Author Topic: GDMBR  (Read 619 times)

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Offline bigdave

GDMBR
« on: December 21, 2023, 01:55:24 pm »
This is on my bucket list. Wanting some opinions on whether gravel bike is OK or mountain bike needed. Don't own mtb, but do have gravel. Thoughts?

Offline John Nettles

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Re: GDMBR
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2023, 10:55:41 pm »
Welcome to the ACA Forums! 

Generally speaking, a gravel bike would work.  Not ideal but yea it would work.  I would scout out the more technical areas in advance of the ride and detour around those.  Otherwise, most of the route is just on gravel, dirt, or even paved roads.  Biggest thing is that front shocks are a huge blessing on the GD. 

Have a great tour!

Tailwinds, John

Offline Beef

Re: GDMBR
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2024, 09:05:57 am »
I rode the sections of the GDMBR in the summer of 2023 from Steamboat to Del Norte on a Surly ECR -- a rigid 29+ smooth ride. The bike performed excellently but delivered almost every bump, bounce, and rattle through my hands and butt. My body was worked over with numb hands and a sore a$$. Having the larger bike, I carried too much stuff. Less is more.

I rode the ECR as it was the bike I already had. In my plans for 2024, I'm going to the other end of the spectrum (wisely or not.) The 2024 bikepacking rig will be my Pivot Trail 429. It will be too much suspension with more parts that can derail my 2024 journey. The rear suspension limits storage for a frame bag, so attaching enough stuff has become a challenge. It's all about trade-offs. Start with what you already have and build on it.

My optimal rig would be a hardtail with a front suspension setup...maybe 2025 

Offline John Nettles

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Re: GDMBR
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2024, 12:47:09 pm »
What Beef (BTW, welcome to the ACA Forums Beef) said about a front suspension is wise.  In your case, you might consider getting something like a Red Shift stem as I have one and while they do not take all the bumps out, it does reduce it. A Thudbuster seat post might be advantageous also.  Whatever you decide, have a great ride!

Offline ray b

Re: GDMBR
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2024, 04:59:34 pm »
This is on my bucket list. Wanting some opinions on whether gravel bike is OK or mountain bike needed. Don't own mtb, but do have gravel. Thoughts?
Depends on how you ride and how fast you want to go.

First time on the GDBMR in 2013, I ran 80 mm front suspension.

Did the trip a couple years ago with a rigid steel frame, and did not regret my choice, though I have to say, the pandemic was tough on the gravel roads - a lot of guys thought they needed to see how fast their 4X4s could generate washboard. But then, this is what the manufacturers say gravel bikes are designed for.

If you're good at balancing on the pedals while on the go and keeping weight on the seat and bars light, then you're probably OK with your gravel bike. Just make sure you have a low enough gear, don't be in a hurry, and don't try to be a hero. And don't worry, you'll know when it's time to walk the bike through sketchy areas.

(Some of the racers think a carbon fiber, dual suspension bike would be fastest, because one would not have to get off and walk the tougher spots of exposed boulders and deep ruts of washed out sections of roads in Wyoming and Northern CO, but if so, one would want to start with brand new fork seals at the beginning of the ride.)

Best way to find out if the gravel bike can handle it? Get out there, try it out. Put your thoughts in this thread.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2024, 02:59:25 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: GDMBR
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2024, 11:34:54 am »
What Beef (BTW, welcome to the ACA Forums Beef) said about a front suspension is wise.  In your case, you might consider getting something like a Red Shift stem as I have one and while they do not take all the bumps out, it does reduce it. A Thudbuster seat post might be advantageous also.  Whatever you decide, have a great ride!

John,
Would you prefer a Thudbuster over the Redshift seatpost suspension?

Offline John Nettles

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Re: GDMBR
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2024, 11:58:17 am »
I can't really say as I have not used a RedShift seat post.  I do like the Thudbuster ST I use when touring on gravel but that was purchased a decade ago.  However, RedShift seems to make good products (at least their stem is good) so perhaps their package deal would be good.  Plus they occasionally put stuff on sale I think. 

Tailwinds, John