The “Lets go to Gent Wevelgem and pretend we’re Pro riders” thread.
Lobbing this up for updates and plans for the upcoming Weeksy and @crust adventure to Wevelgem in 2022.
Plan will be to head over for hopefully a pottle round on the Friday and watching the E3 Harellbek classic, then Sat is the pro version of the Gent Wevelgem, then on the Sunday we ride the same route with lots of other people.
We were supposed to do this last spring but that got canned like everything else.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2krdPuL]2021-01-11_02-25-15[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr
That is my training plan, that is my bike for the event.
It’s a Raleigh Cadent, running a 2*10 setup from an old bike, along with some SRAM Guide brakes which are of course overkill for road riding. Tyres i’ll look into later on and give some consideration to, i don’t even know what they are that’s fitted but i doubt they’re brilliant at rolling.
Vee Tire Co. Tire Co. Zilent, 700x35c, Wire Bead
If i recall, the event is about 136km of rolling Belgian terrain and being at the end of March it could be nice or could be freezing… i know what i’m HOPING for… Either way, doing a Spring Classic has to be a bucket list kind of day out.
It’s also a good incentive for both me and Crust to get our acts together and get more pedalling done as irrespective of how we’re feeling, 136km is a decent day out that’s for sure.
I do of course know that drop bar bikes are faster, better and more effective, but i don’t like drop bar bikes and i DO like nice wide bars and hydraulic brakes…Posted 9 months ago
That’ll be a much better bike to ride on the cobbles than a race replica with 25mm high pressure tyres. And I say this as a verterain of a few Tour of Flanders Sportives.
You’ll bloody love it. I’m going to Mallorca next year instead of Belgium for my treat-trip, I’m not entirely convinced it’s the right decision.Posted 9 months ago
@tthew i’m not sure how many actual cobbles we take on… i’ve just been watching an interesting GCN video
8km, mixed generic roads. first guy is the usual GCN bloke.
Simon (i think) 55s quicker on the road bike
2nd guy, Ollie, 58s quicker on the Hybrid ! bike over the Roadie…
That would be about 15 minutes quicker over a 135km ride… that’s not taking into account the savings in fatigue too i guess I i were guy 1.
Ollie bloke was riding with his hands in the middle of the bars when on the hybrid in fast sections.Posted 9 months ago
GCN also did a comparison of a race hardtail vs a gravel bike vs a road bike on cobbles (Roubaix I think). The MTB was fastest, unsurprisingly. It’s still wrong though.Posted 9 months ago
You are hardly “pretending to be a pro rider” on that monstrosity.Posted 9 months ago
If it’s speed you’re worried about, you need to ride it on a singlespeed fixie then because you can’t slow down too much on the hills, have to maintain some kind of cadence!
Nah, just take it easy. Stop for a beer or 2 at lunch time. You ain’t going win it, may as well enjoy it. There’s a bloke that rides them on a Hobby Horse, (one of them 1800’s bikes with no pedals, wooden wheel and steel ‘tyres’) you’ll beat him if it’s racing you are after. Oh, and how long do you reckon to fix a couple of pinch punctures in your race tyres? That’ll slow you down too.Posted 9 months ago
Agree on puncturesPosted 9 months ago
Tempted, renewed my passport in July 20 and still not used it in anger!Posted 9 months ago
Accomodation booked inbetween Kortrijk and Wevelgem, seems to be a small farmhouse.
I thought the race was on the Sunday for us, but seems it’s Fri for the E3, Sat for the novices and Sun for the G/Wev on the pro side…. which will be ace and break things up nicely.
Our plan will be early doors on Friday for the train over, get there for lunch and watch the end of the E3….Posted 9 months ago
Prompted by this thread i fired up the turbo bike into ‘road’ mode and thought i’d give it an hour test today.
Here’s what i found.
1. Brakes that rub make the wheel stop spinning. It was barely moving by the time i got home 😀
2. Bars/hand position is good.
3. Gearing outdoors, not so good. 38/48 is excessive for outside and i barely need the smallest 3 cogs and i could do with another 2-4 teeth on the back. This will be negated when i run the 10sp cassette on the outdoor wheel, it’s currently running the 8 speed (with 10sp shifter).
4. HAndling is fine
5. The SRAM Guides need sorting, they’re not actually that good considering
6. Seat height and angle is far more important outdoors compared to indoors. Seat now shifted back and nosed down slightly. I don’t think i’ll run this saddle outdoors though.
7. Shifters need adjusting in position, they’re not terrible but 2 mins will improve them
That’s about it really. The cables for the brakes are MILES too long, but that’s only aesthetics and i’ll leave them long in case they’re ever needed for MTB duty.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mNtP9o]2021-12-03_02-20-14[/url] by Steve Weeks, on FlickrPosted 9 months ago
Went out on the Cadent today for some testing.
I’m still not convinced the gearing is going to fly as it stands but i also think the plan is fairly simple, which is, to use the lower 2 rings and forget about the big ring… Why, well, i only had a 2 speed front shifter lol. But the 48T front even on the flat just isn’t needed. Using the middle ring (38T)as a test i was sitting at 44kph downhill and going along at 34-35kph on the flat in gear 8 of 10. So i’m not really thinking i need the 48T at all over there and when i hit one of the hills, the 38T front and the 36cassette isn’t really enough. If it gets much steeper than today i’ll either be grinding it or i’ll be maxing the HR out to keep going. So what i can do is simply tweak the front mech to get me the 28/38 rings instead of the 38/48 . That’s less than 5 mins effort to sort the cable out.
The handling, i can live with, but in honesty i’d like a bit ‘more’ in terms of grip/size of tyre, but i’ve got a 35c fitted already and not sure i can go much bigger at all. However the stability and bars does mean i’m not ‘scared’ as such which is obviously a good thing and means i can do things like eating, drinkng, texting or whatever while riding, i really struggle to do that on a road setup.
Brakes were a bit meh, but i think part of that is the pads which are brand new and on the road i can’t say i exactly brake much. But i’ve now seemed to manage to get them to work OK in terms of brake rub, which was a pain on the rear last time, but seems pretty decent now. I might drop a tiny bit of fluid out of the rear just to get it to spin a bit more… but it’s not terrible.
Over the course of the ride i was on 23kph average, which seems low to me…. but wasn’t exactly flat and i was trying to make sure i didn’t go into the red on the uphills, just simply because i’m trying to gauge where i/we realistically will be out there in terms of speed and effort.
Only other downside was that I completely forgot my garmin wasn’t paired with my new HRM so i’ve got no data as to how hard i was or wasn’t actually trying. Even though it felt OK and not too hard, i don’t know 100%.Posted 8 months ago
No cobbles to speak of on the G/Wev. The only real challenge is getting up the Kemmelberg and even then it’s not cobbled so it isn’t like the Flanders climb. Otherwise mostly pan flat too. You’ll be fine on a hybrid. The only issue I see is trying to get aero if (probably when) there is a headwind, although you could just sit on a wheel. We did the E3, sportive, race watching in a weekend a few years ago and it was a fab trip.Posted 8 months ago
Great stuff tony… Aero i can kinda manage throwing my hands into the stem, it’s not all all-day body position, but can certainly do it enough to get by.Posted 8 months ago
I’m just hoping there’s some wheels left at the pace we’ll be going 😀
Over the course of the ride i was on 23kph average, which seems low to me
That’s not a million miles away from the average speed we did the Ronde sportive in last time, and there were plenty slower than us!
I was taking a little look in the garage and thought “what rubber is in the loft space”
I found a set of Btwin puncture protect which are 700*45 and seem like they’re likely to be pretty darn fast based upon the lack of tread lol.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mY3VyW]2022-01-19_02-18-50[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mY5FYi]2022-01-19_02-18-45[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr
They fit nicely with plenty of clearance.
Can you get mudguards in there as well? Northern Europe at that time of year the weather could be absolutely shite. Proper mudguards could be hugely beneficial to you and would be appreciated by anyone riding behind you too!Posted 8 months ago
Not if i run the 45s no. I had to remove the allen head bolt on the back of the chainstay to get this to clear the lower part. Reading some reviews, i’m not seeing a lot of benefit in the 45s in honesty… heavier and seemingly lacking in grip…. worth a try throwing them on, but not sure they’ll be staying.
mudguards, heck, i wouldn’t even know where to begin fella.Posted 8 months ago
Mudguards – something like the SKS Chromoplastics or one of the many clones if a bit cheaper. Just be sure to pick the right width, those in the link would work up to about 28mm tyres, but you can get wider ones. They’re an absolute **** to fit the first time but are fairly faff free after that.Posted 8 months ago
Aero i can kinda manage throwing my hands into the stem, it’s not all all-day body position, but can certainly do it enough to get by.
You need a set of these bars…
I used a set on my hybrid that I commuted on. They were fantastic in a headwind.Posted 8 months ago
We’re having a day trip to see the race. Riding from near the coast to the Kemmelberg and back. Hopefully the weather wont be terrible!Posted 8 months ago
Getting a tiny bit aero on flat bars – got any old bar ends laying around?
Works surprisingly well for me as someone who hates/can’t ride on drops…
Posted 8 months ago
You need a set of these bars…
Farr CARBON ENDURANCE Bar
I used a set on my hybrid that I commuted on. They were fantastic in a headwind.
LOL for £150 i need them about 0% … I’d rather get there an hour later 😀Posted 8 months ago
Training still ticking along nicely. Today was a 2 hour jaunt with a bit of ‘radio tower’ for anyone who knows Zwift. 980m of elevation and that’s a decent bit of climb for me, especially over 45km distance only.
I’m still having the odd debate on the super fast carbon road bike over the road in the garage… i’m sure it would fair FLY along. but it does have skinny little 25mm or maybe even 23mm tyres on there and i think that may potentially leave us open to punctures… Whilst that’s also possible for Crust as he’s going full roadie, i’m not sure i want to risk it and suffer the pain at the side of the road with multiple tubes and patches.
I guess it’s a question of how much that’ll hold me back on the Vee tyre rubber and the wider bars, compared to the potential for puncturing..Posted 8 months ago
No cobbles to speak of on the G/Wev. The only real challenge is getting up the Kemmelberg and even then it’s not cobbled so it isn’t like the Flanders climb
not cobbled?…..have I been riding a different Kemmelberg?
Posted 8 months ago
What gearing have you used on it Rhino ? obviously different weights require different gears of course, but just trying to gauge whether i have enough with 36front 36cassettePosted 8 months ago
@Rhino – senior moment!
I have lots of pictures of riders on the cobbles of the Kemmelberg and have ridden up it 4-5times. I must have suppressed the memory of the pain!Posted 8 months ago
I’ve been to Flanders lots of times cycling and as far as I can remember, have never punctured, including over 1,000km of RVV routes, riding tubular tyres on lots of cobbled climbs, bits of the Schelde path and a fair few rough tracks. Gearing wise, the climbs are ‘punchy’ a few hundred metres at most so 1:1 is fine. I managed to get up the Koppenberg on 42×21 with all sorts of bar wrangling going on.
The race only ascends the cobbled side of the Kemmelberg – they stopped after Jimmy Casper came a cropper one year when they descended the cobbles in the wet – it was carnage.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve just been looking on Ebay and TBH a 3 speed shifter (instead of my 2 speed) is going to cost me a Tenner lol. It’s hardly worth even worrying about.Posted 8 months ago
If you have the option of a road bike just do it on that.
It will be 100x more pleasant. I bet 95% of the field will be on them and there is good reason for that. You would be very unlucky if you puncture with a bit of careful riding and the tyres at a fair pressure.
The paths we do on ours would make this look insignificant in the grand sense.Posted 8 months ago
Weeksy – I don’t think I’ll have had anything easier than a 39/27, so 36/36 certainly won’t be a problem.
I’m fairly sure for organised rides they take you down a ‘new’ tarmac road as coming down the steeper side (from the Angel down passed the ossuary) in the wet and with a couple of side roads once you’re flat out can be on the hairy side
Tonyg – in fairness, I don’t think many at that end of the Flanders Wall have; Cassel being the only one that springs to mind?Posted 8 months ago
Be prepared for a range of possible weather conditions. We rode round some of the sportive a few years ago (riding to it from the ferry when I was new to road, worrying about the Kemmelberg all the way, then barely noticing it). Good fun but below freezing the whole weekend, loads of ice. Got very cold next day standing around waiting for the start.Posted 8 months ago
I’m just planning the day before which is the E3 HArelbeke.
So we can either spend the afternoon at the Oude Kwaremont or head to the finish line at Harelbeke
I’m inclined to dump our car and bags at the B&B which is just in Aalbeke, seems to be 28km from the Kwaremont. But do we wanna cycle 50km the day before the big event… Option 2 is to drive to Kwaremont but that does of course mean 1 of us isn’t having a beer… (likely me as i’ll be insured to drive) .. However the bar i’ve booked a reservation in for the evening serves lots of beer 🙂Posted 8 months ago
Be prepared for a range of possible weather conditions.
Aye, i hear you there… i’ve seen sleet and snow on Eurosport and 22deg…. it could be ANYTHING in March in Belgium 🙂Posted 8 months ago
The 8 speed chain and shifters arrived today, so a quick 30 mins later and it’s sitting nicely with 24 gears now.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2n15Vxt]2022-01-31_01-55-13[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2n1bfXm]2022-01-31_01-55-05[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr
It’s all a bit cheap and basic of course, but lets be honest, for 1 ride outside and a bit of Zwifting, that’s all it needs to be really. It shifts nicely, smoothly and all of the gears…. Which is what i really wanted. I got fed up with ‘trimming’ the gears on the fly on the 10 speed, clicky gears, not quite right, i just want, click gear, click gear…. simple…Posted 7 months ago
Went out playing with @Crosshair today, we were cruising for large chunks of it so only did an average of 22.5kph. that included a pee stop and not going nuts, keeping everything to a low HR and watt. So more than happy with that.
Things I noticed,
He corners quicker than me
My gears are slight out on that wheel
My brake levers need moving in on the bars
The shifters are not as terrible as I thought
The cheap donkey can hold its own in a gentle ride
HR average was 123bpm which is cruisy
Took the 2.5mm spacer off the hub and fitted about a 1.2mm spacer. That’s moved the cassette over nicely so both road and Zwift wheels are closely matched now. Can go the extra tiny bit to make it perfect as the hub is fractionally too wide to allow it. But it’s only 2-3 twist on the barrel adjuster.
Tyres still feel really really narrow! But they’re 35s which are not crazy narrow lolPosted 7 months ago
There’s a nice little pub half way up the Oude Kwarwmont @weeksy. Why not park up in Oudenaard? It’s a nice flat ride to the Koppenberg. Do that one and head west to the Oude Kwarewmont, roll back down to the pub and then it’s all old railway line/cycle track back to Oudenaarde. I’m jealous!Posted 7 months ago
There’s a nice little pub half way up the Oude Kwarwmont @weeksy. Why not park up in Oudenaard? It’s a nice flat ride to the Koppenberg. Do that one and head west to the Oude Kwarewmont, roll back down to the pub and then it’s all old railway line/cycle track back to Oudenaarde. I’m jealous!
That sounds like a fine plan. The details are not massively important yet but without a better plan, sure, we’re in 🙂Posted 7 months ago
Even better, go on the train to Oudennarde, then you can have a few pints in De Carillon too. One of my favorite foreign pubs. Its by the big church on the corner of the market square.Posted 7 months ago
Our B&B is on outskirts of Aalbeke, so i dont know how we’d get on with bikes on train for the Fri ? I think my mate would like to keep the Fri fairly gentle just in case, plus it’s not like we wanna be doing 10 pints the night before the biggy 😀Posted 7 months ago
any real merit in considering the tyres then ?
I’ve got some Vee Tire Zilento which came on the bike, they’re fine and seem tough… but don’t know how quick they are. They’re in 700*35 and i can get up to 45s on there without issue.
Obviously being a MTBer, they feel ridiculously narrow, but i think i’ll get that even if i went 45s…
I don’t want to go completely nuts for the sake of 1 ride… but i don’t mind throwing £50 at some used rubber if there’s better out there for not crazy money used. Crosshair was running Specialized Pathfinder Pro which seem to review well, as do the Vittoria Terreno Dry.Posted 7 months ago
Don’t need them to be Tubeless as my wheels on the cheapo bike are not compatible…. but the Vee tires are coming in about 800g…. so if i could go 400g-500g, that would save a bit.
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