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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Enduro/Gravel Grinders on a 29r?

    I'll try to keep this short.

    1. I'm back into cycling after a long layoff and have been doing more and more long distance/gravel rides-races of late.

    2. I own a Scott Scale 960 29er and have had decent success thus far with it, I've completed in a 55, 70 and 120 mile gravel events and will be doing more as well and possibly the Trans Iowa.

    3. Lack of $$$ will not allow me to go out and buy a $2,000+ cyclocross bike so what can/should I do to my 29er to make it more long distance gravel friendly? I'm already looking at going from my current 2.1x29 Ground Control tires to 1.8 S-Works Renagade Tires, that set alone will save me almost 400g.

    4. Would putting on a ridged front fork be a good idea? I know my suspension fork weights a ton but I really like the comfort it gives in not rattling out my teeth, would drop bars be a good idea?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I live in Iowa and do most of my winter riding on the gravel roads on my El Mar Ti 29er hardtail. I also ride the 1.8 (1.9?) Renegades, setup tubeless and swap my Reba fork to a carbon rigid fork. The weight savings is nice on the fork and there are very few times in which I wished that I had the Reba.

    For winter, I also use a pair of Bar Mitts that were made for a four wheel ATV. $20, but only work with flat bars (so perfect for the MTB).

    Depending on your gearing and fitness, you might want to swap out front rings. I happen to run 1x9 and use a 36T during the winter. It doesn't give me the great top end, but works just fine for winter.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Well..the more and more I actually research and shop, it appears I can get a decent 2011-2012 cyclocross bike at around $1300 that ultimaly would be better than anything I could do to my 29er mnt bike. Still gonna get the more gravel friendly tires once I wear these out, I figure if I train the winter on this mnt bike and can afford a new bike next spring I'll be in even better shape.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Personally, I would swap out the suspension fork for a rigid. Even something like a cheap Salsa Cromoto would be ok, IMO. If more plush is needed up front, keep your fatter tires.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    29er will be fine as long as the weight is around 11kgs, and you flip the stem to get a bit more of a aerodynamic ride position.

    yes rigid forks are essential to save weight and save energy use. advantages you have are hydro brakes and a fast descender due to bigger tyres and a more stable ride position (compared to narrow drop bars).

    with drop bars you'll lose handling - plus would have to modify brakes/gears. if you go rigid keep the larger tyres, converted to tubeless of course - and that's another thing difficult to do on a cx. cxers had a big advantage over mtbs until the 29er came along.

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