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Road Bike Upgrade Fever(3 posts)

Road Bike Upgrade FeverKellum1969
May 20, 2002 11:42 AM
Got talked into (okay, suckered into) doing the Furnace 508 later this year. I'm a dyed in the wool mt biker, who occasionally road rides (that is, until this week, where my roles will be reversed in order to get ready). I'm a fairly strong road rider, but this ride is something totally new to me: a minimum of 254 miles (I'm doing the race as a duo) in less than 20 hours, with steeps that are in the 13% grade category.

My main concern is my bike, and I'm looking for upgrade suggestions. I currently have a 7 or 8 year old Trek 2200 (I bought it used). Carbon frame, with AL fork. It has campy components, 8 speed cassette, and I believe the original Matrix front wheel (I had the rear wheel built up with a Mavic open, and the campy hub.

I was thinking of going to a triple chain ring for this race. How simple/hard is this, and wiht the older components, am I asking for trouble? Also, what about going to a 9 speed cassette? Do I have to get a new derailluer, or can I use the current one (somebody told me all I would have to do is take a certain screw out)? Should I get a carbon fork?

Any advice or additional upgrade suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

JK
re: Road Bike Upgrade FeverDougSloan
May 20, 2002 2:21 PM
The hills on the 508 aren't very steep. The worst is Townes Pass 200 miles. It rises about 3500 feet up to 5000 feet in about 10 miles. Since you are doing this as a relay, you could even split up the climb between the 2 of you. A 39x27 would be fine.

The concern about this race is keeping your legs fresh and getting up the long climbs (some are 4% for 20 miles) even when bonked, dehydrated, and with sore whatever.

I had a separate climbing bike with really low gearing. The main bike I used had 55/39 and 11-25 (custom 10 speed cog selections). The climbing bike had a low of 38x34.

If you don't have a separate climbing bike, a triple would be good. However, it's good to have a backup bike, anyway. Parts of the course are really bumpy, and beat the heck out of you and your bike.

A carbon fork would be nice to cut the road buzz.

Aero wheels beat light wheels (but areo and light is good, too), even with 35,000 feet of climbing on this one.

You typically need new derailleurs with different speed bikes. Nonetheless, don't just rig something up for this race. By the time you spend all the money, time, and get your crew out there you want the bike to be working perfectly. My theory on the equipment side is "whatever it takes, no compromises." All I want to worry about is me.

Now get out there and train your butt off. :-)

Doug
link to training articlesDougSloan
May 22, 2002 3:07 PM
http://www.ultracycling.com/training/two_person_pt1.html