Trying to get into Gravel/Cross

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

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TonyM
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

kytyree wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:57 pm
not if he's going 1x
Indeed :thumbup:
Forgot that the OP wanted to go 1X :?

TheRich
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

fourfa wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:23 pm
Sounds reasonable, I never owned Di2 (and hopefully never will - just my personal bias). Still sounds more complex than having no wires at all, or with mechanical, no chargers or batteries whatsoever.
With a travel bike, especially a breakaway frame, that may be the best solution.

The beauty of electronic shifting is that it doesn't need to be messed with...which is good because the more you mess with it, the more likely it is that you mess something up.

by Weenie


roberthmoore
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:48 am

by roberthmoore

Gravel biking is the most enjoyable biking nowadays. I am riding a gravel bike for the last 3 month.

I think the gravel bike is better than a road or even a hybrid bike.
A gravel bike is perfect for riding in gravel, the road may be on the mountain.

If anyone interesting to get a gravel bicycle, S/he should consider some important thing before buying a bicycle:
  • 1. Frame & Fork materials
    2. Frame size by height.
    3. Upgrading option.
    4. Tires & tube
    5. Wheel & Speed

riding this type of bike is so comfortable and this type of bicycle is longer lasted. So, Gravel bike is my first choice for riding. One more thing, This bike is also perfect for the rural area.

Thanks for your thread here on gravel bicycle.

MartinCzernik
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:08 pm
Location: Lidingö
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by MartinCzernik

I am putting an SRAM Eagle AXS MTB derailleur on my gravel bike and pairing it together with SRAM Red eTap AXS brake/shift handles.
That way I can use the SRAM Eagle 12-speed 10-50 Cassette for an even wider range....
Martin Czernik
Stockholm Sweden

2019 Litespeed Gravel eTap AXS
2018 TREK Top Fuel 9.8 SL AXS
2017 S-Works Stumpjumper FSR AXS

gtinut
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:04 pm

by gtinut

I wonder why people call these bikes Gravel / Cross. Try to shoulder gravel bike - no fun since top tube is not designed for this, cables running there are not flat.
Geometry is not the same either.

jemima
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 am
Location: Perth

by jemima

gtinut wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:44 pm
I wonder why people call these bikes Gravel / Cross. Try to shoulder gravel bike - no fun since top tube is not designed for this, cables running there are not flat.
Geometry is not the same either.


There are frames out there more suitable for shouldering the bike. Geometry in gravel bikes these days varies wildly if you know what's out there.
Curve Grovel ti.

mentok
Posts: 562
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:58 am

by mentok

"Gravel" bikes are fundamentally about tyre clearance. All the other cool stuff are details that come later - riders pick and choose based on their tastes. People want drops, a bike that kind of feels like a road bike but enough room to fit a bigger than road or almost MTB sized tyre. Up until the last few years the easiest way you could get that new and off the shelf was by buying a cyclocross bike so the names cyclocross and gravel have been synonymous and used almost interchangeably by many. Whether you could easily shoulder it or race it didn't really matter because that's not what most people were doing.

Now we've got so many bike choices that we can easily differentiate between a dedicated cross frame and a gravel frame, but gravel is a much more diverse field. You look on gravel and xbiking pages and you see everything from 80s mtbs with drops, monstercross monstrosities, cross race frames, super modern gravel frames designed for 275, tourers old and new, etc. People seem way more willing to just get out there on whatever they have that it's not just people riding cross bikes on mountain bike trails anymore.

I guess ultimately the distinction between cross and gravel isn't really that important, unless you actually want a dedicated cross race bike which most people don't seem to want (at least round these parts). Cross races might draw 100 riders across all grades from the metro area while a gravel endurance ride 4 hours out of the city draws 2000. People are still going to use the terms interchangeably but in reality very few are on true CX bikes anymore.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

As the races in the cyclocross discipline are regulated by the UCI, the cyclocross bikes were made for a tire clearance up to 33mm as this was the UCI rule. Of course there have been changes of the rules and it depends if it is a UCI race or not etc....but basically the tire width was up to 33/35mm.

For gravel bikes it is more or less between 25mm (road) and 2.1/2.25" (NTB) and that makes quite a very wide range.....

The chocie of bike, it means tire width really depends on the kind of terrain that you ride.

kode54
Posts: 1635
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

If I wanted to use some parts from my parts bin...has anyone used Dura Ace Di2 shifters 9170 for gravel use?
Just to see if gravel (20%) is for me...I'm willing to use road parts and get a GRX or XTR RD to accept a 11-40 11spd cassette on a 1x set up.
I'd probably use my road bars and saddle as well. Maybe get a used gravel frame to put it all together.
- Factor 02 Disc + DA9170 + Enve 4.5AR CK CL hubs
- Moots Vamoots Disc RSL Titanium + DA9170 + Enve 3.4AR CK CL hubs
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 Ene carbon hubs
- Argonaut Spacebike 2.0 + DA9170 + Enve SES 5.6 DT Swiss 240 CL hubs

spdntrxi
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

DA shifters... why not.. I use Ultegra just because of cost.... but everything else is DA ..calipers, XTR deraillier etc

TheRich
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

kode54 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:48 pm
If I wanted to use some parts from my parts bin...has anyone used Dura Ace Di2 shifters 9170 for gravel use?
Just to see if gravel (20%) is for me...I'm willing to use road parts and get a GRX or XTR RD to accept a 11-40 11spd cassette on a 1x set up.
I'd probably use my road bars and saddle as well. Maybe get a used gravel frame to put it all together.
Are you planning on racing gravel or just riding a few dirt roads? If you want to race, or even ride fast, you're probably not going to be happy with the lack of top end from a 1x, especially on the road. There are some good ideas from mountain biking that can be used for gravel, but the gearing isn't one of them.

The advantage of GRX is the increased tire clearance from the FD, if you're not building what would effectively be a drop bar, rigid MTB, there's not much reason to not use whichever road group (and road parts in general) works with your budget. There's no need for flared bars or other niche-marketed gravel specific stuff, it really just comes down to the tires.

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

by AJS914

I have a Specialized S-Works Crux with Force 1x. The Crux is a cross bike but I use it exclusively for gravel riding. Here are my thoughts:

1x vs 2x - I wish my bike had 2X. 1X doesn't give me enough range for road and off-road riding. But I'm not switching back from 1x because hydro levers cost a small fortune so I just live with the limited range. I have an 11x40 shimano cassette and a shimano freehub. The other solution is getting a 10-42 Sram cassette which would require an XD driver freehub body ($$$) plus the sram cassette ($125).

The Crux easily takes 40mm tires. I wouldn't want to go narrower for gravel unless I was racing on some kind of fast, packed gravel roads. With tubeless I wouldn't want to swap tires. I've actually considered using the Crux as a winter road bike with a second set of wheels.

Pedals - I used Time Atac pedals and mountain bike shoes. I used Shimano SPD before that. I'd shy away from Speedplay on gravel roads/trails as I've had to walk muddy trails in the winter.

All in all, I love the Crux. It's so fun to ride.

spdntrxi
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

ok my take :

I use a Parlee Zero XD.. I know right? Was a N-1 experiment I knew was not going to work.. been 1x for the better part of a year now. I like the way it looks w/1x actually but I wouldn't mind 2x with a subcompact crank like they have nowadays.. 48/32 with an 11-36 or 11-40 and I'd be set. I have an XTR FD if I ever decide. I've tried the RX805 derailler for a bit when I was 2x but for whatever reason when I switched the clutch on, it would not want to go into lower gears once I was in very high ones.. like 14or under. Probably needed to adjust the tenstion, but I had an XTR9050 GS RD and said the hell with it and went 1x.

I have 700c and 650b wheelsets for it.. mostly road, and tires with good tread and different sizes for mud clearance. I have room for 700x40 and 650x42, well I can use 650x47 but no mud clearance. I've did the whole swap to XD freehubs already because I am using SRAM and E13 cassette.. 2 of the wheelsets are DTswiss based and that was pretty cheap upgrade... Industry9 is $140.. I heard CKhubs XD is like 200+ .. ouch. Things to think about ?

Pedals : used XTR9000 and XTR9100.. they are probably the best all arounders... My wife uses my old ones on her road bike that way she has shoes that are easier to walk around on . I'm using Xpedo CXR pros now.. lighter then XTR and use SPD cleat. XTR has a better engagement but the xpedos are good enough for me.

Bars : I used the EC70AX nothing fancy.. good flare solid bars

Saddle : nothing wrong with using what works.. road saddle is fine. I use a Berk Lupina or Sworks Power. I just switched to a dropper post (Magura Vryon) so I'm using the Berk with that combo. The Power is on my Darimo seatpost.

Now that winter is coming I expect to be riding it more.

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TonyM
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

kode54 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:48 pm
If I wanted to use some parts from my parts bin...has anyone used Dura Ace Di2 shifters 9170 for gravel use?
Just to see if gravel (20%) is for me...I'm willing to use road parts and get a GRX or XTR RD to accept a 11-40 11spd cassette on a 1x set up.
I'd probably use my road bars and saddle as well. Maybe get a used gravel frame to put it all together.
A good idea! But it depends also how you want to "feel" your gravel bike....

For me, as I am not a big fan of the MTB position (and q factor) and I wanted to have a gravel bike that would be closer to a road bike than a MTB.
Therefore I decided to go for a gravel bike with an endurance road bike geometry and a road bike q factor for the crankset (Open Wi.DE, https://opencycle.com/WIDE) together with road bike components for the touch points (shifters, handlebar, bar tape, saddle, crankset).

I therefore use Dura Ace 9170 shifters (and brakes). On the Open WI.de 1x is mandatory and I use a 38T or a 40T on my 9100 crankset (Wolftooth 1x chainrings, https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/col ... ano-cranks) and 11-40, 11-42 or 11-46 with a M9050 GS XTR DI2 as rear derailleur (the XTR derailleur has a clutch that you can enable/disable depending on the terrain that you ride on).

I have also road bars (3T Superergo Team Stealth) and a road saddle (Sella Italia Flite Flow L2 carbonio kit). Carbon may be problematic for a gravle bike (crashes) but I do like the damping caracteristic of carbon. I also have a carbon seat post (3T Zero25 Team Seatpost).

For the wheels I however decided to go wider and instead of the DT Swiss ERC that I have as spare for another bike I went for the wider DT Swiss GRC 700C (https://www.dtswiss.com/en/products/whe ... spline-42/). That way the 35/38/43mm tires on the 700C wheels feels better than on the ERC (24mm vs. 19mm inner width). I have meanwhile bought a 650B wheelset, DT Swiss GRC again, in order to fit some larger tires (2.25", 27.5).

So depending on the size of the tires that you intend to have (which depends on the terrain that you are riding on) you may want to have some wider rims/wheels. And possibibly also some 650B.

cmunozh
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 9:55 am

by cmunozh

An now my my two cents if I may.

What about the geometry?. Should you go for a size down compared to your road bike?. Should you mantain the reach, saddle lenght, etc?
My garage: Caad12, BRT C0, Cannondale Scalpel SE II, Specialized Epic pro '92, Swiss military bike '45, Orbea Gredos '87, Specialized Langster '12, Caadx '15...

by Weenie


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