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.

Bike recomendation

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Old 02-17-18, 07:54 PM
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wunderchicken
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Bike recomendation

Hey all,

I currently ride a 2014 Crossrip (specs below). I commute to work on it 2-3 times a week; the round trip is about 16 miles (I drive half way to work to keep the bike ride reasonable). I also ride our local greenways / park trails about 1-2 times. These trails vary from nice pavement, terrible pavement, wide hard packed dirt / paver mix and a little gravel here and there.

I am looking to upgrade and wanted to hear other folks opinions. My requirements are:
- Better braking. Between my Crossrip's cantilever brakes with inline brake levers I cannot stop from the hoods when people pull out in front of me while commuting. To get enough stopping power, I have to shift my hand position to the inline brake levers to be ready for danger spots on my commute.
- Must have rear rack mounts for my commute.
- Upgrade in components from Claris to around 105; I don't care about this as much but I wanted to try gearing with less jumps in teeth

I started at my LBS and was shown the Specialized Sequoia and Specialized Diverge Comp. Both had hydraulic disc brakes and I could stop from the hoods with ease. Both also had holes drilled for a rear rack mount and I think I'd need a special collar on the seat post. The Sequoia rode super smooth but felt slow. I absolutely LOVED the Diverge Comp. It rode a lot smoother than my Crossrip but also felt really fast.

I plan on checking out other bike shops around here to see what other brands have to offer and get more opinions but I wanted to hear what folks on here thought.

Thanks!

Trek Crossrip 2014:
Shifters: Shimano Claris STI, 8 speed
Front derailleur / rear defailleur: Shimano Claris
Crank: FSA Vero, 50/39/30 (triple)
Cassette: SRAM PG-830 11-32, 8 speed
Brakeset: Tektro Oryx 992A cantilever brakes w/Tektro alloy bar-top levers
Tires: 700x35
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Old 02-17-18, 09:43 PM
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I commute on a Niner RLT. I was able to mount a rack for rear panniers to the single bolt mount on the brace. It has held up for several week long bike packing trips as well as several years now of commuting. Hydro disc brakes are awesome.
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Old 02-17-18, 10:16 PM
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wunderchicken
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The Niner RLT looks interesting. I'd never even heard of the brand but there are a lot of LBS nearby that carry them. What model do you have (I like the simple 2, 3, 4 star system)?
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Old 02-18-18, 03:36 AM
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That Diverge Comp is around a three grand bike? May as well throw the 2018 Jamis Renegade Expert in the mix.
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Old 02-18-18, 07:18 AM
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The Specialized Diverge Comp is $3000.

The Jamis Renegede Expert looks to be in my house with hyrdaulic brakes, 105 groupset and a bigger focus on the rack / fender mounts.
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Old 02-18-18, 10:11 AM
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What is your budget? We'll do a great job spending all of your discretionary income, if you let us.
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Old 02-18-18, 12:37 PM
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$3000 is about as much as I want to spend on the bike. I already have all the other studf I need: paniers and rack, garmin, cadence and speed sensors, roof rack, helmet, etc.

Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
What is your budget? We'll do a great job spending all of your discretionary income, if you let us.
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Old 02-18-18, 01:36 PM
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The Diverge is a great bike. I've had the 2018 'expert' $4k version for a little over a month with several hundred gravel/dirt/pavement miles. Smooth and capable with those 38 tires over some rocky trails as well. I can feel the future shock soak up a lot of bumps and after 78 miles and 5k climb on mixed surface yesterday, not too terribly beat up.

The Comp is also nicely equipped, but went with the SRAM 'expert' for better off-road experience with positive (no side to side lever action) braking and also prefer the bigger shift steps of 1x crank for dirt trails.
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Old 02-19-18, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
The Diverge is a great bike. I've had the 2018 'expert' $4k version for a little over a month with several hundred gravel/dirt/pavement miles. Smooth and capable with those 38 tires over some rocky trails as well. I can feel the future shock soak up a lot of bumps and after 78 miles and 5k climb on mixed surface yesterday, not too terribly beat up.

The Comp is also nicely equipped, but went with the SRAM 'expert' for better off-road experience with positive (no side to side lever action) braking and also prefer the bigger shift steps of 1x crank for dirt trails.
The LBS showed me the Expert Diverge but I wasn't sure what the single chainwheel accomplished. When you say no side lever action - do you mean that the left shifter is only a brake and when you grab it, you're getting all break and no shifter movement?
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Old 02-19-18, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderchicken View Post
The LBS showed me the Expert Diverge but I wasn't sure what the single chainwheel accomplished. When you say no side lever action - do you mean that the left shifter is only a brake and when you grab it, you're getting all break and no shifter movement?
On the Diverge Expert with SRAM double tap, both levers only move front to back and not side to side like Shimano shifters. When you want solid braking in tricky undulating terrain, the confidence of single axis movement is nice.

As for 1x (no crank shifter) vs 2x... For trails, my speed varies quickly and a regular 2x setup would almost always require a lot of double shifts to get the right gear. Not to mention occasional front shifts to prevent cross chaining.

For the road, a 2x with smaller steps is great, and I have that on the road bike, but my Diverge sees at least 50% gravel and dirt for a given ride and that 1x setup with bigger steps is perfect.

I also swapped out the 42t for a 38t front chainring for better climbing and gave up little on the fast end.

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Old 02-19-18, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderchicken View Post
The Niner RLT looks interesting. I'd never even heard of the brand but there are a lot of LBS nearby that carry them. What model do you have (I like the simple 2, 3, 4 star system)?
Niner is a high-end frame and the steel is really nice.

This would be a significant purchase but you are not getting a cheap bike.

This is something you will have for years, ride the heck out of and can upgrade as needed.


-Tim-
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Old 02-19-18, 08:31 PM
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I have a Niner RLT with Sram Force. It was the first round of bike and came with cable disc brakes due to SRAMs recall. I upgraded to hydro after a couple of years and a couple of thousand miles. It is similar to the two star version now.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
On the Diverge Expert with SRAM double tap, both levers only move front to back and not side to side like Shimano shifters. When you want solid braking in tricky undulating terrain, the confidence of single axis movement is nice.

As for 1x (no crank shifter) vs 2x... For trails, my speed varies quickly and a regular 2x setup would almost always require a lot of double shifts to get the right gear. Not to mention occasional front shifts to prevent cross chaining.

For the road, a 2x with smaller steps is great, and I have that on the road bike, but my Diverge sees at least 50% gravel and dirt for a given ride and that 1x setup with bigger steps is perfect.

I also swapped out the 42t for a 38t front chainring for better climbing and gave up little on the fast end.
Thanks - the 1x makes more sense now. The LBS was pretty vague when I asked why I'd want a single crank and kind of just said "go with what you're familiar with".

I think I will ride more paved trails and road so the 2x makes more sense to me.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:51 PM
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Hit the Trek LBS today and they put a Domane SL 5 gravel disc in front of me. It was carbon, 105 groupset, hydro brakes. It was fun to ride but sadly, no rack mounts.

They ended up suggesting I get another Crossrip (the level 3) with a carbon fork, 105 groupset and hydro brakes. They did not have any on the floor but I guess I should check it out.
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Old 02-21-18, 08:50 AM
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I like my Trek Domane road bike, and sadly, when I asked trek about their gravel bikes at the local trek store, the tire clearances were nothing like the specialized diverge carbon, so I went with the Diverge. Maybe next year they will increase clearance like specialized did with the Diverge for 2018.
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Old 02-21-18, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
The Diverge is a great bike. I've had the 2018 'expert' $4k version for a little over a month with several hundred gravel/dirt/pavement miles. Smooth and capable with those 38 tires over some rocky trails as well. I can feel the future shock soak up a lot of bumps and after 78 miles and 5k climb on mixed surface yesterday, not too terribly beat up.

The Comp is also nicely equipped, but went with the SRAM 'expert' for better off-road experience with positive (no side to side lever action) braking and also prefer the bigger shift steps of 1x crank for dirt trails.
So I'm planning on getting the Diverge Sport Carbon and was wondering about the best $$$ value/cost trade-off on initial upgrades. That OEM Wheel-set has to go as they're boat-anchors. Also I'm unsure of the group set; FD, RD, shifters and cable Disc calipers. I'm thinking get a nice ~1500-1600 gram wheel-set and see how the rest works out. Maybe even add a COBL GOBL-R (cobble gobbler) seat-post. Ultimately I'd like to go Ultegra, but that might have to wait until further down the road.
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Old 02-21-18, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
I like my Trek Domane road bike, and sadly, when I asked trek about their gravel bikes at the local trek store, the tire clearances were nothing like the specialized diverge carbon, so I went with the Diverge. Maybe next year they will increase clearance like specialized did with the Diverge for 2018.
Trek is releasing a new gravel bike today.
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Old 02-21-18, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderchicken View Post
Thanks - the 1x makes more sense now. The LBS was pretty vague when I asked why I'd want a single crank and kind of just said "go with what you're familiar with".

I think I will ride more paved trails and road so the 2x makes more sense to me.
I agonized over 1x vs 2x for a while.

I finally came to the conclusion if I am doing a lot of road miles and group rides I need 2x (both for the speed range, and for the tight gear jumps).

If I am using it as a dedicated gravel (or even CX) bike that doesn't need the top end or the tight gearing - 1x is fine for me.

1x was designed for mountain bikes where the derailer interfered with the dual suspension and constrained the seat tube design. None of that matters to a gravel/CX bike, but it has become the current fashion.

FYI - Niner is well known in the mountain bike world. They make great stuff.

I saw a good video on them. Guy bought a RLT (Steel), and didn't particuarly like it, then bought an RLT RDO (carbon) and fell in love. There is a big weight difference between the two.
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Old 02-21-18, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RideMyLeMond View Post
So I'm planning on getting the Diverge Sport Carbon and was wondering about the best $$$ value/cost trade-off on initial upgrades. That OEM Wheel-set has to go as they're boat-anchors. Also I'm unsure of the group set; FD, RD, shifters and cable Disc calipers. I'm thinking get a nice ~1500-1600 gram wheel-set and see how the rest works out. Maybe even add a COBL GOBL-R (cobble gobbler) seat-post. Ultimately I'd like to go Ultegra, but that might have to wait until further down the road.
Be careful you don't end up spending on upgrades what you would get the higher end bike in the first place.

The CGR post was compared against other posts and actually did not do all that great, might have seen it on a web page or youtube, complete with graphs and measurements. fyi...
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Old 02-21-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Trek is releasing a new gravel bike today.
Cool, link it when you find something on that release, I'd like to check it out.
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Old 02-21-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I agonized over 1x vs 2x for a while.

I finally came to the conclusion if I am doing a lot of road miles and group rides I need 2x (both for the speed range, and for the tight gear jumps).

If I am using it as a dedicated gravel (or even CX) bike that doesn't need the top end or the tight gearing - 1x is fine for me.

1x was designed for mountain bikes where the derailer interfered with the dual suspension and constrained the seat tube design. None of that matters to a gravel/CX bike, but it has become the current fashion.

FYI - Niner is well known in the mountain bike world. They make great stuff.

I saw a good video on them. Guy bought a RLT (Steel), and didn't particuarly like it, then bought an RLT RDO (carbon) and fell in love. There is a big weight difference between the two.
Good conclusion on 2x for majority road miles.

Yeah, that would be this guy Clint: https://www.youtube.com/user/clintg37 I've followed him for a bit as well.
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Old 02-21-18, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
Be careful you don't end up spending on upgrades what you would get the higher end bike in the first place.
My plans for the Diverge are to ride (70/30)% road/gravel and I did a 25 mile test ride on the Diverge Comp and really liked that bike, but wished they offered an Ultegra version. Then I thought that maybe I'd buy the Sport model and upgrade the wheel-set and swap out the Shimano stuff to Ultegra. I'm thinking I could end up 1/2 between the Comp and Expert price wise and have a nice Ultegra 2x based road/gravel machine. I wish they just offered the Expert in either a 1x or 2x version...
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Old 02-23-18, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
Cool, link it when you find something on that release, I'd like to check it out.
Pretty strange, but word is -over on the RidingGravelForum- the bikes are all sold out to Trek employees and their friends

Seeing the first pic, it just looks like a Domane with wider tyres.
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Old 02-26-18, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
The Diverge is a great bike. I've had the 2018 'expert' $4k version for a little over a month with several hundred gravel/dirt/pavement miles. Smooth and capable with those 38 tires over some rocky trails as well. I can feel the future shock soak up a lot of bumps and after 78 miles and 5k climb on mixed surface yesterday, not too terribly beat up.

The Comp is also nicely equipped, but went with the SRAM 'expert' for better off-road experience with positive (no side to side lever action) braking and also prefer the bigger shift steps of 1x crank for dirt trails.
So how are you liking those Roval SLX-24 wheels on your Expert? My upgraded Diverge Sport is all spec'ed out and the parts are all @ my LBS. Just need to get better wheels than those Axis Sport wheels that weight over 2100grams. May have to get some DT-350/HED wheels built up.

I noticed that you're in North SD County, are you familiar with the GravelStoke Group on FB?
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Old 02-27-18, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Trek is releasing a new gravel bike today.
Originally Posted by tyCycler View Post
Cool, link it when you find something on that release, I'd like to check it out.
Release date is actually March 1st, I believe. Its called checkpoint if you want to google it.
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