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Endurance bike with some gravel capabilities?

Old 01-29-20, 03:26 PM
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mstateglfr 
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Originally Posted by Jrasero View Post
Are you US based? What was the cost of importing a Ribble? I was interested in their Titanium but in the end the VAT was a determining factor
I havent bought a Ribble. Sorry if it sounded like I have.

I am in the US and 5 months ago I did buy a Fairlight Secan frameset from England. In total(frameset, headset, shipping) the purchase was $1226, and it cost $56.60 for the import duty tax, payable to DHL before they would deliver. Not sure if that is what you are referring to. For the Fairlight purchase, the VAT was included in the prices on the website and 20% was deducted from the listed cost since I am in the US and VAT isnt applicable. That is why I then had to pay the $56.60 import duty tax.


The Ribble CGR 725 shows as $864.25 for the frameset and $84.37 to deliver to the US. Thats all there is at the time of purchase, at least for me. Im not sure what more there would be on the UK side.
If the frame came in 1 size larger, I would have definitely considered the 725 as it is a really well designed bike for what I wanted- decently quick handling geometry, steel frame with carbon fork, TA wheels, and good tire clearance.
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Old 02-01-20, 07:53 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
Hi again. Apologies for yet another thread. Based on the last feedback I got I have decided to ask yet another question. It’s pretty short this time.

im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and that’s why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)

i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. It’s marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. I’m wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.

also please feel free to throw some suggestions for other bikes to look at. I just want something with a relaxed geometry that can go fast (not as fast as a racing bike obviously) but I can still take on some light trails and gravel.
What makes a bike not capable for gravel? One can ride a tight road racer with 21 mm tubulars on gravel. One may have to.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:10 AM
  #28  
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As was mentioned, the Specialized Roubaix is a good bike, but I would also lean toward the Diverge as it would give you even more options
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Old 02-01-20, 12:19 PM
  #29  
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@aabb ... have you even been to a bike shop?

As far as the types of riding you are "planning" to do ... if you don't ride at all, you don't have a clue. You don't know what you will like or not like ... all you know is what other people say.

Buy a cheap bike and actually ride some miles on different surfaces …. Learn some real stuff.

Lots of people have already told you this.
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Old 02-01-20, 05:49 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
What makes a bike not capable for gravel? One can ride a tight road racer with 21 mm tubulars on gravel. One may have to.



This is like the overused claim that you can tour on anything and that touring is the act of doing.
Yes yes yes, you can tour on anything, but some bikes will be more convenient/more enjoyable/overall better for the act of loaded paved touring.

Same here- yes any bike can be ridden on gravel. That doesnt mean all bikes are ideally suited for riding on gravel.
A 21mm tire would be miserable on gravel I ride and it would be worse in many other places, due to the regionally varied styles of gravel.
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Old 02-02-20, 04:20 PM
  #31  
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Recently came across a comment mentioning the SL5 wheels were around 2kg. I'm a fan of the frame geometry though.

The latest BMC RoadMachine could also be worth a look.
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Old 02-02-20, 05:44 PM
  #32  
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If had $4,000 CAD and wanted a bike that would fit your parameters I would buy... two bikes. One for gravel duties and one for road duties.

For my gravel bike, check out the Brodie Romulus ($1,399 CAD) or Cannondale's Topstone ($1,400 CAD). Both used Shimano's underrated Sora shifters and both are geared appropriately for gravel and light off-road adventures.

For the endurance road-specific bike, I'd spend the remaining $2,600 CAD on either a Trek Emonda ALR 5 ($2,400 CAD) or the Giant AR 1 ($2,100 CAD). The Giant would be my preference as it has capacity for wider tires, in the event my ride did encounter some very short gravel sections.

If you take an endurance bicycle that is designed for speed on anything but the smoothest gravel, it just won't work. You'll struggle with the road-focused gearing, the narrower tires will lack dampening qualities and there's a good chance your expensive drivetrain and frame will not like being pelted with gravel and dirt.

Last edited by NatusEstInSuht; 02-02-20 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 02-03-20, 10:00 AM
  #33  
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When I started mountain biking in the late 80s, everything was getting smaller and lighter - until the mid/late 90s, 26x1.8" tires were common in efforts to make the lightest possible bike. The same trails that full susp bikes with 2.5" tires ride today we rode on 1.8 and 1.9" wide tires, often on fully rigid bikes. I am sure our bikes were lightning fast on smoother trails and climbs, but we learned over time that fatter tires allow you to roll faster through rougher terrain.

The first '29er' mtbs (Diamondback and Bianchi) in the early '90s were equipped with 700X45c Panaracer tires (the only 700c MTB tires available IIRC), and these were intended to be full-function rough-terrain mountain bikes. 42mm tires, as mentioned above as fitting on a Trek Domane, are equivalent to ~1.7" wide tires - close to what we used to use on true 'off road' bikes. My point is that any bike you can fit wide enough tires on is a bike that can handle rough terrain. If you could fit 45mm (1.9") tires on an endurance bike, then you can basically ride the same terrain we rode in the 80s and 90s - the bikes might even be better for rough terrain as modern disc brakes (esp. hydraulic) are far superior to the cantilever brakes we spent hours fiddling with to try to get decent braking.
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Old 02-03-20, 07:25 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post



This is like the overused claim that you can tour on anything and that touring is the act of doing.
Yes yes yes, you can tour on anything, but some bikes will be more convenient/more enjoyable/overall better for the act of loaded paved touring.

Same here- yes any bike can be ridden on gravel. That doesnt mean all bikes are ideally suited for riding on gravel.
A 21mm tire would be miserable on gravel I ride and it would be worse in many other places, due to the regionally varied styles of gravel.
Look at my post - I didn't say the road racer was the best thing to use on gravel. However, I don't accept that you have to have a "gravel bike" in order to ride on gravel.
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Old 02-03-20, 07:29 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Look at my post - I didn't say the road racer was the best thing to use on gravel. However, I don't accept that you have to have a "gravel bike" in order to ride on gravel.
no no, i get it.
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Old 02-03-20, 07:35 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
no no, i get it.
I guess you were being ironic.
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Old 02-03-20, 07:50 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
The narrative in your post and your actress's expression seems to say the opposite. I didn't see it as ironic.
oh- you edited your comment.
It's Lady Spears acting confused because i found it odd that you posted that comment.

Of course bikes designed for one thing can be used for another thing. I could do road rides on a mountain bike. I could ride twisty river bottom singletrack on a hybrid. I could tour on a road bike.
etc etc etc. All will probably be just as capable as 21mm tubulars on gravel.
as you said- one may have to(though 'have' is used loosely).


I don't think you were genuinely asking what makes a bike capable for gravel. I think that question was rhetorical and that you added in your comment about absurdly skinny road tires to further the point you want people to infer.
...or maybe you have been riding so long you have experience with tubular, but you genuinely dont know what would make a bike more ideal for gravel.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
oh- you edited your comment.
It's Lady Spears acting confused because i found it odd that you posted that comment.

Of course bikes designed for one thing can be used for another thing. I could do road rides on a mountain bike. I could ride twisty river bottom singletrack on a hybrid. I could tour on a road bike.
etc etc etc. All will probably be just as capable as 21mm tubulars on gravel.
as you said- one may have to(though 'have' is used loosely).


I don't think you were genuinely asking what makes a bike capable for gravel. I think that question was rhetorical and that you added in your comment about absurdly skinny road tires to further the point you want people to infer.
...or maybe you have been riding so long you have experience with tubular, but you genuinely dont know what would make a bike more ideal for gravel.
I started riding tubulars around 1969. When my only bike had tubulars and I owned no spare wheels, and I went out pedaling around the countryside, I rode on gravel when I didn't have an alternative that I knew of. It really wasn't that difficult nor was it odious, and I did not shred any tires.

I was responding to the OP suggesting that some bikes could not be used for gravel, I would like to know what kind of bike can't be used for gravel. I don't know what makes a good gravel bike, I've never been on a gravel road on a bike that is designed for it, but I know that highly unsuitable bikes can be ridden on gravel because I have done it. And with my experience going out to explore the roads and countryside I think it's dangerous or at least inconvenient to let yourself get caught out in the country on a road you may have been convinced cannot be negotiated. If you don't go forward and won't go backwards, you just won't get home. Maybe it's absurd to think newer riders might become afraid, but ...

Cycling away from town and exploring new roads needs to be regarded as an expedition that the rider will approach with a can-do attitude.

BTW those "absurdly skinny" tires were quite normal in 1969, for tubular users.

I wanted the readers to infer that they should not get too hung up on absolutely needing a gravel bike to enjoy a ride on gravel. And because road conditions are unpredictable it's important to be able to manage the bike you have (or have chosen for the day) on any surface you will encounter.

Last edited by Road Fan; 02-06-20 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 02-03-20, 09:16 PM
  #39  
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Confusing place to be right now, so many options. I was thinking about a new Ritchey Road Logic disc and two sets of wheels. Fits up to 32's.
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Old 02-04-20, 11:52 AM
  #40  
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I would get the Domane, great bike!
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Old 02-04-20, 02:34 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Confusing place to be right now, so many options. I was thinking about a new Ritchey Road Logic disc and two sets of wheels. Fits up to 32's.
Really cool looking bike!
What would the 2nd wheelset be for? Would you have slick 32s and knobby 32s or something?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:15 PM
  #42  
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Something light with 25's for rode, and probably Stan's Grail's with moderate knobed 32's for the gravely stuff.
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Old 02-06-20, 11:56 AM
  #43  
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I have last year's Domane SL5 and really like it. With the 2020 changes adding greater tire clearance I'm actually not sure on what the major differences are now. If you are leaning more road with some gravel I'd give the SL5 a look.

The SL5 is definitely heavier than some other road bikes but if it's comfortable for you then that will likely outweigh any tiny differences in weight. The isospeed is no joke.
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Old 02-06-20, 08:03 PM
  #44  
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Lightening up the Domane SL5

Originally Posted by guachi View Post
I have last year's Domane SL5 and really like it. With the 2020 changes adding greater tire clearance I'm actually not sure on what the major differences are now. If you are leaning more road with some gravel I'd give the SL5 a look.

The SL5 is definitely heavier than some other road bikes but if it's comfortable for you then that will likely outweigh any tiny differences in weight. The isospeed is no joke.
I also have last year's Domane SL5, wearing 35mm knobbies.. I bought it as an alternative to my Madone-- which is a bike for a completely different mindset. The Domane is almost 6 pounds heavier than the Madone and has thus earned the affectionate nickname, "the barge". Now I find myself registered for a 75 mile race this late spring that happens to have lots of gravel and close to 6,000 feet of climbing. I'm totally commited. The gravel in the event is significant enough to disqualify the Madone. And now I'm really wondering about that weight. It has occurred to be to get a second set of wheels-- a much lighter set such as the Bontrager Aeolus 3 carbon wheel-set. For the event, I'd probably run 30mm gravel tires and then I'd have something going forward which differs hugely from not only the Madone, but the Domane wearing aluminum wheels with 35s. The second set of wheels, it occurs to me, would be effectively like getting a third bike. Or would the second set of wheels not make that much of a difference? THAT is the question with which I'm struggling. Is weight-- weight, or does it matter where that weight is?
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Old 02-07-20, 08:40 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Jashue View Post
I also have last year's Domane SL5, wearing 35mm knobbies.. I bought it as an alternative to my Madone-- which is a bike for a completely different mindset. The Domane is almost 6 pounds heavier than the Madone and has thus earned the affectionate nickname, "the barge". Now I find myself registered for a 75 mile race this late spring that happens to have lots of gravel and close to 6,000 feet of climbing. I'm totally commited. The gravel in the event is significant enough to disqualify the Madone. And now I'm really wondering about that weight. It has occurred to be to get a second set of wheels-- a much lighter set such as the Bontrager Aeolus 3 carbon wheel-set. For the event, I'd probably run 30mm gravel tires and then I'd have something going forward which differs hugely from not only the Madone, but the Domane wearing aluminum wheels with 35s. The second set of wheels, it occurs to me, would be effectively like getting a third bike. Or would the second set of wheels not make that much of a difference? THAT is the question with which I'm struggling. Is weight-- weight, or does it matter where that weight is?
You currently have 35mm tires, but would buy smaller 30mm tires for a 75mi gravel race? Why? That seems unfun and counterproductive.
Spending $1300 to get a 1600g wheelset for a race(and to use occasionally after) is a heck of an investment- hopefully you plan to be at the front of the pack to make it worthwhile.

For 120 more grams, you could spend $880 less. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/s...-disc-wheelset
But if the extra 4 oz are going to let you lead the pack, then it may make sense to spend the $1300.


Pretty sure I would rather have the 35mm tires on 1720g rims and not deflect around as much on the course, but there is no right or wrong in all this so carbon aero rims and 30mm tires may work best for you on 70mi of gravel.
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Old 02-07-20, 10:13 AM
  #46  
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The race has some gravel. Enough that I'm hesitant about riding the Madone, that's all.
I stumbled upon THIS thread this morning and found it to be fabulously informative.
After reading that, I think that it's foolish to think that I should gain a dramatic leap in performance with the upgrade, and that it all boils down to the kind of irrationality that most of us here know all too well (whether or not we care to admit it). I've wasted crazy money on this hobby/sport, but at the end of the day, I guess I'm okay with it. Life's about balance and we all need a little irrationality sometimes.

The idea of having a second quick-swappable wheel set is pretty appealing though, don't ya think? Can't use the Madone's wheels on the Domane as one has disk brakes and one has rim brakes.
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Old 02-07-20, 11:13 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Jashue View Post

The idea of having a second quick-swappable wheel set is pretty appealing though, don't ya think? Can't use the Madone's wheels on the Domane as one has disk brakes and one has rim brakes.
I would think so.. at the very least one for road usage, one for gravel. Especially if at least your gravel tires are setup tubeless with sealant.
I do wonder how enthusiast gravel/dirt/CX riders typically manage their wheels.. swapping out for knobbies, wider, file-tread, narrower, etc.. depending on the terrain or wet/dry, etc they might expect on any given ride, and especially if running tubeless with sealant?
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