Day 27 – Greenville to Eufaula

Our 27th day takes us a step further across Alabama and a step closer to finishing. Today was a day of 111 miles full of rollers which added up to a respectable 4900ft of climbing.

It was another day of poor weather and unfortunately, the camera stayed wrapped up all day long. Having said that, the scenery did not differ much from the last two or three days so there was not a lot to take pictures of anyway. There are only so many photos you can take of a road with forest on either side in a rain storm!

Today’s alternative topic is the “Bikes of PAC Tour”. On a trip like this which puts both man and machinery through intensive testing, it is perhaps worth a look at the types of equipment being used by the various members of the group.

1. Frame material. Carbon fibre frames were definately in the ascendant led by Specialized. Their frames made up the largest manufacturers contingent with Tarmac, Roubaix and Tri Cross frames  all represented. Trek made an appearance too along with  BMC, Cervelo and Scott. All carbon fiber frames stood up to the punishment very well with no problems that I am aware of. Titanium was the next most popular with Litespeed, Van Nicholas, Serotta and Lynsky all being represented although the sole Lynsky frame did fracture completely on the second day necessitating an emergency bike replacement. As people on PAC Tour tend to take part in big epics – it is notable that several bikes were equiped with S&S couplings (www.sandsmachine.com) to allow better packing for transportation.

2. Wheels. Overall there were more factory built wheels than custom built wheels. Mavic  were well represented with several riders on Ksyrium SL’s and one on Ksyrium SL Premium, all seemed very durable. Dura Ace wheels, Bontrager and Roval were also represented. Roval appreared to be rather brittle with two people having problems. Dura Ace wheels caused problems with freehubs. Of the custom wheels, Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace and Chris King were covered. Rims were either DT Swiss or Mavic Open Pro. Spokes were a problem only on the Chris King wheels (mine!).

3. Gruppos. When it comes to build up kit, Shimano Dura Ace was a clear winner followed by Ultegra. Only one person had Campag – possibly because it is not that easy to get hold of in North America and is significantly more expensive there than Shimano. Dura Ace brakes, front and rear deraillieurs and chainsets were very common with more people being on triples than doubles and most of the doubles being compacts. One person was riding SRAM and this appearred to be decent kit too.

4. Tyres. Choice of tyre and weight of rider did not seem to have too much bearing on number of flats. One of the lighter members had the most flats at 15 whilst running tyres generally regarded as very puncture resistant (Conti Gatorskins). Continental tyres were on maybe 75% of bikes split between Gatorskins and GP4000’s. A few people were on Schwalbe Stelvio and Vittoria also made an appearance. I personally had 4 flats on a mixture of Vittoria and Conti GP4000.

5. Tri bars. These appearred on just less than 50%  of bikes but quite a few people who did not have them said that they would have been useful on this particular ride.

6. Camelbak. Over half the people had one of these and a couple more bought them on route. Considered invaluable when in the very hot areas.

7. Pedals / cleats. Various types were represented with no clear winner. Shimano SPD, SPD-SL, Speedplay, Time and Look were all present although the racing people seenmed to favour the Speedplay style.

Day 27 Map- still in Alabama - just!

Day 27 Map- still in Alabama - just!

Stats for the day:-

Distance: 111 miles

Climbing:  4900ft

Temps: Mid 80’s and very humid, heavy rain at times.

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One Response to “Day 27 – Greenville to Eufaula”

  1. Walt Chapman Says:

    Russell I ride Campy and have for 30 yrs. I am not sure I can change enough to switch.

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