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  1. #1
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    70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB

    I'm planning to ride the Pisgah Monstercross and I could use some opinions from clydesdales regarding this.

    I'll be about 230 lbs. on race day and the ride is about 40 miles of gravel, with some long gravel descents and 30 miles of paved road.

    I can ride my hakkalugi disc, but even with this, I feel like I'm getting beat up on the gravel descents and can blow a tire at any time (although I haven't). I'm thinking about getting a new wheel set to run tubeless and using some 30mm tires to run for this race and getting my cable disc brakes changed to hydraulic.

    My other option would be to ride my SC Highball 29er HT and maybe swap out my Fox Float 120mm fork for a rigid fork and find some suitable tires to use on my ENVE XC wheels that will be suitable for 30 miles on the road.

    If any of you have been through this before, I appreciate your advice/input. Thanks.
    BTW, I'm looking to finish and have fun as my primary goal.

  2. #2
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    70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB

    While I don't have any experience with this race nor being a Clyde, my current set up might be of interest. Been trying out some skinny knobbies on my rigid el mariachi, running a bonti CX0 29x38c on the rear and a bonti XR0 29x1.9 front. I've been doing a lot of park-to-park rides here in the east bay, and was curious about running more of a monster cross setup. Turns out the combo is quite good: very fast, pretty good traction on the hard pack fire roads and ST (not so great on the loose stuff tho). Seems like it might be a good combo for you. Maybe just increase air pressure in the fork as a little suspension might be nice.

  3. #3
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    There's a similar race up here called the Iron Cross with 100k/50k options. A lot of gravel, and PA singletrack. If I do it (I doubt I will, but w/e), I think I'd be better off on my MTB. Bigger tires, better brakes. My CX bike is only a little bit lighter than my MTB.

    Highball rigid with some fast tires (Small Block 8 or similar, Ikons, etc) would be fun!

  4. #4
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    Personally, if I need tires wider than 35mm, I grab my 29er (rigid). With the right tires (SB8, etc), it's efficient and offers better control and comfort.

    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  5. #5
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    70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    Personally, if I need tires wider than 35mm, I grab my 29er (rigid). With the right tires (SB8, etc), it's efficient and offers better control and comfort.

    Got a very similar set up /\ (this is with the fat rubber)

  6. #6
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    Re: 70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss View Post
    I'm planning to ride the Pisgah Monstercross and I could use some opinions from clydesdales regarding this.

    I'll be about 230 lbs. on race day and the ride is about 40 miles of gravel, with some long gravel descents and 30 miles of paved road.

    I can ride my hakkalugi disc, but even with this, I feel like I'm getting beat up on the gravel descents and can blow a tire at any time (although I haven't). I'm thinking about getting a new wheel set to run tubeless and using some 30mm tires to run for this race and getting my cable disc brakes changed to hydraulic.

    My other option would be to ride my SC Highball 29er HT and maybe swap out my Fox Float 120mm fork for a rigid fork and find some suitable tires to use on my ENVE XC wheels that will be suitable for 30 miles on the road.

    If any of you have been through this before, I appreciate your advice/input. Thanks.
    BTW, I'm looking to finish and have fun as my primary goal.
    Never change your basic set up just before a big event. You are just asking for trouble.
    I would not recommend going tubeless with cross tires in any case. You still need enough pressure to keep the rim off the ground, and at your weight that increases the chance of the tire blowing off.

    Either run the biggest tires that fit the cross bike, or run the MTB with "fast" tires you are confident riding on gravel.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  7. #7
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    Re: 70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB

    I did 3 gravel grinders this year on a 29er HT with Race Kings.

    The first race I would prefer the 29er due to all the snow.

    The last 2 races i would totally prefer a CX bike with the lightest rotational I'd be comfortable with.

    Next year I might even look into taking my road bike if conditions allow.

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  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the responses! I think I'll try some Kenda SM8's on the mtb next month on some the gravel descent's I'll be doing in the race and see how it goes. From there, I may try a rigid fork to save some weight. I will plan to have everything dialed in at least a month before the race.

    I'll probably just leave my Hakkalugi set up as it is and use it for CX races in the fall and as a back up road bike.

  9. #9
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    Here's my current setup: 2011 Stumpy EVO 1x10 with a Niner carbon fork. Rolling on WTB Nano 700x40's on Stan's Arch EX wheelset. Currently using it set up this way to train for an up coming road century in July.

    Love these tires, they roll super fast on the road and grip ok on the dirt.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB-image.jpg  

    70 mile gravel grander-CX bike or MTB-image.jpg  


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