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Does this bike exist? Road geo w/ cross-gravel clearance?

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Does this bike exist? Road geo w/ cross-gravel clearance?

Old 10-22-16, 02:51 AM
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lylobiken
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Does this bike exist? Road geo w/ cross-gravel clearance?

Greetings all!

Q: Any suggestion for a cross or gravel bike that has close to road bike geometry? I really don't care if it is a "cross" or "gravel" bike -> after riding both types what I think I'm looking for is something with road bike geometry (or close to it) that fits up to a 32mm or 35mm tire.

Background: I am fortunate to live in an area where I can tie together many miles of paved and gravel bike path (about 50-50%). I have no interest or desire to race cross. Typical ride is 20-25 miles. Never owned a cross or gravel bike. Last road bike was a Cervelo S1 that I loved (stiff, light, very responsive) but sold to finance a Spec Camber (which I REALLY love). The Camber is not the tool for the paved / gravel though and looking to add to the quiver.

Went to my LBS and road a few different cross and gravel bikes. Generally speaking, I've enjoyed the cross bikes more than the gravel bikes simply for the responsiveness. That said, the 3 cross bikes I rode felt cramped and the gravel bikes felt too stretched out and stable (like I was driving a bus)! There are so many cross and gravel bikes out there and each has their own geometry tweaks and quirks and I don't have time to ride (or even research) them all! Was hoping someone might have have some suggestions of specific cross, gravel, or even road bikes from either that lean toward a road bike geometry but have the benefits of the tire clearance I need.

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-16, 04:12 AM
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If you have the budget for it, the Cannondale Slate would be worth checking out. Some other possibilities might be the Jamis Renegade, Ridley X-Trail, and Raleigh RX 2.0(if the Raleigh's 1X drivetrain would work for you.) The 2017 Cannondale SuperX and CAADX might also be worth a try.
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Old 10-22-16, 04:31 AM
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The Open Cycle UP is fast. If you know the S-1, then you know the speed thing goes with this brand.

https://opencycle.com/up/
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Old 10-22-16, 05:39 AM
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Running parallel 73.5 HT/ST angles and 420mm stays, the Kinesis UK's Racelight 4S certainly fits the bill.

I bought one for fast gravel riding and racing on mostly hardpacked dirt roads with fender equipped winter and spring riding on both paved and gravel as a secondary goal. The frame will take 32c tire (actual width) or 30c under fenders.

I like mine a lot. It's perfect for the intended applications, while sacrificing little to regular road riding. The frame and fork handles rough surfaces nicely, while some of that compliance probably contributes to less than snappy sprint response on pavement. I can ride it on fast road training rides (with narrower rubber) just fine, but it does lack a precise, reactive feel. That's fine though, because it does what I wanted it to do very well very well!

I built my 60cm frame with Campagnolo Athena, 52/36 rings and usually run an 11-28 cassette. Weighs in sub-20lbs; don't recall exact weight. EDIT: 19.25lbs w/ pedals and bottle cages)

Kinesis dropped the caliper brake model this year, so it's only disc brake now, but geo is the same.


Last edited by chaadster; 10-22-16 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 10-22-16, 09:35 AM
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Have you checked out the GT Grade series? Looks like a good bike for the $$$..
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Old 10-22-16, 10:38 AM
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Take a look at the Pivot Vault, looks close to road geo's with 40mm+ tire clearance.

I've been riding a Niner RLT 9 for the past 6 months, great bike and very close to road geometry as well although slightly more upright than other similar bikes.
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Old 10-22-16, 12:19 PM
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With most of the suggested bikes sporting 71° HTAs, 430mm stays, and wheelbases in excess of 1030mm, I'm curious what's being identified as "leaning toward" road-bike like geometries, and compared to what?
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Old 10-22-16, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
With most of the suggested bikes sporting 71° HTAs, 430mm stays, and wheelbases in excess of 1030mm
I don't think I mentioned anything that combines all those attributes. Closest would probably be the Jamis Renegade at 71.5° HTA, 430mm chainstays, and a longish WB. Its higher than typical fork offset (which should quicken handling) was why I decided to include it as something the OP might want to try out.
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Old 10-22-16, 03:04 PM
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Thank you for all the comments! This is a great list of bikes for me to start researching - and I will!

Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
With most of the suggested bikes sporting 71° HTAs, 430mm stays, and wheelbases in excess of 1030mm, I'm curious what's being identified as "leaning toward" road-bike like geometries, and compared to what?
Great point. Assume you are implying that "road bikes" are going to have similar variances in geometry just as you would find in any random selection of cross or gravel bikes. Since my only sustained experience on a road bike is the thousands of miles I put on my S1, that is my point of reference. To me that bike felt very stiff and had great power transfer, handling was very responsive, and the bike was comfortable (I did not feel stretched out or cramped) in the size 51 that I had. I did have a shop fit which probably helped alot.

Unfortunately while I have a basic understanding of HTAs, stays, wheelbases, etc. I definitely do not have the knowledge that many on the board have as to how minute differences in same effect ride, handing, etc. and would have contributed to the overall effect of the great fit and ride I had on the S1. Instead, I've been going to my LBS's and just trying to ride as many cross and gravel bikes as I can to try to find a similar feeling bike. Was just hoping the board could help narrow that scattershot approach.....
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Old 10-22-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider125 View Post
Take a look at the Pivot Vault, looks close to road geo's with 40mm+ tire clearance.

I've been riding a Niner RLT 9 for the past 6 months, great bike and very close to road geometry as well although slightly more upright than other similar bikes.
I actually have seen some great deals on the RLT online, and it is really nice looking. How did you end up going with the RLT and who is that bike "best for" in your opinion? Is the upright fit something that could be mitigated through any fit adjustments? Problem I have is none of my LBSs carry Niner so I can't ride ahead of time
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Old 10-22-16, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Running parallel 73.5 HT/ST angles and 420mm stays, the Kinesis UK's Racelight 4S certainly fits the bill.

I bought one for fast gravel riding and racing on mostly hardpacked dirt roads with fender equipped winter and spring riding on both paved and gravel as a secondary goal. The frame will take 32c tire (actual width) or 30c under fenders.

I like mine a lot. It's perfect for the intended applications, while sacrificing little to regular road riding. The frame and fork handles rough surfaces nicely, while some of that compliance probably contributes to less than snappy sprint response on pavement. I can ride it on fast road training rides (with narrower rubber) just fine, but it does lack a precise, reactive feel. That's fine though, because it does what I wanted it to do very well very well!

I built my 60cm frame with Campagnolo Athena, 52/36 rings and usually run an 11-28 cassette. Weighs in sub-20lbs; don't recall exact weight. EDIT: 19.25lbs w/ pedals and bottle cages)

Kinesis dropped the caliper brake model this year, so it's only disc brake now, but geo is the same.

Very interesting. Kudos to you. How / where did you get one in the US?
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Old 10-22-16, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider125 View Post
Take a look at the Pivot Vault, looks close to road geo's with 40mm+ tire clearance.

I've been riding a Niner RLT 9 for the past 6 months, great bike and very close to road geometry as well although slightly more upright than other similar bikes.
Also why did you go with the RLT over the BSB?
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Old 10-22-16, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lylobiken View Post
Thank you for all the comments! This is a great list of bikes for me to start researching - and I will!



Great point. Assume you are implying that "road bikes" are going to have similar variances in geometry just as you would find in any random selection of cross or gravel bikes. Since my only sustained experience on a road bike is the thousands of miles I put on my S1, that is my point of reference. To me that bike felt very stiff and had great power transfer, handling was very responsive, and the bike was comfortable (I did not feel stretched out or cramped) in the size 51 that I had. I did have a shop fit which probably helped alot.

Unfortunately while I have a basic understanding of HTAs, stays, wheelbases, etc. I definitely do not have the knowledge that many on the board have as to how minute differences in same effect ride, handing, etc. and would have contributed to the overall effect of the great fit and ride I had on the S1. Instead, I've been going to my LBS's and just trying to ride as many cross and gravel bikes as I can to try to find a similar feeling bike. Was just hoping the board could help narrow that scattershot approach.....
It is difficult to look at geometry numbers and understand how a bike will ride, and moreso to compare how two different bikes will ride; there are lots of variables not only in the numbers, but in how materials and construction impact ride characteristics.

Nonetheless, once you start paying attention to the numbers, sense can be drawn from them, and when you then overlay that with your own experience, you'll be able to link things like 71° HTA with that stability sensation you had, and wheelbases closer to 1000mm than over it with the reactive feeling you experienced on another bike.

So while you definitely won't know what a bike will feel like until you ride, looking at geometry will allow you to ballpark it, and greatly increase the odds of getting the kind of bike you want.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:02 PM
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Yes, I own one that I want to sell. It's a 2015 Ridley X-Night Disc 30. I run 700x40's on it but when I wanna go faster on a road ride, I throw 25's or 28's on and haul. The X-Night shares geometry with the Ridley Helium SL Rose bike.


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Old 10-22-16, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
I run 700x40's on it but when I wanna go faster on a road ride, I throw 25's or 28's on and haul.
I dunno, unless those 700x40s have big ol' knobs on 'em, they may well be faster than Gatorskins. I've not yet found a smooth tire that rolls slower than a Gator. I ran Thickslick Elites for awhile, and even with their incredibly thick, hard rubber, they still out-rolled Conti Gators.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I dunno, unless those 700x40s have big ol' knobs on 'em, they may well be faster than Gatorskins. I've not yet found a smooth tire that rolls slower than a Gator. I ran Thickslick Elites for awhile, and even with their incredibly thick, hard rubber, they still out-rolled Conti Gators.
The 28's that I run are Gatorskins. But then again, I'm fast on these knobbys too. Most of your speed is in the motor.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:39 PM
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Here's my Ridley with CX tires.
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Old 10-22-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
Most of your speed is in the motor.
Careful now. The BF-faithful don't cotton much to that kind of talk.
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Old 10-22-16, 07:27 PM
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Old 10-22-16, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
The X-Night shares geometry with the Ridley Helium SL Rose bike.
Are you sure? I'd be surprised if a bike which can fit 40c tires shares chainstay length (and bb drop) with a Helium.
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Old 10-23-16, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Are you sure? I'd be surprised if a bike which can fit 40c tires shares chainstay length (and bb drop) with a Helium.
I'm absolutely sure. I've ridden both. The only real difference is the width of the rear triangl. Yes the chain stays are a touch longer of course but, they're extremely similar.
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Old 10-23-16, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
I'm absolutely sure. I've ridden both. The only real difference is the width of the rear triangl. Yes the chain stays are a touch longer of course but, they're extremely similar.
Leaving aside the question of what constitutes a "real" difference, I just wanted to be clear that the geometries are not the same, just "extremely similar." Thank you for the clarification; insofar as I could figure, even the longer 408mm stays on the larger Helium could not physically accommodate a 40c tire. Open Cycle brag the 40c max tire size provided by the radically dropped stay on the U.P. is extremely short at 420mm. Maybe Ridley had a trick to squeeze the big tire; I didn't know.
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Old 10-23-16, 02:29 AM
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Don't know why it slipped my mind earlier, but the Specialized Diverge seems like it's pretty close to what you're asking for. Steeper HTA than most gravel bikes, 415mm-ish chainstays depending on size, mid 70's mm bb drop, reasonable wheelbase, relatively high fork offset. I think a 35mm tire is as big as it can go.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...ite-dsw/119017

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Old 10-23-16, 07:43 AM
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Road Frames - Black Mountain Cycles

Steel road frame. Accepts 33mm tires and fenders if you want. Build it how you want instead of buying stock and replacing the wheels or saddle or a bunch of things like so many people do.
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Old 10-23-16, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post
Don't know why it slipped my mind earlier, but the Specialized Diverge seems like it's pretty close to what you're asking for. Steeper HTA than most gravel bikes, 415mm-ish chainstays depending on size, mid 70's mm bb drop, reasonable wheelbase, relatively high fork offset. I think a 35mm tire is as big as it can go.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...ite-dsw/119017
The Diverge is a fantastic bike for gravel... however I recently traded mine in on a new 2017 Roubaix. Can't fit as big of tires on the new Roubaix but the Roubaix will take a 32mm. I'm running a set of Clement MSO X'plor 32s. The new Roubaix is simply amazing.
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