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I'm still in saving-pennies mode, but would like to get more into gravel. Seems the best options as far as fit, assuming a gravel bike should fit similarly to my race (road) bike as as listed above: Salsa Warbird, Turner Cyclosis, Niner RLT RDO (sadly, the non-RDO RLT gives me either a short top tube in a size with good standover, or not a lot of standover in a size with a long enough top tube). The Santa Cruz Stigmata is super sexy but not the best fit, sad to say.
I'm looking to buy stock. If I could even find used or last year's on clearance, I'd be open to that (post-mount brakes aren't too bad, right?).
Should I really care about Rival v. Force? Or just optimize the frame?
And I'm in the States (NorCal, to be more specific), if that matters.
I picked it given it's race winning heritage and refinement and that it's been around for a bit. There wouldn't be so many around if it didn't perform so well on gravel.
For 2017 it also has hidden fender mounts which I consider a real plus.
The Bike has a super ride (Especially with 38mm Compass Bon Pass tires).
That being said - the New Niner RDO looks really slick and I love the 75mm BB. If it was available when I got the Warbird I might have gone that direction - however I really wanted Fender Mounts and I don't think the Niner has them.
In terms of Post mount - personally I think it looks better than direct mount - especially if you don't have to use spacers.
Run whatever group you - in reality the performance between any of them won't really make a difference - buy the one you like the look of or matches your frame.
As said above, I don't think you need a carbon frame on a gravel bike. With big tires at lower pressure, you lose the buzz that you need the carbon frame to dampen on the road.
Personally I think the Niner RLT RDO looks the best out of the bikes you mentioned if that matters.
Rock Lobster Team Tig SL Disc = (pending)
Sold: Ridley X-Night Disc = 7.80 kg | Ridley Noah FAST = 6.86 | Ridley Fenix = 6.74 | Raleigh HiLife = 7.46 | Fuji SST = 7.34 | Van Dessel FTB = 7.58
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