HT instead. Much better gearing even at 32/36 f/r than a cross. And wider tires which help with grip.

    I've ridden a cross bike on a lot of trails but with the gearing and tire width, out of seat climbing is a lesson in futility as it's nearly impossible to keep traction on the sand over hardpack.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1 View Post
    Get a gravel bike that can handle some 50mm+ tires, and get a triple crank (yes, I'm old skool) if you want to ride instead of push up the steeper bits. Happy exploring!
    Thanks for the replies. The bike I'm looking comes with a 40 x 11/42 1x, 40c tires spec. Not sure the max width tire it will take. I think I might hold off till I get my fitness better by riding my other bikes more.

  9. #9
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    Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades.

  10. #10
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    I live in NP and ride my Slate all over. I geared it down so I can climb all but the steepest trails. I like to connect roads and trails to create all kinds of loops on all types of terrain.
    Some of my fav loops include: Chesebro/Las Virgennes/Grasslands/Malibu Creek/Paramount Ranch/Liberty Canyon.
    I ride it in Sycamore Cyn a lot, but I avoid Guad and Overlook as they are too rough and steep. I often climb Westlake to Mullie, jump on the Backbone Trail West to Yerba, down Yerba to the coast and then ride up Sycamore back home.
    Backbone is fun and easy from Encinal West to Yerba.
    East Los Robles from Moorpark Rd to Westlake is fun... lot's of up and down.
    Sulphur Mtn in Ojai was mentioned, that would be beautiful and green right now. It's a perfect ride on the Gravel Bike.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

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