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PoolBoyMatt

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Reply with quote  #1 
Long time racer, doing my second gravel event as the Almanzo 100 in a few months. I am going to race my Trek Crockett with 700c Crest rims. I am currently running Specialized Roubaix 30/32 2Bliss tires around 40-45psi and like it. Thoughts on this tire setup?

I also have WTB Horizon 650x47s on a not-so-light wheelset - but I don't have much faith in the smaller wheel size.

I plan to really race, but I don't have much intel on the roads and whatnot. The Crockett is going to max out around 38-40 measured size out back. 

Also as a side note - road pedals should be good, yeah? Nothing is going to be a jeep road/b road where riding isn't an option, right?
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #2 
Clément X'Plor USH 35c at 45/35 psi. I weigh 175lbs. Everybody has their personal favorite so all we can tell you what's worked in the past. I've done 4 Almanzo 100s finishing in the 6-7 hour range.

If it ends up being wet it all turns to peanut butter so proper CX mud tires would be wise. I've run Maxxis Raze with some success in those conditions. Can do in road cleats. I never have for any gravel events but there's been some top finishers cruising in on road shoes and 28c tires so what do I know. Oh, and there is a pretty substantial water crossing about 20 some odd miles from the finish so you're either going to be taking your shoes off or just hoofing it. I've always kept them on through that, they almost always end up dry at the end.

Have fun! Wish I was going this year.

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Slim

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Reply with quote  #3 
OK, here goes.

Conditions:

The vast majority of the ride is smooth, firm limestone gravel roads. (A) In case you are not familiar with them, these roads tend to resemble southwest MTB surfaces: loose over hard. In other words, a firm base with dust and loose pebbles/rocks on top. If it's wet, those will be peanut butter.
If they have had fresh gravel added recently, it will be larger chunks and no smooth track worn in yet.
Last year had quite a few miles of fresh chunky gravel like that. (B) How much will depend on the road crews.

Last year had one section (1 mi?) that was pure clay. Luckily the weather was dry, so it was slightly soft, but not muddy. If it is moist conditions that section will be a pure clay mud-pit, but who knows if it will be in this years  route.(C)

There are several good downhill corners where skill and grip could make a difference. (D)

There is a creek crossing, maybe dry. (E)

There might be a few sandy sections or a short section with a few loose rocks, but those would be very short. (F)

(A) A fast rolling tire is fine, nothing super wide nor extreme tough casings needed.
(B) A large volume and low pressure are the key. Again, this is not flint, and the rocks are loose so they can shift out of the way rather than being forced into the tire.
(C) If the roads are very dry, anything is fine, maybe even less knobby better since it won't pick up mud. If it's wet? No idea, walk? CX knobbies? If it's moist, I would wear MTB shoes because of this section.
(D) I like some side knobs, but you know your skill. I'd say if you want to race (so need to stick on someone's wheel) pick a front tire that's knobby enough for you to trust it at high speeds in loose over hard cornering.
(E) Wouldn't change tires or shoes for this.
(F) Again, totally rideable, so wouldn't change shoes or tires for this.

I rode a 30mm tubeless S-One (32mm wide on my rim) in the rear and 32mm tubeless Bonty CXO (34mm wide on my rim)  in front. My bike wouldn't take wider. I had a good feeling on the corners with the fairly aggressive side knobs of the CXO on the wide rim and rolled fine everywhere else.

I would say, if you don't trust the (650b) wheels, don't ride them, confidence is 80% of the battle!
Also, there is plenty of climbing to a bit of weight saving will be nice.
If you want to save money, you can do it fine on your existing tires, but a higher volume (especially rear) tire would be faster on rough and soft sections, and a more aggressive front tire might let you corner faster. Also if you are racing, and there is a crosswind, you will be forced out of the good line, onto softer and rougher gravel, so a wider, softer tire will allow you more leeway.
Think of pave sections in the cobbled classics: the lead rider can pick  smooth line, but if the want to draft in an echelon, the rest has to bounce along the rough stuff.

If it is dry, road shoes will be fine, but if there is a chance the roads might be moist, I would probably switch to MTB shoes to be safe.

Check out the MN forum thread for more discussions on the Almanzo.
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PoolBoyMatt

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Reply with quote  #4 
huge thanks everyone.
If it is dry I will race something smooth-ish in the 35mm range. If it rains I am not racing. I have done a Land Run 100 in the mud. Not really my cup of tea. This race is going to be a stopping point along the way when I move a little later this spring, so if it is all nasty I just won't do it. I don't get much satisfaction from a 10 hour slog followed by 5 hours of bike overhauling.

I will keep everyone posted on how my bike comes along for this.
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hipsteronabike

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Reply with quote  #5 
Oriole hill is a walker for many including me, so consider what you'll be able to bike up around mile 75.

I've ridden everything from 30mm compass tires, 33mm challenge almanzos, 35mm clement Ush/mso, and this year I'll be on Schwalbe kojaks at 40mm. Come to think of it, every tire I've ridden has gotten progressively larger.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SPfQjZsk2UU/U3qL43yWYJI/AAAAAAAABAQ/5UML-ArRGBY/s1600/P5170537.JPG
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #6 
Slim, ridemagnetic,

Great info. Thanks for sharing. 

hipsteronabike,

That's a great pic


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Slim

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Reply with quote  #7 
My wife ran 35mm Schwalbe G-One(37mm on her rim) tubeless and Maxxis Rambler 40 mm tubeless front.
I have a new bike that will take bigger tires, so I am riding Schalbe G-One in 40 mm in rear and Maxxis Rambler 40 in front.

On chunky gravel wider and softer is faster, not to mention more comfortable. There is probably a tipping point for the front tire where aerodynamic losses outweigh the reduced rolling resistance of a wider tire, especcially on smoother gravel.
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Slim

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Reply with quote  #8 
That pic of Oriole (not Oreo, sorry to dissapoint people [wink]  ) hill is a good view of the majority of road surfaces in Almanzo, and shows a nice close-up view of a curve.

That pic should give you a good idea of what kind of tire you might want for most of the ride, considering rolling resistance, cushioning and traction in corners. 
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hipsteronabike

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Reply with quote  #9 
I would disagree, this is the only hill I believe I've ever seen a walker on. Steeper gradient and WAY longer than most others.

The filthy fifty and I believe one other race also uses this hill, of 6+ attempts I've only ridden up once (and I probably shouldn't have).
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Slim

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipsteronabike
I would disagree, this is the only hill I believe I've ever seen a walker on. Steeper gradient and WAY longer than most others. The filthy fifty and I believe one other race also uses this hill, of 6+ attempts I've only ridden up once (and I probably shouldn't have).


Sorry,
I meant it's a good view of the road surface that is the vast majority of the ride. Since this was a discussion of tire choice, and I had described the road surface, I thought I would mention that this road surface is very common in the area.

Yes, I agree the fact that so many people walking is not common on most of the other climbs.
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Slim

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Reply with quote  #11 

Here are some pics  I took of the roads in Almanzo:


Common road style:

13220676_1014693271940170_6298522035990079765_o.jpg 


Showing some fresh gravel here:



13235463_1014692958606868_2418587575835955626_o.jpg 


And Oriole once again:
12440767_1014691821940315_9212514762895650536_o.jpg 


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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoolBoyMatt
Long time racer, doing my second gravel event as the Almanzo 100 in a few months. I am going to race my Trek Crockett with 700c Crest rims. I am currently running Specialized Roubaix 30/32 2Bliss tires around 40-45psi and like it. Thoughts on this tire setup?

I also have WTB Horizon 650x47s on a not-so-light wheelset - but I don't have much faith in the smaller wheel size.

I plan to really race, but I don't have much intel on the roads and whatnot. The Crockett is going to max out around 38-40 measured size out back. 

Also as a side note - road pedals should be good, yeah? Nothing is going to be a jeep road/b road where riding isn't an option, right?


Have you done any gravel riding on the Roubaix tires?  If so, you should do fine with those.  There are plenty of people at Almanzo riding 32 or skinnier tires.  The roads are pretty smooth, but there can be fresh gravel in places, too.  I've been doing 32-35 tires.  

Road shoes?  Hmmm.  I wouldn't, but I'd bet some do that too.  The only walking, though, is if you can't make some of the hills.  Or some unforeseen mechanical issue.

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GOOG

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Reply with quote  #13 
Would anyone be averse to running a Gravelking SK35 at the Almanzo 100?  I intend to use that at Gravel Worlds later in the summer and if I can "kill" two races with one tire I'd be a happy man.  In fact, I hope to use that tire for everything short of a mud-fest.  
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hipsteronabike

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Reply with quote  #14 

At the end of the day, people have gotten away with riding 25mm conti's you'll be fine.  People have preferences for different tire weights, feels, etc, but this isn't a course that will tear sidewalls or be exceptionally loose/muddy.  I have had my rear tire slip going up hills, but that is unusual.

 

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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOOG
Would anyone be averse to running a Gravelking SK35 at the Almanzo 100?  I intend to use that at Gravel Worlds later in the summer and if I can "kill" two races with one tire I'd be a happy man.  In fact, I hope to use that tire for everything short of a mud-fest.  


I've done many gravel rides on SK32's FWIW.  On a wide rim, they feel like a bigger tire, too.

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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #16 
I'll add one more thing.  

If you did wind up walking, for some reason, it could be a very long walk.

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PoolBoyMatt

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Reply with quote  #17 

Sounds like tire choice is really whatever I feel works. I haven't ridden a ton of gravel on the Roubaix tires but I have ridden gravel on Bontrager TLR R2 26mm tires on my road bike. It was fine. I didn't love it. I think the 32 Roubaix or that type tire in a 35-38 is the jam for me. I don't know how much knobs I would use.

I have nice road and mountain shoes, I just know the mountain shoes aren't as stiff and the road shoes save over 100g. 

We are still a ways out, I just finished my first mountain bike race of the year and can finally get back on the noodle bar bike. We will see what shakes out. Thanks everyone for the input so far.

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