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Gravel bike with road tyres or Road bike with gravel tyres

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Gravel bike with road tyres or Road bike with gravel tyres

Old 05-14-21, 05:10 AM
  #1  
Islas
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Gravel bike with road tyres or Road bike with gravel tyres

Hi


My current bike setup is: MTB 29" and Giant Propel aero roadbike.

With much less time for training and riding in general my avg speeds on a flat course are beginning to start with 2, I can't clock >30km/h speeds and let's be honest there are no aero benefits with my frame with such low speeds and the bike frame is uncomfy. sporty and the max tyre I can fit is 25 and it's still kinda rubbing on the braking wire during braking.

The MTB is a heavy 15kg XL 23" frame tank and I feel it's kinda useless because I don't really ride in very rough terrain, mostly forrests paths (nothing too difficult or "jumpy") and gravel roads on which it lacks agility and is pain to start rolling.


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?


Thanks for hints

Simon
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Old 05-14-21, 05:39 AM
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I think you could go either way here. There are now plenty of endurance road bikes that can fit up to 35 mm gravel tyres. Also plenty of gravel bikes that would be just fine on 28 mm slicks. If you are riding mainly off-road then I would go for the gravel bike and vice-versa, but there is definitely plenty of overlap here. Swapping wheels is very simple either way.
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Old 05-14-21, 06:12 AM
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I did exactly what you are suggesting. I purchased a gravel bike and built 2 sets of wheels. I used the same hubs, cassettes and rotors on both sets so that I could swap from one set to another with zero adjustments needed. It has worked great. I'm running 770cx25 and 650bx47.



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Old 05-14-21, 06:27 AM
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I'm new to having a gravel bike. I likely won't ride much gravel because it's too time consuming to drive my bike places. In large part why I gave up MTB. I wanted an an all road bike for the varying degrees of road disrepair around me. That bike with Vittoria Zero 38s is every bit as fast as my 80s steel with 25s. Maybe if I meticulously graphed both bikes for a year I see a difference, but new bike is already in top 10 best average rides for me since 2019 and I barely have my legs for this year. I would be comfortable with those tires on dry tame trail. They kind of remind me of Inverts I used to put on my MTB to make it all road. That bike was way heavier, and I didn't like front suspension on pavement.
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Old 05-14-21, 06:30 AM
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Starting in 2020 the Trek Domane can fit larger tires. Their website says 700 x 38 but I put some 700 x 40 tires on mine with no problem.

In road mode I'm running 700 x 32 Continental GP5000. The stock Bontrager 700 x 32 tires that came with the bike suck.
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Old 05-14-21, 06:51 AM
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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?
Treks Domane are lovely, but I forgot to mention my budget which is around 1700 euro tops.
Prices are going throught the roof, I bought carbon Propel Advanced 2 on 105 brand new for ~1400 euro, now it's barely enough for decent AL bike
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Old 05-14-21, 06:56 AM
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If you stick with Giant, then a Defy would work (latest models have tons of tyre clearance) and they are great value for money.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:17 AM
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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.

Get bikes for the riding you are going to do. Note that the word bikes is plural, as in two or more.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:36 AM
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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.

Get bikes for the riding you are going to do. Note that the word bikes is plural, as in two or more.
Gravel and Road bikes are cross compatible. The geometry isn't that much different that it will make any difference either way.

Few of my friends have Giant Revolts and one has Cannondale SuperX. The guys with the Revolts just swap wheelsets when riding road and have no problem keeping up with the road bikes. My buddy with the Super X doesn't even bother with a wheelset swap. Just leaves the 40c tires on it. Here's his Strava from our group ride last night...


Last edited by prj71; 05-14-21 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Gravel and Road bikes are cross compatible. The geometry isn't that much different that it will make any difference either way.

Few of my friends have Giant Revolts and one has Cannondale SuperX. The guys with the Revolts just swap wheelsets when riding road and have no problem keeping up with the road bikes. My buddy with the Super X doesn't even bother with a wheelset swap. Just leaves the 40c tires on it. Here's his Strava from our group ride last night...

I didn't say they weren't.

"Cross Compatible" --Is that some kind of magical thing that means I have to have only one bike? No, I don't think so, as I stated, my opinion is they are a compromise and won't do something as well as multiple bikes designed for the riding being done.

But if the OP wants the best of both worlds, or every world, they'd get a bike specifically for that type of riding and have multiple bikes.

Is your Cross bike as light as a really nice road bike will be? While I used to think swapping wheel sets was a great way to go, I find that I just want to grab a bike and go. I have too much other pre-ride stuff to do besides add another minute or two swapping wheels.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I didn't say they weren't.

"Cross Compatible" --Is that some kind of magical thing that means I have to have only one bike? No, I don't think so, as I stated, my opinion is they are a compromise and won't do something as well as multiple bikes designed for the riding being done.

But if the OP wants the best of both worlds, or every world, they'd get a bike specifically for that type of riding and have multiple bikes.

Is your Cross bike as light as a really nice road bike will be? While I used to think swapping wheel sets was a great way to go, I find that I just want to grab a bike and go. I have too much other pre-ride stuff to do besides add another minute or two swapping wheels.
No. Not really a compromise at all either way. Nothing really magical about purchasing a gravel bike and swapping a set of road wheels on it. Takes about 2 minutes. Look at the geometry charts of a gravel and road bike. It's not that much different that it matters and the weights between a gravel and road bike aren't much different either. Dedicated gravel bikes just add clearance for wider tires which is the only real difference.

Here are 2 examples. If blind folded a person wouldn't be able to tell a difference which bike they were on and weights are almost identical.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-sl-5/p/28311/

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-sl-5/p/32558/

Last edited by prj71; 05-14-21 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
No, I don't think so, as I stated, my opinion is they are a compromise and won't do something as well as multiple bikes designed for the riding being done.
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.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:23 AM
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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.
Exactly!!

I'll leave this here to chew on. I have the same bike.

https://www.roadbikereview.com/threa...-build.371103/

https://www.ridinggravel.com/forum/?...build-10391771
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Old 05-14-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
No. Not really a compromise at all either way. Nothing really magical about purchasing a gravel bike and swapping a set of road wheels on it. Takes about 2 minutes. Look at the geometry charts of a gravel and road bike. It's not that much different that it matters and the weights between a gravel and road bike aren't much different either. Dedicated gravel bikes just add clearance for wider tires which is the only real difference.

Here are 2 examples. If blind folded a person wouldn't be able to tell a difference which bike they were on and weights are almost identical.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-sl-5/p/28311/

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-sl-5/p/32558/

Okay, so you aren't telling me anything I don't already know.

I'm simply of the opinion that if the OP can support multiple bikes, they should. The OP never stated that they want one and only one bike.

Is this just about crushing the one that offers any opinion but the mob opinion? <grin>
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Old 05-14-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Is this just about crushing the one that offers any opinion but the mob opinion? <grin>
Sure, if the opinion is as abso******glutely wrong as the following -

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
One bike will either suck badly at one thing or suck for both.
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Old 05-14-21, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Sure, if the opinion is as abso******glutely wrong as the following -
Well, if they've made the ideal bike that we don't have to make compromises for something, then why aren't we all riding that bike?
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Old 05-14-21, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Well, if they've made the ideal bike that we don't have to make compromises for something, then why aren't we all riding that bike?
Weak strawman. In the context of the thread, telling the OP that one bike will suck on either one or both surfaces is flat-out wrong and a disservice.
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Old 05-14-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Weak strawman. In the context of the thread, telling the OP that one bike will suck on either one or both surfaces is flat-out wrong and a disservice.
I don't think it's a disservice. What's a disservice is that you take those comments literally and to a greater depth than they were ever intended. And then instead of letting my comments be buried by other posts, you and others keep bringing up this up by quoting me and telling me how wrong I am for going against the mob.
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Old 05-14-21, 09:41 AM
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I think it depends on how extreme you want to go with the gravel biking: if you want to go really "out there", even a compact gearing setup, such as a 50/34 with a 32 on the back, can be hard work, and may result in walking steep, technical sections. Conversely, on the road, more gravel-biased gearing may lead to lots of spinning. That would be my only concern.

If you don't plan on going gravel extreme then a standard compact drivetrain will be fine.
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Old 05-14-21, 09:43 AM
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If the bike can support the wide tires you want to use, it depends on the frame. Besides the Trek Domane, gravel bikes are generally a bit more compliant and sturdy even, so most do that- get a gravel bike and use a second set of wheels with road slicks. That is what two of my friends just did too. I like having a light road bike and a not-so-light gravel bike but if I had to choose one, it would depend on if I liked riding gravel more or road more. I'm a mountain biker (and what I enjoy the most, by far) so I would probably choose a road bike with big tire clearance for a better experience on long climbs and long rides. I'd get a new wheelset for gravel and run that tubeless.
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Old 05-14-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
And then instead of letting my comments be buried by other posts, you and others keep bringing up this up by quoting me and telling me how wrong I am for going against the mob.
You're not wrong for "going against the mob," you're just wrong.
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Old 05-14-21, 10:16 AM
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If someone has the budget for two bikes, then yes, two is better than one. However, with a limited budget / time, I absolutely agree one bike can serve both purposes. I picked up a Canyon cross bike a few weeks ago that I use for gravel. It would easily serve on the road, and I actually do relaxed rides with friends/family on it over my far racier road bike. If I could only have one bike, it would probably be something more like the Canyon with a second set of wheels rather than my road bike, though right now I put far more miles on the road bike. But... all else being equal, I like having 2 different bikes.

So yeah, 1 bike can do both and will do both well. More targeted bikes can be better, but not so much better to go into extra debt or worry about.
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Old 05-14-21, 10:28 AM
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I bought a Niner RLT RDO gravel bike 3 years ago. I have 38mm gravel tires on the OEM wheels and bought a set of November RCG36 carbon wheels running Schwalbe Pro One 30mm for road riding. Works great in either configuration. November thoughtfully included some 1/4 mm center-lock brake disc shims, I added one shim to the Stans' hubs and the discs line up perfectly between the two wheelsets (the road wheels have DT Swiss 350s). Great way to go, and the gravel geometry is pretty close to endurance road bike geometry. I can feel a difference in the way the Niner turns vs my older Roubaix, but other than this the riding experience is pretty similar. Both wheelsets for the Niner are set up tubeless so I don't have to change anything in the saddlebag. Swap wheels and ride.
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Old 05-14-21, 10:39 AM
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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.

Get bikes for the riding you are going to do. Note that the word bikes is plural, as in two or more.
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!
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Old 05-14-21, 10:50 AM
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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.
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.
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