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  1. #1
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    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
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    You can always run sealant in your tubes.
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  3. #3
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    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?
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    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.
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  5. #5
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    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
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    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
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    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?
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  8. #8
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

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