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Simple upgrades to a gravel bike for long paved road rides?

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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.

Simple upgrades to a gravel bike for long paved road rides?

Old 09-16-22, 08:59 AM
  #26  
unterhausen
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I have an extra set of wheels with some 40mm Maxxis Velocitas mounted. I'm not sure how much they speed me up, but they are quieter than the Gravelking SK I usually run. And they run fine on smooth unpaved surfaces, like you find on rail trails. I think those wheels are going on a dedicated bike though. It's a pain to switch back and forth, so I don't do it as often as I should.
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Old 09-16-22, 09:38 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal View Post
I have Domane SL6 with two sets of wheels. The Paradigm 25s it came with now have Bontrager GR1s 35mm (measure 37mm) set up tubeless. The second set are Aeolus Pro 51s with GP5000 25mm F and 28mm rear. Same course same by road segments. Comparing down hill and on flats about 3 mph difference. Up hills about 2. Not huge but makes a difference on a long ride. The GR1s are smooth on rough surfaces. The Colonial parkway in Va from Jamestown to Yorktown is concrete but exposed River stones. The GR1s are slower but less taxing.

I’d go 28mm or 30mm for the road. Second set of wheels if you can swing it. I have no issues with brake disc alignment. Oh for road getting some latex tubes for F & R to try when the new rear tires arrives.
I too am running the Bontrager GR1’s, but with tubes on Bontrager Affinity Disk TLR wheels in a 700x40c. The only complaint I have is that the 40c is to narrow on loose gravel. My buddies are riding Maxis (don’t know the model) in 29x2.5 on their Checkpoints, they are killing the gravel, and still doing century + days on the pavement still maintaining a 15mph average pace.
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Old 09-16-22, 07:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by M Rose View Post
I too am running the Bontrager GR1’s, but with tubes on Bontrager Affinity Disk TLR wheels in a 700x40c. The only complaint I have is that the 40c is to narrow on loose gravel. My buddies are riding Maxis (don’t know the model) in 29x2.5 on their Checkpoints, they are killing the gravel, and still doing century + days on the pavement still maintaining a 15mph average pace.
Ah I'd have gotten a Checkpoint SL6 if available. Rack mounts. Allows much wider tires and has a regular round seat post too. I am still looking at and AL5 for more gravel and also lite touring. The GR1 35MM is not too bad on fine gravel but the rough stuff I had it burp some sealant. I'm still not sold on tubeless. Wish I could larger tires.
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Old 09-16-22, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal View Post
Ah I'd have gotten a Checkpoint SL6 if available. Rack mounts. Allows much wider tires and has a regular round seat post too. I am still looking at and AL5 for more gravel and also lite touring. The GR1 35MM is not too bad on fine gravel but the rough stuff I had it burp some sealant. I'm still not sold on tubeless. Wish I could larger tires.
I didn’t want a Checkpoint… got a 520. I can go up to a 29x2.0 with fender or 29x2.5 without fender. It came with front rack, added a rear rack… the 520 has a regular seat post… well had, it now sports a PNW Coast Dropper Post.

I was asking about running the GR1 Tubeless, because it’s not a tubeless rated tire, unless it’s the GR1 Team Issue…
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Old 09-19-22, 12:04 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by M Rose View Post
I was asking about running the GR1 Tubeless, because it’s not a tubeless rated tire...
Kind of answered your own question here. It might work. Personally, my time is much more important to me, I’d just get a set of tires that are tubeless ready, and there are many options, and be off and riding in 30-40 minutes.
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Old 09-20-22, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Kind of answered your own question here. It might work. Personally, my time is much more important to me, I’d just get a set of tires that are tubeless ready, and there are many options, and be off and riding in 30-40 minutes.
it was something a friend and I were discussing as I was dismounting the tire to fix a flat tube… the tire was so hard to break the bead we thought it might be possible to run it tubeless on the TLR wheel with the appropriate sealant tape and valves… it was just a question
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Old 09-20-22, 08:57 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by M Rose View Post
... the tire was so hard to break the bead we thought it might be possible to run it tubeless on the TLR wheel with the appropriate sealant tape and valves… it was just a question
I didn't mean to come off snarky, if I did. It's worth a shot, as some "non tubeless ready" tires can be set up that way, but in my experience it's very hit or miss (usually miss), and with the plethora of available TLR options available, I just think it isn't worth the hassle to experiment with "off label" use when you can get a tubeless ready rim and tire combo and get set up with minimal effort.
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Old 09-21-22, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I didn't mean to come off snarky, if I did. It's worth a shot, as some "non tubeless ready" tires can be set up that way, but in my experience it's very hit or miss (usually miss), and with the plethora of available TLR options available, I just think it isn't worth the hassle to experiment with "off label" use when you can get a tubeless ready rim and tire combo and get set up with minimal effort.
I didn’t take your comment snarky. I took it at face value.

I have a set of Maxxis tires in my sights… i am going to wear out these GR1’s first though.
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Old 09-21-22, 04:59 AM
  #34  
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The people that are saying it won't make much difference have never tried it. In fact the tires make a huge difference and the GP5000s would give you an entirely different riding experience, much better for paved roads.

I have three nearly identical wheelsets that I can swap between a few different bikes (different handlebar setups). If I'm going to be riding a paved MUP, I'm going to use the skinny tires, not the big heavy MTB tires that I use when riding the dirt/gravel roads. The bike is faster and handles much better. There's tread pattern and rolling resistance, but also a big part of it is weight. Compare the weight of your current tire to a GP5000. I'm guessing the difference is substantial, and you will definitely feel the difference in a lighter tire. They're faster and the bike is more nimble - it's just more fun to ride. We use the MTB tires for most of our riding on the local hardpack/gravel roads. Skinny tires are NOT so much fun there and in fact it's a bit risky. We need the grip and cushioning of the larger knobby MTB tires. When we dive off into a paved subdivision, those tires are heavy and slow.

Tires (and rims, and tubes) make one of the biggest differences in the characteristics of how a bike rides and handles. It's rotating weight, so of course. You can't turn it into a fast road bike, but you can make it lean more in that direction with lighter tires. If your rims aren't too wide and all of the riding will be paved, could you go with 28c?
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Old 09-22-22, 01:30 PM
  #35  
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Tires and potentially aero rims make a huge difference. With retirement in mind I purposefully went N-1 for my last gravel bike purchase. I have two sets of wheels with identical I9 hydro hubs but very different rims profiles - one for gravel and one very aero for road (ENVE G23 with Schwalbe G-One 40C vs SES 4.5 with Schwalbe Pro One 28C). The bike is much faster and more nimble on the road with the appropriate wheels. I put identical 11-34 cassettes on them which has been the only downside. Being in a pace line with a group at speed means hunting for the right gear compared to my road bike with an 11-28. Otherwise the ability to swap wheels/tires makes one bike into two.
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Old 09-23-22, 01:36 AM
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reducing rolling resistance, aero, etc. that's all good to improve average speed but for me, the main issue is time in the saddle. Past 2.5/3 hr, lower back, wrists are getting tired and I fond that whatever improved comfort is more valuable as Time is the limiting factor rather than distance.
As many, I have a redshift stem on "lower pressure" tyres which look after the upper limbs comfort but, the latest mod is a S-Work CGR seatpost. As I'm short, the seatpost does not protrude much so I cannot use the canyon VCLS and had to go for the next "best thing"; it kills the buzz in the lower back and that alone shift the discomfort point much later increasing the potential time in the saddle and the yield (much easier to transfer power when it's confy).

Talking to local pro coach etc, the next thing to do is a proper fitness plan with gym schedule, physio etc, but with a family and work, this is not an option so compromises have to be accepted
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Old 09-24-22, 03:30 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by M Rose View Post
I didn’t want a Checkpoint… got a 520. I can go up to a 29x2.0 with fender or 29x2.5 without fender. It came with front rack, added a rear rack… the 520 has a regular seat post… well had, it now sports a PNW Coast Dropper Post.

I was asking about running the GR1 Tubeless, because it’s not a tubeless rated tire, unless it’s the GR1 Team Issue…
I have team issue so my first experiment with tubeless. 520 would be better for me. The Domane and Checkpoint have the same wheels. I’ve broken 4 inboard drive side spokes. The last one I removed and reinstalled the Stan’s tape and the reused tape worked better. I did not use the Bontrager strip stuff because I’d have to cut it to remove it.

Edit. Got back from a trip. Air pressure dropped from 50 psi to 42 psi. Better than before.

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Old 09-24-22, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelfan View Post
Tires and potentially aero rims make a huge difference. With retirement in mind I purposefully went N-1 for my last gravel bike purchase. I have two sets of wheels with identical I9 hydro hubs but very different rims profiles - one for gravel and one very aero for road (ENVE G23 with Schwalbe G-One 40C vs SES 4.5 with Schwalbe Pro One 28C). The bike is much faster and more nimble on the road with the appropriate wheels. I put identical 11-34 cassettes on them which has been the only downside. Being in a pace line with a group at speed means hunting for the right gear compared to my road bike with an 11-28. Otherwise the ability to swap wheels/tires makes one bike into two.
I use the 11-34 on the wheel set with the GR1 Team’s and 11-28 on the wheel set with Conti GP5000 25F / 28R. 4 turns if the b screw is all the adjustment I need. But both wheel sets are Bontrager. Discs align too.
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Old 09-24-22, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelfan View Post
.... Otherwise the ability to swap wheels/tires makes one bike into two.
Exactly. My first experience with this was my '83 Trek 720, a full-on touring bike with tough but heavy 1 1/4" touring tires that held up well to many miles of loaded touring. But then I had another set of wheels built, specifically to be as light as possible and with skinny 1" road bike tires, and man - what a difference. The 720 was still as long as a Cadillac and just as comfortable, but now it actually handled, it was somewhat fast, and it was fun to ride. It turned it into what we would now call a "sports touring" bike. Having two wheelsets turned the 720 into two different bicycles, literally.

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Old 09-27-22, 03:58 AM
  #40  
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A second set of wheels with road tyres. In the summer, my gravel wheels don't come off the gravel bike and I use my summer bike for road rides and most commuting duties. In the winter, the gravel wheels come off the gravel bike, and I swap on my other set of wheels with 32mm pirelli cinturato velos for winter road riding and commuting. Not the fastest rolling of tyres, but have excellent puncture for protection for winter road conditions. I keep the cassette the same on both wheelsets (a whopping 11-42) because I don't use my gravel bike for racing, and winter isn't about fast rides, but about being sociable (for me- I use zwift in the winter if I want to race and for training).
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