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Help needed - building up a gravel hardtail

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Help needed - building up a gravel hardtail

Old 10-23-20, 03:36 AM
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Murf58
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Help needed - building up a gravel hardtail

Hi All,

I have the opportunity to get a Merida hardtail Carbon frame and am thinking of building up a light bike for gravel riding and a bit of shortish backpacking. I already have some Stans crest carbon wheels and am thinking of an XT drivetrain and brakes.
Appreciate any thoughts on the forks, bars (flat) and tyres! Thankyou.
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Old 10-23-20, 05:42 AM
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Lots of tyres out there. Depends on the width and tread you're chasing for certain surfaces.

e.g. the tubeless 44mm ReneHerse filetread weigh around 330gm. (1mm thinner at the center than their other filetread offerings).

At the moment am trying out the 375gm Furious Fred at 45.5mm (narrower alternative to similar tread height/pattern on 2.1" Thunder Burt liteskin).
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Old 10-23-20, 06:44 AM
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Ill just toss out there that flat bars become the devil for me after a couple hours.

If your bikepacking is so shortish its under a couple hours, Id be good with a flat bar, but otherwise I would look at something with some shape to it that offers multiple hand and body angle positions.
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Old 10-23-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Lots of tyres out there. Depends on the width and tread you're chasing for certain surfaces.

e.g. the tubeless 44mm ReneHerse filetread weigh around 330gm. (1mm thinner at the center than their other filetread offerings).

At the moment am trying out the 375gm Furious Fred at 45.5mm (narrower alternative to similar tread height/pattern on 2.1" Thunder Burt liteskin).
I have those two. They are great gravel tires.

I'll say the TB is probably as fast as anything out there on pure gravel. If its mixed pavement and gravel, the FF is going to pull ahead on the road, especially in the turns. The TB has low rolling resistance, and if I'm just going in a straight line on a MUP, its faster than I would think. Those corner blocks really change the handling on pavement though. The FF feels a lot like a road tire on pavement.
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Old 10-23-20, 12:44 PM
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Jones bars!
  • Many hand positions
  • Ability to strap gear to it
  • Room for lights, Garmin, bell, etc.
  • Jones handlebar pack available and very useful
  • Butted aluminum version is reasonably light at 520 g
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Old 10-23-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I have those two. They are great gravel tires.

I'll say the TB is probably as fast as anything out there on pure gravel. If its mixed pavement and gravel, the FF is going to pull ahead on the road, especially in the turns. The TB has low rolling resistance, and if I'm just going in a straight line on a MUP, its faster than I would think. Those corner blocks really change the handling on pavement though. The FF feels a lot like a road tire on pavement.
Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Lots of tyres out there. Depends on the width and tread you're chasing for certain surfaces.

e.g. the tubeless 44mm ReneHerse filetread weigh around 330gm. (1mm thinner at the center than their other filetread offerings).

At the moment am trying out the 375gm Furious Fred at 45.5mm (narrower alternative to similar tread height/pattern on 2.1" Thunder Burt liteskin).
Thanks Tangerine and Chas - will look at the FF given it will be a mix of pavement and gravel I will be riding. Tangerine be great to hear your thoughts on the tyre once youíve finished your trial. I was also thinking about gravelkings?
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Old 10-23-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ill just toss out there that flat bars become the devil for me after a couple hours.

If your bikepacking is so shortish its under a couple hours, Id be good with a flat bar, but otherwise I would look at something with some shape to it that offers multiple hand and body angle positions.
Thanks - I should have mentioned in the original post I was going to try the SQLabs Innerbarends with the flat bars - that gives some flexibility for hand position.
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Old 10-23-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Jones bars!
  • Many hand positions
  • Ability to strap gear to it
  • Room for lights, Garmin, bell, etc.
  • Jones handlebar pack available and very useful
  • Butted aluminum version is reasonably light at 520 g
Thanks for the suggestion Rolla - I’ll have a closer look at them (I’ve always wanted to try them) but they feel a bit overkill for the normal riding I’ll be doing (1-3 hours with an occasional day ride).

Last edited by Murf58; 10-23-20 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Error
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Old 10-23-20, 03:36 PM
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the Satori Deviant Bow Carbon bar from Taiwan has some backsweep+rise and is a good price and weight. I use their carbon flared dropbar.

Re fork options, the old 3T Luteus clears a 29x2.1+ and is a good weight. They came in qr and thru-axle. Sometimes they pop up secondhand or on discount.

I like the svelte Spork3 also. The Fairlight Cempa fork is another lightweight but out of stock at the moment.

https://bikepacking.com/index/forks-...e-cage-mounts/

Last edited by tangerineowl; 10-23-20 at 03:53 PM. Reason: txt
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Old 10-24-20, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
the Satori Deviant Bow Carbon bar from Taiwan has some backsweep+rise and is a good price and weight. I use their carbon flared dropbar.

Re fork options, the old 3T Luteus clears a 29x2.1+ and is a good weight. They came in qr and thru-axle. Sometimes they pop up secondhand or on discount.

I like the svelte Spork3 also. The Fairlight Cempa fork is another lightweight but out of stock at the moment.
I like the look of those 3T forks - thanks! I havenít decided yet whether I will go with a rigid fork or a 100mm suspension fork.
I will check out some reviews on those satori bars - thankyou.
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Old 10-24-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Jones bars!
  • Many hand positions
  • Ability to strap gear to it
  • Room for lights, Garmin, bell, etc.
  • Jones handlebar pack available and very useful
  • Butted aluminum version is reasonably light at 520 g
Great choice.

I use them on my Blackborow and my son has them on his Bridge Club. Excellent hand positions and plenty of real estate to strap bags/rods as needed.
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Old 10-25-20, 02:27 AM
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Furious Fred review:-

Today's ride was fairly flat overall, across small gravel over hardpack. Dry conditions.

Never really got the chance to rail long corners on these; mostly straight line stuff.

Pretty happy with them across these conditions and on sealed roads, which they roll across at a pretty good speed for what they are.

Only having a 1mm? knob height in the center, they're never going to have the greatest grip climbing steeper stuff I suppose.

At steady speeds they hold a line pretty well. At high speed (40km+) they can start to slide around a bit when hitting softer sections.
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