I think I want a gravel bike… do I?

Viewing 27 posts - 81 through 107 (of 107 total)
  • I think I want a gravel bike… do I?
  • easily
    Member

    That’s a good bike.
    My only issues with it are that it has tyre clearance up to 36mm – I’d want 38mm minimum, and ideally 42.
    I’m also not entirely happy with the mechanical/hydraulic disc brakes. If they’d let you upgrade to hydraulic when buying I’d like it more. It’s a great price though, so they have to make a saving somewhere.

    I think I’d prefer to spend an extra 50 and get this: https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXFMAPEX1/planet-x-full-monty-sram-apex-1-hydraulic-disc-gravel-bike
    It’s got hydraulics, and tyre clearance up to 40mm. Of course you have to be happy with 1×11 rather than 2×11, and you get Apex 1 rather than 105. I use 105 and love it, but my friends who use Apex are equally happy.

    I’d take the hydraulics and the extra clearance over the 2×11 set up and the £50 saving, but they’re both amazing bikes for the money.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Blimey, the Triban “XL” is hilariously small… 30mm shorter TT than my bikes 😳

    My only issues with it are that it has tyre clearance up to 36mm

    They seem to be advising 36mm based on toe overlap; the blurb suggests there’s clearance for 40mm.

    And I’m guessing the toe overlap can be attributed to the silly short top tube…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Sensible TT as no need for rapid shouldering
    Longer exposed seatpost will be more comfortable
    Larger than 33c tyres as standard
    More relaxed geometry for covering distances.

    Depends if your glass is half full of half empty.

    Sensible TT allows a frame bag and two bottles.

    Longer seatposts, yup. But then there’s always various iterations of springy carbon seatposts.

    Larger tyres, cx bikes have mahoosive mud clearance. Might come with 35c tyres, but most will comfortably take 40+ or 650b.

    I’m not going to argue that CX bikes make better gravel bikes than gravel bikes, but you’re definitely wrong to write them off. There’s so many compromises to make that saying a gravel bike is “more relaxed and comfortable” (summarising your post) could be written the other way round “cx bikes are faster”, who doesn’t like going fast?

    Premier Icon teadrinker
    Subscriber

    Of course you need one! (I haven’t read the whole thread so apologies for being late to the party)

    It’s another bike so why not get one, I thought I wanted one so I bought one, that didn’t work for me but I put it down to the bike, so I bought another one. Turns out I didn’t really want one. What I wanted was a rigid 29er so that’s where I’m at and so happy with it.

    I should add though for reasons unbeknown to me I still want a gravel bike, I think it maybe because they look lovely imo and I’m also a sucker for marketing.

    kerley
    Member

    and if I see a track or bridleway I fancy I can just head off down it – Couldn’t do that on the road bike, and wouldn’t head out on a road ride on the MTB.

    Of course you could do it on a road bike, I ride gravel roads and singletrack on a fixed gear track bike with 28c tyres and it is absolutely fine. The only difference between an all out road bike is the sturdiness of the tyres and I use a puncture resistant 28c as a 28c light weight road tyre would puncture every other ride.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Sure, you can do it, but there’s an appreciable difference between 28s at the limit of frame/caliper clearance and 37s/42s/whatever with room to spare, especially if the ground is soft and you want to get some tread in there.

    nickdt
    Member

    I bought a Boardman cross bike 3 yrs ago to dip my toe in. Ended up morphing into a Ti pickenflick with laud grit forks. I ride my mountain bike about one ce a month, if that. I have as much fun on it, if not more. I find, whatever bike you are on, you kind of push yourself to a limit, on gnarly stuff that limit comes quicker, but it still pretty intense. The way I look at it is, most of the the time, and for most trails, mountain bikes only make sense for a small part of the ride and often people are over biked. I still ride the same trails (west Yorks) that I always have, and still come back with a big grin. Sure, they aren’t brilliant if all you ride is big tech stuff, but most of the time, it’s just right. Horses for courses.

    stevious
    Member

    Some arguments about CX versus gravel etc up there ^^^. All I’d say is that getting big tyre clearance is a good idea regardless of what the bike calls itself. That way you can opt for mud-slicing CX tyres or fun&grippy gravel tyres as conditions dictate.

    Oh, and watch out for gearing if you’re going to do much off-road stuff – I think lower gears open up more terrain for fun and I very rarely use the bigger gears on mine.

    montgomery
    Member

    I was looking at a Kinesis G2 in a shop on Monday while buying some brake pads. Nice. I could see me getting something like that in future – to replace the road bike, for reasons others have noted above. It wouldn’t be able to replace my (rigid 26″) mountain bike, though. I’d want one to expand the limits of my road riding, not restrict my mountain biking.

    Premier Icon earl_brutus
    Subscriber

    Been running a caad x Tiagra for the last 18months as my commuter. Bought 2nd hand for £550 but was like new. Stuck some 40mm gravel king sk tubeless tyres and roval wheels on as a £700 upgrade and it makes my commute 41km Round trip joy as I can now ride the bridal paths and forest roads and link up with tarmac stretches for a fun route to and from work. Just needs a new 105 hydro group set on which will make it perfect for me.

    tinribz
    Member

    you’d be daft to buy a gravel bike if you’ve no intention of bikepacking up a Scottish bog on a bike where the bars are higher than your shoulders, are more flared than the bay city rollers

    Here you go, yesterday, Route 7 through the Forest of Galloway.

    null

    null

    Been riding a Kaff on bridleways to join up road rides since 2011, but the difference is it’s now fun rather than just capable, so even is commuting through town. Recommend 650b and tyres in the 40s at least.

    Of course it’s slower than the MTB off road and the Road bike on tarmac, but for some reason they are both gathering dust at the moment. I’m lying, I dont actually have a MTB anymore. Worked out that the amount of times I go to a trail center each year it’s cheaper to hire one.

    Premier Icon superstu
    Subscriber

    For me found I didn’t like my gravel bike off road, and it annoyed me on road. Would rather sacrifice the road speed (as I’m not quick anyway) and have more fun off road, hence in your shoes I would buy a rigid 29 mtb. If I was mostly doing longer rides a Jones bar or similar on it would also be on the list in order to give more hand positions.

    Weird, I just recently gave up my (rigid drop bar 29er) monster-cross for a rigid 29er+ MTB (Longitude)with a loop bar. The Longitude is much more predictable and safe in the rough, but I’d be lying if I said it was more all-round fun than the Vagabond. Close call tho. Wide drop bar wins for comfort by a mile. IME of course. Close second the MTB with flat bars + Ergon grips w/bar-ends. Also v comfortable. Yet, for distance, the wide drops with gel/cork tape are no contest in the comfort stakes, and also climb better. Half a mind to try out Woodchipper or Midge bars + bar-end shifters (on the MTB)

    easily
    Member

    hence in your shoes I would buy a rigid 29 mtb

    Yeah, I think that’s also a good choice. Ideally you’d get to give both a good try before making a decision.
    Rigid MTBs are quite hard to find these days – what have you got?

    I thought I knew what a gravel bike was then I discovered the Masi CXGR. No one would call it a CX bike, despite the name. Room for 45mm tyres and dropper post routing. Does a dropped post on a dropbar gravel bike make sense?

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    @daftvader

    Buy a bike that makes you smile even as you walk past it in the hall. Then the tinkering and maintenance become a pleasure not a chore.

    Make sure it has flats so you can just get on it with the shoes you are riding. It’s not about efficiency. Its about availability. Always have a combination chain lock wrapped around the seat post so you can just nip to the shops on it if you want. Or go out for the afternoon totally unprepared but knowing you can get some water and flapjack in the coop.

    Just go out and ride the bike you buy just as you did when you were a kid. Not even beginning to think if the tyres are the right width or if the stem is too short or long.

    Even if the rides are short, get out there and see the sun rises and/ or the sun sets.

    Enjoy buying the new bike but remember it’s the same legs that will be pedalling it.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Buy a bike that makes you smile even as you walk past it in the hall. Then the tinkering and maintenance become a pleasure not a chore.

    Make sure it has flats so you can just get on it with the shoes you are riding. It’s not about efficiency. Its about availability. Always have a combination chain lock wrapped around the seat post so you can just nip to the shops on it if you want. Or go out for the afternoon totally unprepared but knowing you can get some water and flapjack in the coop.

    Just go out and ride the bike you buy just as you did when you were a kid. Not even beginning to think if the tyres are the right width or if the stem is too short or long.

    Even if the rides are short, get out there and see the sun rises and/ or the sun sets.

    Enjoy buying the new bike but remember it’s the same legs that will be pedalling it.

    10/10

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I’ve warmed to our Boardman Team CX. Bought ex-display, with scratch on forks, for just under £500.

    It was bought as commuter on a route that has broken tarmac and running water/mud on it most days and for middle_oab to complete DofE expeditions.

    It’s now done all that plus road tours of Argyll and Perthshire, rattled round Glentress red, QECP Red and Cairngorm woodlands.

    It really needs bigger tyres, the bar bars are too narrow and the gearing is just too high.

    I keep finding myself pricing up gravel e-bike for mrs_oab and ‘proper’ gravel bike for me, plus eying up threads about mild and wild Scottish trails…

    kerley
    Member

    Sure, you can do it, but there’s an appreciable difference between 28s at the limit of frame/caliper clearance and 37s/42s/whatever with room to spare, especially if the ground is soft and you want to get some tread in there.

    There really isn’t. I have been riding gravel roads for 20 years (loads of them where I live). I have ridden cross tyres, road tyres, 38c and 43c gravel tyres and up to 2.4 MTB tyres over those years on cross bikes, track bikes and MTBs. It all depends what the gravel is like where you ride but where I ride it is compacted with bits of looser gravel now and again and a 28c tyres is the fastest when combined with a bit of road and just as comfortable on gravel as on road. Tread is only required in winter on any single track that gets a bit muddy bit that is not really gravel at that point.
    Of course someone else may find differently but that goes back to my point about just ride the bike you like to ride and get on with it.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
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    I went through a phase of wanting one and tried an Escapade and then a NS RAG. Just found them to be a bit lacking on anything other than roads and easy bridleways once the novelty had worn off. 29er HT or rigid would be my choice.

    Now got a Stooge Speedball and it’s possibly one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever had. Like a huge BMX monster truck and makes me laugh like an idiot every time I ride it. It’s also bloody quick which makes no sense considering the tyres I’m running. Saving for some smaller, quicker rolling all round tyres to find out how fast it’ll go. Just awaiting delivery of my Junker bars to finish it off. Surprisingly capable at everything I’ve thrown it at and it’s also purple.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    I did some offroad tracks on my Arkose with marathon plus tyres a couple of weeks back. I avoided the woods (too rooty/bumpy in combination with the kit I was carrying) but on everything else it was fine. The Arkose is my commuter, hence the tyres, but unless it’s twisty stuff where you really need the grip I found it to be very acceptable on tame off road stuff

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    I ride mine probably more than any other bikes. I have a Croix de Fer with 35c Clements on it, which does all my rainy or winter road stuff, light road touring, light trail bikepacking and bits in between. I also have a Vagabond which is used for bumpier stuff touring, riding round the nearby windfarms and some tame natural big loops (west of Scotland). My MTBs get used for purely off road hilly stuff, the odd trail centre etc

    nicko74
    Member

    Of course you could do it on a road bike, I ride gravel roads and singletrack on a fixed gear track bike with 28c tyres and it is absolutely fine.

    I have too (although with 25cs). Tbh it’s easier in some ways on (flattish) gravel on a fixie, because you’ve got full control over the rear wheel. But the number of fixies that can fit 28s in is fairly limited… And there’s no doubt my gravel bike is a better bike for the conditions, even with 28c road tyres on

    ^ great vid, but you see I can’t think of any way (other than a marginal weight penalty) that wouldn’t make that rocky ride better with fatter tyres. 40c even. 2.1s would belt through that.

    kerley
    Member

    It would be faster on an MTB (he even says that would be the ideal bike in the video) but better is subjective. It would not exactly be challenging on an MTB but it would be on my fixed gear which is the point.

Viewing 27 posts - 81 through 107 (of 107 total)

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