New gravel bike for 85% road

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

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

Miles253 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:50 pm
ultimobici wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:24 pm
IrrelevantD wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:21 am

If it has proper cross geometry, that is a recipe for misery.
I'll second this. I wouldn't go as far as to say "misery", but having used my Trek Crockett on gravel and road, it's great at being nimble expecially at low speed and tight turns on trails, but the higher center of gravity feels sketchy to me when you start getting to the high 20's to 30mph range, especially when hitting loose patches of gravel/dirt.
A Crockett has very mild geometry compared to most cross frames. Its bb height at 70mm is more akin to a crit bike rather than the likes of Ridley which are typically around 60mm.


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Presumably they are built a little more agressive at the front too? I would like to be able to do long off-road days on this thing...
I don't think the Crockett isn't horibly agressive compared to most gravel bikes. Head Tube angle is 72º, same as my Aspero, maybe 1/2º to 1º more than less agressive gravel bikes, and the rake is 45mm, which I think most gravel bikes are closer to 50. So the Crockett on paper should have a little more trail. The big difference just looking at mine is the height. My size 56 has a BB drop of 68mm, where most gravel bikes are 75mm or more. My Aspero is 76mm. 8mm may not seem like a lot, but when you combign that with a longer reach and a shorter stack, it can make a difference in handling.
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TheRich
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by TheRich

IrrelevantD wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:39 pm
ultimobici wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:21 am
TheRich wrote:85% road sounds like CX bike territory.
If it has proper cross geometry, that is a recipe for misery.
I'll second this. I wouldn't go as far as to say "misery", but having used my Trek Crockett on gravel and road, it's great at being nimble expecially at low speed and tight turns on trails, but the higher center of gravity feels sketchy to me when you start getting to the high 20's to 30mph range, especially when hitting loose patches of gravel/dirt.
I'd say that component selection, experience and the techniques employed will play a big part in this. I can descend on my Boone as fast as comfort and my faith in the tires will allow. 30+ is nbd.

All of these bikes are inherently instable due to the tires, short wheelbases, typically long stems, and steep HTAs....a cm here or there isn't going to make much of a difference in practice until you start getting towards something like the Chamois Hagar. I was just saying that for majority road usage, you're getting more than you'd utilize with a gravel bike, and a CX bike would be better where the bike is ultimately going to spend most of it's time.

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

TheRich wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:20 am
I was just saying that for majority road usage, you're getting more than you'd utilize with a gravel bike, and a CX bike would be better where the bike is ultimately going to spend most of it's time.
I'm going to say that as with everything else, it depends on what bike you get. I would disagree with that in regards to my Aspero. It spends 80% of it's miles and 60% of it's time on the road. With 28s on it, I personally feel it's a better road bike than my Allez Sprint was, with 650Bx47's it's a better MTB than my Crockett. I have to drive an hour to get to any decent gravel that's more than 1/2mi in length, but I'm fairly comfident that with 700x40s, it's going to be better than the Crockett there as well. I think the only place a CX bike would actually be better is going to be on a CX course, but even there, there's a Sunweb rider using an Aspero for CX.

Now, you get into a bikepacking bike, something that has bosses on the forks, rack mounts and all of those bells and whistles, you're probably right; But I think there are a few "gravel" bikes, like the 3T Exploro, Aspero, maybe the Open UP, that can make perfectly good road bikes with out being more than one would use.
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TheRich
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by TheRich

I think typically a CX bike is also going to feel more lively than a gravel bike on the road, and be a little lighter if that matters to you. Gravel bikes, like endurance road bikes, just aren't going to have the same snap as a racier bike. Not that I'm a sprinter, just that a bike that flexes underneath you isn't very inspiring on the road.

But like I said before, it depends on the details of what you want to do and where you want to do it. I bought my Boone because I wanted something I could gravel race with and was more responsive than my Synapse for road use...which it definitely is. Bigger tires and extra bottle mounts just weren't necessary and a lower BB is more of a hindrance than a benefit because most of my dirt rides involve intermediate MTB trails with very uneven surfaces.

Plus when it comes down to it, the tire choices aren't that big of a deal. When it starts getting rough, it's going to be rough unless you're on MTB sized tires if not a MTB with a suspension fork. I went from 40 to 35mm in the back due to rubbing and couldn't tell the difference, and forks typically don't have clearance issues with gravel tires.

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MattMay
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by MattMay

I’m in the Exploro camp as well. I used to switch wheel sets a lot but but I’ve settled into 700c x 35c (WTB Cross Boss) on 23mm internal width rims as my set-and-forget mode. Probably 80-20 road-dirt. I don’t feel like it holds me back on my group road rides (hey I’m 60 and not looking to win any medals) and allows me to peel off and hit a fire road for a change of scenery without thinking twice. Weighs in at 16.45 lbs so no huge weight penalty. Feels like a feather compared to my mtb xc rig!

Miles253
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by Miles253

MattMay wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:47 pm
I’m in the Exploro camp as well. I used to switch wheel sets a lot but but I’ve settled into 700c x 35c (WTB Cross Boss) on 23mm internal width rims as my set-and-forget mode. Probably 80-20 road-dirt. I don’t feel like it holds me back on my group road rides (hey I’m 60 and not looking to win any medals) and allows me to peel off and hit a fire road for a change of scenery without thinking twice. Weighs in at 16.45 lbs so no huge weight penalty. Feels like a feather compared to my mtb xc rig!
Another vote for the Exploro then, I don't love the colourways on it to be honest. But that's not the end of the world.
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crlincoln
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by crlincoln

It was Gravel... err mud ride today... these bikes are so much fun!!

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AZR3
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by AZR3

Nice to hear from other Exploro riders! It's probably the best bike purchase I've made

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Frankie - B
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by Frankie - B

In this case I'd be leaning more to the endurance road bikes that can handle tires up to 35mm. When riding 85% on road and 15% off road you could perfectly live with the consequences of a narrower tire when you go off road.
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crlincoln
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by crlincoln

I run a set of DT Swiss GRC 1600 700c with Pirelli Cinturato 35mm for road setup, been really good so far...


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DJT21
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by DJT21

The Ricley X Trail C is worth a look.

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MattMay
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by MattMay

Miles253 wrote:Another vote for the Exploro then, I don't love the colourways on it to be honest. But that's not the end of the world.
Me neither. So I used a little auto vinyl wrap and custom decals to tweak things.

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

MattMay wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:11 pm
Miles253 wrote:Another vote for the Exploro then, I don't love the colourways on it to be honest. But that's not the end of the world.
Me neither. So I used a little auto vinyl wrap and custom decals to tweak things.

Image
That is the best looking Exploro I've ever seen. Awesome job with the vinyl. What'd you use to cut it? Cricut, or something else?
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by photocycler

Surprised not seeing my recommendations for the diverge.

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by singletracknick

ultimobici wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:21 am
TheRich wrote:85% road sounds like CX bike territory.
If it has proper cross geometry, that is a recipe for misery.


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I'd dsagree with this although would depend on your cx bike and it's build.

Most modern cx bikes have a BB drop around 70 which overlaps with many gravel bikes. Most brands have moved away from the circa 60mm BB drops which I agree might be a bit more of a handfull at speed. I ride a crux which I really rate for gravel.

by Weenie


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