Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

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whoof
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby whoof » 20 Oct 2020, 2:00pm

ANTONISH wrote:In 1960 I was in Ireland - I had my road bike with sprints and tubulars.
A local cyclist invited me on a club run in the Wicklow hills.
We were riding up a climb when the leader turned onto a track which descended to a bog.
We walked through that for a while and came to a river - forded the river carrying our bikes and continued through the bog and eventually reached a tarmac road.
We used to go off road on any bike available - now there seems to be a range of hardly different machines designed for different surfaces.
I don't know what the original members of the Roughstuff fellowship would have thought of it.



I would imagine many would have thought 'great now I can ride my bike over that section rather than having to push or carry it'

Mackiemill
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Joined: 4 Aug 2020, 7:15pm

Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby Mackiemill » 20 Oct 2020, 7:15pm

Turned my 2006 Dawes Ultra Galaxy into a gravel bike this year ...
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531colin
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby 531colin » 22 Oct 2020, 4:28pm

whoof wrote:
ANTONISH wrote:In 1960 I was in Ireland - I had my road bike with sprints and tubulars.......


......I would imagine many would have thought 'great now I can ride my bike over that section rather than having to push or carry it'


You get less pinch flats with tubs.

Heres a picture of 3 of my mates manhandling their mountain bikes down Bunton Hush in Gunnerside Gill....its marked as a bridlepath on the OS map.

Imageswaledale 016 by 531colin, on Flickr

Guess how I got down in front of them on my drop-bar roughstuff bike? I pushed/carried it down, just like they are doing, but as I knew the way, I went first.
I occasionally come across a bit of track which I would ride on an MTB but walk with a tourer....but carry a tourer and ride a gravel bike/MTB?....I think thats just marketing hyperbole.

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Vantage
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby Vantage » 22 Oct 2020, 4:42pm

It's fair to say the only terrain my Spa Wayfarer has failed to cope with were a direct result of my fear to push its limits. I don't bounce off rocks as well as I did when I was younger and stupider/braver.

IMG_20200530_112346.jpg
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531colin
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby 531colin » 22 Oct 2020, 5:41pm

531colin wrote:
slowster wrote:......... Remind me again, what tyre width are you running now on your Roughstuff? :wink:


I think they are nominally 40. I've got a couple of busy days and its absolutely blathered in mud, so I'll clean it up, measure, and take a photo when I get a chance.
Tyres as here..https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=140851&p=1528133&hilit=schwalbe#p1528133
Except as it says there the tread pattern seems to be different now to when I bought them; I think I paid 10 either euro or pounds.

Edit...that Leisure Lakes link now goes to the wrong tyre!

Here are the details;

ImageIMG_5223 by 531colin, on Flickr

Schwalbe range cruiser, as it says; kevlar belt (K guard 3....who knows what the 3 means!)

Heres the tread.....its about 2mm deep,

ImageIMG_5221 by 531colin, on Flickr

and its nicely rounded, so it doesn't discourage spirited cornering (on tarmac)

Image
IMG_5222 by 531colin, on Flickr

Measured width is just less than 38mm, and my 10mm Allen key fits between the tyre and chainstay (on the Roughstuff bike)

Just for fun, here are some other tyres I've used over the years (these are 26" and various widths)

ImageIMG_5224 by 531colin, on Flickr

On the left, Marathon Racer, with tread only about 1mm deep. liable to just "let go" without warning on mud or even wet grass; a bit too exciting for me, unless I'm doing mainly road or dry tracks..
Middle and right are 2 different incarnations of the old kevlar belt Marathons. As far as I could tell they rode the same, and I have done most of my recent roughstuff on tyres like that...about 2mm tread depth. Really quite capable on all but the foulest mud, and also good for road riding, including spirited cornering. (the finer tread is 368....the other, older one is 308....I think!)

Between the old 35mm Kevlar Marathons and the existing Range Cruiser, I tried some wider tyres, briefly; 47mm Greenguard Marathon (if you have ever picked one up, you will know why I didn't stick with them) and 47mm Marathon Mondial folding; for an expensive tyre, I didn't think they offered any advantage over the narrower and much cheaper old kevlar Marathon, and they felt harder work on road.

Of course, it all depends on what you want to do. Even when I set out to do tracks, I'm lucky if a third of my miles are on tracks. So that the inevitable road miles aren't too much of a pain, I want something that rolls well on the road. If I walk a bit (where I might have ridden if I had 2" knobblies and suspension) then I don't care; I would much rather walk a bit on a track, somewhere I want to be, than flog my guts out to make a bit of progress on a busy road which I have to use to link tracks together.

I got my Range Cruiser tyres from Bike 24 in Germany; they are schwalbe "active line" and seem to be sort of budget stuff which UK retailers don't want to bother with. I have to say, I like them as a substitute for my old favourite kevlar Marathon. Perhaps I should get some more before they "improve" them!

whoof
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby whoof » 23 Oct 2020, 8:00pm

531colin wrote:
whoof wrote:
ANTONISH wrote:In 1960 I was in Ireland - I had my road bike with sprints and tubulars.......


......I would imagine many would have thought 'great now I can ride my bike over that section rather than having to push or carry it'


You get less pinch flats with tubs.

Heres a picture of 3 of my mates manhandling their mountain bikes down Bunton Hush in Gunnerside Gill....its marked as a bridlepath on the OS map.

Imageswaledale 016 by 531colin, on Flickr

Guess how I got down in front of them on my drop-bar roughstuff bike? I pushed/carried it down, just like they are doing, but as I knew the way, I went first.
I occasionally come across a bit of track which I would ride on an MTB but walk with a tourer....but carry a tourer and ride a gravel bike/MTB?....I think thats just marketing hyperbole.

If you can ride the same terrain with 35 mm tyres as you can 45 or 55 mm then why even bother with a tourer. You may as well ride a road bike with 25 mm as there will be no difference. The reality is people are riding terrain on MTBs that most people would struggle to walk down.

fatboy
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Re: Spa Tourer as a gravel bike?

Postby fatboy » 23 Oct 2020, 8:33pm

Mackiemill wrote:Turned my 2006 Dawes Ultra Galaxy into a gravel bike this year ...


Got no photo but I've got a Super Galaxy set up very similar. Works well off road. I've got 42 Marathon Mondials. Great fun

If my Spa tourer wasn't my commuting workhorse I'd have done the same to it (I.e. took of the rack and guards and fitted bigger tyres = nothing much = pretty much a gravel bike)
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly