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If you could get one bike, would you go 'cross or gravel geometry?

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If you could get one bike, would you go 'cross or gravel geometry?

Old 08-21-16, 09:06 PM
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If you could get one bike, would you go 'cross or gravel geometry?

Pondering my build for a custom bike lately. This question came to mind and I thought it'd be fun to see what other members thought. So:

If you could only get one bike to use for cyclocross AND longer gravel/endurance rides (bikepacking tours and/or races), would you choose a bike with the more slack gravel geometry and race 'cross with it, or get a 'cross bike and do longer rides with it? Why?
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Old 08-22-16, 02:39 AM
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Gravel. Lots of gravel roads here. Seems more practical as an all purpose bike, including for touring. In fact I already have my eye on a couple of Treks converted to gravel bikes.

Cyclocross seems too racing oriented for me. Not something I'd be interested in, and probably wouldn't find the geometry comfortable.
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Old 08-22-16, 05:44 AM
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one bike - I would go for a good randonneur (as many have done for the past 80 years). Front-load hauling geometry to carry everything you might need, light and fast on pavement, big tires and stability on gravel.
That said, the most recent bike I built was on a cross frame and it's a great all-road bike with 38mm tires, also light and fast.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:02 AM
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I went for gravel geometry on my custom bike (I wanted it to be my n=1). It's far more likely for me to take on longer rides than to enter a CX race I could do both, but it'll be easier this way than to try a longer ride on a racey geometry (for me).
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Old 08-22-16, 06:43 AM
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If only one bike, I would ask myself what type of riding would I do most and then choose a bike that fits the answer. For me, that answer would be gravel bike.

I prefer low bottom brackets and long head tubes. You don't need a high bottom bracket on a gravel bike and the longer head tube for less saddle to bar length. You can get the bars and saddle height if that is what you want. Try that with "most" cyclocrosses.

Again its what would work best for me and may not be best for you.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:45 AM
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If you are truly going to race in cyclocross then I'd say it's obvious, you need a CX configured bike and any other use is secondary.
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Old 08-22-16, 07:34 AM
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A gravel bike will be fun to ride cross on. You may not win the race but you can still have fun. A cross bike will not be much fun to ride on gravel. Unless you do slow short rides so if you're highly competitive and want to win races and don't care much about riding gravel, get a cross. If you can have fun even if you lose, get a gravel bike. If you're like me, in the "I'll lose regardless of which bike I ride in a race" then gravel is an easy option.
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