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Why No Comfort All Trail Type Bikes With Top End Gearing?

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Why No Comfort All Trail Type Bikes With Top End Gearing?

Old 04-09-24, 02:33 PM
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Why No Comfort All Trail Type Bikes With Top End Gearing?

Iím set on the SRAM etap AXS and a flat bar with geometry not designed for racing but comfort.

It seems I am limited to purchasing an FX6 and changing the gearing or a Checkpoint with the etap and converting to flat bar. The former seems the best choice. Price wise itís close and the FX are designed for comfort.

yes Ií looked into custom but prices are insane here.
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Old 04-09-24, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Iím set on the SRAM etap AXS and a flat bar with geometry not designed for racing but comfort.

It seems I am limited to purchasing an FX6 and changing the gearing or a Checkpoint with the etap and converting to flat bar. The former seems the best choice. Price wise itís close and the FX are designed for comfort.

yes Ií looked into custom but prices are insane here.
It's called market segmentation. Folks wanting a flat bar comfort bike typically are scared away by the prices of higher end components. And they don't see the value, so companies don't make the bike you want.
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Old 04-09-24, 03:20 PM
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Ah. Like how I want my Tacoma single cab long bed

I would think thereíd be a market for high end comfort bike. Rohlofff or etap and the like. Guess not
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Old 04-09-24, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Ah. Like how I want my Tacoma single cab long bed

I would think thereíd be a market for high end comfort bike. Rohlofff or etap and the like. Guess not
Although there are certainly folks who want a comfort bike built with high-end components, as KerryIrons said, there's not enough demand for companies to pre-package a bike like that. The people with those types of bikes have done what you're talking about - modifying something existing. I've seen a couple of cool examples from BF'ers.
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Old 04-09-24, 06:33 PM
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Getting the FX 6 and having it outfitted with the components you want makes sense to me. Like others have said, itís a very limited market for high end hybrids, and generally folks looking for that probably just tend to go for a custom build.
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Old 04-09-24, 06:50 PM
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The main reason to build is to get something you can’t buy; not to save money.

Start with a frame and fork with the geometry and tire clearance you want.

Components and wheelset.

Put it all together.

John
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Old 04-09-24, 07:34 PM
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I really like this Cannondale hybrid. It has high end components to me:

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bik.../quick/quick-1

But you cannot seem to purchase it anymore. Or order it from Cannondale.
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Old 04-09-24, 08:17 PM
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The traditional comfort bike is generally a heavy low end bit of silliness. A super low travel but very heavy suspension fork, in many cases a vintage quill stem and lower to bottom end components with poorly designed suspension post that is really a pogo stick that will allow for a rotatable saddle which is generally quite massive and super heavily padded. It is not necessarily a comfortable bike but it is designed to seem comfortable to someone who may not know a thing about bikes and is willing to compromise most everything for a look of comfort.

If you want a comfortable gravel hybrid build one yourself. The Marin Headlands would be a pretty nice but not super expensive frame to build up. Add a AXS GX groupset, a Kinekt seatpost (available in carbon) and maybe some Whisky Scully Bars and some Ergon GC1s and you have a pretty killer but very comfortable gravel flat bar. I built up a similar bike (sans AXS and Kinekt) for a customer and they love it. Granted theirs was set up more for the road but you can fit I think 700x45s or 650bx50s so you can have some good comfort there and a pretty light bike. I think the one we built was about 17-18lbs or so and with some lighter wheels it could have gone down a good bit. For wheels Astral is a good go to for me, I just semi-recently bought a wheel set from them (after buying a single wheel from them) and they are fantastic. They are the same folks from Rolf Prima and I believe are owned by White Industries now (or possibly the other way around) but should you desire to get other hubs they offer a lot of options but I think value for money on US made hubs White Industries is hard to beat.

I wouldn't generally go for an already built bike if I know I want something more custom unless no frames exist but there are so many great frames as well as a ton of great frame builders you can pretty much go for the moon.
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Old 04-09-24, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Iím set on the SRAM etap AXS and a flat bar with geometry not designed for racing but comfort.

It seems I am limited to purchasing an FX6 and changing the gearing or a Checkpoint with the etap and converting to flat bar. The former seems the best choice. Price wise itís close and the FX are designed for comfort.

yes Ií looked into custom but prices are insane here.
What do you mean when you say these 2 things?
- 'all trail'. Do you mean a mountain bike? Do you mean a gravel bike? All trails would include technical singletrack, but I don't think you are asking for that, based on the Trek bikes you mention.
- 'top end gearing'. Do you mean top end as in the top end of quality or do you mean top end as in the top end of the drivetrain's gearing range?


https://www.bikesdirect.com/products...s-sram-axs.htm
This is available in a smaller size, if it fits it might be what you want.
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Old 04-09-24, 11:18 PM
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LOL. What a troll.
How the hell do you put hoods on a MTB bar?? LOL
And a slow MUP bike with race gears? hahahahaha
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Old 04-10-24, 06:38 AM
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Light trail, not all trail.

Priority 600 looked decent until I realized itís 35lbs

how would a bike like the light ScalpelCarbon SE Ultimate do with a narrower road/gravel/hybrid tire on city pavement, and light trail?

would it be too aggressive no matter how it was set up ?

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Old 04-10-24, 07:22 AM
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You might find the Checkpoint gives you about the same position as the FX. You might need to shorten the stem a tad to get closer to the same reach from the saddle to the bars. But as far as bar height goes, the hoods and tops of the drop bar will be about the same height as the FX. Or at least close enough.

Out of the box from the LBS, you won't get the bars any higher on the FX or the Checkpoint than what the bike comes new with spacers under the stem. Probably 30 to 40mm worth. Either will require purchase of additional stuff such as stems angled steeply upward. Which, IMO, will just make it look dorky.

The Checkpoint being a road bike for drop bars will have a shorter frame reach going to the head tube than the FX a flat bar bike. That's due to the hand position on the flat bar having little to no additional reach to the hoods as does a drop bar bike. So putting a flat bar on the Checkpoint will mean you will have a shorter reach to the bars than you do on the FX with a flat bar. Maybe good maybe bad. The more upright you sit, the more you weight the saddle and the more sore your butt gets over the time of longer rides.

In addition you can't use the same STI's or whatever SRAM calls them if you change the Checkpoint to a flat bar. That will mean new shift and brake levers. And those usually are among the more expensive components in any group set.
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Old 04-10-24, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Iím set on the SRAM etap AXS and a flat bar with geometry not designed for racing but comfort.

It seems I am limited to purchasing an FX6 and changing the gearing or a Checkpoint with the etap and converting to flat bar. The former seems the best choice. Price wise itís close and the FX are designed for comfort.
What does the SRAM etap AXS give you that the Shimano GRX600 1x11 (that's already on the FX6), doesn't do?
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Old 04-10-24, 07:59 AM
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In re-reading this, I think you need to define comfort and racing.

A 71/73 head/seat set up in 650b and 50mm tires seems like an almost throwback to 90’s hardtails. Hard to beat that for comfortable pavement/light trail use.

John
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Old 04-10-24, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Light trail, not all trail.

Priority 600 looked decent until I realized itís 35lbs

how would a bike like the light ScalpelCarbon SE Ultimate do with a narrower road/gravel/hybrid tire on city pavement, and light trail?

would it be too aggressive no matter how it was set up ?
You havent defined all the vague terms you initially used, and you now just added more vague terms. Vague terms dont help because what it means to you may not be what it means to me or others. So responses can end up being a waste of everyone's time.
You managed to clarify 1 thing- when you said 'All Trail'- apparently you mean 'light trail'. Cool. So packed crushed stone paths, basically.
  • What does 'top end gearing' mean? Do you mean drivetrain components that are on the higher quality side of options?...or do you mean actual drivetrain gearing that has a different top end gearing ratio than what you can find on stock bikes?
  • You just referenced a Scalpel bike that has a suspension fork. Do you want a suspension fork? The two Trek bikes you asked about in your first post dont have suspension forks. That is a fundamentally different style of bike than what you initially referenced.
  • When you ask if the Scalpel would be too aggressive, what are you actually asking? What is 'aggressive' to you? Are you asking about the fit? Are you asking about the steering geometry and if so, how do you want a bike to steer?

Genuinely- I think you first need to figure out what you actually want before you can find what you want.
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Old 04-10-24, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

Basically I want what the FX carbon advertises. A light bike that can do the light duty trails on weekends and my daily city commute on cracked pavement, lots of stop and go and hills.

I want the eTap over the included gearing because as I understand it I can shift under load, which sounds great for pumping up a hill and the shifts, I assume, would be smoother, faster and more accurate. Plus it looks cool and I think it would get me out for more fitness rides.
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Old 04-10-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Thanks for all the replies.

Basically I want what the FX carbon advertises. A light bike that can do the light duty trails on weekends and my daily city commute on cracked pavement, lots of stop and go and hills.

I want the eTap over the included gearing because as I understand it I can shift under load, which sounds great for pumping up a hill and the shifts, I assume, would be smoother, faster and more accurate. Plus it looks cool and I think it would get me out for more fitness rides.
I think you're over-estimating this issue. Not surprisingly, it's also an issue that's over-marketed. Mechanical systems shift under load, too. Maybe not in the middle of a 1000+W sprint, but if you're imagining having to soft-pedal for every shift, in every situation, that's not the case with any mechanical system of reasonable quality.

EDIT: "It looks cool" is a valid justification.
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Old 04-10-24, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
LOL. What a troll.
How the hell do you put hoods on a MTB bar?? LOL
And a slow MUP bike with race gears? hahahahaha
I don't think the OP is a troll. I think the OP is just new to it all, and still learning about bicycle terminology.

Personally, I think a fast MUP bike would be pretty awesome. I would totally build something like this if I had any reasonable use for one.


badger1 has a pretty sweet rig, too.

One thing I've learned is that bicycles come in lots of different varieties, and don't always fit into a specific category. People often tweak things significantly to fit their needs and/or preferences.
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Old 04-10-24, 10:41 AM
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Another factor for MikeDeason to consider is that much of the "comfort" of a bike comes from good wide tires and a good fit on the bike. Suspension and a fat seat are not necessary and in fact can diminish the bike's comfort.
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Old 04-10-24, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I think you're over-estimating this issue. Not surprisingly, it's also an issue that's over-marketed. Mechanical systems shift under load, too. Maybe not in the middle of a 1000+W sprint, but if you're imagining having to soft-pedal for every shift, in every situation, that's not the case with any mechanical system of reasonable quality.

EDIT: "It looks cool" is a valid justification.
Agreed. A good modern mechanical system will shift under load and even under fairly heavy load if you lighten up for half a stroke. The trick is not to wait until you're about to grind to a stop.
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Old 04-10-24, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Thanks for all the replies.

Basically I want what the FX carbon advertises. A light bike that can do the light duty trails on weekends and my daily city commute on cracked pavement, lots of stop and go and hills.

I want the eTap over the included gearing because as I understand it I can shift under load, which sounds great for pumping up a hill and the shifts, I assume, would be smoother, faster and more accurate. Plus it looks cool and I think it would get me out for more fitness rides.
Yeah, if you are riding paved and unpaved maintained paths, there is rarely a time where you will have to suddenly shift under load. The reason is- you see what is coming and can shift in preparation for the hill.
Shifting under load is really helpful when there are surprise inclines, so around a bend on some singletrack, or similar. That really doesn't happen on crushed rock patches or roads.


As for etap looking cool- hey thats great. It's a hobby and you should enjoy what you use.
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Old 04-10-24, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Either will require purchase of additional stuff such as stems angled steeply upward. Which, IMO, will just make it look dorky.
I see this sentiment thrown out a lot on these forums, and I have to disagree. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own aesthetic preferences, but angled stems are very useful, and we install them for customers on tons of new bikes at my shop (including FX6). Honestly most buyers of this kind of bicycle will benefit from a slightly higher bar, and many concerns posted about here on BF could be easily addressed with this solution.

To the OP - the FX6 sounds like a great fit for what youíre looking for. I wouldnít sweat the drivetrain differences too much, as shifting under load still isnít a great habit with eTap, and a little practice with shifting technique will make it a moot point anyway. That said, if you want electronic shifting, thereís no reason not to outfit this bike with it.
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Old 04-10-24, 11:36 AM
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I don't want to worry about when I can shift. Every mechanical system I've used I've timed my shifts to be not clunky. With the Alfine 8 I currently use, I backpedal a split second to shift. I do like the IGH ability to shift at stoplights or when coasting. Looking for the hassle-free operation of IGH and the smooth operation of IGH with ability to shift while pedalling, which electronic seems to offer.

Its likely the last bike I'll buy for 25yrs so I may as well go for the gold
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Old 04-10-24, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
I don't want to worry about when I can shift. Every mechanical system I've used I've timed my shifts to be not clunky. With the Alfine 8 I currently use, I backpedal a split second to shift. I do like the IGH ability to shift at stoplights or when coasting. Looking for the hassle-free operation of IGH and the smooth operation of IGH with ability to shift while pedalling, which electronic seems to offer.

Its likely the last bike I'll buy for 25yrs so I may as well go for the gold
I've been riding bikes for a pretty long time, and have ridden lots of bikes in lots of conditions, but I've never ridden a bike were backpedaling was required to shift. That sounds like something isn't working correctly.

SRAM etap AXS (or any other derailleur shifting system - electronic or mechanical) does not shift unless you are pedaling. The derailleurs will move, but the chain will not jump to the next cog/chainring unless the system is turning.
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Old 04-10-24, 12:08 PM
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No backpedaling isnít required to shift on the Affine but it keeps shift clean so I do a split second back on the pedal when itís convenient. You are not suposed to shift while applying force if possible. Apparently long term, it can cause issues if you do it all the time.
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