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.

Blue Prosecco EX-Gravel Di2 bike

Old 09-14-18, 08:30 PM
  #76  
Wilmingtech
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Going to be a busy weekend


Got most of my parts and pieces in. Seat and tires should be here tomorrow. Ive got 1 bike that I am fixing for a friend, a new stem for my wifeys bike as well as tires and fenders for her bike and the BlueX. Will go through bike top to bottom and make sure all is greased and lubed and adjusted and tightened up. Ill hopefully be able to post more pics as I go and possibly get out for a ride tomorrow or Sunday.

-Sean
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Old 09-16-18, 12:43 AM
  #77  
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Crazy Day

I got my friends bike fixed. She came over to get it, took it on a short test ride (about 100 meters) fell over when she turned around, hit her head hard enough so it was bleeding and had a concussion. No idea where she was or why or who I was. So off to the hospital with her. She is okay, they gave her an MRI and said she was okay and sent her home. My wife is staying with her tonight to help her out. The worst part is we talked about wearing a helmet right before she jumped on the bike and didnt think much of it as she was just going down the street and back.

Needless to say, I have not got as much done as I would have liked to.

Finally recieved the replacement HYRD for the rear brake. These can be a PIA to get adjusted. It was a little frustrating but after a while I got it to a happy place, no rub, not too long a throw to get it to full brake.

i also got the crankset swapped out and am in the process pf getting the front deraileur dialed in. This is always kind of a pain as well. I try pretty hard to get 9 of the 11 gears on each of the Big and Little rings to go without rubbing. Got the whole of the little ring working without rub but the big ring rubs on the lowest 4. To tired to deal with it. Ill hit it freah in the AM.



Threw a bottle cage on I had lying around.

i still need to take the headset apart, make sure its well geased and tighten it up.

I also snapped a pic of the BB. Looks like a straight forward run of the mill PF30 BB for the mechanical Ex.


Will hit the headset, tires, seat and fenders tomorrow. Maybe take it for a spin...
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Old 09-16-18, 11:21 PM
  #78  
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Back at it today. Finished dialing in the front and rear derailleur's. Tore apart the headset. If you havent already, I suggest taking your headset apart. The bearings are all sealed which is good but everything was completely dry. Not one drop of grease anywhere.

Sealed bearings with no grease


Clean, Dry headset


Carbon layup inside the headtube


After getting the drivetrain and headset dialed in, I moved on to the tires. This brought me to a standstill. One of the tires that came on the bike (hutchinson nitro 2) was split.



No worries as I had bought vittoria terrenos to replace them. But I couldnt get the vittorias on the rim to save my life. It took me and my wife both pulling on the tire with levers to get it on the rim. Then after getting the tire on I found that the tube was flat. So off again, on again. Then I somehow managed to flatten the second tube while putting the tire on. Pinched it at some point. I checked the tubes for the other wheel before putting the ture on and of course that had a hole as well (both tubes on this bike were shipped with holes in them) Then on the fourth try a tire lever snapped.

After 2 hours of battling tires, I gave up. I ordered 4 more tubes, 4 more levers and some more patches. Will have levers on tuesday from Amazon.

Some day Ill get to ride this bike....

-Sean

Last edited by Wilmingtech; 09-16-18 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 09-17-18, 09:29 AM
  #79  
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@Wilmingtech You're having quite and adventure there! Is there anything on the bike that you're not swapping out?

On the headset bearings, is grease actually needed as the bearings are sealed?
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Old 09-17-18, 10:46 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
@Wilmingtech You're having quite and adventure there! Is there anything on the bike that you're not swapping out?

On the headset bearings, is grease actually needed as the bearings are sealed?
It's not that much Updated the brakes, Changed out the crankset (I can't pedal a 170.... drives me crazy) and added tires and a seat. I think thats it. Oh... and a larger cassette in the back. I did contemplate changing the whole bike over to 8000 but figured for that cost should have just bought the bike you got . I think you got the better deal with the vision wheels and Di2.

On the headset - I don't think you "need" to add grease on sealed bearings, obviously the bearings are sealed so it's just to have a light coat between the metal parts. It's the old school in me. I was always taught that if there is no grease then there is water. You certainly don't need to grease the steerer tube. I did put a light coat on the top and bottom of the bearings so they would sit nicely in the aluminium inset and tried to keep the grease off the inner ring.

-Sean
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Old 09-18-18, 10:58 AM
  #81  
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RBP - Great Service

On the side...I do want to mention that Random Bike Parts has been fantastic to buy from. They have been quick to answer all my questions and when I informed them about the tire they gave me a refund instantly on the cost of the tire plus 40% no questions asked.
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Old 09-22-18, 04:40 AM
  #82  
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Just installed a couple of thru-axles without the big handles, for a cleaner look:
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Old 09-25-18, 07:14 AM
  #83  
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^ That looks nice!
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Old 10-14-18, 07:08 PM
  #84  
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Finally went on my first gravel and also first tubeless ride. I got some Giant PCXR-1 27.5 wheels (19mm inner, 25mm outer) for $100 and put on a 650x48 (measures 48mm) GK SK tubeless front and Maxxis Rambler tubeless 650x38 (measures 39mm) rear. Rear barely has 2-3mm of clearance so I think 39-40mm is the limit.
They rolled very well on both road and dirt - slowed me down by 1-2 mph on the pavement.

Next and probably final upgrades are flared drops ($15 Oval 325's) and a Karoo Hammerhead ($150) to replace my old Edge 510. Also forgot to turn on the clutch on my derailer...







Last edited by Elvo; 10-14-18 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 10-15-18, 10:07 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Finally went on my first gravel and also first tubeless ride. I got some Giant PCXR-1 27.5 wheels (19mm inner, 25mm outer) for $100 and put on a 650x48 (measures 48mm) GK SK tubeless front and Maxxis Rambler tubeless 650x38 (measures 39mm) rear. Rear barely has 2-3mm of clearance so I think 39-40mm is the limit.
They rolled very well on both road and dirt - slowed me down by 1-2 mph on the pavement.

Next and probably final upgrades are flared drops ($15 Oval 325's) and a Karoo Hammerhead ($150) to replace my old Edge 510. Also forgot to turn on the clutch on my derailer...






Pretty cool you got the 650's to work, maxed out tire size as well
The 38's look really tight on the back, like you might be scraping any mud build up on the sides of the tires with the chainstay.
How were the cranks with the lower wheels? Did you take any steep corners and try to bottom out? I am assuming they are 170's?
Is that a carbon HED seatpost? nice...

With my upgrade to 50/34 and the 11-30 cogset, its loooking like I'll have to add a longer chain and possibly a longer cage or maybe a clutch derailleur? Does the clutch make a noticeable difference? Was it worth the spend?

-Sean
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Old 10-15-18, 10:24 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Pretty cool you got the 650's to work, maxed out tire size as well
The 38's look really tight on the back, like you might be scraping any mud build up on the sides of the tires with the chainstay.
How were the cranks with the lower wheels? Did you take any steep corners and try to bottom out? I am assuming they are 170's?
Is that a carbon HED seatpost? nice...

With my upgrade to 50/34 and the 11-30 cogset, its loooking like I'll have to add a longer chain and possibly a longer cage or maybe a clutch derailleur? Does the clutch make a noticeable difference? Was it worth the spend?

-Sean
Yeah they are really tight. Not much mud to ride here in socal - the trails are typically closed when these conditions exist and I am too lazy to clean the bike.

I am a terrible descender off road so I am rarely pedaling on the down hills. If I recall correctly 650x48 is the same as 700x28 and 650x38 is the same as 700x23 so I guess it's the same as riding 700x25's on the bike which isn't ideal but I never got any pedal strikes going uphill.

The stock chain was pretty long so you might be fine with the 11-30 and 50T in the front. You probably can make 11-30 work with the stock short cage derailer. I went 11-36 with the RX800 derailer, no road link needed - can probably go 11-40 with more b screw.
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Old 10-20-18, 12:13 PM
  #87  
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Thevulture, do you feel comfortable on 51 cm?

Originally Posted by thevulture View Post
Taz, do you mind me asking how tall you are and/or inside leg messurement?
Not sure if I should be going for the 49 or 51cm

They also have a cracking deal on Ridley X-Trail C Force 1 Carbon Gravel.. Thats looks good
Iíve booked this bike in 53,5 but smth happened on the factory and now they have lost only 51 cm. I doubt whether to get it or cancel the order. Iím 175 cm and following usual recommendations my size should be 53,5 or 55. Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-20-18, 08:12 PM
  #88  
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Swapped my stock bars to 300g oval 325's. The stock bars weigh 400g so you can easily save 1/2 lb here.
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Old 10-21-18, 08:40 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Solifato View Post
Iíve booked this bike in 53,5 but smth happened on the factory and now they have lost only 51 cm. I doubt whether to get it or cancel the order. Iím 175 cm and following usual recommendations my size should be 53,5 or 55. Thank you in advance.
Im 178cm and I have a 81cm inseam. I'm on the 53.5 and its a pretty good fit. I think the 51 would be a little bit too small for me and while I could possibly put a longer stem on to adjust the reach, I think I might run out of seat post. My seat post now (Deda Carbon post) is close to the "Do not extend past this line".

Are you looking at the EX with Ultegra or the EX Gravel with Di2? It looks like RBP still has a few of the EX version in 53.5 still available on their website and on ebay as well.

-Sean
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Old 10-21-18, 09:43 AM
  #90  
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Finally got to put some miles on this beast. It's certainly a unique bike. I've already mentioned a few of the negative aspects, most of them being the finishing kit and wheels all of which I planned on replacing from the go. The ride of the bike itself is pretty awesome. I've tried to beat it up a little and find some negatives but there really isn't any with the frame and overall design.




1st off let me say that having a bike properly setup with brand new Ultegra components is the bees knees. Shifts are effortless even under load. This is my first disc brake bike (other than the occasional ride on my wifes bike when I am setting up or repairing something) and I don't see what all the hoopla is about with wanting to keep rim brakes. The disc brakes have much better feedback and control than rim brakes, especially in the rain and certainly downhill on gravel. Having a frame with the flat mounts built in is a nice touch.


The bike seems to be designed for function more than form. With the awkward rear triangle and the sloping top tube Its not a sexy looking bike but the ride has been superb. The oversized downtube feeds right into a ridiculously huge bottom bracket and the chainstays from the bottom bracket back are solid. This makes for a pretty stiff drive chain. Compared to my 2013 Ridley Helium the bottom bracket is much larger as are the chainstays (5cm at the bottom bracket). The large chainstays are flat all the way back to the dropouts which seems to follow in the same design of the stiffer high end bikes. Blue Competition calls this LSP or Lateral Stiffness for Power. Back in 2010 they designed the chainstays and bottom bracket to be a single molded piece and called it "direct drive" technology. This may be the continuation of that design. Climbing up 12-15% grades this past weekend on tarmac and gravel and the response from the bike is very positive with no give.





Riding the Helium and the ProSecco back to back there is no discernable loss in power transfer between the two. If anything I would say that the ProSecco feels slightly stiffer in the bottom bracket with less torsional movement than the Ridley (Keep in mind the ProSecco is 4 years newer). It's not designed for speed but doesn't lack the power transfer and it's a very comfortable bike to ride with the endurance approach to geometry and a compliant rear triangle.

The rear triangle has an unusual design with a more pronounced curve toward the dropouts at the bottom of very flat-diamond shaped seat stays. The seat stays connect to the seat tube further down than what seems to be "normal" on most bikes. Designed to act like a spring with the seat stays absorbing the shock from the rear wheel it flexes and then returns that energy into the frame and rear wheel in a compliant way. A similar design to this is now used across many newer bikes (SystemSix, Defy, Venge and Revolt). I do have some reservations with the flattend design of the seat stays, primarily how well the carbon in this flat-diamond shape will hold up over time. This flat design seems to be focused on the vertical (up/down) flex of the rear triangle as opposed to lateral flex. It's got better absorption than the hardtail without sacrificing the stiffness of the bottom bracket and the chainstays.


I guess I am writing all this in part to self-justify my purchase of last years stock and (now) off-brand bike. Am I glad I shelled out 1100.00usd for a CF gravel bike with Ultegra components and crappy wheels? Heck yeah. It really is a fast, fun and comfortable bike. Blue Competition really had a good thing going 6 or 7 years ago with some really great bikes that were on the podium in many triathlons and ridden by top CX athletes. It is certainly not just some cheap Chinese carbon frame. Looking over the bike you can tell that a bit of thought went into the overall design. It's great to ride and having a gravel bike opens up so many options and places to explore. The best part is for what I paid, I am not one bit worried about taking a dump or scratching this bike up. I couldn't touch a bike this nice for less than 2-3k anywhere else and for that kind of money, I'd be spending more time polishing the paint than getting it dirty.

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Old 10-21-18, 10:05 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Swapped my stock bars to 300g oval 325's. The stock bars weigh 400g so you can easily save 1/2 lb here.
Im at 21.3 pounds without the saddle bag and bottle. I think if I get a good set of wheels and some carbon bars on there I can get close to my sub 20 goal

-Sean
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Old 10-21-18, 10:41 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Im 178cm and I have a 81cm inseam. I'm on the 53.5 and its a pretty good fit. I think the 51 would be a little bit too small for me and while I could possibly put a longer stem on to adjust the reach, I think I might run out of seat post. My seat post now (Deda Carbon post) is close to the "Do not extend past this line".

Are you looking at the EX with Ultegra or the EX Gravel with Di2? It looks like RBP still has a few of the EX version in 53.5 still available on their website and on ebay as well.

-Sean
Dear Sean, many thanks for reply.
Do I understand correctly (English is not native for me) that in hypotheticall case that you need to compensate short ETT of 51 you consider impossible to do it with a longer stem?
P.S. I've booked EX Gravel with Di2. In RBP unfortunatelly only EX. In fact I try to understand whether 51 will be crucially small or just a little bit. I really don't want to cancel the order because it looks a fantastic bargain but also afraid that will not be able to use it because of a tiny frame))
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Old 10-21-18, 10:56 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Im at 21.3 pounds without the saddle bag and bottle. I think if I get a good set of wheels and some carbon bars on there I can get close to my sub 20 goal

-Sean
The stock seatpost+seat was like 650g, the stock 110mm stem was 140g, and the wheels were 2250g. The stock Hutchson Nitro 2's are 800g each + 120g each for the tubes. If you go tubeless and put on some mid range upgrades, you can probably save 1000 grams or more.
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Old 10-21-18, 11:26 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Solifato View Post
Dear Sean, many thanks for reply.
Do I understand correctly (English is not native for me) that in hypotheticall case that you need to compensate short ETT of 51 you consider impossible to do it with a longer stem?
P.S. I've booked EX Gravel with Di2. In RBP unfortunatelly only EX. In fact I try to understand whether 51 will be crucially small or just a little bit. I really don't want to cancel the order because it looks a fantastic bargain but also afraid that will not be able to use it because of a tiny frame))
Whats your inseam? That may be the deciding factor. Its much easier to make a small frame fit than a large frame.

Mark Cavendish dropped from his standard 52cm frame to a 49cm frame in 2014/15 and he stands at 175cm around 160lbs. So you can certainly make the smaller frame work. It will be a little lighter and easier to manuever.

Marcel Kittel at 190cm rides a 57cm frame with a 130mm stem. So I wouldnt worry too much about the small frame.

-Sean
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Old 10-21-18, 11:54 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Whats your inseam? That may be the deciding factor. Its much easier to make a small frame fit than a large frame.

Mark Cavendish dropped from his standard 52cm frame to a 49cm frame in 2014/15 and he stands at 175cm around 160lbs. So you can certainly make the smaller frame work. It will be a little lighter and easier to manuever.

Marcel Kittel at 190cm rides a 57cm frame with a 130mm stem. So I wouldnt worry too much about the small frame.

-Sean
My inseam is 79 or 80 cm. That will be my first serious bike because current I bought in universal store among freezers and baby toys)) It seems that in US you call it Wallmart-bike.
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Old 10-22-18, 07:12 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Solifato View Post

My inseam is 79 or 80 cm. That will be my first serious bike because current I bought in universal store among freezers and baby toys)) It seems that in US you call it Wallmart-bike.
For reference: My inseam is between 80cm and 81cm. My seat height is 71.5cm from center of bottom bracket to top of the seat. And this is how much seatpost I have left on a 53.5 frame -
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Old 10-22-18, 07:14 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
For reference: My inseam is between 80cm and 81cm. My seat height is 71.5cm from center of bottom bracket to top of the seat. And this is how much seatpost I have left on a 53.5 frame -
You can totally make a smaller frame work. And Im sure you can ignore the Manufacturers reccomended length of seat post to leave in the frame within a cm or two. But just wanted to point out that a 51cm frame will need a little more seatpost for an 80cm inseam. You can totally make this work
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Old 10-24-18, 10:13 AM
  #98  
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Sean, thanks a lot.
It's really important comment for unexperienced biker like me.
Dmitry
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Old 10-24-18, 01:28 PM
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Hi I've just come across the Gravel EX and after some research came across this forum and thread ... Looking at the same bike as original poster, Merlin still have a 51cm but with some decal damage so im waiting for a pic to confirm how bad they are damaged ??Looking at the geometry , id say its a little short in the top tube for me @ 51cm , they say its C-C in top tube length but the diagram shows a effective top tube length which is longer , which is the measurement i usually go on ??
Im a short arse at 5'6 inside leg 29/30 so should fit ok ?
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Old 10-24-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Stumpym4 View Post
Hi I've just come across the Gravel EX and after some research came across this forum and thread ... Looking at the same bike as original poster, Merlin still have a 51cm but with some decal damage so im waiting for a pic to confirm how bad they are damaged ??Looking at the geometry , id say its a little short in the top tube for me @ 51cm , they say its C-C in top tube length but the diagram shows a effective top tube length which is longer , which is the measurement i usually go on ??
Im a short arse at 5'6 inside leg 29/30 so should fit ok ?
Hi mate, yeah you're pretty much my size (but probably much lighter in weight!!!). Check with Merlin if you can return it if it doesn't fit. 51cm fits me just fine and I have similar height/inside leg as you..

Sorry I haven't been around on my YouTube channel or on here much lately.

One observation in general is that my front foot rubs the front wheel on sharp turns when I'm riding extremely slowly. Once I get my clipless pedals fitted I think that this issue will go away. I've got flats on at the moment.

One thing to be careful about if purchasing from Merlin - check and retorque every bolt. The seat post clamp had fallen out and I thought they had missed it when packing the bike but I found it in the box. I spent a couple of evenings checking the entire bike over and checking every bolt before my first ride.

For the price that they're giving away this bike for, don't expect a professional setup! To be fair to Merlin, I've bought bikes from other UK retailers and none have been set up to my satisfaction.
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