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Low Geared Gravel Bike

Old 08-27-21, 02:18 AM
  #1  
deaninkl
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Low Geared Gravel Bike

I'm looking for a gravel bike for bike packing, but I'm a little shocked to see that almost all gravel bikes have pretty much road gearing.. how does a Clyde (220lbs and 5'9") do tracks with a granny gear in the 25 gear-inch range, and that's is on the lower geared gravel bikes. I looking for an off the shelf bike with drops, and a 16-18 gear-inch range on the granny, to get that it would need a double or triple grant with a 22 or 24 small chainring and a cassette on the back that is 11-36+......

Does anyone know of such a bike that has that off the shelf?

Many thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 08-27-21, 10:13 AM
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Low geared gravel bike
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Old 08-28-21, 08:09 PM
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Put a Schlumpf Mountain drive on the bicycle. You can have the low and the high with 727 percent range. You can set up a 15 to 110 gear inch or many other combinations. It is only money. My Rohloff equipped bicycle has a 17 gear inch on the low end. I am going to purchase a Yuba Mundo and put a Schlumpf Mountain drive on it.
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Old 08-30-21, 08:02 PM
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deaninkl I agree with you on gearing for gravel bikes. Lower gearing is where I'm at anymore. I can't push a gravel bike as fast as my road bike. I like the idea of a high-low or triple front. I'm not racing so I don't have the chain issues racers have. The new bikes are going to rear derailleur only so I would consider the ability to change the front chainring to a size that gives you your gearing. Crank specifications would be very important so you know you can get a smaller chainring to work. If you don't mind a double or triple up front then the same goes there too. I've seen road triples that really didn't allow for small chainrings. Mountain bike triples will allow the smaller size chainrings. Be sure to do your homework on this technical subject Good luck.
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Old 08-30-21, 08:55 PM
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I had a hard time getting my rings down to a 28/44 for gravel, ended up finding an older 11sp sram XO carbon crank and had to pair it with a shimano GRX front der to get something that could shift the 16t difference with small rings and a small enough cage to clear the chainstay and still match the chainline. Works well with the 11/40 cassette I'm running, not certain what that brings the gear inches down to but I haven't actually needed the 28/40 riding through the catskills, I'm certain the Adirondacks will require it though.
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Old 08-30-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Shelbyfv kindly linked the same question I posted in the gravel bike section. There is some very good information there posted by gravel riders.

The end result is that I probably wont find anything off the shelf, so I either by a new bike and alter the gearing, or play around with the gearing on one of the two bikes I have in Taiwan.

The later would be the cheapest route, and some fun I guess.. I few of the gravel bikes available in Taiwan from Fuji and Giant will get me under 25 GI, and that is with 11-34's on the rear.. and a low of 30 on the front. I think both may take a 11-40 on the rear with would be manageable.. and anyway I am used to pushing...

I could also lose 30-40 lbs.... that that's a bit like my guitar playing... a never ending story. I'll update you what I make a decision on how to proceed.

Thank you all so much for the input.
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Old 08-30-21, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
I had a hard time getting my rings down to a 28/44 for gravel, ended up finding an older 11sp sram XO carbon crank and had to pair it with a shimano GRX front der to get something that could shift the 16t difference with small rings and a small enough cage to clear the chainstay and still match the chainline. Works well with the 11/40 cassette I'm running, not certain what that brings the gear inches down to but I haven't actually needed the 28/40 riding through the catskills, I'm certain the Adirondacks will require it though.
Assuming you have 700/35 tires your set up of 28/44 with a 11-40 cassette will give you 19.07 gear inches. That is quite low compared to off the shelf..

For me ideal would be a 24/40 with a 11-40 cassette... but that will mean some serious playing around me thinks...... speed is no issue to me at all.. its all about seeing places, and getting up hills.
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Old 09-03-21, 09:03 AM
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Guess you cannot get a Disc Trucker where you are. Comes with a 26x34 low gear. You can easily drop the 26t to a 24t or even 22t.
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Old 09-05-21, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Guess you cannot get a Disc Trucker where you are. Comes with a 26x34 low gear. You can easily drop the 26t to a 24t or even 22t.
Surly was high on my list, but here in Taiwan or Malaysia where I am also based at times they are hens teeth at the moment.. I friend in Taiwan ordered on in September 2020, he needs a large frame and the didnt have stock, the Surly shop in Taipei told him he could get it in February, in March they gave him a Giant as a loaner.. now they cant even give him a date.. the crazy thing is, I understand the surly frames are made in Taiwan... their simply is huge supply chain issues at the moment...

Anyway having looked at was is available locally, for the time being have shelved my plan for a new bike and Ha ordered some components that will get me close to what I want... and.. in the mean time I conquered one of my local "nemesis" hills this weekend on my Giant FCR... did have to stop, but did not push... I consider that a win!
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Old 09-08-21, 06:24 PM
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My Giant revolt adv 2 comes with
  • Crankset Praxis Albe 2D, 32/48
  • Rear Derailleur Shimano GRX RX-810
  • Cassette Shimano 105, 11-speed, 11x34

Since it has a GRX RX-810 I was able to install a 11-40 cassette. 32 front and rear 40 should be deep enough of gears for most things.



https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/revolt-advanced-2
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Old 09-09-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
My Giant revolt adv 2 comes with
  • Crankset Praxis Albe 2D, 32/48
  • Rear Derailleur Shimano GRX RX-810
  • Cassette Shimano 105, 11-speed, 11x34
Since it has a GRX RX-810 I was able to install a 11-40 cassette. 32 front and rear 40 should be deep enough of gears for most things.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/revolt-advanced-2
Thanks for that Sean, quite interesting as the Revolt Advanced 2 is available here in Taiwan, I had checked the specs, but according to the Shimano spec. the rear RX-810 can only take a 34T granny, so I didn't think it would give me the flexibility I needed. However i do know that Shimano is very conservative with their specs. So if you have installed an 11-40 cassette then i will revisit that option.

Taiwan is facing the same shortage in bikes as the rest of the world, and gravel is not well catered for at dealers here. But the search is part of the fun!
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Old 09-09-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by deaninkl View Post
Thanks for that Sean, quite interesting as the Revolt Advanced 2 is available here in Taiwan, I had checked the specs, but according to the Shimano spec. the rear RX-810 can only take a 34T granny, so I didn't think it would give me the flexibility I needed. However i do know that Shimano is very conservative with their specs. So if you have installed an 11-40 cassette then i will revisit that option.

Taiwan is facing the same shortage in bikes as the rest of the world, and gravel is not well catered for at dealers here. But the search is part of the fun!
Some people say an 11-42t fits. I don't know how though I put an 11-40t on my and b screw was backed all the way out.

An 11-40t 100% fits. I have it on my bike. BUT it does not shift the same as factory. Still good and I am happy with it. Maybe over several years the 11-40t might wear down the RX-810. Maybe that's why shimano does not recommend it. dunno.


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Old 09-09-21, 01:05 PM
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https://velonut.com/blog/shimano-grx...1-40t-cassette
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Old 09-09-21, 05:05 PM
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Cheers Sean, this will be useful to a lot of “climb challenged” riders like myself…. Now just got to find a shop that has the bike….. have found the Advanced 0, but that adds another $1000 to the equation…. Throwing 3k at a bicycle is kinda of extreme I feel… so I’ll wait ti I find an Adv 2…
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Old 09-09-21, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by deaninkl View Post
Cheers Sean, this will be useful to a lot of “climb challenged” riders like myself…. Now just got to find a shop that has the bike….. have found the Advanced 0, but that adds another $1000 to the equation…. Throwing 3k at a bicycle is kinda of extreme I feel… so I’ll wait ti I find an Adv 2…
There's nothing special about the Giant's. Just find any gravel bike you like with a rear derailleur Shimano GRX RX-810.

I am in the 50+ club myself with two bad knees from a motorcycle accident. I need the deeper gears or my knees hurt a lot when grinding up hill under 40rpm.
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Old 09-09-21, 09:31 PM
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here's a list of recommend gravel bikes

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...t-gravel-bikes

One of the first ones they list has the Shimano GRX RD-RX810
https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/...-9.0-2021.html

We don't have this bike in the states or at least I have never seen one.

I like 2x myself for when I put on my road wheel set then it's 99.9% as good a road bike. Some people swear by 1x though.
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Old 09-10-21, 08:08 PM
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Sadly Sean, as daft as it may seem being that Taiwan is the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world, most bikes you see in manufacturers web pages are not available in Taiwan, and none sell L or XL sized bikes here (a friend took 18 month to get a L sized Giant MTB here and that ended up with the dealer going to giant factory in Tainan and picking up a rejected frame and building it in his shop (factories are also not flexible...). The local bike scene is heavily road orientated. Local riders don't need low gearing as the physique of most riders here tends to be small, and very fit... Clydesdales and Athenas hardly exist... Taiwan makes bikes to export. Most of the brands in the lists in your post are not available. Giant only has 2 gravel bikes in their line up here, the Revolt Advanced 0 and Advanced 2, and so far I have only found one in the flesh, an Advanced 0, and is S sizing, that was a shop in Taipei. Giant the biggest bike manufacturer in the world, and a Taiwanese company don't even had a flagship store in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan..... its a weird scenario. Fuji have a great website here for Taiwan, and the have the Jari, 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7 and 2.5 all listed and with pricing for Taiwan, but I been to the 4 Fuji dealers in Taipei and only found only the 1.1 and 1.3, again only in small...

To add to the struggle is that most dealers have no web page, here people use Facebook as their shops contact... and of course its all in Chinese.... and rarely carries stock news about what bikes they actually have in their shops. The good point is that Taipei is not a huge city and getting around by bike is hairy but easy...

Before the "plague" i traveled a lot and could pick up a bike and just bring it with me back to Taiwan... all that stopped in February 2020....

But I'm in no hurry, I like the search process, and have even now found a shop that can make me a steel framed bike... and I do like steel..
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Old 09-10-21, 08:41 PM
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I just built myself one from a mix of parts… 11-32 9 speed back and 46-34-26 or 28 front. It’s a lugged steel frame and i probably only have 400 in it right now.

Not new, or modern, but it will go anywhere, just not as fast as a road bike.
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Old 09-12-21, 11:07 PM
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You did a wonderful job fitting out an older, cheaper lugged steel frame with everything needed to gravel road. The only thing wrong with it is it didn't cost $3000 dollars. I know that you will be able to ride in groups of riders with carbon framed gravel bikes and mostly keep up or even beat a few up the hills depending on everyone's fitness. OP is in a pickle with new bikes really not available that fit him or possibly retrofit a couple of his existing bikes to get the gear ratios. The Siren call of a new bike is hard to ignore. However it is easy and cheap just to change gearing on his bicycles. I have gone both ways when it comes to bicycles. All my present bicycles are used bikes I retrofitted to my specifications.
1980 Nishiki Sebring with Vuelta SL37 wheels and Raceface MTB crankset in 180mm. My low gear is ridiculous at 24 34. I have yet to use it on the street but it is there. A nice cheap lugged steel frame in my size, 69cm. This is a nice fast bicycle.
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