Gravel Riding Chit Chat

One of these must be near you.

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We did a wine tour whilst in Tuscany and it seemed constant rolling hills in Chianti. That looks a good weekend away.

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Tuscany is well lumpy as we found out in our 7m long motorhome in 2018 - some of them hill roads we struggled on with switchbacks - often down into 1st gear to get around the tight steep bends.

Bloody lovely though!

Tons of bikers out and about on the SDW this weekend - mix of gravel and MTB

Getting down from Manchester is easy on the train

Coming back have to go via London and change from Victoria to Euston

Or just do the double - there and back

The record is pretty impressive

Some of those 2x and more records are bonkers. I used to ride parts of the SDW quite often when I lived in Sussex but to contemplate doing multiples never figured - a 1x was hard enough. I’ve also met a couple of guys who’ve done it in one go on singlespeed MTBs - true nutters!

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I was loosely planning a long gravel ride tomorrow evening with an overnight bare-bones bivvy, brekkie in a cafe, then long ride home and back for lunch. This requires the unique combo of a warm night (no tent, tiny sleeping bag and pad) and a light breeze (midgies). No matter it’s 10°C outside and pissing it down all weekend and into next week. The British summer can do one.

I’d be working remotely from Mallorca on and off all summer if I didn’t have a kid in primary school :sob:

Cheered myself up with some consumerism. In white:


Whilst I am chucking money away I’m looking at the Hunt 35 carbon gravel wheels and pairing them with xt rotors and schwalbe g-one all rounds. They have a pretty good offer at the moment so open to other suggestions

Zipp 303S :white_check_mark:
Lifetime warranty.

The Hunts crack around the nipple.
Loads of issues with them in the club, and on the net.

XT Rotors :white_check_mark::ok_hand:t4: I put them on.
And I’ve got Pathfinder Pro for speed/drier stuff.
And Pirelli Cintauro M for muckier stuff.
Any more than that and it’s MTB territory.

The Hunts are now £670 so £200 cheaper than the 303s anywhere else and 200g lighter. However zipps are zipps but a PITA if the hubs fail

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I’ve got Zed wheels on my road bike that I’ve been happy with.


@Doka - I saw your comment on WalesDURO24 strava group, how did you find the event when you did it? (I mean, I think that it might be the event but I can’t remember :face_with_peeking_eye: sorry!)

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Wasn’t THE event, that was Wales in a Day.
I enjoyed WalesDuro & would recommend it. Its a Duro so only the segments matter (if anything matters?) so you need to know where they are, I rode it all hard and ended up at the campsite way too early on the first day before anyone else was there or anything was set up & it’s just a farmers field so might as well take your time & enjoy it, have a pub lunch etc. Tubless is a must, goes through a slate mine early on in the first day taking many casualties from those with a tubed setup.
The evening campsite fire & vibe was pretty cool swapping stories from the day but a group of lads did opt to sleep at a pup just up the road for some comfort & to catch the footy. Oh & Wales has midges that come out at night, prepare for that!
It’s mostly road (but lovely roads), the fastest setup overall for the segments though will be the most offroad setup. The last segment on day 2 is a twenty minute ish descent from ‘The Gap’ which is the longest segment & pretty gnarly on a gravel bike.
It’s an event that you can feel a little changed by like you’ve experienced a bit of something in some way not many others have, unlike triathlon, this is contrasted by having almost zero internet footprint and fanfare - leave no trace!


The elevation :exploding_head::sob::rofl:

I was maybe maybe thinking of doing it in a day, but looking at your times and the climbing, that’d be a no!!!

First train for me arrives in Bangor just before 8am, so plenty of time to get to camp. I’d like to set off a bit earlier Sunday morning, if I did it, to get an earlier train back from Cardiff.

Thanks for the info :white_check_mark:

Just weighing up some options, at the minute.
Might do the UCI gravel course over in Ruthin that day, as 1100m per 57km is putting me off entering the actual event :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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3km climbing in 100 miles is basically flat :rofl:. Seriously, I don’t remember tough climbing except maybe the Gap but that’s some hike a bike anyway.

Yeah, no chance you’re doing it in a day. You could go longer on the first day & make a quicker easier day 2 but then you wouldn’t get your segments recorded on the leaderboard.

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Erm … my 200km rides have ~1,000m elevation :rofl::face_with_peeking_eye:

100 miles is roughly 700m here :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Did I mention I’m not a fan of hills :hot_pepper::fire:


Speaking of this, I’ve a 1X set up (on purpose, a bit scared of my front mech cable snapping and losing range!) with a 40T up front and 42T on the rear.
It’s GRX 810/610 mix, so the long cage rear derailleur.

I’ve read a SunRace 11-50T cassette will work without a GoatLink :exploding_head:

Obviously, 8 more cassette teeth means a longer chain, and I’ve binned the spare links :face_with_peeking_eye:
But also, some sites say you need to turn the clutch off to shift into the 50T easily, but then I’d get mad chain slap!

Any thoughts?
Just get a bit better on hills?
A few of the off road ones need pushing anyhow, as the ground is too loose for my gearing and wheel/tyre choice.

It’s all about compromise, right?

I sorta did something similar as I stupidly bought a cross bike in 2015 (now my “gravel” bike) with SRAM CX1 (max 46T at a stretch). Then I realised I live on the edge of the Cairngorms :man_facepalming:.

So I bought a Garbaruk cage and swapped it into the CX1 derailleur. This enables a 50T cassette. Or 52T can’t remember. Think I’ve got a e-thirteen cassette 9-52T, but Sunrace, Garbaruk and KMC do similar for less. It’ll never be as smooth and quiet as Shimano OEM tho… And you may want to buy their oversized pulleys too. On the plus side they now do bling colours (black only when I bought).

Here’s a big KMC cassette that would pair nicely with the new cage. Assuming 11 speed, and HG driver hub (ie not SRAM XD/XDR hubs).

And yes, you’ll need a ruddy loooong chain. I’m on an XL frame and barely had to shorten the chain from the packet when I set this up.

Needless to say the jumps between gears are big.


Cheers :white_check_mark:

The cage is fine as is, but seems like I’d need a Goat Link for a 50T. 46T appears to be “fine”

I just felt overgeared last weekend and would ideally like a “get out” gear to spin up 10-15% hills,especially when loaded.

I’m unsure if a 46T will be enough, and once I’ve tried it, I can’t send it back :roll_eyes:
Plus, I’ve literally just fitted a new KMC black EL chain :sob: (which has already started delaminating, after just 600km)

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I managed okay with tubes when I did it and passed a couple of folk in the quarries sitting in pools of sealant trying to patch up massive sidewall slashes :man_shrugging:. Think you just have to take the slate very steady unless ‘winning’ is worth the gamble.
Agree, fantastic event. Yes, to the cafe stops/pub lunch. Day 1 wins on that front. Don’t miss TH Roberts in Dollgellau T.H. Roberts Coffee Shop, Dolgellau - cafe reviewed and visited