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 :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel bike on the road

Old 03-22-17, 09:45 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
It shouldn't be about winning or losing. Merlin has his statement in order, gearing is subject to basic math and his data is factually correct. However, if you turn at a slow cadence, below 90 rpm, you might find a compact crankset to be a limiting factor. That's more a matter of your preferences.
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
If you're limited by a 50x11, you're either doing it wrong, or are up there with Cavendish and Greipel.
Then he shouldn't quote my post and tell me I'm doing it wrong. None of you know a thing about me or how I ride, and I wasn't asking for approval. I was responding to the OP's question with my personal experience, which is that I prefer a traditional crank on the road and a compact on gravel. I was not recommending one course of action or another, just providing another data point in response to the OP's question.

I'm starting to get really turned off of everything on BF other than C&V based on the pathological need of many posters to seek out the tiniest statement that they disagree with and start pointless arguments based on their personal opinions which they mistake for facts. If you don't agree with my choice of crankset that's fine, but don't turn it into an ad hominem attack on my character.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:03 AM
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I also dislike a 50, 34 compact crankset on a road bike. I find that I want a 39 or 42 chainring in combination with a 50, 52 or 53 large chainring with a tightly spaced cog set for my cycling on the mostly flat roads close to home. On hilly paved century rides, I use a triple.

I also want a road bike, and I won't use a gravel bike on faster group rides. Using a gravel bike while riding with much younger riders on S-Works or some other race ready road bike is not a option, IMO.

For many cyclist a gravel bike with road bike tires is a plausible bike for pavement use. Each reader can review the various statements and make up their own mind.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:31 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Then he shouldn't quote my post and tell me I'm doing it wrong. None of you know a thing about me or how I ride, and I wasn't asking for approval. I was responding to the OP's question with my personal experience, which is that I prefer a traditional crank on the road and a compact on gravel. I was not recommending one course of action or another, just providing another data point in response to the OP's question.

I'm starting to get really turned off of everything on BF other than C&V based on the pathological need of many posters to seek out the tiniest statement that they disagree with and start pointless arguments based on their personal opinions which they mistake for facts. If you don't agree with my choice of crankset that's fine, but don't turn it into an ad hominem attack on my character.
How is saying that a 50/34 shouldn't be holding you back, and if it is there may an issue of technique, an attack on your character?

It's an attack on the claim that a gravel bike with 50/34 gearing will hold the OP back from using it on a road bike.

I explained with simple math, and my personal experience, why I don't think that's the case.

Perhaps you'd like to explain why you think your 50/34 is holding you back, and why you think it might hold the OP back?

Then we could evaluate the substance of your position.

So far you made an assertion about the limits of a 50/34. I explained why I think you're wrong, and you've offered nothing to support your position.
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Old 03-22-17, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
That's what i thought! great!

The geometry is not too relaxed ?
Good question, but when I look at that geometry, I don't see much relaxed about it. Its basically a road bike that takes tires bigger than 25mm. Its not relaxed in the way a gravel bike with slack head tubes, 40-45cm tires and long wheelbases is relaxed.

Enjoy!

The only caveat is that the bottom bracket is very low. I did a fast group ride on a new bike like that, not realizing how low the bottom bracket was. Accelerating hard through a 35mph, 90 degree corner, pedal smacked the pavement, lifted the rear wheel off the pavement, and basically threw me off the road. I recovered, but it didn't win me any friends in the pace line...
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Old 03-22-17, 01:00 PM
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I have explained it, you're being deliberately obtuse and making inferences based on things I didn't actually write. I'm done.



Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
How is saying that a 50/34 shouldn't be holding you back, and if it is there may an issue of technique, an attack on your character?

It's an attack on the claim that a gravel bike with 50/34 gearing will hold the OP back from using it on a road bike.

I explained with simple math, and my personal experience, why I don't think that's the case.

Perhaps you'd like to explain why you think your 50/34 is holding you back, and why you think it might hold the OP back?

Then we could evaluate the substance of your position.

So far you made an assertion about the limits of a 50/34. I explained why I think you're wrong, and you've offered nothing to support your position.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:41 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Depends somewhat on the bike, a Crux or a Boone or something like that will work fine on the road; I know a few guys who ride those on the weekly "worlds" ride, sometimes with fat road tires, like 32s or whatever, and it does not slow them down. Something heavier and more bikepacking-oriented like a Fargo probably won't be as fast.

My Tricross works well as a road bike, but the 50/34 crank vs. the traditional 53/39 on my road bike tends to be a limiting factor, because I can't maintain a 100+ cadence for very long.
Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
I have explained it, you're being deliberately obtuse and making inferences based on things I didn't actually write. I'm done.

I responded exactly to what you said. And showed that a 50/34 crank, with a sustained cadence below 100 rpm, 90 rpm to be exact is worth 33mph, and not a limiting factor.


The wattage to maintain 33 mph would be a much greater limiter.


I've yet to see any explanation how a top gear of 50x11 in any way limits you.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:52 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I responded exactly to what you said. And showed that a 50/34 crank, with a sustained cadence below 100 rpm, 90 rpm to be exact is worth 33mph, and not a limiting factor.


The wattage to maintain 33 mph would be a much greater limiter.


I've yet to see any explanation how a top gear of 50x11 in any way limits you.
How about in a paceline on a slight downhill?
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Old 03-22-17, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dgodave View Post
How about in a paceline on a slight downhill?


given that you can do 33mph at 90 rpm, close to 37 mph at 100 rpm, if you're in a pace line going 37mph downhill, you're going to be getting enough draft that your issue is going to be slowing down enough not to over run the wheel in front of you not spinning out.
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Old 03-22-17, 02:57 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I've yet to see any explanation how a top gear of 50x11 in any way limits you.
I'm curious to find out how limiting it is as well.

I run a 42 (1x) chainring with 11-42 in the back on my gravel bike and don't feel limited.

I guess if I wanted to sprint down a 10% or greater decline, I might spin out and be limited, but I don't really have the urge to do that.
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Old 03-22-17, 03:14 PM
  #35  
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In my experience on spirited group rides, cassette spacing [typical of gravel bikes] can feel like a limiting factor. The ~17% jumps between teeth on a 9-speed 11-32 or 10-speed 11-36 or 11-speed 11-42 feel huge compared to the ~9% jumps on a "road cassette". Otherwise, road tires is all it takes to turn a gravel or cyclocross bike back into a road bike. I think it makes good sense to have two wheelsets for one split-personality bike.
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Old 03-22-17, 03:41 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
I'm curious to find out how limiting it is as well.

I run a 42 (1x) chainring with 11-42 in the back on my gravel bike and don't feel limited.

I guess if I wanted to sprint down a 10% or greater decline, I might spin out and be limited, but I don't really have the urge to do that.


Even if you want to sprint down 10% grades, in a 50x11 you hit a speed where it becomes more efficient to tuck before you spin out, so the 50x11 doesn't hold you back vs a 53x11.


Spin it up quick at the top of the hill, tuck, and use momentum and gravity.
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Old 03-22-17, 07:28 PM
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I've run a 42x16 single speed in a hard road ride. I draft going down hill, and don't sprint off the front going down. No problem at any speed over 15mph.
(Ok, I pedal doing 38mph down hill once, but that was about 180rpm, and not something I would want to do every day.)

Tight gearing does make a difference. I have tight gearing on my road wheel with slicks, and wider spaced gearing with my 40c tires.
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Old 03-24-17, 08:44 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
That would be a Specialized diverge A1 Sport 2016
So did you buy it?
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Old 03-24-17, 10:25 AM
  #39  
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There is a ton of current information indicating wider tires will not slow you down appreciably, if at all (start with Jan Heine's blog and go from there). If you're looking to maximize pave speed, stick to a supple, high TPI tire with a file tread -- don't just ride your 500 gram 40c gravel tires.

The physics get complicated, but you're trying to balance rolling resistance, aerodynamic drag, suspension losses, gyroscopic forces and more. Unless you're racing, the biggest limiter is between your ears. We've heard skinnier tires are faster but the data don't seem to support this. Although you might be slower on your gravel bike compared to your roadie, the speed losses will probably be due more to increased aerodynamic drag (higher bars? wider bars?) than to increased rolling resistance. Not worth getting hung up on the physics IMO.

By the way, don't limit yourself to 25s or 28s. Live a little and try a 32 or even a 35 (Bon Jon Pass tubeless, anyone?).
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Old 03-27-17, 09:42 PM
  #40  
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Adventure/Gravel Road Bikes are essentially endurance road bikes built around wider tires and a more relaxed and stable form than a race road bike.

You don't even need to change the tires and you still roll fast. Keep in mind its a multi-use bike.
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Old 03-28-17, 11:12 AM
  #41  
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Slicks with high thread count casings, roll with less resistance..
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Old 04-23-18, 08:13 PM
  #42  
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I recently upgraded to a Trek Crossrip 2 from a Dual Sport 8.3. I'm not into mountain biking but can't bring my self to own a bike as limited as a traditional roadie. I've felt that the speed and handling is good and an improvement over the DS.

I recently took a ride with a group of guys all with road bikes and clipless pedals. I have regular flat pedals. They all seemed comfortable throughout a 32mi ride at about 15mph average. By 18mi my quads were spent. The question is would clipless pedals help to keep up or is this just how a gravel grinder stacks up to a road?
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Old 04-23-18, 08:26 PM
  #43  
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If you're having trouble 18 miles into a ride that is averaging 15 miles per hour that's probably a training issue more than anything else. IME clipless helps the most when there's a lot of elevation or sprinting but doesn't seem to matter much when it's flat.
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Old 04-23-18, 08:43 PM
  #44  
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I'd agree, more fitness and training over equipment.
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Old 04-24-18, 10:41 AM
  #45  
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My gravel bike is my road bike. I use 38mm Compass Barlow Pass file cut tires on the paved road and hard pack limestone / gravel roads. I can run with my roadie friends around 18-20 mph for 60+ miles. I did my first century ride on this set up and stayed with the B group. A month and a half later I had a blast on a big gravel grinder using the same set up. All I did was lower the air pressure and go! Both rides were a blast and doing it on the same bike without switching tires around was kind of cool. Could I have used a better set up? Probably, but I just want to ride, explore and have fun!

Take care,
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Old 04-24-18, 12:05 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ljkimmel View Post
I recently upgraded to a Trek Crossrip 2 from a Dual Sport 8.3. I'm not into mountain biking but can't bring my self to own a bike as limited as a traditional roadie. I've felt that the speed and handling is good and an improvement over the DS.

I recently took a ride with a group of guys all with road bikes and clipless pedals. I have regular flat pedals. They all seemed comfortable throughout a 32mi ride at about 15mph average. By 18mi my quads were spent. The question is would clipless pedals help to keep up or is this just how a gravel grinder stacks up to a road?
Fitness will make a bigger difference than equipment.
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Old 04-24-18, 12:38 PM
  #47  
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those guys ^^^ have never ridden a trek crossrip for more than 20 miles.
When pushed, the crossrip will leave you hurting.

I swapped wheels/tires and gearing and it is still a watt sucking black hole. Crossrip is currently set up as a commuter

When I ride Scioto trails I take my 29er hardtail.

not all equipment is equal. yes fitness makes bad equipment not as bad, but a crap bike will always be a crap bike.
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Old 04-25-18, 07:56 AM
  #48  
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I like 50/34 compact cranks and they work well for me. I have 3 of them... 2 on road bikes and 1 on a gravel bike.
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Old 04-25-18, 03:38 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ljkimmel View Post
I recently upgraded to a Trek Crossrip 2 from a Dual Sport 8.3. I'm not into mountain biking but can't bring my self to own a bike as limited as a traditional roadie. I've felt that the speed and handling is good and an improvement over the DS.

I recently took a ride with a group of guys all with road bikes and clipless pedals. I have regular flat pedals. They all seemed comfortable throughout a 32mi ride at about 15mph average. By 18mi my quads were spent. The question is would clipless pedals help to keep up or is this just how a gravel grinder stacks up to a road?
My gravel grinder is as fast as a road bike. To some degree it depends on the tires, but the bike (an its rider) can do 15mph all day long (literally).

I did a time trial once, and when I learned how to smoothly pedal in a full circle (rather than just mashing it with my thighs) I was about 10% faster. Technically I wouldn't need clipless to do this, but if you can spin smoothly at 100rpm you'll be efficient. Clipless pedals help a lot with that, but aren't required. Think of it this way - if you are pushing down with each pedal stroke, each downward push has to lift the other leg back up. That isn't going to be efficient.

Mostly its about being in shape and making sure you are properly fueled.

I guess you could watch this and tell us what it says:
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Old 04-25-18, 10:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
My gravel grinder is as fast as a road bike. To some degree it depends on the tires, but the bike (an its rider) can do 15mph all day long (literally).
15 on a road bike all day is uhhh slow. start riding faster and you'll start seeing a difference between your gravel bike and your road bike. unless your road bike happens to be a retro grouch road bike.
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