First time event - help needed!

sopworth Posts: 191
edited April 2019 in MTB general

Since buying my MTB last summer, i've entered a couple of endurance events this next few months and was hoping for a bit of help….

My bike is a Kona Blast 27.5" wheels. It's a few years old but in pretty good condition (purchased second hand). I'm a pretty decent mechanic, having built many road bikes over the years, but have stayed clear of the hydraulic forks and discs as they are beyond my experience level and all seems to be working well….I suspect.

Anyway, all the kit is still standard, including the tyres that need replacing. I'm going to be using the bike for 10 under Ben and a 7 hour event in Glentress over the next month or so.

Firstly, what tyres do you think I should be targeting to replace the current ones? Same width on each wheel?

Second, any general advice about tackling these events - such as locking out forks for certain sections and so on?

I appreciate these are pretty open questions, but any advice would be welcome.

My MTB experiences are pretty limited to date with the odd 10 - 15 miles trail run slotted in with the odd commute to work on the bike to get used to it.

I don't think riding for so long will be an issue fitness wise, but i'm sure i'll feel more beat up than more experience riders come the end.



  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You're doing a ten and seven hour event off the back of some commuting ? I think tyre choice is the least of your worries.

    Do you have endurance from other sports ? And as to the tyres maybe you need some choices if it's wet or dry weather ? Take two sets so you have options.
  • billycool
    billycool Posts: 833
    Is this a wind up?

    You have a 2nd hand mountain bike and have minimal MTB experience? I don't know about your general fitness levels but a 7 or 10 hour event is VERY different to the odd 10-15 mile ride. The stress and strains on your bike will be pretty high as well.

    Not trying to have a go, but the chances of bike and/or rider failure are quite high.

    Ref your bike - forks do need servicing once in a while, check the chain for wear, check brake pads, grease and lube everything.

    As for tyres - hard to say - depends on weather/terrain, whether you want tubeless, lightweight or something stronger.

    Good luck with it all. Let us know how you get on.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • sopworth
    sopworth Posts: 191
    Thanks for the concerns - I will most certainly report back once i've done the events.

    For clarity, I am doing 10 under the Ben as part of a 2 man team, so there will be some respite in-between circuits of the course. As for the 7 hour event - well, I'll just hang on in there and hope both me and the bike survive.

    As a roadie, I have done LEJOG solo and spent many long days in the saddle, so I hope this may offset the severe lack of off road technique to some level.

    Suggestions for tyres though, if I was taking just the one set on the one pair of wheels?

  • billycool
    billycool Posts: 833
    Fair enough. It just sounded a bit like "I've bought a 2nd hand MTB and ridden it a bit and now I'm entering a 10 hour event".

    MTB will be a bit different as the cadence varies a lot and you tend to you use your core a lot more to `balance` on the bike. I don't know what the terrain will be like so just take your time. Are you riding at night at all?

    As for tyres - I'm assuming you won't be tubeless? I personally use Conti tyres - either Trail King or Mountain King. There are various types/quality. A lot of other people like Schwalbe or Maxxis. Some roll better on dryer conditions and others are better suited to wetter conditions but might weigh more and roll slower. If you search the forum, there are plenty of discussions about tyre choices. Generally, you want slighter faster rolling on the rear and a grippier tyre on the front.

    Some people will have a slightly wider tyre on the front (i.e 2.2 rear and 2.4 front) but for what you are doing it probably isn't essential. I'd want a balance of weight/speed/grip and would probably sacrifice my tougher (heavier) tyres for something a bit speedier.

    I can't be more specific as I just ride 2.2 Trail Kings on my FS most of the time and they work for me.

    On my HT I use some old school Panaracer Fire XC Pro - light, quick and grippy but only come in 2.1 or narrower. Certainly quicker than my TK's.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    There was a similar thread to this somewhere else and from memory the tyres recommended were:

    Conti Race KIngs or Maxxis Ardent

    The Conti Trail Kings are outstanding tyres if you want grip, but they can feel a bit draggy.

    As BillyCool says it is going to depend upon the trail and the weather.

    Don't forget to take plenty to eat and drink.
  • sopworth
    sopworth Posts: 191
    By way of an update...

    Did 10 under the Ben yesterday as part of a pair. Yes, it was a brutal introduction and a steep learning curve but myself and the bike survived.

    The bike had a fair few mechanicals with gears packing up in the mud and I had to do 2 laps on the granny ring due to front mech giving up the ghost. My novice MTB background came out half way around lap 3 when I managed to gain enough capacity to lock out my suspension for a firetrack decent....only to realise the forks had been locked out all the time! No joke! I can laugh about it now but, like I said, it was a steep learning curve.

    Myself and my partner managed 9 full laps as my last lap finished just outside the cut off time. I was delighted to get round 5 times and my descending got much better towards the final few laps. I was blasting up the climbs and crept into the top 20 for many of the climbs on the day having just trawled through Strava (not everyones ride, but a good indication).

    For my next event, I'm defo going to upgrade the pedals. I did this event on a pair of tiny Shimano clipless pedals that offered me zero platform when trying to get back on the bike. I wondered why so many riders were on platform pedals, but I do like the feeling of being clipped in to climb. Also, I'd like to have had a dropper seatpost because it was one of my concerns about getting caught behind the saddle on a descent.

    Thank for all the advice on the tyres. I went with what came on the bike as family bills took priority. In fact, the bike was totally as it was when purchase 3 years ago and how I got it second hand. The saddle was/is horrendous!
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    Blood yell! I'm impressed. :shock: :)
  • billycool
    billycool Posts: 833
    Good effort that man!

    Seriously - you did well. Be interesting to see how you perform on a `better` bike.

    I can't do clipless as I need to be able to eject the bike. Decent flats with some 5.10's and my feet feel velcro'd to them.

    I've done a 55km challenge with forks locked out by choice - just didn't really need it. Goes to show what you can achieve riding rigid.

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted. Give the bike some TLC - it deserves it.
    "Ride, crash, replace"