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What is everyone riding?

The anticipation of XLVIII is killing me…so I want to divert that agony by discussing related topics. I’ve rode my Salsa Cutthroat the past 3 RAGBRAI’s so I could do the gravel routes. It handled those routes like a champ, and is a “do it all” bike. With one gravel day this year, I’m leaning towards riding it again, however, two weeks later I’m racing the Day Across Minnesota on it. What is every else riding and why?

39 Replies

hnschipper, March 19, 2021 at 12:27 pm

I rode a Trek Lexa road bike. My only other bike is a hybrid (which I have ridden on RAGBRAI before) but once I bought the road bike years ago, I much prefer it for RAGBRAI.


Chris, March 19, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Probably the long bike: Cannondale RT2. Probably the most common tandem on RAGBRAI, next to the Co-Motion Periscope.

RAGBRAI on a tandem is a blast. It’s probably the largest collection of tandems on a ride in the USA besides the Eastern Tandem Rally, and ETR is tiiiiny in comparison. The terrain of Iowa brings out all of the strengths, and weaknesses, of tandems: flat roads are eaten for breakfast, downhills are insanely fun (what’s a speed limit?!), uphills suck sideways, and headwinds are dealt with.

Are tandems for everyone? Oh, hell no. I can tell you stories about ice down the captains pants….
But RAGBRAI don’t care. Rung what ‘cha brung :)

See y’all in July.


jelly0317, March 19, 2021 at 8:30 pm

As usual, I’ll be riding my 1972 Raleigh Super Course with TA triple crankset, Campy downtube shifters, camo panniers, and 1972/3 Davenport bicycle license plate.


SFC JKL 2, March 20, 2021 at 1:08 am

2006 Trek 1000C. The only original part left is the handlebars. Now running an oval 2×11 with a rack and probably a pannier for Ragbrai. I normally have a stereo on the back, but have opted for a 12 pack cooler for Ragbrai. We have enough people with stereos I’ve never used it when I brought it.


mootsman, March 20, 2021 at 7:38 am

Ironically, NOT a Moots. Don’t even own one anymore.


John Richardson, March 20, 2021 at 8:03 am

Good to see a tandem on this list! I have an old 2003 KHS Milano that I rode RAGBRIA twice on, one year with my wife and one year with my son, and also rode BRAN with it. You are right about tandems on climbs Chris. In 2019 we were the first to compete in the Trans Am Bike Race on a tandem and faced many challenging climbs, but what goes up must come down and we hit 50+ mph many times. As I recall 58 was our top speed.


JimCoonRapidsMN, March 20, 2021 at 8:34 am

I’ll be riding my trusty 1973 Motobecane Grand Jubilee. Most components replaced over the years but the derailleurs are original Huret Jubilee. They are still as fantastic as they were new. Huret produced them to celebrate their 50th year as a company so I look forward to a couple years from now riding it in the 50th RAGBRAI, Lord willing.


Jboz, March 20, 2021 at 9:39 am

I jumped on the gravel bike bandwagon right after RAGBRAI 2019 and bought a titanium Lynskey GR270. I thought of this bike as kind of a Swiss army knife bike – a good functional machine for road riding, gravel riding (obviously), and light touring. The plan was to ride it on RAGBRAI 2020, but that didn’t pan out.

This bike has FAR exceeded my expectations. I don’t necessarily believe that Ti has magical qualities as some claim, but I do love the look and feel of raw titanium. And I think being able to ride a beautiful machine adds to the experience. Best part for me was paying for a professional bike fit by someone who actually knows what they are doing, as opposed to some bike salesman who wants to get through the process as fast as possible so he can get to his next customer. Got the bike dialed in perfectly, and it is pure joy to ride.

I’ve got a few bikes to choose from, but the Lynskey is the odds on favorite for RAGBRAI 2021. Main decision will be whether to leave the 35c tires on and tackle the gravel loop, or put on some slightly more efficient 28c tires.


olddownhiller, March 20, 2021 at 10:58 am

Will be riding my 2011 Pinarello Dogma. Bought new in 2011 with my life’s savings. I’m kind of elderly so bike is set up to be as light as possible so that I can get up the hills. Bike has 23s and looks like it might accommodate 25s but it would be tight. Have been riding RAGBRAI since 2006 with one year out for a knee replacement. Have just started training for this year’s event. Installed new drivetrain last year so should be good to go.


ESchiers, March 20, 2021 at 8:06 pm

I’m planning on my disc trucker with loaded panniers. I’ve chartered in the past; this time, I feel like having a different experience.


Neil Havran, March 22, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Upgraded 1971 Schwinn Racer.


bmyoungberg, March 22, 2021 at 3:45 pm

Gonna ride my 2017 Giant Defy road bike. Done it with my Giant flatbar road bike in recent years, but gonna change it. I do not do the gravel route as a result. Tried it in 18 and sank quickly so turned around like many others did that year.


KenH, March 23, 2021 at 8:35 am

I’ve done seven RAGBRAIs on a Fuji Absolute 1.0. When I bought it they called it a performance hybrid, later they started calling it a flat bar road bike. Except for the flat bars and 3×10 drivetrain it was almost identical to their entry level road bikes. Oh, and it will take at least 38mm tires which is what I rode for those seven years. I just put a 1×12 drivetrain on it and it is a candidate for RAGBRAI this year. I decided to update it and strip some weight off to make it a century bike. Results so far say that it will be good for that sort of thing.

For 2019 however I showed up with a new Trek 920. I bought it in 2018 right after RAGBRAI during the end of season sale. I wanted a bike with more relaxed handling and which could take even wider tires and as a bad to mild off road touring bike with a lot of the current trendy technology the 920 was a perfect fit for me. It had been a while since I rode a bike with drop bars, never had brifters or through axles or discs (let alone hydraulic) or a bike that came with racks and more accessory mounting lugs than you can count. It even has a dropper post now, if you are old you will understand why! So I will probably bring that this year although the Fuji is not out of the running. There’s probably room in the team motorhome for both but I probably won’t do that. Mootsman may not ride a Moots but I will roll on Hutchinson tires!

If it were me I would run the widest tires my bike could take. I’ve done gravel on 28’s and they are wide enough to work quite well. My riding buddy runs 28s on his Lynskey and he does fine on them. But gravel isn’t the only road hazard you will face during RAGBRAI week and wide tires will give you more margin to deal with all of them so unless you are absolutely driven to be as fast as you can be I recommend relaxing a skosh and running tires as wide as you can.


Jonathan Jones, March 24, 2021 at 10:38 pm

Seven Axiom SL that I found on eBay!

And, yes – Titanium feels great.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Jonathan Jones.


jelly0317, March 25, 2021 at 10:54 am

Just curious: how does one “upgrade” a 1971 Schwinn Racer?


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