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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.

Hooked...again

Old 04-18-19, 08:30 PM
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Hooked...again

I'm basically a Blue-Collar Cyclist. I ride a rigid MTB with commuter tires to work. When I feel crazy I ride the local Rail Trail. My bike is really nothing special, but it's been really reliable. I tried going back to road bikes, but my 50-year-old taint said "heck no!". MTB's spoiled me. I thought that Road Bike was going to shake my fillings out. But is was FAST! But for the sake of my nethers, I figured I would stick with the MTB. Still... I feel like I'm forcing my way through the wind, and the wide bars are not comfortable on rides over 5 miles. I want drops! That, of course, means new brake levers (I found a couple that will work with my V-brakes), and new shifters... ugh...

OK... so I figured I would just keep plugging along with my reliable bike...

And then I found out about Gravel bikes.
1. When [the expletive] did this happen?
2. Why was I not on the [expletive] e-mail?

What a great idea! Road frame with plump tires (40mm seems a nice average) with a little tread on them. A road bike with more roads available. Brilliant. This looks like a pretty cool way to ride. Just like I did on my old Schwinn 5-speed when I was a kid ripping down rural dirt roads. When I got my Motobecane, I was a little bummed because its tires were too skinny to work worth a poop on those dirt roads. The "Real" road bike I got later was even more trapped by pavement (but I loved it!). In Korea (while my dad was selling my wonderful road bike back in the states), I was introduced to MTB's. Comfortable, neat sifters, but it was like pedaling a cement truck around. I got more into MTB's in California (SF BAY area), and they became a habit. I have always liked MTB's, I like going a little off the pavement, but I also like the ability to grab the drops and build a little speed. With Gravel Bikes (love that name) I think I am about to come full circle.

I know a Gravel Bike won't be as fast as a dedicated Road Bike.
I know a Gavel Bike will not climb or take terrain like a Mountain bike.

But my rides are commutes to work on a two-lane bike path, long flat rides on a paved rail trail, or shorter rides on a wide, smooth gravel river walk. I would not even need the shock... on a 700c bike (I love it, but it makes me laugh a little).

Yeah... I think while I wasn't looking the Bike nerds found a new way to hook me. Time to start looking for a used 54-56cm frame, and bust out the bike tools...
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Old 04-18-19, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ironnerd
Road frame with plump tires
That's the marketing but not the reality. Most gravel bikes are much closer to touring bikes or light-mtb than they are road bikes. Very stiff frames and forks due to EN/ISO safety testing. If you want a road bike that fits wider tires I'd look at an endurance road bike before I looked at a gravel bike. A lot of the lighter built endurance road bikes ride as well, if not a little better, with 32s than most gravel bikes will with 40s, IME.
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Old 04-19-19, 05:08 AM
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Thank-you, @Spoonrobot, but the last "Road Bike" I owned was a steel framed beauty like this one:

So that's what I mean when I say "Road Bike".

The gravel trails are of the kind used by affluent married women in yoga pants and neon tops to walk on during the day while their husbands are at work. My other rides take place on paved rail trails where affluent men ride really nice (actual) road bikes in spandex shorts, or my daily commute to work. I have not used a Mountain Bike in wilderness terrain in over a decade.

Maybe I won't end up with an actual Gravel Bike, but it'll be Gravel-inspired.

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Old 04-19-19, 06:13 AM
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I wish there were more options to the road plus, 'Road geo' like the Surly Midnight Special! fat slicks are super fun to ride! on pavement, packed hard dirt.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:25 AM
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Sounds as if you are a perfect candidate for a new bike Lots of stuff out here now that will take a 40mm, all prices. Enjoy the search and post a pic on NBD.
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Old 04-19-19, 09:01 AM
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that was a fun read, good luck with your quest!
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Old 04-19-19, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Sounds as if you are a perfect candidate for a new bike Lots of stuff out here now that will take a 40mm, all prices. Enjoy the search and post a pic on NBD.


I do have 26 x 1.0 tires for my MTB, but the ride sucks - bumpy, my pedals keep hitting the ground (because they are an inch lower than they were designed to be), looks silly as hell. It's faster, but then I run into the MTB riding position and I become an aerodynamic speed brake with a pulse.

@shelbyfv - NDB?
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Old 04-19-19, 01:22 PM
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NewBikeDay
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Old 04-19-19, 01:25 PM
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Pictures are mandatory on NBD!

I'm not trying to change your mind about a new bike at all, but you might enjoy this thread with over 6000 posts, if you haven't seen it yet: Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
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Old 04-19-19, 03:20 PM
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To the OP: I've got nothing to ad to the discussion, but I wanted to say I enjoy your writing and your turn of a phrase.

"...and I become an aerodynamic speed brake with a pulse."
Too good!!!
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Old 04-19-19, 04:02 PM
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@Franc Franclin - Thank-you!

The rest of you don't have super-high expectations here. If I'm going to ride this thing to work, it cannot be a really expensive bike. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to take my bike through the gate at work, so I have to leave it locked on the bike rack...

Originally Posted by Squeeze
Pictures are mandatory on NBD!

I'm not trying to change your mind about a new bike at all, but you might enjoy this thread with over 6000 posts, if you haven't seen it yet: Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
@Squeeze, thanks for the link! That is really interesting (and may take a while to read). I am definitely open to the idea of putting drops on my Iron Horse - It'll be ugly, but fun. Maybe these guys can help me figure out what to do with the shifters and brake levers (since it has trigger-shifters and V-brakes). And there's nothing stopping me from doing BOTH (Drops on old MTB and new Graveloid Bike).

Since I can finally post pics, here is the bike as it is today (like I said, it's just a bike):


And this is my intended terrain for the Gaveloid:

Last edited by ironnerd; 04-19-19 at 08:14 PM.
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