Gravel Grinder 100+ mile bike pics/setups
What are you using CX, Monstercross, 29er? How about trick set ups? Needc to see pics to get an idea. Thanks.
I haven't raced a gravel grinder, but I do unsupported 100+ mile rides on the gravel and dirt roads of the Medicine and Roosevelt National Forests (southern Wyoming and Northern Colorado) several times a summer. My picture isn't really that informative, so in summary I use my cyclocross bike and 32c touring tires, 46/36 rings in front and 12-25 9 speed cassette in back -- gets me up any road and it being the mountains some of the climbs are long. The Panaracer Pasela touring tires are light, tough, and roll really well and traction in gravel and dirt isn't an issue. I use to play with cyclocross tires an wider tires, but they're just slower overall. There might be 1 to 5% of a ride where knobs or wider tires might help, the vast majority of time they'd be a liability. The seat bag contains a multi-tool, an inner tube, a patch kit, tire irons. A pump is mounted on the frame. In my back pockets I carry a second tube, a rain jacket, food, and a 1 liter bladder filled with water. With the two bottles on the bike, I've managed over 100 miles without support (not a lot of options to refuel where I live and ride).
If I were to do the Tour Divide course, I'd pick differently (a 29er with a Ti fork, small knobbed 2.0 tires like the Nanoraptor or Small Block 8). But for authentic gravel and dirt roads, hard to beat a cyclocross bike that fits.
"The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...
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