creo with two wheelsets: gravel mode activated!

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
today, i headed to the hills of the east bay for some more gravel. as recommended by @Stefan Mikes i tried the adidas freerider pro MTB shoes. they are certainly heavy (size 13) and sturdy! the stiff sole plate is much appreciated, as is the flat sole which allows free foot placement on the pedals. still a far cry from being clipped in but a very reasonable trade-off for the security of being able to put a foot on the ground at any moment! at well over twice the weight of my road setup for shoe+pedal, i’m definitely not winning any uphill PRs in these.

a 43 mile ride with 4,000’ of climbing, most of it off road really wore me out. about 25% of the route was on “gravel” ranging from nicely packed dirt (fun!) to big half embedded rocks (not that fun) to piles of loose stones (no fun at all). used 25% of the creo’s built in battery, particularly on the steep unpaved climbs.

tomorrow, i’m putting her back to lightweight road mode. it’ll be interesting to feel the difference.

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Rincon

Well-Known Member
I use the super lights on my road bike due to wanting the black sidewalls. When I ordered new 650B wheels for my Creo I decided to go with Endurance. The shop said Endurance are much easier to set up and keep aired up. I struggled with setting up the super lights and keeping them aired up.
Good to know on the super lights. Tan walls can be more challenging with air and sealant as well.

Your comments on the knobby center tread are appreciated. I was looking at Rene Herse’s Hurricane Ridge tires. I think I’ll stick with my WTB Byways for now. I like the smooth center tread for the roads I take to the gravel. The Byways aren’t the fastest, but they’re comfortable.
 

covert

Member
Region
USA
City
Los Angeles
I would like to do this but would go the opposite way of picking up road tires since I have the EVO model. I'm going to use Shimano PD-EH500 pedals on my Creo. I have a similar model on my current road bike and really like them.

I think the Terra C or CLs would be fine for me, not sure I would notice the value from the CLX at my level.

What size GP 5000s are you running?
What are the lockring speed sensor and front lockring?
I need to track down the rotors that are used on mine as well.
 

jodi2

Well-Known Member
About pedals:
In three years an several thoudands miles of gravel biking I never had a situation were a couldn't get out of the clicks fast enough. This may be different at real MTB riding (I'm still a MTB beginner), but I guess this is more for younger folks, who are more capable to save a difficult sitation with normal and not fixed shoes. For old and not so sporty guys like me, it's safer and easier with clicks&cleats. As I often had diffculties in steep or rough downhills with the gravel bike when not "fixed" to the pedal (but I did not had really grippy pedals or shoes...), I prefer to be ALWAYS securely connected with the small risk of not getting out fast enough (which I never encountered yet).

About tires:
I started graveling with Schwalbe G-One "Allround" in 35 and 40mm. The grip and safety on rough/unpaved roads compared to a racing tire is already huge and it's still very good and smooth and silent on tarmac (especially in 35mm). All paths on the photos in this thread could be managed fine already with this tire with much less "pain" on tarmac.
On paths like on the photos here but steep downhill or really steep uphill or if it get's more rocky, a more grip and wider tires are better, for example Panaracer Gravelking SK in 43mm or similar profiles. This profiles are still ok on tarmac and much better there than your actual "grip monster". I understand that you want to try "what is possible" with a second wheel set, but I doubt that you can really exploit all possible grip of these tires on a gravel bike. Where I come to (my) limits with the 43mm Gravelking SK, only more grip wouldn't really help. First I would need wider tires, stronger brakes/bigger discs, wider and straight handle bars and a suspension fork. Then I could also make use of grippier tires.
You only need more grip but narrow tires in mud and wet leaves as I experienced last winter in some very wet weeks. I slid like on soap on the smallest uphill or downhill with the Gravelking SK. Some friends with a lot of Cyclocross race experience recommend my mud tires with a profile like yours but less wide, about 33-35mm, to "cut" the mut until the grippier bottom. And they were absolutely right! But tires that narrow are very uncomfortable in dry conditions, so not ideal to ride all year long.
And always ride tubeless on gravel and MTB bike. Summer 2020 I was on a gravel tour 120km/2000Hm and I heard about more or less 15 punctures that day spread over all 85 participants. ALL of them happend to riders with tubes, not one puncture for any tubeless bike. Apart from that advantages in weight, grip, rolling resistance.

Wheels:
You can also use better (=lighter&stiffer) wheels for graveling and will feel the difference. The Dt R470 wheels are really poor for gravel: heavy, not wide enough and not very strong/stiff (at least for heavy riders like me). I use very good&light wheels with carbon rims, but I'm not that happy with this material for the rims. The rims easily get small damages even without any crash or accident, I guess they are more exposed for small "jumping stones" on a gravel bike with tires around 40mm than on MTBs with tires 50% wider. I never saw these damages on any alloy rim, that's why would use alloy (good) rims for gravel. But also with alloy rims much better wheels sets then the R470 are possible.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@jodi2 i appreciate all the comments! i’d like to get back to clipping in off road, but my first few experiences with it were very stressful and led to several instances of falling over on the bike. for now i need to be able to put a foot down.

although it doesn’t look like it from the photos, there are some 15% uphill grades on these routes, mixes of gravel, dirt, and rocky dirt, which are testing the limits of my traction! but i don’t love the sound or resistance of these tires on pavement so i think i’ll try some 38mm tires with a smooth strip in the middle for the next round.

since this was an experiment i just used the “extra” wheels i already have, but they’re definitely too narrow for these tires. they’re not all that heavy relative to gravel tires, so i think i’d upgrade just for some compliance and better geometry. any recommendations on a tough, relatively light and inexpensive gravel wheelset for boost spacing?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
For old and not so sporty guys like me, it's safer and easier with clicks&cleats.
A riding buddy of mine (40- yo) learned our female riding mate (same age) had not only bought a fine gravel bike but also ridden in MTB clips & cleats for the first time. He asked a single question:

-- How many "downs" (falls) so far?
-- None.
-- Just you wait.

The guy rides his gravel bike clipless himself, yet he would have never said that was safe. It is even more dangerous (he says) when you by chance approach a junction, and forget unclipping one foot in advance just in case there...

During my 26 month old e-bike history, my foot has never slipped from a traction-pin platform pedal, disregarding terrain or weather.
 

jodi2

Well-Known Member
my first few experiences with it were very stressful and led to several instances of falling over on the bike. for now i need to be able to put a foot down.
Then it's clear that grippy (MTB) shoes and grippy MTB pedals are the better choice for you!
although it doesn’t look like it from the photos, there are some 15% uphill grades on these routes, mixes of gravel, dirt, and rocky dirt, which are testing the limits of my traction! but i don’t love the sound or resistance of these tires on pavement so i think i’ll try some 38mm tires with a smooth strip in the middle for the next round.
Ok!
The normal Patfinder Pro that comes on the EVO Creos is like this. It has less grip than your "grip monster", also less then the Panaracer SK, more like The G-One Allround, but much more durable than this one (the G-One is worn out very fast).
since this was an experiment i just used the “extra” wheels i already have, but they’re definitely too narrow for these tires. they’re not all that heavy relative to gravel tires, so i think i’d upgrade just for some compliance and better geometry. any recommendations on a tough, relatively light and inexpensive gravel wheelset for boost spacing?
Easy question: No.
There is still very limited choice in the exotic 12x110 boost front dimension. I only know some DT Swiss alloy wheel seets which are quite reliable/better than the narrow R470, but not very light. The few also light DT Swiss wheel sets in 12x110 are quite expensive and start around $1500. For MTBs with the more common 15x110 dimension there is a bigger choice and also some better&and already lighter alloy wheel sets then the R470 starting at maybe $700. Of course you could ask a good wheelbuilder to build a wheel set in these "medium price category" with 12x110, but I guess it will still be expensive/much more than a ready-made wheel set from a big brand.
But just for seldom use I think it doesn't matter and the tires are more important. I also still use my R470 wheels, they carry my narrow mud tires for the few really wet&muddy weeks in winter.

The guy rides his gravel bike clipless himself, yet he would have never said that was safe. It is even more dangerous (he says) when you by chance approach a junction, and forget unclipping one foot in advance just in case there...

During my 26 month old e-bike history, my foot has never slipped from a traction-pin platform pedal, disregarding terrain or weather.
This discussion of SPD/Clicks or not exists already since the stone age. There is no right or wrong here that is true for everyone.
But here we're talking about offroad riding and there you need a good connection between shoe and pedal, no matter if fixed or with grippy shoes+pedals. Where you can ride with the standard Vado SL tires and with the usual tour/trekking/city tires like on most ebikes, you can ride with any pedal and shoe. If you never had uphill or escpeciallay downhill the need for tires like mschwett showed here, you have not ridden offroad yet and therefore no need for a stronger connection to the pedal. In all day use and on my Stromer and one other bikes I use SPD clicks as well, but also often use the other pedal side with normal shoes without problems.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
This discussion of SPD/Clicks or not exists already since the stone age. There is no right or wrong here that is true for everyone.
But here we're talking about offroad riding and there you need a good connection between shoe and pedal, no matter if fixed or with grippy shoes+pedals. Where you can ride with the standard Vado SL tires and with the usual tour/trekking/city tires like on most ebikes, you can ride with any pedal and shoe. If you never had uphill or escpeciallay downhill the need for tires like mschwett showed here, you have not ridden offroad yet and therefore no need for a stronger connection to the pedal. In all day use and on my Stromer and one other bikes I use SPD clicks as well, but also often use the other pedal side with normal shoes without problems.
I used to own a Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro and had some dramatic downhill rides over rocks. I'm afraid you could not emulate it on a gravel bike, clipped or not.
I agree SPDs are from the same tale as the dropper bar is but nothing requires ridding clips/cleats nowadays. The world has changed very much.

I was only surprised Jodi you described SPD as a safe solution. It is not.
Fancy suddenly approaching an uphill segment on your trail; your bike is suddenly stopped by a tall tree-root (to standstill). Clipped in, you are bound to fall. With platform pedals, you simply jump off the seat and support yourself with your feet.
Fancy sudden skidding of the back tyre on cornering, making the bike fall. You'll probably have no time to react clipped in, while you just support yourself with your leg with platform pedals.
Fancy approaching a small junction with all sides obscured by hedge. Yes, you slow down and watch the junction. Suddenly, a car appears at your left side, so you do an emergency stop. If you didn't unclip in advance, you either fall on your side, or collide with the car. With platform pedals, emergency stop means you just jump off the saddle and support yourself with both feet.

The guy I mentioned before collided with a car exactly as I described, and it happened a month ago. He was lucky: more damage to the car's front than to my friend or his gravel bike.
 
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jodi2

Well-Known Member
Stefan, all your arguments against SPD/fixed pedal connections exist for decades. What has "changed" in the world? You don't win any arguments only with dramatic intimations/hints. It's terrible if any cyclist is put in danger or hurt by a car. But what has this to do with SPD, do the SPD cleats hurt the cyclist or cause the accident?
I also fell due to connected SPD cleats. Two times in 30 years, when it was new to me/I wasn't used to it. I had zero speed and it was more funny but absolutely nothing dangerous for me or anynone. When you have more speed and your feet are pedaling, the cleats open easily and on time. And you can adjust the limit when they open, it's easy to get out of it.
Surely one can find a case where someone fell and SPD cleats did not open. And millions of cases where they worked fine and helped. I have maybe 4.000 miles of gravel&MTB with SPD and 40.000 miles commuting with 50% on city streets and rush hour traffic. I did not have one situation in my live where SPD but me or others in danger or harmed anyone in any way. But I had lots of cases riding offroad where the good pedal connection helped me or where I had problems as I did not use SPD there.

But different than you I don't want do convince anyone that only one solution is the one and only in the world and the other is bad and dangerous. I only say that a good connection to your pedal is essential for offroad use/much more than on good roads or commuting. How you achieve this doesn't matter, if mschwett feels better with grippy shoes&grippy MTB pedals, fine!
I haven't got experience with real MTB shoes and pedals with real grip, but I'm sure this also works. I know several quite good MTB riders here. One third says "SPD is the best for MTB", on third "SPD is terrible, use MTB shoes+pedals" and one third "Both system work, use whatever feels better for you". ;-)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
What has "changed" in the world?
The electric assistance. In the past you needed SPD to maximize your body output.
Traction-pin platform pedals, dedicated to off-road riding.
Dedicated platform-pedal shoes.

It's terrible if any cyclist is put in danger or hurt by a car. But what has this to do with SPD, do the SPD cleats hurt the cyclist or cause the accident?
It is harder to unclip unprepared. With platform pedals, you just rise your feet slightly, and then the feet are free. Yes I know there are SPD pedals/cleats than make unclipping easier.
When you have more speed and your feet are pedaling, the cleats open easily and on time.
When you have the time to react. Typically, you don't.

But different than you I don't want do convince anyone that only one solution is the one and only in the world and the other is bad and dangerous. I only say that a good connection to your pedal is essential for offroad use/much more than on good roads or commuting. How you achieve this doesn't matter, if mschwett feels better with grippy shoes&grippy MTB pedals, fine!
I really think all the clipless matter is deeply entwined with the way roadies think but off-road is not the road. Sure, there are many gravel/MTB cyclists who love riding clipped but don't tell me better connection to the pedal is more important than natural disconnection in emergency. Freedom of choice: I concur.

I haven't got experience with real MTB shoes and pedals with real grip, but I'm sure this also works. I know several quite good MTB riders here. One third says "SPD is the best for MTB", on third "SPD is terrible, use MTB shoes+pedals" and one third "Both system work, use whatever feels better for you". ;-)
True. You could watch some EMTB channel YT videos though. Guys there do the hardest things on trail with their e-MTBs but when you look down at their feet is is CrankBrothers Stamp pedal and Adidas FreeRider Pro shoe there ;)
 

jodi2

Well-Known Member
I really have no idea of MTB shoes&pedals... Now you did it and made me order my first pair of shoes and pin pedals, thank you very much! If you feel any any bad conscience, any help via Paypal will be appreciated! ;-)
But I still have one concern, that the pedal pins may easily hurt my shins. And there I'm very sensible and even small injuries often need months or years to heal (a weakness of my whole family).
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
that the pedal pins may easily hurt my shins
True. Sorry for that. I have eventually learned how to ride to not hurt my shins or calves.
As it is the cold season now, I hope you wear trousers? These help a lot in the beginning.