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Why one drop gravel bike way more comfortable on gravel descent?

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Why one drop gravel bike way more comfortable on gravel descent?

Old 05-30-23, 09:14 PM
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Why one drop gravel bike way more comfortable on gravel descent?

Why does one gravel bike brake way more comfortable on long step bumpy gravel descent vs other gravel bikes?

I thought I had just been getting stronger and better at riding gravel on the hoods. nope :/ ha-ha I have been riding the Ibis hakka for the last year.

I have an Ibis Hakka with carbon env bars size 42 with grx 810 brakes with the servo wave. I can go down long gravel descents and my hands feel great.


Today I brought my Blur (mtb) to mt tam because I snapped the rear cable on my ibis yesterday. About half way through the ride I swapped bikes with my friend
so he could try the mtb vs his new to him Grizl CF SL 7 eTap. Wow that thing shifts great. Since I have broke three cables in the last three years on three different gravel bikes I am thinking about going e-shift someday. Anyways hands/wrist etc.. took a beating and was very tiring going down hill I was very happy when the hill was over.

Ibis Hakka MX - easy for me to go down hill and brake
- Shift Levers Shimano GRX R810 (servo wave)
- Enve G Series Carbon Gravel Bar size 44

his bike Grizl CF SL 7 eTap alloy frame
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/grizl-c...RoCebcQAvD_BwE
  • Shift-/ Brake Lever SRAM Rival eTap AXS
  • Handlebar Canyon HB0063

my old gravel bike Revolt adv 2 carbon frame hands/wrist beat up and tired on long bumpy gravel descent
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/re...ber=2102010203
- brake levers Shimano GRX RX-600 ( not servo wave )
- Handlebar Giant Contact XR D-Fuse, 31.85 back sweep, flared drop

previous gravel bike topstone 105 alloy frame

- Brake Levers Shimano 105 7020 hydro disc
- Handlebar Cannondale C3, butted 6061 Alloy, 16 deg flare drop


Is it because the Ibis has wide (size 44) carbon handle bars or is it because only the ibis has grx810 brakes with servo wave tech? The other three gravel bikes I was hanging on for dear life with a death grip; braking and also trying not slip off the handle bars etc.. The other bikes have smaller almost road bike alloy handle bars and the other three all used different brakes. sram rival; grx600; shimano 105
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Old 05-30-23, 10:08 PM
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Because, speculatively speaking:
1. Tire volume and/or pressure play large roles in suspension effect?
2. CF handlebar and frame on Ibis Hakka vs. alloy handlebar and frame on Canyon Grizl?
3. Not used to position on Canyon Grizl (perhaps due to lack of time for fine adjustment) so "hanging on for dear life with a death grip"?
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Old 05-31-23, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Because, speculatively speaking:
1. Tire volume and/or pressure play large roles in suspension effect?
2. CF handlebar and frame on Ibis Hakka vs. alloy handlebar and frame on Canyon Grizl?
3. Not used to position on Canyon Grizl (perhaps due to lack of time for fine adjustment) so "hanging on for dear life with a death grip"?
#2 may be a small factor, but #1 and #3 are likely larger factors. I'm suspecting that your friend's bike has narrower tires and/or they are pumped to higher psi.

Also, OP, please give more detail about this hand and wrist discomfort. Does it come more from maintaining a death grip on the bar, from vibration, from clutching the brake levers, or...? Your comment about 'trying not to slip off the bar' makes me even wonder whether your Ibis has grippier bar tape than the other bikes.
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Old 05-31-23, 02:50 PM
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I have been riding gravel bikes for about 3 years now. It takes a lot of effort going down hill bumpy mtb/gravel trails. Between braking and just hanging on going down the hill etc.. trying not to crash into rut, tree, root, rock etc... just typical trail stuff. On a flat bar bike it's 10x easier. Only a finger or two to brake and not much strength at all is needed to hold the handle bars. It's the reason I made a flat bar topstone gravel bike for the gf. She was having difficultly on the more technical descents with her liv drop bar gravel bike.

I have had my Ibis for a year and 4k miles I forget how it used to be with a gravel bike going down hill until I rode my friends Canyon yesterday. This made me wonder is the wider carbon handle bars the Ibis has or the grx 810 servo brakes. I have had all kinds of various tires, size air psi it's not that.

I think maybe the grx 810 servo brakes maybe take less pressure to control and stop and maybe the wider carbon bars help a little with vibration and control. I run my bike dual purpose (road/gravel) I was thinking of getting ride of the handle bars because they are just too damn wide on the road feel like I am sail boat. After yesterdays ride I don't know might keep them.
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Old 05-31-23, 03:09 PM
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I do know that when I was living in a very hilly/mountainous area, long technical descents with mechanical disc brakes involved sooo much squeezing of brake levers that it felt harder to control the bike. With hydro disc brakes, it just seems so much easier to control my speed and steer the bike at the same time.
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Old 05-31-23, 06:45 PM
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Nothing about the Canyon’s geometry as compared to the Ibis suggests it should be more skittish and less planted downhill - if anything, the opposite. Of course, you ride a bike and not a geometry chart, bikes don’t always handle like you’d expect from the geo. That said, a couple of notes. First, the Canyon has a much different fit and riding a bike you aren’t accustomed to can be unsettling at first even if it’s excellent with a bit of practice. Second, the GRX 800 brakes really are amazing and inspire a lot of confidence. I haven’t ridden the new generation of SRAM drop bar disc brakes, and I hear they’re improved over the older HydroR brakes. But it’s not a small gap between GRX 800 and HydroR, it’s a massive gulf. Even with the new SRAM brakes, that could be the difference.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:07 PM
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If your hands hurt, it is the brakes. If your wrists hurt, it is the over-inflated, non-supple tires.
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