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Donít sleep on 650b

Old 08-10-21, 09:08 AM
  #26  
pdlamb
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I suppose it was only a matter of time before "gravel bikes" mutated away from being road bikes with more tire clearance, to something very different. Do you suppose gravel bikes and MTBs will ultimately converge into the same thing?
If you track the growth of "gravel bike" tires for the last few years, it supports that conclusion. 38 was "wide" for gravel bikes 4-5 years ago; now that's a skinny gravel tire, and you need 48-54 to be a wide tire. 60 mm isn't exceptional now, which is a MTB tire with a little bigger diameter wheel.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:26 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Cal398 View Post
Great nuanced discussion here, ďdifferent spokes for different folksĒ 😁. As mentioned, Iím definitely not putting 650bs on my road bike anytime soon. Does anyone know if there is a bike with 700c x 2.1Ē clearance with a low bottom bracket, no toe overlap, and agile gravel geometry (possibly an impossible combination of features?).

Whatís the groups personal anecdotal experience on speed between 650b with fat road slicks vs 700c and narrow road slicks? I donít trust Janís work at all, my personal experience with the Rene Herse knobbies can be blamed for that.
It's definitely terrain-specific. 650b just doesn't make much sense for the type of riding and terrain I have available but if I was regularly on bumpy fire access roads with lots of climbing I would strongly consider it.

My Otso Waheela C that I just got a couple weeks ago has clearance for up to 54mm/2.1 in tires. I'm running 700x45mm right now. I'd like to get some fat MTB tires just because I can but honestly it's not because I ever ride on anything that would require that. Think "lifted 4x4 pickup in a shopping mall parking lot".

A couple of the other bikes mentioned like the Fargo and Cutthroat are more on the bikepacking side of the equation and those bikes tend to blur the lines between MTB and gravel bike. When I first saw the Otso I wrote it off as a Cutthroat, but then when I looked into it more (and because of the bike shortage and not wanting to wait a year to get a new bike) I decided to give it a shot.

You could definitely bike pack on this thing but it's a perfectly capable fast-group-ride gravel bike. My average speed has been slightly higher since I got it although that's probably due to new bike placebo effect watts. It's not slowing me down at any rate.

The Otso has an adjustable dropout system called the tuning chip so I could move the rear wheel slightly forward. If I was going to be on a really technical course with lots of climbing I would consider 650b wheelset with some fat knobbies on there and slide the dropouts forward. But there's just not a lot of riding like that where I live.

This isn't an ad for Otso, I just like my new bike with fat tires. I wish the temperature would come down below 90 though.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:31 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I suppose it was only a matter of time before "gravel bikes" mutated away from being road bikes with more tire clearance, to something very different. Do you suppose gravel bikes and MTBs will ultimately converge into the same thing?
I donít think that will really happen, no, largely because I believe there is demand for get-on-and-go, out-your-front-door, all-road riding which doesnít demand or want heavy bikes, big tires, or full suspension. I think that segment is essentially the same as that which kept road cycling from disappearing under the popularity of MTB.

MTB, by contrast, was driven by a customer base that largely had to pack up and drive to the trails, so it seems that if youíre going to do that, you have a lot of choice regarding what the ride is going to look like, and I think a lot of riders preferred the thrill of downhilling more than XC riding, ergo desire for more travel, more tire, and more extreme geometry.

So yeah, while weíll see full sprung gravel bikes, I think the gravel segment will remain diverse, or at least split between road-core and trail-coreÖor something like that.
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Old 08-10-21, 12:40 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I suppose it was only a matter of time before "gravel bikes" mutated away from being road bikes with more tire clearance, to something very different. Do you suppose gravel bikes and MTBs will ultimately converge into the same thing?
God I hope not
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Old 08-10-21, 01:35 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I suppose it was only a matter of time before "gravel bikes" mutated away from being road bikes with more tire clearance, to something very different. Do you suppose gravel bikes and MTBs will ultimately converge into the same thing?
No because bikes that fall under the marketing term "Gravel" span a really wide gamut of terrain and riding styles already. It is everything from what are almost XC mountain bikes to road bikes that occasionally hit the occasional fire road or non-paved MUP or even "All Road" bikes.
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Old 08-10-21, 04:53 PM
  #31  
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38mm tires made more sense back in the days when the bike manufacturers were inexplicably making bikes modeled on UCI compliant CX bikes. Not to mention that the UCI rule on tire size is a little silly anyway.

XC mtb have moved to designs that would have been pretty normal in downhill races not that long ago. So gravel bikes filling that void makes a certain amount of sense. I think that gravel bikes with tires somewhere around 40mm will be with us for a while, because people want to be able to ride them on the road.
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Old 08-11-21, 05:23 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I suppose it was only a matter of time before "gravel bikes" mutated away from being road bikes with more tire clearance, to something very different. Do you suppose gravel bikes and MTBs will ultimately converge into the same thing?
We called them monster cross a 10-15 years ago and we're back to doing that again..

I rode a drop bar rigid 29er with 2.4" tires all over in 2009-2010
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Old 08-11-21, 09:33 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
No because bikes that fall under the marketing term "Gravel" span a really wide gamut of terrain and riding styles already. It is everything from what are almost XC mountain bikes to road bikes that occasionally hit the occasional fire road or non-paved MUP or even "All Road" bikes.
I think that people are using gravel bikes for all kinds of things, including putting wider road tires on them and riding them on the road. It seems to me that many of them make better touring bikes than what we've had in the past, as well as very good commuters. I think that most gravel bikes are going to continue to look a lot like road bikes that take wider tires. The industry is exploring alternatives just to see if they can sell something.
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Old 08-11-21, 09:35 AM
  #34  
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I can see gravel bikes settling into two categories, ironically, the two that gravel bikes came from. We'll have the drop bar mountain bikes and we'll have light touring bikes again, except they'll retain the name "allroad". Difference from before is that they'll both be made of carbon.
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