Dropbear
Hey all. I’ve ridden mtb and raced tri for years but want to try my first gravel race/event this year. Before I dive into buying a new bike I want to use what I have to see if I like it but wanted some advice from all of you.

My road/tri bike won’t support wider tires so I have 2 potential options
1) a 2012 Norco Sight 2 (full suspension trail bike) or 
2) a 2015 Specialized Sirrus (currently my commuting bike).

The event I’m looking at is a 50mile relatively flat gravel and pavement ride with no singletrack. If I throw some 32mm gravel tires on my Sirrus do you think that’ll work? or is fundamentally the wrong bike for something like that.
Thanks in advance!!
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Koyote
If the gravel is flat and not sloppy (not too muddy or sandy), then 32mm tires might be okay. The mtb would be okay, too, though you tend to see those more in the gravel races that have a lot of technical riding.

Either way, I think you are smart to actually do a gravel race before laying out cash for a new bike.
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TheLabWhisperer
I would use your mountain bike before the sirrus.  I rode my dual suspension bike with rear suspension locked out and front partially locked out.  My gravel event was in Northern Vermont with mud so I felt it was the better choice.
The Sirrus will work if it’s more pavement.  I would look at what the event recommends for tires and the description of the race.
Have fun!
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SteveK
Koyote wrote:
If the gravel is flat and not sloppy (not too muddy or sandy), then 32mm tires might be okay. The mtb would be okay, too, though you tend to see those more in the gravel races that have a lot of technical riding.

Either way, I think you are smart to actually do a gravel race before laying out cash for a new bike.

Exaclty this 🙂 
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chas
The sirrus has longer chainstays and slacker head angle than what I use, so the geometry looks fine.  If you are experimenting - I'll guess that you can put a wider tire on the front than the rear.  32mm is a bit on the narrow side, but for the most part works good on the gravel we have here in the summer (nothing too chunky).  

The ultimate answer to your question depends on what size tire you need.  But for your first race, go have fun and enjoy the scene.  You'll get an idea of what you like and don't like from that and go from there.  :-)
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Angstrom
Until last year my "gravel bike" was a hardtail MTB.  Did a lot of dirt roads and gravel events, including some of 60+ miles, and surprised a lot of folks with how fast it was.  I think the biggest factor in making it work so well was putting on fast XC tires (Conti RaceKing Protect).  Other useful tweaks were the remote fork lockout and more comfortable grips(Ergon GP1 or Bontager XR Endurance).  It was a bit draggy on the pavement and heavy on the climbs, but I loved the low gearing for the steep grades and it gave me a lot of confidence on the downhills and when the surface got lumpy.  My riding position was just a bit more upright than my road setup.  

How is the Sight on level ground? A lot of bob, or does it feel solid and relatively efficient?  Are both bikes comfortable for 4+ hours in the saddle?

It really comes down to the roads and riding surface.  If it really is flat pavement and smooth dirt the Sirrus with the widest possible tires might be fine, and the Sight would feel slow.  The rougher it gets the more the balance would tip toward the Sight.
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Dropbear
Thanks everyone for the advice. The event organizer recommends 32mm tires and mentions it will be a mix of pavement and gravel. I’ll check out the course when they release the details and if I can get away with it I think I’ll try the sirrus. Unfortunately the Sight has a little to much bob so i worry it’s going to feel slow for the 50miles.
Thanks again!
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