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Got a Gravel bike on a C&V frame?

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Got a Gravel bike on a C&V frame?

Old 10-21-20, 01:35 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
To prove your point, here's a pic from our good buddy @Drillium Dude on the Ironhorse Trail heading east from North Bend, Washington. He's riding 25mm sewups, picture taken with no hands while riding


In the interests of accuracy, while the tires are indeed 25mm (Challenge Elites) they are clinchers rather than tubulars. Mere seconds before getting a rear puncture on Saturday's ride I was feeling pretty confident in the flat-resistance of these tires and was in fact just about to voice that opinion to my riding partner. Talk about letting the air out of one's tire! Anyway, I still rate them for feel and performance - oh, and the tire came off the rim no problem, although the tube stuck to the inside of the casing more than any other tire/tube combination, ever. Talc will fix that.

The rest of the bike:



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Old 10-21-20, 04:46 AM
  #52  
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Peugeot PVN-10


This is my go-to bike for gravel (and almost all other riding, too) - Peugeot PVN-10 with 38x650b Panaracer GravelKing slicks.
First image is for show, second is from the "go" department.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:26 AM
  #53  
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I have a pair of cross tires for my 1980 Trek 414, for going off pavement.
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Old 10-21-20, 08:43 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Yeah, gravel is local.

Eastern Washington, out in the Palouse ( ride graciously organized by @scozim) we rode some actual gravel. I'm on 33 1/3"s, I think we had as narrow as 28's on this stuff, rideable just fine if you were a bit careful. That's @rccardr up front, as usual - Doc, you riding 28's that day?

Picture courtesy of @Drillium Dude
28's were a little dicey that day in a couple of spots but really only because of all the new gravel dumped by the county that vehicles hadn't had a chance to scatter yet. I've ridden on the gravel and dirt over there in June and 28's were fine. On 28's you definitely want to stay out of the thick stuff.
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Old 10-21-20, 12:41 PM
  #55  
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As someone who lives in the dirt road mecca of Vermont, most if not all of my bikes, aside from the dedicated mountain bikes, are equipped with dirt roads in mind. The beauty of our surrounding terrain here in Central Vermont, and probably across New England, is we have a huge diversity of road-types to choose from. In particular we have these great stretches of "Class 4" or "Ancient" roads that are typically seasonal and receive little if any maintenance. Often these roads are shared with ATV's and dirt bikes. One thing I love about the bike hobby is building up bikes that strike just the right compromise between paved cruising and more gnarly backroads stuff. Instead of picking the right bike for a particular ride, often I lead with the bike choice, and then think about what ride suits it best. Here are some examples, all bikes I've acquired or built this year, going from less to most burly. None of these bikes, all parts included, cost me more than $300, or $3k/10, the figure cited by the original poster. Keeping costs low is part of the fun!


This 1982 Bill Vetter (made right here in Vermont) is currently running 700 x 28 Paselas, adequate for many of Vermont's dirt roads. I swapped out the drivetrain with the Mighty Tour crankset, wide-range freewheel, and Suntour long cage rear derailleur, very helpful for hitting the "gaps" that make Vermont riding so much fun.


This late 70's Raleigh Competition G.S. is running with 700x32 WTB All Terrain tires that strike a nice balance for road and gravel. This bike can manage some mild "Class 4" roads, but if it gets too steep and/or rocky, I'm walking.


And my latest build, not yet complete, takes a mountain bike in the other direction. This is an early 90's Stumpjumper that I've done a from-the-ground-up rebuild. The beauty of this bike, with the nice wide 26" Schwalbe Smart Sams, is that it genuinely feels like it can do anything. I'm comfortable on this bike on genuine singletrack, and cruising home on the pavement is better than bearable. It is a common sentiment on this forum - older steel mountain bikes make awesome starting points.

Last edited by gmvelo; 10-21-20 at 12:44 PM. Reason: caught a mistake
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Old 10-21-20, 02:42 PM
  #56  
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1995 Orange C16R 26er MTB drop bar gravel hack

26 x 35c Schwalbe CX Pro tyres for a bit of fast gravel action...26 x 32c Continental Contact Speed when I want to go ride the black top. I've got a hard tail MTB and a couple of road bikes...don't really need the 26er...but I've had the frame from new and I hated seeing it sat there doing nothing.
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Old 10-21-20, 02:55 PM
  #57  
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Two bikes designated as gravel in my stable:

Lejeune ca1974 which now runs 32mm Gravelkings (measure 30mm)

Katy Machens 23 mi 2 res by L Travers, on Flickr

My faux Sauvage Lejeune running 36mm Grand Bois

Dirty Bike by L Travers, on Flickr
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Old 10-21-20, 03:15 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Early 90s hybrids are a great way to start. Low cost and you can figure out what you like or dislike then go from there once you know more.
Univega Via line, Schwinn Crosscut, Schwinn Crisscross, Trek 730, Trek 750, Miyata TripleCross, etc etc. All are 700c, readily accept modern drivetrains, can handle wide tires, and are relatively inexpensive to convert.
I was wondering this the other day. I don't really know much about the designation of "gravel bike" but I was riding my Trek 750 on some mixed paved roads the other day and wondered if the Trek MultiTrack fit the bill for a gravel bike. I have 700x32 Continental Gatorskins on mine and it handled gravel and paved roads nicely.
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Old 10-21-20, 03:23 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Jmpierce View Post
I was wondering this the other day. I don't really know much about the designation of "gravel bike" but I was riding my Trek 750 on some mixed paved roads the other day and wondered if the Trek MultiTrack fit the bill for a gravel bike. I have 700x32 Continental Gatorskins on mine and it handled gravel and paved roads nicely.
My brother in law built up a 750 into a gravel bike- drop bars,, bar end shifters, and 41mm tires.
Works fine for his riding.

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Old 10-21-20, 03:33 PM
  #60  
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My "gravel" bike. 1988 Univega Alpina Uno w/ drops. Just upgraded the tires to the 26 inch Simworks Homage last week. Did 90 miles on them yesterday with roughly 1/3 of that being gravel.



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Old 10-21-20, 03:46 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
My brother in law built up a 750 into a gravel bike- drop bars,, bar end shifters, and 41mm tires.
Works fine for his riding.

I'm staying with upright bars for now, I like the ride better on this.



More of a commuter I guess...
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Old 10-21-20, 04:02 PM
  #62  
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Something I've ridden on gravel.


A 1972/73 Colnago Super.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:10 PM
  #63  
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Here is my early 70s Cilo with 32mm tubulars. This bike wears a lot of different hats (commuter, Eroica bike, gravel bike, grocery-getter, etc.)

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Old 10-25-20, 05:26 PM
  #64  
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Late 90's Bianchi Boardwalk I have been working on the past few days. I had written the frame off a long time ago as "too small", and I still wish I had a little more head tube and less stem and seat tube showing. But these are extremely long bikes, this one has a 22 1/2" top tube.

It came originally with a short upright stem and riser bars. I hope I'm not pushing the engineering on this thing too much by converting it to drop bars. All in all a fun bike, I have some very tough (but heavy) Conti City Rides in 38. I wasn't expecting any flats but got two right off the bat from an inner tube with a defective seam.

Still need to clean it up some more and give it a final shakedown ride.




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Old 10-25-20, 06:28 PM
  #65  
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This is a Cannondale touring bike I fixed up for my wife to ride on rail trails. Converted to 10 speed with a 46X34 crank and mini-vs to replace the cantis. 38mm Gravelking on the front, 32mm was the largest that would fit the rear. She didn't use it so I sold it in a fit of housekeeping last Spring. I figure I only lost about $300 on it since some stuff came from the parts bin.

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Old 10-26-20, 11:32 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I'm not really sure I buy into the whole gravel bike craze but it sure is popular these days and seems like anyone on road bikes are changing over to gravel bikes. I just can't imagine spending another 3 grand on a road bike with a thicker wheel and tire to ride around on crush gravel paths? If you had a nice, carbon mountain bike, wouldn't you just take that out to ride with your gravel bike friends? Will they eventually put suspension on gravel bikes to hit some trails?

I'm thinking you could take a nice steel frame, road or mountain bike and turn it into a decent gravel bike for a lot less than 3 grand so show me what you got.
Marketing pretty well sums it up, in the US, the 18 to 34 year old group is declining as a proportion of our population, fewer people are participating in most outdoor activities, as such sale are down, the industry needs a way to stimulate sales, so come up with "gravel bikes" , similar to the way fat biking gave birth to "adventure biking"
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Old 10-26-20, 11:55 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by pachyderm56 View Post
Marketing pretty well sums it up, in the US, the 18 to 34 year old group is declining as a proportion of our population, fewer people are participating in most outdoor activities, as such sale are down, the industry needs a way to stimulate sales, so come up with "gravel bikes" , similar to the way fat biking gave birth to "adventure biking"
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Old 10-26-20, 12:19 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I think when we talk about gravel riding, we're really talking about unpaved roads. On the west coast, gravel is usually laid down on sections that get worn out quickly or are very muddy. Most of the "gravel" riding I do is on a combination of dirt and gravel.
Yeah, most of us us the terms dirt and gravel more or less interchangeably with regard to unpaved roads. I was being snarky as usual. OTOH, I do remember gravel roads that were actually gravel, usually that pea sized gray crushed granite. Sometimes they would spray them over with tar, which made a sort of halfway paved road with a lot of loose gravel still on it.

Is this gravel?
Close enough? Much dirt and not much gravel. Pretty typical of California. Looks like the spread some out in 1956, and called it good. Mostly clay and sand really. In socal, the clay tends to dry up during the summer, and these sort of utility and fire roads can get really powdery.

I think we'd all agree that this is gravel, and wider tires may have kept me upright:

That photo shows those evil walnut sized rocks I mentioned earlier. Gravel is a stretch. Yep, it's really hard to deal with on anything other than ~2" wide tires. It can be done, but it's sketchy and tiring to stay upright - if you can. Besides that they tend to destroy tire sidewalls. Usually best case is to hope for a truck track with most of the rocks cleared out of the way.


Dirt roads on 700 x 32s

Nice shot of the climb that it took to get to the shot.
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Old 10-26-20, 12:24 PM
  #69  
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OK, this bike is not C&V, but it is lugged steel at least. Somewhere I have pictures of my Mercian KOM on gravel roads too. The pictures of my Masi on gravel roads AFAIK only exist in my head, but it's been on many.

I would call this road dirt. This is the old Big Sur road BTW.



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Old 10-26-20, 03:06 PM
  #70  
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Yeah, a bike you ride on gravel is a...
Maybe so. As a young man with limited resources (and limited experience) I rode sewups on miles of unpaved Vermont roads. Sat up late some nights sewing. I've taken my Merican Pro with 23s on very chunky stone paths and a bit of dirt. Not ideal but I survived. The opportunity to transform early '70s 531 Carlton Raleighs to all-roads bikes has yielded great results. Over time I landed on modern drivetrain (2x10 compact crankset + brifters), old brakes, 700 x 35 is as big as I can fit without dimpling stays or going to 650. Racks, bags, fenders and most recently, a Brooks Flyer Imperial and I have been in dirt heaven.



So shiny!

This was the good part of this road.

Local man plays in dirt.

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Old 10-26-20, 03:22 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
Yeah, a bike you ride on gravel is a...




So shiny!

Posted.
this beautiful thing always gets me. a shot right out of "playbike" centerfold...ha
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Old 10-26-20, 03:33 PM
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Nishiki Cresta works well


Maitai Dam, Nelson, NZ
Did have 27 inch wheels, once I got the brakes sorted out post popping a rear tyre with brake pad, duh...the old 700c wheelset fits into frame nicely with 38mm tyres (as you can see, now mis-matched). I like those wide flared bars. The triple pulley RD works and the triple crank delivers good range. It goes quite fast and am in two minds about changing out flat pedals after removing some shin skin when chasing an e-bike for entertainment. I believe the Cresta was designed to be a tourer. Tremendous fun on New Zealand back roads.
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Old 10-26-20, 04:47 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by pachyderm56 View Post
Marketing pretty well sums it up, in the US, the 18 to 34 year old group is declining as a proportion of our population, fewer people are participating in most outdoor activities, as such sale are down, the industry needs a way to stimulate sales, so come up with "gravel bikes" , similar to the way fat biking gave birth to "adventure biking"

Oh sure, there is some marketing involved, but I think this was the industry being led by consumers as well. Roads do feel less safe, trucks and cars have only increased in size over the last decade, and with smartphones, drivers are even more distracted. The cyclocross craze was an initial reaction to this, plus the post-Lance hangover hurt interest in road bikes here in the U.S. In addition, and I think this is partly the fault of bike manufacturers, is that most road bikes have kind of been designed to the point where they are really only for one purpose....going fast and hard, which for a lot of consumers is not what they are interested in.


If you were to walk into most bike shops, you end-up with a shop that is trying to sell a 35 year old parent of 2 the most sleek and utterly ill-equipped for anything but racing or fast club riding carbon fiber bike, all with proprietary technology and lacking in functionality that can make a bike more than a piece of exercise equipment. Or, try to push a 22 year old recent college grad into buying the most heavily built full suspension mountain bike that will ride like sh*t except for the most technical of off-road trails and downhill descents.


I think the gravel bike interest (and increased interest it seems in rugged touring type bikes) is wanting more of a functional, go everywhere type bike, but also one that can go fast if you care to do so, or one in which a more leisurely ride along a country road with a lunch packed in a pannier bag, or one where you can go explore Class IV roads without falling over due to looser gravel.
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Old 10-26-20, 05:56 PM
  #74  
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Gravel

I have these two

700x42c

700x35c
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Old 10-26-20, 06:00 PM
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Well, I actually just sold this about 2 weeks ago but it went through a few iterations as a gravel bike for me. Mid 80's Orbea Cabestany with a ton of tire clearance.


First version - Supple Challenge 700 x 30 tires, 10 speed friction DT shifting, road clipless pedals

Second Version - Michelin Cyclocross Mudders 700 x 32, flat/SPD two way pedals, 8 speed friction DT shifting

Third Version - Back to the Challenge tires, 8 speed friction DT shifting, upgraded Dia Compe brakes and pads, new hoods, cables, housings and the two way pedals.

The last version was how I left it when I put it up for sale. It went really quickly with lots of interest despite being a bit rough cosmetically.
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