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What did you just buy for your gravel 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.

What did you just buy for your gravel bike?

Old 07-05-23, 08:19 PM
  #1126  
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
You're making me feel bad! My gravel bike has 32T in front and a 9-46T in back on the 650b wheelset. And believe me - I use every single one of those gears! (for some rides I swap to a set of 700c wheels with 36T front and 9-39 in back). Guess it also depends where you live. Most of my rides involve long climbs (and weak legs)
In my 20ís, before gravel was a thing, my road bike had 53/39 and I usually road an 11/23. I had an extra 12/25 for the mountains. I lived in Colorado, these werenít puny climbs. I tried and sold a 12-27 because it felt too low.

20+ years later, a job, kids, and a chronic illness, I canít believe I used to do that. My road bike is 50/34 x 12-30 and Iíd go a little lower but itís Campy 10s and thatís as low as I can go. My mountain bike is 32 x 10-52 and itís just about right. My gravel bike is now 38 x 10-44 (13s) and Iím feeling good, but my mood changes fast. Central Oregon has plenty to climb. Possibly steeper than Colorado but not nearly as long.

I try not to ride gravel at 3mph, so these gears are fine. Lately if it feels too much like a mountain bike ride, I come back with my mountain bike.
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Old 07-06-23, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts
In my 20ís, before gravel was a thing, my road bike had 53/39 and I usually road an 11/23. I had an extra 12/25 for the mountains. I lived in Colorado, these werenít puny climbs. I tried and sold a 12-27 because it felt too low.

20+ years later, a job, kids, and a chronic illness, I canít believe I used to do that. My road bike is 50/34 x 12-30 and Iíd go a little lower but itís Campy 10s and thatís as low as I can go. My mountain bike is 32 x 10-52 and itís just about right. My gravel bike is now 38 x 10-44 (13s) and Iím feeling good, but my mood changes fast. Central Oregon has plenty to climb. Possibly steeper than Colorado but not nearly as long.

I try not to ride gravel at 3mph, so these gears are fine. Lately if it feels too much like a mountain bike ride, I come back with my mountain bike.
I hear you. My first real road bike was 52/42 in front and 11/23 rear. I have no idea how I rode hills with that thing. My current road bike is 50/34 and 11/32. Most of the dirt around here (west side of LA) is fire roads that are not that much fun on a MTB, but still lots of long climbs. Plus I ride pavement to get there.
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Old 07-07-23, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia
I hear you. My first real road bike was 52/42 in front and 11/23 rear. I have no idea how I rode hills with that thing. My current road bike is 50/34 and 11/32. Most of the dirt around here (west side of LA) is fire roads that are not that much fun on a MTB, but still lots of long climbs. Plus I ride pavement to get there.
back in the early 90ís when I got into road riding I installed 12-28 MTB cassettes on my 7 speed and 8 speed road bikes ... so I had 39-28 ... 38-28 on one bike

( M900 XTR 12-28 8 speed cassette was a great swap - actually weighed less than a 12-23 8 speed cassette )

at the time this was not universally accepted by many in the area road group - but I received a sorta / kinda confirmation after watching the Thrift Drug Classic pro road races held in Pittsburgh

the first year more than half the field did not finish - many if not most that did not finish were not geared properly

the next years many of the pro racers were using 12-28 cassettes - including the Motorola team ... (including Lance Armstrong etc)
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Old 07-07-23, 01:03 AM
  #1129  
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Originally Posted by tyrion
FD-M900 - XTR, living the high life.
like a fine wine - original M900 XTR just keeps getting / looking better and better

Last edited by t2p; 07-07-23 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:37 AM
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I recently swapped my components from my alloy gravel bike to my old carbon frame I was originally using for road (since then I've upgraded to a dedicated road frame):


I also installed a Microshift 11-48t alloy spider 10 speed cassette paired to my GRX 400 10 speed shifters running on a 1x 40t chainring:


I think my favorite aspect is this AS Solutions post-to-flat mount adapter allowing me to run GRX calipers. I picked up a flat mount carbon gravel fork for the full conversion:
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Old 07-29-23, 10:11 AM
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double sweet lookin ride jonathanf2

appears you have IceTech/Freeza rotors ... what brake pads are you using ?
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Old 07-30-23, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
double sweet lookin ride jonathanf2

appears you have IceTech/Freeza rotors ... what brake pads are you using ?
They're LTwoo "eggroll" finned brake pads. The heat dissipation on these pads are quite good and so is the pad wear. The only issue I have though is that it's harder to access the upper caliper bolt on the fork (but still doable with a hex wrench with a ball end). Other than that, I'm totally sold on the performance for steep descents and stopping power. It's on the downhill where I think the fins make a difference.
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Old 08-06-23, 08:18 PM
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I'm reporting back on 2 upgrades, now that I've been on a few rides:

Cane Creek eeSilk shock stem: I thought my previous stem was too long, so I was shopping for a shorter stem and decided to try a shock stem. I chose the Cane Creek for two reasons: (1) you can swap elastomers without removing the stem; and (2) there is a quasi-lockout switch that firms up the stem when you don't need the shock feature. I was a bit worried I wouldn't like it on the road or climbing because I had a really nice carbon stem before. But it works great. I don't notice any bobbing or additional weight or other ill effects on the road. On descents, the shock really helps save my wrists. I would definitely recommend.

Hope RX4+ Brake Calipers: I was extremely unhappy with my SRAM Rival brakes. They lost pressure on long rides and had very little braking power. My hands would get cramped up on long descents. Today I rode a 5 mile mostly dirt downhill, and it was a big improvement. The stopping power is much better, and the modulation is great. However, I still need to do more tinkering. The front brake still squeals and doesn't feel as strong as the rear. But I think once I get it dialed in, it will be worthwhile.
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Old 08-09-23, 12:18 PM
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Garmin Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 Bundle.
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Old 08-09-23, 12:22 PM
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New Reserve (Santa Cruz) 650b carbon wheels for my wife's gravel bike, along with some Rene Herse Pumpkin Ridge endurance tires:

PSA: 650b gravel Reserve wheels 50% off
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Old 08-23-23, 06:59 AM
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Tubeless 45mm carbon rims. Hoping to be able to drop the tire pressure and ride with more comfort and little punctures.
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Old 10-20-23, 04:56 AM
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Wow, no one has bought anything notable for almost 2 months!? I have been looking for a new gravel specific handlebar, and finally found one with compound flares at a deal ($93) I could not pass up.

3T Aeroghiaia LTD Gravel Handlebar Black 42cm | Wiggle
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Old 10-20-23, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Wow, no one has bought anything notable for almost 2 months!? I have been looking for a new gravel specific handlebar, and finally found one with compound flares at a deal ($93) I could not pass up.

3T Aeroghiaia LTD Gravel Handlebar Black 42cm | Wiggle
Wow, that's a ridiculous deal...
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Old 10-21-23, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild
Wow, that's a ridiculous deal...
Well, thank you. They are about to go out of business, so it may be a black friday fire sale.
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Old 11-08-23, 11:16 AM
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Lately I've missed my higher gearing and I found the 1x chain line just wasn't great. I've also perfected my FD tuning on my road bikes, plus I've started to immersive wax my chains. I figure it was time to revisit 2x again!

I'm running a GRX 812 1x RD in 2x configuration with aftermarket steel bearing jockey wheels, a GRX 400 FD + Venzo braze-on clamp, Shimano 11-36t XT 10 speed cassette and GRX 400 shifters. I was able to offset the weight gain of 2x by going with a carbon crankset and direct mount 46-30t chainring. Plus I dropped about 60-70g going from an 11-48t to an 11-36t cassette.


Last edited by jonathanf2; 11-08-23 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 11-08-23, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Wow, no one has bought anything notable for almost 2 months!?
Haha yes well, it actually has been a quiet time with very few parcels dropping into my mailbox.

I haven't had to buy anything for a while as my gravel bike is pretty dialled now. I really must find something on it to upgrade! 😁
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Old 11-08-23, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
Haha yes well, it actually has been a quiet time with very few parcels dropping into my mailbox.

I haven't had to buy anything for a while as my gravel bike is pretty dialled now. I really must find something on it to upgrade! 😁
You know you can just buy spare components, right?
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Old 11-08-23, 08:34 PM
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Good shout. Going online shopping for a new cassette now... 😂
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Old 11-09-23, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
Lately I've missed my higher gearing and I found the 1x chain line just wasn't great. I've also perfected my FD tuning on my road bikes, plus I've started to immersive wax my chains. I figure it was time to revisit 2x again!

I'm running a GRX 812 1x RD in 2x configuration with aftermarket steel bearing jockey wheels, a GRX 400 FD + Venzo braze-on clamp, Shimano 11-36t XT 10 speed cassette and GRX 400 shifters. I was able to offset the weight gain of 2x by going with a carbon crankset and direct mount 46-30t chainring. Plus I dropped about 60-70g going from an 11-48t to an 11-36t cassette.
I take it back, the GRX812 RD isn't good for 2x! Lol

I realized the GRX812 RD doesn't work well based on the distance of the cage to the cassette in the big chainring. You can only adjust it closely for the small chainring. On the big ring, there's too much distance. So for now I put back my old GRX400 RD on the bike. It works well, but my only dislike with this RD is that it's so darn heavy at 310g. Compared to an Ultegra RX800 clutched RD (249) is 61g heavier or an R8000 RD (198g), a 112g difference!
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Old 11-09-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
I take it back, the GRX812 RD isn't good for 2x! Lol

I realized the GRX812 RD doesn't work well based on the distance of the cage to the cassette in the big chainring. You can only adjust it closely for the small chainring. On the big ring, there's too much distance.
So how is the RD not working well while riding in the big chain ring? Slow shifts? Missed shifts?
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Old 11-09-23, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
So how is the RD not working well while riding in the big chain ring? Slow shifts? Missed shifts?
For the most part it shifts fine, but I was comparing it to my road bike with a "budget" 105 R7000 RD and the difference in quick shifting is much more noticeable with the ability to get the cage right by the cassette. The GRX400 RD works great too especially since it's clutched, but I find it somewhat ugly and heavy at 310g. Plus I was planning to gift that RD to a family member!
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Old 11-09-23, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
For the most part it shifts fine, but I was comparing it to my road bike with a "budget" 105 R7000 RD and the difference in quick shifting is much more noticeable with the ability to get the cage right by the cassette. The GRX400 RD works great too especially since it's clutched, but I find it somewhat ugly and heavy at 310g. Plus I was planning to gift that RD to a family member!
Yeah, that is why I plan to switch to short cage RDs on my road bikes.
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Old 11-09-23, 05:24 PM
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New frame ordered!

I've been doing fine with the sub-40mm limit on my current gravel frame, but I've been looking to make a change to something that allows me to run 40-45s. Trek Checkpoint, Lauf Siegla Rigid, Ventum GS1, and Niner RLT 9 RDO have been the ones primarily on my radar. I don't think there's a bad choice to be made among those, but to keep it in my price range (sub-$2k), the Trek and Ventum would have to be used, and the Lauf bumps against my limits. The Niner has been available at $1500 (new), but they seem to be clearing inventory, and they aren't going to be around much longer. Today, a retailer posted an additional 15% discount for the Niner, and I pulled the trigger. With the exception of the BB, everything from my current bike should move easily to the new frame.
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Old 11-09-23, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
For the most part it shifts fine, but I was comparing it to my road bike with a "budget" 105 R7000 RD and the difference in quick shifting is much more noticeable with the ability to get the cage right by the cassette. The GRX400u RD works great too especially since it's clutched, but I find it somewhat ugly and heavy at 310g. Plus I was planning to gift that RD to a family member!


have a R8000 RD and M980 11-34 (10 spd) cassette on my Topstone and a mishmash / hodgepodge of other components

shifts great - one of the best shifting bikes I own

R8000 RD is rated for 34t max - but might work with 36t ?

( the R8000 RD weighed 206 g on my scale )
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Old 11-09-23, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
have a R8000 RD and M980 11-34 (10 spd) cassette on my Topstone and a mishmash / hodgepodge of other components

shifts great - one of the best shifting bikes I own

R8000 RD is rated for 34t max - but might work with 36t ?

( the R8000 RD weighed 206 g on my scale )
I'm thinking about the Ultegra RX800 RD. It's also rated for max 34t, but I've used a 105 R7000 RD on a 46:30t chainring and 11-36t cassette and it worked fine. I just want access to a clutch since I'm able to fine tune tension to my liking. It's a bit less burlier than the GRX810 RD, but I kind of prefer the road aesthetics of the RX800 RD.
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