I’ll be spending a large portion of my Winter Break from work in Mountain View, AR for a solo “training camp” of sorts, and I have been debating what bikes I want to take with me for the adventure. Of course, I’ll bring the MTB along for some Epic-worthy Syllamo Trails rides, but some training on the road will be integral. Problem is, a lot of the non-highway roads in the Stone County area are gravel (I’d wager that MOST of the non-highway roads in the area are gravel!)
This sounds like a job for the cyclocross bike! (Yes, I have been known to take the road bike on occasional gravel road adventures, but I am thinking long distance comfort here).
The only problem is that I really like having my SRM computer. Also, the current gearing on the CX bike is a 40t single ring and 11-26 in the back. Not quite what I want for steep (gravel) mountain roads!
- Move the SRM from my road bike to the cross bike
- Install a bar-end shifter for the front derailleur (I’ve got an extra SRAM Red one that was supposed to go on the Air9, but that didn’t work out because of chainstay clearance issues)
- Put a 38t small ring on the SRM (it’s the smallest available for the 130bcd). Yeah, I know it’s just 1 tooth smaller than what I’ve got now, but I figure that every bit helps.
- Swap the 11-26 for an 11-28
- Throw in some Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires (size 700×32) for comfort on both pavement and gravel
- Tie it all together with sealed cable housing, and you’ve got a machine ready for just about anything the Ozark Roads bring to the ride.