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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a MTB guy. I recently picked up a Santa Cruz Stigmata (it's a CX type of bike). It's as close to a road bike as I have. Gearing is SRAM Force 42 x 11-36. I've been getting use to riding on the road with it and I like road miles. Enough I may end up buying a dedicated enduro road bike in the future. BUT I kinda want to wait a bit to make sure as if I do go for a road specific ride, I'd end up dropping some $$$.

I can see joining a road club for some rides. Highly doubt any races for me, more like race against myself type of riding. Chances are I'd more often take a ride to VT, NH, or somewhere in the mts and just ride for half a day solo and enjoy. Then find a brewpub!!!!!!

Now for the am I crazy part....

I am doing a benefit road only ride from World Trade Center to Washington DC (around 300 miles) in May. It's over 3 days I believe. I don't feel the 42- 11x36 is going to work for that specific ride. I have a set of NOX wheels and DT 350 hubs being built up now. I have a set of Schwalbe G One 38mm tires waiting for these rims. I picked up a 10-42 cassette and am hoping this will give me enough gearing to climb and not spin out on the downhills.

Am I asking for trouble running this ride with this combo of bike and gearing? I really am 50/50 on if this is viable. I'm new to road miles and not some gifted rider. Not a slouch either. I really just do not have the experience to know which way to lean on this one.

Any advice very much appreciated.
 

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I don't think you're asking for trouble. Cross bikes are perfectly capable on the road. Being an event of that distance, you shouldn't be worried about spinning out on the downhills. I think the 10-42 will be overkill. The gaps between cogs will be horrendous for road riding. You're current low gear of 42-36 is equivalent, or lower than most road gearing setups. And with you being a mountain bike guy, you're probably used to grinding a bit as opposed to spinning.

If I were doing this, and had to keep the 42 up front, I would probably consider a 11-32 on the back. That low gear would be very similar to what a lot of roadies ride. But that's coming from a guy that is very particular about my cadence. Some people, large gaps in the cassette do not bother them.
 

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Just get a new/different cassette. Unless I'm wrong about the profile between NYC and DC there's not use for a 36 or anything even close for a reasonably fit cyclist.

As for a road bike for someone in VT. Personally I wouldn't get a full on road bike as in takes only up to 25mm tires. First, the most fun riding in VT IMO is all the fantastic gravel roads......and most of the asphalt roads are some pot holed and cracked that even light riders can benefit from 28mm or so.
 

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an 42-11 @ 80 cadence will get u about 24mph. I think that would be doable, if your riding with fast roadie buddies, it will not be fast enough if there is any extra long downhills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your answers have helped a lot!! Really needed to hear thoughts and advice from guys who actually have miles and experience on the road.
 

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You should be fine with the 11–36 that you now have on bike, the gearing is only slightly lower than a compact 34–28 (Standard climbing gears for average road cyclist).... it may come in handy on longer steep hills. I would check the grades on the route you will be riding .... of course, if you're young,in great shape,don't have any extra weight ..a higher geared cassette could be beneficial, depending on terrain.
 

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Regarding trip to DC, is it all going to be paved road riding? If so you might want to think more road specific tires. My cross bike came with 32mm knobbies, I put on 25mm Bontrager R2 slicks and that's what I do all my hard top exercise on. They ride great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, this will be an all paved road trip from Ground Zero to DC. I have Maxxis Mud Wrestlers on it now mounted to a WTB i19 al rim. I have a set of wider rims in transit. They will be 23mm inside width. I have a set of Schwalbe tubeless G-One 38mm ready to go (Art's cycle had them for $50). Looking to try these out when I get to training miles. Right now, it's 9F by me....warming to the 20's. The only biking I'll be getting in between now and end of Feb beginning of March, will me a lap or too on the mtb bike or at the gym. Tooooo damn cold!!

Not having any road experience or a road bike with a granny gear to play with, I'm just leery, maybe even insecure for such a long ride. Hence all the questions. More is dependent on my ass dropping a few and making sure I'm in solid cardio shape for March so I can hit the road rolling.

Now leads me to another question...Is riding a bike at the gym, we do have some pretty good stationary bikes, able to replicate a road well? When you see you rode XX miles in XX hours and see elevation gain of XX is is comparable to actual road?

I ask because: I'm big into hiking mts. I can hit a treadmill at max incline (15%) and grab 3200 verticle feet an hour. I can do this after a muscle segment workout for days in a row (just not the day after LEGS; uffff). I'ts not the same on a real mountain so doesn't translate well to reality.
 

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Yes, this will be an all paved road trip from Ground Zero to DC. I have Maxxis Mud Wrestlers on it now mounted to a WTB i19 al rim. I have a set of wider rims in transit. They will be 23mm inside width. I have a set of Schwalbe tubeless G-One 38mm ready to go (Art's cycle had them for $50). Looking to try these out when I get to training miles. .
Those tires have a treaded profile, correct? Those will really increase your rolling resistance on pavement. 25's are really the biggest you would ever need on the road, unless you are a big guy. I ride sections of gravel road on 25's all the time. If you are a big guy (by my standard, north of 250lbs), you could go slick 28's, and not sacrifice much in rolling resistance.

Whatever tire you choose, it's pointless and will be somewhat of a hindrance to run anything but slick tread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, those tires have what looks like tiny dots for a tread. I saw them as lower rolling resistance but still grippy for the crum I'm expecting to be training in come end February/March (if winter goes out quielty!!). These are wide for a purpose.

Tires for the event will be a whole other decision I'll be looking for advice on! I would be looking 28-33 for the event. There are some interesting things that happen when your rims are a little wide. Not exactly the resistance you'd expect.
 

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300 miles in three days will take some training. Give your proposed setup a good trial period. Once you have a couple 60-75 mile rides under your belt you will know if it will work for you

Don't worry about spinning out just yet. You may find yourself wanting a bit of rest on the downhills.
 

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I've been riding a cross/gravel Specialized CruX on the road for almost 2 years now, and love how capable it is. It is not a 1X, and has a 50/36 double compact up front, so that makes a big difference. It came with a 11-30T cassette, but I use an 11-28 for local flatter road rides and even CX. While reading your original post, I was expecting you to want a larger chain ring, actually! The only time my gearing starts to feel limited is when my group rides hold above a 30MPH pace, and especially in a fast sprint.

While I've used 25mm road tires on this bike, I never ride anything narrower than 28's now. Normally, I ride with 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4000S II's, and during winter when the average group pace is slower and the cold pavement traction limited, I ride with 32mm Continental Gatorskins. Gatorskins aren't nearly as supple and fast and the 4000S's are, regardless of width. I just don't enjoy fixing flats in the cold. The 32's certainly feel slower than 28's, and the extra weight is noticeable when climbing or accelerating.

Even as a long time XC rider (since 1985), I can't imagine riding anything wider than 28mm's on the road during a long event. I've ridden various 32mm CX tires and 40mm gravel tires on the road, and it sure take more watts to hold a higher speed. That said, ride what you like and have fun.
 

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I have a S-Works cross bike that I use on the road all the time. 48/34 chainrings & 11-28 10 spd cassette works fine for me on fairly hilly terrain in NW-NJ. I set up a second set of wheels with road tires (23 mm front, 25 mm rear) so I can easily switch between the cross tires and the road tires. Gives you the best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
300 miles in three days will take some training. Give your proposed setup a good trial period. Once you have a couple 60-75 mile rides under your belt you will know if it will work for you

Don't worry about spinning out just yet. You may find yourself wanting a bit of rest on the downhills.
That's pretty much it! Good advice.

There is no cadence for mtb time so I have no idea what my cadence is now and what I need it to be. Weather is rough here in NY. Cold and freezing rain right now. Not looking good for next week either. I'm going to try and get out with the 11x36 cassette on bike path for some road miles. If not, I guess I'll have to hit the stationary at the gym. I'm guessing they gym bike will have a cadence monitor for me to use.
 

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If you're a decent rider, you will be fine as long as you're not trying to keep up with others who are on pure road bikes. I had a 11-32 1x cross setup but I converted it to a 2x (46/36). It is better now. For road, I put on tubeless Bontrager CX0 which have a file tread patter with bigger side-knobs. It rolls fast. So I think your setup is fine but I would personally need a double ring if there were climbs involved over a long ride like that. That Stigmata looks like a cool bike. I also like the Turner Cyclosis. You don't see those two bike much out there.
 

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