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merckx
07-17-2006, 10:45 AM
I plan to ride the D2R2 in August. However, I only have a road bike with limited tire clearence. I hope to get away with using Vittoria All Weather clinchers as these are the largest tires that will fit my machine. I use these during the winter months in New England with great results in durability and limited punctures. Am I crazy even considering the ride with these tires? For those of you who have done the ride, are there sections that are so loose (deep sand/dirt) that would be impassible with 24c tires? If there are sections like these, what percent of the ride would I encounter them? Are any of the descents really loose? I would really like to do the ride, but I don't want to make it a walk. Please advise.

Bittersweet
07-17-2006, 11:48 AM
I have not done this ride yet but I'm signed up for the short version. I've asked around and read posts all over. Like many of these rides it seems like its a matter of who you talk to. Last year people rode everything from 23c road bikes with 39x25 gearing to full mtbs. I read a post from someone who rode a 1" tire on their Rambouillet (sp?) and pinch flatted once and found the last significant descent a bit hairy and washed out. They did a little walking up. Overall they said it was fine. This was over the long course. A forum poster rode it on 26c cyclocross tires and 34x26. Another on a hardtail mtb with rigid fork and mtb slick type tires.

I'm in a similar quandry as you and assuming it is a dry day and hasn't rained heavily over the previous days I plan on going with 25c Michelin road tire. I'm going to put on my eggbeater pedals and mtb shoes and prepare myself for possibly walking. I'm also going to pack a detailed local map of the area with the knowledge that I could bail out onto the pavement and abort the ride. I'm signed up for the short version for just this reason. If I abort, then the short version on dirt can become a long version on pavement and I end up at the start with a better understanding of the requirements for next year.

The ideal machine for the long course is probably a cyclocross bike with full 28c tires and a triple but if you don't have that (and I don't) then you'll just have to "run what ya' brung".

Peter P.
07-17-2006, 10:21 PM
Yes; I think 24mm tires are outside the envelope of acceptable. Could you do it-probably. Will you get frustrated?-probably as well. If weather conditions result in dry roads for several days, then it will be more than loose for those skinny tires, some sections will be worse than others. You might consider it fun and a challenge though, to tiptoe down some of the squirrelier sections as well as push up some of the climbs. You'll shake your head, wish you were better prepared, but laugh like hell when it's all over-a long day, but over.

I did see one guy with a standard road bike and a carbon fork, with a 25mm tire squeezed through it. I didn't ask him how he was managing.

I'd say low enough gearing is more important than wide enough tires, in fact the skinnier the tires then the lower the gear you should have.

I ran 32mm file tread tires on my ATB and they were PERFECT in the dry conditions. I could carry all the speed I wanted through the sand, dirt, whatever, with good climbing traction.

If all you can fit through the fork is a 24mm tire, then I'd say don't even bother with buying special rubber for the ride. Use standard 23mm tires and spend your money on lower gearing- a 39x29 assuming you're running a road double, or compact equivalent. If you've already got a triple on, then you should be fine. However, I'd anticipate some walking and, if you have them, install your ATB pedals and wear the matching shoes.

dauwhe
07-18-2006, 08:58 AM
Probably a lot of this has to do with your bike handling skills. Mine aren't great; with 36mm tires I struggled. More skilled riders would be happy with narrower tires.

But there is a lot of sand and loose stones. I did walk some; For me the perfect bike for this ride would have 1.9 inch tires, and about a 22 x 32 low gear! Your mileage may vary.

The most important thing is to show up for the ride--it might be the best ride you ever do!

Dave