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Gravel 1x vs Gravel 2x as Road Bike?

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Gravel 1x vs Gravel 2x as Road Bike?

Old 09-13-20, 12:37 AM
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ERabbit
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Gravel 1x vs Gravel 2x as Road Bike?

Hey guys - I have been heavily debating getting a gravel bike to use as my "road bike" I like the idea of a little more relaxed/endurance geometry, bigger tires for a smoother ride, etc. I will be primarily using this as a "Road Bike" not really gravel riding.

Have been narrowing it down to several different models of Specialized Diverge or Giant Revolt Advanced. One of the Diverge models I really like aesthetically is Comp E5 which has a 40t Chainring and 11-42 Casette.

My ? is, will this be too limiting from a gearing perspective? Would I be better off in everyone's opinion with a 2x setup, seeing that this will be used primarily on the road.

I'm fairly physically fit, 6'1 180 thinking size 58. Would like to use cyclings to supplement my surfing when the waves aren't great, as another type of exercise that is fun and has much less impact physically than running.

Debating between just getting a base model diverge, riding it and figuring out what I want to do (I.e upgrade from 8spd to something better groupset wise, wheels, etc), going with the 1x Diverge Comp 11sd/Giant Revolt Advanced 1 1x 11spd or Giant Revolt Advanced 2 or 3 2x

I would appreciate the opinions/advice/insight from you guys who are much more experienced when it comes to this than I am haha

Diverge Comp E5

Diverge Base

Giant Revolt Advanced Models
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Old 09-13-20, 01:15 AM
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If you’re going to use it as a road bike, wouldn’t road bike gearing make the most sense?
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Old 09-13-20, 01:43 AM
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At least get 50t chainring. You'll grow out of 40t eventually if you'll mostly be on the road, trust me on this!

Also, don't miss the fact there are road bikes now with more relaxed/compliant geometry that fits 33mm wide tires. That with compliant carbon seatposts and aero dropbars, they'll be just as smooth and comfortable on the road as gravel bikes.
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Old 09-13-20, 05:59 AM
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I bought a Jamis Renegade with a SRAM 1xdrivetrain, use it as my "non-road" bike most of the time, lightly loaded touring other times.. 11x42 on the back, a tiny 38T on the front. On my road bike I am rarely maxing out the big in front/little in back combo, I was willing to give up the high end to have a nice low end for the touring use. I also have the tendency to be a grinder - the lower gearing is good at forcing me to increase cadence, I like that.

Getting the wheel on my road bike rebuilt, so been riding the Jamis on roads for the past week or so. A 40T up front would give you more high end but if you are used to pedalling at over 24mph, you will definitely spin out. But, I would only be doing that on the steep downhills and around here I'm usually riding the brakes doing that to avoid various varmints or cars popping out. I'm not a racer, I'm in it for the fun of riding and the exercise. I like increasing my fitness to go faster.

It came with 40mm Donnelly gravel tires which are great on the non-road surfaces but pretty slow on pavement. For touring, I put on a pair of Schwalbe 35mm Marathons that are much lower rolling resistance and essentially puncture-proof.

I love my carbon road bike but if for some reason I had to only choose one bike it would be the Jamis gravel bike - it is better on the roads than my road bike is on gravel or dirt!

But, if you plan on doing rides with other people on road bikes, you'll be seeing them off in the distance much of the time!
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Old 09-13-20, 08:41 AM
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Go with a 2x drivetrain for greater flexibility.
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Old 09-13-20, 08:44 AM
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For road...either will work. IIRC the gear spacing of 1x12 versus 1x11 ends up being close and the range is close too.
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Old 09-13-20, 08:52 AM
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You will likely spin out a 40-11 and a 40-42 is not that low of a gear ratio.

Glenn
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Old 09-13-20, 09:56 AM
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2x drive train.
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Old 09-13-20, 10:00 AM
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For dual use.... I’d definitely get 2x.
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Old 09-13-20, 11:17 AM
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I don't have any gravel bikes, per se, but I recently bought a 1x CX bike mainly for road with an option in mind to handle the tamer off-road stuff. I also have more conventional 2x bikes. My 1x is 11sp with 40t chainring up front and 11-36t cassette. For solo riding, including decent climbs, I haven't noticed any downside. I don't go nearly as fast downhill, obviously, which doesn't matter to me. Uphill, the 40-36 ratio has been a non-issue, maybe because I've done a huge amount of low cadence climbing this year. It helps that no FD means a lighter bike. With a bigger cassette, maybe the tooth jumps will bother you -- again, it's something that doesn't matter to me when riding solo.

You would think that a 2x bike is more suitable for road riding, especially in a paceline, but one of the ride leaders of a group I rode with in the before times used a 1x bike and during a ride I even remarked how smooth his lead was. He would drop back on steeper terrain, but groups usually separate then anyway.
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Old 09-13-20, 12:41 PM
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If you're set on a fat tire road bike, go 2X. You don't need a clutched RD, you don't need a 1:1 final for climbing, you don't need to worry about chain drops from riding washboarded fire roads.

It doesn't hurt that I would buy virtually any Giant model before I even looked at a Specialized. You'll just get more bike for your money with the Giant.
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Old 09-13-20, 12:50 PM
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Hahah
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Old 09-13-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
If you’re going to use it as a road bike, wouldn’t road bike gearing make the most sense?
That's what I'm trying to figure out, would the current gearing be sufficient for what I am looking to accomplish. Also, the reason I am trying to decide if starting with a 2x setup makes more sense
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Old 09-13-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
At least get 50t chainring. You'll grow out of 40t eventually if you'll mostly be on the road, trust me on this!

Also, don't miss the fact there are road bikes now with more relaxed/compliant geometry that fits 33mm wide tires. That with compliant carbon seatposts and aero dropbars, they'll be just as smooth and comfortable on the road as gravel bikes.
Appreciate that! It seems like I would need to at a minimum get a larger front sprocket. As everyone knows bikes are difficult to find in stock or arriving in the near future, might have to expand my search
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Old 09-13-20, 03:02 PM
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Nobody here knows how strong you are, what hills you're going to climb, how far you intend to ride, how much you like to mash or spin, what speed you're okay spinning out at, how much you want to keep your cadence constant, what your goals are, who you ride with, etc. That doesn't stop people from filling in the blanks with their own answers and telling you what you should do, sometimes with great vigor.

Find a gear calculator, plug in the cadence numbers you like and the gearing choices, and see how it shakes out.
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Old 09-13-20, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you're set on a fat tire road bike, go 2X. You don't need a clutched RD, you don't need a 1:1 final for climbing, you don't need to worry about chain drops from riding washboarded fire roads.

It doesn't hurt that I would buy virtually any Giant model before I even looked at a Specialized. You'll just get more bike for your money with the Giant.
That's one of my thoughts as well, if I want to ride a bike more off-road I am going to ride a mountain bike. The Giant bikes do come with a great package for the $, they are very difficult to find right now as well, haven't found any LBS with something in stock.
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Old 09-13-20, 03:25 PM
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I'm a little biased because I just ordered one of these but the All-City Space Horse is supposed to be a great bike for those looking for something versatile. Not sure if you have your heart set on particular brands but I'd give All-City a look.
https://allcitycycles.com/
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Old 09-13-20, 03:39 PM
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An 11/42 cassette sounds like a better idea than it really is. On the road, no matter what chain ring you go with it is a nuisance to an abortion if you are riding on variable roads and shifting a lot.
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Old 09-13-20, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
An 11/42 cassette sounds like a better idea than it really is. On the road, no matter what chain ring you go with it is a nuisance to an abortion if you are riding on variable roads and shifting a lot.
I wouldn’t change from my 53/39 and 12/25 setup for anything.
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Old 09-13-20, 03:52 PM
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I don't claim to be an expert, but here is my experience, for what it's worth. I recently bought a Giant Revolt Advanced (2021 model year), wanting something to ride the forest service roads a bit faster and farther than on my hard tail MTB. My intention was exclusively unpaved, but sticking to the smoother primary forest service roads in better shape (I still leave the rough stuff for my hard tail).

Coming from the MTB world of 1x drivetrains, I went with a Revolt Advanced 1 (40t up front, 11-42 in the rear), because I prefer the simplicity and aesthetics of a 1x system - and the jumps in gearing never bothered me on my MTB, so why would the gravel bike be any different. Also, I don't race or generally do group rides. Well... I gotta say that I can now see some advantages of the 2x system. Most of the time all is fine with the 1x, but there are times, especially when riding long slight inclines on the smoother roads, that there are (were) a couple of cog jumps that felt a bit too large (messed with my cadence), specifically between the 21 and 24 and the 24 and 28 cogs.

I think I may have now effectively solved this problem (for me) by replacing the 11-42 cassette with a 11-34. This eliminated the slightly too big jumps between cogs in the mid-range and I don't miss the larger cogs because I don't have to deal with real hills - I live in the coastal plain and where I ride this bike is pretty darn flat. If I ever take it to the mountains, switching the cassette back is fairly quick and easy. So now I feel like I have the best of both worlds. But I don't ride smooth paved roads and in no danger of spinning out the 40-11. But if you do, changing out the chainring to something bigger should be an easy enough task. And I still really do like the simplicity and aesthetics of the 1x - acknowledging that is completely subjective personal preference.

While the Revolt Advanced 1 is still fairy new to me, I can categorically and without reservation tell you that I absolutely love it! Zero regrets or reservations. Super comfortable and confident. All I want to do is ride it. All I think about is riding it. I am staring at it right now thinking I should get off this silly computer and go ride it.

And, last thought - if you do get a gravel bike and have 'gravel' roads near you, you should definitely give them a spin, riding them is a blast.
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Old 09-13-20, 04:17 PM
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I know you said Giant Revolt, but if you're mainly using it for road riding, but still want pretty big tires, a Giant Defy with something like a 32c Hutchinson Sector would probably be the ideal bike for you, and still be perfectly fine for gravel that's isn't too crazy.
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Old 09-13-20, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Nobody here knows how strong you are, what hills you're going to climb, how far you intend to ride, how much you like to mash or spin, what speed you're okay spinning out at, how much you want to keep your cadence constant, what your goals are, who you ride with, etc. That doesn't stop people from filling in the blanks with their own answers and telling you what you should do, sometimes with great vigor.

Find a gear calculator, plug in the cadence numbers you like and the gearing choices, and see how it shakes out.
I don't 100% know the answer to that just yet either, I have been really used to riding a custom single speed I built, which is why I'm wondering if I would be limiting myself to only 1x 11.

I went and rode the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 today, it felt alright, shifted pretty smooth, brakes were ok

Put a deposit on a Diverge Comp E5, Rock n Road had one in stock in my size and wanted to be able to ride it before it sold out. Couldn't test ride that one at the time because I had my 11 month old son with me when I went to go look. Will ride it this week to compare geometry and sizing and the deposit is fully refundable if I don't end up wanting it.

I'm going to check out some of the other recommended bikes in this thread also
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Old 09-13-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by zen_ View Post
I know you said Giant Revolt, but if you're mainly using it for road riding, but still want pretty big tires, a Giant Defy with something like a 32c Hutchinson Sector would probably be the ideal bike for you, and still be perfectly fine for gravel that's isn't too crazy.
I'll have to check it out! 32 would be nice and a good compromise
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Old 09-13-20, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SwampGrinder View Post
I don't claim to be an expert, but here is my experience, for what it's worth. I recently bought a Giant Revolt Advanced (2021 model year), wanting something to ride the forest service roads a bit faster and farther than on my hard tail MTB. My intention was exclusively unpaved, but sticking to the smoother primary forest service roads in better shape (I still leave the rough stuff for my hard tail).

Coming from the MTB world of 1x drivetrains, I went with a Revolt Advanced 1 (40t up front, 11-42 in the rear), because I prefer the simplicity and aesthetics of a 1x system - and the jumps in gearing never bothered me on my MTB, so why would the gravel bike be any different. Also, I don't race or generally do group rides. Well... I gotta say that I can now see some advantages of the 2x system. Most of the time all is fine with the 1x, but there are times, especially when riding long slight inclines on the smoother roads, that there are (were) a couple of cog jumps that felt a bit too large (messed with my cadence), specifically between the 21 and 24 and the 24 and 28 cogs.

I think I may have now effectively solved this problem (for me) by replacing the 11-42 cassette with a 11-34. This eliminated the slightly too big jumps between cogs in the mid-range and I don't miss the larger cogs because I don't have to deal with real hills - I live in the coastal plain and where I ride this bike is pretty darn flat. If I ever take it to the mountains, switching the cassette back is fairly quick and easy. So now I feel like I have the best of both worlds. But I don't ride smooth paved roads and in no danger of spinning out the 40-11. But if you do, changing out the chainring to something bigger should be an easy enough task. And I still really do like the simplicity and aesthetics of the 1x - acknowledging that is completely subjective personal preference.

While the Revolt Advanced 1 is still fairy new to me, I can categorically and without reservation tell you that I absolutely love it! Zero regrets or reservations. Super comfortable and confident. All I want to do is ride it. All I think about is riding it. I am staring at it right now thinking I should get off this silly computer and go ride it.

And, last thought - if you do get a gravel bike and have 'gravel' roads near you, you should definitely give them a spin, riding them is a blast.

I absolutely love the way 1x looks aesthetically as well, just looks so clean up front. I called around to every Giant dealer in so cal today to try and find a revolt advanced to at least go look at, found a shop that has an XL that I will go check out to see how it feels even though XL is too large for me
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Old 09-13-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by partyanimal View Post
I'm a little biased because I just ordered one of these but the All-City Space Horse is supposed to be a great bike for those looking for something versatile. Not sure if you have your heart set on particular brands but I'd give All-City a look.
https://allcitycycles.com/
Beautiful bikes, I have always been a fan of nice lug work. Did you order direct to consumer?
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