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Can this work for a gravel bike?

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Can this work for a gravel bike?

Old 05-04-21, 07:45 AM
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burningbizman
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Can this work for a gravel bike?

I am considering buying a Cannondale CAAD 2 R300 for a commuter bike but I am wondering what are the limits for adding gravel tires and even a front and rear rack? Is that too much for the aluminum frame? I've been looking a long time and finding a 58cm is hard enough, let alone for all the uses I want, gravel, ultralight-bikepacking, daily commuting fast enough were I'm not getting passed by little old ladies on their carbon rockets. Thanks for any feedback
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Old 05-04-21, 07:52 AM
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msu2001la
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Wouldn't the rim brake road calipers severely limit the tire size on that bike?
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Old 05-04-21, 09:33 AM
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burningbizman
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Wouldn't the rim brake road calipers severely limit the tire size on that bike?
I would think the clearance issue is the seat tube and the tire.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:39 AM
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Chainstays, fork, brake calipers..... You would be lucky to clear 28s on most road bikes of that era. If you are committed to that frame (free?) you might measure for a 650b conversion.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by burningbizman View Post
adding gravel tires and even a front and rear rack? Is that too much for the aluminum frame?
What the frame is made of has little to do with it. Does it have adequate tire clearance and rack mounts?

Originally Posted by burningbizman View Post
all the uses I want, gravel, ultralight-bikepacking, daily commuting
A dedicated road bike isn't the right tool for all those jobs.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:43 AM
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Can it work? Sure.
Would I ever seek that out as a gravel bike? No.

Gravel means different things to everyone, depending on the area and types of roads. I can ride hardpack smooth dirt on 25s and fly. If thats what you have for unpaved roads, then perfect. If its loose rock or its scattered loose over rutted hardpack, then maybe it wouldnt really be the best...
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Old 05-04-21, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by burningbizman View Post
I would think the clearance issue is the seat tube and the tire.
I don't think I've ever seen a road brake caliper work with anything larger than a 28mm tire, but yeah... the clearance around the frame is probably an issue too.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:54 AM
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As previously stated, it depends on your gravel. Around here, you might as well get some good walking shoes in preference to that bike, because if you tried to ride it, you would get constant flats and be walking a lot. I have seen people try it and learn. Where I grew up, the dirt roads had no rocks to mention and you could ride any bike on them. Sometimes I miss that. Only problem is, after a wet winter you might get stuck in the mud.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:55 AM
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not free

Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Chainstays, fork, brake calipers..... You would be lucky to clear 28s on most road bikes of that era. If you are committed to that frame (free?) you might measure for a 650b conversion.
Checking out the 650b option. Thanks
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Old 05-04-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Chainstays, fork, brake calipers..... You would be lucky to clear 28s on most road bikes of that era. If you are committed to that frame (free?) you might measure for a 650b conversion.
Here's an R300 rebuild that uses 28mm tires with Shimano 105 brake calipers. Looks like a very tight squeeze, but it works.
I'm not sure if 650b would increase the clearance, even if there was a solution to get the brakes working with that wheel size.

I don't think this frame works for a gravel build, but could be a fun street bike project.
https://thesurlybiker.wordpress.com/...street-ripper/

Edit: The person who did this build started a thread on BF about it. They say this setup has bad toe-overlap, which isn't surprising given how compact the geometry of road bikes in the late 90's were. A larger frame size probably addresses this.

Another poster in this thread says 32mm tires would not fit in a 60cm frame.
​​​​​​Help me update this 1999 Cannondale R300 Caad2

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Old 05-04-21, 12:43 PM
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So I think I am going to get a 2009 Madone 5.2 road bike. I'd hoped for something gravely but I'll take what I can find. I am heading out for a vacation and riding as much as I can. I'll just have to pick my roads carefully. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-07-21, 11:34 PM
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ahem, running gravel king 38mm on my All City Mr. Pink with long reach.... caliper brakes and that's with a carbon fork. Its a tight fit in the front but its a very versatile bike.
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Old 05-07-21, 11:39 PM
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You might be better off looking for a "touring" bike. One with canti or v brakes. They tend to have better clearance Check out the Cannondale T700 if C'dale is your thing. Surly cross check has been my go-to for the type of requirements you have. Buy a frame and build it how YOU want it. I've done them with flat bars, drop bars, downtube shifter, bar end shifters, brfters etc. Lots of eyelets for racks, fenders. Or Velo Orange polyvalent, Soma Saga. Or an old Trek. 520 maybe.
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Old 05-08-21, 08:04 AM
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if it fits.....

Originally Posted by ChrisCrash View Post
You might be better off looking for a "touring" bike.
For now I'm happily stuck with the 2009 Madone that fits perfect and is a dream to ride on the road. I wanted to get away from traffic and have something I could get onto some "hmmm wonder where this goes roads????", but I will settle for what was a surprise find (less than BBB) that I couldn't pass up. I'll keep looking for touring bike like you recommended but for now pretty happy with my choice.
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