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Gunnar Sport

Old 12-16-10, 10:31 AM
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Catrin
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Gunnar Sport

I have settled on a Gunnar Sport as my next bike. It is intended for club rides, centuries and randonneuring. Curious if others on this forum rides a Sport for long distance riding.
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Old 12-16-10, 10:38 AM
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Never ridden a Sport, but I did ride a Crosshairs as a rando bike for a year - ride and handling was nice, but too stiff in the bb for my liking. An acquaintance used a Sport as his rando bike for a few years. Said it felt "slow", didn't carry speed well, and replaced it with a Salsa Casseroll which he likes much better. Seems to me that Gunnar's OS2 tubeset may be too stiff for anything but racing. (I have a first-generation Gunnar Roadie with smaller diameter OS tubing, and it's a much livelier, faster bike than my Crosshairs was.)

Of course, YMMV.

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Bend, OR
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Old 12-16-10, 03:22 PM
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My Gunnar Sport works just fine for rando. I like it better than my Rivendell Rambouillet on hilly rides because the Gunnar has a somewhat-more-flexy frame that seems to feel better in the hills. I've logged around 8,200 miles on it since 2007, almost all rando. The paint is kind of delicate, though.
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Old 12-16-10, 05:02 PM
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I had a Gunnar Sport that I used for randonneuring for about a year and a half. I just sold it a couple of months ago. It's interesting how in the two posts above one person calls it "too stiff for anything but racing" and the next calls it flexy. I suppose that depends a lot on the size of the frame and the weight of the rider. For what it's worth, I weigh about 155 lbs and I thought mine felt pretty stiff.

I thought it was a very nice bike. Fairly light, quick, responsive. All my fastest brevet times were on that bike. My reasons for moving on are all about my personal preferences and don't speak to the quality of the bike. When I first bought it I was just getting started in randonneuring so I hadn't really figured out yet what I wanted in a distance bike. But for what it's worth, here are some of my reasons for selling it:

- The geometry isn't well suited to a front load and I've decided that I really like using a handlebar bag for randonneuring.
- The handling was a bit twitchier than what I like in a distance bike.
- The biggest tires I could fit on it with fenders was 25mm and I really prefer 28mm tires.
- The frame was a bit small for me. Really my fault for buying it with more of a racing fit in mind.
- Aesthetically I prefer the classic look of a level top tube and lugs.
- This one's entirely subjective, but the bike always felt very bland under me. It had no personality. Some would probably say that's a good thing, I suppose. For me, it just didn't offer any inspiration.

If none of those things matter to you, then I'd say it's a great distance bike to consider.
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Old 12-16-10, 05:12 PM
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FWIW I would suggest that what a lot of what people think is flex or stiffness in the frame is actually the wheels...
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Old 12-17-10, 07:54 AM
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The Sport isn't designed to be a racing bike, the Gunnar Roadie would fit that bill. Wheels certainly do make a difference, my LHT has bomb-proof wheels that really don't need to be that robust with my size. I am leaving them on the LHT, but my Sport will have a more appropriate wheel-set for my size. I appreciate everyone's thoughts, it is always interesting to see the range of comments regarding different experiences with the same frame

I am hoping that I can fit the smallest size, that frame is meant for 26-inch wheels which is my preference. However it is all about the fit

I remember when I got my LHT it was so overly twitchy that I couldn't ride it. There were reasons for that, and for related reasons I converted it from road bars to flat bars and now it is as solid as rock. It is heavy though, which is why I am getting the Gunnar. I am sticking with steel, and I really like Gunnar bikes. I like that I will have full access to the Waterford color palate
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Old 12-17-10, 08:46 AM
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really-- a long haul trucker twitchy?

not that i dispute your impression... but i just can't imagine unless the handlebars were mounted to the steerer tube.

i would think the gunnar would seem telepathic in handling compared to an LHT.

we have one set up for rando/light touring at our shop-- lovely bike. very comfortable, responsive enough (i.e.. not a crit bike, but also not a loaded tourer.. comfortable for it's purpose), and just a lovely ride. it's MODERN, for sure, and it does seem to have some of the trappings of a bike designed for 'modern randonneuring'-- i.e. 25/28's-- but for a good club rider, it's a nice bike. i'm not fond of the straight fork at all.. and it's definitely not a fatties fit fine proposition. i'd go a different route if you ever ride hard pack or gravel-- but if you stay on pavement... they're definitely a good rider if the handling isn't WAY too fast for you.
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Old 12-17-10, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
I had a Gunnar Sport that I used for randonneuring for about a year and a half. I just sold it a couple of months ago. It's interesting how in the two posts above one person calls it "too stiff for anything but racing" and the next calls it flexy. I suppose that depends a lot on the size of the frame and the weight of the rider. For what it's worth, I weigh about 155 lbs and I thought mine felt pretty stiff.
...
I weigh about a third more, so that could well be a factor. My current favorite bike is my '84 Trek 610 with Reynolds 531CS tubing, and it's definitely a little more flexy than the Gunnar but not much. But the 610 seems to "plane" best of any of my bikes.

With respect to your reasons for selling:

I use mine with a pretty-big bar bag (Lone Peak H-100, 11 liters and typically has about five to ten pounds of junk) and a Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap. It's a little twitchier than I'd like, but with 46cm handlebars I don't find it bothersome, even on 1200's. That said, someone emailed me recently that he's buying a Sport and that Waterford is making a fork for him that has 60mm of rake so that'll be more suitable for a handlebar bag (and have approximately the same geometry as the Waterford-built rando bikes being sold out of Boulder).

With respect to tires, I run Panaracer Pasela 700x32's with SKS-45 fenders on my Gunnar. I'm using the Tektro 556 extra-long-reach brakes, not because I need the reach, but because they are really flat where they cross the crown, so they don't impinge on the fender and pinch it against the tire.

I also like the aesthetics of a level top tube and lugs better, but since this is my S&S travel-rando-bike, it's here to stay. I did pay extra to get the Waterford fork, so I've got some lugs on the bike, and a nice bit of road-shock-absorbing curve to the fork. Of course, a purist would probably say that just makes it worse. But the idea of having a straight fork, transmitting every road shock directly up to the handlebars, just makes no sense at all.
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Old 12-17-10, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
I weigh about a third more, so that could well be a factor. My current favorite bike is my '84 Trek 610 with Reynolds 531CS tubing, and it's definitely a little more flexy than the Gunnar but not much. But the 610 seems to "plane" best of any of my bikes.

With respect to your reasons for selling:

I use mine with a pretty-big bar bag (Lone Peak H-100, 11 liters and typically has about five to ten pounds of junk) and a Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap. It's a little twitchier than I'd like, but with 46cm handlebars I don't find it bothersome, even on 1200's. That said, someone emailed me recently that he's buying a Sport and that Waterford is making a fork for him that has 60mm of rake so that'll be more suitable for a handlebar bag (and have approximately the same geometry as the Waterford-built rando bikes being sold out of Boulder).

With respect to tires, I run Panaracer Pasela 700x32's with SKS-45 fenders on my Gunnar. I'm using the Tektro 556 extra-long-reach brakes, not because I need the reach, but because they are really flat where they cross the crown, so they don't impinge on the fender and pinch it against the tire.

I also like the aesthetics of a level top tube and lugs better, but since this is my S&S travel-rando-bike, it's here to stay. I did pay extra to get the Waterford fork, so I've got some lugs on the bike, and a nice bit of road-shock-absorbing curve to the fork. Of course, a purist would probably say that just makes it worse. But the idea of having a straight fork, transmitting every road shock directly up to the handlebars, just makes no sense at all.
I got mine with the Mosaic carbon fork, so that may have a lot to do with the our different experiences in how it handles with a front load.

I'm surprised you can get 32mm tires on it with fenders. I tried 28mm Paselas and while I got it to fit without rubbing, the clearances were way tighter than I like. The extra-long reach Tektros must make a big difference. I was using the Shimano long reach calipers.
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Old 12-17-10, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
I'm using the Tektro 556 extra-long-reach brakes, not because I need the reach, but because they are really flat where they cross the crown, so they don't impinge on the fender and pinch it against the tire.
Isn't that why God invented centerpulls?

SP
Bend, OR

ps - The rest of your post has me eagerly anticipating the arrival of my '84 610. FedEx sez it's been on the delivery truck since 6:50 this am. WHERE IS IT????
I worked for a Trek dealer back in the mid 80's and the 610 was my fave of all the bikes we sold. Wish I'd picked one up then, but a bike mechanic with a growing family can't always afford such things. Better late than never I guess.
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Old 12-18-10, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
I got mine with the Mosaic carbon fork, so that may have a lot to do with the our different experiences in how it handles with a front load.

I'm surprised you can get 32mm tires on it with fenders. I tried 28mm Paselas and while I got it to fit without rubbing, the clearances were way tighter than I like. The extra-long reach Tektros must make a big difference. I was using the Shimano long reach calipers.
My first attempt was with the Shimano long reach calipers, which were a definite Fail. Since I'd been riding 32's on my Rambouillet, I really didn't want to go "backwards" to a smaller tire size and was glad to find that the 556's work. Clearance is tighter than I'd like but I have almost a cm between tire and fender under the fork crown and just a bit less under the rear seat-stay brake bridge.
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Old 12-18-10, 04:42 PM
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I put together a Gunnar Sport when my Surly Cross Check got to the point where the parts needed replacing. I built it up with a Shimano 10 speed triple (swapped the 30" chain ring at the front for a 26"), 11-27 Ultegra cassette, Tektro long reach brakes, 32 spoke Mavic open pro wheels, Gunnar fork (straight), Planet Bike Cascadia fenders (used 23 and 25 sized tires, ...but definitely looks like plenty of room for 28 and possibly 32 (?))

A surprise for me was that the Gunnar with 23cm tires at 120 lbs, was even more comfortable and less jarring over bumps than the Cross Check running 32cm tires at 90 to 95 lbs. Was this a mental impression shaped by my expectations? I don't know,...but I still have this sense, that the Gunnar is more comfortable, even when I think it shouldn't be..,. (meaning, I though the Surly with bigger tires and lower pressure would be the more comfortable,...and it wasn't. What's the cause I this? Have no idea.)

Riding similar routes, I noticed that I was regularly hitting higher speeds with the Gunnar and average speeds were up too, by a mile or two per hour. Not sure where the extra speed comes from, because I'd be faster even if the Gunnar was loaded with my heavy U-lock and water Vs. the totally unloaded Cross Check. (Cross Check was geared differently, Ritchey compact double chain rings (50/34) with a Shimano mountain cassette, 11-34, Salsa Delgado wheels).

I've found the Sport is a more comfortable ride, that its faster, handles better through corners at a little speed, climbs better/faster and I feel fresher after 100km or 100 miles.

Keep in mind that I liked the Cross Check and thought it was a very good bike. Rode mine for about 18,000 + miles and was very happy. It was set up to handle gravel, stones and mud, ...which I sometimes encounter - And it was better at this than the Gunnar (which isn't set up for such,...but could do well if I put 28" or 32" tires on the bike?)

Unfortunately I can really only tell you what the Sport is like relative to the bikes I have riden, and that's barely any. I ride the bike I have a lot , ...but don't really ride any others. Also, I don't ride any organized events ... (no big reason, ...just haven't/don't).

Bottom line is that I would very happily own and ride a Cross Check again. However, the Gunnar Sport is better handling, more comfortable (a surprise to me), climbs easier and is a little faster.
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Old 12-18-10, 05:27 PM
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I have had my Sport for a few years. We rode across Italy together.

It's a good bike for long rides, although the longest I have done so far is 70 miles in a day.

I have done commuting, lite touring, supported tours, it's versatile.

It handles quite well.

Make sure you use FrameSaver.

Btw, I currently have 32c tires that are a true 32c.
I really don't understand why the other guys had trouble
fitting big tires. Maybe newer models don't have the clearance mine does,
I had heard they made some changes when they went over to using
a single steel.
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Old 12-19-10, 10:29 PM
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A little off the subject, but I just put together a Gunnar Roadie for century rides. I find it very steady, especially when compared to my Specialized Tarmac E5. A friend has a sport that I compared with and found very little difference in the bikes. The sport had a slightly longer wheelbase.
The Tarmac is very stiff. The Gunnar has some flex, which I do not mind when riding centuries. Love the bike.
Oh, I did put a nice fork on the Gunnar, Edge 2.0 along with Mavic SL wheels. Finsihed my 2010 CAM a few days ago.
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Old 12-20-10, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by shorthanded View Post
really-- a long haul trucker twitchy?

not that i dispute your impression... but i just can't imagine unless the handlebars were mounted to the steerer tube.

i would think the gunnar would seem telepathic in handling compared to an LHT.

we have one set up for rando/light touring at our shop-- lovely bike. very comfortable, responsive enough (i.e.. not a crit bike, but also not a loaded tourer.. comfortable for it's purpose), and just a lovely ride. it's MODERN, for sure, and it does seem to have some of the trappings of a bike designed for 'modern randonneuring'-- i.e. 25/28's-- but for a good club rider, it's a nice bike. i'm not fond of the straight fork at all.. and it's definitely not a fatties fit fine proposition. i'd go a different route if you ever ride hard pack or gravel-- but if you stay on pavement... they're definitely a good rider if the handling isn't WAY too fast for you.
Yep, it was twitchy like you wouldn't believe - which surprised everyone including my LBS. The original stem before we converted it to 2-inch riser bars from the stock road bars was extremely short and a very steep angle - it almost was mounted to the steerer tube After the conversion that changed drastically
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Old 12-20-10, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
Yep, it was twitchy like you wouldn't believe - which surprised everyone including my LBS. The original stem before we converted it to 2-inch riser bars from the stock road bars was extremely short and a very steep angle - it almost was mounted to the steerer tube After the conversion that changed drastically


the shop i work at recently had a client rearrange a madone 6 something to fit like his old bike- which seemed somewhat.. ahem.. undersized.. geometry was pretty different being a sport tourer, and the madone seemed to fit better-- but it was different, for sure. it started with a 110mm stem, and he had me change it to a 75 (!!!). you wanna talk about twitchy

holy mokes.. glad it worked out in the end!
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Old 12-20-10, 10:59 AM
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Now I am wondering if it would increase the speed of my LHT and become a little more responsive with a lighter wheel-set and and skinnier tires. I have 26-inch wheels, and the stock wheel-set is pretty much bomb-proof - and far more robust than what someone of my size and riding habits actually needs. I do wonder, however, if the slacker geometry would decrease the effect of lighter wheels.

I know that 26-inch tires don't come very skinny, and I would need to adjust my brake pads (cantis) each time I switched out the wheel-set if I moved to 650c and I don't know that I want to deal with that. It would allow me to put off the purchase of my Gunnar Sport, which fiscally speaking would be nice, but then I wouldn't have a shiny new Sport to play with this spring.... decisions, decisions...
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