Choose your Dirty Boar weapon
Some people have been asking us what kind of roads they can expect at the Dirty Boar and what kind of bike set-up they can/should use.
Aside from a good attitude, proper training and mental strength, your bike is the most important part of your Dirty Boar experience. Here's what we think is the ideal bike set-up (doesn't matter if it's on a mtb, cross, gravel... bike).
The most important part(s) of the bike are the tyres. Most of the riding will be on hard-packed dirt or gravel roads. For this we recommend at least 32-33mm cyclocross tyres.
If you are able to fit bigger tyres (36-40mm) you will have a more comfortable ride - which will save energy that you might need towards the end of the ride. You may be thinking, "Wider tyres will give me more comfort, but they are also heavier - and we will have to climb about 2500 meters. Shouldn't we think about that too?" Yes, a wider tyre (32-38mm) will be heavier, but only about 50 grams per tyre. That's not too much of a penalty.
The tyre profile doesn't need to be rough. Most of the roads will be hard-packed so the profile should give a good balance between grip and speed. A diamond-shape or small knobbie profiles should be enough. If possible some extra grip at the edge of the profile will help you in some of the slippery corners.
Should I ride tubeless?
If your rims are tubeless (or tubeless-compatible), then it might be a good idea to run tubeless. But you won't find that many big or sharp rocks lying around on the gravel road. As long as you keep an eye out for such rocks, and avoid them, you should be fine with regular clinchers. No need to buy a new wheelset just for this ride.
How many gears do I need to bring?
Bring anything you want: 1x11; 2x10/11; 3x10/11; and even singlespeed (we personally used a gear between 40-22 and 39-20)! There will be some climbing, but most people will be fine with a standard set-up for off-road/cross.
Do I need suspension?
Your tires will give most of the suspension, but if you know your body/arms need a smoother ride you might want to look for some extra suspension. Just something that takes the edge of the big bumps without adding a lot of weight. The people of Lauf forks have created the gravel specific fork (Grit) that does just that.
Should I be able to carry a lot of supplies (food, drinks, spares) on my bike?
Not more than you usually do when you go for a long (>70km) off-road ride by yourself. You won't be able to stuff everything in your jersey pockets, but a frame/saddle bag or a light backpack should be sufficient. We will let you know our final recommendations when we have fixed the details of the checkpoints/feeding stations.
To summarize our advice: Just bring the bike (mtb, gravel, cross....) you have which is equipped to go off-road and fit tyres that give you a good balance between speed and comfort. If your legs/body are at their best you should be fine.
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