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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling
View Poll Results: Which bike for a 200k ride?
Rawland Stag
13
61.90%
Giant Defy 0
8
38.10%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

Poll: Which bike for my 200k attempt?

Old 04-20-19, 06:28 PM
  #1  
vintagerando 
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Poll: Which bike for my 200k attempt?

A couple years ago I attempted a ACP/RUSA 200k in Massachusetts. I was ill prepared; 25lbs over weight, little training; failed to eat enough, solo, no bike computer, etc. I did not finish. So, I am trying again; whole lot more training, weigh 25 lbs less, got a Garmin, etc.
So, I was pretty set on riding my Rawland Stag; steel bike with Ultegra drive train. But than I was talking to my favorite mechanic at my LBS. He said, essencially, you're crazy to take that heavy thing. Ride your Giant Defy (carbon frame/fork/wheels).
So, now he put the doubt in my mind. Which bike do you think I should take? Will the weight difference really matter?
(yes, I am aware this is a true 1st world problem, but i really want to finish this ride.)




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Old 04-20-19, 07:31 PM
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I have a few classic bikes but I love my carbon roubaix for rando rides. I started off with two steel bikes in my first season, one being the venerable Miyata 1000 but I’ve found it easier to ride the carbon bike. Part of it is fit issues with the miyata but the other steel bike is pretty close to a perfect fit and I feel like it’s a rougher ride. A few pounds between the bikes won’t reallly make a difference imho so I’d probably choose between those two bikes based on weather.
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Old 04-20-19, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I have a few classic bikes but I love my carbon roubaix for rando rides. I started off with two steel bikes in my first season, one being the venerable Miyata 1000 but Iíve found it easier to ride the carbon bike. Part of it is fit issues with the miyata but the other steel bike is pretty close to a perfect fit and I feel like itís a rougher ride. A few pounds between the bikes wonít reallly make a difference imho so Iíd probably choose between those two bikes based on weather.
One way to look at the Rawland, its almost too much of a touring bike for this distance. For example, I have a SON Dyno Hub on the front; some energy is lost and its heavier. Heavier wheels, wide tires. Its sort of, over built for this distance. But, everything is "dialed in", as they say. Seat, handlebars. Everything is set up for comfort. And with the triple, maybe this will assist with the extra weight I am pushing.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:11 PM
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Whichever one is more comfortable. Nothing else comes close.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:51 PM
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For a 200k where you aren't positive you can finish, I would ride the Giant.
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Old 04-20-19, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Whichever one is more comfortable. Nothing else comes close.
This, especially with the goal just being to finish. If the Rawland is more comfortable, doesn't matter if it's a little heavier or more touring oriented. The Giant looks like it's set up much more aggressively. Not that's it's bad it good, but different than "set up for comfort" like the Rawland.
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Old 04-20-19, 11:52 PM
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You said you were set on riding the Stag. You didn't really go into why, but I'm sure you had reasons for that. Good enough for me, I vote Stag.

Wider tires is a big plus.

Good luck!
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Old 04-21-19, 12:55 AM
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The Stag is a lot closer to what I rode on PBP 2015. It weighed roughly 35 lbs with water in the bottles (yikes!)
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Old 04-21-19, 02:46 AM
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how are the roads? if they're bleepy or occasionally bleepy, rock the rawland.
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Old 04-21-19, 03:14 AM
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Has the mechanic who gave you advance about using the Giant ever done any long-distance rides?

It seems to me that the Rawland is a great option, and especially so if it was the bike you were riding when the first attempt at 200km failed. Make it a winner along with you on this ride.

The seating difference between the two bikes shown is quite dramatic; much lower handlebar positioning on the Giant. If necessary, you can achieve the same positioning on the Rawland if needed by taking the drops, and if things get difficult or tiresome, you can sit back up and take the top of its bars.

I have to say that having seen the finishers of a recent randos series round the island where I live, while there were CF bikes and similar one to the Giant there, their fitting was also along the lines of having handlebars up at or very near seat level.

All the bikes I have used for long distance (randos, 24H races, and fleches, and even touring) have had similar arrangements to those I have suggested here.
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Old 04-21-19, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Has the mechanic who gave you advance about using the Giant ever done any long-distance rides?

It seems to me that the Rawland is a great option, and especially so if it was the bike you were riding when the first attempt at 200km failed. Make it a winner along with you on this ride.

.
No, I would say the mechanic is not a distance rider. He just planted the seed of doubt regarding using the Rawland. Yes, my failed attempt was on the same Rawland. I should add, I was also way over packed o the first attempt. Man I brought so much stuff with me on that first attempt, unnecessary stuff for that distance. But, I do remember seeing a number of riders with aggressive vintage steel bikes, Pinnerellos and Colnagos etc. I think the Rowland's right though. Which bike do I want to spend 10 hours on? I think it's the Rawland, with comfort the driving factor.
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Old 04-21-19, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
how are the roads? if they're bleepy or occasionally bleepy, rock the rawland.
Strong possibility road could be rough in some spots, some areas are rural.
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Old 04-21-19, 06:39 AM
  #13  
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How much climbing on the route? Any really steep grades?

Those are the questions that I ask myself when considering whether to ride my Litespeed or my steel All-City bike. My steel bike has fenders and wider tires so it is better on the rougher roads. But I'm not a strong climber so the Litespeed without fenders and with narrower tires gets me through the hilly rides. The Litespeed also has a triple and a couple of lower gears than the steel bike.
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Old 04-21-19, 06:58 AM
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Which 200k?

If it's the one on May 11, there's a lot of climbing, with a few really steep grades (although the steepest is short (@#$% Cushing Street) and you won't burn much time walking it). There's often a lot of really terrible pavement. And it's a 9am start, so if you're using all of the time you'll need lights. (Especially since there's a bunch of big descents at the end that you might want/need to go fast on without outrunning your lighting.) I don't know which bike these indicate, but you probably do.

The one-way one on June 8th to Portland is fairly flat, generally good pavement (and one crushed-stone railtrail), and starts at 4am so you'll only need lights at the beginning, when people may still be in a big pack.

The overnight one on July 27th is mostly good roads with a couple exceptions, no super-steep grades but a lot of gently rolling terrain, and obviously you'd need good lighting because it's a night ride.
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Old 04-21-19, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Which 200k?

If it's the one on May 11, there's a lot of climbing, with a few really steep grades (although the steepest is short (@#$% Cushing Street) and you won't burn much time walking it). There's often a lot of really terrible pavement. And it's a 9am start, so if you're using all of the time you'll need lights. (Especially since there's a bunch of big descents at the end that you might want/need to go fast on without outrunning your lighting.) I don't know which bike these indicate, but you probably do.

The one-way one on June 8th to Portland is fairly flat, generally good pavement (and one crushed-stone railtrail), and starts at 4am so you'll only need lights at the beginning, when people may still be in a big pack.

The overnight one on July 27th is mostly good roads with a couple exceptions, no super-steep grades but a lot of gently rolling terrain, and obviously you'd need good lighting because it's a night ride.
I am riding Shelburne Falls 200k with New Horizon in Westfield MA. I did a quick google on the ride: someone posted the GPS file from a past year. Looks like 6500 ft of climbing, if I read correctly.

(FYI my brother lives in Medford. I lived for years near Porter Square in Somerville. )
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Old 04-21-19, 08:07 AM
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13:30 is a long time to ride 200k. OTOH, I recently took 13:30 to ride a 200k, so it can be done That one was hilly, featured headwinds, and I forgot my inhalers so I was taking it easy. The 10 controls didn't help.

I need to go through my bags, my bike is light and lively without them.

For a fair weather 200k, you really don't need that much stuff along. If it's going to be cold and warm on a ride, then it might be a different story
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Old 04-21-19, 08:21 AM
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I voted for the Rawland because steel. It's a much better bike for the longer distances because of the lights and the fit so you might as well use it on a 200k. People really overestimate the importance of weight on the bike. My bikes are usually around 45 pounds loaded at the start of a brevet.
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Old 04-21-19, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by vintagerando View Post
I am riding Shelburne Falls 200k with New Horizon in Westfield MA. I did a quick google on the ride: someone posted the GPS file from a past year. Looks like 6500 ft of climbing, if I read correctly.

(FYI my brother lives in Medford. I lived for years near Porter Square in Somerville. )

Cool! I'd forgotten that there was still a 200k yet in the season out in Westfield. Haven't ridden that one (have ridden a few of the roads on other rides, but only maybe 20% of the course), but from what I've heard it's a nice ride; that part of MA has a lot of terrible pavement but while it's not a flat ride it's not horrifically hilly either.
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Old 04-21-19, 01:05 PM
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If you have a lot of really steep or long hills on the route, and one has considerably lower gearing that the other, use it.
If it's going to be cold at the start and hot at mid-day, and you need to carry two bushels of clothing to make that work, use whichever can carry that extra cargo.
If the racier bike makes your hands go number or hurts your butt or something, or regularly pops spokes or something, use the other one.
Otherwise, I would vote for the faster lighter bike.
I've ridden steel, titanium, carbon fiber on 200k's, they're different, but the main differences are in racks and lights and not so much in the frame itself.
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Old 04-21-19, 01:15 PM
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Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I'm leaning towards the Stag, simply because it appears to have better lights, depending a bit on how fast you are, how long of days, and etc.

If you have good lights for the Defy, and can carry any spare tools, parts, etc, that you might need, then I'd go with the Defy.
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Old 04-21-19, 03:59 PM
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If this ride also starts at 9, that means it closes at 10:30. Although it sounds like nobody expects it to go that long, it always could given the right circumstances. Bad navigation for one. If that is the case, I change my vote to the bike with lights
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Old 04-21-19, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
If this ride also starts at 9, that means it closes at 10:30. Although it sounds like nobody expects it to go that long, it always could given the right circumstances. Bad navigation for one. If that is the case, I change my vote to the bike with lights
No, that was just the one I assumed he was riding, which is alongside a 300 and thus starting it later means not having the finish open for quite so long. The one vintagerando is doing starts earlier.
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Old 04-21-19, 11:32 PM
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Go with whichever is more comfortable and I have to assume that would the Rawland, based on its less aggressive handle bar drop relative to the saddle. I assume both are the right size for you. A bad fit will spoil everything about an otherwise great bike.

The effects of weight on speed on a bike are overrated. As a rule of thumb, each extra kg will slow you down by about a minute over a Century to 200 km distance with a reasonable amount of climbing (e.g. vertical elevation gain around 1 % of the horizontal distance).

So even if there was 10 kg of weight difference, it would add or save 10 minutes in a day relative to the other bike, which for most participants would not be enough to account for the difference between completing or DNF'ing a 200 km brevet.

My long distance bikes are set up with the bars level with the saddle, which allows me to make full use of the drops when I want to. If the bars were lower, using the drops would shift more weight on my arms and shoulders than I am able to handle on a long day in the saddle.
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Old 04-22-19, 01:27 AM
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Somehow I was thinking of 200M, not 200K. Still, it is a good ride.

With that in mind, less of a chance of hitting a lot of dark if you get a good early start.

I'd probably go with the Defy instead. I'm still a fan of narrow tires, light, etc.
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Old 04-22-19, 11:59 AM
  #25  
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I always rode my carbon race bike on brevets. No regrets. It's supposed to be fun, and it's fun to have a responsive bike and to make it go.
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