Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804

    Tire set-up for hillybilly roubaix

    I'm still debating whether I am racing on my SS mtb or on my cross bike with a 1x10 for my first race like this. If I race the cross bike I am planning to get some decent gravel tires, the biggest I can fit in there as the best I have now is 33mm maxxis raze. The problem is tubeless is not an optikn for the rear wheel right now. I have a tubeless ready 29er rim up front but the rear is a crappy novatech wheel that is narrow and not tubeless ready. I can't afford a new wheel most likely prior to the race.

    So with something like the 38mm challenge gravel grinders, kenda flintridge 35mm, or panaracer gravel king sk 35mm....

    Do I scour the earth for latex tubes in 35mm size, run 28mm latex tubes, or run butyl tubes? I do not want to have to worry about flats!

  2. #2
    I like turtles
    Reputation: TiGeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6,325
    You can always run sealant in your tubes.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2018 Niner RKT 9 RDO - enduro AF

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    662
    SS Mtb would be my first choice. Tubeless of course. Make sure your drafting game is strong though. Otherwise I would highly recommend tubeless for sure if you are gonna use cross bike. Bigger is better for tires. 40s probably best if they fit.

  4. #4
    Why so uptite?
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    974
    Just run what you have! The only suggestion I would make is to add some Sealant to your tubes As a backup. Otherwise just go have fun! If you really enjoy it then work on saving some $ fir a better tubeless setup, otherwise don't waste $$ right now.
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

    @tgi_cycling

    .

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    I don't think I can fit 40mm tires, at least not ones that measure out wider than advertised. Some guys have run 40mm nano's, but I've heard others could not. It's a Transition Rapture.

    I've done a couple 50 mile/5-6000 ft climbing rides at michaux on the SS mtb. Those climbs are rough! I am afraid of how steep the Hillybilly roads are and how much paved riding there is.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    185
    The last time I did Iron Cross at Michaux I ran 32mm vittoria tubeless cx tires on stans iron cross rims. I ran them too low and pinch flatted which ruined my race. I was running them at the same pressure I would use for a typical cx race.

    The following year, when Iron Cross moved to Williamsport, I ran 33mm bontragers cx3 tubeless tires and pumped them up to the max, 45 psi. I weigh 166. I had no problems with flats. I don't feel that I lost anything due to the higher pressure. The top riders were all on cx bikes as well.

    I have new set of bontrager cx0 tubeless sitting in my house for the next Iron Cross.

    My opinion would be to run the cross bike with cx tires pumped up significantly higher than what you would run for a cross race. I basically doubled the pressure I would normally run. These races aren't about cornering traction, it's more about straight line speed and reducing mechanicals/flats.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,158
    Ouch, the Maxxis Raze looks way too slow. You want something fast with supple casing, but something FAST.

    I started out with Kenda Happy Medium 35 tubeless version which measured out to 38mm at the knobs. I thought they were gonna be fast but I felt those tires were too draggy so I tried a Kenda Flintridge. I couldn't get much time on it because even though it also measured out to 38mm, the casing was taller. The side knobs were 6mm further out from the rim than on the Happy mediums which ended up rubbing on the front der arm (stupid 11s design). I think the FR was faster and the casing was nicer and more supple but I couldn't really test it, the H.Ms seemed stiffer.

    I recently swapped out the H.M. in the rear for a Maxxis Re-Fuse 32 Tubeless...this made my bike WAY faster. The casing seems nice and supple and the rubber tacky. I have another one coming for the front that I'm going to test out on a gravel course next weekend. I also thought the Re-Fuse in rear and H.M. up front was a good combo, speed in the back, control up front.

    I also have a set of Clement X'Plor MSO 36c 120tpi on the way for a 2nd set of wheels for meatier tread. I'm hoping those will fit fine and be fast. Also look into Clement X'Plor USH 36. I was also looking into the Compass Bon Jon Pass (standard casing) and Schwalbe G-One 35C but neither tire was available. Both tires have had reports of durability issues so wasn't to sure. I'm hoping the Re-Fuse and MSO will be Goldilocks enough for me.

    Right now i'm REALLY liking the Re-Fuse, can't wait to test it up front too.

    EDIT: How much mud or grease to you expect to encounter?
    '12 Scott Spark 29 Team
    '13 Scott Scale 970
    '11 Scott Speedster S20
    '17 Scott Speedster CX20
    12 Scott Foil Team

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    hilly billy always has some mud, and if it rains then it can really get nuts. Lots of large gravel, crushed stone type stuff with skme pretty hairy decents.

    I wouldn't think a slick would be very good on this course as mtb's often win and dominate the podium.

    I like the raze on gravel, just a bit slow on pavement and too narrow

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    So with the 2018 HBR in planning, it reminded me that it may be worthwhile to report back.

    The 2017 version saw heavy rains the night before, so while the weather was nice, there was a LOT of water on the course. I chose to ride my 1x10 CX bike with a low gear of 38x36 paired with specialized terra pro cx mud tires in 700x33c set up tubeless. While the tires gripped well, I do have some regrets.

    The set up was just too harsh for me on those roads. Maybe I am a pansy, but man I was BEAT up. I got crushed on the DH sections as my buddy was riding a rigid 29er and he would destroy me going down. By the end of the race I could not wait to dismount. My neck, back and arms were toast.

    If, and that is a a BIG IF, I were to ride HBR again on a CX bike I would want at least 38-40mm tires. Even that may still not be enough for me. Yeah, I was plenty fast on the road section and passed many people uphill, but overall I think the DH sections cost me significant time, especially the last tough section headed back ATV trails up and down.

    The hard thing is, my buddy who rode the MTB had a hard time keeping up other than the DH sections. He blames the slow tires and the 29er in general, although I am not certain that is all of it. He is a strong rider though, so I am sure the bike was slower in some sections. He rode Minion SS rear and Spesh GC front, so his tires were not the fastest on the road for sure.

    In the end, I think I'd ride a 1x hardtail or rigid mtb with some faster 2.1 tires. My buddy wants to ride his new cx bike in 2018, so I am not 100% sure on that.

    All in all, my legs were pretty good, especially for the lack of training I put in. I finished just under 5:30. If I do it again I want to go sub 5.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    So with the 2018 HBR in planning, it reminded me that it may be worthwhile to report back.

    The 2017 version saw heavy rains the night before, so while the weather was nice, there was a LOT of water on the course. I chose to ride my 1x10 CX bike with a low gear of 38x36 paired with specialized terra pro cx mud tires in 700x33c set up tubeless. While the tires gripped well, I do have some regrets.

    The set up was just too harsh for me on those roads. Maybe I am a pansy, but man I was BEAT up. I got crushed on the DH sections as my buddy was riding a rigid 29er and he would destroy me going down. By the end of the race I could not wait to dismount. My neck, back and arms were toast.

    If, and that is a a BIG IF, I were to ride HBR again on a CX bike I would want at least 38-40mm tires. Even that may still not be enough for me. Yeah, I was plenty fast on the road section and passed many people uphill, but overall I think the DH sections cost me significant time, especially the last tough section headed back ATV trails up and down.

    The hard thing is, my buddy who rode the MTB had a hard time keeping up other than the DH sections. He blames the slow tires and the 29er in general, although I am not certain that is all of it. He is a strong rider though, so I am sure the bike was slower in some sections. He rode Minion SS rear and Spesh GC front, so his tires were not the fastest on the road for sure.

    In the end, I think I'd ride a 1x hardtail or rigid mtb with some faster 2.1 tires. My buddy wants to ride his new cx bike in 2018, so I am not 100% sure on that.

    All in all, my legs were pretty good, especially for the lack of training I put in. I finished just under 5:30. If I do it again I want to go sub 5.
    I tend to agree with most of this. I rode it on a steel HT and my normal MTB tires, Spec Purgatory and Ground Control in 29x2.35 (bike weight around 28.5 with saddle bag holding tube and multi tool, etc. This weight does not include water bottle/food). I crushed on the descents, but got passed immediately once on the paved sections. If I still lived in that region and could race it again, I would still use the MTB, but I would put Panaracer Gravel King SK 700x40 (42) on it. The fork definitely helps on the descents, but the skinnier, lighter, faster tires would save much energy and time on the paved and smoother gravel sections. They would still be enough for the rougher sections. I think with different tires and a little better pacing strategy I could have dropped an hour easily. I ended up cramping which I think is because I pushed it hard on the early climbs where traffic was walking. If I had paced myself better, I would have had a little more energy later in the race and probably would not have had cramping issues.

    Anyhow, this is a great race. It's run really well, and the support is amazing. It was like pulling into my own personal pit stop at the aid stations. Volunteers were there to fill bottles, hold my bike while I ate and prepped for the next leg, etc. I felt like I was a race leader rather than a mid-packer. If you are in the region, it is definitely one to check out. I drove four hours to get there and it was well worth it.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    2018 Update...

    I figured I should give the comparison with how the 2018 version of the race went.

    This time I chose to ride my 26.9 lb Niner Air 9 hardtail to try to soften some of the nasty downhills. I rode 29x2.2 ardent race up front and 2.1 Aspen rear. The hardtail was a BAD choice...

    The race went off and my riding buddy just dropped the hammer. He was on his CX bike this time. We were in the lead group and it was killing me trying to stay with those guys on the roads and the first big climb. My HR was 203 within the first 15 mins of racing!

    I ended up dropping out just after half way as I was cramping so bad I could not even unclip from my pedals. By FAR the worst I have ever felt or performed at a race.

    Part of it was the bike. The thing was just a dog on anything not downhill. I couldn't even hold wheels to draft. There was no recovery.

    Having the MTB tires made no difference in the muddy sections. In fact, I think they were worse as they seemed to float and slide on the mud.

    If I ever do that race again...
    1) I will be more fit.
    2) It will be on the CX bike again
    3) I will run some sort of wider, tubeless set up.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    695
    This race is on my list this year...everybody tells me that tire selection (big but not too big) and gearing are key. I've hear both advantages/disadvantages on the CX vs MTB but it comes down more to tires and gearing.
    Sounds like maybe you went too big at the start.
    MyRides - Santa Cruz Tallboy CC, Van Dessel Ramble tamble SS, Look 986 1x10,

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    Quote Originally Posted by mackdhagen View Post
    This race is on my list this year...everybody tells me that tire selection (big but not too big) and gearing are key. I've hear both advantages/disadvantages on the CX vs MTB but it comes down more to tires and gearing.
    Sounds like maybe you went too big at the start.
    Yeah absolutely. It killed me. I think part of that was trying to keep up with CX bikes on the mtb. I used fast rolling tires but it didn't help much. I know guys like Cole Oberman crush it on FS XC bikes, but I just don't have those watts.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: grodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    122
    Some thoughts on setup and prep for Hilly Billy. BTW, registration is open!

    Many look to several previous winners that were on MTBs, but honestly, those guys are extremely fast and racing at pro levels. They’d win on pretty much whatever bike they chose. Keep in mind that even though there are many miles of rough and gnarly ‘roads’ (some that are basically rutted out double track), there are also many miles of paved road, and the upright, opened-up shoulder position of a MTB definitely slow you down. Throw in a usually heavier bike and slower-rolling, larger tires, and you’re definitely making it harder on yourself.

    IME, a CX bike with drop bars and proper gearing is the best setup for most riders assuming even a moderate technical skill level. Now that wide range gearing is so readily available, even for CX bikes, and reliable tubeless ready tires are easy to find, a CX bike is THE best choice. IF your nervous going down steep, loose descents on the CX bike, then maybe a MTB is a better choice. Maybe.

    Tires: I’d recommend a moderate to smaller knobbed CX tire, in the 35-38 range. If you go wide, like 38 or 40, just be sure your bike has clearance for it in muddy conditions. There are some spots where the mud is thick and sticky, and your fork and chainstays WILL pack up. In dry years, a semi-slick is perfect. For advanced level riders, fast semi-slicks are a great choice even for wet years, as long as they have a decent side knob to get some traction on the slippery side of deep ruts. It’s pretty essential that you’re setup tubeless. If not, be prepared to change a few flats. Of course, even tubeless can and does flat, so be ready to throw a tube in. I like to get new tires as close to HBR as possible, and this seems to decrease flatting chances. (newer/thicker rubber?)

    Gearing: For gearing, you’ll want a small chainring up front like a 34. 36 at most if you’re strong. 2x is nice with a 46 large so you can shift and go on the flat pavement sections. In the back, run the lowest you can. I loved having a 12-34 in the back the last two years. WAY better than 11-30. If you can go lower than 34 in the back, consider it. The climbs get extremely steep in places, and when it’s soft and muddy, it gets really tough. Then again, some of the toughest climbs are actually on the road. Regardless, low gearing is essential.

    Fitness: When asked how to get in shape for this, I always recommend that you get comfortable with doing rides up to 5 hours. Yes, the great majority of riders will take longer than this to finish, but I feel like if you can do 5 hours in training, without destroying yourself, you can push through and do 6 or 7 on raceday. Keep up with hydration and calories. Make use of the excellent rest stops, and its a good idea to carry some food too. The miles between aid stations can be very long if you start to get hungry.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    695
    Grodo..great recap thanks! do you suggest stopping at all rest stops or can you blow through the first (SM100 is like that) or last. Also on the tubeless setup why do you think its critical? Is it for traction, avoiding pinch flats, small punctures where you need the sealant to do its work or something else? So you think you can get away with tubes with the right tire (i have tuebless on my mtb's and just have had the same reliability as tubed set up for all my bikes..just not 100% sold on tubeless). Also what do you think the ratio of paved vs gravel is?
    thanks,
    newb
    MyRides - Santa Cruz Tallboy CC, Van Dessel Ramble tamble SS, Look 986 1x10,

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: grodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by mackdhagen View Post
    Grodo..great recap thanks! do you suggest stopping at all rest stops or can you blow through the first (SM100 is like that) or last. Also on the tubeless setup why do you think its critical? Is it for traction, avoiding pinch flats, small punctures where you need the sealant to do its work or something else? So you think you can get away with tubes with the right tire (i have tuebless on my mtb's and just have had the same reliability as tubed set up for all my bikes..just not 100% sold on tubeless). Also what do you think the ratio of paved vs gravel is?
    thanks,
    newb
    Good questions. As far as tubeless, I like them mostly to avoid pinch flats at desired lower PSI. That's probably the most common cause of flats on this course. Some years, the gravel roads are refreshed with chunky gravel in the weeks before the race, other years, the gravel is mostly washed away and it's more dirt roads. You never know. The ability to ride lower PSI is nice too, for traction and comfort/control on those bumpy downhills. That being said, I've ripped holes large enough to not seal tubeless, and had to do a quick boot/add tube to keep going. I have run tubes as well, and it was fine but I had to run 10-15psi more, which can beat you up by end of day.

    Rest stops: I've always stopped at all of them. It's usually hot and I try to drink two bottles between each stop. That makes me have to stop for refills and even if I just grab a handful of M&Ms, I like to keep the calories coming in. Many do skip the first though, so I guess it's an individual choice. Just make sure you know the distance between them so you can be ready hydration-wise. It's a pretty crushing course, so I think most stop at the last by necessity.

    Paved to gravel ratio? Hmm... I'd GUESS 60% road, 40% gravel/dirt. But, some of the 'roads' are pretty bad. Really bad. Funny thing is, the entire route is on recognized and named WV 'roads'. Even the rutted out double track. Haha.

    Good luck! Happy to give advice/recommendations. (I've done the race 7 of it's 9 years and help with course setup/marking every year)

    Oh, and be prepared for one of the best post-race parties. Food and very good beer are included in your registration. No drink tickets, no food tickets, etc.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    804
    Quote Originally Posted by grodo View Post
    Some thoughts on setup and prep for Hilly Billy. BTW, registration is open!

    Many look to several previous winners that were on MTBs, but honestly, those guys are extremely fast and racing at pro levels. They’d win on pretty much whatever bike they chose. Keep in mind that even though there are many miles of rough and gnarly ‘roads’ (some that are basically rutted out double track), there are also many miles of paved road, and the upright, opened-up shoulder position of a MTB definitely slow you down. Throw in a usually heavier bike and slower-rolling, larger tires, and you’re definitely making it harder on yourself.

    IME, a CX bike with drop bars and proper gearing is the best setup for most riders assuming even a moderate technical skill level. Now that wide range gearing is so readily available, even for CX bikes, and reliable tubeless ready tires are easy to find, a CX bike is THE best choice. IF your nervous going down steep, loose descents on the CX bike, then maybe a MTB is a better choice. Maybe.

    Tires: I’d recommend a moderate to smaller knobbed CX tire, in the 35-38 range. If you go wide, like 38 or 40, just be sure your bike has clearance for it in muddy conditions. There are some spots where the mud is thick and sticky, and your fork and chainstays WILL pack up. In dry years, a semi-slick is perfect. For advanced level riders, fast semi-slicks are a great choice even for wet years, as long as they have a decent side knob to get some traction on the slippery side of deep ruts. It’s pretty essential that you’re setup tubeless. If not, be prepared to change a few flats. Of course, even tubeless can and does flat, so be ready to throw a tube in. I like to get new tires as close to HBR as possible, and this seems to decrease flatting chances. (newer/thicker rubber?)

    Gearing: For gearing, you’ll want a small chainring up front like a 34. 36 at most if you’re strong. 2x is nice with a 46 large so you can shift and go on the flat pavement sections. In the back, run the lowest you can. I loved having a 12-34 in the back the last two years. WAY better than 11-30. If you can go lower than 34 in the back, consider it. The climbs get extremely steep in places, and when it’s soft and muddy, it gets really tough. Then again, some of the toughest climbs are actually on the road. Regardless, low gearing is essential.

    Fitness: When asked how to get in shape for this, I always recommend that you get comfortable with doing rides up to 5 hours. Yes, the great majority of riders will take longer than this to finish, but I feel like if you can do 5 hours in training, without destroying yourself, you can push through and do 6 or 7 on raceday. Keep up with hydration and calories. Make use of the excellent rest stops, and its a good idea to carry some food too. The miles between aid stations can be very long if you start to get hungry.
    Good advice here!

    Couple side notes on my two years riding HBR...

    Year 1 - rode a steel CX bike with 700x33c knobby tires. Gearing was 38 up front 11-36 rear. Legs were fine with this and even with waiting for a buddy I still was under 5 1/2 hrs. Wished for some more cushioning for sure, I was toast at the end.

    Year 2 - rode a hardtail with "fast rolling" 2.1 mtb tires. There was nothing fast about this set up. It was more comfortable, but I blew up hard and ended up canning it after about 40 miles. Gearing was 34 up front, 11-36 cassette. I thought I was more prepared for the race, but I was far from it.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: grodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    Good advice here!

    Couple side notes on my two years riding HBR...

    Year 1 - rode a steel CX bike with 700x33c knobby tires. Gearing was 38 up front 11-36 rear. Legs were fine with this and even with waiting for a buddy I still was under 5 1/2 hrs. Wished for some more cushioning for sure, I was toast at the end.

    Year 2 - rode a hardtail with "fast rolling" 2.1 mtb tires. There was nothing fast about this set up. It was more comfortable, but I blew up hard and ended up canning it after about 40 miles. Gearing was 34 up front, 11-36 cassette. I thought I was more prepared for the race, but I was far from it.
    Thanks! And yep, good real world experience from you. Finishing under 5-1/2 hours is a great time! Congrats! Hope you get the chance to come back this year.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: need4gforce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    532
    Something durable. The gravel is construction tractor type gravel.
    I ran 33's my first year flatted lots. Descents will be so much more fun on a 38-42.
    See you there!
    Larry Miller-
    www.laxon3.tumblr.com

Similar Threads

  1. tire for Barry Roubaix
    By OHtard in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-24-2015, 10:58 PM
  2. Venge Tarmac or Roubaix
    By PekkaS-works in forum Specialized
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-03-2014, 07:37 PM
  3. Preston - Roubaix
    By Uruk-hai in forum Washington
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-06-2013, 05:12 PM
  4. Anything I should know about my new Roubaix?
    By nostockbikes in forum Specialized
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-28-2011, 07:33 PM
  5. Cabin 34 Roubaix III
    By bsieb in forum New Mexico
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-06-2011, 10:06 PM

Members who have read this thread: 50

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.