Tour of Dartmoor

PhilthyPhil Posts: 68
I'm going to be riding this next week, I know its going to be very hilly but was after a better idea of what to expect. I have seen the route information on the website but can't really get an idea of how steep it is going to be from that. I asked a friend today who knows the area and he just said 'steep' and couldnt quantify it. I would just like to know as I currently have a 39x25 lowest gear and struggle with this on anything much more than 10% and was wondering if I should go out and get a 27 or a compact or something.


  • yogi
    yogi Posts: 456
    Hello Phil,

    Don't know where you live but I live in Plymouth so I've ridden the whole course, in parts, at various times.

    The first climb to Buckland-in-the-Moor is pretty steep. I ride a triple with the smallest ring being a 30, the largest rear cog is a 27. You could probably get up it on a 39x25 if you are strong but I couldn't! I ride a lot of the lanes around here and they can be very steep.

    The climbs after this are more gradual where you can get a good rhythm going. The bit that goes out to the coast is fairly rolling.

    If you go onto Bikely I've posted the route under my alter-ego 'Tangoman' here and you can click on 'Elevation' to get some idea of terrain.

    Hope the weather is better than today (Sunday), it's being raining all day. Might see you on the ride I'll be on a black Cannondale (with triple) struggling up t'hills.

    Any further questions - ask away. Best of luck.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the info. I am coming from Oxford so it is quite a trek and I won't have a chance to ride any of the route beforehand. Do you have any idea what the average or max gradient is for the first climb is (sounds like this is the hardest)?
  • yogi
    yogi Posts: 456
    It's probably 1 in 4 but don't quote me on that. It's also very narrow up through some woods and will be slippery if its wet so traction will be an issue. Some of the other climbs on the Moor are quite long.

    Just checked the weather and it's looking ok but then can they really forecast that far ahead accurately - I think not.
  • Hope you get better weather than I did for the Dartmoor classic earlier in the year as it poured down for entire ride !!
    I used 39 x 23 but could have done with a 39 x 27 so I did not have to get out of saddle so much :lol:
    I reckon it depends on your strength and climbing style more than what others use, but it is better to have lower gears available rather than struggle, you do not have to use them if your feeling strong but if your struggling you do not want to get off and walk 8)
  • yogi
    yogi Posts: 456
    Yes I did the Dartmoor Classic too - the first 3 hours were fairly unpleasant.

    This ride is tougher I think.
  • Well I went out and got a 27T in the end. Just as well, some of those hills were pretty crazy :shock: 22% max gradient according to my bike computer. Unfortunately I crashed about 2 hrs in which left me with a bent mech hanger and unable to get anything bigger than 17T so the rest of the ride was a bit of a struggle. I found at the end that by rear brake had been rubbing which must have been a result of my crash too :oops:

    I did 7:31 which I am fairly happy with considering the circumstances, how was it for you?
  • Yep rode the event also... This was the toughest event I have down all year. Managed to get round with a 39x23 but wish I had something a little smaller..

    Managed to get a time of 6:26:16. Was glad to get off the bike