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  1. #1
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    Who's in for the 2013 Gunnison Growler? and tire advice...

    Google didn't find a thread about the 2013 edition, so here goes...

    i'm in, decided to do the half and go fast rather than worry more about pacing myself, also not that interested in riding the same loop twice. Saving energy for a fun ride the next day

    So, those with experience... should I bring my Superfly hardtail or Superfly 100? And what tires should I run? I'm under 160 and hoping the snakeskin racing ralphs will be enough to handle the rocks and avoid cuts.

    any experience, Ikon EXO vs SS RaRa's? Years ago I punctured 26er Ikon EXO's at Firecracker 50 so I'm nervous about em... but maybe they hold up better on 29? Give me some tire advice-- I wanna be light and fast but I HATE HATE HATE fixing flats, and am I too paranoid if anything under 600g makes me nervous? I ride hard, aggressive, Cat 1 pace, and enjoy descending

    Thanks for any advice, and see you out there!

    edit: also, coming from Nebraska, it would be pretty dumb to do this race on a 37t 1x10, right? I thought so.

  2. #2
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    As a midwesterner who has ridden there a few times (but never raced there), 37T might be a bit heavy... but people race it on SS. I think a 34 with a 1x10 (11x36) would make more sense.

    I always flat Schwalbe tires through the tread... having a SS won't help with that. I also don't like the RaRa's transition knob layout. I think it feels really vague when leaning it over, like it slips a bit and then catches on the cornering knobs. On loose over hard surfaces that really isn't confidence inspiring. I love Ikons though and wouldn't hesitate to run the Exo there.

  3. #3
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    I might try the new bontrager XR2 aka 29-2. Bontrager: XR2 Team Issue (Model #11866)

  4. #4
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    Hey man. I haven't raced this event, but I'll be there this year. I've ridden up that way a couple of times, as well as some of the other rocky areas here in Colo Sprgs, and I've been using the Continental X-King with Protection. They've done really well so far. I've also have really good luck with Specialized tires out here, but if this is the RF from Nebraska that I think it is, I know better than to recommend that brand!

  5. #5
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    I ran 32/19 ss 29er. Last 2 years. Also ran Ignitor EXO frt/Aspen rear. With inner tubes. 37t x 10s is probably too tall. Just my 2 cents.

  6. #6
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    I rolled 32x20 on a SS 29er last year. Racing Ralphs. Tooth size all depends on your fitness. Cameron crushed me by 21 minutes last year running a 38 front ring on his squishy FS SS.
    all single...all the time

  7. #7
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    Crazy things to keep on mind for the Growler;
    1. Most of the climbing comes in 400-500ft segments
    2. Most of the race is above 8000ft
    3. I think you will get 7000ft+ of climbing in the full Growler

    It's easy to think you are feeling great racing up those short climbs, till the altitude and distance kicks in, then Ouch.

    Think wisely about your choices. It's better to error on the side of easy rather than think you can push a hard gear it over the whole distance. Unless that's your thing.

    It's a great event on excellent trails, pick a ride that let's you enjoy all of it.

  8. #8
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    I am signed up. It is pretty hard. Did it last year. Wind was brutal. I hope to be riding 27.5 wheels then, so not sure what tires I will have.

  9. #9
    Hairshirt Rider
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    I didn't have any issues with the the racing ralphs nor did any of the other handful of folks i know who used them. Your hardtail will be faster overall and a good choice for the 1/2. If you are questioning the tall gearing you probably know the answer to that one.

  10. #10
    Team Velveeta™
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
    ... I always flat Schwalbe tires through the tread...
    Ha! I flatted a RR that way last weekend! Middle of the tread. I find Schwalbe tires wear really fast too. The Ralph was fine but not great for cornering performance. B+ for fast rolling.

    At Hartman Rocks (Growler course) a fast-rolling tire is probably the best idea. There is some chunk rock, but mostly kitty litter-ish stuff on top of hardpack. Or sand. Something with low rolling resistance in back is a good choice, but I would recommend something with some volume and knobs up front. I've been happy with the Specialized Ground Control 2.2 up front, but have to admit I haven't ridden one at Hartman.

    I won't be racing this year, but will be manning an aid station of some form out in the south hinterlands of the course. Look for bacon, PBR, and perhaps Little Debbie hand-ups. (Little Debbie the convenience store baked goods, not somebody's little sister
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  11. #11
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    I live here in Gunny and do the Growler each year. 29 HT for me, can't really think of a better race bike for out there. I used the Ikon Exo's (set-up tubeless on Crest wheels) for every single Colorado race I did last year (front & rear). I love 'em and it's a no-brainer that they're all I'll use this year too. I may use the non-exo's for leadville, but that's the only exception. I know that several teammates use them too, and I've never heard a bad word.

    I haven't used the ralphs, so can't speak to those. Last year the same rear tire (exo) lasted from april till a puncture in early August... pretty darn good.

    I'm not positive, but i think a friend who goes 1x10 uses a 32t.

  12. #12
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    Thanks guys... I think I'll stick with the 2x10, as a 37t cog is the smallest I can put on 120bcd xx crank. I was kinda looking forward to ripping it on a full suspension, but then again, the full suspension is most fun when your on constant singletrack... if there's long boring climbs, or smooth open road sections then the hardtail feels more rewarding.

    I guess reading the course descriptions, I figured the course was a lot like Mary's loop/troy built, lions loop etc in Fruita, which seems to me like a nice place for short travel full suspension...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    Thanks guys... I think I'll stick with the 2x10, as a 37t cog is the smallest I can put on 120bcd xx crank. I was kinda looking forward to ripping it on a full suspension, but then again, the full suspension is most fun when your on constant singletrack... if there's long boring climbs, or smooth open road sections then the hardtail feels more rewarding.

    I guess reading the course descriptions, I figured the course was a lot like Mary's loop/troy built, lions loop etc in Fruita, which seems to me like a nice place for short travel full suspension...
    Yo- don't worry about the course... you'll be on singletrack most of the time! Wiens throws in just enough short doubletrack connectors to keep the passing flowing. Hartmans is largely decomposed granite, which, depending on moisture, will either ride firm and packed, or drier and softer(but smooth either way). There are certain sections that are rocky and technical, and a lot of large rock outcrops, but overall it rides smooth and quite fast.

    When I recommend the hardtail, it's purely from a 'weapon of choice' racing point of view(lighest, stiffest, fastest), not comfort. A superfly 100 would be great out there too.

    As far as the fruita stuff, I would say it rides similar to marys, horsethief, steves, but without the long rough slow stuff like Macks.

    Good Luck !

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Crazy things to keep on mind for the Growler;
    1. Most of the climbing comes in 400-500ft segments.
    What is the pitch in most of these climbs? Mellow, steep, really steep?


    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I won't be racing this year, but will be manning an aid station of some form out in the south hinterlands of the course. Look for bacon, PBR, and perhaps Little Debbie hand-ups. (Little Debbie the convenience store baked goods, not somebody's little sister
    ha, I'll look for ya Tom. White Satori, loves the bacon
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  15. #15
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    I am doing the half growler and trying to figure out what bike to race. I've never ridden western colorado so I am open to any suggestion. I am a midwesterner so I am sure the altitude and steep climbs are gonna hurt me a little.

    Do I race the <21lb Specialized 29er carbon hardtail with XX 2x10. Or do I race a <24lb salsa spearfish that is currently set up with a 32 tooth 1x10 (11-36). I do have the parts to make the spearfish a 2x10 for the race if the 1x10 isnt enough. I would be racing the same carbon roval wheels on either bike.
    One of my issues is that I have not really ridden the spearfish yet. Just completed the build yesterday, but so far it feels pretty fast and fun. Ive ridden a hardtail the entire time I have biked, so I definitely like the appeal of having a little squish in the back. I think I can probably get 1-2 really good sessions on the spearfish before the race to get it tuned in.

    So what do you guys reccommend, carbon hardtail or the spearfish? And do you think a 1x10 with a 32 tooth is fine for gunnison, or would you recommend the range of the 2x10?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  16. #16
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    I would go with the HT. 32t 1x will work fine.

  17. #17
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    I won't be racing this year, but will be manning an aid station of some form out in the south hinterlands of the course. Look for bacon, PBR, and perhaps Little Debbie hand-ups. (Little Debbie the convenience store baked goods, not somebody's little sister [/QUOTE]


    Hi TomP!
    I've been stalking you on your blog for a while. I'll be at the Growler, please hand me up a PBR before I start my 2nd lap, haha!

    In lieu of the thread, I'm running XKing 2.2 front and Ground Control on the back... might switch the back tire to a Renegade....

    I'm trying the tactic of NOT pre-riding the course as to keep it all a big surprise, so hopefully I"ll be more likely to pace myself instead of going out with my guns blazing, then totally fading out. Hopefully that works!

  18. #18
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    I can 2nd the ikon EXO's. fantastic tires and very puncture resistant. continent tires are total ****. nothing but bad experiences with their road and mountain bike (race king racesport) tires. in both cases, tires have been punctured with less than 300 miles (150 miles on the race kings). my IKON's look practically brand new, and i have close to 300 miles on them.

    they do not lose pressure, at all. continentals wept constantly and never sealed completely.

    I've ridden all over the front range, FYI.

  19. #19
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    I'm riding the Half and prerode the course for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The clockwise direction is a little weird, it seems most of the technical sections are on the uphills. There were no difficult descents, although Josho's was very fun. For those of you doing the Full, Rattlesnake trail is very, very hard going South, someone even yelled at me and told me i was going the wrong direction. For the Half, the last third of the course is the most difficult. It seems like it would be a lot more fun the other direction, but i guess they switch it up every other year.

    Sun was pretty brutal when i rode, there is no shade anywhere on the course. You might expect pine trees at 8k, but it's all desert sage. Wind wasn't bad when i was there, but the current forecast is calling for some on race day, and i can see it getting bad.

    I'm running Racing Ralph Snakeskin on the front and Conti XKing Protection in the back, both tubeless. I am running a Giant Anthem, but if i had an xc hardtail, i would use that instead. It's nit very rough other than the last climb of the lap.

  20. #20
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    Hey thanks. Last year the final third was hard too. How can that be?

  21. #21
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    Most are pretty mellow, there are a couple of medium steep hills, but nothing super steep.

  22. #22
    ridin dirtay
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Most are pretty mellow, there are a couple of medium steep hills, but nothing super steep.
    sweet, thanks!
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  23. #23
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    The toughest climbs are near the end of the lap, so pacing may be tricky.

  24. #24
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    Check out my Growler 64 review, what a race...what a course!

    Neil Beltchenko: 2013 Gunnison Growler Race Report

  25. #25
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    Full Growler Pics

    I put up a gallery on Flickr if anyone wants to check it out. Perhaps I managed to capture you out there.

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