Fastest Strade Bianche setup

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robeambro
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Hi all,

A premise - I don't have any ambition to place too well, I just like to have nerdy conversations about equipment, and I think this section needs more traffic :D

If all goes well, I'll race the Strade Bianche 2024 Granfondo. I will be using my Ostro Gravel which is my N=1, and I was pondering what would be the best setup (mainly tyres) considering that I'd start at the very back and I'll probably face a lot of congestion.

Option 1: current road setup. Gp5k s tr 28/30 F/rr.
Option 2: chonky road setup, either Gp5k 32/32, or even Schwalbe pro one 34/34.
Option 3: fast gravel setup, something like Terra Speed or pathfinders.

For reference, I'm average off-road, I've raced on gravel but I'm definitely not one of the best handlers out there (also not the worst at all - average, as I said). Also, I expect there to be massive congestion on gravel sections, so I'm wondering if it's worth going gravel so that I can overtake more easily - I guess it hinges on how much congestion there is.

Thoughts?

by Weenie


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CampagYOLO
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 3:58 pm

by CampagYOLO

I rode the sportive this year, the gravel sections are lovely and don't need a dedicated gravel set up.
I wasn't racing so went with 32mm Gravelking slicks which were great.
From your options I'd definitetly go with 2, 32mm slicks will give you that much more confidence on the gravel sectors and mean you don't lose out much on the tarmac.

Also used the exact same set up for Paris Roubaix a couple of months after.

Another reason not to go with a gravel set up is that there is a fair bit of climbing on Strade Bianche which isn't often mentioned, a lot of short sharp hills that sap your legs after a while. The additional weight of the gravel tyres plus sealant could hold you back a little on those.

Obviously if it was wet then a proper gravel set up would start looking more tempting...

robeambro
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

CampagYOLO wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:25 am
I rode the sportive this year, the gravel sections are lovely and don't need a dedicated gravel set up.
I wasn't racing so went with 32mm Gravelking slicks which were great.
From your options I'd definitetly go with 2, 32mm slicks will give you that much more confidence on the gravel sectors and mean you don't lose out much on the tarmac.

Also used the exact same set up for Paris Roubaix a couple of months after.

Another reason not to go with a gravel set up is that there is a fair bit of climbing on Strade Bianche which isn't often mentioned, a lot of short sharp hills that sap your legs after a while. The additional weight of the gravel tyres plus sealant could hold you back a little on those.

Obviously if it was wet then a proper gravel set up would start looking more tempting...
Thanks. It's kind of where I was at. And yes if it was wet I'd want a full gravel setup but I am not flying with a spare wheelset :D

TriJoeri
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:28 am

by TriJoeri

I rode it this year as well. I wasn't "racing" for position, I started in the 3rd wave so too far back already, but did go 90-95%.

I rode my Cannondale Systemsix with 52/36 chain rings and 11-32 cassette, 58mm wheels and I used 28mm Continental Gatorskins with Continental race inner tubes and Maxalami Wurstwasser in them at 5.2 bar. The gravel roads were quite "clean" since it rained in the days before the race and then all of the pros and their support vehicles that road over them the day before the fondo. In some corners there were quite some braking bumps but they were still manageable.

I first wanted to use Vittoria Strade Bianche 30mm tires but I already flatted on them after 3 rides outdoors and since the Gatorskins are tractor tires which are "impossible" to flat, I used them. I was more then fine on the gravel sections and my setup was still quick enough on the road sections. Remember, there's only 30-40km (?) of gravel in the 140km route so if you're looking at the fastest setup, there's no need for a gravel bike. Most people were using regular road bikes with slightly wider tires and the people on gravel bikes had a harder time up some of the steep inclines and in the faster paced road sections as well.

I believe we only hit the first gravel section after 35' of rolling roads where we averaged over 40km/h.

AXA
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:46 pm

by AXA

Rode this year in the first group with 28 mm Cinturato TLR but it was unnecessary.
In a dry situation better use a performance tyre like GP5000 since the gravel sectors are in very good conditions.

vinssout
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:48 pm

by vinssout

near the top 10 this year with two turbo sworks 30mm with latex tube on my tarmac sl7.

In my opinion the fastest setup is 30mm tubeless road tyres.

by Weenie


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FeartheGirth
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 8:04 am

by FeartheGirth

Rode the SB for the first time this year, used 32mm Pirelli Cinturato with regular orange sealant. No punctures, excellent grip in dry conditions. Would probably go with 30mm next time if dry, stick with 32 if wet. The gravel itself was not too bad but the tracks are very rutted so bear comfort in mind when making a choice.

Also make sure your bottles fit tightly into their cages as there were thousands all over the place. Finally, if you use a saddle bag, make sure the fastenings are in good knick as mine weren’t and the velcro kept coming loose which meant i had to stop to reattach.

Great ride, lots of climbs, crazy feed zones.


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