All things Traka 560 (Tires first!)

Hi All,
I signed up for the big traka, which is around 180miles of gravel and 180 miles Paved. I’m assuming most of the gravel portion is known by people who have ridden normal distances courses.

Given the large amount of paved, I’m wondering if I could get away with something like Rene Herse’s 700 x 44mm Snoqualmie pass tires, or I need some nobbies, which in that case I guess I would resort to the trusty Pathfinders 42mm.

44mm is the max I can run in the bike I want to travel and race with.

Is the gravel there super loose and sandy?

Thanks a lot!


Take a look here.

Can’t believe nobody in this forum has direct knowledge of the course :thinking:

I asked someone on instagram year ago, I remember that the 200k course was quite fast but semi technical, something like the championships course in Italy. I would like to know too, 560k race is interesting :sunglasses:

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It seems like that we have three paths:

  1. Conservative - Knobies. This will cost you dearly in pavement.

  2. Middle Ground - Pathfinder 42’s

  3. Agressive: Full Slick 44”. Extra Protection. This will suffer if sandy or ultra loose sections are prevalent.

We need more info!!!

Have you tried watching the videos that are on YouTube? I’ve seen a few and it doesn’t look like the gravel is too demanding, but the videos have also not been for the 560, so… :man_shrugging:

Maybe also try e-mailing the organizers for their feedback?

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They have a generic answer. Maybe related to a sponsor brand. Some Hutchinson tires that look like Pirelli Cinturatos.

Yeah. Same boat. Wind looked like the major factor. Tons of easy gravel and pavement form the footage I’ve seen of the 360 2023 course

But every bike I see is running some sort of shallow knobs


This Instagram clip has one of the roughest segments I’ve seen. Nothing crazy.

Hey mate

I have done 360 twice and signed up for the 560 also. IMO best tyres for the race are pathfinders I run 47mm but 42mm will also be fine. I ran gravel kings first year and they sucked. IMO you do not want to go full slick for this race, you need grip in the corners and it can rain at that time of year (it did in 2023) and parts of the course can be muddy, especially in the forest parts nearer Girona. I did not run tyre liners but will for the 560k, over such a long course it is easy to lose focus for a second and rock strike or hit a pot hole… this happened to me first time I did the race. Sounds obvious but its a race on all sorts of terrains so you want an all-purpose general tyre.

The video you sent is not the most aggressive part of the course sadly, there are remote parts in the 360 course around the Cap de creus that are tougher and more like MTB trails, only a small part of the race though but I have punctured there first time I raced and I saw lots punctured there this year.

I do not know if the 560 course will go out that way or not but I know there will be some high-altitude mountain trails that could be gnarly, hard to say though…

If you have more questions on the race or course or gear choice, let me know, happy to help.


Thanks a lot for your reply. Very useful info. I was leaning towards PF 42mm anyways and your intel solidified the choice. It helps that I have the tires already.

Will look for pics or video if this section. I don’t know anything about gravel in Spain, but I have solid experience in the west of US gravel of all kinds. Looking forward for a challenge.

How are you planning your sleeping situation?

50%+ is in paved roads, wonder if we could be overweighting the rough sections…

Looking forward to the conversation.

Happy to help!

Spanish Gravel is as varied as you might find anywhere really, with some very smooth champagne sections, some more mtb style. I would suggest getting to Girona a few days early if possible to get accustomed to the terrain and area, which helps ease nerves and settle into the race!

Extra detail on the Cap de creus section I mentioned, there are also steep grades in this part of the race ( and others) even if we do not go there in the 560km course I am sure you will find similar steep gradients regardless of the route. As a result gear up, larger than 1-1 if possible, my lowest gear was 31 inner and 36t on rear cassette and it worked great.

Re: sleeping. I have done a number of these distance races/events in one go and plan to do the same for this. I will bring an emergency bivvy just in case and a very light down jacket (probably) but plan to do this in one shot with only stops for food and water. Temps are pretty good at night but I would make sure whatever sleep system you go for is waterproof, can be stormy at this time of year (it was in 23).

Re: paved roads: The Spanish concept of a paved road is very different to yours/ours. I wouldnt bank on much of it being that nice and also a lot of the “roads” are full of potholes. You will only get a fast finish time if you make it to the finish, I would go for some grip over a full slick. Let’s see what they say when more course details come to light though, maybe they will clarify more of the terrain.

Another thing to look out for that is worth noting is dogs, you go through a decent bit of farmland, and many have chained or unchained guard dogs, first year a group I was in got chased for a ways across a farm.

Another note: Get good bottle cages, its a problematic course for losing bottles due to the frequent bumps and holes. I lost both bottles 10km in this year and had to stop to grab them…

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My old carcass won’t survive 20+ hours straight. How long are you expecting to go?

I did 115 miles with 14k of climbing, technical terrain in 9 hours and was done. This is 360 miles with 30k climbing ….

I haven’t thought about timings much yet but right now I would aim to finish sometime in the night on the thursday, hopefully before midnight. Nearer the time I will work out a more exact schedule. I did a 500km 10,000m gravel ride this year in about 33 hours so I guess this will take a bit longer than that…hard to say though until we know more about course and other factors.

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Amazing. How many hours did you sleep during the race?

Hey Harry, wondering if you think this is doable on 38c. I have an ADHX and dont really feel like sourcing another bike that can take bigger tyres!

I didnt sleep, I think anything less than 600km if you have experience in going the distance you can do in one go. Obviously you can only push yourself within the realm of safety though, if I felt like I was risking safety I would have stopped to sleep.

No sleep also makes planning easier as you don’t really have to think about a sleep set up, just emergency essentials…

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I am guessing you are talking about the 560? Sure its doable, I wouldnt want to do it on 38c though. Casting my mind back to 360 in 2023 I feel like most riders including the pros were on 40-42 or more.

I would add some rim inserts to the set up if you do go for 38mm to protect a bit further.

Have you considered a 27.5/650b wheel and seeing if you could run something wider with that set up?


Great stuff, thanks mate. 650b wont work unfortunately! Looks like im going to have to find the funds for a new bike [oh no how devastating ;)]

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What do you think of the Schwalbe’s G-One RS for this race?

Never used these but heard from friends who have that these are very fast, but also very puncture-prone. The carcass is very thin. This could be mitigated with some tire inserts possibly.

I think they would be a good option for a shorter-distance race but for something of this nature maybe a little too fragile.

As always just my opinoin haha!

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