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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.

New Frame

Old 12-01-23, 09:51 AM
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New Frame

Any recommendations for a gravel bike frame? Frame weight is primary factor.
I have good components to move over from a Felt 2016 VR5 carbon. It can hold 32's but pinch flat last ride. Will try 35's but mud is sticky here.
Any good deals or experiences to share?
Thanks...
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Old 12-01-23, 12:16 PM
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Anyone care to weigh in on a Lynskey GR300 Internal frame?

Leaning towards that as would look to make a nice build with my SRAM eTap from my Felt 2017 VR4 (I misspoke in previous post).
It will give me 45mm clearance, much better than the 32mm on the Felt.

Frame is still 4 pounds, but with a 30% off sale it is a really good price for titanium. Plus the gravel fork they offer seems decent and is discounted too.
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Old 12-01-23, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jerman
Anyone care to weigh in on a Lynskey GR300 Internal frame?

Leaning towards that as would look to make a nice build with my SRAM eTap from my Felt 2017 VR4 (I misspoke in previous post).
It will give me 45mm clearance, much better than the 32mm on the Felt.

Frame is still 4 pounds, but with a 30% off sale it is a really good price for titanium. Plus the gravel fork they offer seems decent and is discounted too.
Lynskey is almost always on sale, it seems. So don't feel as if this is a unique opportunity.

Your first post stated that "frame weight is primary factor," and now you're asking about a relatively heavy frame. Perhaps you should think a bit more and then restate (in more detail) your priorities.
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Old 12-01-23, 01:27 PM
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If Ti is your thing you could consider Litespeed too; https://litespeed.com/collections/cl...1920996f&_ss=c
Frames currently on for $1K less than MRSP.
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Old 12-01-23, 03:57 PM
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Ti is great, $1102.5 for a 4 pound frame. Wouldn't Alu be all I could get?
Better?
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Old 12-01-23, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jerman
Any recommendations for a gravel bike frame? Frame weight is primary factor.
I have good components to move over from a Felt 2016 VR5 carbon. It can hold 32's but pinch flat last ride. Will try 35's but mud is sticky here.
Any good deals or experiences to share?
Thanks...
Narrow it down otherwise you will waste your time and other's time with suggestions that aren't helpful.
- budget for the frameset?
- specific frame features you want or don't want like routing, bottle mounts, etc?
- geometry? I mean, this is kinda hugely important and individual. Fast settering or slow steering? Long and low or tall and compact? Long chainstay or short?

Etc etc etc
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Old 12-01-23, 10:14 PM
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I think $2K for frame, fork and headset is reasonable. I should be able to get a frame with 45mm spacing for that. The frame needs to be ready for SRAM eTap. No need for extra mounts like fenders or bags. The Felt has a much more upright geometry than my road bike, so hoping for a standard for gravel. My LBS said he could get a Chapter2 carbon gravel frame, fork and headset for under $2K, with the frame weighing 3 pounds, a pound less than the Lynskey.

Last edited by jerman; 12-01-23 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 12-01-23, 10:47 PM
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Trek Checkpoint will weigh in similar to the lynsky for aluminum at 1200.00, for 2200.00 you can get the carbon version which is supposedly 4.87lbs including the fork. From what I've seen, gravel bikes tend to run a touch chunkier weight-wise vs road/cross, I'd suspect due to the general use that's anticipated for them, the aluminum crockett is around .5lbs lighter than the alu checkpoint for example. Personally, of all the things on a bike to worry about the weight of, frames are one of the lowest on my list, looking at the bike as a whole system, frame weight makes a difference, but looking at where the weight difference matters is completely different. Lighter wheels, hubs, cranks, tires, pedals all make a bigger difference. As long as the frame is properly stiff when sprinting, compliant enough to make the corners fun, and comfortable to sit in the saddle for several hours, my next most important frame consideration is the paint job.
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Old 12-02-23, 10:45 PM
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Thanks Russ. Have you heard of CHAPTER2 bikes?

The CHAPTER2 AO gravel bike weighs a little over 3 pounds and is $2K for the frame fork and headset.

My LBS sells these, they look good. I' leaning that way.. thanks again
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Old 12-03-23, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jerman
Thanks Russ. Have you heard of CHAPTER2 bikes?

The CHAPTER2 AO gravel bike weighs a little over 3 pounds and is $2K for the frame fork and headset.

My LBS sells these, they look good. I' leaning that way.. thanks again
Iíve been eyeing Chapter2 bikes for a while. If you can get one in your budget, and have LBS support, it sounds like a good choice to me.

I recently got a Niner RLT 9 RDO carbon frame/fork/headset for under $1400, but I donít know what the weight of just the frame is. My Ultegra mechanical build is just under 20lbs.
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Old 12-05-23, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jerman
Thanks Russ. Have you heard of CHAPTER2 bikes?

The CHAPTER2 AO gravel bike weighs a little over 3 pounds and is $2K for the frame fork and headset.

My LBS sells these, they look good. I' leaning that way.. thanks again
That is a nice frame with the adjust its rear center by up to 15mm
As long as it fits and is it close to the geometry you are looking for.

The AO has a unique geometry. Being 188 with a long torso would put me on an XL, while I usually ride a 58(large) on most brands.
Lots of deals out there. I'm looking at Salsa Warbird, Marin, Fezzari, and a few other gravel bikes.
But I'm not really in the market for another gravel bike. And I'm way overdue for a bike fit.
For me and being over 50 and my riding style, I'm looking for something in about the middle for trail on my next gravel bike.

Chapter 2 Founder REACTS To Your Questions



Gravel bike geometry 101: How trail, stack and reach affect fit and handling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89DaUO83x9U

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Old 12-07-23, 12:15 AM
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Now see the Yoeleo brand as an option. At ~$1500, not a steal but a lot less than the $2500 or more many more common brands like Salsa and Specialized want... With Lynskey coming in at under $1400 with frame, fork and headset, then Chapter2 and Yoeleo with all they offer just a hundred or so more.. these all look like some good options... Still have the 4 pound frame of Ti versus the 2.5 to 3 pounds of carbon to consider.. Thanks to everyone for the posts and feedback, I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-07-23, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Narrow it down otherwise you will waste your time and other's time with suggestions that aren't helpful.
- budget for the frameset?
- specific frame features you want or don't want like routing, bottle mounts, etc?
- geometry? I mean, this is kinda hugely important and individual. Fast settering or slow steering? Long and low or tall and compact? Long chainstay or short?

Etc etc etc
I agree, I'm finding all kinds of deals, and they should get better.
I'm about to pull the trigger on a Marin HEADLANDS, the geometry is almost perfect for my long torso body and what I currently ride. Just waiting to hear back from Marin and going to call the shop later today.
Just not sure if I want to go 1x as an older rider and look for something kind of fast, but comfort is more important at this point in my life and getting me up the big hills around me.

Last edited by Joeyseven; 12-07-23 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-07-23, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Joeyseven
I agree, I'm finding all kinds of deals, and they should get better.
I'm about to pull the trigger on a Marin HEADLANDS, the geometry is almost perfect for my long torso body and what I currently ride. Just waiting to hear back from Marin and going to call the shop later today.
Just not sure if I want to go 1x as an older rider and look for something kind of fast, but comfort is more important at this point in my life and getting me up the big hills around me.
I was shopping for a bike earlier in the year. The deals were not as sweet as now, but I found some. Marin Headlands 2 was one of them. Thankfully I test rode itÖwas not for me at all. Did not like the feel, probably due to the geometry (super twitchy; I wanted stable). I ended up test riding around six bikes and one was hands-down the winner (and I paid nearly full price). I know itís difficult to test ride bikes as lbs in your area may not have them, but I now realize how important it is to do so.
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Old 12-07-23, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut
I was shopping for a bike earlier in the year. The deals were not as sweet as now, but I found some. Marin Headlands 2 was one of them. Thankfully I test rode it…was not for me at all. Did not like the feel, probably due to the geometry (super twitchy; I wanted stable). I ended up test riding around six bikes and one was hands-down the winner (and I paid nearly full price). I know it’s difficult to test ride bikes as lbs in your area may not have them, but I now realize how important it is to do so.
This is especially true since opinions of others often help narrow down good options for someone looking to buy a product, but there is still a lot of room for error thru differing perception.

I just looked up the Marin Headlands 2, ran the geometry numbers, and the bike's trail number for my frame size and tire width(43) would be 64mm of trail. Since my current gravel bike's setup has 60mm of trail and I really like the steering feel, I would consider the Headlands 2 to be more stable than mine(even if it is nominally so), and therefore likely suggest that as a good option for you to consider if you happened to post request for suggestions and said you are looking for a bike that is more stable than a road bike(my main road bike is also 60mm of trail and is on the more stable side of trail for road bikes).
We would view the same bike differently.

Conversely though, now that you know what style of bike geometry you do like for mixed surface/gravel riding, its a lot easier to quickly assess what bikes in the market may or may not be worth considering in the future. Since every brand worth a damn now has an extensive geometry chart online, sorting bikes into 'MAYBE' or 'NOPE!' categories is pretty easy.




ETA- what bike did you get? I thought I remember you mentioning most of your riding options are a high % paved with some unpaved roads sprinkled in?...and maybe that you dont really love full gravel riding? Maybe that is all wrong and I am misremembering. Regardless, what bike did fit your feel?
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Old 12-07-23, 10:50 AM
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I don’t believe a test ride - especially a short ride - would enable me to determine if I like the way a bike handles

maybe others can - but not me

and even if I don’t particularly like the feel of the bike - there could be a chance I would grow to like it or at least become accustomed to it … within reason of course - the fit has to be in the ballpark at the least

few recent examples / acquisitions - two oddballs - Cannondale hybrid with a headshok and a Cannondale Slate with a lefty fork

the hybrid with the headshok has a high stack and bottom bracket height and short reach / top tube … sat on it and it felt odd … cringe … but I traveled around 2 or 3 hours to see it and the price was right - so I purchased it … love that bike now

the Slate has more aggressive geometry numbers than I prefer - but I can’t determine this when I ride it … been a great ride

and this brings me to a point - the published geometry numbers can be a good reference - but they are not always spot on

friend who was a frame builder would break down bikes to put them on his stand / plate to get accurate frame geometry numbers and would often find discrepancies between published and actual numbers
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Old 12-07-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr

ETA- what bike did you get? I thought I remember you mentioning most of your riding options are a high % paved with some unpaved roads sprinkled in?...and maybe that you dont really love full gravel riding? Maybe that is all wrong and I am misremembering. Regardless, what bike did fit your feel?
You have a great memory!

Iíve since changed where and what I ride. I used to ride paved up to gravel roads or rail trails, and then come back home. I didnít enjoy the gravel roads much, and still donít. I felt like I was riding 80% paved just to get to meh gravel roads. I then bought a mountain bike and enjoyed trails in my area, but didnít like the flat bar, or really need the full suspension on local trails. Had fun though! Sold the mountain bike and bought a Salsa Fargo. I now ride hilly, twisty double track, and some single track, with some paved to connect it all. Probably 70-30 unpaved to paved. It is a great bike for 30k mixed surface rides out my front door. And when I want paved I ride my custom geometry road bike. It just works for me and feels great.
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Old 12-07-23, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut
I was shopping for a bike earlier in the year. The deals were not as sweet as now, but I found some. Marin Headlands 2 was one of them. Thankfully I test-rode it…was not for me at all. Did not like the feel, probably due to the geometry (super twitchy; I wanted stable). I ended up test-riding around six bikes and one was hands-down the winner (and I paid nearly full price). I know it’s difficult to test ride bikes as lbs in your area may not have them, but I now realize how important it is to do so.
Thanks for the feedback, yes I'm still just looking. I would have to order the Headlands online, as most Marin dealers I called or emailed do not stock it. I must say Marin CS was great when I just asked a few questions about fit (reach) and if I wanted to change the stem and just to get a general idea of the best fit for me.
There is for sure a bunch of CF to choose from these days.

Is your Fargo 1x or 2x?
I like My 2017 Raleigh Tamland, but going to upgrade it sooner or later to something like the Fairlight or there is a custom steel gravel frame builder in Italy that I came across last week, that looked like something I would like, I have to search for the frame builders name later.

Last edited by Joeyseven; 12-07-23 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 12-07-23, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Joeyseven
Thanks for the feedback, yes I'm still just looking. I would have to order the Headlands online, as most Marin dealers I called or emailed do not stock it. I must say Marin CS was great when I just asked a few questions about fit (reach) and if I wanted to change the stem and just to get a general idea of the best fit for me.
There is for sure a bunch of CF to choose from these days.

Is your Fargo 1x or 2x?
I like My 2017 Raleigh Tamland, but going to upgrade it sooner or later to something like the Fairlight or there is a custom steel gravel frame builder in Italy that I came across last week, that looked like something I would like, I have to search for the frame builders name later.
Fargo is 1x.

you may love the Marin. If you donít you can sell it. Happy shopping and looking forward to hearing what you get and how it goes
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Old 12-07-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
I donít believe a test ride - especially a short ride - would enable me to determine if I like the way a bike handles

maybe others can - but not me

and even if I donít particularly like the feel of the bike - there could be a chance I would grow to like it or at least become accustomed to it Ö within reason of course - the fit has to be in the ballpark at the least
I can't always tell if I will truly love a bike from a test ride but I can tell if I really didn't like a bike. Tested out a Kona gravel bike, I was at the top height of one size, the bottom of the other but neither was a great fit and I really disliked the handling. Felt slow and sluggish, didn't even finish the full test ride.
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Old 12-08-23, 12:45 AM
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Thanks Joeyseven for the Chapter2 Mike Pryde vid. That guy sounds very knowledgeable and is great speaker. I found two or three things he said as take-a ways:
He talked about the drop seat-stays and their importance to the bike's comfort. He also mentioned the one-piece handlebar-stem (what a great look that is, but it's $450). Lastly in the interview, he talked about how close we are now to "one bike does it all."
So, I called a bike shop in another state, where I visit on occasion and ogle the nice frames hanging from the ceiling, just to see if they had a suggestion or maybe a trade in frame from an upgrade since I'm looking for tire clearance...
has anyone had any experience with the Cinelli King Zydeco frame?
They had a frame in my size.. and made me a deal! It doesn't have the drop seat-stays or one piece handlebar-stem, but it looks sweet and the aqua-blue color is a masterpiece. Wondering with wider tires if I would even notice this King Zydeco not having drop seat-stays. And about geometry, I really liked what t2p had to say.. about growing to like it or at least becoming accustomed to it. In fact, that sums up all but two bikes I've ever owned.
Thinking this Cinelli King Zydeco frame may be the perfect fit...
Well, thanks again all and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-08-23, 04:57 AM
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Earlier you mentioned your LBS having Chapter2, and for a good price. Someone else mentioned having LBS support, which is really nice to have. If out of state you find a frame you think is much better for you (spec, geo, price) then go out of state, otherwise LBS support is great (if important to you).
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Old 12-08-23, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jerman
They had a frame in my size.. and made me a deal! It doesn't have the drop seat-stays or one piece handlebar-stem, but it looks sweet and the aqua-blue color is a masterpiece. Wondering with wider tires if I would even notice this King Zydeco not having drop seat-stays.
https://usa.cinelli-milano.com/colle...eco-king-frame
All the Zydeco models have some cool paint. With that name, they better!

$2800 retail price for a carbon gravel frame that was introduced over 5 years ago and hasnt changed much except for paint? Hopefully you really like the paint, or you arent paying anything close to retail.

Anyways, the King Zydeco was initially based on an open mold frame called the Carbonda 696, which is really just a rebrand of a frame called the Flybike 696. A bunch of brands have used this design since probably 2018- some make a few small geometry changes where possible and others just straight up have the stock open mold and differentiate themselves on paint, brand story, customer service, etc. It looks like there are some fundamental tube shape and cable routing differences now, so perhaps it is a different supplier, different model, or possibly their own design(guessing no, based on volumes).

- The lack of easily accessed geometry for the frameset is atrocious. No other way around it. If a niche brand with limited distribution wants their products to be considered by enthusiasts, then easy access to details matters.
- At least the Futura fork's flip chip is cool, so you can tweak geometry if the stock feel isnt what you like. The externally routed brake hose for the fork is...less than impressive at this point in time.
- I wouldnt think twice about the seat stays not being dropped. The myth of how much some dropped seat stays actually matter seems to be fully bought in by the masses though. Yes there is some 'compliance' in dropped seat stays, but thats really just a bunch of flexing. Buy a carbon seatpost that is designed to flex a bit- Ergon CF Allroad Pro, Syntace P6 HiFlex, Ritchey WCS Link Flexlogic, etc. Or really just buy a carbon seatpost and it will flex more than an aluminum one.

Cinelli says this about their lack of dropped seat stays...
Specifically designed by Cinelli to allow for fibers to be continuously aligned allowing for significant weight reduction, optimization of the lay up and above all superior distribution of vibration arriving from the rear wheel. Working in tandem with the oversized tube sections of the down and head tube a ďdouble response systemĒ of finely tuned stiffness and compliance is created.
Well that is just pure marketing BS speak. Especially since they dont readily advertise frame weight(to show the claim actually works) and claim the fibers are somehow both continually aligned yet the lay up is also 'optimized'.
Whatever- ignore the trash marketing BS. This would not even make the top 10 reasons I would/wouldnt consider the frame.
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Old 12-08-23, 09:51 PM
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mstateglfr... thank you for your evaluation and critique. I am sure your points are spot on and relevant. I also get the impression that in your evaluation, for basically the same price, the Chapter2 AO would be a superior frame. So, the equation now is how much superior when esthetics, like color and maybe name or history or even the shop, are taken into consideration.
Would you be interested in weighing in with an opinion on a comparison of those please?
Thanks again and have a great weekend!
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Old 12-10-23, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
I donít believe a test ride - especially a short ride - would enable me to determine if I like the way a bike handles
Especially for a gravel bike. I do not know of any LBS that would let one test a gravel bike on gravel. Pre-pandemic I knew of one LBS which also rents certain road bike models by the day and credit the rental fee toward purchase if made within about a month of the rental.
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