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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Your dream gravel bike

Old 07-13-21, 11:01 PM
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Just built mine (mostly). I've been a fairly infrequent rider in the past 6 years, due to lumbar spine issues which I found to be due to cycling on bumpy roads on my road bike. Did a couple of dirt rides on my 2005 Fuji CX bike, and was reminded of how much fun that was, but then learned about this new thing called gravel bikes and had to have one. Tried to convert the CX bike to have disc brakes, as it already had disc mounting brackets (IS mounts). So I ordered a GRX groupset before finding out about through axles and 142 vs. 135 mm frame spacing. At that point it seemed evident that it was an uphill battle converting that CX bike to what I wanted, so I started looking for complete bike builds, but couldn't find anything in stock that drew my attention. Figured it would be easier to build a bike from individual components and just get what I wanted. I have a fairly strong weight weenie streak, but placed even more emphasis on compliance / vibration damping to protect my spine. I kept my normally frugal self from thinking about the costs too much, except that I chickened out on the wheelset (for now).

Open UP (XL)
GRX 810 2x mechanical groupset w/ Ultegra 11-34 cassette
Redshift Shockstop Pro suspension stem (heavy, but I think worth the weight)
Shimano PRO PLT Ergo carbon bars
Wheels Mfg 386 EVO angular contact BB
Shimano PD-M9100 XTR pedals
Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex seatpost
Fizik Aliante 00 Versus Evo saddle
DT Swiss GR1600 wheelset (heavy)

Weight is just under 20 lb / 9.0 kg as pictured, which is more than I had hoped for, but not too bad. I plan to upgrade the wheels in a couple of years after I've digested / forgotten about the cost of the initial build. Want Zipp 303 Firecrests but am also considering Farsports.

I love the stability of steering, and the vibration damping. This is my first carbon bike, first bike with hydraulic brakes, first bike with tubeless tires, and first bike with >32mm tires. I'm loving all of it. Loving the whole gravel bike thing also, how it opens up routes and adventures that did not exist for me before.


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Old 07-14-21, 05:32 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by wangdongmei
This is the gravel road bike of my dream,SAVA Carbon Gravel Road Bike SHIMANO R8020 / R7070 Hydraulic Disc Brake 700C Trail Gravel Road Bike 40C Tire
Frame Size: 54cm

Wheel Size: 700C
Weight: 9.5 KG
Derailleur / Brake System(105 version):

Shift lever left: SHIMANO 105 ST-R7020
Front Derailleur: SHIMANO 105 FD-R7000
Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO 105 RD-R7000
Brakes calipers: SHIMANO 105 BR-R7070
Flywheel: SHIMANO 105 CS-R7000 11-32T
Crank sets: SHIMANO 105 FC-7000 50-34T
Brake rotor: AR18 140MM
Being a dream and all, I'd at least pick the "Ultegar" option.



He looks Ultegar
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Old 07-14-21, 07:15 AM
  #53  
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Aw man, you went to their site? Don’t help the spammers win…
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Old 07-14-21, 08:25 PM
  #54  
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I can't find the initial post. Deleted after the ultegar comment?
That guy does look legit ultegar.
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Old 07-15-21, 03:34 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by lifanus
Bought this bike for $95, ready to hit gravel as-is.


Trek 730 for $95

Handbuild in USA
Now Knowing what I know about shoulder injuries. I will always love those 90's bikes. But I also know they best for smooth gravel packed dirt. cryshed gravel rail tails. With the flexy frame and flexy fork they can be a handful at speed and hitting 1" size rocks.

Not knocking it. I dropped close to $700 into a custom build on a lugged schwinn crosscut frame. I just so happen to know how flexy they are. Choose your gravel wisely😉
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Old 07-15-21, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee
I don’t dream very big, and don’t dream down to every last detail, so to me a dream bike would probably just be something too niché for me to justify buying because of the limited use I’d get out of it.

I’d have to go with something like the Bearclaw Tōwmak or Beaux Jaxon
I'd love to test ride both of those. Especially the Beaux Jaxson on 700x2.35 g-one speed tires.

However, I'd probably be better suited with the Thunderhawk.
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Old 07-22-21, 03:51 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk

He looks Ultegar
He really is! I know Ben really well, we used to ride together in the forests in Southern Germany when I lived in Stuttagrt. Fun guy, to hang with, in fact, I really miss the group people we were a part of when I lived there. It was Ultegar! I'm also certain that image is being used without his permission, since he runs a gravel e-magazine that reviews rides, bikes, gear, etc., and I'm guessing that letting his image or those taken by his staff be used by a bike company would hurt their bottomline.
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Old 07-24-21, 05:26 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by jayp410
Just built mine (mostly). I've been a fairly infrequent rider in the past 6 years, due to lumbar spine issues which I found to be due to cycling on bumpy roads on my road bike. Did a couple of dirt rides on my 2005 Fuji CX bike, and was reminded of how much fun that was, but then learned about this new thing called gravel bikes and had to have one. Tried to convert the CX bike to have disc brakes, as it already had disc mounting brackets (IS mounts). So I ordered a GRX groupset before finding out about through axles and 142 vs. 135 mm frame spacing. At that point it seemed evident that it was an uphill battle converting that CX bike to what I wanted, so I started looking for complete bike builds, but couldn't find anything in stock that drew my attention. Figured it would be easier to build a bike from individual components and just get what I wanted. I have a fairly strong weight weenie streak, but placed even more emphasis on compliance / vibration damping to protect my spine. I kept my normally frugal self from thinking about the costs too much, except that I chickened out on the wheelset (for now).

Open UP (XL)
GRX 810 2x mechanical groupset w/ Ultegra 11-34 cassette
Redshift Shockstop Pro suspension stem (heavy, but I think worth the weight)
Shimano PRO PLT Ergo carbon bars
Wheels Mfg 386 EVO angular contact BB
Shimano PD-M9100 XTR pedals
Syntace P6 Carbon HiFlex seatpost
Fizik Aliante 00 Versus Evo saddle
DT Swiss GR1600 wheelset (heavy)

Weight is just under 20 lb / 9.0 kg as pictured, which is more than I had hoped for, but not too bad. I plan to upgrade the wheels in a couple of years after I've digested / forgotten about the cost of the initial build. Want Zipp 303 Firecrests but am also considering Farsports.

I love the stability of steering, and the vibration damping. This is my first carbon bike, first bike with hydraulic brakes, first bike with tubeless tires, and first bike with >32mm tires. I'm loving all of it. Loving the whole gravel bike thing also, how it opens up routes and adventures that did not exist for me before.

Man, I like this! Just need to go the next step with the wheels!
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Old 03-07-22, 09:41 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by dwmckee
Nice choice! And US made frame...
designed in usa, made in taiwan. i like this frame too but weight was not on the priority list when they designed this frame.
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Old 03-07-22, 01:27 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by hkboy313
designed in usa, made in taiwan. i like this frame too but weight was not on the priority list when they designed this frame.
Funny, since this thread was bumped I read thru it and the MUSA claim stuck out for me too. I was about to ask who in the US makes the frame for RodeoLabs.
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Old 03-08-22, 09:58 PM
  #61  
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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.

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Ah, my mistake then. I thought Rodeo Lab frames were US-made...
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Old 03-09-22, 01:59 AM
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Since this thread got bumped up again, I'll just share another pic of my gravel bike when its separated for packing.
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Old 03-09-22, 09:23 PM
  #63  
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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.

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Beautiful bike!

I wonder if TI frames will be harder to get with so much of the supply coming from Russia...
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Old 03-09-22, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee
Beautiful bike!

I wonder if TI frames will be harder to get with so much of the supply coming from Russia...

I was wondering about it too, remembering that in the past for the Blackbird project, the US had to go a long undercover route to get enough titanium for it.
But then nowadays titanium seems common and China produces and mines most of it followed SA and Australia. (Palladium is the metal that Russia is a top producer )

Lets hope for the best
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Old 03-10-22, 06:05 AM
  #65  
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I recently purchased my ultimate dream gravel bike. My gravel roads are pretty flat and I would say I am ~50/50 road/gravel. So in many ways a road bike with lots of room for gravel tires.

Tommasini X-Fire Gravel with EKAR. Smooth and fast.



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Old 03-10-22, 08:36 AM
  #66  
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Wow, 1 1/8 steerer tube carbon fork on stainless frame? Thats a rare combo in this modern time. Really neat!
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Old 03-16-22, 04:27 PM
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I've been pining for a custom Speedvagen for too long, but every time I get close to pulling the trigger I think about what I've put my gravel bike through over the years. I just don't think I could enjoy a beautiful, new, high-dollar custom build the way I do my well worn, broken in Niner.
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Old 09-13-23, 09:04 AM
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Excited to share my gravel bike dream build! I wanted the bike that was perfect for what I ride, which is New England dirt roads, forest roads and some single track. Dirt roads here are steep! I wanted it to be as much made in the US as possible, if not US then components from small shops in the UK and Europe. And I wanted it to be light.

Frame design - I went with True Temper S3 tubing, which some builders still have and is widely considered the best tubing ever made in the US (or anywhere). I considered KVA stainless but was convinced by the framebuilder (Doug Curtiss - Curtlo Cycles) that the difficulty in working with stainless was not worth the hassle when compared to S3. Frame is fillet brazed and powder coated with chameleon color (Prismatic Universe).

Geometry - In my time riding gravel on a frame with a 70 degree head angle and 75 mm of trail I never once felt the handling to be sluggish, and I still wanted more stability on descents. The trend in gravel frames is toward longer and slacker so I went with 69.5 degree head angle and 50 mm offset fork, which gives me 80 mm of trail. I lengthened the reach by 10 mm and also increased BB drop to 78 mm - all to create more stability on fast gravel descents. Chainstays are pretty standard 435 mm. Headtube is straight for 1 1/8 steerer; and of course flat mount brakes and thru axles.

Final weight for the frame is 1900 grams.

Spec
Ritchey Carbon Adventure fork (I think WoundUp is the only carbon fork made in the US and those are ugly and not light!)
Enve AG25 wheels with Enve hubs (US made rims, hubs probably made in Taiwan) because I could not get I9 or White hubs at the time.
White Industries A30 crank(US made) with 2X VBC chainrings 40/26. The A30 is a road crank with MTB BB that works properly with the GRX front derailleur +2.5 chainline. I originally bought the G30 which is MTB arms with road BB axle and did not like the feel of the wider Q factor.
GRX di2 shifters and derailleurs
Cassette 3T 9-32 (these are probably made by eThirteen - I assume Taiwan)
White Industries BB and headset (US made). Headset was tricky with the Ritchey fork having an integrated crown race that does not fit most headset lower cups. I ended up with a Ritchey lower until White gets the proper lower bearing.
Hope RX4 brakes (UK) / Galfer rotors (Spain) 160/140
Schmolke seatpost (Germany) 125 grams
Berk Dila saddle (Slovenia) 105 grams
Extralite Hyperstem stem (Italy) 60 grams
Alchemy carbon bottle cages (US)
Rene Herse Hurricane Ridge 700x42 Extralight tires.
Pro Discover Carbon 20 degree bars (could not find flared carbon bars that had the shape I like made in US or Europe)
Xpedo M-Force 8 pedals

Final bike weight is 19 lbs

Lessons learned
Steel is real! The frame is stiff and I still think that I can feel the difference from my prior aluminum frame. Maybe it’s all in my head but I don’t care!
Wiring issues: Where the B-junction goes on a steel frame is a bit of a challenge. Putting it in the downtube is about impossible - you cannot get all the wires connected and still get it through whatever access you have. If you put it in the seat tube there are a lot of wires that have to traverse the BB. I created my own B-junction hack by soldering di2 wires into a Y configuration di2 Hack
Front dérailleur issue: The GRX front derailleur and the relatively small chainrings caused an unexpected problem. The derailleur cannot go low enough to be in the proper position without running into the chainstay. Once I got the adjustment right, though, the shifting does not seem affected adversely.
Gearing choice: The 40/26 rings mated to a 9/32 cassette works very, very well. The 40/9 top gear is a ratio of 4.44 (higher than a 48/11); the 26/32 low gear is 0.8125 giving me a 546% range. I use all of those gears. One nice thing with this arrangement is I spend more time in the big ring. And the tiny 9 tooth cog is only used for cruising down paved roads - I don't think I'll ever wear that out but it's nice to not run out of top gear.
Xpedo cleats are terrible. Pedals work perfectly with Shimano cleats!
Hope RX4 brakes are a bit of a pain to make the first adjustment but from there are fantastic.
The rave reviews about the Berk saddle are not overblown. First time I used this saddle (on a prior bike) it felt like I had added a suspension seatpost. The only bad thing about this saddle is you'll want one for every bike you own and they are not inexpensive.

Been riding it for a year now!

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Old 09-13-23, 09:24 AM
  #69  
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That's awesome. Nice work.

BTW, here is how the bike you helped me with (Di2 advice and wires) turned out. It is my wife's bike, and we scavenged the Ti frame and fork on Jenson for about $2k:


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Old 09-13-23, 10:37 AM
  #70  
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I wish I had bought some S3 when it was still available.
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Old 09-13-23, 01:40 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Chilepines
What I really like about this is that it isnt what I would want from a frame geometry perspective or component spec perspective, yet I really like the final build because so much thought went into the bike. You want a more stable downhill feel?- awesome. You want a wide range sub-sub-compact?- awesome.
Really, thats a neat bike.
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Old 09-14-23, 01:09 AM
  #72  
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Chilepines yeah, that’s a sweet one! Kudos! Curtlo is a real piece of American cycling history, and I think that’s so cool.
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Old 09-14-23, 06:12 AM
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Not only my dream gravel bike, but its siblings are my dream road bikes. Anyone got a spare 30k laying around to lend so I can fill my stable?

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Old 09-19-23, 12:33 PM
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jughead Just get one! You won't regret it (your wallet will, but you won't!). Probably the best-built bike I have ever owned...

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Old 09-19-23, 01:17 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Caliwild
jughead Just get one! You won't regret it (your wallet will, but you won't!). Probably the best-built bike I have ever owned...

My envy runs cold and deep.

My 20yo Time VX Special Pro was a huge splurge for me when I bought the frame new. A lot of bikes and a lot of miles later, my Time is still the best-handling road bike I've ever ridden. My lusty feelings for the new ADHX 45 are painful.
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