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What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

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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.

What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

Old 11-06-19, 12:01 AM
  #151  
katsup
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Sort of. The front-end geometries run in the same ballpark, but "touring bikes" in the modern sense usually have monstrously long chainstays to maintain decent weight distribution with a heavy rear pannier load. That can be annoying for unpaved riding: it makes it harder to plant the rear wheel on steep climbs, it makes it harder to unweight the front wheel on loose surfaces, and it creates more separation between the track drawn by the front wheel and that drawn by the rear wheel.
I'd say it varies more by brand / model more than category. Some examples:

Sold as Touring Bikes
2010 Trek 520 = 45cm
1990 Trek 520 = 42.5cm
Long Haul Trucker = 46cm

Sold as Allroad / Gravel
Salsa Vaya = 45cm
Salsa Journeyman = 44cm
Jamis Renegade = 43cm (58cm size)
Giant Anyroad = 43cm
Trek Checkpoint = 43mm

It does seem like the bikes sold as allroad / gravel have chainstay lengths in the middle of road and touring bikes. Basically where touring bikes were in the 90s. However, I wouldn't consider 1-2cm extra "monstrously long".

Last edited by katsup; 11-06-19 at 12:09 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-06-19, 12:23 AM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I'd say it varies more by brand / model more than category. Some examples:

Sold as Touring Bikes
2010 Trek 520 = 45cm
1990 Trek 520 = 42.5cm
Long Haul Trucker = 46cm

Sold as Allroad / Gravel
Salsa Vaya = 45cm
Salsa Journeyman = 44cm
Jamis Renegade = 43cm (58cm size)
Giant Anyroad = 43cm
Trek Checkpoint = 43mm

It does seem like the bikes sold as allroad / gravel seem to have chainstay lengths in the middle of road and touring bikes. Basically where touring bikes were in the 90s. However, I wouldn't consider 1-2cm extra "monstrously long".
The example of the 1990 520 is why I said "touring bikes in the modern sense." 1990 is trending toward modern, but it wasn't long after the age when many "touring bikes" were basically road racing bikes with clinchers and some lower gears. My '79 Fuji America is supposedly a touring bike, but I enjoy it as much on spirited rides as I do my Emonda, and it severely loses its composure with a big rear load.
I think the Vaya's marketing straddles both categories. Salsa calls it both "gravel" and "light touring."

I'd agree that the extra couple centimeters isn't that huge of a deal from a functional perspective, but chainstay lengths are usually close to as short as the manufacturer can get away with. And mountain bikes try harder in this regard than road bikes do; when your tire is 30mm taller and you've got suspension, having a chainstay that's only 20mm longer is tough.
Road bikes are typically around 400-420mm, gravel and mountain bikes typically around 420-440mm. In that sense, the extra few centimeters on heavy road tourers is off the charts.
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Old 11-06-19, 12:42 AM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
I think the Vaya's marketing straddles both categories. Salsa calls it both "gravel" and "light touring."
The journeyman is also marketed as "light touring" while the renegade says "bike packing". Bike packing is cooler way of saying light touring. I think all bikes in this category are marketed like this.

The whole category has a lot of overlap with a variety in chainstay lengths. I think what dwmckee is saying is that if they called 90's touring bikes (for example) by a different name, like all road, the category would be mature.
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Old 11-06-19, 09:30 AM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I'd say it varies more by brand / model more than category. Some examples
A 430mm chainstay in 1990 for a dedicated touring bike isnt exactly common. The Miyata 1000LT, Fuji Saratoga, and Scwhinn Voyageur were all 450mm in that same time period, and a 1990 Cannondale ST frame had 457mm chainstays.
The Trek 520 had a wild swing in chainstay length thru the 80s and early 90s. The bike started with 430mm stays in '83, when to 455mm stays in '84, dropped all the way down to 425mm stays for the next couple years(and had sidepulls), then '87 thru '91 the stays were 455mm again. Then a couple yeas of 430mm before they went to 450mm in '94 and have been that way since(i think).

Basically, you picked an outlier model and year(and I didnt think the year you mention is correct, but that isnt critical to the discussion). Univega, Nishiki, Bridgestone, Panasonic, Lotus, Schwinn, Cannondale, Miyata and more all used longer chainstays for touring bikes.

Longer chainstays keep the bike tracking straight better than short chainstays, pretty much due to the wheelbase being longer and the rider effectively being more centered between wheels. Its also used on touring bikes to get panniers back behind your heel so there isnt clipping.
This isnt needed on gravel bikes, for the most part. And the further back a wheel is, the less over the wheel you are on climbing which leads to increased chance of spinning out- not ideal.

Also, modern gravel bikes seem to continue to trend towards a slack front end while touring frames for the most part have stayed at 72-73 degree HTA with moderate fork rake. A more stable front end(lower train than many gravel bikes seem to be trending to) when climbing and slower speeds is good for a touring bike since it then better handles weight from panniers.
These things, chainstay length and trail, make a difference in bike handling.

In the end though, gravel bikes are a wide spectrum that apply to remote bikepacking rigs and hammer fast race bikes. There is going to be obvious design differences to account for the varied characteristics within the spectrum.
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Old 11-06-19, 10:22 AM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Basically, you picked an outlier model and year(and I didnt think the year you mention is correct, but that isnt critical to the discussion). Univega, Nishiki, Bridgestone, Panasonic, Lotus, Schwinn, Cannondale, Miyata and more all used longer chainstays for touring bikes.
I made this chart from the 1990 Trek catalog awhile ago when I was curious about the difference between the 520 and 750/790 of that year. E is the chainstay measurement. 1990 was also the first year they went to 700c (I have one).


The head tube angles are different between the two categories, at least the ones I have been comparing, so I agree with you there. My whole point is that there is a lot of overlap in the categories used by marketing, which I think you are saying, so we are also in agreement.
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Old 11-11-19, 11:55 AM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
In the end though, gravel bikes are a wide spectrum that apply to remote bikepacking rigs and hammer fast race bikes. There is going to be obvious design differences to account for the varied characteristics within the spectrum.
Actually, this could be the next thing... Where mountain bikes went from just "mountain bikes" to downhill, trail, XC, etc, Gravel bikes may be ready to move into more discrete categories like allroad, performance, adventure, bikepacking, etc.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:40 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Actually, this could be the next thing... Where mountain bikes went from just "mountain bikes" to downhill, trail, XC, etc, Gravel bikes may be ready to move into more discrete categories like allroad, performance, adventure, bikepacking, etc.
There already is a basic split to short wheelbase (Open, 3T) for racing orientation and long wheelbase for more relaxed riding (Jamis, Bombtrack, Salsa).
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Old 11-11-19, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
There already is a basic split to short wheelbase (Open, 3T) for racing orientation and long wheelbase for more relaxed riding (Jamis, Bombtrack, Salsa).
I agree, the differences exist in the hardware. But they are all marketed as "gravel bikes" which lumps a very wide range of intended uses under one roof. "Adventure bike" seems a good name for the more offroad side of gravel riding that is starting to look like dropbar mountain bikes, as opposed to the gravel road side that more resembles road biking on dirt. Really what I think we're seeing is filling in the gradients between paved road bikes and mountain bikes (or to take it further, between road bikes and fat bikes).
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