Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Tour Divide started today.

Bikepacking.com has a Rigs of the 2019 Tour Divide page up.

A week ago, Patagonia and Chumba Bikes here in Austin, TX sponsored a talk by Alexandera Houchin, who was last year's Tour Divide women's winner and a Chumba rider: chumbausa.com/riders

Last year she raced with gears; this year she's going rigid single speed on a titanium Chumba frame with dropper seat post (!). She doesn't bother with lycra or bike shoes; cut offs and boots work for her. She has a super warm Patagonia sleeping bag and an $8 tarp from Home Depot for shelter. I got the impression that she didn't spend a lot of time sleeping in the 23 or so days on the route and just finds shelter under a bridge or elsewhere if it's inclement weather. Snow and cold are not a factor for her; she lives in Minnesota. Here's a bit more about her from Outside Online: She Learned to Bike at 20. Now She's a Champion.

She just blew all of us away. She grew up very poor, weighed 300 lbs in high school and had not ridden a bike until she was 20 years old and she's 28 or 29 now. She's an endurance racer, but is also a Senior pre-dental college student during the fall and spring semesters, with a double major in Chemistry and Native American Studies.

Someone asked her how you prepare for a race when you can't train full time and she suggested just riding your bike to the race, and over four or five days, you'll gain conditioning.

She had completed 2019 Dirty Kanza XL and had planned to ride her bike from Kansas to Austin to give her talk last Saturday, but extreme flooding in Oklahoma blocked that as an option, so she got a ride with friends. I'll be following her and another team of women from Austin.

The 2019 Tour Divide Live Tracker is here if you are following anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Go Alexandera

ps; what happened to her in the AZTR 300?
LeaderBoard shows her status as scratched. Don't know if that means she didn't start or started and didn't finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Day two and Alexandera is 15th overall (2nd woman) and has knocked out 278 miles. She's behind Lael Wilcox (1st woman), who is third overall with 333.4 miles under her tires. Blistering pace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Some cool rigs. While I certainly get the idea of riding the bike you have, I have to think that the two guys on F/S Bikes are going to be hating life after 150k feet of climbing. Not to mention the amount of lifespan that a race that long takes out of your bike.
 

·
The perfessor
Joined
·
824 Posts
- Alexandera won the women's race and set a new SS record for women in the Tour Divide......she is a bad ass from the word "go"......
 
  • Like
Reactions: H0WL

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,885 Posts
Some cool rigs. While I certainly get the idea of riding the bike you have, I have to think that the two guys on F/S Bikes are going to be hating life after 150k feet of climbing. Not to mention the amount of lifespan that a race that long takes out of your bike.
You can firm up suspension easily if that makes you feel better on the climbs and the route has a ton of rough/wash-boarded surfaces to cover so they may well be very happy to be on FS bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
You can firm up suspension easily if that makes you feel better on the climbs and the route has a ton of rough/wash-boarded surfaces to cover so they may well be very happy to be on FS bikes.
My comment was more targeting the weight of rear suspension over the course of 150,000 feet of climbing. If people are riding the race predominantly on gravel bikes with drop bars and no suspension, I have my doubts that F/S is in anyway justifiable as the optimal choice for such a race. Not to mention the sheer wear and tear a race like that has on a trail bike.
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,061 Posts
The weight of rear suspension would have no impact in terms of climbing on a loaded bikepacking bike. It's a trivial incremental difference.
95% of the rigs at the start of this race could have shaved literal pounds off of their kit, which might make some difference for the pretty smooth/road climbing this route has so much of.

I love FS and use it on almost every trail ride I do. That said, the divide route's washboard and corrugations aren't well filtered out by modern FS. Something more like a Moots YBB or Ibis Silk Ti would do it. And/or a Lauf type rear end, if one existed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
The weight of rear suspension would have no impact in terms of climbing on a loaded bikepacking bike. It's a trivial incremental difference.
The weight of a typical trail bike vs the weight of a gravel bike or lightweight hardtail can be a matter of pounds, but let's just call it 16 oz for the sake of simplicity. A quick mental calculation of how much additional energy it takes to move an extra 16 oz up 150,000 feet of elevation gain should be enough to satisfy the debate. All extra weight comes at a cost, but when we're talking about a course this long with this much climbing, moving an extra ounce is going to be the equivalent of moving an extra ton or thereabouts. Again, use what you have and make it work as I'm just commenting ideal vs not ideal. When you see a bunch of similar setup bikes and a handful of outliers, you have to wonder if the outliers are super suboptimal or geniuses with an unperceived advantage.

Has anyone ever done this race twice using a F/S Bike?
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,061 Posts
A quick mental calculation of how much additional energy it takes to move an extra 16 oz up 150,000 feet of elevation gain should be enough to satisfy the debate.
You have a point, but you're also not factoring in that you get some benefit in momentum on the descents and rolly bits from having added mass.

If the climbing on this route were steep, slow, and technical I'd be more on your side of the coin. But it's fast climbing, largely on ~smooth roads, and weight just doesn't matter nearly as much when you can maintain momentum and glide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
A quick mental calculation of how much additional energy it takes to move an extra 16 oz up 150,000 feet of elevation gain should be enough to satisfy the debate.
The energy required to lift 1 lbf by 150000ft only requires and additional ~50 kcal. If we assume the body is 25% efficient (a reasonable average), and the bike itself is 80% efficient (probably way conservative), that only comes out to an extra ~250 kcal. This is for the gravity component alone.

The effect of the additional weight on the rolling resistance alone is almost 4 times the contibution of (assuming Crr of 0.04, an estimate from car tires on sand), at about 185 kcal, or about 900 kcal after accounting for the same assumed efficiencies. So combined, that extra pound adds about 1200 kcal to the racers food needs for the whole 2700 miles and 150k ft.

As a sanity check, this same model predicts a 200lb (total) rider+bike climbing 1000 ft over 20 miles would require about 1600 kcal total for the ride, which seems high, but at least somewhat reasonable for the entire ride in deep sand. (If we back that rolling resistance coefficient down to 0.01, an estimate for a bike tire on "rough road", then we get to about 600 kcal total)

And for fun with numbers, that 200 lb rider/bike would need about 230,000 kcal for the whole tour divide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Alright, I stand corrected.

My only other appeal to weight would be the potential ability to get more packed heavy weight lower on a bike with a open frame vs a rear suspension design (depending on the design).

Still curious if anyone has done this race twice on a trail bike. Also, has anyone put in a highly competitive time on one vs gravel bikes and hardtails?
 

·
aka Taprider
Joined
·
1,007 Posts
95% of the rigs at the start of this race could have shaved literal pounds off of their kit, which might make some difference for the pretty smooth/road climbing this route has so much of.

I love FS and use it on almost every trail ride I do. That said, the divide route's washboard and corrugations aren't well filtered out by modern FS. Something more like a Moots YBB or Ibis Silk Ti would do it. And/or a Lauf type rear end, if one existed.
how about inserts and extra low pressure for washboard?
I found I could maintain good momentum on medium coarse rail ballast with 2.25" tires, Pepi's and ~14psi
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
17,061 Posts
how about inserts and extra low pressure for washboard?
I found I could maintain good momentum on medium coarse rail ballast with 2.25" tires, Pepi's and ~14psi
If your goal is to cover 100+ miles per day for a few weeks straight, I'm not sure extra low pressure is the direction you want to lean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
One thing that my wife and I have done many times is to watch the grand depart videos. Look for 1x, 2x, triple, SS, Rohloff. Then there are bike brands and HT or FS frames. Then rigid, suspension or Lauf forks.

Most, if not all of the front runners run full suspension and rigid forks. FWIW, I've tried a rigid fork and it hammered my arms to the point where I could see it doing damage eventualy. I picked up a Lauf for a GREAT price and it makes all of the difference in the world.

The weight difference between the bikes that I used when I first rode out of Banff and the 2nd time was probably 7+#. Combined with gear weight reduction, it made a world of difference. Low pressure might work in some sections but for the most part, I ride with my tires running 30+.

Sorry for the ramble. I'm heading to Banff again in less that 6 weeks.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top