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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 Project

Old 09-14-17, 10:04 AM
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Gravel Bike Project

Hi all,

I'm about to build up an inexpensive gravel bike. I've got a Miyata 610 as the foundation and a well loved 105 group that I'm intending to use (I don't know generation but it's from 2003 and is a brifter set up).

I need some wheels and in the spirit of keeping costs low have found a set of Bontrager AT 750s. Seller wants $80. Understanding that these are not cutting edge stuff, am I way off base in using them in this capacity? Or should I keep looking / expand my budget?
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Old 09-14-17, 10:44 AM
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do the wheels fit the bike?
do the tires you want to use fit the wheels and the bike?
if yes and yes, then go for it.
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Old 09-14-17, 01:55 PM
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Gravel wheels/tires must be tubeless, and those are not cheap. I have gotten some oldish bontrager TLR (tubeless road) off of craigslist that work well with tubeless tires.

I like your project. What size tires can you use?
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Old 09-14-17, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Hi all,

I'm about to build up an inexpensive gravel bike. I've got a Miyata 610 as the foundation and a well loved 105 group that I'm intending to use (I don't know generation but it's from 2003 and is a brifter set up).

I need some wheels and in the spirit of keeping costs low have found a set of Bontrager AT 750s. Seller wants $80. Understanding that these are not cutting edge stuff, am I way off base in using them in this capacity? Or should I keep looking / expand my budget?
The 610, what size wheels does it have?
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Old 09-15-17, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
The 610, what size wheels does it have?
The 610 has 27" wheels now. Spokes have some corrosion on them (seems strange to me, rest of bike has no rust or corrosion). My motivation on changing to a 700 is to address the spoke issue (without rebuilding the wheel myself), gain the 4mm in clearance to run a larger tire (I'm undecided on tire at this point) as well as gain tire options.

Do I really need tubeless tires?
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Old 09-15-17, 07:40 AM
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Also, this is my first real end to end build. Any pitfalls to watch out for? I know the hub spacing thing (planning on the cold set). It's the first time I've ever done bottom bracket / crank work, anything there, or is it as simple as getting the right bb (which I've not researched yet).
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Old 09-15-17, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
The 610 has 27" wheels now. Spokes have some corrosion on them (seems strange to me, rest of bike has no rust or corrosion). My motivation on changing to a 700 is to address the spoke issue (without rebuilding the wheel myself), gain the 4mm in clearance to run a larger tire (I'm undecided on tire at this point) as well as gain tire options.

Do I really need tubeless tires?
No you dont need tubeless tires. I do tons of gravel riding on regular tubes. There may be advantages to them?

The 610 has cantilever brakes right? Will those align to 700c wheels?
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Old 09-15-17, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by dgodave

The 610 has cantilever brakes right?
This. Big problem.
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Old 09-15-17, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
No you dont need tubeless tires. I do tons of gravel riding on regular tubes. There may be advantages to them?

The 610 has cantilever brakes right? Will those align to 700c wheels?
Yes cantis, haven't lined them up yet, but crossing fingers. I'll grab a wheel off my wife's bike and check, but I assumed they would.
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Old 09-15-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Yes cantis, haven't lined them up yet, but crossing fingers. I'll grab a wheel off my wife's bike and check, but I assumed they would.
I did a 27"-700c conversion, on a Trek 620 incidentally, that became my gravel-bike for a couple years. It had caliper brakes tho which I changed to long-reach.
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Old 09-15-17, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58
Gravel wheels/tires must be tubeless, and those are not cheap.
wat

Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Do I really need tubeless tires?
of course not. its a shame anyone even suggest this as a need/requirement in a thread where genuine advice is being asked for.
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Old 09-15-17, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
wat


of course not. its a shame anyone even suggest this as a need/requirement in a thread where genuine advice is being asked for.
Didn't think so...
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Old 09-15-17, 02:15 PM
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Obviously they don't literally have to be tubeless. I have done it, but tubes have significant drawbacks on gravel:

With tubes I have to run much higher pressure (maybe twice as high), and have a serious deterioration in traction and ride quality
With tubes I'm going to get a pinchflat sooner or later.

So yes, if you are getting wheels, do yourself a favor and get some that are tubeless compatible. That way you have a choice.

That is a cool project, you are going to have fun. switching to 700c is going to get you extra clearance as you note, and that is a big plus!!!
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Old 09-15-17, 03:08 PM
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This is all hinging on that fact that his cantilevers will work with 700c. I'm very very skeptical they will.
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Old 09-15-17, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota
This is all hinging on that fact that his cantilevers will work with 700c. I'm very very skeptical they will.
I just threw a 700 from my wife's bike on the front. No problem adjusting the canti down the 4mm.

Why the skepticism? Is this a big adjustment?
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Old 09-15-17, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Why the skepticism? Is this a big adjustment?
Vertical adjustment is often problematic with cantis. Depends on how the pads mount to the brake arms, though.
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Old 09-15-17, 05:10 PM
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Yeah, now I'm 2nd guessing. Front was ok, but I'm gonna check rear too. And, I was going to use a set of brakes that aren't the ones currently on the bike (I have a set of Deore on a mountain bike donor that are newer.

Might start the build before I source the wheels to remove any doubt.
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Old 09-15-17, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Yeah, now I'm 2nd guessing. Front was ok, but I'm gonna check rear too. And, I was going to use a set of brakes that aren't the ones currently on the bike (I have a set of Deore on a mountain bike donor that are newer.

Might start the build before I source the wheels to remove any doubt.
Some 80s canti posts were set narrower than they are now. That is often 1 issue, but using general period correct cantis solves it.
Some cantis have a lot of adjustible play and some dont. Thats the other issue. Even those thst do have height adjustment, it sometimes just results in canti brakes that pivot at too steep an angle.

But then there are examples of it workong, so there is that.
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Old 09-15-17, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58
Obviously they don't literally have to be tubeless. I have done it, but tubes have significant drawbacks on gravel:

With tubes I have to run much higher pressure (maybe twice as high), and have a serious deterioration in traction and ride quality
With tubes I'm going to get a pinchflat sooner or later.
1- sorry, i didnt think it was obvious, so i mentioned it isnt actually necessary.
2- while tubeless is perhaps ideal to you, it neednt be a deal killer to get out and enjoy gravel riding.
3- you need to pump the tires up 2x as much with tubes? I am 230# and ride 40mm tires at 50-60psi. I have no interest in riding them down at 25psi. I would be skeptical of any claim that 25psi is more enjoyable for comfort, better for speed, or better for handling. 50-60psi already compresses plenty for good traction, suspension, and low rolling resistance over the surface instead of deflection.
- i have yet to pop a tube in i dont know how many miles of gravel riding. Loose gravel, hardpack, washboard, crushed limestone, etc etc. Each county around me jas different maintenance and sources dufferent gravel- so basically a lot of different surfaces, but no flats while still comfortable with the psi. Sure, a flat will happen eventually- oh well- ill take a 5min break and then get back to riding.

Just doesnt seem like such a critical want for gravel riding, much less an actual need to even get started.
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Old 09-15-17, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Even those thst do have height adjustment, it sometimes just results in canti brakes that pivot at too steep an angle.
Meaning they don't get good pressure on the breaking surface of the rim?
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Old 09-15-17, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay.Money
Meaning they don't get good pressure on the breaking surface of the rim?
Sorta- at least in the 1 example ive seen, not all the pad touched the rim due to the angle of the pads. The bike still stopped, but it wasnt flush even contact.
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Old 09-15-17, 10:30 PM
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I bought a gravel bike in January.... which makes me in no-way, any kind of expert.

My gravel bike came with rims that could be used tubeless. But the (stock) tires (35's) are not rated for tubeless. I have tubes. The bike came with mechanical non-hydraulic disc brakes.

To me... IMHO (only)... the bigger not too knobby tires are the number one most important feature. But 28's would likely be fine. Number two... is being able to stop those big tires. The number three... best most useful part of a gravel bike.... is it is a road bike. I like the road bike geometry.

So... IMHO.... any road bike that can be configured with decent 28's (or slightly bigger) tires, and the brakes (of any style) can stop the wheels..... you've got a winter.

I took my gravel bike out for a rain ride the other day. Knowing those big tires weren't going to slip out from under me on the wet newly paved (slippery) road... felt great. And knowing I could control (and even stop) the bike on rainy descents allowed the ride to be even more fun. I was comfortable and confident because of the bicycles configuration and accessories.
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