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Do I need a gravel bike?

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Do I need a gravel bike?

Old 12-28-16, 06:03 PM
  #26  
dalava
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Absolutely lovely pictures!

So I pulled the triggers on a Santa Cruz Stigmata frameset.

I've also decided that I will be building a set of wheels with Easton R90SL rims laced to DT Swiss 350 centerlock disc hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and nipples. Tubeless, 1550grams, 27mm deep and 20mm wide, so they should be quite versatile. My thinking is that I would probably ride 30% road 70% off-road, but nothing too wild, mostly gravel or hardpack dirt roads. What tires would you guys suggest? I heard good things about the Schwalbe Ones, any other suggestions?

I am not totally sure on the groupset yet, debating between SRAM Forace 1x ($$) and Shimano Ultegra RS685 (heavier?). Any input would also be appreciated.
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Old 12-28-16, 06:19 PM
  #27  
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Can you tell me about those fenders? I just bought an '84/'85 Klein performance, has double eyelets in the back, single in the front, and I'm looking for some fenders that won't "detract" as one says......I'm looking at CRUD fenders, but they don't look 1984-ish.

Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post


Picked up a Specialized TriCross Apex Elite from a friend last winter. Made some modifications to it, added fenders for winter/wet commutes (they come off in the summer), swapped out the bar, saddle, stem, picked up a set of Continental City Ride tires.... this bike is a damn blast to ride now. Pic is when I first got it so pardon the crap picture. I think that I have just finished dialing it in and honestly, I swear that it is as fast as my 2x11 full carbon road bike. Here is what I have ridden on it so far:

Home - Barry-Roubaix - 36 mile route - knobbies
Hard packed single track - knobbies
Gravel road/dirt road/washboard road - knobbies
Grassy field - knobbies
Commuting - slicks
Exploring group ride with mix of road/crushed gravel/dirt - slicks
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Old 12-28-16, 07:53 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
I love having no/few cars around and in such scenic surroundings. That's why I love those pics. I have always loved being close to nature, and moved to Colorado because of that. I have yet to truly venture into the beautiful parts of places like New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. I think Pac NW will be my next destination but the NE looks very nice.
Yep! @UnfilteredDregs pics are fantastic. Reminds me of 'home' (southern Vancouver Island) in the PNW in an odd way; can't wait to get back there: four years and counting down. Once there, nothing less than 32 tires and nice, low gearing for this old man.
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Old 12-28-16, 08:52 PM
  #29  
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BTW, what kind of shoes do you all use? Can I keep using my road shoes with Speedplay Zeros, or would I have to invest in some new MTB shoes and pedals?
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Old 12-29-16, 12:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Can you tell me about those fenders? I just bought an '84/'85 Klein performance, has double eyelets in the back, single in the front, and I'm looking for some fenders that won't "detract" as one says......I'm looking at CRUD fenders, but they don't look 1984-ish.
Sure thing. They are SKS! SKS Commuter II Fender Set > Accessories > Commuting & Touring > Fenders | Jenson USA
I had to modify the mounts due to the disc brakes but they fit really well. The front had to be mounted higher up on the fork because no matter what I did, they would not clear the brake. The rear worked with a spacer and a longer bolt. I think I paid something like $25 or so from my LBS. Went with the biggest size I could with the tire I was running. They look pretty good since they are plain and I have them pretty low on clearance without rubbing. Almost can't tell they are there.
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Old 12-29-16, 05:34 AM
  #31  
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I have been getting the 'bug' for this myself. Although I have not ridden one, I like the look and idea of the Cannondale Slate. Anyone out there own one? Thoughts on this?
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Old 12-29-16, 10:19 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
BTW, what kind of shoes do you all use? Can I keep using my road shoes with Speedplay Zeros, or would I have to invest in some new MTB shoes and pedals?
I'm using road shoes with Keo cleats, because I run Garmin Vector pedals. My bike life would be easier sometimes on SPDs, but road pedals are very doable.

It's only mud that's a problem. Pavement, hard packed dirt, etc, your shoes and cleats won't matter. Sometimes a back road is washed out or something and you have to get off and walk a bit, mountain shoes are better, but road ones are doable.





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Old 12-29-16, 10:54 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
BTW, what kind of shoes do you all use? Can I keep using my road shoes with Speedplay Zeros, or would I have to invest in some new MTB shoes and pedals?
I'd get MTBs. Speedplay road cleats of any sort hate any kind of contamination.

2 weeks ago I took a risk during snow melt that a paved MUT was clear. I ended up in shallow slush/snow. My zeros were insta-clogged. Same goes for anything resembling mud, insta clog-and unlike snow/ice it won't clear on its own.

Crank Bros Candys have been on sale on Amazon for a week. Just landed a pair of Candy3 pedals for $85USD shipped Prime for my coming Ti non-road roadie bike build.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm using road shoes with Keo cleats, because I run Garmin Vector pedals. My bike life would be easier sometimes on SPDs, but road pedals are very doable.

It's only mud that's a problem. Pavement, hard packed dirt, etc, your shoes and cleats won't matter. Sometimes a back road is washed out or something and you have to get off and walk a bit, mountain shoes are better, but road ones are doable.

[I MG]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7311/27160601810_41be9b6a7a_o_d.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1463/26169066924_636ac061bd_o_d.jpg[/IMG]

[ IMG]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7375/27160601700_007f924aaa_o_d.jpg[/IMG]
You riding roadie slick tires in that stuff? LOL. Here I was thinking I'd want 40mm tires to ride that stuff....and here you are using 25mm slicks?
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Old 12-29-16, 11:08 AM
  #34  
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28 mms. Honestly I feel like the sweet spot is somewhere between 28 and 32 mm. I'm a roadie at heart, and ride like one.

The first and last pic were hard packed dirt, fine to ride on, just that dirt back roads don't get the kind of maintenance that more commonly traveled roads do. Had to walk through those messes. More walkable shoes would have been nice.

It's crap like this, wider tires would obviously help, but if I put a foot down, the mud is going to get into my cleat and then it's a pain getting right with the bike again. I try to pick my line carefully and keep enough speed not to have to clip out, but, also, I try not to ride on roads like this.

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Old 12-29-16, 03:37 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
It's winter, so I'm not getting as much riding outside as I would like to; so start thinking about building a gravel bike. But I am struggling to justify it. I'm a road rider almost exclusively up to now. Sure, there are a few places around here I can see that having a gravel bike would be cool and fun to ride, but it's not something I'm dying to do. So do I really need one? Would having one let me discover something new that I would really enjoy?

The one I am thinking about would be something like the GT Grade kind, with maybe 1x 40t front, 11-36 back, SRAM hydraulic brakes.
Gravel bike--what? (marketing b.s.)

Get a cyclo-cross frame (higher BB) with cantilevered brakes or of course disks (if you must) and get some good wheels and knobby tires or simply a MTB!

Last edited by VNA; 12-29-16 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 12-29-16, 03:48 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by VNA View Post
Gravel bike--what? (marketing b.s.)

Get a cyclo-cross frame (higher BB) with cantilevered brakes or of course disks (if you must) and get some good wheels and knobby tires or simply a MTB!
I like how you call it marketing bs with one breath and then acknowledge a differentiating factor with the next. Very #41ier.
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Old 12-29-16, 04:28 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
My thinking is that I would probably ride 30% pavedroad, 70% unpaved road, but nothing too wild, mostly gravel or hardpack dirt roads. What tires would you guys suggest? I heard good things about the Schwalbe Ones, any other suggestions?
FIFY, hopefully for clarity in understanding what you'll need your tires to do. "Off-road" is something very different from gravel/dirt road.

Again, speaking as a "roadie," my take on a tire for fast riding in a scenario closer to 50/50 paved/dirt lead me to 30mm wide Schwalbe S-One tires, which I run tubeless. They've proven to be very good for my needs; light, fast rolling on both dirt and pavement, stable, fairly durable, and wide enough to float my 225lbs over freshly graded gravel roads. I have, and you can, ride lots of dirt roads on slicks, but a little tread gives some additional confidence. I've also run file-tread patterned Panaracer Gravel Kings in 23, 26, and 32c sizes, and while I didn't like the soft sidewalls of the 32s, the other sizes performed great. The new '16 model year versions of these tires are also tubeless compatible, but I guess only up to 60psi, which for road work at my weight, is a non-starter.
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Old 12-29-16, 09:44 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I like how you call it marketing bs with one breath and then acknowledge a differentiating factor with the next. Very #41ier.
It did not take even a "breath" to call marketing b.s.--a cycle-dross bike is what it is--forget the rest and find the type of tyres and wheels you need!
Not to start a new issue but not even sure for disk brakes--even though they make a lot of sense most of the time!
"#41ier means nothing it terms of bikes" (must be a code)
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Old 12-29-16, 10:27 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
A lot of Connecticut, & New York...
i used to ride roads like that on a moto when i lived in CT, i could not get enough of VT. i wish i had been more into cycling back then. fanastic pics, UD!
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Old 12-30-16, 12:38 AM
  #40  
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Yeah, awesome pics on p1.

That's a nice wheelset, Dalava.
I'm looking at the same, but with Bor XMD rims.
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Old 12-30-16, 07:19 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by VNA View Post
It did not take even a "breath" to call marketing b.s.--a cycle-dross bike is what it is--forget the rest and find the type of tyres and wheels you need!
Yeah, unless what you need is a more relaxed geometry and niceties like additional bosses for water bottles, racks, etc. In that case, a gravel bike is what it is.
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Old 12-31-16, 03:41 PM
  #42  
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I thought about it many times, seems like companies are still putting 50/34 with 11-32 gearing on them instead of a subcompact crank. So in the end I would have to do a custom build and it just ended up being too much money
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Old 01-02-17, 11:52 AM
  #43  
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maybe not so timely, but relevant, anyway.

Why Own a Gravel Bike?
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Old 01-02-17, 02:31 PM
  #44  
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There's nothing even remotely similar between a CX bike and a gravel bike.

One is designed for a very specific type of closed course racing of typically an hour or less and the other...well, I go with "All-Road," in the sense that it is more of a re-emerging trend of what I daresay is a more practical road bike.

On another note...650b is the way to go in my experience. 700c bikes with fat rubber handle like monster trucks. Switching to 650b has been a revelatory experience for me. Far more suitable for the tire sizes in question in terms of nimble handling.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
There's nothing even remotely similar between a CX bike and a gravel bike.

One is designed for a very specific type of closed course racing of typically an hour or less and the other...well, I go with "All-Road," in the sense that it is more of a re-emerging trend of what I daresay is a more practical road bike.

On another note...650b is the way to go in my experience. 700c bikes with fat rubber handle like monster trucks. Switching to 650b has been a revelatory experience for me. Far more suitable for the tire sizes in question in terms of nimble handling.
Was looking around...and found this guy...

https://www.curvecycling.com.au/coll...nt=18621032453


Mmmmmm....and prices are Aus $, not US...so $2700 for frameset (Frame/fork/headset/seatpost/axles)?
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Old 01-02-17, 02:35 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by kevrider View Post
maybe not so timely, but relevant, anyway.

Why Own a Gravel Bike?
That's the ticket.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:56 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Was looking around...and found this guy...

https://www.curvecycling.com.au/coll...nt=18621032453


Mmmmmm....and prices are Aus $, not US...so $2700 for frameset (Frame/fork/headset/seatpost/axles)?
That's pretty cool...I really like the double bottle holder on the bottom of the downtube.



I think the groupset manufacturer's really need to get with it though... 1x is not the solution because you end up giving up top end, and slapping 50/34 on the bike isn't really addressing things well either...even with a 36 in the rear, chain is just to long without clutching.

The gearing I'm doing for my bike is something I've been calling "Two by One."

Meaning double chainrings up front, in my case 42/32 and I'm doing the SRAM xx1 10-42 cassette.

I'm doing Di2 XTR derailleurs and Dura-Ace 9100 Di2 hydro levers.

I have from 21gi, which is a common mtb low gear, all the way up to 118" which is close to 50/11.

Sooooo, it's kinda like a 1x mtb and a 1x road drive-trains all on one bike, and it'll be clutched. I When you start putting those big-assed cassettes on road groups you get sloppy chain, that's why I want a clutched RD.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:59 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Ever do the OCA trail from Riverdale to Croton Reservoir?

I did it 2 months ago with my son.
I know of it...The profile is amazingly flat and I tend to go for the more masochistic stuff in my neck of the woods. I need to tag it though. There's so much good stuff in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, and Columbia counties, and Western Connecticut, that I'm going to be really busy for a long while checking things out.
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Old 01-02-17, 03:04 PM
  #49  
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Gravel biking leads to adventure biking...

These shoes (SPD) are high on my list of things to check out:

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Old 01-02-17, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
That's pretty cool...I really like the double bottle holder on the bottom of the downtube.



I think the groupset manufacturer's really need to get with it though... 1x is not the solution because you end up giving up top end, and slapping 50/34 on the bike isn't really addressing things well either...even with a 36 in the rear, chain is just to long without clutching.

The gearing I'm doing for my bike is something I've been calling "Two by One."

Meaning double chainrings up front, in my case 42/32 and I'm doing the SRAM xx1 10-42 cassette.

I'm doing Di2 XTR derailleurs and Dura-Ace 9100 Di2 hydro levers.

I have from 21gi, which is a common mtb low gear, all the way up to 118" which is close to 50/11.

Sooooo, it's kinda like a 1x mtb and a 1x road drive-trains all on one bike, and it'll be clutched. I When you start putting those big-assed cassettes on road groups you get sloppy chain, that's why I want a clutched RD.
Sounds neato. Was just reading about mixing XTR and Di2, which works so long as you use an XTR FD



I'm still plotting my own between budget constraints and sales happening I'd just about settled on a Foundry Flyover frameset (would like more tire clearance and it is a CX geometry, that I could probably deal with coming from roadie race geometry), but LBS is cutting me a nice deal on....then I saw the above Curve. Now Lynskey has their GR250 frameset listed at 35% off online, except GR250 does not have fender mounts on the fork.

Have wheels in line getting built already, and a few small items already ordered...doing full Ultegra Di2 hydro (46/36 and 11-32), plus LOL a frameset if I could make up my damn mind. Don't like the idea of buying a frameset online and showing up at the LBS though, feels like I'm jacking them a bit (and I end up not saving any money anyway). Le. Sigh. 1st world problems.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 01-02-17 at 03:22 PM.
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