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Topics - iab2hieY

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Gear Talk / Is there a benefit to running a wider front tire than rear?
« on: November 16, 2020, 11:12:45 am »
Hi - I have a gravel bike that has about 60mm of spacing in the fork, so I am thinking I can safely use a 700x50c wire.  The manufacturer only advises a max of 32mm - I currently have a 38mm, but if the wheel goes out of true, it'd be game over, so I would likely switch down to a 32mm.

With a larger front tire (and since my bike has no suspension at all), it'd help to give me more cushioning and traction on gravel.  I can also handle ruts and potholes a little better.  I have a "standard" road bike rim, would I need a wider rim for that wide of a tire?  It would also make sense to have a wider rim as I'd have more air making for a more comfortable ride too, right?

Since the rear tire is still skinny, I would have problems going up loose gravel, but coming down should be much improved since, right?



Routes / Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 15, 2020, 08:07:30 am »
I'm planning to ride a gravel bike with 700x32c tires, with a 36x50 and 11x32 cassette within the US in July 2021 in 3 weeks' time.  I'd like to also consider the Canadian side of things; however, the current situation looks grim.  I may plan for it and make a determination around March of 2021.

That said, I was originally planning to do the GDMBR (from Kalispell -> Silverthorne -> Denver); however, I came to a stark realization that while most of the route might be okay with skinnier tires, it would be challenging to say the least.  And, it would fill my veins with adrenaline so much so that I'd probably be dead after a day.  I rode the C&O Towpath earlier this year with 700x28c and there were definitely some sections that were very rough and caused me to lose some gear (I didn't see that item was missing until I got into my tent at night) and contents of my food bag flew everywhere.  I apparently had sweat on my sunglasses and didn't see the tree roots until my burrito and mms were literally a foot in the air.  I would imagine that pales into comparison with the GDMBR which means I wouldn't stand a chance on my skinny tires.

With that gearing and loaded bike, the max gradient I would be able to easily do is 10% (with fresh legs) up a paved path.  I think Going to the Sun Road is 5%, so no problem there for me.

I do a fair amount of riding, about 5000 miles +-, all or 99% of that is road and I am fairly "desensitized" to riding on the road.  That said, I won't ride along an interstate and I generally try to avoid traffic as much as possible by riding early.  If I cannot avoid traffic by time of day, then I do seek alternates.

Having said that, I am trying to use the equipment I already have and match it with a route.  So, I am thinking about doing the Great Parks North starting in around Babb and possibly connect it with the TransAm and end up in Denver.  Actually, I think Kalispell is the closest airport.  I will ship my bike to the bike shop ahead of time, have it ready to go, then either bike up to Babb or get a ride.  I will be carrying camping gear and plan to camp most nights where I can for free, hanging my food.  I'll also have water filtration so I can manage water myself.  I am planning to carry 4L of water, possibly more if I need to cross the Great Basin.

The concerns I have would be:
1. From what I've read, MT-83 appears to be fairly busy, I understood that I should use MT-89 as it is less busy - that is quite a detour from the main route, is it much safer?
2. If I stick to the planned route for the Great Parks North / TransAM, those are entirely paved, or in other words, easily rideable with a gravel bike / 32c tires?
3. To minimize weight and unnecessary gear, I would not be bringing a bike lock.  I'm not planning to stop and hike the trails.  I don't imagine my bike being stolen in the small towns when stopping for groceries.
4. Are there any stretches of the TransAm (Missoula -> Steam Boatish area) that I might want to consider an alternate?
5. As this is remote, I am planning to carry cash as a backup to credit, but just as a backup.  That said, I'm hoping to scrap by with $100 / week (3 weeks).  Will most places take credit?
6. Were there any large sections of the GDMBR that would easily be rideable with my current setup?  From others' videos, it seems Montana would largely be the most rough, The Great Basin and Colorado look promising.
7. As I'd be mostly riding along the road, I feel that carrying bear-spray is less a necessity than if I were on a trail.

Thanks for your thoughts,


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