New gravel bike for 85% road

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

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Miles253
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Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

Hi guys,

I got knocked off by a car pre-Christmas and wrote off my Rose Backroad. Though I'm not totally against just buying another, it's got me thinking about whether there are other options in the category.

For full disclosure, the Rose was my do-it-all winter bike first and foremost and I really didn't ride too much off-road on it. The replacement will need to fit a similar bill, with the capability to ride well for road use and gravel use with different wheels.

What bikes should I be looking at ? I'm thinking Open UP and Rondo HVRT/ Ruut at the moment, or of course going for another Backroad, which was a nice bike, if a bit low at the front.

Cheers
Specialized S-Works Venge Disc | 7.8kg
Rose Backroad | 9kg (Deceased R.I.P.)
Canyon Ultimate CF SL | 7.7kg

https://www.findyourroad.co.uk/
Instagram: @miles_bc

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TheRich
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by TheRich

85% road sounds like CX bike territory.

spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

I would want to know what surface comprises that 15% offroad and how often that 15% is going to happen.

I'm thinking if you can just get another wheelset with 28 or 30mm tires and call it done.
2019 BMC TM01 Road UCI config 7.36kg

NickJHP
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by NickJHP

I've had an Open Upper for a couple of years, and most of my riding, both on and off road, has been done on that since I bought it. I use Compass Bon Jon Pass Extralight 35mm tyres on it (they actually measure 36mm on my rims). They seem pretty much ideal to me - they're light enough and roll fast enough that I don't have any problem keeping up on climbs or on fast bunch rides, at 40/55psi front/rear they gobble up nearly all the road bumps on our generally indifferent quality sealed roads, and on winding descents they stick to the road like glue.

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nickf
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by nickf

I use my Trek checkpoint when I travel for work, which is monthly. It's an excellent road bike. It can honestly be my one bike that really can do it all. Geometry is also good. Mine built up with pedals and 25c tires is 7.28kg

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Noctiluxx
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by Noctiluxx

You're basically looking for an endurance road bike that can can hit the occasional fire roads. The new Trek Domane sounds perfect for what you're looking for.
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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

85~90% road was exactly what I wanted as well. Sold my Allez Sprint and got a Cervelo Aspero, haven't looked back.
The other 15% (in terms of milage) has been mostly Singletrack with a little bit of gravel here and there. In terms of actual time spent, I'm probably at 60/40 road to dirt.

With skinny tires, handles every bit as well as my Sprint. Maybe a little more stable in the corners due to longer wheelbase, and a little better climbing due to stiffer frame.

With 650Bx47s, it's better than my CX bike on the MTB trails if you're OK with the ocasional pedal strike (BB is about 8mm lower than my CX bike). I've only got maybe a dozen miles on actual gravel due to proximity to decent gravel roads, but from what I've seen, it should be pleanty stable on gravel with either 40mm 700s or 47mm 650s.

Unless you want a comfort road bike with gimmicky bits like suspension headsets or de-coupled seat tubes, or you want something that's more suited for bikepacking, the Aspero is a really good option. I mention the latter because the Aspero has no provisions for racks, paniers, anything mounted to the fork, etc. You get 3 bottle mounts and a top tube mount, that's it. The other bike I looked at was the 3T Exploro, but I personally liked the long and low (more road race) geometry of the Aspero.
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Beancouter
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

If you like the open up, check out the ibis Hakka. Light, versatile and significantly cheaper. Comes with and enve fork.

Mine is built single up front and works for commute, winter and dirty club runs.


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

by TheRich

IrrelevantD wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:28 am
85~90% road was exactly what I wanted as well. Sold my Allez Sprint and got a Cervelo Aspero, haven't looked back.
The other 15% (in terms of milage) has been mostly Singletrack with a little bit of gravel here and there. In terms of actual time spent, I'm probably at 60/40 road to dirt.

With skinny tires, handles every bit as well as my Sprint. Maybe a little more stable in the corners due to longer wheelbase, and a little better climbing due to stiffer frame.

With 650Bx47s, it's better than my CX bike on the MTB trails if you're OK with the ocasional pedal strike (BB is about 8mm lower than my CX bike). I've only got maybe a dozen miles on actual gravel due to proximity to decent gravel roads, but from what I've seen, it should be pleanty stable on gravel with either 40mm 700s or 47mm 650s.

Unless you want a comfort road bike with gimmicky bits like suspension headsets or de-coupled seat tubes, or you want something that's more suited for bikepacking, the Aspero is a really good option. I mention the latter because the Aspero has no provisions for racks, paniers, anything mounted to the fork, etc. You get 3 bottle mounts and a top tube mount, that's it. The other bike I looked at was the 3T Exploro, but I personally liked the long and low (more road race) geometry of the Aspero.
The rear isospeed on Treks isn't a gimmick, it makes a noticeable difference.

The front is less effective because the lever arm is shorter and there's less weigh in general on the front, but the rear really does take the edge off small bumps.

jfranci3
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by jfranci3

There's not that much different from a road bike and gravel bike if you put them on the same tires. What matters on the non-road side, is how gnarly the non-road is. 30c tires may work fine in San Diego, but would suck off road pretty much anywhere else. I'd get two sets of wheels/tires if you're going to be hitting anything softish or rocky. Something lake a g-one speed or allaround will work both places - depending.

Nefarious86
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by Nefarious86

Crux ;)

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TheRich
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by TheRich

jfranci3 wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:29 am
There's not that much different from a road bike and gravel bike if you put them on the same tires. What matters on the non-road side, is how gnarly the non-road is. 30c tires may work fine in San Diego, but would suck off road pretty much anywhere else. I'd get two sets of wheels/tires if you're going to be hitting anything softish or rocky. Something lake a g-one speed or allaround will work both places - depending.
Most bikes can do anything if you want it bad enough, but it really comes down to the features you want/need.

As you progress across the selection of bikes....pure road-CX-gravel-bikepacking, you're typically losing some things (responsiveness, for example), but gaining others (like comfort and features like additional bottle mounts as another example), just pick your compromise based on the planned usage.

Miles253
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by Miles253

Noctiluxx wrote:You're basically looking for an endurance road bike that can can hit the occasional fire roads. The new Trek Domane sounds perfect for what you're looking for.
Yes basically. With the ability to swap to 650b if I want to do something more adventurous. Do you know if the Domane can do that?

It's also crazy pricey!

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Specialized S-Works Venge Disc | 7.8kg
Rose Backroad | 9kg (Deceased R.I.P.)
Canyon Ultimate CF SL | 7.7kg

https://www.findyourroad.co.uk/
Instagram: @miles_bc

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nickf
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

No 650 for the checkpoint or domane. Domane is limited to a 38c. Checkpoint can fit a 45c**depending on the tire/rim combo**

Beancouter
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by Beancouter

Hakka takes 650b and 700c - can’t recall max tyre width. ;-)


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