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  1. #276
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    Feb 2012
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    My hardtail has a 34t ring and doesn't look like it would clear 36. I think newer xc bikes are made with up to like a 38t ring in mind though. And a 10t little cog is like having two more teeth on the chainring, and tire size matters, so for example 29x2 with 36x10 is the same gear inches as 42x11 on 28mm road tires.

    There's this "gravel race" that happens occasionally, and I've always used my xc bike over the cx because of the forest road descent at the end. Really rough, loose, and there are always a bunch of flats coming down to the finish. Since the last time it happened I put on better brakes (still rim) and got some 40s for general/gravel riding. Made it a lot better and I might consider riding it on that one. Rocky mountain roubaix is coming back next year and I'm probably riding the cx bike on 32 slicks as it is turning into more of a gravel race.

    And rigid, drop bars, 40ish tires does get you a pretty good amount of speed and efficiency on flat roads compared to flat bars and 2" tires. I generally don't like riding my mtb across town and such even though it's a light xc race bike with flimsy, fast rolling tires.
    Last edited by jamal; 12-18-2019 at 01:33 AM.

  2. #277
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    38
    Good info, Jamal. Thanks.

    Edit for follow up: What's the ideal gearing for grinding around forest roads in Western MT?
    Last edited by Terrapin Ben; 12-18-2019 at 10:43 AM. Reason: follow up question

  3. #278
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    Depends on fitness and how much stuff you're carrying, but I'd say 40 x 11-36 is passable on most stuff, but about the tallest low gear you'd want. Might as well use a wider cassette than that though. An slx 11-42 is pretty cheap and will go on any bike with a freehub. I only have an 11-32 because I'm racing cross and it was cheaper.
    Last edited by jamal; 12-18-2019 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #279
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Can/USA
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    852
    Found an older (2009) Kona Jake the Snake for a decent deal (under $200CAN)... doesn't have drop bars and no disc brakes. Do i grab that, change the bars and just roll with rim brakes or do i just work this Instigator into something i can use?

  5. #280
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandbox View Post
    Found an older (2009) Kona Jake the Snake for a decent deal (under $200CAN)... doesn't have drop bars and no disc brakes. Do i grab that, change the bars and just roll with rim brakes or do i just work this Instigator into something i can use?
    I'd buy that if it fit. Rim brakes only worked for the last 100 years or so.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  6. #281
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Shadynasty's Jazz Club
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    I think this is less the case now, but a lot of the early "gravel" bikes were rebadged CX frames, which is makes for a different bike than a rebadged road frame with more tire clearance. Newer gravel bikes are also getting flared bars, dropper posts, mounts galore, slacker HTAs. Not massive differences, but often different enough.

    Gravel bike vs hardtail mtb is dependent on terrain. On smoother, rolling terrain, gravel bikes are surprisingly (much) more efficient - and with some 40s, they're also way more capable than you'd think. It's hard to understand how significant the difference can be without riding a gravel bike, or riding a hardtail with a group of guys on gravel bikes. Even at very relaxed, fat mountain biker pace, you work so much harder to keep the mountain bike up to speed. That advantage starts to go away as the terrain gets rougher and more steep. Only the rider can determine what the threshold is to decide one over the other, and no amount of e-research is going to tell you what works best for you.

    There are plenty of big, sketchy, packed dirt and gravel roads around here, but they're 10-15 miles away over mostly fast, rolling terrain. I'll drive long distances to ride my mountain bike, but driving to ride a gravel road seems crazy. I'm willing to suffer a little more on those steep, gnarly climbs and descents in favor of a faster, more efficient approach and return trip. Also, I'll be honest, I kind of like the change of pace and challenge. It provides a nice alternative to mountain biking during the winter months. FTR, I'm talking gravel roads here. There are some short dirt road sections that are fun in a novel, holy shit kind of way, but I'm mostly riding maintained gravel roads. They get washboarded and rutted, but then they get new gravel (sketchy AF) once or twice a year. If I was riding lots of unimproved dirt roads, forest service roads, double track, that kind of thing, I think I'd probably opt for a mountain bike.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  7. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Rim brakes only worked for the last 100 years or so.
    Rim brakes work. Disc brakes work well. I'd still buy it for $200, though.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  8. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Rim brakes work. Disc brakes work well. I'd still buy it for $200, though.
    That's what I meant. I want a cheap cyclocross/gravel bike like that. I have lots of parts to get it where I want it, I just need decent bones in my size (60 cm).
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  9. #284
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    Oct 2002
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    Shadynasty's Jazz Club
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    Werd. That's a good way to go. If you like it, you can eventually upgrade. If you hate it, you're not out much.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  10. #285
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Can/USA
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    852
    My theory like you guys said is if i don't like it i'm not into it for much as opposed to a big investment. hopefully take a look at it in the next day or 2.

  11. #286
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Missoula
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    There's a big variation between rim brakes. I went from the cheap stock tektro cantis to trp cx8.4 mini-vs and it's a night and day difference. Now the brakes actually work. But, since they have more leverage and power, they move less for a given lever pull, and need to be adjusted really close to the rims. So you spend a lot more time fucking with them to get them to work right and the wheels need to be true. And I have to scrub the rims and sand the pads down somewhat regularly especially if i ride them in the wet. All shit you don't really have to worry about with discs though.

    40s with the v-brakes makes my bike a lot more capable and fun to ride on steeper, rougher stuff compared to 33s and the shitty cantis. It's still a stiff frame, with a steep hta, short wheelbase, and tall bb, but it seems kind of silly to want to get another bike that is pretty much the same but slightly different. I need a real mtb first. And maybe a fat bike.

  12. #287
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Can/USA
    Posts
    852
    Ended up grabbing that Kona. Itís in great shape and I think will be great for what I want. As you can see itís been switched to flat bars which I will dump in favour of drop bars but other then that I probably wonít do a ton. Will get some pedals and switch seats and see where we are at.
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  13. #288
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    base of the Bush
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    11,613
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  14. #289
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8530' MST/200' EST
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    I did the first VT overland, thats a fantastic event. I love how they dont mention D2R2 which has been going on for ages and is a classic.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  15. #290
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central VT
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    4,154
    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    I did the first VT overland, thats a fantastic event. I love how they dont mention D2R2 which has been going on for ages and is a classic.
    D2R2 is on my short list of gravel events this year; maybe Overland too but that sells out quick. Trying to stick to gravel rides that aren't too over hyped this season.

  16. #291
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    659
    Im racing the Black Fly Challenge in the Adirondacks this June. Im looking forward to my first gravel race.


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  17. #292
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    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
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    1,668
    I wouldn't put Gravel and Stoke together personally but I guess it shouldn't surprise me the gravel nerds have a website called that.

    Maybe make this just the Gravel thread? We already have one going for bikepacking. https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ht=bikepacking

  18. #293
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,949
    Whoís riding fenders? How much larger are they than your tires? Will SKS B53 fenders give enough clearance for 700x45 WTB Riddler tires?

  19. #294
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central VT
    Posts
    4,154
    https://www.velonews.com/2020/01/gra...rkansas_503775

    .....and here comes USA Cycling to ruin the fun and make gravel racing super serious.

  20. #295
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    Nov 2008
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    Where there is money to be made, USA Cycling will find a way.

  21. #296
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    2,226
    Fuck USAcycling

  22. #297
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    Feb 2012
    Location
    Missoula
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    It's nice to have a standardized rule set and categories and stuff like that, state and national championship events, and to send racers to international events like world cups, world championships, the olympics, etc. So there probably needs to be some sort of a national sanctioning body and they need money from somewhere.

    But at the same time they aren't giving the average casual racer, especially some guy who wants to do a gravel event occasionally, anything. I buy a license and go to the regional usac races because we have a bunch of up and coming juniors, one of whom was just racing in europe at world cup cx races for team usa. But the cateogorized racing and upgrade points and whatever don't really matter to me, and really shouldn't for any "masters" racer.

    So yeah anyway I guess what I'm saying is that there's purpose for usac, but it probably isn't gravel racing. Although maybe some actual rules would be a good thing with all the recent debate about the "spirit of gravel," controversy at dk and tour divide, etc.

  23. #298
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,226
    Fuck rules also.

  24. #299
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    base of the Bush
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Who’s riding fenders? How much larger are they than your tires? Will SKS B53 fenders give enough clearance for 700x45 WTB Riddler tires?
    None of the kool kids are running fenders

    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Where there is money to be made, USA Cycling will find a way.
    " In contrast to gravel’s explosive growth, USAC’s paid membership has been flat in recent years. USAC is hoping to significantly grow that number for 2020 and beyond. On Monday, the SportsBusiness Journal reported that USAC will launch a major marketing push over the next three years aimed at dramatically increasing its membership."

    usac is grasping at straws trying to find new revenue, as usual. They miss that gravel events and racing are low key on the competition front.

    I was talking to a friend who is the Green Mountain Stage Race promoter and he says running the event is tough, some decline in ridership and high fixed costs make it tough to make a profit.
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  25. #300
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,949
    Not really sure about going this far.


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