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  1. #1
    Team NFI
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    Gravel Grinder Bikes...that new?

    We have all seen the images from Interbike and now the hype of the so called "Gravel Grinder" bikes coming out from Niner, Tomac, and the rest.

    Singletrack Magazine | Niner hits the (dirt) road with new RLT 9

    Fire Road Geometry?

    But really is this actually that ground breaking a frame design? All you have to do is google Rough Stuff Fellowship for example and see what road bikes where ridden on.

    Guitar Ted Productions: Friday News And Views


    Once again, let history teach us a lesson. Many folks have either plain forgotten, or just are ignorant to facts. Let me tell you a dirty little secret......The "gravel grinder" design is nothing new. It is actually a throw-back bike. Let me explain...

    In American Classic's Interbike booth, I stopped to chat with Bill Shook, the man behind American Classic and its designs. I explained my take on "gravel geometry". He got it immediately and said, "Well, you just described my first racing bike...." (Yes...Bill is a seasoned veteran of humanity.)

    That's right, gravel geometry is "old racing bike geometry" because old racing bikes needed bigger tires, slacker angles for more stability, and were focused on rider comfort. Why? Because the roads those old guys and gals raced on sucked! That's why. Many were unpaved. You know........gravel? Yes, gravel, and dirt, and the infamous cobble stones.
    Wow... So really they dusted off some old road frame to base it on.Added a few tweeks ( no relation to VY) to allow disc brakes, larger tires, and hubs.
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



    Depression...can eat a sack of manure and die.

  2. #2
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    I'm surprised that you're surprised that the industry would repackage existing stuff to take advantage of what they perceive as a commercial opportunity in the form of an existing market segment now getting mass-market exposure.

    Similarly, I'm surprised that Guitar Ted is surprised. They are bike companies who are they to make money. Sometimes that includes spinning info for best PR effect. Won't be the last time either.

  3. #3
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    It's just a "thing" that percolated up due to disc brake frames gaining popularity and the utility use of CX frames growing.

    I basically bought the Ogre as the weird middle ground that these bikes are swarming in to fill this year. I was looking for a drop bar, disc brake, larger tire CX bike and the existing ones didn't ship in my size and there were only a few.

    Is there some magic...nah. They do fill a nice spot for general utility bikes though, with just some marketing polish on it heh.

    It's the second coming of the Schwinn Varsity, with disc brakes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'm surprised that you're surprised that the industry would repackage existing stuff to take advantage of what they perceive as a commercial opportunity in the form of an existing market segment now getting mass-market exposure.

    Similarly, I'm surprised that Guitar Ted is surprised. They are bike companies who are they to make money. Sometimes that includes spinning info for best PR effect. Won't be the last time either.
    Not surprised.

    But you forgot to factor in age. As in most who will buy into the bull chip grinders are those who didn't have bikes like the classic old Apollo from circa 1976 in their dad's basement. So to them it will be this Earth shattering break through.

    So this means that by buying the Kaffenback frame I beat the market rush.

    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



    Depression...can eat a sack of manure and die.

  5. #5
    Ride Everything
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    Riding bikes is fun.

    Every bike has the potential to be a gravel bike. Free your mind, and your bike will follow.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  6. #6
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    I love riding, but riding on gravel, for me, is possibly the most boring thing imaginable. I have the same reaction to bikes targeted for gravel.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    GF Superfly 29er HT
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  7. #7
    Evil Jr.
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    Maurice Garin would like to show you his bike...

    Gravel Grinder Bikes...that new?-mauricegarin.getty.jpg
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  8. #8
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I love riding, but riding on gravel, for me, is possibly the most boring thing imaginable
    Gravel grinds are great for me if I like where it takes me and what I see along the way. Pretty much same as road riding, except that usually also means few or zero cars to worry about.

  9. #9
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Gravel grinds are great for me if I like where it takes me and what I see along the way. Pretty much same as road riding, except that usually also means few or zero cars to worry about.
    That's why I always started riding my CX bike full time in August outside of MTB racing. With the days getting shorter, staying off the road and on the huge MUP network we have was always a very appealing option. Plus: fall colours!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  10. #10
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    I have been looking into this type of bike quite closely, but I had not heard the gravel grinder monicker before. I just want a bike that can do a lot of things when I am not on the mountain bike. I ride in the city, but also through parks and I want to be able to go from the road to the MUP's to being able to hop off a curb to riding some dirt along the way if around. This is a really good option for an urban assault, long range machine. I don't care what they call something or if others have thought of it years ago. As long as it works for what I want to do you, can call them whatever you want. I think I am going to hold off on my purchase though. Ever since I told people I was looking for something like this, it seems someone points out a new bike every few days. I have a feeling there will be a bunch of stuff around the shops in short order.
    Burnt Norton

  11. #11
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    You want to talk about riding on unsafe roads? Ride on the gravel roads that
    "Farmer Bob" and all the Rednecks travel. Whenever I'm on a road ride and I have to hit a short
    section of gravel road, I cringe and pucker as I wait to get smacked by a mirror or a trailer wheel.
    There's not much room on the side of a gravel road that's rideable.

    ... No thanks.

  12. #12
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I love riding, but riding on gravel, for me, is possibly the most boring thing imaginable.
    What?!? More boring than televised darts, bowling or golf?
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    You want to talk about riding on unsafe roads? Ride on the gravel roads that
    "Farmer Bob" and all the Rednecks travel. Whenever I'm on a road ride and I have to hit a short
    section of gravel road, I cringe and pucker as I wait to get smacked by a mirror or a trailer wheel.
    There's not much room on the side of a gravel road that's rideable.

    ... No thanks.
    Yes, because riding on Ontario paved roads is so much safer.
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



    Depression...can eat a sack of manure and die.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    That's why I always started riding my CX bike full time in August outside of MTB racing. With the days getting shorter, staying off the road and on the huge MUP network we have was always a very appealing option. Plus: fall colours!
    Same for me.

    Gravel rides you get some really really heavy climbs more so than pavement in southern ontario, less traffic, and nice countryside, and you can always dip onto single track / double track and have some extra fun if you come across some!

  15. #15
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Not really sure why I would get a gravel bike over a CX bike, especially now cross bikes with discs are getting more common....
    Strava made me do it....

  16. #16
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    Just build one. And tons of mud clearance for Paris Ancaster.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gravel Grinder Bikes...that new?-dsc_7674.jpg  

    Gravel Grinder Bikes...that new?-dsc_7681.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yes, because riding on Ontario paved roads is so much safer.
    Seriously? We've got it better than most of Canada. Especially right here within 100k circumference of Caledon. Pretty much a roadies mecca.

  18. #18
    Lemmy Rules!
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    I've done something very similar with one of my old singlespeeds
    Strava made me do it....

  19. #19
    Ride Everything
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Not really sure why I would get a gravel bike over a CX bike, especially now cross bikes with discs are getting more common....
    Because a bike designed to go b@lls-out for 45-60 minutes may not be the best choice for grinding gravel roads for 50, 60, or 100 miles.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Just build one. And tons of mud clearance for Paris Ancaster.
    Unless it is the same one from Paul's ..that makes 2 Orange On-One Inbred 29ers in Ontario.
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    Seriously? We've got it better than most of Canada.
    Yes, because only Ontario has paved roads.

    Pretty arrogant statement. And if you where not being so arrogant you might have realized that while the roads maybe okay when it comes to pavement. It is the drivers in the province that makes it unsafe to be on them.
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



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  22. #22
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Unless it is the same one from Paul's ..that makes 2 Orange On-One Inbred 29ers in Ontario.
    I have one too...EI a few years ago turned my SC Blur XC, SC Blur LT into an Inbred 29er and a 456! Feck poverty.
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yes, because only Ontario has paved roads.

    Pretty arrogant statement. And if you where not being so arrogant you might have realized that while the roads maybe okay when it comes to pavement. It is the drivers in the province that makes it unsafe to be on them.
    Alright, take it easy. I was talking about the drivers really.

    Try road riding in northern Ontario, you'll appreciate the drivers in this area.
    (Before you say it, I realise that's not all of Canada.)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    I have one too...EI a few years ago turned my SC Blur XC, SC Blur LT into an Inbred 29er and a 456! Feck poverty.
    Yet when you look at what On One offers in those low cost frames ....pretty good bang for buck.

    Interestingly if one looks at Planet X's Kaffenback which I have. Seems to have been ahead of the marketing curve. Unfortunately won't accept anything bigger then a 700x32 knobby tire. But still it doesn't have the racing bike feel most road bikes sold to Joe/Jane Average.

    Planet X Kaffenback Swap-Out Frame

    Yet realisticly the average non racer road rider would be better served with one of these so called "Gravel Grinder" type bikes. Because the truth is...80% of people buying a road type bike are looking for comfort. Speed is not a priority. Prior to this return to old style geometry the closest they could be offered was a Cyclocross bike.
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



    Depression...can eat a sack of manure and die.

  25. #25
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yet when you look at what On One offers in those low cost frames ....pretty good bang for buck.

    Interestingly if one looks at Planet X's Kaffenback which I have. Seems to have been ahead of the marketing curve. Unfortunately won't accept anything bigger then a 700x32 knobby tire. But still it doesn't have the racing bike feel most road bikes sold to Joe/Jane Average.
    I am very happy with my On-One's. The 456 with a 150mm fork makes me so confident in rough terrain. I will either be ordering the Kaffenback complete or another Inbred frame for a monstercrossish 29'er.
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

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