Gravel Bike for the Small Rider

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

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Mr.Gib
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
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by Mr.Gib

Asking for Mrs. Gib. She's small.

Needs a frame with:
Reach: 365mm max (360 is better)
Stack: 520 - 550mm
Tire Clearance: 38 - 40 mm
Fender mounts would be nice as they make investing in a top end product worthwhile.
Cannot be Specialized Diverge (stack on smallest size is 570 mm)

My initial thought was to find a cross bike that fits, but not so easy. And would cross geometry be a mistake? BB will be relatively high.

To complicate matters this will be for occasional use so if I can do this inexpensively that would be a bonus.
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

by Weenie


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Calnago
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Does the new Domane disc come in a small enough size? Haven’t checked, but probably the stack is too high, correct? I’d consider giving yourself some leeway there. I like the Domane for the most part, although could do without all the isospeed stuff up front.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3140
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

The Domane Gravel is a good suggestion. Stack is fine but reach is a bit long. While she can make it work, she technically needs the next smaller size which doesn't exist.

Also max tire size is 35 mm. Mr's Gib, while super strong, is not much of a bike handler. On gravel she will need her tires big and soft to reduce her chances of ending up on the ground. Perhaps 35 mm is adequate but I simply don't have enough experience on gravel to know if a 35 mm tire would be acceptable for someone like Mrs Gib. Depends on surface of course but better to be prepared for the worst IMO.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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Calnago
Posts: 6242
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Get her a mountain bike. :)
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

NoodleDoodle
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:00 pm

by NoodleDoodle

I'm vertically challenged too and am in love with my Norco Search XR carbon, mine is not the smallest one they make (I have the 48). It comes with 650b x 42 tires. Bike is nice and light.

I just finished DK100 on it - managed to ride a lot of things that others couldn't in the mud, it is very stable and confidence giving.

Looks like the 45.5 has a reach of 355 and stack of 504, the 48 is 362 reach and stack of 524.

Mr.Gib
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

That Norco Search is a brilliant bike. Thanks for the heads-up. Hadn't considered Norco - I have a block on the brand - can't get my head around the name "Norco". Makes me think of a mining company. But beggars can't be choosers so...

The geometry is ideal but wouldn't you know it, you can only run 650B on the two smallest sizes. All other sizes can use 650B or 700c. This is perfectly OK for a dedicated gravel bike, but creates a potential problem for dual use as a winter trainer. Leaves me wondering what road tire option are available, and how it would ride. Means more research I guess.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

NoodleDoodle
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:00 pm

by NoodleDoodle

I have not tried it but there looks to be plenty of clearance for a 700c wheel in there with a road tire. Not that the 650b is a slouch on the road, I've been doing road rides on them too.

The 12mm axle might be a bigger problem depending on the trainer.

Mr.Gib
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

The winter trainer comment was not about putting the bike on an indoor trainer, I meant using it to train on the road in the winter. No snow here. :D

Interesting point about the 700c wheel fitting. I guess the diameter of a 700c with 28mm tire would be close to 650B with 40mm? I'll have to check. Wonder why they don't show it as compatible on the website? Perhaps because you don't have room for a gravel tire with a 700c wheel - that must be it.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

rheosibal
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:26 pm
Location: LA

by rheosibal

Focus Paralane?

Stack/Reach match up, stated clearance is 35, it'll fit up to 40s dependent on rim width. It'll definitely fit 38s and it has fender mounts!

Edit: You should consider doing a 650b conversion on any frame that's appealing.

emotive
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:40 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by emotive

Mr.Gib wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:29 pm
That Norco Search is a brilliant bike. Thanks for the heads-up. Hadn't considered Norco - I have a block on the brand - can't get my head around the name "Norco". Makes me think of a mining company. But beggars can't be choosers so...

The geometry is ideal but wouldn't you know it, you can only run 650B on the two smallest sizes. All other sizes can use 650B or 700c. This is perfectly OK for a dedicated gravel bike, but creates a potential problem for dual use as a winter trainer. Leaves me wondering what road tire option are available, and how it would ride. Means more research I guess.
Jim_H set one of these up for a very small rider, and was very happy with the result, see http://ridinggravel.forumchitchat.com/p ... rum=323916

For fast rolling 650b road tyres, I'd recommend 42mm Compass Babyshoe Pass tires.

For comparable outer diameters, this might help:
700C x 23mm = 668mm = 650B x 42mm
700C x 28mm = 678mm = 650B x 47mm
700C x 32mm = 686mm = 650B x 50mm

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

I was looking at diameter comparisons. With a 700c wheel it would be nice to fit a 25mm tire for road use. I will have to get my hands on a small Search XR and stick a 700c wheel in the dropouts.

I know about Compass tires. They have their advantages but they would simply not survive Pacific Northwest roads in the winter.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

rheosibal wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:27 pm
Focus Paralane?

Stack/Reach match up, stated clearance is 35, it'll fit up to 40s dependent on rim width. It'll definitely fit 38s and it has fender mounts!

Edit: You should consider doing a 650b conversion on any frame that's appealing.
Paralane could work but I am not sure if I can get just a frameset. On a complete bike there will be nothing that I would keep. I have a spare Sram Red groupset available and some TRP Spyres. As well my wife uses a particular saddle, bars, etc. Hate selling stuff also.

I have considered 650B conversion but I seem to run into chainstays that are too narrow. Hmmm....just running off to check my wife's Synapse.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

jemima
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 am
Location: Perth

by jemima

Would 515mm stack be too low?
The 48cm Jamis Renegade range has a 360mm reach.
The steel Renegade Escape is available as a cheaper-end frameset.

At the other stack end (555mm: too high?) is the steel Cotic Escape (UK) frameset. Reach 360.6mm.
Another cheaper option.

Not sure how well a 700c would work in the XS size Crust Lightning Bolt 2 steel-fork frameset.
Its a fairly pricy and lightweight (for steel) sprightly-geo option. Stack 548 / reach 359. Tall standover.
Google Groups 650b has some good reading on the frame.

Then there's the aluminium Mason Bokeh frameset, but the reach only just comes under your spec at 363.

Big? money Italian alu frameset option at 361mm (stack and reach is listed on the steel frame option page):-
https://www.full-dynamix.com/en/gravel-a
The alu frame has mounting points.

U.S. alu frameset option: 535/362 47cm Niner RLT9 at Competitive Cyclist for $735.

by Weenie


emotive
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:40 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by emotive

If you want a frame only, would you consider a well reputed Chinese frame?

XS 48cm Carbonda CFR505: reach 356, stack 521
Clearance for 700x40 or 650b x 47

http://www.carbonda.com/road/gravel/cfr505.html

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