Posted by: RAHrider
Turning my SS Karate Monkey into a SS gravel/road bike (mostly road).
I have 30mm rims so I believe 42mm tires are the smallest I can go. I am getting some conti contact speed tires. Anyone else have experience riding this sort of tire? Sluggish? Ok?
Also I'm thinking about hearing, I currently run 30x16 off road. What road gear would you choose? 36 is the biggest chain ring I can find for cinch. I figure I'll start 36x16 but will probably want something smaller in the back. Thoughts on what you would run?
Lastly, bottle cages. Any thoughts on what cages you think look good on an old fashioned steel bike? I hate plastic cages on a steel bike.
Thanks for your insights.
I run a fixed gear on gravel, with a 700x25c tyre in the rear. Gearing is 50x17. My buddy runs 36x15 or 36x16 on a 26x2.15 tyre. Both gears work nicely for our terrain on gravel*. The latter leaves some possibilities for singletrack diversions open as well, my 26er singlespeed runs 34x16, which is a bit too low for road and flat gravel sections, but way nicer offroad.
* = medium sized and smaller gravel for the most part, think 100km distance and 1400m of elevation as a frame of reference.
Obviously, your terrain and personal preferences will be different from mine, but your starting point with a 36 sounds reasonable.
As for cages, I mostly run either cheapo alloy cages with that classic wireframe design, or these modern springloaded ones (but that's probably what you meant by "plastic cages", as few are made of metal).
That tyre you mention should roll pretty fast, if my experience with a 30mm Ritchey Alpine JB is anything to go by.