Gravel Bike Recommendations

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:48 am

I am not sure I would be looking at a carbon frame for my gravel riding adventures. I have read stories on the various gravel forums of mud on tyres wearing away carbon on chain and seat stays when running large tyres that reduce clearances
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Defy The Odds
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby Defy The Odds » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:23 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:I am not sure I would be looking at a carbon frame for my gravel riding adventures. I have read stories on the various gravel forums of mud on tyres wearing away carbon on chain and seat stays when running large tyres that reduce clearances


Personally I wouldn't either, but because I think aluminium would withstand more punishment in general. But I get the feeling the OP prefers carbon.

For any sort of adventure type bike I would go a good quality aluminium bike. It's not a race bike it's not meant to be a featherweight.

My Defy weighs 8.3kg with 2 x bottle cages, rear light, garmin mount, speed and cadence sensors and Fulcrum Racing Quattro's...

My Toughroad weighs 10.2 with bottle cage. Could get it down to 9kg with a better set of wheels but why bother when they are going to get punished and it climbs as well or better than the Defy for me

lewie15
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby lewie15 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:02 pm

Defy The Odds wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:I am not sure I would be looking at a carbon frame for my gravel riding adventures. I have read stories on the various gravel forums of mud on tyres wearing away carbon on chain and seat stays when running large tyres that reduce clearances


Personally I wouldn't either, but because I think aluminium would withstand more punishment in general. But I get the feeling the OP prefers carbon.

For any sort of adventure type bike I would go a good quality aluminium bike. It's not a race bike it's not meant to be a featherweight.

My Defy weighs 8.3kg with 2 x bottle cages, rear light, garmin mount, speed and cadence sensors and Fulcrum Racing Quattro's...

My Toughroad weighs 10.2 with bottle cage. Could get it down to 9kg with a better set of wheels but why bother when they are going to get punished and it climbs as well or better than the Defy for me


I'm happy to go with aluminium. I've just had good experiences with carbon bikes and . Maybe it's time to go aluminium for something different. The weight just scares me a bit, but that's probably because i'm used to riding lightweight carbon bikes. I like the look of a few of the Bombtrack bikes recommended by people on here and also like the look and value of the Toughroad. Reckon the Toughroad is very well specced for the price and i've had good experiences with Giant in the past.
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Defy The Odds
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby Defy The Odds » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:36 pm

lewie15 wrote:
Defy The Odds wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:I am not sure I would be looking at a carbon frame for my gravel riding adventures. I have read stories on the various gravel forums of mud on tyres wearing away carbon on chain and seat stays when running large tyres that reduce clearances


Personally I wouldn't either, but because I think aluminium would withstand more punishment in general. But I get the feeling the OP prefers carbon.

For any sort of adventure type bike I would go a good quality aluminium bike. It's not a race bike it's not meant to be a featherweight.

My Defy weighs 8.3kg with 2 x bottle cages, rear light, garmin mount, speed and cadence sensors and Fulcrum Racing Quattro's...

My Toughroad weighs 10.2 with bottle cage. Could get it down to 9kg with a better set of wheels but why bother when they are going to get punished and it climbs as well or better than the Defy for me


I'm happy to go with aluminium. I've just had good experiences with carbon bikes and . Maybe it's time to go aluminium for something different. The weight just scares me a bit, but that's probably because i'm used to riding lightweight carbon bikes. I like the look of a few of the Bombtrack bikes recommended by people on here and also like the look and value of the Toughroad. Reckon the Toughroad is very well specced for the price and i've had good experiences with Giant in the past.



I come from the same background as you in a way, my other bike is a '13 Defy Composite. Gravel bikes are not slouches like mountain bikes, they go alright. I'm going to get a 2nd set of deeper dish lightweight wheels for bunch rides and I have a feeling I won't be using the Defy much.

My advice would be to for a ride on one, you will change your mind. The simplicity of jumping on, riding and not caring what terrain you will encounter is like being a kid again. I love the Toughroad for this....

Have a ride of a couple and see how you go.

I've always ridden Giants because I find them to be well built and great value for money. May not be exotic but the best specc'd for the money.

You won't regret your decision I am sure of it :)

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baabaa
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby baabaa » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:39 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:I am not sure I would be looking at a carbon frame for my gravel riding adventures. I have read stories on the various gravel forums of mud on tyres wearing away carbon on chain and seat stays when running large tyres that reduce clearances

And a lot to be said to go thinner when in the mud. Kinda like the old t fords in the black soil plains, the thin wheels would cut thru the crust and they could keep going. I get the float stuff but on double track it just wears you out very quickly. I have found that 1.9 inch 29er tyres on a 700c rim is just about ideal (for me when in the slops).

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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:09 pm

I think the standard for tyre size for gravel bikes is heading to 42-45mm, about a 1.8” MTB width.

As for the extra weight of an aluminium frame I don’t think the OP would even notice the extra 500g once on the gravel. My dirt drop MTB gravel bike keeps up fine with most and it weighs nearly 13kg.
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby lewie15 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:47 pm

Think i'm going to go down the steel bike path. Spoke to the people at Treadly in Adelaide and they've been great to talk to. Have narrowed it down to the two Hook EXT models below. Unfortunately they don't have any of the 2018 models in stock until March. Anyone ride a Bombtrack? I' excited about this bike, as it will be totally different to all of the other carbon bikes i've owned and it will open up some new places to ride.

https://treadlybikeshop.com.au/collecti ... k-hook-ext
https://treadlybikeshop.com.au/collecti ... -grey-2018
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:36 am

They look alright for what that's worth. I dont understand why they need to put a carbon fork on it though. I would imagine its pretty stiff on the corrugations compared to a good steel one.
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baabaa
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby baabaa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:57 am

Cheeky Monkey in Sydney(RIP) was a shop which had a focus on all touring dirt adventure type bikes and sold a lot of surlys and salsas. They took on bombtracks as they liked the value, design and more importantly the way they rode so I am guessing you will have no trouble with one. At one point they ran 28 hole rims which turned me off but good to see they have gone back to 32.
Also lewie I now hate you very, very much, as after looking at this discussion I pulled the trigger on the Ritchey Break-Away Ascent frame as one was for sale and worst still in my size. Have wanted a ss coupled or breakaway bike for a long time but if I didn't look I would not have known.....

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s3
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby s3 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:56 pm

I've also been looking at the Blue Ultegra Norco Search. I haven't seen one in the flesh yet, but look at the reviews for the 2015 model Search, they have clearance for 40mm tyres. I'm thinking for 2018 they have re-positioned this frame to be more road oriented to create more differentiation to the Search XR. I'd be really surprised if Norco changed the frame molds and this one can now only fit 35mm tyres.

Another consideration is the Trek Crossroads which launched last week. Alloy and Carbon options, 45mm tyre clearance...
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby lewie15 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:07 pm

I was keen on the blue Norco Search, but was put off by the tyre clearance. They can only take up to a 35 mm tyre. The search XR is the bike to go for if you want greater tyre clearance. In the end I went for the Scott Addict Gravel 30. I wanted a 2x drivetrain and a bike that wouldn't be sluggish on road. I got a good deal ($3100) and getting the crankset upgraded to the new Ultegra 8000, so its compatible with my current 4iii Powermeter. Getting 40 mm Maxxis Rambler tyres fitted to it, so hopefully it will serve the purpose that I bought it for.
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby lewie15 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:10 pm

I've also seen some reviews of the new Trek gravel bike and it looks great. I would have been tempted by this bike had I known it was being released. It is $600 more expensive than the Scott Gravel though and both are running Shimano 105.
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby Zippy7 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:21 pm

I was looking at the canyon inflite 9.0s, but it's sold out in my size...

Then saw the Trek Checkpoint alloy at 2699 rrp - the carbon version is 3699 rrp (should be able to haggle a bit).
Dont think you get isospeed on the alloy version, but everything else seems to be the same, so the extra 1k doesn't seem to be worth it.
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 pm

I think I’d prefer the alloy frame. I would prefer suspension in the fork over the seatpost. In 12 months suspension forks will be the norm and you can retro fit one to the bike. Not keen on the bottom bracket though.
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby Thoglette » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:17 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: In 12 months suspension forks will be the norm


This is why steel forks aren't straight.

We've had a decade of hyper rigid bottom brackets and then zertz and similar "absorbtion" nonsense. Only to discover that, actually, those old blokes who made steel frames were, like, onto something.

Everything old is new again.

(Once upon a time I did statistical analysis of industrial processes. We'd usually "discover" a lot of things the client already knew about plus a few things they didn't ($$$). Usually there'd also be one or two things that "old Bob always said" but that no-one could prove)
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Re: Gravel Bike Recommendations

Postby Thoglette » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:30 pm

lewie15 wrote:I'm looking at purchasing a gravel bike and have narrowed it down to the models below. ...Also I know a lot of people prefer steel frames for gravel and touring. Is this worthwhile considering.


Just been wasting time waiting for the computer to transfer some files and stumbled onto this year's Masi Speciale Randonneur. It might be a too little "traditional" looking for some people but it's an interesting bike (double butted CroMo, discs, 45mm tyres, full fenders/mounts) at $1300US RRP.

If they've managed to keep the weigh under control it'd be fun on anything short of rock gardens and technical descents. For which you're really back into "off road" bikes (like their Giramondo 27.5?), rather than "gravel" bikes. Funny, Masi have both of these as "adventure" bikes and have completely different things nailed as gravel bikes (CXGR w/ 40mm tyres)

(of course SSScott found it last year. Seems it's 13kg which is not light but not heavy. And Peter Weigle will want a pile more money to get you to 9kg. And there was a multi-year waiting list in 2013)
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