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Show us your gravel/cross bike...

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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.

Show us your gravel/cross bike...

Old 03-26-14, 08:56 PM
  #2826  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders
Hi BluesDawg,
It is only in recent times that I have been actively trying to increase my knowledge about bicycles, so I feel as though I know literally nothing about bikes.

So could you please tell me why a low bottom bracket(amongst other things no doubt) makes for a good gravel grinder.

Cheers
Disclaimer - I am not an engineer or a frame geometry expert, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Most road bikes have bottom bracket drop in the 70mm vacinity, some are lower, like 75mm. This has been found over time to provide good stability while avoiding crank arm strikes to the pavement in turns. Cyclocross bikes tend to have higher BB drop, traditionally around 60mm, to provide greater ground clearance for obstacles. Gravel riding is more like road riding than it is like cyclocross racing. Larger obstacles are rare and the stability of a low center of gravity is valued with gravel and ruts trying to throw you off your line. This to me is the drawback of cyclocross bikes for general road use or for gravel riding. Compromises that are acceptable under CX racing conditions are less so in uses absent those conditions.

This not to say cyclocross bikes don't make good gravel bikes. But bikes with more roadlike BB height work better. Some recent cyclocross bikes have what has been labeled "American" CX geometry with BB drop around 65mm and slightl slacker angles. For example, the Crux frame I ride has 67mm BB drop. It works well for gravel, but if I had my druthers, I'd prefer 72.5 or 75mm drop and a half degree or so slacker head tube angle. YMMV
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Old 03-26-14, 09:34 PM
  #2827  
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Well said!
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Old 03-27-14, 02:52 AM
  #2828  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Disclaimer - I am not an engineer or a frame geometry expert, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Most road bikes have bottom bracket drop in the 70mm vacinity, some are lower, like 75mm. This has been found over time to provide good stability while avoiding crank arm strikes to the pavement in turns. Cyclocross bikes tend to have higher BB drop, traditionally around 60mm, to provide greater ground clearance for obstacles. Gravel riding is more like road riding than it is like cyclocross racing. Larger obstacles are rare and the stability of a low center of gravity is valued with gravel and ruts trying to throw you off your line. This to me is the drawback of cyclocross bikes for general road use or for gravel riding. Compromises that are acceptable under CX racing conditions are less so in uses absent those conditions.

This not to say cyclocross bikes don't make good gravel bikes. But bikes with more roadlike BB height work better. Some recent cyclocross bikes have what has been labeled "American" CX geometry with BB drop around 65mm and slightl slacker angles. For example, the Crux frame I ride has 67mm BB drop. It works well for gravel, but if I had my druthers, I'd prefer 72.5 or 75mm drop and a half degree or so slacker head tube angle. YMMV
Thank you for that.

Heh, I feel like I have so much to learn, it is always good to get this kind of insight.
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Old 03-29-14, 03:44 PM
  #2829  
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Here is my new 2014 Jamis Nova Sport.











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Old 03-29-14, 11:42 PM
  #2830  
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
I was amazed to discover this new "gravel grinder" category. I used to take my cro-moly Trek Multitrack out on dirt/gravel roads back in 1995 so I know how fun it can be. I've still got one of those old Multitracks and I think it would be a terrific gravel grinder with it's MTB geometry. However, my main bike is shown here. I just got a set of Salsa Cowbell 3 handlebars and I just need to get some V-brake compatible brake levers and I'm going to start going for distance and I also plan to try out gravel grinding.

What handlebars are those?

Nice build!
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Old 03-30-14, 07:29 PM
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Just finish building it up. Still tweaking it.

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Old 03-31-14, 09:57 AM
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My Salsa Vaya. Will mostly be used for shorter camping and overnighter bikepacking trips.

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Old 04-05-14, 11:01 AM
  #2833  
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A pic from my shakedown ride after a fork swap:
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Old 04-06-14, 02:41 PM
  #2834  
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Ground Up Designs cross frame with White Industries/Velocity A23 wheels. I am really excited I was able to fit these 700x40 Clement XPlor MSO tires even though this snow was too much for them today.

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Old 04-10-14, 07:48 PM
  #2835  
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Old 04-10-14, 07:55 PM
  #2836  
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Old 04-12-14, 01:11 PM
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Old 04-12-14, 07:08 PM
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Old 04-13-14, 08:38 AM
  #2839  
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Hey Everyone,

I recently took all the Shimano 105 group (compact) off my road bike and replaced it with Ultegra and replaced the wheels and bars. I figured I'd buy a CX frame and put the Mavic Aksiums on it and the 105 group. Compact should be fine for the purpose I'll use the bike for which is riding crushed limestone/gravel converted rail road trails near my home. The 70 mile loop is pretty flat except for some bridges. I'm a little concerned on the size (M/L or 56cm) as with the current 700x25 tires on it now, I'm resting on the top tube when standing over it. Bigger tires are going to increase that a little. I think a M frame would have been best but hopefully this will work.

I already have a flat bar bike with mountain/cx gearing so not too worried about a true CX chain ring. In any case, I picked up this 2013 Giant TCX Advanced SL frame from ebay for about $700 and it's in near perfect condition other than a few paint scratches on the seat post where the seat was mounted lower (in fact I may be close to that point when I fit the bike anyway, and by the rear cassette on the inside of the stay. It also has all internal cable routing which I really liked.

I realize this bike as built by Giant retails for $4,350 due to the SRAM Red gruppo but wondering if you guys think I got a pretty good deal on the frame considering I'm going to slap a 105 set on there. Only thing I need to buy are brakes, a saddle, stem, a set of cross tires, and bar tape.


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Old 04-17-14, 09:03 AM
  #2840  
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Heres my Dirty Kanza 200 / Almazo race bike. 2014 Kona Rove with custom florescent orange with rainbow metallic flake powder coating. Selle Anatomica saddle and bar tape, Thomson post and stem, Bags by Swift Industries. Clement X'Plor USH tires. Whiskey Parts Fork with Chris King headset.
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Old 04-17-14, 08:27 PM
  #2841  
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I guess my frame falls into the if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything category?
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Old 04-17-14, 10:02 PM
  #2842  
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no. TCX is super nice. can't wait to see it built up. too bad you got the frame slightly too big.
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Old 04-17-14, 10:03 PM
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since I'm here I'll share this pic of my Ridley. not pictured easton ea90 wheels and a thomson post


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Old 04-18-14, 04:55 AM
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Very nice, rich pool
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Old 04-19-14, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 91MF
no. TCX is super nice. can't wait to see it built up. too bad you got the frame slightly too big.
Just waiting on a bottom bracket and she'll be all done.
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Old 04-19-14, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Medic Zero
What handlebars are those?

Nice build!
Thanks!

Those are generic aluminum handlebars. I think they have something like 90mm of rise and 8-9 degrees of pull-back and maybe 60mm wide. I've replaced them with a Profile Design bar that is 60mm rise, 9 degree sweep and 66cm wide. I picked up an 83-84 MTB on Craigslist and I really found the 69cm wide bar to be comfortable (not useable on my bike due to odd clamp area size) so today I ordered a bar with about 40mm of rise, 9 degrees sweep and 74cm wide!! I'll see how I like them.
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Old 04-20-14, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by richpool
Heres my Dirty Kanza 200 / Almazo race bike. 2014 Kona Rove with custom florescent orange with rainbow metallic flake powder coating. Selle Anatomica saddle and bar tape, Thomson post and stem, Bags by Swift Industries. Clement X'Plor USH tires. Whiskey Parts Fork with Chris King headset.
can you give a "review" of the swift saddle bag plus the barman expedition? I was thinking about the exact same setup.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:24 PM
  #2848  
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in gravel guise

sorry but i don't believe in your photo rules.
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Old 04-21-14, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by davidmikesell
can you give a "review" of the swift saddle bag plus the barman expedition? I was thinking about the exact same setup.
Sure thing! To start I have the large Zeitgeist bag with the Expedition upgrade. I purchased my Carradie Bagman Expedition from Europe. They are hard to find for a good price in the US. The rack is a little awkward to set up. If you dont have your saddle height dialed in, you have to loosen 5 bolts to make any adjustments. Also, I use a Selle Anatomic saddle. The part of the rack that attaches to the saddle rails (with the quick releases for the bag) wasnt quite long enough so its mounted at a bit of an angle but is still perfectly functional. Once finally set up this rack has been great is extremely study for how light it is. In my opinion it would be really hard to just the large Zeitgiest without the rack, by hanging it on the saddle bag loops alone. your thighs would surly hit the bag on every pedal.

The Zeitgeist bag is very big. When I commute to work I only use the Zeitgeist and Paloma bar bag. I can fit my entire change of clothing in the saddle bag alone, including shoes if they can be smashed down. Each side pocket is the perfect size for 1 tube in box plus a CO2. The quality of all Swift Industries bags are outstanding. I really mean that, some might see them as pricey but I have never owned a better bag. They just feel strong and well made (they arnt light but at the same time they dont feel too heavy). Depending on what you are doing or planning I would suggest going with the small Zeitgeist. The large really is made for touring. In comparison the small is about the perfect size for a 6 pack of beer (cans). I can fit 8 beers plus my tool roll in the large haha. I cant speak to the waterproof abilities, I havent been caught in anything more then a light drizzle. If you are curious about anything more specific ask away!
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Old 04-21-14, 11:55 PM
  #2850  
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i love my swift bags.

i also love being in the same town and going on lovely adventures with that whole crew.

rad rove, love the powdah!
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