Which bike for 220km Audax ride?

On the weekend I’m joining a 200km Audax (and cycling to and from). My winter bike is a Giant Contend AL rim brake bike fitted with 25mm tyres and mudguards. I have a new bike, Planet X pro carbon fitted with 28mm tyres and 55mm deep wheels.

I’ve not used my new bike much since getting it, because the weather has sucked and I don’t want to ruin it. The Audax is mostly on roads but there are some track sections where the surface is essentially compacted gravel. Should I just use my winter bike for this event or should I move the mudguards over to my new bike and get it out for it’s first proper long ride (ridden about 300km in it so far total).

I had a bike fit recently, on the new bike, and used the dimensions to make some small adjustments to my winter bike.

I’m probably over thinking it, but there’s a huge part of me that wants to use my new bike. The wider tyres will make the off road sections more comfortable, the wheels will provide a better aerodynamic benefit and it’s lighter… but I’m also conscious that I don’t want to ruin it and want to keep it nice.

I’m sure some of you have ridden these kind of distances. What would you do here?

New bike > anything else, pretty much! Especially as it’s more ‘sensible’ as well as likely lighter, more aero and you can easily fit the guards to it :100:

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I run one bike year-round, so naturally the new better bike would be my automatic choice if you know it’ll be comfortable for the distance. My only hesitation would be if it’s an exposed route and if your part of the UK may be particularly windy/gusty on the day, as some areas will be, and if so how would those deep new wheels behave?

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The new bike is going to have to get wet and dirty at some point!

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28mm will be better than 25 on compacted gravel. 220km is a fair way so if you’ve got any doubts about the new bike fit, that’s the only thing that would make me think twice. And as above if it’s likely to be crosswinds the 55mm might be a bit unstable.

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yes, that would be my only concern too really. I do have a shallower spare set, but that has 25mm tyres on it and I think the 28mm tyres are going to be quite beneficial over this kind of distance, for comfort if nothing else.

True - but…

image

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For Audax (and Randonneuring), comfort always takes priority over anything else. Since your new clubmates will be talking you into doing a full series (200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K) this season, you might as well get used to doing it on the new, more comfortable bike now at the intro distance. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for comments. No doubts on bike fit, it was minimal changes really but all made sense and haven’t had any issues after transferring to other bike. It doesn’t look to be that windy for the weekend, but will keep an eye on it.

haha - love that way of thinking. We already have a 400km planned for July, so I’d be tempted to do a 600km because I think there’s some kind of achievement for boing those 3 distances in one year

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Side-note: if you plan to use clip-on aerobars, start practicing using them early as well. For me it takes every spring couple weeks for neck and eyes to get used to look up.

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good idea, thanks for that. I have used them before and will for the 400km but not planning on using them this weekend for the 200km.

I think 400 is the hardest distance IMO as it’s still a 1 day ride… I did a 600 in prep for LEL and it wasn’t too bad, as you get to sleep for a bit. How much depends I guess, but at least it’s broken up. I basically did 365 and 260k rides with a ~3-4hr sleep in between…

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yeah I can see how that would be the case. We’re currently thinking about not sleeping during the 400km ride, to see if we can get it done in under 21 hours and then just conk out.

I have done only one 24h ride so far, started at 4 in the morning. Looking back, it would be probably better to nap on/off during day before and start around 20-22 instead: push through night with initial energy and get another boost when sun rises. When get back to home, it leaves some time to wind down and get full night sleep.

We’re currently thinking about starting that ride at 3 or 4pm. Due to the route. It would mean arriving at a place that will have places open for breakfast at 7am, amongst other things.

I’ve made a spreadsheet for that one. 15km sections and terrain type, so we know how long each section will take. Then I’ve worked out where we’ll be at what time of day depending on start time - and crucially, what time we’re arriving at each location point for the Brevet card.

I’ve also created a fuelling calculator today. I’ve added in all the various carb sources (hydration mix, gels, favourite sweets, fig rolls etc) and the carbs per serving. I’ve created a variable (time), you set the variable and run it then it tells you how many of each you need for the ride to hit your carb target. Came out with a reasonable 6.5 bottles of mix, 6 gels, 1 bag of sweets and 8 fig rolls for my expected 9 hours this weekend.

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I’d stick with the bike I know I can rely on. Long distance is often about reducing mental load. Worrying if the bike is up to the job is not something I’d want. Your usual rule of don’t change anything that isn’t tried and tested as it’ll often be the cause of any downfall.

Having said that, audax is ridden on the widest range of bikes of any cycling event out there. Ride whatever best pleases you.

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Huge thanks to everyone replying on here.

I had got myself in a bit of a state overthinking things and ultimately knew the answers but was nice to have the responses. Feeling comfortable and looking forward to the Audax now, knowing I’ll be using my best bike, best tyres and ultimately best kit all round for the event. Going to put a freshly waxed chain on it ready for the day as well, perfect.

Thanks again everyone

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I have a pro carbon, with 30mm tyres. It’s a nice bike and I ride it most of the time. I do seem to end up on gravel/dirt paths at least once per ride, oops… Bike seems fine with it. It is fairly stiff, so it’s not the smoothest ride on bad roads.
I’m not sure if you can fit a front mudguard. I have raceblades, but only using the rear one.

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Thanks for the heads up. I have XL raceblades on my winter bike and was initially thinking about putting them on, but decided I probably won’t bother…

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