After finishing the Paris to Ancaster ride, it was hard to decide exactly what kind of bike would be the ideal for the 70 kilometer course that was largely road and gravel but with a few intense sections of singletrack and mud chutes better suited for a mountain bike than a road bike. The muddy bikes in the courtyard at the finish line were all shapes and styles—as you can see in the photo above. While mountain and ’cross reigned, even a few road bikes could be spotted.
All of the podium placers were on ’cross bikes, but for the more casual rider, a mountain bike may have even been a better option, especially on some of the steeper climbs. However, for speed, a ’cross bike was the way to go, since a road bike was too apt to suffer from flats or clog up on the technical sections.
“No one has won on a mountain bike for quite some time,” contender Peter Glassford says. “The speed at the front is around 33 kilometers per hour, and for most people, riding a mountain bike at 33 KPH is pretty ridiculous: It just lacks the gearing [on the high end] and is a limiter in terms of rolling resistance. The time spent on off-road trail, even for the amateur, isn’t a significant contributor to the overall race time.”
Click through to see a few of the bikes we spotted after the race!