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Bike Selection for upcoming ride

Old 02-10-20, 02:59 PM
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Hackman61
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Bike Selection for upcoming ride

Hey folks. I'm here in the PNW and the annual Chilly Hilly ride is in two weeks. It will be my first time participating in this ride. 33 miles and 2193 ft. of elevation. I have to choose which bike to ride. My Ironman expert with the biopace 52/42 or my Sirrus with the triple ring 48/38/28. I love the speed of my IM but feel like I may need the versatility of the triple on these hills. I've been riding both throughout the winter plus my trainer in the basement. Any thoughts or ideas?
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Old 02-10-20, 03:02 PM
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Put a triple on the Ironman. 52-42-32. Mid- or long-cage Shimano 105, 600, or Deore derailleur, new chain. Done.
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Old 02-10-20, 03:18 PM
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I did the Chilly Hilly years ago and was glad I had a triple.
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Old 02-10-20, 03:47 PM
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If you're going to take the wrong bike, the best mistake would be to take the Sirrus.
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Old 02-10-20, 04:38 PM
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That's really not a whole lot of elevation for than number of miles (around here an typical 33 mile ride would be more like 3300 to 4000' of climbing), BUT...the elevation gain doesn't matter so much, it's the steepness of the hills that matters. If the ride was constant grade continuous climbing the Ironman would be fine. However, with a name like the Chilly Hilly I would bet that is not the case. Take the Sirrus.
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Old 02-10-20, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
That's really not a whole lot of elevation for than number of miles (around here an typical 33 mile ride would be more like 3300 to 4000' of climbing), BUT...the elevation gain doesn't matter so much, it's the steepness of the hills that matters. If the ride was constant grade continuous climbing the Ironman would be fine. However, with a name like the Chilly Hilly I would bet that is not the case. Take the Sirrus.
Yep. Hills are short but steep. One really long ( 1mile) constant grade but the rest are step rollers.
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Old 02-10-20, 05:45 PM
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Sirrus. Don't think too much about it. You'll never regret the triple.
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Old 02-10-20, 06:04 PM
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Sounds like my usual rides. I'd take the Ironman with a 13-28 freewheel to go with the 52/42 Biopace. Although I just swapped my Ironman from 52/42 Biopace to 52/39 round chainrings. Biopace doesn't play nice with mixed chainrings, otherwise I'd have kept the 52 Biopace big ring and 39 Vuelta smaller ring. Tried that combo last summer and had too many chain drops on climbs -- very disconcerting in group rides with someone behind me.

If you don't already have a 13-28 freewheel, and still use the original wheels for threaded freewheels, SunRace makes the best I've tried: the MFR30 ("R" for road) in 13-25, and MFM30 ("M" for mountain) in 13-28. Both use chromed cogs with teeth that are better shaped than Shimano's for crisp shifting and smooth, quiet running. Occasionally I'll go back to the original Shimano or SunTour freewheels, and invariably switch back to the SunRace within a week or two. They're just better running. Dunno how SunRace compares for longterm use, but mine have been fine for three years in regular use, several times a week. But only the chromed SunRace MFR30 and MFM30. I've tried other SunRace freewheels and wasn't impressed.

The Sirrus is a flat bar sport-hybrid? I'm not sure I'd care for that kind of setup on climbs, even rollers with lots of short, steep, stepped inclines. I've done it with my old similarly set up Univega with flat bars, then riser, now albatross bars. The 50/40/30 triple chainring and 11-32 cassette is necessary mainly because the entire bike is inefficient for climbing. I'd be in the 30 chainring and 32 cog to climb hills that I normally take on the road bikes in the small ring (39 or 42) and maybe the 21 or 24 cog.

But that depends on the overall fit of the flat bar or hybrid bike. If the drop between saddle and handlebar is appropriate and gets the hip adductor muscles engaged, it can be okay. But that single hand position forced by flat bars grew tiresome. That's why I like albatross or similar swept bars. It offers more hand positions, pretty comparable to a drop bar touring bike with fairly relaxed setup.
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Old 02-10-20, 07:42 PM
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You have two too cool bikes and that would be a tough decision. I've never done the ride but it is rather short and the bumps on the course are short and not steep. You do a STRAVA segment search for grades. They look scary don't they? Use the Ironman.
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Old 02-10-20, 08:17 PM
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If the IM has the original derailleurs, the 105 FD will not swing far enough to shift a triple. The 105 RD can do a 28T, though. If they are 600, the 2 600 FDs I have will shift a triple. I haven't tried the standard 600 RD with a 28T cluster.
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Old 02-10-20, 08:24 PM
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Take the Sirrus.
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Old 02-10-20, 09:23 PM
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don't worry about the bike
wear protective armor
https://vimeo.com/garrettgibbons/chillyhilly2010
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Old 02-10-20, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
don't worry about the bike
wear protective armor
https://vimeo.com/garrettgibbons/chillyhilly2010
that didn't exactly look safe
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Old 02-10-20, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
don't worry about the bike
wear protective armor
https://vimeo.com/garrettgibbons/chillyhilly2010
Yikes. I hope they've improved traffic control since that video was made. That was horrible. We had much better traffic control in Mexico in the 1970s-'80s at the Rosarito-Ensenada and Mexicali-San Felipe rides.
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Old 02-11-20, 12:57 AM
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That is a ride that I would absolutely avoid! As @northbend’s video shows - note in the overhead shot how riders show zero lane awareness - the rider expertise varies all over, and the average is low. The one time I did it (my then fiancé, now wife, was running a rest stop), many memories of riders often simply stopping in the middle of the road on a climb, or wandering all over the road with no sense of the riders around them.

If you do ride it, heed Matt’s body armor advice! I ride on Bainbridge Island several times/year with my wife or a few friends. The roads are lovely without the crowd, and some of the hills are incredibly steep. Bring the triple.
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Old 02-11-20, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
If the IM has the original derailleurs, the 105 FD will not swing far enough to shift a triple. The 105 RD can do a 28T, though. If they are 600, the 2 600 FDs I have will shift a triple. I haven't tried the standard 600 RD with a 28T cluster.
The Ironman has the original 105 set up.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:09 AM
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Thanks for the comments everyone! Ive done the STP a few times and its ok once things string out. Ive got lots of patience and never ride with a "race" mentality . So I have no problem letting all the crazies go ahead of me. Sure looks like a ton of drop bar bikes are ridden. Tough problem to have...two bikes that I absolutely love riding.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Hackman61 View Post
Thanks for the comments everyone! Ive done the STP a few times and its ok once things string out. Ive got lots of patience and never ride with a "race" mentality . So I have no problem letting all the crazies go ahead of me. Sure looks like a ton of drop bar bikes are ridden. Tough problem to have...two bikes that I absolutely love riding.
Hmm... maybe. Bainbridge Island is a small place. Not exactly STP distances; so I'm not sure if it ever "thins out" on a big group ride like this. I like riding there and have done so a half dozen times, but I can hardly think of a worse place for a big group ride. No shoulders at all in many places and relatively heavy and fast traffic.

OTOH, my wife's cousin lives not far from the foot of the most crazy hill on the island and he's got four sets of unused vintage tubie rims waiting for me, so I may choose that day to go out and pick them up.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:52 PM
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Well it seems like most responses are leaning toward taking the Sirrus with the triple crank. Man I still kind of want to use the Ironman just because. Which I know makes no sense. The triple will definitely help my big ass up the hills. Thanks for the comments fellas, even those that say they would never do such a ride. I just want to say I did it once. I said that for STP and ended up riding it a second time. Who knows, maybe STP on my Ironman this summer?
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Old 02-12-20, 12:19 AM
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I've done the ride a few times. There's one big steep hill that will make you happy to have a triple. A few other stingers as well. You're generally always around people, and it's obviously the most crowded right off the ferry as the event goes for a number of hours. Some people even do a "Chilly Century" and ride the loop three times. When I wasn't bonking because I had no idea about fueling over the course of 33 involved miles, I was having fun. The noisy and obnoxious people are always the ones to avoid, weaving in and out and in general being stupid (and dangerous). You'll have to bike defensively and take the downhill sweeping sections easy, especially in the rain, but it's not horrible.

It's fun to see a ferry full of a billion bikes. I'm a big car guy, and seeing and being among all the cars on a big ferry on any deck, feeling the wind, makes me happy. Seeing all the bikes (and all the people NOT stealing the bikes) and spotting the C&V or peculiar ones is a fun way to start off the year in cycling. You can buy chili and cornbread at the finish line if you like--it goes to a good cause, and chili and cornbread taste really good after a long cold wet ride.
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Old 02-12-20, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I've done the ride a few times. There's one big steep hill that will make you happy to have a triple. A few other stingers as well. You're generally always around people, and it's obviously the most crowded right off the ferry as the event goes for a number of hours. Some people even do a "Chilly Century" and ride the loop three times. When I wasn't bonking because I had no idea about fueling over the course of 33 involved miles, I was having fun. The noisy and obnoxious people are always the ones to avoid, weaving in and out and in general being stupid (and dangerous). You'll have to bike defensively and take the downhill sweeping sections easy, especially in the rain, but it's not horrible.

It's fun to see a ferry full of a billion bikes. I'm a big car guy, and seeing and being among all the cars on a big ferry on any deck, feeling the wind, makes me happy. Seeing all the bikes (and all the people NOT stealing the bikes) and spotting the C&V or peculiar ones is a fun way to start off the year in cycling. You can buy chili and cornbread at the finish line if you like--it goes to a good cause, and chili and cornbread taste really good after a long cold wet ride.
Thanks for your comments Riddle. I'm looking forward to the experience. I think my Sirrus and I will have fun, wet or not.
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