Help me build a gravel bike (parts selection)

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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by bananapls

Hi there!

Im planning a gravel bike, or a "do it all" bike. I currently have a Eddy Merckx Professional Columbus SL - Campagnolo Triomphe 84 that i do "long runs" with, and a 2012 Cinelli Vigorelli Columbus Airplane with a Miche Primato group. The Merckx has a full Cinelli finishing kit and the Cinelli is full Deda/Cinelli. So in order to keep the italian heritage game going, im looking for italian parts for my gravel project. Exceptions are pedals (look) and im willing to go european/american on the wheels. (DT Swiss, Mavic, American Classic etc).

Now; i want the most "bang for the buck" when it comes to weight and looks. The group is going to be Potenza H0 with a 12-32 cassette.
I have access to several "ace" wheel builders, so building wheels is absolutely an option.

At the moment, i have my eyes on a aluminium frameset made out of Dedacciai tubing.

So i need inputs on:

Stem - 110-120mm
Handlebar - 42ish, would be nice with some flare, but not key.
Pedals - Look - but which model?
Seat post - 27.2mm
Saddle - Fizik, San Marco, Fabric, im open for more options
Rims - HED Belgium, DT Swiss, H+Son Hydra - open for other options (would like them tubeless compatible)
Hubs - DT Swiss 240s, Industry9, White Industries - (Chris King is over my budget)
Spokes - DT Swiss, Sapim?
Bottle cages
Frame bags

Tyres - Im pretty sure that i want Schwalbe G-One, open for suggestions.

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by wheelsONfire

Wheels (rims) would probably pend on what type of tires you are looking to use (width) and how much clearance your frame has?
Wider rims and the tires bulb out more (wider).
Sure, you state G-One, if you like those i would suggest Hutchinson Overide also, as these two are as close.
Slight benefit to Overide.
Personally i don't think either of them gives confidence if you corner on loose over hard.
Or slippery gravel roads with much loose. The bike tends to go in an S-pattern (a bit dramatised).
So for gravel there are for sure better tires.
What is missing is a pattern that extends a bit to the edges for cornering grip.

What about these rims (i would personally pick these for tires 34-40mm) ?

Light weight 700c alu rims

Light weight 650B alu rims

I wouldn't exclude cheaper hubs like Hope RS4 (6 bolt or centerlock)
Also brass nipples so you avoid corrosion!!
Aero spokes are stiffer than round spokes, so Sapim CX-Ray or DT Swiss Aerolite would be great.

I run 650B, Ryde Trace 22, black rims with white logos (stickers), black Hope RS4 centerlock, 28 spokes, black brass nipples, black Sapim CX-Ray on non drive side, white DT Swiss on drive side.
Works great and looks awesome!

Handlebar, well, that is what you like in terms of angle?
If you like the round bend, you have Ritchey WCS EvoMax, or Neomax (very similar design) with a 12 degree flare.
You still have shifters in a normal position, which you frankly have not with some of the wilder flared bars.
Or you got the Salsa bars which have more drop and reach, but also available in different flares.
Lastly, Eastons AX series gravel bars (carbon or alu).

Stem, what you like in terms of angle, length and style (weight ofcourse).

What about MTB pedals and shoes?
I prefer that as it is much easier to walk in if you'd need.
Look and Time/ Mavic has excellent MTB pedals.
I run Mavic Crossmax SL Pro (excellent) + Giro VR-90 / Nortwave Extreme GTX mtb (winter)

Seatpost, what do you need?
Syntace P6 Hiflex carbon is a good post and most people really like it.

Saddle, your arse and nutsack is the boss here...

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by Weenie

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by jfranci3

Rims- pay attention to the tubeless tire pressures. I use the Stan's grail rim, which I recommend, which says 45psi for 32c. The Grails are also wider.
Tires - For hardpack/road/small gravel I use Clement USH 120tpi 35c @65psi. They are almost as fast as my 25c GP4000s.
Spokes - get a lot of round ones for gravel. Aero doesn't matter much and 4 or 8 more spokes dont weigh a lot.
Skewers - You can get a bit more grip on dirt/gravel under braking, so you might want to consider 9mm/10mm thru bolts if you use disc brakes. I get a lot of fork shudder under hard braking on std skewers.

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by jemima

Read your post last night but you lost me when you mentioned Italian parts, and hardly listed any.

Are you aware the Mason alu gravel frame is Italian made?

Carbon-ti X sl hubs

A 'slight flare' bar suggestion of mine is not Italian, but Tai.: Satori X-Race carbon or al (good prices). 42cm at the top hooks / 44cm at the ends.

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by wheelsONfire

On the spokes, sure round seems more resonable. But when i had my wheels custom built, the wheel builder pointed me towards aero spokes due to one thing!
The spokes are stiffer than round. Both my No tubes Avion pro and custom built 650B wheelset uses aero spokes.
I also would not forget brass nipples if i had another set of wheels built. The others seems to corrode a bit faster than i would like (who likes that?).

Also, yes, alu rims are much more fragile when it comes to PSI/ pressure. Most carbon rims are handling higher pressures with aplomb.
Alu rims can actually crack when you mount and try to seat a tire, if you go over brake point pressure.
This is mostly when i think they actually crack. When you try to seat the tire.

On an carbon rim, i think this is rarely seen.

Ax Lightness Vial EVO D
Paduano Racing Fidia
Open *UP* ... eelsonfire

by Weenie

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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:29 am

by bananapls

Hey, and thanks for the replies :) I forgot to mention. Yeah im looking for thru-axle hubs with center lock in order to run campagnolo's disks.

@jemima, Yea, Mason Bokeh is what i currently have my eyes on. But the bike wont be built before the winter. Need to save up money first :E

As for the choice of road pedals and shoes, its because the bike will be for maybe 80% tarmac and 20% gravel / oil-packed gravel.

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