It’s kind of a dumb design, when you think about it.
My husband uses a different brand of inserts on his bikes, it’s a single circle of foam that doesn’t have to be joined like the Vittoria inserts do. I think I’ll probably go that route when it’s time to replace this set. One less piece to cause problems.
Kind of exciting now, looking at the calendar and realizing we only have about 2.5 weeks of productive training time remaining. It seems we’ve been training for the 2022 event since the late fall of 2019! Wait, we have…
Speaking of training, my wife and I had our training going well to plan, but managed to fall for a little Omicron bug at the end of April. This rather unfortunate timing meant we completely deleted a week of training and eased back into things the second week as we were feeling better. I think I’ve lost a bit of my top end, but it’s pointless to worry about it now. Just get a few more big volume weekends in and then enjoy the fruits of all that training on June 5th.
I believe our logistics, our bikes and our gear is all sorted out, it really does help if one has done this event before. We will making our 14 hour drive to Emporia over the previous-to-event weekend, so we can do a few easy spins, chill and drink beer for five days before the event.
What all are you prepared to try to fix in a field in the middle of nowhere?
I think I have tire issues covered… plugs + frame pump + CO2 + tire levers + a couple of tubes… if it’s too gnarly a gash, I have foam inserts. Would a full-out tire swap be a thing out there?
Will have a chain + spare link.
I also ordered a spare derailleur hanger but honestly, I didn’t even know what that was until two days ago. I think I’d probably just call it at that point… but I was told to get it as an insurance policy (ie: buy it and you won’t need it) This is on my list of YouTube bike repairs to watch.
I was preparing to fix everything, but had to scale back. If I need a chain or a whole tire, then I’ve done something gnarly enough that I will probably want to DNF anyway.
Here’s what I have come up with so far.
– I’ve got flats covered (plugs, mini-pump, tire levers, tubes(x2), tire boots, tube patches, debating on CO2s)
– Spare batter for ETAP.
– “MUD” stick.
– Battery pack for phone/garmin
– Zip Ties, Duct Tape
– Derailleur hanger
– Quick Link for Chain
I brought a hanger with me just in case along with a ton of other JIC stuff, but you never know.
Re inserts - My only thing with tire inserts is that changing them is a PIA (i have them on my MTB and CX rigs) and what if you flat early on, have to throw a tube in and ride with the insert for many miles. If you don’t have a big on-frame bag or pack where do you put them? After doing this race was blown away by how easy it is to get a flat and to just plan on it. A tire insert is not going to save you from a flat. If you are running them so you can run lower pressure why? Its not a CX course where railing corners at speed confidently that will eat away at your competitors lap-by-lap. Yes, lower pressure is more comfortable but not as uncomfortable (or faster) as changing a flat at mile 170-something with no shade, under a hot 90+ degree Kansas sun in the middle of no where.
Plus everything i’ve heard is that changing a flat with inserts is at least a few minute ordeal and if you break a lever…you r f’d.
I use them as a “run flat” option. I’m new and not super bike-repair savvy so I have them mostly as a “get me home” safety feature - I typically ride solo and want to avoid being the lady on the side of the road alone in the middle of nowhere fixing a tire, if I can help it.
But I would literally have to wear the insert like a neon green, beauty-queen-sash-of-shame for the rest of the race, if I have to put a tube in.
Have you tried running your current setup in run flat mode? I’ve ridden mine in a CX race once and its good for maybe one lap on a grassy CX course, until you can get to the pit and grab your pit bike/wheels, not necessarily finishing off another 50 miles on a chunky gravel course. Cornering, or anything technical was, for me, slow as well as the rolling resistance which zaps 20% of your speed. I’m not saying its a good back up plan but i would try and run your setup (maybe you have the super volume ones?) in run flat mode to see how good your inserts are before you rely on them to get you home, it may get you back to emporia, but very late, with many matches burned pushing watts.
I had to do it last weekend lost the front tire around mile 50 of 54. Those last 4 miles were really slow… but faster than walking. In my head, they are the emergency single-digit miles to the checkpoint/finish. But if it’s anything longer than that, I definitely have concerns.
I have done a fair share of 100 miles+ rides, BWR California most recently, but none of them come close to Unbound 200. Outside of mechanicals, bonking, etc. I would love to have a rough idea about how best to pace and establish target times.