BB200 questions

Questions and answers about routes.

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jimbop
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BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:05 am

I'm not sure if there are any spots left on the BB200 but I'm considering it if there are. I've only been training for a few months now so I know I've got a lot to do but i think it's feasible. I run a 2016 CAADX 105 and have just upgrade to tubeless wheels and 38mm tubeless tyres (Hunt 4Season Gravels). I did 110km of road, gravel and single track yesterday to test out my new wheels and the difference was night and day in terms of comfort, acceleration and speed. The real only concerns I have with the BB200 is the amount of climbing and whether I can offset some of that with easier gears, and my ability to spend that long in the saddle - yesterday it was five and a half hours and my back and shoulders got pretty tired but my legs were OK. If I build up my distances I'm sure i'll be able to cope with longer days in the saddle. I've got a 34 small chainring and an 11-32 cassette but i'm thinking of setting up an 11-34 or 11-36. What gearing, tyres and bikes do people usually? More than happy to be warned off the race but completing it would be a big achievement for me so i'm keen to consider it.

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Scattamah
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Scattamah » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:15 am

You'll get on the standby list for this year after a record sell out time. You could ride any bike you like with any width you want, but I'd say 2.0 as a minimum. There will be a push or three involved so practice your hike/carry. I'd also say go do offroad centuries back to back with a bivvy and see how you feel; make 'em hilly. That will give you an indication of just how comfortable you're going to be.

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S.

jimbop
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:23 am

I'm limited to 38mm (they come out at 40mm on the new rims) in my frame so sounds like i might be under gunned width wise. I'm pretty happy with hikes and carries - great mtb shoes. Agreed, I was planning on doing exactly that - possibly in the Surrey Hills if I can figure out a route that keeps me offroad for the majority of the time.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Chew » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:38 am

It's possible on a cross bike, it just depends on how much fun it will be :wink:

When Scott says climbing he means it.
You'll need to be getting to a ratio of 25m per km to mimic Mid Wales, so on a 100km ride look to do 2500m of climbing.

In terms of gearing running a 1:1 ratio may work if you have the legs, but a 2:3 is what most people will be running

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whitestone
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by whitestone » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:52 am

I did the 2016 BB200, reckoned to be one of the easier editions, 205km with 4700m of climbing.

Gears were 30T up front, 11-40T at the back so a 3:4 easiest ratio, slightly harder than that mentioned by Chew.

This year I'll be 30T up front 11-42T at the back. By the time I'm struggling with that ratio I'll be off and pushing anyway :lol:
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:30 am

Chew wrote:It's possible on a cross bike, it just depends on how much fun it will be :wink:

When Scott says climbing he means it.
You'll need to be getting to a ratio of 25m per km to mimic Mid Wales, so on a 100km ride look to do 2500m of climbing.

In terms of gearing running a 1:1 ratio may work if you have the legs, but a 2:3 is what most people will be running
Having done the Tour de Moor course on Dartmoor last weekend on 35mm clinchers on my XC bike...that was utterly brutal. It's not that i expended that much power because there was little climbing but the rock strewn bridleways were murder on my arms, shoulders and lower back. 38mm tubeless will make a decent difference but if it's rocky - i'm still not that keen. Do most people run front suspension MTBs?

Good plan - I'll do some 25m/km 100 rides.

Gears - i'm gonna get onto google and figure how to get 1:40 setup on my bike I think.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Chew » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:44 am

38mm will make a bit of a difference, but not huge.

90% of people will be on Ridgid/Hard tail MTB's, with 2 inch tyres.

I'd also recommend riding with the kit you'd expect to take on the event. It'll just get you used to the extra weight and the way the bike handles

jimbop
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:57 am

Chew wrote:38mm will make a bit of a difference, but not huge.

90% of people will be on Ridgid/Hard tail MTB's, with 2 inch tyres.

I'd also recommend riding with the kit you'd expect to take on the event. It'll just get you used to the extra weight and the way the bike handles
Sounds like I don't have the right bike for the route - it'd be hard enough on the right bike but getting beaten up on tracks too rough for my bike doesn't appeal, so I don't think i'll add myself to the waiting list. Does anyone have a copy of the 2017 route that i could look at - maybe at some point I could make a weekend out of it to see how I got along but without the pressure of being in a race and therefore potentially wasting somebody's place?

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Scattamah
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Scattamah » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:50 pm

Sensible. Ask around for the 2014 route. I hear it's a classic ;)

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S.

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sean_iow
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by sean_iow » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:53 pm

jimbop wrote: Does anyone have a copy of the 2017 route that i could look at - maybe at some point I could make a weekend out of it to see how I got along but without the pressure of being in a race and therefore potentially wasting somebody's place?
You should be able to view the 2017 route here to get an idea of it

https://www.strava.com/activities/1233428022

I can send you the official gpx if you PM me your email.

Gearing wise, last year I rode 32/20 on a 650B but that was a bit under-geared :wink: so I'm going to chance 34/20 on a 29er this year, but wait until I've seen the route before I commit :lol:
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jimbop
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:24 pm

sean_iow wrote:
jimbop wrote: Does anyone have a copy of the 2017 route that i could look at - maybe at some point I could make a weekend out of it to see how I got along but without the pressure of being in a race and therefore potentially wasting somebody's place?
You should be able to view the 2017 route here to get an idea of it

https://www.strava.com/activities/1233428022

I can send you the official gpx if you PM me your email.

Gearing wise, last year I rode 32/20 on a 650B but that was a bit under-geared :wink: so I'm going to chance 34/20 on a 29er this year, but wait until I've seen the route before I commit :lol:
What size cassette does that thing have? I'd be in serious trouble with my gearing!!! I'll PM you.

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whitestone
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by whitestone » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:28 pm

Sean rides singlespeed so 32 front, 20 rear :wink:
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by sean_iow » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:53 pm

jimbop wrote:What size cassette does that thing have? I'd be in serious trouble with my gearing!!! I'll PM you.
As Bob say's I'm a single-speeder, I was just being funny, a sense of humour is handy when you only have 1 gear, a sense of humour is also handy on the BB200 at times :grin: The bit's that were too steep for me to ride were mainly also such poor trail conditions that I'd of struggled even with gears and they would have required such effort that pushing would be more efficient in my opinion.

I'll be riding a fully rigid titanium 29er with Jones H bars and a 2.35 tyre on the front and a 2.2 on the rear. Last year I had 2.35 both ends but the new frame doesn't quite have the clearance for the 2.35 in the rear. I'd not wan't to ride it on anything less than 2.0. It's a long day/2 days out so comfort is important.
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:28 pm

sean_iow wrote:
jimbop wrote:What size cassette does that thing have? I'd be in serious trouble with my gearing!!! I'll PM you.
As Bob say's I'm a single-speeder, I was just being funny, a sense of humour is handy when you only have 1 gear, a sense of humour is also handy on the BB200 at times :grin: The bit's that were too steep for me to ride were mainly also such poor trail conditions that I'd of struggled even with gears and they would have required such effort that pushing would be more efficient in my opinion.

I'll be riding a fully rigid titanium 29er with Jones H bars and a 2.35 tyre on the front and a 2.2 on the rear. Last year I had 2.35 both ends but the new frame doesn't quite have the clearance for the 2.35 in the rear. I'd not wan't to ride it on anything less than 2.0. It's a long day/2 days out so comfort is important.
Single-speeder - wow. I rode one in London on the flat years commuting and Hyde Park seemed pretty steep at times :-). Mind you if you're going uphill off-road and then descending i can't imagine anyone with more gears would go that much faster.

I'm now thankful that i did the Tour de Moor route because it means that rather than think "Comfort - who cares?", instead I will heed everyone's advice on tyre width. I got the hell beaten out of me on 35s and 38 tubeless ain't gonna help enough if people are riding 2.0 minimum.

How's the Ti frame? I hear the ride quality is noticeably better than alu? I am lusting after a Ti Reilly Gradient but it's probably a ways off for me.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by sean_iow » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:03 pm

My ti bike is a Salsa and it replaced a steel Genesis, both are mtb's though. It is more comfortable but in addition to being ti it also has bigger wheels and it has a 27mm seat-post, the genesis had a 31.6mm post. I think it's the combination of bigger wheels, more flex in the post and the spring of the ti that all adds up to make it more comfortable.

I've got a Adventure bike but I wouldn't want to have ridden it on the BB200, that's not to say it cant be done but I don't have the skill/confidence for some of the descents we went down if I was on a drop-bar bike. And my adventure bike has gears so that's cheating :lol:
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:27 pm

I think one of the potential issues with the BB200 and bike choice is the lottery when it comes to route. You might be 'lucky' as in 2016 and find yourself on something which while not favouring a gravel bike, doesn't punish that choice too much either. Trouble is, you won't know what you're in for until a few days before and even then, without local knowledge you still might not be much wiser.

Most years at least one gravel type bike has completed the route but as Chew says ... how much fun* was it? In fact, I did a recon of the rather spendid Hafren section from last year on an Arkose LTD and had no issues but that was shod with 47c Riddlers which I had an awful lot of faith in.


*this is obviously completely relative in cases such as this and it's never actually fun in the same way as most fun things.
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm

jimbop wrote:without the pressure of being in a race?
Just a point - it's not a race. Not trying to be facetious or clever, but that might just affect how you view the event. Set off early, decide when to stop (or don't). You can choose how best you want to ride it.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:14 am

Colin speaks the truth - it really isn't a race. Certainly think of it as a challenge but you're not racing anyone, you're aiming to finish which could come down to taking a very different approach to that of a race.
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:43 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
jimbop wrote:without the pressure of being in a race?
Just a point - it's not a race. Not trying to be facetious or clever, but that might just affect how you view the event. Set off early, decide when to stop (or don't). You can choose how best you want to ride it.
Understood. My point was more around not wanting to feel pressured that I might've wasted someone else's place if i pitched up and found the course too demanding for my CX bike/me.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:26 am

Understood. My point was more around not wanting to feel pressured that I might've wasted someone else's place if i pitched up and found the course too demanding for my CX bike/me.
The only times I ever feel like that happens is if someone sets off knowing full well that they have no intention of actually finishing and / or have made plans which in no way embrace the 'rules' of self-supported. Setting off with trepidation and high hopes but failing ... isn't failing. :wink:
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:07 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Understood. My point was more around not wanting to feel pressured that I might've wasted someone else's place if i pitched up and found the course too demanding for my CX bike/me.
The only times I ever feel like that happens is if someone sets off knowing full well that they have no intention of actually finishing and / or have made plans which in no way embrace the 'rules' of self-supported. Setting off with trepidation and high hopes but failing ... isn't failing. :wink:
Yup - i hear you and i agree. Yesterday I did my first 100 miler, which was the Surrey 100 on Strava. 2300 of climbing. It taught me a lot, particularly about feeding and it also served to confirm how rubbish I am at climbing. 5000m of climbing, off-road is not something I'm ready for so I'm going to set my sites on the 2019 BB200. I finally landed a job after the first period of unemployment in my career (several months) so hopefully before next year's race I'll have something that can take 650b wheels and at least 2.0 tyres but I doubt i'll have a suspension bike because i live in a flat in London and don't have the space for more than one bike.

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Scattamah
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Re: BB200 questions

Post by Scattamah » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:34 pm

Sure you can Jimbo...go vertical. That's how I get 2 bikes in my shoebox. Telescopic poles FTW.

Greetz

S.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by jimbop » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:17 pm

Scattamah wrote:Sure you can Jimbo...go vertical. That's how I get 2 bikes in my shoebox. Telescopic poles FTW.

Greetz

S.
Thought about it but can't find a spot where that would work in the flat. Actually - i might chuck the desk in my bedroom and that would free up an ideal space... oh dear. Well that was a potentially very expensive thought process :-D

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by dlovett » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:46 pm

I rode the last BB200 and the last two YD200/300's on a Camino with 650b wheels. Certainly it's faster on some sections but slower on others than other bikes. I'm pretty quick on DH with it as I am confident with the tyres, however I'm more comfortable and therefore that bit faster DH on the Vir Fortis. Overall a gravel/adventure bike can do these type of ride, but if you are really going for it, then you will take a lot more abuse on your body, which translates into a slower 2nd half of the ride normally. This year I'll be back on the Vir Fortis as with the right tyres it's not much slower than the Camino on long road sections and if far more comfortable when pushing hard off road.

If you only have one bike then ride it, but be prepared to feel battered by the end of it.

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Re: BB200 questions

Post by flyingpig » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:15 pm

Not sure if this is the right place, seems a good one as any to ask?

Are the BB200/300 stats posted somewhere, just out of interest to see how many entered, started and what badges were earned?

Thanks
Paul

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