I been asked be some of my 2019 BC Epic achievement regarding my bike setup, more specifically my CX bike.
While reading up on the race webpage it is noted, “A cyclocross bike is not suited for this surface”. This statement is confirmed true by yours truly. Apparently I was the first to complete the Epic on a CX bike. My journey on the Epic took me 3days, 19hours, 34min. I recall saying never again on that bike.
The bike - 2016 Norco Threshold SL with Sram Force1
This bike was modified with, Salsa carbon Cowchipper. 36t chainring with 11/42 cassette. Lauf Grit suspension fork. Tires were Maxxis Rambler 40mm front, 38mm rear mounted on Easton alloys with an SP dynamo complete with a Signwave Beacon for lighting & charging.
CX bikes are extremely stiff as they are designed to go fast for a short amount of time, comfort is not a consideration in the frames design. My back took a pounding over the 1040km, probably could have been avoided on a more supple frame. The wide bar and the Lauf fork was my saving grace. Although the Lauf fork was a bit of a noodle with the extra weight. Tires volume is more important than one would think. As a 165lbs rider I couldn’t imagine a heavier rider having success on the skinnies. I almost didn’t. It was extremely exhausting concentrating on that “extra smooth” line every moment. I managed only a single rear flat which didn’t seal up with the Stans Race sealant. However a day after finishing while packing up at the hotel my front tire which rode flawlessly was blistered all around the tire. The only other mechanical I had was my wiring to my dynamo broke off. I mistakenly secured the wire to the suspension side of the Lauf. Fortunately I had packed a multi that had a blade and a couple feet of electrical tape. From there on the Signwave Beacon work flawlessly charging and lighting. But.. during a hike-a-bike section in the late hours nearing Fernie the dynamo couldn’t produce enough light while walking. This made navigation difficult with only a headlamp.
So my CX bike is more like a gravel bike but hellishly stiff. Would I do it again on the CX bike? Ya sure why not, I never did purchase that optimal bike. Riding this route on a Cyclocross or Gravel bike is not recommended, you’d be crazy to do so. It definitely increases the possibility of a DNF. This was a tuff course. Thank you Lennard.
Cheers to all.
Forgot to mention the couple sections where my wheels cut through the sand like butter. That nonsense cost me a whole bunch of watts! Lol
Thanks Derek, I have been wanting to ask you to make this post and share your opinion as the only guy to have done it on skinnies and this is question I get often.