I'm going to be doing the Corrieyairack challenge (mountain bike the whole way) in July. They have changed the route this year, so it is now a 14 mile off-road section (over the Corrieyairack pass) followed by 38 lumpy miles on tarmac to finish at Badaguish. The deal is that you can change wheels or tyres at the changeover, but not bikes.
I'm only doing it for a bit of fun, but still, I might as well take the best bike for the job. Currently my choices are:
1. My trusty Giant Trance full suss. This will obviously cope with the off-road section just fine and I have a spare set of wheels, so can put on narrow slicks for the road section. But, even with road tyres it's not the fastest road bike in the world ! and switching wheels seems to involve a bit of fiddling to stop the Avid brakes from rubbing.
2. Buried at the back of the shed is a 20 year old Specialized Rockhopper. Fully rigid, steel, 7 speed, bar-ends and cantilever brakes. There are a few old wheels knocking about too, so I might be able to get two working sets so that I can switch from nobblies to slicks at the changeover. I reckon that this will be a fair bit faster on the (long) road section and it takes less faffing with brakes to switch the wheels. But I have no idea how touch the descent is so have no idea how much could be ridden by a talentless mincer on a rigid (and steep) bike. I don't mind walking the odd section as I reckon I'll gain a fair bit of time back on the road, but if I'm going to be walking for miles I might as well take the Trance.