Gravel bike in Scotland?

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petemaz
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Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by petemaz » Mon May 14, 2018 12:40 am

I relocated to Nevada last year and decided to buy a Niner gravel bike as I thought it would be ideal for the desert fire roads out here.... I've subsequently realised that it was a bad choice, because as soon as I encounter sandy gravel, I just grind to a halt! I tried wider tires (700x45), and although they helped, I still struggle in sand and watch in envy as mates fly past me on wider tires.

It's likely I'll be returning to Scotland later in the year and I'm trying to decide if I should bring the Niner with me or not... I do really like the bike on trails/roads etc. Can anyone share experiences of 700x45 tires in the usual bikepacking terrain...mud, forestry roads etc??
Cheers

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon May 14, 2018 7:11 am

I was in Scotland with Jameso and the Pinnacle gang this time last year. We were riding the Arkose LTD (45c Riddlers) and rode a good cross section of terrain while we were there. The bike seemed well suited to most ... except as you say, sandy bits :wink:

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ballibeg
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ballibeg » Mon May 14, 2018 8:51 am

I find my ToughRoad perfect for forestry roads which I'm surrounded by. Not sure it's the best choice for bridleways etc.

Dave

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon May 14, 2018 12:21 pm

I'm riding 650x47 and it's great. There are tons of tracks you can use and enjoy.

petemaz
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by petemaz » Tue May 15, 2018 12:03 am

Thanks for the replies folks

boxelder
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by boxelder » Tue May 15, 2018 8:26 am

Scotroutes - which 47x650b are you running?

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Tue May 15, 2018 9:42 am

Could some one give me a heads up on the Strath Nethy, Fords of Avon, Glen Avon, Loch Builg route to Ballater from Aviemore? Is it worth doing on 40mm CX or more MTB?

It's the Strath Nethy-Glen Avon bit I really need to know about. It's a possible day 4 alternative back to Ballater that I'd like to try to avoid a repeat through Tomintoul, but would rather enjoy the ride than it be a CX trials challenge.

We set off Friday for a 5 day 'gravel' trip in the area.

Cheers :-bd

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whitestone
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by whitestone » Tue May 15, 2018 9:55 am

I think I'd avoid the Strath Nethy - Fords of Avon - Faindouran Lodge bit. This is Strath Nethy.

Image

Other shots from geograph.org.uk look even less appealing for CX and not that appealing for MTB if I'm honest. I've been told that the first few Km from the Fords of Avon towards Faindouran are hike-a-bike.

Either Colin or htrider will know better.
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 am

Thanks for that, I kind of feared that from the aerial imagery. Oh well. Not this trip.

:-bd

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Gari » Tue May 15, 2018 11:07 am

Yeh Strathnethy is a walk for the most part, and not a nice one, midget as all hell too!
The first bit from fords of A’an shelter is a wander along the burn banks until the obvious track on the map, again very tussocky etc too.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ScotRoutes » Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm

boxelder wrote:Scotroutes - which 47x650b are you running?

WTB Byways. Much more capable than they look, though there are obviously limits :lol:

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ScotRoutes » Tue May 15, 2018 7:00 pm

Moder-dye wrote:Could some one give me a heads up on the Strath Nethy, Fords of Avon, Glen Avon, Loch Builg route to Ballater from Aviemore? Is it worth doing on 40mm CX or more MTB?

It's the Strath Nethy-Glen Avon bit I really need to know about. It's a possible day 4 alternative back to Ballater that I'd like to try to avoid a repeat through Tomintoul, but would rather enjoy the ride than it be a CX trials challenge.
Holy sh1t! No way José

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Tue May 15, 2018 8:25 pm

:lol: :-bd

Only really asked as a few years back I saw some one coming down towards tomintoul from that glen when I was coming down from loch builg and they looked to be on less than a MTB

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Thu May 17, 2018 9:06 am

OK, another stupid question no doubt, but Glen Feshie? :roll: How bad is the pushing in the middle bit?

Looked at train to Blair/Pitlochry go get back to Ballater via Tilt, but they're all fully booked the day we want. Just trying to avoid a similar day to day 2 through Tomintoul/Builg, but I suspect that's what we'll be sticking with...

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whitestone
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by whitestone » Thu May 17, 2018 9:14 am

Moder-dye wrote:OK, another stupid question no doubt, but Glen Feshie? :roll: How bad is the pushing in the middle bit?
Assuming you are going from East to West then not that bad. The section from the Red Lodge/ Geldie Burn area over the watershed can be hard going if it's been wet. The worst bit will be the section after crossing the rickety bridge over the Eidart until you get to the landslip, it's boggy and been churned up by estate vehicles. Once past the landslip it's fine, just the usual occasional unrideable bits that you get on any path/track in the Highlands.
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Thu May 17, 2018 9:22 am

west to east from Aviemore to Ballater :lol: But thanks :-bd

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whitestone
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by whitestone » Thu May 17, 2018 9:33 am

Moder-dye wrote:west to east from Aviemore to Ballater :lol: But thanks :-bd
In that case you are most likely to be pushing from the landslip to the Eidart then the next 5km until you meet the main track will be on/off depending on conditions/skill. After that it will be a blast down the track to the road head at Linn of Dee :-bd
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Thu May 17, 2018 11:21 am

Cheers, re-jigged days to do it east to west now.

Ready for the off... :grin:
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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Sat May 19, 2018 8:02 pm

Feshie was pretty dry, still a fairly slow slog through there. 3 crossings were fine too, just took shoes and socks off, knee deep at worst.

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Gari » Sat May 19, 2018 10:05 pm

You know there’s a path around them yeh!? :grin:
Good effort on 40mm tyres :-bd

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Sun May 20, 2018 7:22 am

Gari wrote:You know there’s a path around them yeh!? :grin:
Good effort on 40mm tyres :-bd
Ah, it was a bit hot for us northern souls so the spa dip was nice and refreshing :grin:

I currently have an impressive head sunburn with stripes from helmet vents and straps and glasses. Also a white cross on my calf from skin masked off by kinesiology tape :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Sun May 20, 2018 6:14 pm

Burma road today on 40mm land cruisers and rim brakes for me. Fine other than hard on the hands braking on the descent towards Carr Bridge. Friend was on 40mm nano's and hyro brakes, but still felt the descent.

Some climb!

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun May 20, 2018 6:48 pm

It would have been a bit blowy up there today!

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by Moder-dye » Sun May 20, 2018 6:58 pm

It was, very blowy, nearly blew us off the track side on the climb actually a couple of times.

Ryvoan and Loch Builg to Ballater tomorrow :-bd

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Re: Gravel bike in Scotland?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun May 20, 2018 7:23 pm

The Big Egg (Eag Mhor) and the descent to Glen Brown will test the bikes....

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