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

Steel Gravel/CX/Touring suggestions

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.

Steel Gravel/CX/Touring suggestions

Old 10-11-20, 05:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Steel Gravel/CX/Touring suggestions

hello everyone. first post. Been out of the cycling game for over 5 years, just getting back into it. When I left off, I was using an aluminum Ridley X Bow to do everything. I was hitting easy-moderate single track, doing asphalt group rides, and even a few cx races.

So now that I'm back... Seems like the market has exploded with options. I want something I can throw slicks on and do asphalt group rides, or toss on knobbies and explore dirt/gravel roads. I live in northern Arizona so I get literally every kind of terrain imaginable. I have a 27.5 mid fat for the actual mtb trails, but this bike will be for everything else. I'm looking for steel because I like how it rides and I probably won't be racing. Component wise, lower mid spec is fine. Trying to stay under $2k

The top contenders right now are the 2021 Marin Nicasio 2 and Salsa Vaya 105. Also have the Kona Rove and Rove DL in mind.

Though not steel, the Diverge Comp E5 piques my interest as well, especially with that future shock.

Any input on these or other suggestions?

Unfortunately I live in the middle of nowhere, so test riding probably isn't an option. Finding shops with bikes I'm looking for in stock in my size is next to impossible.
mangosmoothie is offline  
Old 10-11-20, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,089 Times in 1,488 Posts
As a framebuilder that only works in steel, I don't think I would pay extra for steel over aluminum if I were going to buy a production bike. And everyone charges more for steel nowadays.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 10-12-20, 02:42 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,098

Bikes: 2016 Surly Cross Check singlespeed, 2019 Kona Rove ST

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked 250 Times in 174 Posts
I can only vouch for the Kona Rove. I have a 2019 Rove ST that is the most comfy, go-anywhere bike I've ever owned. Currently running 650B x47 WTB Ventures, and it shreds here in dry SoCal--singletrack, fire roads, etc. Contemplating a 700c wheelset at some point for it with some kinda more road-ish tires, but it's fine on the road as-is. I just run higher tire pressure if I know I'll be on pavement a lot. I recommend the Rove ST highly.
pbass is offline  
Old 10-12-20, 06:09 PM
Senior Member
dwmckee's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,385

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 304 Times in 201 Posts
I'd skip the Vaya. When it was the only game intown it was fantastic, but there are so many good options all around it now that are more refined, lighter and less expensive. No one buys the Vaya anymore because it has been surpassed by just about everything and now it is stuck as just a compromise bike. The Jamis Rengade line of steel bike options has a lot of good choices from $1,200 - $2,000. They are well made and very reasonably priced. Can put on a rack and fenders, frame bags, or whatever you want to do. Great geometry and good ride quality. Lots of drivetrain options. Niner is too expensive for what it is. Rove seems nice but I have not ridden it personally. The Renegade is a killer option though and very reasonably priced. Should start seeing it in dealers in Dec or Jan fir 2021 models.
dwmckee is offline  
Old 10-14-20, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,398

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Liked 466 Times in 273 Posts
I just got a Twin Six Standard Rando. I have not ridden it yet as the bottom bracket is in the mail on its way to my house, but it seems really nice. Guitar Ted wrote up a fantastic review of it. He also put a lot of miles on the previous version of the same frame and liked it so much that he bought the updated version. If you email them, they're pretty good at responding to questions about the build and geometry. I went back and forth about the size and ended up getting a 53cm for my 5'9" self.

Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-14-20 at 06:53 AM.
mack_turtle is offline  
Old 10-14-20, 08:33 AM
mstateglfr's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,273

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7753 Post(s)
Liked 4,736 Times in 2,732 Posts
if you want to build your own, there are some options thatll get you a really good bike for around $2000

frame and fork-
Twin 6 Rando with thru axle and headset for $750 https://www.twinsix.com/collections/bikes-bits
Black Mountain MCD with thru axle and headset for $870 https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/mcd-frames/
Ribble CGR 725 with thru axle and headset for $868 https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-725-frameset/

Shimano 105 for $735 https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...et-119887.html

Fulcrum 4 for $340 https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/f...et-106659.html
DT Swiss 1800 Spline 25 for $352 https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/d...0c-181087.html

cockpit that is equal to or better than anything stock-
various saddle- $40
various bar tape- $20
various bars- $50
stem- Kalloy Uno 7 off ebay thats lighter than most anything else and quality- $25
various seatpost- $35
housing- $15

Panaracer Gravel King SK 43 for $40 per tire

This is basically $2100 total and you get a 105 hydraulic drivetrain and better components overall than stock. The crankset could be sold as new on ebay and instead used an FSA adventure crank thats 46/30 for easier gearing. It does require buying online and searching around, but it doesnt mean you need to hunt for deals(though thats OK). And you could obviously buy cheaper than listed for savings(merlin has a lot of wheels for example).

Or just buy this and call it good.
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-725/ $1412 or $1846 depending on which level you buy.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 10-15-20, 04:52 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 159

Bikes: Jamis renegade, surly big dummy, giant talon 29er

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 21 Posts
I'd drop a vote for the steel jamis renegade. I've done weekend rides, toured/bikepacked,commuted and hauled my kids. Only recommendation would be to opt for the current model with real word gearing for what your going to be doing. First summer I ended up swapping out cassette and crankset.
Chris! is offline  
Old 10-15-20, 06:32 AM
Alan Bikes
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Denver
Posts: 21

Bikes: cruiser, bmx,road

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I just found the Kona Rove and Salsa Veya as well. Seems like there are a few more options after all.
Alan Bikes is offline  
Old 10-15-20, 05:09 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kips Bay, NY
Posts: 2,060

Bikes: Ritchey Swiss Cross | Teesdale Kona Hot | Haro Extreme | Specialized Stumpjumper Comp | Cannondale F1000 | Shogun 1000 | Cannondale M500 | Norco Charger | Marin Muirwoods 29er | Shogun Kaze | Breezer Lightning

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked 765 Times in 404 Posts
Right now, I'd go for a Jamis Renegade for a full bike, or a Soma Double Cross Disc for a frame build. Love the purple

DorkDisk is offline  
Old 10-17-20, 01:19 PM
Senior Member
PumpedUpKicks's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northwest Arkansas, a cyclist's paradise
Posts: 110

Bikes: 2017 Santa Cruz Hightower C S+ Kit, 2020 Salsa Fargo Apex 1, 2015 Salsa Warbird Ti, Burley D'Lite double trailer

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
There is some good advice and suggestions here but I wanted to add a couple of more for your consideration.
Not sure when this will be back in stock, but the State Bicycle Co 4130 steel allroad is a great deal for the money. $800 for complete bike in 700c or 650b and you can add both wheelsets for an extra $350. Look at it here.
The second bike I would look at for your budget is the Surly Straggler. It checks all your boxes and has big tire clearance for $1600. Any bike shop that orders from QBP can order these (Just like Salsa.) Surly Straggler
PumpedUpKicks is offline  
Old 10-17-20, 05:10 PM
Senior Member
zen_'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: 'merica
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked 86 Times in 54 Posts
Kona Rove LTD, Jamis Renegade S1, and Soma Wolverine (A-type) are all reasonably priced frames / framesets I would be looking at. I would say with any of those, they are going to be marginal at best for CX though depending on how serious you are about it.
zen_ is online now  
Old 10-17-20, 05:26 PM
twowheeldesign's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 28

Bikes: Raleigh Tamland 2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Right now, I'd go for a Jamis Renegade for a full bike, or a Soma Double Cross Disc for a frame build. Love the purple
That purple is sweet! That pic alone should end this discussion
twowheeldesign 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 My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.