London to Brighton – Making it easier for the other half

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  • London to Brighton – Making it easier for the other half
  • Premier Icon cteagles

    The other half wants to ride London to Brighton with work in a few months. 50 odd miles, mostly roads. The people she is doing it with are on a mix of random bikes from crappy hybrids through to high spec road bikes. So I want to give her a fighting chance without buying a whole new bike.

    Current bike is a Marin Nail trail, dropper, 120mm travel, conti trail kings wide bars etc.

    I’m thinking, maybe changing the front chain ring (1×11) to a 36t, putting some Conti double fighters on and pumping them up to 50psi. Il pull off the dropper and pop the old seatpost back in as well (its been due a service for ages). Oh and I will lock out the fork/put a load of pressure in it.

    Anything else people would recommend?


    Premier Icon Sir HC

    Decent pump, tyre levers, multi tool, etc.


    She might struggle with Ditchling Beacon with a 36T ring, I think I would.

    I’ve done it twice years ago, first time we had an early start time and was a reasonably clear run. Second time we got a later start and got held up at every hill due to the number of people trying to get up.

    Slick tyres will help, although I didn’t bother and just took my old hard tail.


    start early if she can, it makes a big difference.
    36t chainring wont be necessary, it’ll be too big for the beacon. ALthough ANY middle ring would be, after 50 miles and 30,000 people.

    There are so many people, she’ll never go very fast, so wheel speed is less important than comfort. 2″ slicks and lower pressure wins over rock hard tyres.

    Premier Icon vinnyeh

    In addition to the above, fit some narrower bars to match her shoulder width more closely. Might help a bit with wind resistance as well, depending on speed.

    Premier Icon senor j

    Slick tyres,rigid fork& no dropper.
    Plus several training rides so she can toast her colleagues up Ditchling!

    Premier Icon Bez

    I’d have thought that by far the best upgrade for someone wanting to ride on roads with 30,000 other people on bikes would be a lobotomy 🙂


    I wouldn’t bother swapping the dropper out – the weight saving is negligible for that sort of bike.

    having done it a few times, assume an average speed maybe 10mph. so a 30t on the front would be best, but she might be pushing anyway on the beacon.

    slicks and highish pressure (as in, higher than you’d run offroad).

    make sure she is happy with the saddle, and can brake confidently if something unexpected happens in front of her

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Having seen a lot of the bikes that turn up for London-Brighton, pretty much anything will be fine! The issue is less about the bike and more to do with when you start and how many thousands of people there are around you. Decent brakes, comfy saddle and shorts – they’re the main requirements!

    Slick tyres will be a big help but don’t go overboard on the pressue – a few psi lower will help a lot with comfort.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Just put slicks on if it’s mostly road. Don’t worry about the rest. Changing riding position could risk aches and pains. And don’t bother with changing the dropper.

    Premier Icon llama

    Assuming you mean ‘the event’ then it is downhill all the way to ditchling beacon, as the chances are that is the only hill you will be able to ride up before the crowds thin out.

    Anyway, comfort, so a familiar saddle, good cycling shorts, no knickers

    Bike doesn’t matter. You are wasting your time with a road bike unless you leave at 4 in the morning (or ride back). I’d do it on my 29+, take all day, and stop at all the pubs.

    Premier Icon cteagles

    Thanks for the advice! New tyres and some more pressure in the forks for the next training ride I think. The other things I will probably leave alone and only address if required.

    Oh and bottle cages, on bike storage etc to remove the need for a rucksack..

    Now to go and find her a bloody big hill to practice on!

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