Hilly Billy Roubaix 2013
Tagged: Hilly bill Roubaix
So this is June 22 this year. Is anyone interested in doing this? I plan to sign up later this week. I am unsure if I should sign up for the “women open” or “single speed open”, as I plan to take my single speed furley. I think a cross bike with some small knobbies may be my best bet. Part participants, what do you think about the category and bike choice? Looks like a special kind of fun race. I just want to finish. I could care less about racing.
I want to do this again, I did it last year, the climbs killed me. I had no idea what I got myself in to. I finished in about 7h30m, but I finished, which was really my only goal.
It was about 8k of elevation with 14 or so climbs from what I remember. I’m hoping I can get myself in to better climbing shape for this year.
I’ll also ride my cross check, which has a 3×10 mountain bike drivetrain, so I can grind up the hills that were just too much for my tired legs near the end.
I am in. I would not do it on a single speed; the hills are numerous and steep. I was in fair shape when I raced the first edition and even with a geared ‘cross bike it was totally exhausting. It is closer to a 70 mile mountain bike race than a 70 mile road bike race. If I can get around to fixing my truck before then I could do a car pool.
If I am training for the endless mountains 1240k, I wonder if that would make a difference in my ability to do it single. I don’t really have an appropriate bike for this other than a mountain bike. That could be painful, too.
Stef, I know you did the dirty dozen single speed, if you could handle that, I think you’ll be ok on the HBR.
I was going to do the DD single speed. I didn’t. I have done most of sycamore fixed at 46×17 though.
Jacob: Have you done the Iron Cross Race? I’m considering both of these, parts of the Iron Cross videos look like an XC MTB race for sure. This looks like it’s confined to roads (dirt or otherwise).
I have not done the Iron Cross race. As for the Hilly Billy race, I remember a few “roads” which would challenge a 4 wheel drive truck with street tires. I also remember quite a few downhills on gravel roads, and when I say gravel, I mean large gravel which is not suitable for road bike tires. I got something like 5 pinch flats because I would fly down the hills, hit a pothole or railroad-sized piece of gravel, and immediately have a flat. I eventually ran out of tubes and rode for like 10 miles on the back rim before I found someone who gave me a tube. So, as far as bike setup goes, the bottom line is that you want to mount the biggest tires you can on a ‘cross bike, or else you will be severely limited on the downhill sections. Or just ride a mountain bike with a semi-slick tire.
The winner last year road a 29er hardtail, with I think 3 of the top 5 on mountain bikes.
I think a cross bike with big tires is your best bet, in my opinion, lots of pavement. Unless it is really muddy, no need for big knobbies either, the tire width is for comfort and control, gravel doesn’t care about corning knobs.
I’ve finished this twice, both times on road bikes with 28mm tires. The first year I had 5 flats, due to pinch flat and riding like a moron. The bike I was on liked to go much faster than the tires could handle.
Last year I used the beefiest 28s I know of, Fyxation Sessions at 110psi. No flats, but also not a good idea. I think the 35mm version on a cross bike would be pretty ideal on a dry course.
The terrain is very mixed, from loose gravel to washed out “roads” that look more like 4-wheeler paths, but I was able to climb everything on Session tires an a low gear of 36×26. You’ll push up a few climbs on a single speed.
I highly recommend this race. Great course, good support, good times.
it might be kind of fun to ride this.
(i’ll just have to have a fully charged iPod so i can stfu & crank away on the climbs.)
I have done iron cx and hbr.
Low gears are good. You need to be able to spin up the climbs. The one
over pa/wv border is particularly steep.
Brakes are good. The descents are sketchy and fast. Canti’s work but
your hands get tired. discs are good.
I would run 32+mm tires. Bring lots of tubes.
Iron CX is 95% rideable on a road bike, however there is a trail named
“lipencot” that is maybe 8 miles in that is a gnarly rocky single track
descent. Again I would run 32’s.
I think a michelin jet or something that has volume but is smooth on
I was fine on 700x34c cross tires for HBR. The hilly billy is more road riding, a stream crossing, and some good dirt roads and trails. Definitely some stuff that isn’t ideal for a road bike. I think the hills were more steep and shorter on the HBR and just long and grinding on the Iron Cross. I think both had about the same final elevation gain, but the HBR kicked my ass much more. Though I was probably in better shape for the iron cross.
Iron cross had a huge run up section (maybe 1/4 mile), and some really rough sections of the Appalachian Trail (way more logs than you might want to hop on a cx bike and really rocky lines on the path).
Both were really challenging for me, but I had a good time. I’m taking a bike with a bit more gear range this time. I used my space horse for both of these this year. I threw an 11-32 cog on the back matched with the front 48/34. I wanted a bit more range on some of the climbs of the HBR, but was mostly fine on the iron cross.
Ok sounds like I may want to consider adding a cassette to the furley. It can accept big tires. Thanks for the advice.
Lots of sketchy gravel descents on both, kind of one of my favorite parts.
I remember the max speed being stupid high. I cant find 2012, but I
think that it was over 50. Gravel. sketchy.
Thanks for the link. How do you like your garmin? I thought about replacing mine.
I have a 500. It is cool. I have a power thing so I needed something to
read it, so I bought it. I dont dwell on it too much.
I’m thinking about riding – but I may opt for my old school rockhopper (rigid chromoly frame and fork with tons of tire clearance) instead of the road bike. Next month I’m going camping and will have the opportunity to ride some forest roads / fire roads and that should be somewhat indicative of the terrain. This race sounds damn fun and I would love to have a mixed-surface race bike someday!
I’m ready. Well I’m registered and I’ll show up, and I’ll ride it.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready though.
Hi Everyone, I’m in! I signed up for the HBR this year. Has anyone camped at the start? I’m making my travel arrangements and am thinking about camping at the start, it sounds like it could be a good time, don’t know about getting any rest before the ride but after the ride it won’t matter. Also, how much pavement and how much off road can I expect? i appreciate any info.
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