Going for my first gravel event, Almanzo 100.
My question is about pedals, are there any significant hike a bike sections?

I currently have SPD-sl(Ultegra) pedals on the bike. They are fine for a few steps, and mud is not a big issue, since the cleat so big, so easy to clean out.
I like the extra support compared to my mtb pedals, and if it's cold or wet, shoe covers work much better on road shoes than on mtb shoes.

What are your experiences at the Almanzo 100 regarding hike-a-bike?

Thanks for any advice.

Quote 0 0
Hmm, it depends on your fitness level. For me there are a number of hike-a-bike sections, Oriole Road comes to mind, but that has more to do with my lack of miles that I'm able to get in prior to the event. There is also a creek crossing around the 80 mile mark that you'll want to consider.
Quote 1 0
Haha, that's a good point. I was hoping to be able to get my gearing low enough to not have to walk to many of the hills. On the other hand, I won't be in great shape either, so walking might be a good change of pace to stretch the back a bit.

I think I will put the MTB pedals on and see how they feel.
Quote 0 0
You will probably hike up most of Oriole Road, but is usually the only section I hike up.  I use some pretty stiff carbon sole Specialized shoes and Crank Brother Candy pedals. I find the support offered by candies combined with my shoes to be plenty of support.
Quote 0 0
I ended up using my mtb shoes and pedals, didn't want to risk having something(mud, mechanical) happen and not be able to walk.

As a side note, everyone in our 'casual' group was able able to ride everything, including Oriole Hill. It's steep, but not crazy steep.

I think this is down to two factors:

I - mental. Many of us are from Duluth, in prep rides we sought out hills to simulate the course. Being used to something is half the battle.
II -gearing. We all ran 1:1 or lower gearing (I ran 34 front and 36 rear).

I can't believe the number of people I saw riding around me with small cassettes, and sometimes even CX chainrings(36t small ring).
If you have the legs to push those gears, great, but then you wouldn't be in the back by me (8 hour finish time).
If you are twice as slow as the winners, you need twice as low a gearing as them too.

The way I did it was go on a hard 2 hour ride, then at the end climb a hill with a slightly steeper grade than Oriole. Note which gear ratio you use, then make sure you have one easier than that for the big day, to compensate for fatigue.
Quote 1 0