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Question from an "occasional" cyclist

  • 06-01-2023 5:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭

    I am committed to a big cycle trip tomorrow with some friends.

    160km round trip along a route which involves mostly (tarmac / compacted gravel) canal and some road surface.

    My dilemma is I have a choice of using a road bike or a mountain bike. Road bike obviously lighter and mountain bike obviously more comfortable.

    Any advice or helpful comments?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,769 ✭✭✭cletus

    What's everyone else using, and what's the planned pace?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,870 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    There is a thread about cycling the Grand Canal in this forum it might give you some help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Gorteen

    The pace will be slow, stops along the way. Unlikely to be much above 15km/hr.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,870 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    Are you sure about that?

    At that pace with stops you will run out of daylight.

  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Gorteen

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,870 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    OK best of luck.

    Take a look at that thread anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,769 ✭✭✭cletus

    Won't really make any difference, then, other than the extra effort of pedalling the mountain bike for that distance.

    What size tyres on the road bike

  • Registered Users Posts: 213 ✭✭sham58107

    When you say "occasional " have you done that distance before ? that is more than a 12 hour days with short stops, long time in saddle, have you all the right gear ? as already mentioned I would go with what others are using , road bike quicker but not comfortable for 12 hours, mountain bike slower but more comfort, although 15kph for that distance is going to hurt.

    Good luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,365 ✭✭✭iwillhtfu

    If they're on road bikes or hybrids you'll be feeling the pace on the mtb.

    Sounds like the spin fill be flat so it'll be a constant pedal especially on knobby tyres as you wont get any benefit of even slightly free wheeling. 160km on a mtb sounds horrendous but perhaps you have hybrid type tyres.

  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Gorteen

    Not hybrid tyres. Good knobbly tyres. Biggest distance before was a little over 90km on a horrible 5 speed hybrid along Grand Canal / roads.

    So, it's going to hurt no matter what I do. I might prefer to hurt on a lighter, faster bike.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Gorteen

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,769 ✭✭✭cletus

    23mm night be a little narrow for the canal paths.

    To be honest, it sounds like it's going to be a miserable experience for you regardless.

    160km at 15kph is 10 hours 40 minutes. That not including breaks for food, punctures, mechanicals etc.

    Is it some sort of charity thing?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,186 ✭✭✭Fian

    160km is ambitious. I would go on road bike and tbh at the end of the day you will want to put your head down and just grind out the final stretch, you will be glad of the extra pace and efficiency of a road bike then. 23mm will slip a bit on canal paths but I have done it on 23mm and was fine. 25/28 would probably be better. You expect the canal route to be flat, and on average it is, but unfortunately you are constantly climbing up to road level at each bridge and then down to canal again. short little rises but they are steep and they add up.

    There is a big difference between 90 km and 130km. I imagine an even bigger difference between 130 and 160, imagining because I have never gone beyond 130. Make sure you have food/drink and I presume you have decent clothing fit for purpose. Use chamois cream and bear in mind you will get colder as the day progresses, bring arm and leg warmers.

    Have your friends done this kind of distance before? If not you may find it gets cut short.

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy it and have a tailwind on the way home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Gorteen

    I'll let you know how we get on!

  • Registered Users Posts: 884 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    Go n-eirí an bóthar libh!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,406 ✭✭✭Gerry

    That is a serious slog. I would go mountain bike for comfort and less mental effort. with enough fuelling you should be fine. good luck and tell us how it went.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,769 ✭✭✭cletus

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,933 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

    bring arm and leg warmers.

    Now I think anyone starting a ride at 6am in January is hardly going to be in shorts and short sleeves!

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 38,006 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    What footwear will you have? Will you have shoe covers?

    You will probably be grateful for thermal socks and maybe have a spare pair in case your feet get wet.

    Have you decent gloves?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,871 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    he'll be out on the road at the moment...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,353 ✭✭✭Ryath

    Even at my fittest and regularly doing 200km plus spins I think I'd have struggled with 160km on a mountain bike. Just purely on comfort and not having the different hand positions drops give and your weight is more evenly spread. A MTB might feel more comfortable for an hour or two but for all day riding comfort a properly set up road bike is much better. Bar ends would help a though.

    23mm tyres is risky though don't fancy changing multiple punctures on a day like today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,244 ✭✭✭saccades

    Seen this way too late.

    Was it a hard tail or full suss?

    Mtb with bar ends and semi slick on the rear. That's a comfortable pace with no climbs to talk about.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭2011abc

    This is mad , surely close to impossible as described let’s hope he survived !

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,545 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    I cannot wait for the update on how this trip went.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64 ✭✭EAD

    Are you home yet?

  • Registered Users Posts: 884 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    What if we never hear from the OP again??

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭rolling boh

    The fact that he is with others will make the op stick it out but we may have to wait for an update .

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,193 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Probably having his back passage operated on as we speak

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,365 ✭✭✭iwillhtfu

    I'm betting they're 6 pints deep in Nanny Quinns. Will get the rest done another day 😂

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    With the current HSE crisis it maybe several days before we hear any news.