Home Forums General P2A 2018 & Jake the Snake advice

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  RobD 3 months, 1 week ago.

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    Hi all,
    I’m a Guelphite who’s new to this site & looking for some P2A advice please.
    I rode P2A in 2009 on my wife’s Canadian Tire Schwinn MTB completing the 60km in 3hrs 36mins & then rode again in 2010 on my Specialized Hardrock MTB in a similar time but that was my last P2A due to a small heart attack in 2011.

    I will be riding P2A again in 2018 (70km) & I’m thinking of getting a CX bike for this year rather than my mtb.
    My question is: does anyone here ride a Kona Jake the Snake with 1 x 11 gearset & has anyone completed P2A on such a bike?
    My concern is only having the one chainring rather than my usual 2 or 3 & thinking I might not have the gearing for a race such as P2A but maybe I’m wrong on that?
    Whats the opinions on the Jake the Snake.

    Thanks for any advice offered 🙂


    Mark Buckaway

    If you are a club member, you outta come out to some of the gravel/adventure rides. We ride all over Waterloo on the gravel roads. The Sat adventure ride sometimes goes more than 70km. We ride all winter and it’s great P2A training.

    That said, I’ve ridden both a 2x and a 1x on gravel…and about the only thing that matters on a 1x is having the range of gears to get over the hills and a small enough gear so you don’t spin out. On my Devici, I have a 38 chainring on the front and a 11-40 on the back, and it works well for gravel grinding. I intend to get a 9-42 when I get a chance to get the extra range of gears.

    About the only issue I’ve had with a 1x, is that you sometimes get into a gear that is too heavy/light. A 1x is more for cross racing, where it doesn’t matter as much.




    Thanks Mark,
    I’m not a club member….yet.
    I didn’t even know local clubs ran winter “gravel” rides, that’s a great idea & would definitely be up for that but my fitness needs a little work before committing to group rides, maybe in another month or so, even if I start on a group ride & then finish the ride on my own (which I’m comfortable doing).
    The bike I’m looking at has 11-28 with a 44 chain ring – am thinking 44 chain ring might be a little big, possibly a 39 or 42 would be better option.


    Matthew Bannon

    Hey Martin,

    I will be riding my 1x Cross bike at P2A. It is setup with 44t chainring and 11-36t that I use for gravel grinding and I’m confident I will have the range. During CX season I have it setup with a 40t 11-32t.
    Hope that helps.

    And what Mark said…. Join the club and do some gravel/adventure rides. It is a great group to ride with and alot of fun. 👍





    As for fitness the gravel rides are generally pretty relaxed. Groups get strung out but will regroup. Take a look under the CX section of the website to see if you think they would be a fit.

    Gear ratios are dependent somewhat on strength and riding styles. If your not to quick then you might be able to go with a smaller chain ring, otherwise you might prefer a larger range in the back like Matt. Bikecalc.com might give you a better idea as you can look at the ratios and cadence required.

    Personally I know I use my easiest gear at the end of P2A and I have a double with 34 up the front and 28 on the back. Yes I could turn over the gears you have but it would be miserable, as a point of reference I had my cadence down around 60 at the end. You could get the same gear ratio with a 36 on the back. Yes I can go faster, but not at the end of a race, last year wasn’t the fastest year due to winds but I came in around 2:35.

    Personally I prefer a double and could rant all day on that.




    Thanks for all the information Matt & Rob, appreciated.
    I have just registered today for the 65km Steaming Nostril as well.
    I missed out on the Jake the Snake bike so a double up front it will be, either on KHS or Norco.
    I am however more comfortable with KHS as my road bike is KHS & I put a lot of km on that at until the last couple of years.



    KHS I’m less familiar with but the Norco will also take a beating. Quite a few of the guys that do big miles ride them in the winter and they all seem to hold up well.


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