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Diverge E5 Comp upgrades?

Old 01-02-24, 01:36 PM
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Diverge E5 Comp upgrades?

This is my swiss army knife bike, I'm trying not to collect multiple bikes if not needed. Purchased back in 2022, it's 1x11 with an 11-42 cassette. Axis Elite Disc wheels, I did replace the stock Pathfinder Sport (700x38c) with Pathfinder Pros (700 x 38) which I'm running with tubes.

I can kind of take on anything with this bike, and I'm working on my fitness which I assume is the biggest factor but I can't help but feel pretty slow compared to the groups that fly by me on flat roads, on uphill climbs, etc. I know I'm trading off some comfort for speed, but does anyone think these wheel/tires or drivetrain are significantly holding me back? Should I be at all worried about attempting some long, steep climbs with this setup or where am I sacrificing the most?
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Old 01-02-24, 05:35 PM
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The groups that "fly by" are likely road bikes, which will roll more efficiently than yours. They are also groups, which will tend to be faster than a single rider, because of being able to share the workload. They may also be folks who are significantly fitter than you.

You bike is going to be competent at a whole lot of things, especially for riding alone, at your own pace. Your biggest limitations will be going fast on the road and technical off-road sections. The magic of a gravel bike is its versatility within the broad range between extremes. If you want to be more efficient on the road, a change of tires to something slick and 28-30c, along with a larger chainring, will improve things, but at the cost of low-end gearing and off-road capabilities.

As for long, steep climbs, your current setup should be fine for most things. My gravel bike is running 38T x 11-42, and it's very rare that I'm looking for more on either end (but it has happened). I do a lot of climbing on it - including long and steep. However, it is not the bike I pick if the ride is 100% on the road.

A note about comparisons...Comparing yourself with others you encounter on your rides is pretty typical, but it's not the comparison you should be making if you're in the mode of "working on your fitness". Find a few segments that you ride regularly, and track your progress against yourself (I use Strava). Establish a segment (maybe a moderate, uninterrupted climb) that you can use as a consistent gauge, and hit it with 100% effort maybe once every 2-3 weeks, and watch the trend improve.
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Old 01-03-24, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
The groups that "fly by" are likely road bikes, which will roll more efficiently than yours. They are also groups, which will tend to be faster than a single rider, because of being able to share the workload. They may also be folks who are significantly fitter than you.

You bike is going to be competent at a whole lot of things, especially for riding alone, at your own pace. Your biggest limitations will be going fast on the road and technical off-road sections. The magic of a gravel bike is its versatility within the broad range between extremes. If you want to be more efficient on the road, a change of tires to something slick and 28-30c, along with a larger chainring, will improve things, but at the cost of low-end gearing and off-road capabilities.

As for long, steep climbs, your current setup should be fine for most things. My gravel bike is running 38T x 11-42, and it's very rare that I'm looking for more on either end (but it has happened). I do a lot of climbing on it - including long and steep. However, it is not the bike I pick if the ride is 100% on the road.

A note about comparisons...Comparing yourself with others you encounter on your rides is pretty typical, but it's not the comparison you should be making if you're in the mode of "working on your fitness". Find a few segments that you ride regularly, and track your progress against yourself (I use Strava). Establish a segment (maybe a moderate, uninterrupted climb) that you can use as a consistent gauge, and hit it with 100% effort maybe once every 2-3 weeks, and watch the trend improve.
Thanks, great advice. I assume you've got a roadie for the road and pick it for those because it's just a bit faster, simple as that?
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Old 01-03-24, 08:13 PM
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One thing is that as a 1x, you're not going to have as high a high gear as with a 2x, which might limit your top speed. But if you're not running out of gears at the high end, that's not a problem. I have a 2019 Diverge (2x) and a Cervelo Caledonia endurance road bike, and I ride them interchangeably on the road. The Caledonia seems to be 1-2 mph faster, but both are equally enjoyable on the road, and if you're riding by yourself, the speed difference isn't that great. My thought is: the bike is fine for your purposes just the way it is, and you'll get faster and stronger by riding more.
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Old 01-05-24, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ui127
Thanks, great advice. I assume you've got a roadie for the road and pick it for those because it's just a bit faster, simple as that?
Yes. Along with my gravel bike, I also have a road bike, and a MTB (as well as a few older bikes). Which bike I ride is determined by what kind of riding I want to do. Fast group road rides are a regular part of my cycling diet, and having a bike that is highly efficient on the road is important to me. Although I often enjoy the challenge of riding my gravel bike on challenging terrain, there are times I also like riding places that are more demanding, and a MTB is right bike choice.

If I absolutely HAD to be limited to one bike, it would be a 2x gravel bike with 2 sets of wheels, set up with different tires and gearing.
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Old 01-05-24, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11
One thing is that as a 1x, you're not going to have as high a high gear as with a 2x, which might limit your top speed. But if you're not running out of gears at the high end, that's not a problem. I have a 2019 Diverge (2x) and a Cervelo Caledonia endurance road bike, and I ride them interchangeably on the road. The Caledonia seems to be 1-2 mph faster, but both are equally enjoyable on the road, and if you're riding by yourself, the speed difference isn't that great. My thought is: the bike is fine for your purposes just the way it is, and you'll get faster and stronger by riding more.
This, exactly. In my experience, a road bike with 25 mm wide slicks is about 2 mph faster than a gravel bike with 40 mm small knob tires and may have finer gearing to keep one in one's power band. Swap the knobby tires for a file tread pattern and the difference is even smaller, but at the price of off road traction.
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