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Tell us about your gravel grinder ride/race or bike
 Zurichman member not displaying online status
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posted 4/16/2017
at 11:39:17 AM
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I have spent the last 2-3 days trying to get all the info I can on gravel grinding bikes. Like handyhannah and others on this forum I have my eye on some eye candy. It's not the question of whether I am going to buy a gravel grinding bike or not, It's what kind of gravel grinding bike I am going to buy.

Of also interest is a ride in the Ozark mts. on Sept. 8-10

Pig Tail Gravel grinding. Sure looks like a blast to me and although I thought I would love to do cyclocross at one point in my life I think this looks like a blast.

Anybody else on here done any gravel grinding races/rides?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Zman
thread edited on 4/18/2017 at 3:26:12 PM

 wannaniner member offline
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posted 5/12/2018
at 9:51:22 PM
post #81 viewed 83 times
Zman

I sure will post it for you at the first of '19...

Nine

 Fullylugged member offline
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posted 5/13/2018
at 5:14:51 PM
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Last Saturday was my first ever gravel experience. Our club century is adding a gravel option and this was a test ride of the route. The grinders can choose from 21, 45 or 66 miles. I rode my Rambouillet with 38 mm tires at 50 psi and a mustache handle bar cockpit. On packed red clay or with minimal gravel, it was great. On thicker loose material, it was not. In cases where teh road was crowned, side slip was unnerving. The areas of washboard were tension producing and tired my arms and shoulders. The steep climbs with loose stuff were only slightly less a pain that steep curving descents on loose stuff. I was never sure about how much brake force to apply. I did not enjoy the ride.

 Zurichman member not displaying online status
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posted 5/15/2018
at 6:40:50 AM
post #83 viewed 65 times
fullylugged at my end it took me awhile to get use to riding around a 1/2 flat tire coming from the roadie end but I am betting if you went tubeless and dropped you tire pressure to 40 rear and 35 front that you or could enjoy the ride. Both my Gravel bikes Raleigh Tamland 1 and the new race bike Roker Comp have disk brakes and the Comp is hydraulic. I really like the disk brakes and the hydraulic brakes on the Roker are sweet. Not sure if a gravel bike is within your budget but riding 40 mm tires on gravel is almost a must unless you are a racer.


Zman

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posted 5/16/2018
at 1:34:38 PM
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Fullylugged, I lived in Auburn AL in the late 1990s and rode thousands of miles on unpaved back roads in east-central Alabama. Lots of the unpaved roads in that "piedmont" terrain were hard packed red dirt, but there were some graded gravel roads too. Chambers County AL alone has 800+ miles of unpaved roads.

I used the same bike setup in Alabama that I use today for unpaved roads - a non-suspension 26" wheel ATB/MTB with 2" (52mm) wide Schwalbe tires (not knobby). The 2" tires allow pressure down to 35-40 psi rear & 30-35 psi front. They roll wonderful on the hard packed red dirt and have enough cushion and surface area to handle some gravel. If it was loose gravel instead of packed & graded gravel, some knobbier tires might be better.

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posted 5/19/2018
at 4:45:29 PM
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Thanks Zurichman & raymondj for the tips!

 Zurichman member not displaying online status
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posted 6/19/2018
at 12:07:20 AM
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Another gravel bike ride/race in this weekend.

Sat Funks Bottom 100k Little Prairie Ohio. in a gravel bike race

#6 State ridden

I drove out early Friday afternoon and the 350+ mile trip wasn't too bad as it was almost all Pa Turnpike/Ohio Turnpike. I found a little Mom and Pops right outside Wooster on the way to the motel that had a pizza buffet. It was cheap and rather good so yeah I did the carbo load before the race. I was tired but nothing new as I pretty much got awake every hr. on the hr. during the night so no guest room wake up call was needed. Breakfast at the Rodeway Inn which was nice consisted of egg slice sausage and bisquick and sausage gravy and plenty of OJ. Now that the food was taken care of off to the ride which was out in the middle of nowhere. The starting temps were in the high 60's I believe and it only got warmer from there.

I won't say the start was steep but I thought I was in Wheeling WV. The neutral roll out was about only a 1/4 mile and so yes I was dropped off the back rather quickly and yes it was dusty enough that the riders were kicking up dirt. Note to self I need to start wearing glasses on these rides. The car traffic even though it was light would kick up dust as they went by. Some would slow down and some wouldn't.

I made it to what you might call the first rest stop. It was actually a small town and I bought a Twinkie and a Pepsi for a snack along with a bottle of water to top off my one water bottle. I pretty much ride these rides by the seat of my pants in that if I really know what is out there against me I really can't worry about it. This almost really hurt me on this ride. I was told there would be food/water at 52-53 miles(lie) Out of the small town and onward. I never really did get in much rhythm on this ride on the gravel and the stones were really loose on the downhills and you would come around a blind corner and there would be a massive climb. In that every ride is different on most rides I don't like the hard roads. I was welcoming them on this ride. The Pirates City Cycling team had a truck and water out on the course at 30 miles along with 2 different flavors of Hammer Heed. I already had a bottle of the Heed though. Right after or before the water stop I came across a rider on a downhill that looked like he had hit a huge pothole and had crashed. I helped him up and he didn't look too bad so myself and 2 other riders parted company with him. On one of the next downhills I was smoking it and hit my brakes and the bike made no attempt to even stop. I don't know if I was flying so fast that the bike was going airborne over that or not but that would be my guess. I blew straight thru a stop sign and had a car been coming I would have been toast. It scared the jeebers out of me.

I took it slow on the downhills after that. I stopped at mile marker 40 for a nature break and ate a Sierra Trail Mix Cliff Bar which I just found recently. I love them as they have a lot more moisture in them than other Cliff Bars.I was starting to bonk some between the 43-48 mile markers and kind of stopped eating on the bike. I was starting to get it in my head what I was going to eat at Mickey D's and that I probably would put sweet ice tea and ice in my Polar bottles to get me to the finish line. I make it to the 52-53 mile mark and see 4-5 guys pulled over by a steel pipe that has water coming out of it. This was our food/water stop and talking about messing with my mind. One guy felt sorry for me and gave me some kind of Honey Stinger thingy but I wasn't about to try something new now. I tried to get calorie caught up by eating large amounts of fig bars it helped some but never got caught up then.

Riding by myself I missed a turn at the 61 mile marker. Stop at a guys house and he gives me directions to get back on track but in my mind it wasn't right. I turn around and promptly have a bee hit my helmet go down the vent and sting me. Not sure if I was havinga reaction to that or just bonking some. I get back on track and think no big deal I only have a few miles to get in. I look down at my cue sheet and see that the ride is 66 miles not 62. Dang another mess with my head. I just put my head down and finish the ride. I ended up with a 70 mile ride

6900 feet elevation gain
tad over 10 mph average

way too much fun Zman

 wannaniner member offline
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posted 6/19/2018
at 2:13:56 PM
post #87 viewed 12 times
Excellent ride report as gravel riding is grand fun!

Nine
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