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Gravel bike with road tyres or Road bike with gravel tyres

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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

Gravel bike with road tyres or Road bike with gravel tyres

Old 05-14-21, 12:24 PM
  #26  
eduskator
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I'd go with a Gravel bike since you seem to be liking the beaten tracks a lot! You can always buy a 2nd set of wheel with road tires. That's what I would do!
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Old 05-14-21, 12:30 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by iride01 View Post
one bike will either suck badly at one thing or suck for both.
lol
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Old 05-14-21, 12:46 PM
  #28  
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Wow, I wasn't planning to start an argument
Well if I had the budget and storage capacity I wouldn't be here, I'd just buy a third bike - gravel one and wouldn't care if one of the other 2 is rarely used.

I'm kinda leaning towards endurance road bike with wide clearance. What would be optimal, 35?
I've got an eye on some nice looking gravels too but often case the manufacturer doesnt provide info about the weight which I assume it's because it's way over 10kg With road bikes it's always there.
Also good percentage of gravels have single gear in front which I think on road wouldn't be efficient.

I wish bike shops would let you rent and ride a bike before you buy, just like with cars. It's kinda weird to buy something so expensive without giving it a proper try. I know decathlon let's you rent but they never seem to have anything for >190cm height in stock

Anyway any recommendations on road bike with 35 clearance would be appreciated! 1700 euro budget, is low, I know.
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Old 05-14-21, 01:01 PM
  #29  
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Giant Contend AR would fit your budget.
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Old 05-14-21, 01:51 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Does it makes sense at all? If so, Would a gravel bike look silly with 28c tyres? How hard would it be to buy a wheelset that could be quickly swapped for the stock gravel wheels? Or maybe it would make more sense to buy an endurance frame road bike that fits a 32c (or more?) tyre?
Yet another option- buy a bike that will fit a 38mm tire, but some quality fast rolling 38mm tires, and call it good.
The surface you speak of sounds quite tame and hardpacked, so a 38mm tire might be plenty wide. And a quality fast rolling 38mm tire will still fly on pavement.

You eliminate the need for a 2nd wheelset.
I know that I would not constantly swap wheels based on the ride I was going to do on a certain day. If I had just one bike, it would have fast rolling wide tires.

If you do want to do the 2 wheelset route, maybe a wheelset with 28mm tires and a wheelset with 43mm tires?...anything closer together in size seems pretty redundant. I couldnt imagine a 32mm wheelset and 38mm wheelset for example. And entire wheelset for 6mm wider tires?...nah.
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Old 05-14-21, 01:57 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by danmyersmn View Post
...purchased a gravel bike and built 2 sets of wheels.
Best way to go... Wish bikes like this were built 40 years ago. Just like the "Hybrid Bike" it's been a pleasure to see the "Gravel Bike" come to fruition. Its a real WINNER!
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Old 05-14-21, 02:01 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
I'm kinda leaning towards endurance road bike with wide clearance. What would be optimal, 35?
Optimal is going to be a whole lot of "it depends," but 35mm should do pretty well unless you get in to some really loose stuff.

Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Also good percentage of gravels have single gear in front which I think on road wouldn't be efficient.
They typically have a decent range of gearing, enough to tackle most terrain, even with the 1x up front. The biggest issue with the 1x would be the relatively large jumps between gears. Different people have different levels of tolerance for gearing gaps but, IMO, a lot of that comes down to how much you want to toe the line of personal performance, between a really hard effort and too hard, aka blowing up. If you don't anticipate putting yourself in a situation where you're hanging on by your fingernails, a 1x will probably be fine. Alternatively, if you have a big motor and a broad torque range, a 1x will be fine.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:04 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Thanks for replies. @danmyersmn - that's exactly what I had in mind! Looks dope both as a road bike and gravel. Based on which Specialized bike it's built on?
Specialized Diverge
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Old 05-14-21, 02:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I couldn't disagree more. My wife has a road bike (Alchemy Atlas) that also does very well as a gravel bike. I have a gravel bike (Cervelo Aspero) that works very well as a road bike.
One of the fastest riders in a club I ride with got an Aspero. He is still one of the fastest in that club on the road.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:04 PM
  #35  
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I am in the camp of endurance bike that can handle wider tires. The Trek AL5 can handle tires up to 35 mm which is not too shabby. Two sets of wheels when you can afford it would work out well.

Currently I have an endurance bike that can handle wider tires and I do have two sets of wheels. Last week I took it out for its maiden gravel voyage and that ride convinced me I didn't need a gravel bike that I was thinking of purchasing. At least not for the gravel riding that I will ever be doing.

Good luck with what ever you purchase. I think the hardest part is just trying to find a bike to purchase.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:39 PM
  #36  
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I just took delivery of a 2021 Domane that I plan to put 40mm tires on (when the second set of wheels arrives). Mostly road riding but some dirt/gravel. Not worth it to me to get two bikes but a budget set of wheels will do.
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Old 05-15-21, 04:06 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Hi
So my thought was to sell both bikes and go either for a gravel bike and buy road wheels/tyres for it or road bike and buy gravel tyres for it. My goal would be to still be able to maintain the pace on the road as much as possible and be able to follow ~30-35kmh/h avg speed group rides as a wheelsucker PLUS to have more fun and speed on the unpaved roads and forrests

Does it makes sense at all? If so, Would a gravel bike look silly with 28c tyres? How hard would it be to buy a wheelset that could be quickly swapped for the stock gravel wheels? Or maybe it would make more sense to buy an endurance frame road bike that fits a 32c (or more?) tyre?
That's what I do. I have (or had, till i broke the Venge in a race crash) a 2 bike stable:
- Venge for racing/fast group rides
- Factor LS gravel bike for everything else

The Factor is set up as a road bike for the most part - i ride it with 50mm deep sections and Schwalbe One 28mm tires (which measure out to 30mm when mounted). I have a second wheelset with 700x35s mounted on them for light offroad use (I am not going to be doing anything "gnarly", so a 50x34 is more than enough for even the light offroad i would do). That gives me the best of both worlds.

You could just get an endurance frame that fits a 700x32, that is true - but given that a gravel bike gives you a lot more flexibility, why not get that? Unless you are doing crits or whatever, the slightly slacker/relaxed geo of a gravel bike isnt really going to be an issue, but the ability to slap on thick tires gives you much more versatility. My Factor weighs in at 7.8kg with Ultegra Di2 and 50mm carbon wheels, so I am not really giving up anything as far as weight goes, either.

I will just recommend picking a more road or race-oriented gravel frame (the LS, the Cervelo Aspero). Those are going to be plenty stiff, fairly light, etc and not give up much in the way of ride feel. I am very pleased with the LS and how it performs as a road bike. I even did a race with the Factor not too long ago. Bike didnt hold me back (my stupid legs, on the other hand....).


Last edited by guadzilla; 05-15-21 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 05-15-21, 04:15 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The geometry of most gravel bikes falls squarely within that of most endurance road bikes (though some of the newer gravel bikes have more racy geometry) - the gravel bikes just tend to have greater tire clearance. There would only be a "compromise" between a dedicated road bike and typical gravel bike (with road tires) if one desired more twitchy handling than the geo of the gravel bike (or any endurance road bike) could provide. Would there be a difference? Sure, for someone that knew exactly what they were looking for. Would it make a difference for someone asking these types of questions? Not likely.
As an aside, maybe i am a heathen, but honestly, i dont really notice a big difference in handling between my various bikes I own/have owned - the aero Venge, the sprint oriented old Ridley Damocles, my endurance-geo Lynskey Sportive and the gravel Factor LS. I am sure if i were to do an A/B test, I would notice something, but I have never noticed anything when going from one bike to the other.
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Old 05-15-21, 04:17 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Wow, I wasn't planning to start an argument
Why? Do you think you are too good for this forum? Or do you think our opinions dont have any merit?

For tire sizes - I have ridden 35mm Gravelkings on endurance group rides and not had any issues keeping up - but then, doing 10W more while in Z2 isnt that big a deal. On the other hand, even the 28mm Schwalbe seem a little sluggish compared to 24-26c tires like Turbo Cottons (best tires EVER!) or GP5ks. 28c would likely be my preferred width for general road riding - it's a good mix of fast enough, responsive enough and comfortable enough. That said, on my monthly riding getaways with some friends to the hills, i take 32c tires to handle any unexpectedly bad roads.

Correct answer is, of course, 4 wheelset - 1 Max Aero, 2 General Riding, 3 All Roads, 4 Mostly offroad/gravel

Last edited by guadzilla; 05-15-21 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 05-15-21, 05:08 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Islas View Post
Wow, I wasn't planning to start an argument
Snipped
Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Why? Do you think you are too good for this forum? Or do you think our opinions dont have any merit?
Snipped
May I suggest you start at post #8 and go to about post #21 and see if you change your mind. Normally I don't like to respond to anyone except the OP but here you are making accusations that are unwarranted and make the OP look like the bad guy. All he did was ask a question about the types of bike he should consider.
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Old 05-15-21, 06:00 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
May I suggest you start at post #8 and go to about post #21 and see if you change your mind. Normally I don't like to respond to anyone except the OP but here you are making accusations that are unwarranted and make the OP look like the bad guy. All he did was ask a question about the types of bike he should consider.
I was debating on whether or not to add a smiley to the post.., i guess i did NOT choose wisely
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Old 05-15-21, 06:05 AM
  #42  
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35 is great for gravel once you get the hang of riding dirt roads. For rougher single track you'll want to go wider if you're in a hurry..

Don't sweat the arguing here, we bicker about sock length, all good fun.
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Old 05-15-21, 06:11 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
As an aside, maybe i am a heathen, but honestly, i dont really notice a big difference in handling between my various bikes I own/have owned - the aero Venge, the sprint oriented old Ridley Damocles, my endurance-geo Lynskey Sportive and the gravel Factor LS. I am sure if i were to do an A/B test, I would notice something, but I have never noticed anything when going from one bike to the other.
Going from my Domane to the R3, with the same wheels/tires, was a very noticeable difference for me. As in, it took me a few rides before I felt comfy enough to go ham on town sign sprints during the group ride. I've still gotta be much more cautious when riding no-hands, too - I won't sit up and peel a banana or unwrap a snack in crosswinds, let alone take off/fold up a vest, etc.
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Old 05-15-21, 10:35 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're not wrong for "going against the mob," you're just wrong.
Well you've failed to educate me why I'm wrong. I never said that one bike only wasn't an option. I only put out there that two bikes might still be an option since everyone else was on the one-bike-bandwagon.

Still it seems you are offended that I used such harsh wording.... suck. I apologize that that offends you so much. Don't go all Sheldon Cooper on a phrase that was, to me, humorous more so than a accurate description of what I was attempting to say.


Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
He’s planning on riding a mix of casual road and light gravel. An endurance road bike or light gravel bike and 2 sets of wheels isn’t going to suck in those environments. It’s not like he’s asking for a bike to cover competitive road TT and freeride/DH!
Since the OP said they were going to swap wheelsets depending on what surface they rode, then I didn't take that as the same ride being in mixed conditions. Again, two bikes might be a good option for the OP. Though the OP stated they have at least two bikes, then possibly they have the wrong two bikes. However nowhere did I ever say that one bike wasn't an option.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I couldn't disagree more. My wife has a road bike (Alchemy Atlas) that also does very well as a gravel bike. I have a gravel bike (Cervelo Aspero) that works very well as a road bike.
I've several times recommend gravel or cx bikes to others. This didn't seem to be the post that needed to be centered on one bike to do everything. The OP didn't directly state a need for only one bike. And as I stated, I used to think I wanted two wheelsets to swap for different conditions as the OP said they wanted to do in their OP. However, I decided I wouldn't want to take the couple of minutes to swap wheels each time I wanted to ride.

In addition to just simply swapping wheels, range of gearing will be an issue. Too much change in the sizes of the cogs on the cassette, typically the low ratio cogs, then the chain will have to also be changed.

Maybe the OP wouldn't even need to swap wheels and just use one set of tires. If the gravel is packed gravel that some have, then the gearing likely won't be an issue. However here we don't have much packed gravel.

If we have a gravel road, it's washed gravel and you sink quite a bit. So if that's the case for the OP, then road and gravel or what ever the other surface the OP rides might require a significant gearing change.

So where one gravel bike might work well for many, for some it might not.
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Old 05-15-21, 11:20 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Doesn't make sense to me to try and combine two different types of riding into one bike. One bike will either suck badly at one thing or suck for both.
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
So where one gravel bike might work well for many, for some it might not.
Back pedaling can make your chain fall off.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:22 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
However nowhere did I ever say that one bike wasn't an option.
But you said it made no sense to buy one bike for road and light gravel riding because it would either suck badly at one thing or both (your words). Don't you think that is a mahoosive exaggeration to say the least? There are now loads of decent road bikes with enough clearance for gravel tyres and loads of gravel bikes that are fast with road tyres. Thinking about it, there's hardly any difference at all between a modern endurance road bike and a gravel bike. They just come with different tyres.

But hey, given the OP's modest 1700 Euro budget, which 2 bikes would you suggest buying? I would like to see how different they are.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:49 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
But you said it made no sense to buy one bike for road and light gravel riding because it would either suck badly at one thing or both (your words). Don't you think that is a mahoosive exaggeration to say the least? There are now loads of decent road bikes with enough clearance for gravel tyres and loads of gravel bikes that are fast with road tyres. Thinking about it, there's hardly any difference at all between a modern endurance road bike and a gravel bike. They just come with different tyres.

But hey, given the OP's modest 1700 Euro budget, which 2 bikes would you suggest buying? I would like to see how different they are.
No, I said
Doesn't make sense to me to try and combine two different types of riding into one bike. One bike will either suck badly at one thing or suck for both
Nothing was stated about light gravel riding in the quote that has upset some of you. Y'all are assuming that because you perceived the OP as talking about light gravel riding that I was too. You and other have wrongly assumed that.

I wasn't assuming that's what the OP was talking about. And yes, of course I made an overstatement and exaggerated. Is that not what we all do here at one time or another. I've said as much several times since.

Again, if you have no issue changing out tires or wheelsets from one ride to the next. And the surface you are riding on won't require a big difference in gear ratios, then I suppose one bike will be good enough for you. But you compromised and that sucks. (yes that's a overstatement or
"mahoosive exaggeration to say the least"
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Old 05-15-21, 01:50 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Back pedaling can make your chain fall off.
Yeah, I hate it. It's as bad as coasting!

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Old 05-15-21, 02:38 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post


Nothing was stated about light gravel riding in the quote that has upset some of you. Y'all are assuming that because you perceived the OP as talking about light gravel riding that I was too. You and other have wrongly assumed that.

I wasn't assuming that's what the OP was talking about. And yes, of course I made an overstatement and exaggerated. Is that not what we all do here at one time or another. I've said as much several times since.

Again, if you have no issue changing out tires or wheelsets from one ride to the next. And the surface you are riding on won't require a big difference in gear ratios, then I suppose one bike will be good enough for you. But you compromised and that sucks. (yes that's a overstatement or
Most people would reply in context of what the OP was asking about. How are we supposed to know you are talking about something else? The reason several people strongly disagreed with your post was because it made no sense in context of this thread. I know some people simply have to have a different bike for any tiny change in terrain, but ultimately there is loads of overlap and if you are on a tight budget it certainly doesn't make any sense to buy 2 bikes for the type of riding the OP described. It's even debatable whether or not you would need a second wheel set, never mind an entire bike!
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Old 05-15-21, 03:11 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Most people would reply in context of what the OP was asking about. How are we supposed to know you are talking about something else? The reason several people strongly disagreed with your post was because it made no sense in context of this thread. I know some people simply have to have a different bike for any tiny change in terrain, but ultimately there is loads of overlap and if you are on a tight budget it certainly doesn't make any sense to buy 2 bikes for the type of riding the OP described. It's even debatable whether or not you would need a second wheel set, never mind an entire bike!
Most people made assumptions about what the OP was talking about. Just as they made assumptions as to what I was talking about.

Neither of us specifically defined anything.

In the OP's case, my imagination or assumption was that if they were going to have to change tires to ride pavement or gravel, that the gravel wasn't as well packed as some are. And if that is the case, I still think a change of gearing will be needed too.

If a wheelset with a different sized cassette is enough change to need a different sized chain then that gets well beyond my desire to have just one bike.

So there are considerations that have not be discussed with the OP. To everyone that assumes the OP is riding in conditions that one bike will serve well is silly. The exact conditions are not defined. Your gravel isn't my gravel and likely isn't the OP's gravel.

Sure there is a good chance they may not care. And I don't mean "care" disparagingly. Only in the sense it doesn't matter to them.
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