Big Sugar Gravel 2022

Anyone else in? registration opened @ 4:00pm Central.

Managed to grab a slot…looks like it is still open if anyone is interested.

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The race has now sold out…roughly 25 minutes to sell out. Was trying to get a buddy singed up and it said 11 slots left. By the time I got through the registration process for him, it sold out.

I didn’t get in. Looking forward to your ride report. Bentonville is a super fun place to ride!

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Yeah, I go down there for business….done a bit of MTB when there. Looking forward to exploring the gravel!!

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Should be an awesome ride!! It’s amazing how fast these big gravel rides sell out. When I signed up from Vermont Overland, I made sure I was online 2 mins before registration opened, hitting refresh every 5 seconds and was able to get a spot. I think it was sold out in less than a half hour.

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Yeah, I was on their site 5 min before…would occasionally hit the register button and see if it opened early. But then they put a countdown timer on with 1:00 to go, so everyone was in with the same chance.

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Yep, both me and my wife got in. This is in our backyard (not literally) but the 100 mile route goes right by our neighborhood. We were lucky enough to move to Bentonville in the middle of the pandemic and love it here. We especially like the events where we can ride to the start. :slight_smile: We would have done Big Sugar last year too, but we signed up for OZ Trails Off-road instead. That was expensive enough for us at the time!

It is amazing how fast it sold out. We were both counting down to the opening and had everything ready to go ahead of time.

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Got a spot in the hundred. Any ideas on the size of the field? I read it sold out in just a few min.

I’m in for the 100. Did it last year. Had an amazing time. Great ride, great place, great people. Finished 7 hours on the dot pretty much. Skies opened up about a third into the race, made it pretty slick especially on the descents. Hoping to shave 30 minutes this year.

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~25 min…was trying to get a buddy registered at 4:25 and it said only 11 or 13 slots left. By the time I got through the process for him, it had sold out.

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My wife and I are signed up for the Lil Sugar. I can’t wait to ride this course in Bentonville.

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I got in for the 100. Had an alarm set and was ready to push submit. Should still be in shape from Leadville so looking to just enjoy Bentonville and have fun. Looks like a great course!

I got in for the 100 and can’t wait!

What’s the word on tires for this event? I did SBT GRVL last year on 36mm slicks and was thinking of running the same for Big Sugar. Honestly I think the majority of the SBT GRVL course could be done on 32mm road tires, but that’s just me. Are slicks appropriate for Big Sugar or do I really need something with knobs? To ask another way - how rough are these roads?

Based on some initial research, it seems the gravel in BS is chunkier than SBT. My impression so far is that you will want something with side knobs, at least. My plan right now is to use the Goodyear Connector Ultimate, but may consider the Specialized Pathfinder Pro.

Would like to hear more about your experiences with SBT GRVL…I was planning on running the Pathfinder Pro tires in 38, but based on what you posted, wondering is that may be overkill. I know they refer to SBT as “champagne gravel”, but would like to know what your impressions / experiences were.

ETA - well, damn…I just got my pre-sale link for the US F1 race in Austin…was all excited to see a race live after getting hooked on the series through Drive To Survive. Unfortunately, it is the same weekend as Big Sugar. Next year, I guess…

I did the the blue course in Steamboat last summer (104 miles). It is a stunningly beautiful ride and I had a great time. I ran Challenge Strada Bianca Pro’s in 700x36 tubeless. Most of the roads are well maintained hard packed dirt roads. There are some sandy corners and such to look out for, but if you are confident handling your bike off road you should be fine (you could definitely tell who rides mountain bikes and who doesn’t). There were really only a couple of places where I thought my tire choice was a little light, but I’m not sure anything short of a mountain bike tire would have made a massive difference. The first spot that’s a little sketchy is the portion of the course that goes through private land. This honestly felt more like a CX course to me - just bumpy through a field and one or two drainage crossings. Not bad, just simply the fact that these were tracks that are not maintained nor traveled anywhere near as much as the other roads. The other part I remember less than fondly was towards the end - maybe mile 95 or so. There’s a mile stretch through some woods before you get back out to pavement and head in to town that is being taken back by nature. There were large “baby head” sized rocks that led to a pretty rough section when I was at my most tired (plus it was raining, ha).

All in all I had a great time and enjoyed every moment of the race. I’d highly recommend it to anyone considering it. Steamboat is a wonderful town and the SBT GRVL team put on a great event.

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I’m in for the 100. Did it last year on Rene Herse Hurricane Ridge 42s on ENVE G23s. The course destroyed people’s tires. As soon as we hit the gravel it was a non-stop parade of folks on the side of the road fixing tires. Pete Stetina fell out of contention because of repeated flats. Other high level riders were also having issues.

The Rene Herse’s held up well but did get one sidewall puncture around mile 70 that initially sealed with Stan’s Race Sealant but then would start leaking again. Eventually fixed it with a Dynaplug.

Pathfinder Pro’s would also be a good choice for the course. Definitely something with extra puncture protection would be wise. I didn’t run inserts last season but decided to give them a go this year. Will see how I like them as the season progresses.

Big Sugar was a blast last year and will be even better this year with it being the final event of the Lifetime Grand Prix. Should make for a stacked field.

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Good to hear some feedback from someone who rode there last year! Which casing did you run on the Rene Herse tires?

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I did the Endurance casing, one step down from the Endurance Plus. I dont have prior experience with Rene Herse tires, so can’t really compare how the Endurance compares to the Standard or Extra light.

The tire did feel really good on the gravel, rolling well and had no issues with traction at all, even during the rain. It did feel a little slower on the pavement compared to something like a Gravelking SK. I did leave them on my bike after Big Sugar and used them on my normal gravel training loops here in Ohio late in the season. My times on 60 to 100 mile rides really were within a few minutes of what I would do on the Gravelkings SKs 38s, so suspect they roll pretty similarly.

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Well, looks like I’m going to run the same tires this year - just ordered a set of the Hurricane Ridge tires with Endurance casing. Hopefully they fit in to my Open U.P. (pretty sure they’ll be fine). My wheels aren’t quite as wide as yours (I have Campy Shamal Carbons which are 21mm instead of 23mm), so that should help. Thanks for the info!

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Hope they serve you well. They are a nice tire. I’m testing out inserts this year during early season riding, so pretty good chance I use them at Big Sugar as well. It should provide an additional level of flat protection. I also ordered some of Silca’s new sealant which looks really promising. I reached out to Josh from Silca and he indicated that the new sealant is compatible with inserts. I used Stan’s Race Sealant last year, but the Silca sealant sounds like it may be even better at tackling larger holes.

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