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Old 02-07-12, 02:17 PM   #1
RFC
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Show us your C&V Gravel Grinders

"Gravel ginding" is becoming an increasingly popular for of cycling recreation. It's not rocky singletrack MTB riding. It's gravel roads, rails to trails, etc riding and is done solo, organized rides and races. In Phoenix, we have an extensive canal trail system.

Here are a couple of quick cell phone shots of one of mine -- one of my 1989 Trek 660's converted over the weekend to single speed with 30mm cyclocross tires. It's first ride -- 30 miles of canal paths -- was a success. A very lively ride.



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Old 02-07-12, 02:34 PM   #2
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This is my MTB but I rode it alot on the rail trail down on the Pa - MD line arounf New freedom and Shrewsbury. I managed to score these great Avocet x32 'slicks' a few years ago and they work much better than the x41 knobbies that came on it.


I am also going to try and press my GPS into service and try her out on the dirt roads in and around the State Game lands where I go to the range. the Volpe and Equinox may get a turn at that too.
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Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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Old 02-07-12, 02:51 PM   #3
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This is what I ride on the railtrails and dirt roads



Someday maybe I'll replace it with a larger frame, but it rides nicely as is.
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Old 02-07-12, 03:44 PM   #4
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1983 Raleigh Marathon


1994 Nishiki Sport XRS


Heck, I've even taken my 1983 Raleigh Super Course out on the gravel trails around here.


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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-07-12, 04:37 PM   #5
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A single speed sounds ideal for the Valley.

Here's mine, a 94 Schwinn Crosscut. 1st pic is of its conversion when I completed it.


CrossCut by WNG555, on Flickr

Gravel-tested, owner-approved. A fun and fast ride.

48 at 48-11 by WNG555, on Flickr
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Old 02-07-12, 04:49 PM   #6
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A single speed sounds ideal for the Valley.

Here's mine, a 94 Schwinn Crosscut. 1st pic is of its conversion when I completed it.


CrossCut by WNG555, on Flickr

Gravel-tested, owner-approved. A fun and fast ride.

48 at 48-11 by WNG555, on Flickr
Very nicely done and a great choice for gravel grinding.
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Old 02-07-12, 04:59 PM   #7
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Well...Not C&V but C&V inspired...Currently sporting a modified Truvativ Elita triple running 46/30 gearing and swapped the Chorus 11 derailleurs for Athena alloy.

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Old 02-07-12, 05:09 PM   #8
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What's the difference between a gravel grinder bike and a cross or MTB bike?
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Old 02-07-12, 05:50 PM   #9
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Many people use both for gravel grinders...cross bikes often need extended gearing, MTBs are often under geared and most lock-out their suspension.

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What's the difference between a gravel grinder bike and a cross or MTB bike?
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Old 02-07-12, 06:35 PM   #10
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Many people use both for gravel grinders...cross bikes often need extended gearing, MTBs are often under geared and most lock-out their suspension.
+1 All of the above will work, but best with modification. Gearing, as mentioned, and tire choices are probably at the top of the list.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:53 PM   #11
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Slightly OT, but a buddy and I are training for a gravel race in March (well, he's training, I'm spending lots of time lying on an icepack with a back injury). We've only been able to find a few rail trails or MUPs with any gravel, totalling ~ 5miles. WTF - we're out in farm country, shouldn't there be gravel roads?
If we could find gravel, I'd be grinding it on either my Volpe or the Nashbar X I'm almost done building up as a disc brake cx bike. No pics right now due to computer death.
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Old 02-07-12, 07:17 PM   #12
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What's the difference between a gravel grinder bike and a cross or MTB bike?
IME, it depends on how rough the roads will get. For well-groomed gravel roads that don't have a lot of big loose rocks, a normal road bike can do pretty well. If your route includes any Level B service roads, you'll want something with bigger tires, more mud clearance, and possibly the leverage of MTB handlebars. Maybe even suspension!
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Old 02-07-12, 07:38 PM   #13
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Here's my 1971 Mondia outfitted with 23mm clinchers on the Iron Horse gravel rail-trail:





Not normally my cup of tea, but I had a ball

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Old 02-07-12, 07:49 PM   #14
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Well...my Trek 710 probably qualifies but it has just been replaced by the Soma and is likely going to become a single speed city bike. The IF is my go to gravel road / D2R2 ride but not quite C&V.

(If you squint and but your thumb over the straight blade fork you can pretend it is C&V )

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Old 02-07-12, 08:12 PM   #15
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Here's mine, a 94 Schwinn Crosscut. 1st pic is of its conversion when I completed it.
Good! Someone else who is thinking of a 1994 bike as "C&V." I just found another picture with me actually riding the Nishiki on stones:

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Old 02-07-12, 08:13 PM   #16
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What gravel race? Sub-9 Death March??

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Slightly OT, but a buddy and I are training for a gravel race in March (well, he's training, I'm spending lots of time lying on an icepack with a back injury). We've only been able to find a few rail trails or MUPs with any gravel, totalling ~ 5miles. WTF - we're out in farm country, shouldn't there be gravel roads?
If we could find gravel, I'd be grinding it on either my Volpe or the Nashbar X I'm almost done building up as a disc brake cx bike. No pics right now due to computer death.
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Old 02-07-12, 08:35 PM   #17
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Most of you have probably already seen this one as I just finished it a week ago and had plenty of pictures up during the build:



Now rocking a higher rise stem. Ruins the look of the drop bars even more, but it is stiffer and brings the bars up a bit more. I think this fall I will probably put on a different bar or some sort with a proper high-rise quill stem.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:13 PM   #18
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Maybe a black Nitto DirtDrop???

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Most of you have probably already seen this one as I just finished it a week ago and had plenty of pictures up during the build:



Now rocking a higher rise stem. Ruins the look of the drop bars even more, but it is stiffer and brings the bars up a bit more. I think this fall I will probably put on a different bar or some sort with a proper high-rise quill stem.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:13 PM   #19
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Nice Mondia DD!
Rail Trails border my neighborhood - turn left and theres almost 30 miles to Duvall or if I go right I can ride 30 miles to Snoqualmie Pass all on dirt and gravel so it's natural that each of my bikes sees dirt regularly.
Paramount Fixed gear

My MXL once I slap some fatties on it

My Yo Eddy is made for it - soon to be modernized with suspension

And my old friend, a Bruce Gordon
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Old 02-07-12, 09:39 PM   #20
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What gravel race? Sub-9 Death March??
Barry-Roubaix. We decided to just do the wimpy 24mi this year to sort of ease into it. Plus we should be able to put a good dent in the beer and tacos before the 35/61 mile racers get there....
Depending on success of spring/summer training, the amount of beer consumption/trash talking and unsupervised internet access, we may end up doing the Gravel Grovel, possibly Iron Cross.

And Cuda I still love that bike! Now I'm plotting a full rebuild/repaint on my Volpe to take it another 20 years.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:43 PM   #21
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Northbend, what size are those "fatties" on the MXL? I'm in need of new tires on mine and wondering if I can squeeze 28's in there...

Nice build choice, BTW. (no, I'm not biased...)



(bars have since been tilted up/back... :crap: )
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Old 02-07-12, 09:56 PM   #22
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Nice Mondia DD! Rail Trails border my neighborhood - turn left and theres almost 30 miles to Duvall or if I go right I can ride 30 miles to Snoqualmie Pass all on dirt and gravel so it's natural that each of my bikes sees dirt regularly.

My MXL once I slap some fatties on it


And my old friend, a Bruce Gordon
Thanks - with 25s it would've been that little bit comfier, though!

I'd also like to know the size of the "fatties" on the Merckx; personally, I think anything with enough rubber can handle gravel roads/trails. The Merckx sure looks like it can handle it!

And I'd love to see a thread on the Bruce Gordon - that's a beauty

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Old 02-07-12, 10:50 PM   #23
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I have a few that can handle this duty...

When with people:



Just part of the life of an all rounder':



If I want to go somewhere fast that involves lots of gravel:



This is more than capable, but I haven't used it for that yet:

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Old 02-07-12, 10:51 PM   #24
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The tires on the MXL are Challenge Paris-Roubaix clinchers. They looked great and rode nicely but didn't hold up very well. 700x27 is claimed but they measure more like 29's. It was a tight fit with the rear brake bridge which is somewhat disappointing considering how much clearance there is up front with that marvelous fork - I won't put them on the MXL again. The 28mm Rivendell ruffy tuffy's I use currently are smaller than the PR's and ride decently enough on the pavement and are very durable in the dirt. This is the tire I used for Cino Heroica last year.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:00 PM   #25
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