Building an XCR CX/Gravel

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DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

Beautiful day in Madrid for a test ride. I did something short; about 40 km. A bit of single track, gravel, rougher gravel and abandoned tarmac.

I had two of the classic mechanicals; bottle cage was loose and seatpost slipped. I ve now removed 1 cm of spacer.

But truth is I am delighted! Very, very pleased. Geometry is perfect (as you would expect). The ride is very similar to a good titanium; it has that springly feeling when going over rough terrain (unlike the Standert). The bridge on the seat stays is very thin; perhaps that and the flattened top tube contribute to the ride. Down tube is bi axial and shaped (not round); looks really good.

Lower bottom bracket (than a typical CX) and a relatively contained wheelbase, keep it agile on the single tracks. HT angle at 71.5 is fine; I do wonder what would have happened with the BMCs 72.5.

Still need to ride more, but I think it is a very good balance between sporty and comfy frame.

Mini motos brake fine; actually, as long as I keep those rims and pads together, and it is dry, braking is superb. But they are a bit of pain to setup. Cable is compressionless.

I found Red a bit more mechanical, less smoother than usual. Perhaps cabling needs to settle in.

3T wheelset is a good balance between light and stiff. They probable weigh 200/250 grams more than the 2.2 SES I initially got for this bike, but the Enve s lack stiffness. As I ve written before, I don't need the stiffness to transfer loads of power, but to provide a more composed behavior. When tyres slip and we have to react, we don't need wobbly tyres to make things worse.

Sammy Slick tubulars have been a very pleasant surprise; particulary being used to Vittoria and Challenge. Pumped at 3 bar/45 PSI, good grip on dry hard pack, nice soft rubber and smooth ride (particularly compared to Tufos).

And that is about it. I will update the final weights.

Highly recommend Pablo from BBloque; excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. At €1800 frame/€350 paint, I am thinking of getting road version.

I hope sharing my experience has been of some use.
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Last edited by DHG01 on Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

First day in the wet. Not the best tyres for grip on mud, but the ride was still fine.

It is a very pleasant surprise to see how látex tubulars (or tubeless for that matter) and a compliant frame allow to roll comfortably through gravel yet at 33 mm width and 3 bar are not too bad when connecting paths on tarmac.
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DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

Ahead of an event 2 weeks back.
I swapped the carbon post for a titanium one. I think it looks better, but open to other views. Comfort wise, I haven't noticed anything. I guess straight and little seat post sticking out is the reason. Also, carbon rails on the saddle might also have something to do with it.

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stanvr
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:26 pm
Location: Netherlands

by stanvr

I like the titanium post! A ti stem would go well with it too I think, similar to your chrome Standert and Klein used to be ;).

DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

stanvr wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:47 am
I like the titanium post! A ti stem would go well with it too I think, similar to your chrome Standert and Klein used to be ;).
Thank you my friend. I might be abusing too much of the chrome look?!?

I see the Klein is looking more beautiful every day!

stanvr
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:26 pm
Location: Netherlands

by stanvr

Yeah I wouldn't go for more chrome looky bikes personally, but hey, it's titanium and thats cool! Definitely more special over carbon/black parts:)

DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

I a bit of an update.
Long ride beside a canal in Valladolid; nice flat gravel ride, perfect weather and company of a good friend.

A few learnings.

Early flat on new Challenge Almanzo tubular (yeah...I know, tubeless). I didn't have enough sealant to fix; I looked ahead of the ride, but the bubbly nature of the Effetto Mariposa made me think the bottle was full.

So I had to put on the spare Tufo. Second learning, off go the J&L titanium skewers. They are very light and no stiffness or safety issues, but the aluminium allen bolt (alternative to QR handle) slipped when trying to unbolt. Only because I was fortunate enough to find someone with pliers (and flatted 500 m from a small town, instead of 12km) was I able to release the rear wheel. I won't put back the original 3T, but will find a lights and suitable alternative. BTW, my tubeless fanboy buddy was impressed on how to swap a tubular in 3 min (spare was obviously stretched already).

Third learning; on these shallowish wheels, some tubulars require valve extenders other do not. Fortunately the Tufo doesn't (the front Schwalbe does). If I would have been mounting 2 tubulars that do not requiere extender and the spare did, I would have had another problem - learning; carrying a valve extender going forward.

Delicious ride; the bike rides like a dream, comfy road geometry and flexy back end due to the steel and the build.
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Last edited by DHG01 on Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

DHG01
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

Forgot - 60 grams saved by reducing titanium seat post length.
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