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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 :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Flat Bar Gravel Bike

Old 10-27-19, 11:18 AM
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goatalope
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Flat Bar Gravel Bike

Any body put a flat bar on a gravel bike? Would like to see pictures.

For context... Here in central Pennsylvania, a lot of the "gravel roads" are fire roads. The main fire roads are pretty well maintained, but its easy to branch off and it'll quickly turn into more like ATV paths (often with rocky or muddy sections). I often would like the control of flat bars, but don't typically need suspension. So I'm thinking either a flat bar gravel bike or a rigid mountain bike. But so many mountain bikes are solely 1x now, which I find limiting.

So anyways, I keep picturing a Trek Checkpoint (or something similar) with a little longer stem and 690-720 wide flat bars. Anybody have an example? Thanks!
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Old 10-27-19, 06:33 PM
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Being that have a Trek Checkpoint, I also would like to an example.
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Old 10-27-19, 07:16 PM
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My carbon framed Trek FX6S is pretty much a flat bar gravel bike. Room for 38’s. Currently set up for road with 32c tubeless. I just ordered fenders and 38c Schwalbe G1’s to use on wet days when I don’t feel like riding my Niner.

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Old 10-28-19, 04:36 PM
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Would a Kona Unit or a Surly Krampus (w/ rigid fork) fit the bill? Neither of those fit the 2x requirement though.

This would work nicely,

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...r-roadbike.htm
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Old 10-28-19, 04:39 PM
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I'd recommend Jones Bars or approved equal, as it has much more riding positions than regular flat bars
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Old 10-28-19, 04:49 PM
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Just bought a Salsa Journeyman Sora 650b. Pretty nice, smooth ride. But I'm thinking longer distances so added Moloko bars yesterday. Waiting for the ergon grips to arrive to really get out but took it for a 5 mile spin and so far so good.
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Old 10-29-19, 10:31 AM
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I think once your average speed crosses somewhere into the mid-teens, flat bars are more hindrance than help. The fact that you find 1x limiting tells me that your riding may be more of the type where drop bars are beneficial. Just don't run as much drop on the bars as your road bike.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:42 AM
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Converting a drop bar bike to flat bar is difficult since the top tube will be shorter than a traditional flat bar bike due to the extra reach from the drop bars. Best to start with something that comes with flat bars and go from there.

I converted a Giant Escape 1 hybrid into a flat bar gravel bike. It can take 45+mm tires. Long wheelbase, super comfortable for me. Cost wise it was cheap enough to modify without breaking the bank.

My build thread in the hybrid forum
2019 Giant Escape 1
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Old 10-29-19, 07:45 PM
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Good advice, way too many frame differences to make this work well, and the expense of new shifters, cabling, bars, etc. make it, well, likely impractical.
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Old 10-30-19, 10:18 AM
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I've done it, but I guess technically this is a touring bike, I ride this bike most often. I used a flat bar, cut the width to sort of between a mountain bike width and a road drop bar width, added bar ends for multiple hand positions but laid them down to an almost flat position to mimic the road bar portion going out to brake hoods. I very much like this setup, and also have a road bike with drops so it isn't a drops verse road thing. I'd like to try the Koga Denham bars as well.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/koga-denham-bars/

My bars:


A previous setup that I didn't like as much:


My bike:
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Old 10-30-19, 11:07 AM
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I converted my Kona Rove ST to flatbar because I was using it mostly for family rides around the neighborhood (and because I can't help but incessantly tinker with my bikes). Most of the relevant points have been raised already...I switched to a 120mm stem (increase from 90mm stock) with 750mm bars to maintain reach as much as possible. Kept the Rival drivetrain and used a cheap Apex flat bar shifter. I had a set of take-off MTB hydraulic brakes which I swapped in place of the road BB7s that were on there.

My swap wasn't particularly cheap- I bought a Thomson stem to match the seatpost, a new Salsa handlebar, had my LBS shorten brake lines & bleed brakes. The brakes were SRAM Guide RS, which would be expensive if purchased new, too. You could do it cheaper with second hand parts, cheaper new parts, using Shimano R550 flat bar levers to keep road brakes, etc.

And for what it's worth, the bike was fine for laid back neighborhood rides, but would not have been my first choice for dirt, especially anything remotely technical. I now have a Specialized Chisel with a rigid carbon fork and like it a lot more than the Rove.

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Old 11-12-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mpls85 View Post
I converted my Kona Rove ST to flatbar because I was using it mostly for family rides around the neighborhood (and because I can't help but incessantly tinker with my bikes). Most of the relevant points have been raised already...I switched to a 120mm stem (increase from 90mm stock) with 750mm bars to maintain reach as much as possible. Kept the Rival drivetrain and used a cheap Apex flat bar shifter. I had a set of take-off MTB hydraulic brakes which I swapped in place of the road BB7s that were on there.

My swap wasn't particularly cheap- I bought a Thomson stem to match the seatpost, a new Salsa handlebar, had my LBS shorten brake lines & bleed brakes. The brakes were SRAM Guide RS, which would be expensive if purchased new, too. You could do it cheaper with second hand parts, cheaper new parts, using Shimano R550 flat bar levers to keep road brakes, etc.

And for what it's worth, the bike was fine for laid back neighborhood rides, but would not have been my first choice for dirt, especially anything remotely technical. I now have a Specialized Chisel with a rigid carbon fork and like it a lot more than the Rove.

Have any pictures of the Chisel? I'm also considering something like your Chisel.
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Old 11-12-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by goatalope View Post
Have any pictures of the Chisel? I'm also considering something like your Chisel.
Here's a crappy pic from the garage, ha.

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Old 11-12-19, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mpls85 View Post
I now have a Specialized Chisel with a rigid carbon fork and like it a lot more than the Rove.
What is the fork?
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Old 11-12-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What is the fork?
Tandell: Tandell 29+ Carbon Rigid Fork
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Old 11-13-19, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mpls85 View Post
Thanks! They have a 27.5 too.
Ill have to look at the rake and A-C measurements compared to the fork on my MTB to see if it would be a good swap. For the singletrack I ride, I dont need a super slack truck steering MTB with a huge suspension. Truthfully, something with tighter geometry, narrower bars than whats popular, and less fork travel would be perfect. So maybe instead of 2.3" tires and an air fork, something like 2.6" tires and this rigid would be more fun while still providing suspension to roll faster over terrain. Itll for sure lighten up the bike!
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Old 11-13-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Thanks! They have a 27.5 too.

Ill have to look at the rake and A-C measurements compared to the fork on my MTB to see if it would be a good swap. For the singletrack I ride, I dont need a super slack truck steering MTB with a huge suspension. Truthfully, something with tighter geometry, narrower bars than whats popular, and less fork travel would be perfect. So maybe instead of 2.3" tires and an air fork, something like 2.6" tires and this rigid would be more fun while still providing suspension to roll faster over terrain. Itll for sure lighten up the bike!

The 29+ and 27.5+ are the same fork if you look at the spec details (e.g. same A-C measurement). Also confirmed via Daniel at Tandell. 495 A-C is a good fit for the Chisel and lots of other 100(ish)mm travel hardtails. I didn't want my front end too low since my saddle-to-bar drop is already on the high end, and I'm not using this bike for aggressive XC racing or anything.


It completely transformed the bike. 1000+ gram weight loss vs. the stock fork, plus a lighter wheelset and tires makes for a super climber. 23.9 lbs as it stands, with room to get lighter via cassette, crank, and seatpost. Probably a slightly different direction than you're going from the sounds of it. Either way, it's a relatively small cost to try rigid, and then you could always swap back and forth between suspension and rigid.
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Old 11-13-19, 02:54 PM
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Here is mine. It is 1x, but its a wide gear range, so you will be fine.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:22 PM
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Flat-bar gravel bike? Readily available at your local Specialized dealer. Stock, and ready to go, with 38mm Tracer Pro tires. Mine (below) has had a tire change, but that doesn't change the character of the bike.

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Old 12-01-19, 05:46 AM
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A flat bar gravel bike is functionally equivalent to a rigid hardtail from the 80s-90s.
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Old 12-01-19, 06:32 AM
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I think i found my place

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Old 12-01-19, 06:46 AM
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I use my rigid 29er for gravel, love it!
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Old 12-01-19, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mj0 View Post


I use my rigid 29er for gravel, love it!
Great frame. I especially loved the fork. It looks like it can house a behemoth of a tire
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Old 12-01-19, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by goatalope View Post
Any body put a flat bar on a gravel bike? Would like to see pictures.

For context... Here in central Pennsylvania, a lot of the "gravel roads" are fire roads. The main fire roads are pretty well maintained, but its easy to branch off and it'll quickly turn into more like ATV paths (often with rocky or muddy sections). I often would like the control of flat bars, but don't typically need suspension. So I'm thinking either a flat bar gravel bike or a rigid mountain bike. But so many mountain bikes are solely 1x now, which I find limiting.

So anyways, I keep picturing a Trek Checkpoint (or something similar) with a little longer stem and 690-720 wide flat bars. Anybody have an example? Thanks!
As someone who contemplated going the other direction (drop bar on a Trek FX S6) the best decision I made was to abandon that idea, re-sell the bike (through Pro's Closet, in case you're like me and don't want to do the eBay/CL/OfferUp thing) and buy a Revolt. I got tons of advice on this forum (and other cycling enthusiasts) to not convert due to the geometry of the frame not really meant to support the bar conversion. They were right. The geometry of the Revolt is completely different from the FX S6. I would have spent hundreds on the new bar, new shifters and brake levers (or in my case going from those to brifters), bleed the brakes, and installation costs and still come up with a result that was nowhere near what I wanted in a drop bar gravel bike.

Since you're preference is for a flat bar, and 1X is the main limited to MTBs for you, I'd focus more on trying to find the MTB that allows a 2X if that's really the gearing that you want, or at least allows enough clearance for the addition of a 2X. If the frame supports added gearing it's a much less drastic conversion than changing from drop to flat bars. Full disclosure: I don't MTB so I have no idea if what I'm recommending is possible, but I could swear I've seen MTBs with 2X on the roads...

EDIT: here are some pics for comparison. Apologies as I didn't take them in the same locale and from the same angle, but hopefully it's illustrative as to why I chose not to convert the FX to drop bar. The pics may not do the difference justice, but as you know, just a cm or two difference here and there on the major touch-points, as well as stack and reach measurements, can be the difference from something that is comfortable to ride for 30 minutes vs. 3-4 hours or more at a time.


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Old 12-02-19, 12:11 AM
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