coincidence between gravel and commuting bikes

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gb123bike
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:02 am

by gb123bike

Is anyone else digging this high degree of overlap between the needs of a gravel bike and a commuter?

For the longest time I commuted on a pure road bike, but it lacked some amenities such as fender mounts, and it was not up to any "fun" riding away from the pavement.

Mountain bikes are fine at offroad but not ideal commuters.

With the gravel bike boom, I can own one bike that's versatile enough to both. Slap on some fenders and slick tires, add a rear rack, and it's a very competent grocery-getter and commuter. Remove the fenders, mount some 40mm tires with mild knobbies, and the same bike can go 80% of the places I ever go on my mountain bike. That might not be true for the more serious MTBers out there, but for those of us who stay on mild singletrack at most, my gravel bike does fine at that.

It just seems like a lovely coincidence of needs that wasn't being catered to by the mass market until the recent gravel boom. Commuters get to biggyback on that large market and get some nice kit out of the trend.

spdntrxi
Posts: 4561
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

I dont know...

my ideal commuter is :
Flat bar
Ti frame
Gates belt drive or Rolhoff hub..
Dynohub in the front maybe for lights and whatnot.
2019 BMC TM01 Road UCI config 7.36kg

by Weenie


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TheRich
Posts: 1037
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

Outrageous claim:

Gravel bikes are just really nice commuter bikes. (I have a gravel bike)

robertbb
Posts: 1691
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

Absolutely!

Picked up a v-brake 2012 Giant Cross City (made with their ALUXX SL aluminium). Intended to use it as a pure flatbar commuter with the stock 105 groupset.

Paid AU$400 in mint condition.

Rode it a few times and loved it so much I'm planning on a gravel 1x group and a second wheelset with wider and knobbier tyres - just as you said. Perfect, stable geometry.

Threaded BB, 27.2 seatpost, all external routing, all required mounts for fenders and panniers.

raisinberry777
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:09 am

by raisinberry777

gb123bike wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:54 am
It just seems like a lovely coincidence of needs that wasn't being catered to by the mass market until the recent gravel boom. Commuters get to biggyback on that large market and get some nice kit out of the trend.
Totally. By the same token, they feel like the evolution of the road touring bike. Sure, they won't please the steel only, bar end shifters, need to have it re-welded in rural Zambia crowd, but they do a good job for basically everyone else.

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IrrelevantD
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Location: Near DFW Airport

by IrrelevantD

I don't know, my gravel bike fits and rides like a race bike that can accept fairly large tires. (Cervelo Aspero)

On the other hand, the last bike I used for a commuter (14mi each way unless I went long and did 25) was a cyclocross bike (Trek Crockett), and there is little overlap between that and my gravel bike.
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bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Get an audax bike like mine and you get clearance for 28mm tyre with mudguard and proper mudguard mounts rack mounts as I carry panniers and there you it's also my commutor bike.

Gravel bikes have invented nothing new. They reinvented the old fashioned touring bike. I had an old spectrum which could take 37mm tyre and mudguards. I had my daughter on a child seat with that bike.

Gravel bikes are the old repackaged as the new.

The genesis croix de fern is a case in point. It started out as a cx bike then adventure/gravel became a thing and the it became one of those bikes.

People with old fashioned touring bikes have been riding off road on them for years. Rough stuff fellowship for example. I ride my race bikes with 25mm tyre off road on gravel/dirt paths when it dry.

Butcher
Shop Owner
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

When I commuted to work, my SW SL3 Tarmac was perfect. 40 miles a day was perfect for training too.

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Alexbn921
Posts: 746
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm

by Alexbn921

Gravel bikes have always been made. The original safety bikes where all gravel bikes and check out this perfect gravel 1882 Miyata 1000. I would ride it just about anywhere.
https://i.redd.it/ycr3xqqqguq11.jpg
Ride fast Take chances

Marin
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

gb123bike wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:54 am
add a rear rack, and it's a very competent grocery-getter
You mean front rack! Much nicer

gb123bike
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:02 am

by gb123bike

Marin wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:41 am
gb123bike wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:54 am
add a rear rack, and it's a very competent grocery-getter
You mean front rack! Much nicer
Haha, yeah, I (somewhat) agree, especially on dirt. Extra traction where you need it the most. It's just that I've been running my current set of rear panniers since the 1970's, and they're still alive and kicking, so I haven't seen fit to replace them. They're one of those Cannondale sets from back before Cannondale made frames, and are indestructable.

LanceLegstrong
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:35 pm

by LanceLegstrong

My gravel bike has taken on a second job. Thanks for all the mounting points Trek.

Image
Specialized Tarmac SL7
Trek Boone RSL
Trek Checkpoint ALR
Canyon Neuron AL

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saldegracia
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:14 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain

by saldegracia

I used to commute in London from 2007 to 2010 which was before gravel bike time really. But I did it on a Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra: https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbandist ... 690072206/

I really liked that bike, a 26-inch MTB frame that could take 28-inch road wheels with 28mm tires, combined with the front supension that was pretty good for the (at the time) horrendous London roads. I guess a gravel or CX bike with 35mm slick tires or something like that would be an obvious choice today.

The Bad Boy is still alive and at my parents' house in its 26-inch MTB setup. I rode it there last Christmas and it was lots of fun (had not ridden an MTB in along time) but it seems like the damper in the Headshok suspension has gone and given it's all old now and proprietary there is unfortunately probably not much point in fixing it. I think my dad rides it around town as well, so at least it still gets some use :)
Canyon Aeroad, Votec VRC, Fuji Jari Carbon, Sensa Fermo SL, Principia R700, Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra, Ciöcc Singlespeed

Arph
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:30 pm
Location: France

by Arph

Agreed, my commuter is a rim brake gravel bike (a road bike that takes 47 mm tyres, mudguards and racks).

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bobrayner
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by bobrayner

Definitely. I went through a phase of commuting on a road bike then a CX bike (before gravel was a thing). The latter was definitely better for the job, sleek and fast like a road bike, but possible to use slightly fatter/knobblier tyres to cope with alternative routes away from busy roads and avoiding rush-hour traffic. Sturdy wheels can cope with a few potholes, cobbles, and kerbs which thoroughbred road-racing bikes would shy away from. For me the only problem was that CX bikes rarely have mounting points for luggage; and now that it's 2021, most gravel bikes solve that problem.
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