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Can A Gravel Bike Be A Good Road Bike?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Can A Gravel Bike Be A Good Road Bike?

Old 10-01-18, 05:34 PM
  #51  
idc
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In my experience, yes, it can be a "good" road bike. But not great.

I sold my old CX "race" bike and converted my old road geo bike to a fixed gear a bit over a year ago, and planned to ride a newly purchased modern carbon gravel bike (Salsa Warbird) for everything.

The Warbird with mid-depth carbon road wheels/tires rolls fast in a paceline, and sprints fine. But it's not so great on turns as it handles slowly. And once the road goes up beyond about 5-10% it feels a bit less sprightly a climber compared to my old alumin[i]um road bike. Between the looong wheelbase (esp. the front-center), the very slack head tube angle it's definitely more suited to bumpy gravel. It's possible that the comfort baked into the rear end and longer chainstays affect the power transfer too, but I'm not sure.

For smoother gravel and CX racing I would actually prefer my old CX bike (actually: especially for CX racing). And on fast group rides, for anything with sharp cornering and/or sprinty hills I'd prefer a more aggressive road geometry.

I do love the Warbird on bigger, harsh, rockier gravel, esp on the descents - and for just general road riding it's fine too. I also have a spare, cheap Al road bike which has a very tall "endurance road" head tube but otherwise typical modern road geometry (short wheelbase, steepish seat tube, etc), and a steel road-geometry single speed - I find both handle and climb a little better (at least relative to their respective weight).

I have actually considered getting a "race" geometry CX bike again, or even just a plain road bike again mostly for the faster group rides. But I don't really race often nor at a very competitive level so I haven't (yet).

One other point I've considered: it may depend a bit on your size. I'm not heavy (<140lbs) and I almost never run anything larger than 32mm tires even though my gravel bike clears 44mm. I imagine the differences between having wider tires/lower pressure/etc. are bigger for larger folks, and in that case it may make more sense to have a gravel bike. In my case, in hindsight, it almost feels like overkill as I used to just do gravel on my CX bike with no problems. And conversely, even the minor differences in geometry between my road bikes and my gravel bike are enough to affect my smaller frame/power output.

Last edited by idc; 10-01-18 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-01-18, 06:07 PM
  #52  
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My gravel bike is my road bike or visa versa. I do have two sets of wheels/tires but they are not much different (same wheels, different tires). One slightly better off road and the other slightly better on road, both are 40c. I am not winning any races on or off road but it's not the bikes fault. I'm more a solo guy but I occasionally do group rides and easily hang. Bike still dirty muddy and my short drop flared bars and all. If you are road riding with a group and can't hang with bike A and you think you can with bike B, then get bike B or upgrade your motor. Only you can decide that. I don't think I'll ever ride a bike with less than 35c tires and standard compact bars again. I'm not feeling any penalty, only feeling more comfort and control. Don't worry about what random people think or if you are "doing it wrong", it's your bike, your money, your ride, and your experience.

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Old 10-02-18, 04:02 AM
  #53  
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Some things you don't need to worry about.

Top gear and spinning out. Eddy rode a top of 53x13. Maitre Jacques rode a top of 52x14. You are not faster than those guys. If you are spinning out you need to learn how to spin, not to keep using bigger gears to compensate for poor technique. And using big fat tires gives you bigger gears automatically.

Pedal strike? Really? When I raced a Cinelli with 82mm of drop and 700x22 tires with big wide Campy 1037/a pedals, pedal strike was there all the time. And it never mattered. It just doesn't. As high as most bikes sit today and with minimalist clipless pedals it takes some strange cornering technique - not just fast aggressive cornering - to ground a pedal. And if you do ground a pedal so what. The bike business wants to keep the BB high because they figure you are a klutz with a PI attorney. If you are not a complete klutz never think about this again. Or seek out lower BBs. Low BB corners better. Makes you more aero.

Modern retail bikes all have high trail. Again because the industry thinks you are a klutz, are going to fall off your bike. If you want massive stability to keep you upright (because you can't without it) go along with the industry and get the high trail bike. If you are just insensitive to differences in trail, take trail off your list of criteria. To me a bike with trail above 60 handles like a truck. Above 65 you have a BSO. Any imaginable downside to lower trail doesn't exist until you are talking numbers that do not exist on production bikes. Well, if you are riding technical singletrack you might want higher trail. Maybe you might or maybe you wouldn't. But you said gravel. As trail gets higher wide handlebars are required to make the bike steer at all. Wide is anti-aero. If you were worried a minute ago about spinning out, you don't want wide 'bars.

Pick a bike for reasons that matter. Not for reasons that matter to the legal department and the marketing boys.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:12 AM
  #54  
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Idc's comments were helpful, but these reinforce those thoughts and put some numbers to it…

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Top gear and spinning out. Eddy rode a top of 53x13. Maitre Jacques rode a top of 52x14. You are not faster than those guys. If you are spinning out you need to learn how to spin, not to keep using bigger gears to compensate for poor technique. And using big fat tires gives you bigger gears automatically.

Pedal strike? Really? When I raced a Cinelli with 82mm of drop and 700x22 tires with big wide Campy 1037/a pedals, pedal strike was there all the time. And it never mattered. It just doesn't. As high as most bikes sit today and with minimalist clipless pedals it takes some strange cornering technique - not just fast aggressive cornering - to ground a pedal. And if you do ground a pedal so what. The bike business wants to keep the BB high because they figure you are a klutz with a PI attorney. If you are not a complete klutz never think about this again. Or seek out lower BBs. Low BB corners better. Makes you more aero.

Modern retail bikes all have high trail. Again because the industry thinks you are a klutz, are going to fall off your bike. If you want massive stability to keep you upright (because you can't without it) go along with the industry and get the high trail bike. If you are just insensitive to differences in trail, take trail off your list of criteria. To me a bike with trail above 60 handles like a truck. Above 65 you have a BSO. Any imaginable downside to lower trail doesn't exist until you are talking numbers that do not exist on production bikes. Well, if you are riding technical singletrack you might want higher trail. Maybe you might or maybe you wouldn't. But you said gravel. As trail gets higher wide handlebars are required to make the bike steer at all. Wide is anti-aero. If you were worried a minute ago about spinning out, you don't want wide 'bars.

Pick a bike for reasons that matter. Not for reasons that matter to the legal department and the marketing boys.
Spinning out isn't really something I worry about too much. Ditto for pedal strikes, except that it's made me rethink pedal-based power meters. And pedal strikes on cornering definitely isn't an issue (I'm not that good at cornering). Pedal strikes have only ever been an issue for me on rough trails with large rocks.

As far as BB height – I rented a Specialized Allez Elite in Vancouver a couple months ago. It had a BB height of 256. It was "OK", but I don't think I'd want to go lower than that. But if you put 28mm tires on a Diverge it gets down to 250, which is why the Diverge of out IMHO.

Thanks for being so specific on trail numbers (even if they were roundish numbers). Based on that the Jari seems better than the Breed or the Haanjo. The trail on the Jari is 60-64 for tire/wheel sizes I'm likely to use, where the Breed adds 4 to that range and the Haanjo adds 10. But it makes me rethink the Checkpoint – it has trail numbers from 57 to 63, and a ower BB height (without going lower than the Allez). And the Checkpoint's wheelbase is on the low end for gravel bikes (and adjustable). So that helps it be a bit more versatile as well.
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Old 10-03-18, 01:28 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
Assuming you have a separate wheelset with 25-28mm tires, can a gravel bike be a decent road bike?

I live in Manhattan where space is a premium, so one bike that can have multiple functions seems like a good idea to me. In talking to the owner of a reputable bike shop he seemed pretty skeptical that a gravel bike could be a good road bike. His opinion was that a dedicated road bike would always be the better choice – enough so that it would make sense to have separate bikes. So I'm wanting other people's opinion…

For starters the circumference of 650b x 47 is the same as 700C x 28. So the geometries stay pretty much the same swapping between those two wheel sizes. I've been thinking if a bike is designed to run 650b x 47, then running 700C x 28 should be just fine, and so I've been hoping to kill two birds with one bike (and an extra set of wheels). The gravel bikes I'm looking at are designed to run a variety of tire sizes – so running 650b x 47 would result in your bottom bracket being lower which would increase stability, while running 700C x 42 would raise the bottom bracket, increase the trail, and help avoid pedal strikes.

Here are my current top two contenders, and some stats for each of them at my size (size 56)…
(Imagine each with skinny wheels – don't be distracted by the fat tires on them)

Felt Breed 30
Hyroformed aluminum frame w/ carbon fork
105 level derailleurs front and back
48/32 chainrings
11-34 cassette
105 level hydraulic disc brakes (160mm front, 140mm rear)
Stack: 59.1
Reach: 38.9
Stack/Reach Ratio: 1.52
Wheelbase: 103.5
Seat tube angle: 73º
Head tube angle 71º
Rake/Offset: 50mm
BB drop: 72mm
BB height (w/ 700C x 28): 263mm
Range of gear inches (w/ 700C x 28): 25 to 116
Trail (w/ 700C x 28): 64mm
Handlebar width: 46cm
Carbon seatpost






Fuji Jari 1.1
"A6-SL Super Butted" Aluminum frame w/ carbon fork
105 level derailleurs front and back
46/30 chainrings
11-34 cassette
105 level hydraulic disc brakes (160mm front & back)
Stack: 59.2
Reach: 37.9
Stack/Reach Ratio: 1.56
Wheelbase: 102.7
Seat tube angle: 73º
Head tube angle 72º
Rake/Offset: 48mm
BB drop: 67mm
BB height (w/ 700C x 28): 268mm
Range of gear inches (w/ 700C x 28): 24 to 113
Trail (w/ 700C x 28): 60mm
Handlebar width: 42cm
Alloy seatpost
Claimed weight: 21 lbs (not sure what size that's for and that's with stock 700C x 38 wheels, would be lighter configured as a road bike)


Is there anything about those stats that would make you think a dedicated road bike would be significantly better? As a road cyclist, how would you feel if you had to ride either of those bikes instead of a similarly equipped road bike?

And just a bit more about context – since I live in Manhattan I always start my rides on pavement. The club rides around here are almost always geared towards road bikes (though that's slowly changing). But I'm in my "happy place" when I get away from cars/traffic and onto trails. Most of the trails are paved, but my favorite ones are gravel and/or dirt, and the ones that are paved almost always have a problem with tree roots. So the road bike configuration would be used for club rides and when I just want to do an easy ride on one of the well-traveled routes around here (Central Park, "River Road" along the Hudson, etc.), and the gravel configuration would be used when I'm being more exploratory and/or getting out into nature.

Thanks in advance for your input!
A "gravel bike" is nothing more than a cyclocross bike. And a cyclocross bike is nothing more than a road bike with enough clearance to fit wider tires. In some cases they have slightly more relaxed geometry and slightly more weight because real CX bikes get a mighty pounding. I did a great deal of my off-road riding on a road bike with 23mm tires on it. 28's are a lot better though when you hit deep dust or deep gravel. If you intend to ride fast off-road you can get maybe 32 mm knobbies but remember that on a CX bike they can slide out not for a lack of traction but because a light bike can float over the top of the trail.

Rather than worry about what sort of bike, worry about learning how to ride in those conditions because bicycles have been on dirt roads from the first bicycle.
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Old 10-05-18, 08:27 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
A "gravel bike" is nothing more than a cyclocross bike. And a cyclocross bike is nothing more than a road bike with enough clearance to fit wider tires.
Although I don't disagree with this, keep in mind that manufacturers are slicing and dicing this segment even more as time goes on. i.e. Cannondale now has the SuperX/CaadX, and the Topstone, the latter being a little more "gravel" than cyclocross.
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Old 10-05-18, 08:55 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
A "gravel bike" is nothing more than a cyclocross bike. And a cyclocross bike is nothing more than a road bike with enough clearance to fit wider tires. In some cases they have slightly more relaxed geometry and slightly more weight because real CX bikes get a mighty pounding. I did a great deal of my off-road riding on a road bike with 23mm tires on it. 28's are a lot better though when you hit deep dust or deep gravel. If you intend to ride fast off-road you can get maybe 32 mm knobbies but remember that on a CX bike they can slide out not for a lack of traction but because a light bike can float over the top of the trail.

Rather than worry about what sort of bike, worry about learning how to ride in those conditions because bicycles have been on dirt roads from the first bicycle.
so much to question based on experience around here.

1- a gravel bike is different from a cyclocross bike. Trends have pushed those styles further apart. CX being 1x and limited in the granny since it gets to a point where off the bike makes more sense. Gravel being a mix of 1x and 2x depending on the brand and whats good for your terrain. Typically the gearing range is greater. Tires are typically wider on gravel bikes. Geometry is typically more relaxed on gravel bikes. Again- all this is generalizations, but those generalizations are based on actual bikes and trends.
Your claim that a gravel bike is nothing more than a cyclocross bike which is nothing more than a road bike that can fit wider tires is funny. A tricycle is nothing more than a bicycle with an extra wheel. A road bike is nothing more than a beach cruiser with gears, drop bars, different geometry, and thinner tires.
really- thats basically what your post shows.

2- while 23mm tires work for a great deal of your off road riding, that would be absolutely terrible for many others. You have to be able to see this. 23mm on anything but paved roads around me would be slow, bumpy, and unsure. My paved road bikes dont even run 23 at this point since there is simply no benefit. They have 25mm, 27mm, and 30mm effective tire widths. Smoother, more comfortable, and just as fast rolling.

3- 28mm tires would be terrible around here for deep gravel. Where do you live or what crazy skill do you have where 28mm tires work well for deep gravel riding?

4- as for a tire floating over gravel due to the bike being too light...ah what now? This actually happens to people? You are saying a 17# bike will slide out on gravel while a 23# bike will stay planted? So the rider's 150#-250# of weight isnt enough and that extra 6# of bike weight is what keeps a bike from floating over loose gravel?
I will dig and plant a 28mm tire bike into loose gravel whether it weighs 5#, 15#, or 25#.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 10-05-18 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:00 AM
  #58  
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Most of the trails I ride locally on my Ritchey Swiss Cross would be impassable on anything narrower than a 32-- and they're a whole lot more comfortable on a 35 or larger. We have a lot of this stuff called "sand."

If you can't ride it on 23s, it's not off-road, it's just "not paved." Try this little lane on some 23s:

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Old 10-05-18, 09:05 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
so much to disagree with.

1- a gravel bike is different from a cyclocross bike. Trends have pushed those styles further apart. CX being 1x and limited in the granny since it gets to a point where off the bike makes more sense. Gravel being a mix of 1x and 2x depending on the brand and whats good for your terrain. Typically the gearing range is greater. Tires are typically wider on gravel bikes. Geometry is typically more relaxed on gravel bikes. Again- all this is generalizations, but those generalizations are based on actual bikes and trends.
Your claim that a gravel bike is nothing more than a cyclocross bike which is nothing more than a road bike that can fit wider tires is funny. A tricycle is nothing more than a bicycle with an extra wheel. A road bike is nothing more than a beach cruiser with gears, drop bars, different geometry, and thinner tires.
really- thats basically what your post shows.

2- while 23mm tires work for a great deal of your off road riding, that would be absolutely terrible for many others. You have to be able to see this. 23mm on anything but paved roads around me would be slow, bumpy, and unsure. My paved road bikes dont even run 23 at this point since there is simply no benefit. They have 25mm, 27mm, and 30mm effective tire widths. Smoother, more comfortable, and just as fast rolling.

3- 28mm tires would be terrible around here for deep gravel. Where do you live or what crazy skill do you have where 28mm tires work well for deep gravel riding?

4- as for a tire floating over gravel due to the bike being too light...ah what now? This actually happens to people? You are saying a 17# bike will slide out on gravel while a 23# bike will stay planted? So the rider's 150#-250# of weight isnt enough and that extra 6# of bike weight is what keeps a bike from floating over loose gravel?
I will dig and plant a 28mm tire bike into loose gravel whether it weighs 5#, 15#, or 25#.
What is really obvious is that you simply don't have any experience. I started riding off-road with Keith Bontrager. A very good friend was Keith's head machinist. Almost immediately it became clear that in most TRAIL riding you don't need knobbies or even wide tires. And in those days 23 mm WAS wide. So continue to hold any opinion you like. But don't expect anyone with any experience to pay them any heed.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:31 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by J.Owen View Post
Although I don't disagree with this, keep in mind that manufacturers are slicing and dicing this segment even more as time goes on. i.e. Cannondale now has the SuperX/CaadX, and the Topstone, the latter being a little more "gravel" than cyclocross.
Well, I can't disagree that manufacturers are trying to segment the market with modifications. But they are in general so small that there is actually more change from company to company than between models.

There was the legendary Jobst Brandt who rode a 27" bike with 27 1/4" wheels with 1 1/4" tires. This guy would hold the "Jobst Rides" over on the San Francisco peninsula. He would be going 25 mph on the road and ride off down a dirt path without so much as a pause. He would climb in a 48-19. Most of his rides would be 100 miles long. I think it is pretty good these days if I do 50 miles though I'll crank out an organized century now and again just for old times sake. I pissed him off for arguing that new riders should not be riding that sort of huge gear that he was recommending to everyone. He became so perturbed that he wrote "Cyclingtom is an *******" entries all over the Internet and even published a map to my home. This from a guy who was a top notch mechanical engineer who had worked for Porche and then H-P. What his stupid riding style got him was a heart attack that relegated him to not riding a bicycle at all and slowly dying pretty miserably over the next 5 years. You can retain the very best your age and body type can handle but you have to remember that ignoring the medical facts of life is not good for you. And in the group I presently ride with more and more of the group are learning this.

So riding on dirt roads isn't new nor more difficult than riding on the road and the minor modifications to differentiate a road bike from a CX bike from a "gravel" bike are minor and effect mostly the safety of the less experienced rider. Hell, it wasn't but a decade ago when they were riding Paris-Roubaix on 23 mm tires.
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Old 10-05-18, 10:50 AM
  #61  
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No matter how you slice it riding offroad on narrow high pressure tires sucks a lot more than riding wider lower pressure tires on pavement.

That's a sad story about you and Jobst Brandt.
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Old 10-05-18, 12:38 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
What is really obvious is that you simply don't have any experience. I started riding off-road with Keith Bontrager. A very good friend was Keith's head machinist. Almost immediately it became clear that in most TRAIL riding you don't need knobbies or even wide tires. And in those days 23 mm WAS wide. So continue to hold any opinion you like. But don't expect anyone with any experience to pay them any heed.
I could tow a pontoon with a geo tracker, but itd make more sense to use a half ton pickup.
I could ride gravel on 23s, but itd make more sense to use wider tires.

I will gladly say that I dont have the experience that many others in this world have. But I have enough experience to recognize that experience doesnt always equate to expertise. There are a lot of people in life with experience who hold absurd views.

I have a gravel race in 2 weeks. Ill silently check to see how many people are on 23mm tires or even 25. Heck, include 28 in there. Ha, thatd be a rough ride for sure.
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Old 10-05-18, 01:42 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I could tow a pontoon with a geo tracker, but itd make more sense to use a half ton pickup.
I could ride gravel on 23s, but itd make more sense to use wider tires.

I will gladly say that I dont have the experience that many others in this world have. But I have enough experience to recognize that experience doesnt always equate to expertise. There are a lot of people in life with experience who hold absurd views.

I have a gravel race in 2 weeks. Ill silently check to see how many people are on 23mm tires or even 25. Heck, include 28 in there. Ha, thatd be a rough ride for sure.
It depends entirely on the course. As I said - They rode Paris-Roubaix on 23 mm tires for years. This year the stage of the Tour that went over the Paris-Roubaix course had two more cobblestone sections than the Paris-Roubaix and the tires they ran were 26 mm. Do you really think you have better judgement than those Pro's?

If you have a course with a lot of turns on it and 2" deep fine gravel a wider tire would be useful if not faster. You ride what you feel comfortable with.

There are horses for courses so don't pretend one set-up is good for everything.

And please don't pretend that your judgement is better than that of someone else who might be just as comfortable with narrower tires on a lighter bike. I went out yesterday and did 47 miles and 2300 feet of climbing. I passed everyone but one young kid and I'm 74 in another couple of days. Does that mean that all of those people I passed should use the same setup as me?
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Old 10-05-18, 01:49 PM
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That's what I find most interesting about this. If someone is advocating for how great high pressure road tires are on trails, gravel and so forth they most likely have zero experience with modern gravel bikes and gravel tires. So why bother listening to them at all? The assumption that technology and development has somehow peaked in the past and modern development have gotten is wrong is a ridiculous assertion.

It would be the equivalent of listening to some guy who raced down Repack in the 1980s for mountain bike racing tips instead of someone who's racing today. I mean it's great they both have a ton of experience and some great stories for sure but one is currently the top of his field racing current production bikes and tires while the other is not and would be sharing information that, to put it kindly, is very outdated.

FWIW I consider my judgement better the instant I see someone riding 23mm tires off pavement. Usually only lasts for a few seconds as I ring my bell and pass shortly thereafter.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
There are horses for courses so don't pretend one set-up is good for everything.
Are you just saying this cause it sounds like a convincing thing to say or have you done testing and reached this conclusion independently?

After 6 months of group rides, mixed gravel centuries, training crits, bandit cross races and friendly singletrack time trials; I have concluded exactly the opposite. One bike, one set of tires and one wheelset has been not just good but great for everything. 650bx42/47 is fast enough, wide enough and has enough traction that I don't really need any thing else. I will concede that at times I have removed the fenders in the interest of not destroying them on drops and such.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:10 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
It depends entirely on the course. As I said - They rode Paris-Roubaix on 23 mm tires for years. This year the stage of the Tour that went over the Paris-Roubaix course had two more cobblestone sections than the Paris-Roubaix and the tires they ran were 26 mm. Do you really think you have better judgement than those Pro's?

If you have a course with a lot of turns on it and 2" deep fine gravel a wider tire would be useful if not faster. You ride what you feel comfortable with.

There are horses for courses so don't pretend one set-up is good for everything.

And please don't pretend that your judgement is better than that of someone else who might be just as comfortable with narrower tires on a lighter bike. I went out yesterday and did 47 miles and 2300 feet of climbing. I passed everyone but one young kid and I'm 74 in another couple of days. Does that mean that all of those people I passed should use the same setup as me?
No i dont think i have better judgement than pro riders. I think their judgement for their riding is perfect. Conversely, i think my judgement for how I ride is perfect. Do you think they know better than I do about what I need to ride my best? Of course they dont know better.

I am not suggesting one setup is good for everything. Never have suggested that and definitely dont think that.
I responded to you initially because you were rambling on about 23mm tires on gravel and claiming a light bike with 32mm tires might slide out over loose surfaces due to the weight.
I felt compelled to offer up another viewpoint to counter your suggestion that a 28mm tire is good for deep gravel. Thats all.

Clearly you are a better cyclist than I. You are stronger than I. You are more experienced than I. You do rides with 49' of climb per foot with is more impressive than I...oh, wait, flat Iowa averages that. well nevermind on this one. You pass everyone and I dont so you are impressive there too. Etc etc etc.
Perhaps a commoner's view is more applicable since it appears that few have your skill.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:36 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Are you just saying this cause it sounds like a convincing thing to say or have you done testing and reached this conclusion independently?

After 6 months of group rides, mixed gravel centuries, training crits, bandit cross races and friendly singletrack time trials; I have concluded exactly the opposite. One bike, one set of tires and one wheelset has been not just good but great for everything. 650bx42/47 is fast enough, wide enough and has enough traction that I don't really need any thing else. I will concede that at times I have removed the fenders in the interest of not destroying them on drops and such.
I have 8 bikes in my garage including 2 CX bike one with drops and the other with a flat bar. If I feel like it, I can spoke and true a wheel in 30 minutes. Thankfully the newer wheels put and end to that. I have a Time VX Elite with 28 mm tires that I can ride on any of the Bay Trails around SF bay. A large part of these are gravel. I have a Basso Loto and a Pinarello Stelvio with 25 and 28 mm tires tube and tubeless. I have disk and rim brakes. I dumped full suspension bikes recently because I can go over the same courses available to me including LOTS of steep climbing faster on a CX bike than a Full Suspension 29er. I just pulled two other bikes apart including an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra and a Pinarello Torino so that they would take up less room. I have a Colnago CLX with 25's on it that I intend to change over to tubeless. I'm climbing 12% climbs in a 39-25. I recently averaged almost 15 1/2 mph over a 10 mile course that had me come to complete stops at 5 stoplights.

So don't pretend that somehow you're the only one that knows anything about bicycles. I've been riding as an adult for 40 years and I have ALWAYS been on the best technology. I've raced sailboats including very large ones from San Francisco to Catalina. I was a semi-pro motorcycle racer. I'm an engineer that worked to design new technology including medical instruments that saved literally millions of lives. So I have some idea of what technology is.

So, as I said, perhaps you should consider that other people may both use different methods that you do and know more about it than you do. FENDERS???

Last edited by cyclintom; 10-05-18 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:40 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I have 8 bikes in my garage including 2 CX bike one with drops and the other with a flat bar. If I feel like it, I can spoke and true a wheel in 30 minutes. Thankfully the newer wheels put and end to that. I have a Time VX Elite with 28 mm tires that I can ride on any of the Bay Trails around SF bay. A large part of these are gravel. I have a Basso and a Pinarello with 25 and 28 mm tires tube and tubeless. I have disk and rim brakes. I dumped full suspension bike recently because I can go over the same courses available to me including LOTS of steep climbing faster on a CX bike than a Full Suspension 29er. I just pulled two other bikes apart including an Eddy Merckx and a Pinarello Torino so that they would take up less room. I have a Colnago CLX with 25's on it that I intend to change over to tubeless. I'm climbing 12% climbs in a 39-25. I averaged almost 15 1/2 mph over a 10 mile course that had me come to complete stops at 5 stoplights.

So don't pretend that somehow you're the only one that knows anything about bicycles. I've been riding as an adult for 40 years and I have ALWAYS been on the best technology. I've raced sailboats including very large ones from San Francisco to Catalina. I was a semi-pro motorcycle racer. I'm an engineer that worked to design new technology including medical instruments that saved literally millions of lives. So I have some idea of what technology is.

So, as I said, perhaps you should consider that other people may both use different methods that you do and know more about it than you do. FENDERS???
Aye aye, Mr President.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:42 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
Well, I can't disagree that manufacturers are trying to segment the market with modifications. But they are in general so small that there is actually more change from company to company than between models.

There was the legendary Jobst Brandt who rode a 27" bike with 27 1/4" wheels with 1 1/4" tires. This guy would hold the "Jobst Rides" over on the San Francisco peninsula. He would be going 25 mph on the road and ride off down a dirt path without so much as a pause. He would climb in a 48-19. Most of his rides would be 100 miles long.
I've read about him, I understand he didn't even carry a water bottle. I've ridden my 27x1 1/4" on hardpack trails and it was fine. The larger diameter is nice, same as the theory for the 29er MTB craze. I just like 27's overall.

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Old 10-05-18, 02:44 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Aye aye, Mr President.
Don't you think that the sort of "racing" he is doing is somewhat described by the fact that he has fenders on his bike? Now I ride with some young people that are bike commuters and they have fenders on their bikes and they can ride uphill a lot faster than me what with a 45 year age difference but I would hardly say that they would know what is best for racing on any surface.
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Old 10-05-18, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
Don't you think that the sort of "racing" he is doing is somewhat described by the fact that he has fenders on his bike? Now I ride with some young people that are bike commuters and they have fenders on their bikes and they can ride uphill a lot faster than me what with a 45 year age difference but I would hardly say that they would know what is best for racing on any surface.
Oh bless your heart for thinking fenders say anything about one's ability to ride well.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:32 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Oh bless your heart for thinking fenders say anything about one's ability to ride well.
I said nothing of the sort. Pickup or impromptu races are hardly indicative of great knowledge about racing and great judgement of equipment. You shouldn't pretend knowledge you don't have.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:35 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
You shouldn't pretend knowledge you don't have.
Such as assuming that someone who does lots of their riding on fenders doesn't have actual racing experience?
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Old 10-05-18, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I've read about him, I understand he didn't even carry a water bottle. I've ridden my 27x1 1/4" on hardpack trails and it was fine. The larger diameter is nice, same as the theory for the 29er MTB craze. I just like 27's overall.

I can't remember if he carried no water bottle or one of the awful tin water bottles that racers used in the 30's. Hell, Jobst was the same age as me but you'd think he was 20 years older.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:50 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Such as assuming that someone who does lots of their riding on fenders doesn't have actual racing experience?
So you prefer to assume that someone that is "racing" with 42 mm tires on gravel and with fenders is a uniquely qualified racer?
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