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Gravel bike vs cross bike for do it all bike

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel bike vs cross bike for do it all bike

Old 03-13-16, 06:35 PM
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I took the Haanjo out for ride number two this morning. I ventured off road and did a 2 mile climb up a dirt trail popular with local mountain bikers. The trail goes on much longer than 2 miles, but what I learned quickly is despite 40mm knobby tires the Haanjo i not a mountain bike . The 2 miles I did was on hard pack dirt with some loose gravel and deep ruts in the dirt from water run off. The ride ranged from 5-20% grade and averaged around 10% most of the ride. The climbing itself was pretty hard with the gear range on the bike and being 7 lbs heavier than what I'm used to.. The descent was pretty sketchy but the hydraulic discs kept me well under control over all the bumps and ruts. My hands got really tired from white knuckling it on the hoods the whole way down. It would have been much better on a mountain bike with flat bars and levers but I made it down. The front disc caliper did get knocked out of alignment on the decent but it only took about 30 seconds to get it back in proper alignment on the side of the road.

So I probably won't be pushing it on technical off road much but I will take it on some flatter off road trails. The on road manners and handling are great and I'll be curious to see how it feels when I put some road tires on the bike and maybe some lighter wheels down the road.

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Old 03-14-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I've ridden plenty of road bikes but my soma doublecross is my favorite all rounder. It handles just fine on the road.
Curious (sorry to derail a thread), but I ride a 52cm DCD and I am wondering what riders think of the geo on the spectrum of "relaxed-to-racey." I have not ridden enough different bikes to know the difference. I ride mine on everything from roads to some pretty harsh singletrack. my only complaints are A) the short head tube and level top tube require a lot of spacers to get the bars in the correct position and B) the shoes hits the tire frequently when riding at low speeds through anything tight.

Last edited by mack_turtle; 03-14-16 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 03-14-16, 11:42 AM
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Even a Hybrid would do . UCI has no authority over you.
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Old 03-14-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle
Curious (sorry to derail a thread), but I ride a 52cm DCD and I am wondering what riders think of the geo on the spectrum of "relaxed-to-racey." I have not ridden enough different bikes to know the difference. I ride mine on everything from roads to some pretty harsh singletrack. my only complaints are A) the short head tube and level top tube require a lot of spacers to get the bars in the correct position and B) the shoes hits the tire frequently when riding at low speeds through anything tight. should I have gotten the next larger size?
The bike may not fit you but it is a compact frame with a sloping top tube, Double Cross Disc | SOMA Fabrications

I'd post a thread on your fit issues in a different forum where you can get some ideas of what changes might make sense. Spacers are no big deal on a steel fork in any case.
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Old 03-14-16, 11:53 AM
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sorry, should have left the sizing issue out of it. deleted that part, please disregard.

but since the DCD was suggested to the OP, I would like to know, for the OP's benefit and mine, where the geo on that frame fits on the spectrum from "hardcore cyclocross race bike" to "laid back, dirt road, long haul grinder." obviously the braze-ons and tire clearance speak to it's versatility but I would like to know how the geometry compares similar but subtlety different bikes.
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Old 03-14-16, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13
I took the Haanjo out for ride number two this morning.
How's the comfort with this bike?

I have essentially what is the predecessor of this bike, the Steilacoom RCX, which is a 105 level CX bike. DB stopped making that bike and introduced the Haanjo line, which seems to be mainly marketing driven (moving out of the CX market an moving into the increasingly fashionable "gravel grinding" market). Which is not to say that they did not mix up the geometry a bit, dropping the BB 5mm, 16mm higher stack height, 5mm less reach (in the 59cm version), but you can see the clear evolution from one bike to the next. The frame looks very similar (including the flattened top tube), mine is a canti version, instead of disc.

I'm getting rid of it because I can't be bothered with the bone-shakingly stiff ride anymore, especially on gravel and rough chip seal road. That said, the trail looks to come with much larger tires than mine (700x32c Kenda Small Block 8, which I took off because they're awful on pavement), which might help a bit.

Last edited by dr_lha; 03-14-16 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-14-16, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
How's the comfort with this bike?

I have essentially what is the predecessor of this bike, the Steilacoom RCX, which is a 105 level CX bike. DB stopped making that bike and introduced the Haanjo line, which seems to be mainly marketing driven (moving out of the CX market an moving into the increasingly fashionable "gravel grinding" market). Which is not to say that they did not mix up the geometry a bit, dropping the BB 5mm, 16mm higher stack height, 5mm less reach (in the 59cm version), but you can see the clear evolution from one bike to the next. The frame looks very similar (including the flattened top tube), mine is a canti version, instead of disc.

I'm getting rid of it because I can't be bothered with the bone-shakingly stiff ride anymore, especially on gravel and rough chip seal road. That said, the trail looks to come with much larger tires than mine (700x32c Kenda Small Block 8, which I took off because they're awful on pavement), which might help a bit.
I find it pretty comfortable. Granted, I have owned a couple of pretty stiff carbon bikes and a couple of CAAD bikes that were also pretty stiff. But I feel like the Haanjo is comfortable. The geometry, full carbon fork and 700x40 tires running at 60 psi helps I'm sure. But descending down a steep, bumpy mountain trail did beat me up a bit but I'm sure most people won't be doing that on this bike On road I find it comfortable but stiff enough in the bottom bracket that I'm not losing power. I'm going to put some 700x28 or even 25 road tires on it and I'll be curious to see how that goes. I am also running a carbon seatpost and didn't ride it with the stock alum
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Old 03-14-16, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13
I find it pretty comfortable. Granted, I have owned a couple of pretty stiff carbon bikes and a couple of CAAD bikes that were also pretty stiff. But I feel like the Haanjo is comfortable. The geometry, full carbon fork and 700x40 tires running at 60 psi helps I'm sure. But descending down a steep, bumpy mountain trail did beat me up a bit but I'm sure most people won't be doing that on this bike On road I find it comfortable but stiff enough in the bottom bracket that I'm not losing power.
Interesting that you say that because my other complaint with the Steilacoom is that it's pretty flexy in the bottom bracket, much more so than my steel road bike in fact.

I'm going to put some 700x28 or even 25 road tires on it and I'll be curious to see how that goes. I am also running a carbon seatpost and didn't ride it with the stock alum
Yeah, I ran mine with 700x28s for a season, and then put 700x25s on it. I think I was going in the wrong direction comfort wise.
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Old 03-14-16, 02:51 PM
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Old 03-14-16, 02:53 PM
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Old 03-14-16, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle
sorry, should have left the sizing issue out of it. deleted that part, please disregard.

but since the DCD was suggested to the OP, I would like to know, for the OP's benefit and mine, where the geo on that frame fits on the spectrum from "hardcore cyclocross race bike" to "laid back, dirt road, long haul grinder." obviously the braze-ons and tire clearance speak to it's versatility but I would like to know how the geometry compares similar but subtlety different bikes.
The geo looks cyclocross to me which would put it on the racier end of the gravel bike spectrum.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13
I took the Haanjo out for ride number two this morning. I ventured off road and did a 2 mile climb up a dirt trail popular with local mountain bikers. The trail goes on much longer than 2 miles, but what I learned quickly is despite 40mm knobby tires the Haanjo i not a mountain bike . The 2 miles I did was on hard pack dirt with some loose gravel and deep ruts in the dirt from water run off. The ride ranged from 5-20% grade and averaged around 10% most of the ride. The climbing itself was pretty hard with the gear range on the bike and being 7 lbs heavier than what I'm used to.. The descent was pretty sketchy but the hydraulic discs kept me well under control over all the bumps and ruts. My hands got really tired from white knuckling it on the hoods the whole way down. It would have been much better on a mountain bike with flat bars and levers but I made it down. The front disc caliper did get knocked out of alignment on the decent but it only took about 30 seconds to get it back in proper alignment on the side of the road.

So I probably won't be pushing it on technical off road much but I will take it on some flatter off road trails. The on road manners and handling are great and I'll be curious to see how it feels when I put some road tires on the bike and maybe some lighter wheels down the road.

Is that Mt Lowe?


You might start looking for a 34T small ring. Those two teeth make a lot of difference. Not an expensive change either.

My bike unexpectedly came with interrupters. My initial reaction was, "how hard are these going to be to remove?" Glad I didn't.

They make all the difference on steep descent's though, since you can keep your weight back on the rear wheel and your head up, as well as providing more leverage and a more natural hand position when on the brakes for a few thousand feet of down.

Made it down Rincon Redbox on an early outing in one piece and some wrong turns on to single tracks in the Whittier Hills.

Not an option with hydraulics though.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TGT1
Is that Mt Lowe?


You might start looking for a 34T small ring. Those two teeth make a lot of difference. Not an expensive change either.

My bike unexpectedly came with interrupters. My initial reaction was, "how hard are these going to be to remove?" Glad I didn't.

They make all the difference on steep descent's though, since you can keep your weight back on the rear wheel and your head up, as well as providing more leverage and a more natural hand position when on the brakes for a few thousand feet of down.

Made it down Rincon Redbox on an early outing in one piece and some wrong turns on to single tracks in the Whittier Hills.

Not an option with hydraulics though.
Beaudry Loop in Glendale. Yes interrupters would be nice for descending but yes not possible with hydraulics.
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Old 03-15-16, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13
I ended up picking up the DB Haanjo Trail
That takes us to tires: 700x40 Kenda Happy Mediums. They are adequate on road but clearly more designed for off road. I will be getting some other tires and save the Kendas for specific use. I would love suggestion for something in 700x28-30 range that is more road orientated but can handle hard pack dirt
I have a Raleigh Tamland (after having my Haanjo stolen in North Hollywood ) frame that I built up with Barlow Pass 38s and Mr Tuffys.
https://www.bikeforums.net/recreation...and-build.html
Only been riding for about 2 weeks on them, but love 'em so far
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