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Is there a more appropriate bike for my needs than the CAADX?

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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 : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Is there a more appropriate bike for my needs than the CAADX?

Old 06-11-18, 10:33 AM
  #1  
Bob Ross
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Is there a more appropriate bike for my needs than the CAADX?

I posted a similar thread a year or so ago, but now it's official: If I ever want to ride with my wife again I need to get a real gravel bike.

Equally official: My Sachs with 27c tires doesn't qualify as a "real gravel bike" for the kind of off-road riding she's gotten into. (And even 28c won't fit under the Campy brake calipers.)

Fortunately, I'm in the position where a new gravel bike can easily be justified...just so long as it can also replace my commuter bike. Currently using a 1986 Bridgestone 600 with full-coverage SKS fenders for commuting.

So I'm looking for a bike with disc brakes & 11-speed (so I can swap wheels w/ the missus) that has mounts for full-coverage fenders front & back, can take at least a 32c tire with those fenders and 38 or 40 without, and sells for less than $2000.

The Cannondale CAADX 105 SE hits all those bullet points.

(Although admittedly the tire/fender clearance is suspect w/ larger than 28c tires, so I might want to get one 650b wheelset so I don't have to remove the fenders when doing the gnarliest off-road routes.)

Is there anything else in this price range that I should be seriously investigating, or should I save myself a lot of angst/research and just get a CAADX?

Thanks.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:10 AM
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Why not get a real gravel bike?
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Old 06-11-18, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Why not get a real gravel bike?
Why not suggest one?
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Old 06-11-18, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Why not suggest one?
I will, when I know better why you want an aluminum CX bike for gravel riding.

There are tons of gravel bikes with your requirements.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post


I will, when I know better why you want an aluminum CX bike for gravel riding.

There are tons of gravel bikes with your requirements.
Personally I won't ever consider a "gravel bike" again because of the low bottom bracket. Constant irritation, banging my toe on rocks and the ground (I use clips and straps). After trying to learn to love the Diverge for a year, I gave up and bought a Raleigh cross bike and love it.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Why not get a real gravel bike?
because the lugs for fenders, and possibly a rear rack, and it's going to be a double duty as a commuter. So it will probably get ridden 5x more as a commuter, than a gravel bike.

The Cannondale CAAD save frame will be by far the most comfortable AL bike you'll ever ride! my only gripe on it is it being QR. but that is my gripe not every ones gripe. Had it been through axle it would have replaced my (mostly commuter) Trek crossrip.

105, CAAD al, TRP brakes, WTB TCS wheels, big tire clearance, room for fenders too, what's not to love? It's not a superX, but still viable with a lot more utility.

and IGNORE the dissing it being a CX not gravel. Least we remind them that a CX bike male and female both and also Cannondale just won the 2018 DK200 gravel race!

Last edited by Metieval; 06-11-18 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
because he lugs for fenders, and possibly a rear rack, and it's going to be a double duty as a commuter. So it will probably get ridden 5x more as a commuter, than a gravel bike.

The Cannondale CAAD save frame will be by far the most comfortable AL bike you'll ever ride! my only gripe on it is it being QR. but that is my gripe not every ones gripe. Had it been through axle it would have replaced my (mostly commuter) Trek crossrip.
Cant argue with that. Obviously Iím a Cannondale fan and I love my SuperX.

That at being said my Tamland would satisfy his requirements just fine and be way more stable on gravel. I think Cannondale has adjusted the SuperX and CAADX geometries a little recently so maybe they are better on gravel than they used to be.
I will also agree that when it comes to alloy, itís hard to beat a Cannondale.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post


Cant argue with that. Obviously I’m a Cannondale fan and I love my SuperX.

That at being said my Tamland would satisfy his requirements just fine and be way more stable on gravel. I think Cannondale has adjusted the SuperX and CAADX geometries a little recently so maybe they are better on gravel than they used to be.
I will also agree that when it comes to alloy, it’s hard to beat a Cannondale.
the Tamland would be a viable option too. and a heck of a deal on amazon right now, lower than corporate price on the Raleigh site. yet there are some huge differences on geometry there with the Caadx and how they will ride and fit.

for commuting i'd pick the Caadx over Tamland. a bit more nimble for traffic, dodging pot holes, debris.
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Old 06-11-18, 12:08 PM
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I am Probably going to go the $$ direction, and my eye is on the 853 reynolds steel Niner RLT. that doesn't really fit the OP's budget though.
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Old 06-11-18, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I posted a similar thread a year or so ago, but now it's official: If I ever want to ride with my wife again I need to get a real gravel bike.

Equally official: My Sachs with 27c tires doesn't qualify as a "real gravel bike" for the kind of off-road riding she's gotten into. (And even 28c won't fit under the Campy brake calipers.)

Fortunately, I'm in the position where a new gravel bike can easily be justified...just so long as it can also replace my commuter bike. Currently using a 1986 Bridgestone 600 with full-coverage SKS fenders for commuting.

So I'm looking for a bike with disc brakes & 11-speed (so I can swap wheels w/ the missus) that has mounts for full-coverage fenders front & back, can take at least a 32c tire with those fenders and 38 or 40 without, and sells for less than $2000.

The Cannondale CAADX 105 SE hits all those bullet points.

(Although admittedly the tire/fender clearance is suspect w/ larger than 28c tires, so I might want to get one 650b wheelset so I don't have to remove the fenders when doing the gnarliest off-road routes.)

Is there anything else in this price range that I should be seriously investigating, or should I save myself a lot of angst/research and just get a CAADX?

Thanks.
Not sure on the newest ones, but on my 2016 CAADX, I run 45mm PDW full metal fenders and fit up to a 36c under them without clearance issues. The external cable routing is a bit suboptimal but I just run housing liner between the stops. The new version seems to lack rack mounts if that matters to you
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Old 06-11-18, 02:34 PM
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Niner RLT 9 2 Star in either steel or aluminum.

Jamis Renegade Exploit or Expat.
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Old 06-11-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Niner RLT 9 2 Star in either steel or aluminum.

Jamis Renegade Exploit or Expat.
^ yeah, Except the caadx can be had for $1,500 maybe less.

If OP can do 1x


Niner RLT Al. $1999

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Old 06-11-18, 05:31 PM
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$1400 with the corporate discount.

https://www.diamondback.com/road-bik...njo-trail-6940

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Old 06-12-18, 07:42 AM
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+1 Pretty much my experience too. Then they went and lowered the BB even more on the latest diverge. Some gravel bikes just go too low. Personally for a commuter I like a steeper head tube angle too. I value agility. My bike is 3:1 commuter:gravel. Cross geometry makes a good combo agile urban bike and gravel grinder.

Originally Posted by curttard View Post
Personally I won't ever consider a "gravel bike" again because of the low bottom bracket. Constant irritation, banging my toe on rocks and the ground (I use clips and straps). After trying to learn to love the Diverge for a year, I gave up and bought a Raleigh cross bike and love it.
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Old 06-18-18, 09:41 AM
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Caadx Tiagra for $1200, 105 for $1400.
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Old 06-18-18, 10:28 AM
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If looking for a CX geometry AL bike, I've been pretty happy with my Trek Crockett, which would be in about the same price range as the CAADX. Personal opinion, but I wanted to stay with the more aggressive geometry of a CX bike as I occasionally will venture into the MTB trails around here and I'm OK with a CX bike on gravel.
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Old 06-19-18, 09:27 AM
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If you are not opposed to purchasing online... there's some good deals on gravel bikes. I have the Motobecane Omni Strada Comp purchased from BikesDirect and it's my favorite bike out of the 5 I own. I had the LBS assemble and fine tune it for $60. I looked into the CAADX 105 last year. It was my 2nd choice behind the Motobecane. I picked the Moto because of the endurance geometry, low price and being able to fit up to 45c tires. The stock WTB Nano 40c tires are more than adequate. It also has 105 components with the exception of the crank which is a Gossamer FSA.
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Old 06-19-18, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
+1 Pretty much my experience too. Then they went and lowered the BB even more on the latest diverge. Some gravel bikes just go too low. Personally for a commuter I like a steeper head tube angle too. I value agility. My bike is 3:1 commuter:gravel. Cross geometry makes a good combo agile urban bike and gravel grinder.
Honestly I don't even get the reasoning behind the low BB. The difference between the "gravel" Diverge and the "cyclocross" Raleigh is 2cm, less than 1 inch. Makes the difference between hitting my toes and not hitting my toes, but I just don't see how less than an inch could possibly have a noticeable effect on "stability". But no one's paying me the big bucks to design bikes, so what do I know.
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Old 06-19-18, 09:39 AM
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Two things I'd do differently if I had to replace my gravel bike:

The Niner has a 34 front - 34 rear low gear. That's similar to my 30 front - 29 rear low (campagnolo triple).
I was wanting a much lower gear when attempting to climb a 10% grade with scattered loose gravel. I can climb even steeper grades sitting down if it's paved, but gravel is way harder.

I have toe overlap, and that becomes a problem at low speeds, since there's lots of steering input when riding slow on gravel. Toe overlap is never a problem otherwise.
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Old 06-19-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by curttard View Post
Personally I won't ever consider a "gravel bike" again because of the low bottom bracket. Constant irritation, banging my toe on rocks and the ground (I use clips and straps). After trying to learn to love the Diverge for a year, I gave up and bought a Raleigh cross bike and love it.
The low BB is for stability. High BBs suck for 15%+ gravel descents. There aren't a ton of gravel events where pedaling through turns is a must, and of course if it isn't a race it's never a must (and I'd doubt you have the secure traction to be leaning that far over, anyway).

"Real" gravel bikes have low BBs. Though, often 72mm of drop with 700c wheels is about the best you can find. BBs get higher with larger frames, too - or should, if the manufacturer is worth a damn.
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Old 06-19-18, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
The low BB is for stability. High BBs suck for 15%+ gravel descents. There aren't a ton of gravel events where pedaling through turns is a must, and of course if it isn't a race it's never a must (and I'd doubt you have the secure traction to be leaning that far over, anyway).

"Real" gravel bikes have low BBs. Though, often 72mm of drop with 700c wheels is about the best you can find. BBs get higher with larger frames, too - or should, if the manufacturer is worth a damn.
Man I can tell I big difference in descending stability between my Tamland and my SuperX. The SuperX in general is way more squirrely than the Tamland. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with the HTA and shorter wheelbase though I do wonder if those two factor were normalized just how much the higher BB contributes to this.
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Old 06-19-18, 01:30 PM
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Yeah, BB height and wheelbase contribute to stability. Head tube angle is more of how quickly it reacts to steering. Example: Treck checkpoint is low and long, but not too slack. It is stable yet responsive. You don't have to force it into a turn, yet its not going too get too loose like a CX bike.

To some degree, larger tires will allow for a more BB drop and still maintain clearance. 40mm tires are obviously higher than 33mm CX tires.

A long/low/slack bike causes me to slow down a lot more in order to make a tight turn (when I have sufficient traction). I loose speed & and momentum and have to expend effort to get back up to speed.
Conversely on high speed turns loose gravel turns with a CX bike I to go a little slower and keep my weigh back to keep the bike on its line and prevent the front tire from washing out.

Pick your poison. There is no one size fits all solution.

Although real riders can ride gravel without a low BB. LOL.
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Old 06-19-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
"Real" gravel bikes have low BBs. Though, often 72mm of drop with 700c wheels is about the best you can find. BBs get higher with larger frames, too - or should, if the manufacturer is worth a damn.
Since a couple of people have mentioned the Diverge, according to the numbers on their website, BB height remains constant across all of their frame sizes for both the carbon and aluminum models. It does not, however, remain constant for the Sequoia. I briefly considered the Diverge several weeks ago and remember reading complaints about the BB height from some reviewers.
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Old 06-19-18, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
Since a couple of people have mentioned the Diverge, according to the numbers on their website, BB height remains constant across all of their frame sizes for both the carbon and aluminum models. It does not, however, remain constant for the Sequoia. I briefly considered the Diverge several weeks ago and remember reading complaints about the BB height from some reviewers.

The newest diverge has a drop of 85mm, which is a bunch - but I guess they expect you'll roll on 38mm tires or larger? My Domane is sold with 32mm tires and has a drop of 80mm in my size. (~54).

The Diverge comes with 30mm tires, though? WTF?
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Old 06-19-18, 05:16 PM
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Since no one else mentioned it I will. How about the Surly Midnight Special?
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special
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