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  1. #1
    Lazy People Suck
    Reputation: Fett's Avatar
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    Which Bike for a Gravel Grovel Race Coming Up?

    I am doing the Sub9 Gravel Grovel in Brown County, Indiana. It is 62 miles, mostly gravel, about 4 miles of trail, and another 4-5 miles of unimproved road that can be really be consider a trail, along with about 4-5 miles of pavement. It has 7 Cat5 climbs in it and about 4200ft of climbing. They have recently dumped alot of fresh gravel on large portions of the course, so alot of it could be pretty loose.

    Which bike do I ride:

    1)Rigid Carbon Trek Superfly hardtail. All carbon with XTR and King wheels with carbon clinchers and Stan's Raven 2.0 tires.

    2)Trek X0 crossbike, Bontrager Race Tubeless wheels with Maxxis Raze 700x35 tires set up tubeless. 105 components, MiniVs.

    Both are 19-20lbs. I know the singletrack and unimproved road well and can rip it with Superfly and make up ground. I am also thinking the bigger tires will handle the loose gravel better, so I can be a kamikaze on the descents.

    BUT is it enough to make up for just the overall lower rolling resistance and aero position of a cross bike. I am primarily a mountain biker, but am comfortable on both bikes. Wheel/tire weight is roughly equal as the mountain bike wheels are a couple hundred gram lighter than the lower end Cross wheels to make up for the heavier tire weight.

    Anyone been in this situation on a gravel race?
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ser jameson's Avatar
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    I'd use the cross bike.

  3. #3
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    I think it depends on your goals. Do you plan to win your age group, or are you planning to just finish the 62 miles? What are the past winners using? How is you level of fitness and what about the gearing on each bike? I have done a few gravel races and at 60 years of age, I am just trying to finish. On loose gravel with that kind of elevation, I ride my MTB. Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    Cross Bike. I did a bigger (more elevation same distance) one around here (NC) on my hardtail and got schooled by the cross guys.

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