Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

One bike or two, which one to use?

Notices
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.

One bike or two, which one to use?

Old 05-09-20, 10:34 PM
  #1  
thenomad
Riding like its 1990
Thread Starter
 
thenomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IE, SoCal
Posts: 3,789
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
One bike or two, which one to use?

I've got a dilemma. The logical answer lies in "what works for you" and "use both and see what works the best"
But, since this is the interweb, why not let everyone weigh in. Might learn something.

I'm used to the road but after a hiatus am back looking to get back riding but will focus on fun/fitness. I'm not the best mtb rider, did mostly road time and some cyclocross. I'll be mainly stringing fire roads and singletrack together on tarmac, and once a week or so commuting. Now I'm thinking "gravel grinder" flavor, so here we go.
I now only have two bikes:
SOMA Double Cross Disc with a mix of 9 speed mountain components run by bar ends and cantilever brakes. 700x32 tires that need replacing on Mavic Open Pros. Front is a triple locked out to 42/34? double and a 12-26 rear cassette (needs more gearing). Stem was flipped lower in this pic (for riding the trainer).


The 29er is an On One Scandal hardtail with dropouts for gear or SS on 3x10 Shimano LX groupset locked out to 2x10 (removed big ring) on tubeless compatible wheels and 2.2 tires. Wide flat bars and a lockable air fork. (didn't final trim the steer tube)


I also hate throwing money at things for no good reason. "Because it's the new stuff" is not convincing.
Other than using them as is, I'm wondering about my options: Upgrade the SOMA to 2x10 with 46/30 and wide range rear? It would need chain, crankset, BB, cassette, RD, FD.
Then even bringing it to disc would mean wheelset, brakes and levers. Probably new barend shifters. Not a very budget solution, but maybe worth it?

Perhaps take parts from the 29er, fit them on the SOMA to build one budget do it all bike? I'd just need new shifters and hydraulic road levers. Then sell the 29er parts

Or is the 29er the better direction? Tour the Divide style. Add dirt drops and road levers, optional narrow tires. Done. Get a rigid carbon fork in the future depending on trails I end up riding a lot.

SOMA feels very roadie, so its familiar, needs a lot more gear for some fire road climbs.
OnOne feels taller and longer, different cornering feel but rolls over everything.

I see some great options like Kona Sutra and Salsa Fargo and Vaya but I just don't see spending new money when I have two options right here.
thenomad is offline  
Old 05-10-20, 08:06 AM
  #2  
aggiegrads
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sherwood, OR
Posts: 1,265
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 329 Post(s)
Liked 293 Times in 172 Posts
Easy, cheap answer: Unlock the triple on the Soma to allow use of the granny ring, change the tire to 38’s or 40s if they will fit and go ride.

Next best: put on a wider range cassette and get a long cage 9 speed RD. That still gives the option to go to 10 speed brifters in the future without changing the rear RD.
aggiegrads is online now  
Likes For aggiegrads:
Old 05-10-20, 08:23 AM
  #3  
wsteve464
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 62 Posts
Pretty simple solution for me. Ride the Soma on your commute and add the big ring back on the MTB, you will need to pedal down the fire roads the riding on the street part will be a little slower and a little harder than a gravel bike but your not in a race. I ride the foothills of LA and you will want hydro disc brakes for the downhills. I have ridden mechanical disc and hydro disc, The hydro disc stop better with less effort and on long downhills the mech disc take a lot of effort to stop and go out of adjustment quickly. And you will be glad of the front suspension.
wsteve464 is offline  
Likes For wsteve464:
Old 05-10-20, 09:11 AM
  #4  
GrainBrain
Senior Member
 
GrainBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Central Io-way
Posts: 2,430

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Giant Talon 29er

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1153 Post(s)
Liked 520 Times in 391 Posts
What do you use the bikes for as of now? I considered putting drop bars and a rigid fork on my hard tail 29er but backed away because it was my do-all and I wanted something that was fully capable still on our single track.

I think I would sell the soma if you can't fit at least 38mm tires comfortably. There are a lot of $1000 and under bikes, especially used, that come ready with tubeless wheels, good geometry and wide range gearing.
GrainBrain is offline  
Old 05-10-20, 10:03 AM
  #5  
thenomad
Riding like its 1990
Thread Starter
 
thenomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IE, SoCal
Posts: 3,789
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
I haven't been riding for about 5 years. I used to ride a lot but then was unable to commute daily or spend 5 hours in the saddle on the weekend. I switched to other fitness endeavors but with recent changes I'm getting back into cycling. Will be focusing on 2 hour rides, or approx 30 milers tops. Will be linking fire roads and single track. get in, get out
thenomad is offline  
Likes For thenomad:
Old 05-10-20, 10:29 AM
  #6  
GrainBrain
Senior Member
 
GrainBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Central Io-way
Posts: 2,430

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Giant Talon 29er

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1153 Post(s)
Liked 520 Times in 391 Posts
Sounds like the soma gets use on the trainer, so I wouldn't want to disrupt that. I'd start out with the 29er and a set of 40ish tires mounted tubeless. Keep everything else the same but maybe find a cheap flat bar that's a bit narrower or add some bar ends. I'm guessing the 29er top gear is a 32x11? That's good enough for the moment. Get some miles down asap for a better understanding. I've done a ton of gravel miles on my 29er. I ended up going with a dedicated drop bar mainly for the position (tucking out of the wind) and multiple hand positions. Plus in my case my xc mtb is more aggressive then I wanted for longer (30+ mile) rides, because I bought it before I knew how to fit a bike
GrainBrain is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 09:59 AM
  #7  
chas58
Senior Member
 
chas58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,857

Bikes: too many of all kinds

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1145 Post(s)
Liked 410 Times in 331 Posts
If I were you, I would concentrate on getting my bike fitness and skills back, ride the bikes like they are and see which one calls to me. I rather find mountain bikes boring on the road, and I do like to be a bit under biked, but others like having a large margin of safety.
chas58 is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 12:05 PM
  #8  
thenomad
Riding like its 1990
Thread Starter
 
thenomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IE, SoCal
Posts: 3,789
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Good way to put it. I can technically ride both as is but I do need some different tires. I'm thinking 38 or 40. The old Ritchey Speedmax 32 tires are starting to break down sidewalls from sitting. Was tempted to just
It's definitely different than road riding where you can mindlessly mash. My rides will probably stay shorter and after a few basic rides I'll begin training intervals, cadences and repeats.

I'm pretty sure I feel that the positioning on a road bike is where I'm most comfortable. Thinking these 29er components and wheels could be hung on the Soma with disc calipers.
thenomad is offline  
Old 05-13-20, 09:36 AM
  #9  
Rides4Beer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: VA
Posts: 1,437

Bikes: SuperSix Evo | Revolt

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 732 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 412 Posts
Personally, I like having two bikes, always good to have a backup. I've had several occasions where I wouldn't be able to ride for a period of time if I only had one bike.

I love riding my gravel bike on the road with the 40mm tires, it always feels more fun and relaxed, when I'm on the road bike I think I just feel like I need to hammer it. But the gravel bike has more options, if I feel like mixing it up and getting offroad, I can just take a detour with no worries.

Maybe keep the Soma in road trim for trainer riding and road backup, and make the 29er a lil more road/gravel friendly with 40-45mm tires?
Rides4Beer is offline  
Old 05-13-20, 02:11 PM
  #10  
thenomad
Riding like its 1990
Thread Starter
 
thenomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IE, SoCal
Posts: 3,789
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Bought Schwalbe G-One AllAround tires in 38 for the Soma, have to wait on those.

I took the 29er out today for 90 minutes mix of road to the trail, did an easy fire road then back on tarmac to 4 miles of easy singletrack.
Things I noticed:
My handling skills are rusty! Road hammering is so simple! I need to build my confidence cornering and body english in dirt.
The bike fits me but I'm just not a fan of mtn flat bars wrist position. Had some numbing, but I didn't wear gloves.
I forgot how dang sandy these fire roads out here can get! hard clay dirt and rock then a pit of fine sand. I kept thinking about the 38c tires I bought and how they'd do on the soma.
I need all the gears till my old spin comes back. My old SS days will take some training.
Tires had too much air but that made the road much better.
I can definitely see the fun in being "under biked" and getting a better workout taking on these trails near me.

I'll keep perusing the drop bar 29er scene and do some testing on the cross bike once my tires come in.
thenomad is offline  
Old 05-13-20, 02:15 PM
  #11  
GrainBrain
Senior Member
 
GrainBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Central Io-way
Posts: 2,430

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Giant Talon 29er

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1153 Post(s)
Liked 520 Times in 391 Posts
Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
Tires had too much air but that made the road much better.
Don't fall into this falsehood like I do time and time again! The only time I notice that more air is better is on pavement climbs. Otherwise I find I'm slower with higher air pressure. Counter intuitive I know but I'll drop the air 10psi lower then I was riding at (often 40psi on my 2.2") and voila better ride, better handling, same speed.
GrainBrain is offline  
Old 05-13-20, 02:24 PM
  #12  
thenomad
Riding like its 1990
Thread Starter
 
thenomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IE, SoCal
Posts: 3,789
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Don't fall into this falsehood like I do time and time again! The only time I notice that more air is better is on pavement climbs. Otherwise I find I'm slower with higher air pressure. Counter intuitive I know but I'll drop the air 10psi lower then I was riding at (often 40psi on my 2.2") and voila better ride, better handling, same speed.
I'll do it! Thanks
thenomad is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.