Help me choose my first gravel / rain bike

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

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spdntrxi
Posts: 2877
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

jencvo wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:16 pm
Hi there. I am also looking into getting a cheap gravel bike myself. I would mostly use it on occassional local gravel rides, but since I live in Virginia, there are tons of gravel fondos around here or mix surface gran fondos. I've been eyeing some used bikes on eBay and lots of them seem to come with Shimano Sora 9 speed groupsets. My question is, will 9 speed be ok for off road riding or will the jumps between gears be too big? I don't have any off road experience so I want to make sure I get the right thing. I'm working on a bit of a budget for this so that's why I'm looking at lower price points. Thanks!
you need to look at gearing.. 1to1 gearing like 32x32 or 34x34 is pretty much the min requirement in my eyes..unless you are riding only on fire roads and no major hills. 15% on gravel is a world of hurt because of traction (lack of) you can cant stand. My Gravel bike currently has 52/34 with an 11/34 but once I finish my road bike I will change the front to either a 48/32 or 46/30 to make it more gravel specfic. Then Redshift suspension stem and Ergon CF3 seatpost will live on the bike as well...and gain a pound.

problem with 9sp.. is it's likely 13x quick release wheels and frankly I would not invest any $ in that format... 12x142 thur-axle or bust.
Last edited by spdntrxi on Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


AJS914
Posts: 3349
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

How cheap is cheap? Something like a Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 is under $2,000 and is well reviewed. The Checkpoint AL is around $1500. Maybe you can even find a middle of winter sale?

The other solution is to buy something used - convert an old cross bike to gravel use. Or, convert an old 29er mountain bike to gravel.

trainergav
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:36 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

by trainergav

nemeseri wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:18 am
trainergav wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:52 pm
PS. The Trek Stranglehold dropouts do not play nice with my clutch Rx derailleur when it comes to rear wheel changes.
Thanks for the personal review, this really helps! What do you mean on the Rx / strangehold dropout comment? Is there an issue even if you fix a flat?
The strangle hold dropout has a bit that sticks out the back, and the RX derailleur also has a bit that sticks out the back. The two combined makes it hard to pull the derailleur back when putting the wheel back on. Doable, but takes some finangling.

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FIJIGabe
Posts: 1828
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

Why not look for something used? I know someone mentioned the 135mm standard as being dead, but it's still a very viable alternative for what you're looking for.

Personally, I ride a first-year Trek Crockett w/ QR front and rear, and using RWS skewers, I never experience brake run in gravel or CX. The first-gen Crocketts were available with QR front, and later, TA front axles, and most wheelsets are easily convertible (except Shimano CX hubs). My build is in my signature.

The Crockett has provisions for fenders, as well. I think tire clearance with fenders is limited to 28 or 33c, but without them, you can fit some 40's for gravel purposes.
Madone 9 - https://bit.ly/2Nqedbn
Emonda SLR - https://bit.ly/2UK5FP8
Crockett - https://bit.ly/2Xem4sk

Madone 5, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

nemeseri
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

FIJIGabe wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:10 pm
Why not look for something used? I know someone mentioned the 135mm standard as being dead, but it's still a very viable alternative for what you're looking for.

Personally, I ride a first-year Trek Crockett w/ QR front and rear, and using RWS skewers, I never experience brake run in gravel or CX. The first-gen Crocketts were available with QR front, and later, TA front axles, and most wheelsets are easily convertible (except Shimano CX hubs). My build is in my signature.

The Crockett has provisions for fenders, as well. I think tire clearance with fenders is limited to 28 or 33c, but without them, you can fit some 40's for gravel purposes.
Thanks for the tip! I checked out the crocket before and while it has a lot of great details (like BB86.5), based on the comments, there are no fender mounts on the frame. I won't buy a bike again and hope that I can custom fit a fender on it. Also the gearing on the bike is very cross specific with the 1x 40/32 and the price of the complete bikes are generally higher than the checkpoint.

It's awesome to see that you are riding and racing the hell out of that bike :)

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FIJIGabe
Posts: 1828
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

The second-gen Crocketts don't have provisions for fenders, but the first-gen, do.
Madone 9 - https://bit.ly/2Nqedbn
Emonda SLR - https://bit.ly/2UK5FP8
Crockett - https://bit.ly/2Xem4sk

Madone 5, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

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