Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

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JonCS
Posts: 11
Joined: 3 Aug 2009, 10:07pm

Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby JonCS » 29 Apr 2019, 10:41am

I am planning to ride the Ridgeway and Wessex Ridgeway from Streatly down to Dorset then onwards off-road as much as possible to Lands End. In East Anglia I can ride offroad on 37mm tyres with 47mm being a bit better for deep sand. A few years ago I did the South Downs way on a P7 with ~50mm tyres IIRC. The P7 got stolen and my current MTB (Kona Splice) is being ridden by my 15yr old son on this trip so I need a new bike. I've ridden thetford Forest's trails on a CX bike, but drop offs with drop bars require faith and not sure I fancy it with any kind of luggage, so wavering between MTB and Gravel. I am a bit overwhelmed by the options which seem to come down to tyre size (big/Plus adds weight) and gears (1x to reduce weight) . I recall the P7 being heavy uphill with a tendency to pop the front wheel up on roots and rocks (prob bad technique!). We won't be camping so I'd like to keep the weight down but plan to do 40 miles per day off road 60 on-road.

So what size tyres will cope with the Ridgeway and Devon/Cornish moors, if it s a few sections of walking the technical stuff vs hours of extra drag on the better bits, I'll go with the lighter option.

Genesis Longitude or Vagabond have good reviews.
Evans Pinnacle 4 seems light, but would need new tyres as a min and if going Plus then new wheels too
Voodoo Bizango - good reviews
??

Any advice on the conditions to expect and so the tyres and bike type much appreciated.
Thanks
Jon

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LinusR
Posts: 249
Joined: 24 May 2017, 7:27pm
Location: London
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Re: Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby LinusR » 30 Apr 2019, 9:29am

JonCS wrote:I am planning to ride the Ridgeway and Wessex Ridgeway from Streatly down to Dorset then onwards off-road as much as possible to Lands End. In East Anglia I can ride offroad on 37mm tyres with 47mm being a bit better for deep sand. A few years ago I did the South Downs way on a P7 with ~50mm tyres IIRC. The P7 got stolen and my current MTB (Kona Splice) is being ridden by my 15yr old son on this trip so I need a new bike. I've ridden thetford Forest's trails on a CX bike, but drop offs with drop bars require faith and not sure I fancy it with any kind of luggage, so wavering between MTB and Gravel. I am a bit overwhelmed by the options which seem to come down to tyre size (big/Plus adds weight) and gears (1x to reduce weight) . I recall the P7 being heavy uphill with a tendency to pop the front wheel up on roots and rocks (prob bad technique!). We won't be camping so I'd like to keep the weight down but plan to do 40 miles per day off road 60 on-road.

So what size tyres will cope with the Ridgeway and Devon/Cornish moors, if it s a few sections of walking the technical stuff vs hours of extra drag on the better bits, I'll go with the lighter option.

Genesis Longitude or Vagabond have good reviews.
Evans Pinnacle 4 seems light, but would need new tyres as a min and if going Plus then new wheels too
Voodoo Bizango - good reviews
??

Any advice on the conditions to expect and so the tyres and bike type much appreciated.
Thanks
Jon


It is a long time since I rode that part of the Ridgeway and it was on a laden touring bike with 35mm tyres and I recall it was a little bumpy. I have the previous version of the Voodoo Bizango which I'm very pleased with. The 2.25 inch Maxxis Ardent tyres are good for all round use and the hydraulic brakes are very good. Wheels are still true after more than 18 months of riding. I've replaced the handlebar grips for thicker ones. I'm not sure if the current model has all the frame fittings for a rack (it doesn't look like it) so I'd check that in the store before buying . My version will take my old Blackburn alloy rack and I also use a saddle bag with it. The fork is a very basic air spring model and I'd be tempted to ditch it in favour of a much lighter solid fork; although it was handy for the long rocky descents on the South Downs Way. Halfords/Cycle Republic often discount their bikes every month so you could get the Bizango for less than £600 if you keep an eye out. I like the Bizango as it is a cheap and cheerful go anywhere bike for fun on the trails and a decent off-road tourer if you are not in a hurry. I'll be exploring the North Downs Way next on it.

JonCS
Posts: 11
Joined: 3 Aug 2009, 10:07pm

Re: Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby JonCS » 30 Apr 2019, 6:42pm

Thanks for the view on conditions I am thinking bigger ~50mm tyres, but not full on MTB.
J

RodT
Posts: 50
Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

Re: Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby RodT » 2 May 2019, 7:32pm

Both the Ridgeway and the Wessex Ridgeway are mostly chalk drove roads. They're both scarred with deep (sometimes knee-deep) ruts caused by heavy off-road vehicles. In dry weather, the chalk sets hard as concrete, and after rain it becomes treacherously slick. Hard going but good fun, and the views are amazing.

JonCS
Posts: 11
Joined: 3 Aug 2009, 10:07pm

Re: Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby JonCS » 3 May 2019, 7:39pm

Thankd Rod, Good description, going in July so I hope it will be on the dry side. Although very dry at the moment so who knows! I recall some deep rutson the South Downs Way.

I've settled for a Genesis Vagabond, it climbs better than an MTB, but has fatter tryes than some gravel bikes. Should be fine on concrete, some knobbles for mud.
:)
J

Thehairs1970
Posts: 100
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: Ridgeway, Dartmoor Bodmin Moor - Gravel or MTB

Postby Thehairs1970 » 24 May 2019, 5:24pm

Dartmoor - it depends. Do you have any plans on where? Many of the off road tracks are proper off road. Exceptions would be Princetown south towards Eyellbarrow (spelling) and Princetown down to Yelverton.