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  1. #1

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    Paris to Ancaster

    Has anyone here done the Paris to Ancaster race,and if so, what tires would you recomend (I'll be riding a mountainbike)?
    thanks: Dave

  2. #2
    NormalNorm
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    This is my 9th year doing the race. You can get any type of weather in April - snow, rain, hail, wind, etc. I usally use a slick - like a 1.25" and pump it up hard(80 psi). Its closer to a cyclocross race than a mtb race. It can be very muddy in sections too.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by norm
    This is my 9th year doing the race. You can get any type of weather in April - snow, rain, hail, wind, etc. I usally use a slick - like a 1.25" and pump it up hard(80 psi). Its closer to a cyclocross race than a mtb race. It can be very muddy in sections too.
    You're saying "no tread at all"? Isn't there single track that you could slide out in? I was thinking maybe semi-slicks (at least there is some tread on the side), or a skinny tire like the Conti' x-country 1.5.
    Anyone else ride this thing with slicks?
    Dave

  4. #4
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    I haven't done it but I've raced and I would think a Hutchinson Python should do the trick, as long as you inflate it to around 40 psi.

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    Any recommend a good 29er SS gear ratio ?

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    This may help......

    Quote Originally Posted by corner_stuffed
    Any recommend a good 29er SS gear ratio ?
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=167290
    It's only pain......

  7. #7
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    How does the shuttle work?

    I am waiting on a reply from the promoter but how does the bus shuttle to the start work? Specifically do they provide a means to get your warmup clothing, etc. back to the finish? I don't want to wait around for an hour or so at the start with just my race duds on.

  8. #8
    NormalNorm
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinl19
    I am waiting on a reply from the promoter but how does the bus shuttle to the start work? Specifically do they provide a means to get your warmup clothing, etc. back to the finish? I don't want to wait around for an hour or so at the start with just my race duds on.

    I took the bus a couple of years ago. Wasn't a very good experience. I got my bike about 10 minutes before the start of the race. My bike was the last off the van. I am pretty sure they will shuttle your clothing to the finish line though. I can't see it being a problem.

  9. #9

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    Best tire i have used is the Kenda Kozmik 1.8(i think) 395g. Works well on the road and rail trail, and adequate on the singletrack. In the mud sections, I pick up my bike and run past all the peole wallowing in the mud. I end up with cold muddy feet, but my drivetrain stays clean and mud-free and I usually pass 6-12 people in the process.

  10. #10
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    I bought Tioga Factory XC slicks (1.85) for this years race.
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  11. #11

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    All depends on the conditions. Last year was mostly dry. Year before was a mud bog. Race is again in early April, and if current weather is any indication... mud bog/sticky trails. Hmmmm..... may use my worn down Specialized knobies or Tioga Factory XC 1.95 Final choice won't happen probably until days leading up.

  12. #12
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    packing list:
    38:16 on a 29er (still soft but the best i can stuff against the stays).
    cross rubber
    waaay more water than last year
    and a box of thumb tacks.
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  13. #13
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    Single Speed 29" gearing for P to A.

    I'm running 42-18. It works if you have a cassette hub on the back because you can put the ring on the outside and space the cog out. It's a grunt up the hills but do able. On flat to rollin g terrain it lets you get some speed.

  14. #14
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    help. i am having second thoughts. can someone sell me on the social aspect of this race...

    i am fighting visions of a road race on a mountain bike congested with thousands of riders. two weeks ago it was all good, but now the neg aspects of last years race are haunting me...for example the car wreck that resulted in a 1k walk...
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  15. #15
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    I'm having second thought as well, mostly because I'm way behind in my training and the fact I may not have my new bike built for the race.
    Mike
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  16. #16

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    Training

    The Paris to Ancaster is considered the training ride for the beginning of the year.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock2
    The Paris to Ancaster is considered the training ride for the beginning of the year.
    Yeah, but I’m worried about not being able to finish it at all.
    I did 30 K’s on slicks the other day and I felt like crap.
    My buddy and I did 70 K’s on the road a few weeks ago and he was dropping me, we’re usually pretty even.
    Mike
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  18. #18
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    doing it for the first time this year...

    I'm doing this race for the first time this year... First time in any event at all... I hope there are plenty of people like me in the 700 or so I saw registered on the net... because I am definitely ready to get owned..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumin8
    I'm doing this race for the first time this year... First time in any event at all... I hope there are plenty of people like me in the 700 or so I saw registered on the net... because I am definitely ready to get owned..
    no worries there.

    it is a huge event...last year i geared wrong and was passed numerous times by olde ladies on garage sale 10-spds, unless you are in the first wave (both you and i are NOT i assure you) it is a great way to start the season and test your early fitness level.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumin8
    I'm doing this race for the first time this year... First time in any event at all... I hope there are plenty of people like me in the 700 or so I saw registered on the net... because I am definitely ready to get owned..

    This is a perfect race to do.....if you have never raced before. Nothing techincal, just an early season fitness test. Good Luck.

  21. #21
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by rumin8
    I'm doing this race for the first time this year... First time in any event at all... I hope there are plenty of people like me in the 700 or so I saw registered on the net... because I am definitely ready to get owned..
    For beginners my advice is to eat a good breakfast (mainly carbs), take at least 2 large water bottles with a sports drink in it, and take a power bar or a peanut butter and jam sandwich with you. Or you can go for the more expensive power gels. There will be plenty of flat straight section where you can eat and ride at the same time. Or stop and eat if you want. Its a good idea to eat after you've been riding for an hour that way your energy reserves will be that much fuller at the 2 hour mark. And if you still have a ways to go at the 2 hour mark eat again.

    After riding a few long events like this you will have your own routine.

    Have fun!

  22. #22
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    thanks for the encouragement everyone... im really looking forward to it, and almost expecting the inclement weather..

  23. #23
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    Course conditions

    If the course is wet is it still an advantage to use a 'cross bike or will something with a more knobby tire work better? Does enough of the course stay solid where the skinny tire still holds an advantage?

  24. #24
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    Almost here!

    Well guys. It's almost time for the P2A.

    Everyone else getting excited or what? I must admit I'm sandbagging a bit and doing the 30k race, but the reason/excuses are as follows:
    - I have to work Sunday afternoon in Niagara Falls so I don't have a whole lot of time
    - It's the first MTB race of the year for me so I want to ease into it
    - I have two road races the following weekend so I don't want to wreck myself.
    - I'm a sandbagger and I like flying past little old ladies and 10-year-old kids

    Best of luck to everyone doing either race. It's going to be a blast. The weather's not looking great leading up to it, but so be it...that's the P2A I guess.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  25. #25
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    right, money is dropped so that ought to be a motivator to actually show up...cross tyres or mud tyres hmmmmm....and the predicted 5c looks nippley.

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    ...no bloody t-shirts...TRAVESTY!
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  26. #26
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    Hey guys. Pre-rode the last few KMs of the course today. It's definitely sloppy, but actually not as bad as I was expecting considering Thursday's rain.

    The final climb sucks as usual, but it seems like it's not as loose gravel as it was in the past. They're calling for 7 or 8 degrees at race time tomorrow so it should be interesting weather.

    Cheers and good luck to all!
    Dan

  27. #27
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    how did it go

    I saw you guys as i was riding up the rail trail near ancaster. Looked pretty muddy!.. Next year i'll be in enough shape for that race. Was it fun? looked fun

  28. #28
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    fun??? dont know...

    Quote Originally Posted by smithsb1111
    I saw you guys as i was riding up the rail trail near ancaster. Looked pretty muddy!.. Next year i'll be in enough shape for that race. Was it fun? looked fun
    but i aint gonna miss it next year again...

    it was more mud than i would ever want to ride through again on my skinnies... i went with 27mm mastercross tires on my cross bike, and that was a BIG mistake... i was hurting every time i was not on the hard pack of some sort, but was flying on the road.....

    awesome race. the feeling when you cross the finish line is priceless...

  29. #29
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    It was my first PA, but I had a great time! The bog sloggin' made it a true enduro race, the last big one seemed to go on for a kilometre or so! Bike selection didn't matter, everybody ahead was carrying or pushing through the boggy spots so you couldn't ride through if you wanted. The hard part was pushing until the bike had an extra 20 pounds of mud and the wheels wouldn't turn, then trying to pick it up and carry it!
    My rear derailleur snapped when I started riding again after the long boggy stretch, 55km into the race. I wasn't the only one, I talked to 2 other guys whose rear derailleurs broke in the same spot. I tried to make it a single speed for the rest of the ride, but things didn't line up very well, chain kept skipping, could only ride downhill the last coupla km's. I'll be back next year
    Last edited by langford; 04-09-2006 at 08:41 PM.

  30. #30
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    Best race yet!

    Hey guys. Well I did the 30km race and it was a blast. Before the race I decided I wouldn't bother trying to ride through those nasty mud bogs but instead carry my bike and run through it.

    The strategy paid off in a big way as I ended up 6th overall in the 30km and first in my age category!! I'm super-stoked because it's my first-ever MTB win.

    A big thanks to Liberty! Bicycles (www.libertybicycles.com) for being my psuedo sponsor. Much appreciated Kurt. Can't wait for the 8x12 series.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  31. #31
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    30km?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddakin
    Hey guys. Well I did the 30km race and it was a blast. Before the race I decided I wouldn't bother trying to ride through those nasty mud bogs but instead carry my bike and run through it.

    The strategy paid off in a big way as I ended up 6th overall in the 30km and first in my age category!! I'm super-stoked because it's my first-ever MTB win.

    A big thanks to Liberty! Bicycles (www.libertybicycles.com) for being my psuedo sponsor. Much appreciated Kurt. Can't wait for the 8x12 series.

    Cheers,
    Dan
    i guess you missed all the mushy and muddy singletrack in the first half of the course???

    arghh... i would have done better with my MTB then with my cross bike with skinnies...

  32. #32
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    there were a lot of (unintentional) ss converts there today...plenty of rice crispies going up the hills after the muck.

    at the start i was concerned about the big rubber and ss....best i felt in a 'race' in a long tyme.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    i guess you missed all the mushy and muddy singletrack in the first half of the course???

    arghh... i would have done better with my MTB then with my cross bike with skinnies...
    I think you are right.....tire selection was critical. I made the mistake of passing up on my semi-slicks and went with the panaracers. BIG MISTAKE.

    After any muddy sections, I got machine gunned with mud for the first couple hundred yards. Had to ride with my eyes almost closed. Mud tasted like chicken though
    It's only pain......

  34. #34
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    It was my first time doing it on a single speed and while a little over geared for the single track, I loved the total lack of mechanical problems. Next year I'll be doing it SS again but with a better gear choice or better fitness.

    Hey Peter, I was only a couple of minutes behind you. You're choice of the tires and moderate gear made a lot of sense considering the conditions.

    Win

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddakin
    Hey guys. Well I did the 30km race and it was a blast. Before the race I decided I wouldn't bother trying to ride through those nasty mud bogs but instead carry my bike and run through it.

    The strategy paid off in a big way as I ended up 6th overall in the 30km and first in my age category!! I'm super-stoked because it's my first-ever MTB win.

    A big thanks to Liberty! Bicycles (www.libertybicycles.com) for being my psuedo sponsor. Much appreciated Kurt. Can't wait for the 8x12 series.

    Cheers,
    Dan
    Congrats on the win!

    Good job to all who finished, especially those in the 60k. I know it wouldda taken me a LONG time to finish that distance. I was pretty beat after my 35km ride today Must...get...in...shape...
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by winchaos
    Hey Peter, I was only a couple of minutes behind you. You're choice of the tires and moderate gear made a lot of sense considering the conditions.

    Win
    i was able to ride almost all of the mud, up to the bb in places but alas it hurt me too. i cramped and bonked big tyme in the last 2 k...walked many a muddy hill with the finish in sight...when i started to cramp WALKING that last hill i got on to ride it out, you know, for my fans...i did expect to see you though once we hit the road for the final 15, it was like a freeway once the cross bikes got cleaned off!
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  37. #37
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    It was my first time racing the PA and overall it was great. I used a cross bike and had few problems with the mud as the skinny tires cut through to solid ground. Our Michigan crew did fairly well. Overall winner, two others in the top 30, 4th in 50+ and three in the top ten SS that I know of. My only complaint was there was no marking at the end of the last mud slide when we came out and the whole group went right instead of left. By the time we figured out we were going the wrong direction it cost us 4-5 minutes and for me personally a potential podium positon. We plan on racing it again next year.
    Last edited by skinl19; 04-10-2006 at 10:16 AM.

  38. #38
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    Paris/Ancaster…..my own personal hell!

    This was my first race on a SS and only the fifth time I had ridden it. I read all the comments about gearing and went with 44-18. This would let me ride about 28 km/hr comfortably, and around 35 km/hr with max exertion. It also allowed me to ride most of the small hills, but I knew I would have to run a couple of the bigger hills. Given the mud on some of these, I don’t think any other gear combo would have made a difference.

    I wasn’t sure what to do about tires as my choices were an old set of semi-slicks and new panaracers. The slicks were pretty worn, so went with the XC's. I am not a big racer, so didn’t really want to buy new tires just for this race, and accepted I may be somewhat handcuffed by my selection. Boy was I right

    The knobbies didn’t do well on either the road, or on the very soft trails. In fact, on the "soft" hard pack (oxymoron alert) they were an anchor and the resistance was incredible.

    I started out at a steady pace, but the road/cyclocross guys just flew past me on the flats. The first couple of single tracks backed-up pretty good, so you really didn’t have an opportunity to pass. As other people mentioned, the mud was very bad in places and just killed you. My only option was to walk and carry my bike so it didn’t pick up too mud. However, the tires would get completely packed on the soft stuff and as soon as you hit the road, they picked up gravel and stated to fly off as soon as you sped up. You got sprayed with debris, and a couple of times I had stones bounce under the lenses on my glasses. I eventually would close one eye and squint through the other, for the first couple of hundred yards, just to be safe.

    After the feed station (half way mark) my back gave out (I have been fighting lower back pain for years) and the 10K was a journey I will never forget. I have never DNF'd in my life and was not intending this to be my first time. It took all my effort just to stay on the bike and just pedal thought the pain. A couple of times I really though I would have to pack it in. I had taken Tylenol and anti inflammatory tablets before the race and during, but they didn’t seem to be working. After around 30 minutes I either was able to block it out or it went away and I could pick up the pace again……..this is when the cramps started! OMG, the sensation of someone tearing your calf muscles open with a rusty blunt knife is one to get you focussed quickly. Again, just grit your teeth and grind and think happy thoughts.

    The last ½ hour actually went very well and I had managed to hang in and overcome the pain. I was able to really pick up the pace and started to make up a lot of places over people who had either gone out too fast/bonked or were fighting mechanicals. Good call Peter on the involuntary SS conversions…….I saw four. Also saw lots of roadies with both wheels off trying to clean mud just so they could ride.

    I ended up coming middle of the pack, which besides finishing was my goal for my first SS race. What did surprise me was how hard I had ridden for three hours. I was able to keep my heart rate between 80% and 100% for 2 hour and 45 minutes (my time was 2:59:22). For an old guy punching well above his fighting weight that is what I will take away from this race. All the freezing cold rides in Jan/Feb certainly helped jump start the season. Now if I can just get this back thing sorted,…..it could be a good year!
    It's only pain......

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    However, the tires would get completely packed on the soft stuff and as soon as you hit the road, they picked up gravel and stated to fly off as soon as you sped up. You got sprayed with debris, and a couple of times I had stones bounce under the lenses on my glasses. I eventually would close one eye and squint through the other, for the first couple of hundred yards, just to be safe.
    I prefer the sound of debris hitting my front fender. I stongly reccomend them. Mine weighs very little, and is highly effective. Works out really well for the early season races. Of course, you still get chunks from the people infront of you, but it's a huge aid none the less.

    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  40. #40
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    ...

    This year was my forth year riding this hallowed event....and it was muddy. none the less i still had a great time...props go to tim and the gang for putting on a good event and designing a better tshirt than 2005. Next year i am going to enter in the 30k ride as i am sick of getting my ass kicked...so what if it makes me a sandbagger! See you in 07.

  41. #41
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    08:00 AM Steve thinks to himself "should I go with the fender" (pause) narrrrrr don't need it
    It's only pain......

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    08:00 AM Steve thinks to himself "should I go with the fender" (pause) narrrrrr don't need it
    guess i never went fast enough to get hit...or was it too fast for it to collect?
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogearshere
    guess i never went fast enough to get hit...or was it too fast for it to collect?
    My problem was choice of tire (the Panaracer is no mud tire). I was considering large volume semi-slick (do they exist?). What did you run?

    Are the 29ers in?
    It's only pain......

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    My problem was choice of tire (the Panaracer is no mud tire). I was considering large volume semi-slick (do they exist?). What did you run?

    Are the 29ers in?
    Sure panaracer xc fire's arent a mud tire but they do work pretty good in the mud. At least for me they do. Couple years ago at the Icebreaker I rode them there and was riding up some of the hills ppl were walking up including those with mud tires. This other time in the rouge too I was going up this one hill that was a lil wet and my friend on his pretty well new panaracer and Im on my half worn out ones. Needless to say I made it all the way up and he didnt, he was wondering how I could ride up that hill when he couldnt on his newish tire. But back to what I first said..

    About a large volume semi. I think Kenda has one thats a 2.2? I was looking at something like the Conti FlowPro tires 550 claimed and with an ok looking tread for my bike. I dont like semi slicks myself cause If I really wanted one Id toss on my old team masters tries for that.

  45. #45

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    Well, that was a tough race! Man, having to pedal downhill through the mud was just mental. I really liked the race and am pretty sure I'd do it again, but next time I'll be sure to check that the timing chip worked!!! Yes that's right I rode 60Km through all of that sh*ty mud and my timing chip didn't work. Got home to see the results and neither my name or number is posted on the board But I had fun so I guess that's what counts.
    Dave

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    paris ancaster on the fixie

    This was mt snd time raing singlespeed, only did with the fixed gear instead.
    Giving the fact the race course isn't really to techincal, I wanted to do something different
    I raced this with out coasting at all, I got the holy sh-t your crazy man, wow, what the f---
    all sorts of different responses, My only worry was being in a gruop and having the all at once panic stop happen, pedalling at blinding speeds on the downhills was something, really had to be carefull rounding the corners on the pavement(loose gravel) I swaer the the muddy downhill are purposely flooded for this event, only seen a few brave enough able to plow throught the thick sticky goop!!

    Certainly will be back next year,
    Cheers
    VernDogger

  47. #47
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    Good job! The fastest riders were using small knobbies/semi slicks

    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    My problem was choice of tire (the Panaracer is no mud tire). I was considering large volume semi-slick (do they exist?). What did you run?

    Are the 29ers in?
    Yesterday was my 1st time doing this event and I was impressed with the whole course, it was fun up until the end there, a few of us took a wrong turn about 5 k before the finish line. We turned right when we should have turned left, this cost me around 10 minutes, I would have came in around 60th but instead came in the early 100s because of that f*cken unmarked intersection - or maybe someone was supposed to be there and they stepped away for a minute?

    I was riding a hardtail mountain bike and I would recommend a skinny semi slick next year, my front tire was a semi-knobby 2.0 which picked up too much mud and really slowed you down on the roads. My back tire was 1.5 semi slick which did a pretty good job.

    Next year I'll do it again, as long as the weeks leading up to it are not too wet.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    My problem was choice of tire (the Panaracer is no mud tire). I was considering large volume semi-slick (do they exist?). What did you run?

    Are the 29ers in?
    i ran kenda 'klaw' on the 29. like knobbies vs slicks was going to make a freak of difference to my tyme...tis what itis.
    36:16 on the big wheels vs 32:16 on the kids mtb saved me all of 9 minutes. the worst part is that i seriously felt faster.

    29's will be in soon (end of month), you looking for another 'project'???
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogearshere
    i ran kenda 'klaw' on the 29. like knobbies vs slicks was going to make a freak of difference to my tyme...tis what itis.
    36:16 on the big wheels vs 32:16 on the kids mtb saved me all of 9 minutes. the worst part is that i seriously felt faster.

    29's will be in soon (end of month), you looking for another 'project'???
    Those sections that were soft but not muddy just killed me. My tires bit so deep it felt like I was riding uphill on flat sections. It really was hard work just to keep moving. I have to believe a wide semi-slick would have floated over the top. Most of the uphill muddy sections couldn't be ridden anyway, so the knobbies were no use. On the flats (and lets face it, there were LOTS of flats) they slowed you down. 9 minutes, was like 100+ places for me.

    Won't be doing a 29 anytime soon, but interested to see how they turn out
    It's only pain......

  50. #50
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    This was my first time doing the race also; I drove from Rochester, NY to Buffalo and met up up with a NY cyclocross buddy and drove with him to Ancaster. I started in the first wave on my SS CX bike with 42:18 gearing on 29c cross tires. After about 15 minutes of spinning my ass off at about 24 mph I chose to pull over and flip my wheel around to get a higher gear with an 16 tooth cog. This did not go smoothly and must have taken at 3 minutes easily. After that I was passing people until the finish.

    Highlights included hitting the the ditch in the middle of a stretch of abandoned road and unexpectedly getting about 3 feet of air on my cross bike, that was way too cool. While trying to get a paceline going with a bunch of mountain bikers, like hearding cats, I met up with Hugh, owner of True North bikes riding his fixie cross bike. We worked well together for quite a few miles until we hit some singletrack and I put a decent gap on him. The bigger gear was great for the roads but once it got soft and uphill I was either in serious pain or walking. The famed mud chutes clogged my bike with mud; when I thought that I was done with downhills I just undid my brake cables from the brakes to try and clear mud better. Hearing the cheers coming up the finish was awesome.

    Thoughts if I do this race again, not likely in the near future since the plan is to move to Portland, OR in June, is to have a 42:17, bring more than one small water bottle, and to shoulder the bike and run through the entire mud chute section as to avoid clogging wheels with mud.

    I ended up placing 4th in the SS category with a time of 2:27 and some seconds. I would recommend this race to anyone and I would like to get a bigger crew together to cheer each other on/get better selection of beer for after the race. Now all I need to do is email the race organizers back since they claim that I didn't turn my timing chip in, I guess that little kid that took it off my ankle at the finish line just pawns the chips or something.

    Anway ... cheers,

    Dave

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    Knobbies, slicks, it didn't matter. No matter what tire you have, or it's width, you can't beat ankle deep mud. And you definately can't beat ankle deep mud plus the guy who just endo'd infront of you. That mud was sick. And the soft earth/grass, wow! Talk about pulling the cord on the parachute. I swear there was less effort cruising at 30 km/h than doing 5km/h in the dirt. That was my 4th time doing the race. The finish line hill is my nemisis. My legs don't cramp, but they cramp on that hill. There is no point fighting the mud. Get off, hike the bike, save some legs for the hill. It's like that hill is Moby Dick. I.... must.... defeat... it! It took granny to get me up the hill, but I didn't get off! I love that race. I love the subs after the race even more! (Secret endurance weapon: RED BULL!) 1/2 hour before the hill - priceless! See you next year! I have a new bb and crank set I am putting on my 5 year old stumpjumper HT. Thank god I didn't put it on the day before! :-)

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