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  1. #1
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    New Gravel Grinding Bike

    I'm looking for help on my decision to buy a new Gravel Bike to race on,I've been riding a 26 mtb for years and finished the DK200 on it last year but it's time for a cyclocross bike...Giant,Trek or Homegrown model made specific for Gravel.

  2. #2
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    So Many Choices, I would always say homegrown if that is an option. Start with something like a salsa warbird frame and go from there.

    Other option is buy a cross bike and just start modding I have a Rocky Mountain CXR, but had to change gearing (puta 34/46 crank on), brakes, evenually upgraded to shimano shifter rear/deraileurs. Basically it has been a constant source of change and I dont have the time I always want to work on it so it sits often.

    Things to consider

    Cost - Always number one for me!
    Material - Alu, Steel, Ti, Carbon
    Brakes - Disc or not
    What Size tire do you want to run?
    Racks or fenders would you ever use them?

    These are all things I should have thought more on when I bought my Cross Bike to use for gravel.

    Hope this helps.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  3. #3
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    New Gravel Grinding Bike

    New Gravel Grinding Bike-imageuploadedbytapatalk1369354727.730115.jpg

    I built my Lynskey ProCross specifically for gravel and have been happy with it.

    Force front and rear Der. and shifters
    SRAM Red Black compact crank
    Red 11-28 cassette
    Ashima 160mm rotors
    Stan's IronCross wheels
    FSA SLK Compact bars
    FSA SLK seatpost
    Enve fork
    BB7 brakes
    Fizik bar gel
    Clement LAS set up tubeless
    K-edge change catcher and garmin mount
    Selle Italia SLR XC flow
    Chris King headset
    Chris King ceramic BB
    King Ti cages

    Made improvements over the last 2 years. I love riding this bike.

  4. #4
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    New Gravel Grinding Bike

    I'm pretty happy with my Soma Double Cross. A the time I got he frame, they were out of black forks so I picked up an All City steel fork, which rides pretty well. Classic steel frame and fork with Velocity Major Toms and an EC90 seat post. SRAM Rival drivetrain, 1x10.

    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
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    Soulcraft has a gravel specific bike and it is BADARSE!!! It's the Dirtbomb.. Ck it out on their website.. If I lived somewhere that had tons of farm dirt roads, I'd be all over that thing!!

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys ! I have a Redline Pro Cross frame sitting here,maybe I'll build it up...But I do like the looks of the Salsa.

  7. #7
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    i just built up a Specialized Crux with the Zertz inserts on it. Has the Zertz in the fork and in the back. Not sure if thats what it was but the bike was super cush during Almanzo last week. I also got some of that gel padding for underneath my lizard skin bar tape. Gel seat and it was perfect.
    Carbon frame on mine, but I heard TI is awesome on gravel. Have fun with the build

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mosovich View Post
    Soulcraft has a gravel specific bike and it is BADARSE!!! It's the Dirtbomb.. Ck it out on their website.. If I lived somewhere that had tons of farm dirt roads, I'd be all over that thing!!
    The Dirtbomb looks sweet! More than I would need around my area, but a really cool bike.

    I have ridden as much as 40c (Schwalbe Marathon Extreme and Also Kenda Happy Medium) with mine and it does ride nice. The Clement LAS is a 'big' 33c, but perfect for Southeast Michigan Gravel.

  9. #9
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    Black Mountain Cycles has a nice 'cross' frame that works great for a dedicated gravel grinder build. Really well designed, tire clearance for 45mm tires, and it's STEEL.

    blackmtncycles.com

  10. #10
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    Check out the Surly Crosscheck.

    also Giant is about to release the Anyroad here in the USA.

    Salsa stuff is sweet too!

    Personally my gravel bike right now is a Surly Steamroller set up specifically for nailing gravel miles. Works great for me. I used to have a Redline Conquest Team. It worked, but the geometry never grooved with me.

    32mm tire minimum.

  11. #11
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    I had to look up that Giant:

    Giant Anyroad Making Its North American Debut, this Fall

    This thing looks really nice. If I didn't already have a CX bike, I'd be waiting for this one.

  12. #12
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    The "swirly" geometry is pretty sweet looking. and the price point on it is awesome for people looking for a gravel bike that is the secondary for their mtb

  13. #13
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    You can buy FOUR Black Mountain Cycles 'cross frames for the price of one Dirtbomb. Five Crosschecks. Not that you'd ever need that many, since they last forever.

  14. #14
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    I used my single speed cross bike for a few 60+ mile gravel rides while my mtb was down, and I hated it. While it was fast, our gravel must be much rougher than most. If they're not miserably washboarded, they're super loose/sandy. On top of all of that, sometimes they get covered with crap like crushed bricks which are murder on smaller tires IME. FOR ME I'm willing to trade a little speed/efficiency for comfort and confidence. Which, again, FOR ME, results in long term speed and endurance, as well as piece of mind.
    Calmer'n you are.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusheleven View Post
    The "swirly" geometry is pretty sweet looking. and the price point on it is awesome for people looking for a gravel bike that is the secondary for their mtb
    Huh? Swirly geometry?

  16. #16
    Rex R
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    Here is my new gravel rig. Taken it all over now- finished 117 mile race a month ago- felt great!

    Ridley X-Fire running Stans Iron Cross with Panaracer T-Serv tires @~35-40 psi (34c)

    New Gravel Grinding Bike-ridley_zps65dc5088.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Gravel Grinding Bike-ridley.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Like the look of the Giant Anyroads...Wonder how big a tire it will take.Thanks for the help guys !

  18. #18
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    You may be interested in this bike.

    Viaje XL Ultegra | Volagi

    I've ridden the carbon version and it's a really nice bike. The big difference between this and say any recent Cross bike with disk brakes will be the geometry. Volagi bikes are really comfortable for very long rides on either road or dirt. Cross bikes are setup to be quick "sprinters" and fast handlers for relatively short events.

    My current gravel bike is my attempt to duplicate a Volagi with the frame I currently have. I put 650b wheels and a disk brake fork on an 2007 Specialized Sequoia.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    I used my single speed cross bike for a few 60+ mile gravel rides while my mtb was down, and I hated it. While it was fast, our gravel must be much rougher than most. If they're not miserably washboarded, they're super loose/sandy. On top of all of that, sometimes they get covered with crap like crushed bricks which are murder on smaller tires IME. FOR ME I'm willing to trade a little speed/efficiency for comfort and confidence. Which, again, FOR ME, results in long term speed and endurance, as well as piece of mind.
    Put 650b wheels on a Disk brake Cross bike and you get a good compromise for both speed and having a fat tire. I think the sweet spot is somewhere around 40mm, relatively light and not a lot of tread. Most 700c tires in that size are heavy and stiff commuter tires. Cross racing has a tire size limit ( 32mm I think ) so many cross bikes
    can't fit a really fat tire.

    Probably the place to start with all this is pick the tires you want to run and build the bike that works with those tires. For me the second thing would be brakes, for dirt, I think at least a front disk brake is well worth the trouble.

  20. #20
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    I am building a new dirt road bike right now. Redline Conquest Disc frame/fork. Triple crank 48/38/26. 11-28 cassette. BB7 brakes. Right now I run Clement MSO 40s. We have a lot of steep sections of USFS roads around here and this will be low enough gearing to get my 195lbs up them. I am going to get a 2nd wheelset and mount up fat road tires 28-32c for mostly pavement rides.

    I am riding a Kona Unit with gears right now, rigid, with the MSOs and it works good but I want a drop bar setup. We have ridiculous wind here all the time and getting more aero makes a big difference over hours out in it.

  21. #21
    Dude, got any schwag?
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    I have a Mountain Cycle Stumptown circa 2005 that's a perfect gravel grinder and cross bike. When she succumbs to fatigue I'll be transplanting the parts to a Hakkalugi.
    Billy

    Speed is sweet, it's like an avenue to
    ... Shredtopia!

  22. #22
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    New Gravel Grinding Bike-1015433_10101658474545544_1690119026_o.jpg
    Speaking of a Viaje gravel grinder, here is mine. I backed the kickstarter last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    You may be interested in this bike.

    Viaje XL Ultegra | Volagi

    I've ridden the carbon version and it's a really nice bike. The big difference between this and say any recent Cross bike with disk brakes will be the geometry. Volagi bikes are really comfortable for very long rides on either road or dirt. Cross bikes are setup to be quick "sprinters" and fast handlers for relatively short events.

    My current gravel bike is my attempt to duplicate a Volagi with the frame I currently have. I put 650b wheels and a disk brake fork on an 2007 Specialized Sequoia.


  23. #23
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    my soma double cross has to be one of the smoothest frames i have ridden on. its my gravel grinding machine and will be forever. i have some 42's i put on it and rock some trails with it. its a blast to ride.

  24. #24
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    I linked this over in the DK200 thread, but figured you guys would get some good info out of a gravel-specific forum: Riding Gravel Forum

  25. #25
    Ride Everything
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    Over the past couple of years, I've ridden bikes from All-City, Black Mountain Cycles, Salsa, SOMA, and Volagi on dirt/gravel. They're all very different, but all quite capable.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  26. #26
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    i have a soma double cross. smoothest ride ever and the frame can handle 42's! which is cool.

  27. #27
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    Subscribing to post. this is next on my list, although it will be a build for next fall.

  28. #28
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    New Gravel Grinding Bike

    Agreed with GRAVELBIKE . I even saw a Cannondale Quick CX come out for one of the 50-mile gravel rides last fall.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    Ride Everything
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnbikeradio View Post
    Agreed with GRAVELBIKE . I even saw a Cannondale Quick CX come out for one of the 50-mile gravel rides last fall.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wrote this yesterday: What?s In A Name? | GRAVELBIKE.com

    Every manu wants a piece of the gravel pie, but remember that folks rode dirt and gravel long before the marketoids told us we needed a special bike for unpaved use.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  30. #30
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    I'm a little late to this party but I have around 500 miles on the Ridley X-trail and find it quick capable on multiple surfaces, though I use it predominately for commuting.

    https://www.ridley-bikes.com/us/en/b...llroad/x-trail

    Nice bike and has all the latest standards: flat mount discs, thru-axles, 11 spds, tubeless, etc.
    Try this: HTFU

  31. #31
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    Twin Six Rando

    I am late too .. . .I picked up a Twin Six Rando frameset last fall and have been riding that in the Spring on fireroads when the trails are too wet to ride. It is a nice riding bike and having disc brakes on a steel frame with somewhat relaxed geometry is a much more positive experience from my twitchy, alloy, canti brake CX bike.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  32. #32
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    I used to use a Trek XO2 (canti cx bike) for all my road/gravel adventures. Riding a Caad9 with 28 Strada LGGs and it'll go anywhere my cx bike did and stop better.

  33. #33
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    How come gravel bikes come with road bike gearing? There's a lot of steep dirt roads out there.

  34. #34
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    Because everyone's gearing need is different so a lot of OEMs just spec a compact since it has the widest gear range.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Because everyone's gearing need is different so a lot of OEMs just spec a compact since it has the widest gear range.
    Mountain bike gearing is what I'm talking about.

  36. #36
    Team Velveeta™
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    Mountain bike gearing is what I'm talking about.
    I think most people think of gravel bikes as a special case of road bike, and CX-appropriate component groups would probably be the most commonly wanted by that demographic.

    We all have our own needs and preferences. I'm riding a gravel century (with a little actual mountain biking thrown in at the end) on Saturday. I'll be riding it on my mountain bike, a Yeti ASRc. I'm in it to finish, as a social engagement, and as a training exercise. I don't have a gravel bike, but my mtb is comfortable and I run a triple. So I have access to a 42:11 big gear and a 22:36 granny.

    I might be giving up a couple mph from my day's average, but I like my bike and am not looking to buy anything new. If I moved to Kansas and gravel became my main thing, yeah, I'd get a gravel bike. And if I did that I probably wouldn't care if it didn't have the equivalent of a 22:36.

    But that's me. My mileage may vary.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  37. #37
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    50/34 and 11/32 or 11/28 gets me up some pretty steep gravel road hills...

    Here is my new gravel road bike:




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  38. #38
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    Still waiting for my Gravel/CX frame.


    *sigh*
    .




    .

  39. #39
    Dr. Frost
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    Probably the place to start with all this is pick the tires you want to run and build the bike that works with those tires. For me the second thing would be brakes, for dirt, I think at least a front disk brake is well worth the trouble.
    Totally agree!
    Last edited by rockcrusher; 04-21-2016 at 08:06 AM.

  40. #40
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    1. Ridden it all, Ti is king
    2. 1:1 gearing in a 2x configuration
    3. Tubeless should be a requirement
    4. 30c file treads are fine, 40c small knobbies at low pressures are stellar
    5. QR still works believe it or not.

  41. #41
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    This segment is exploding now - your only real problem now is the making a choice from so many options!
    I recently built up a Surly Stragger for this purpose. The frames can be had for very low cost, and fit the pile of MTB parts I had laying around, including a 29er wheelset.
    The only issue with the bike is it is heavier than most, but Im not racing it (much).

    My dream gravel bike would be a Ti Warbird
    Grit, spit, and a w**** lot of duct tape!

  42. #42
    Monkey Wrangler
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    I bought a Giant TSX SLR 2 in 2014 to use as a training tool for upcoming endurance mountain bike events. I don't think you could beat this bike for the cost and performance, definitely worth a look. After a few "training rides," now I find myself online looking to sign up for big endurance gravel grinder events!! I did a 70 mile gravel grinder last June and had a blast!

    I have found it's a great way to mix up training and a lot of fun to ride. I even put some 700x40 slicks on it last summer and entered a time trial. Needless to say I got some funny looks from folks who couldn't figure out why I was on a "strange" looking road bike.

  43. #43
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    Here's my ride: On-One Pickenflick. Bargain ti bike. Got really great reviews so I took a chance and ordered it online. It's awesome. Just did the Belgian Waffle ride on it, which is more of a mixed terrain ride than a gravel grinder, but of 146 miles, it had almost 40 on dirt. Running 50/34 11-32 gearing, ran 35c Explor USH for that but it clears 42s too.

    New Gravel Grinding Bike-image.jpg

  44. #44
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    I bought a Cannondale SuperX for gravel grinding a month ago. Great bike but I sold it today. Just wasn't sure about it. Super comfortable ride despite being a race bike. Quick. Handled great once I got used to the geometry. Looks awesome. Pretty light. Cheap.

    On the fence now on what to replace it with. Right now top four contenders are, in no particular order:

    1. Jamis Renegade Expert. $2500 for 105 spec bike.

    2. Boone 9 Disc. $2100 and Ultegra equipped.

    3. Boone 7 Disc. $1900 with SRAM Force 1...but I'd sell the 1x parts and convert to 2x.

    4. Lynskey Cooper or Urbano frame and build something up. Price unknown but probably $3k - ish.

    I know the Boone options aren't really that far off the SuperX. What I would gain going Boone over SuperX is 15mm thru axle on the front, a little nicer carbon though I highly doubt I'd ever tell any difference, and IsoSpeed decoupler for a plusher ride on the gravel. And slightly better spec since my SuperX was Rival and a mixed bag at that. Biggest con is lack of tire clearance. From what I'm told...35c no problem. Probably 38's. 40's would be tight and a no go if there was any chance of mud or loose dirt/gravel that could build up.

    Jamis seems like the logical choice since it's more of a purpose build gravel bike. Carbon frame, thru axles front and back. 142x12 in the rear. Decent tire clearance. But not crazy about paying $2500 for 105. Con is price for spec. Maybe it's not bad but considering what I can get the Ultegra Boone for...it makes it hard to spend $400 more for less. Or $600 less for the Force equipped Boone 7.

    Lynskey...I've been drooling over a Ti bike for a long time. But the cost of the build is more than I can handle right now unless I can get one of my other bikes sold. Even then...it will be hard to bite off and swallow. Cons...unsure about Ti...never ridden it but everyone that does seems to love it. Price. Slight weight penalty but I'm sure the nice ride more than makes up for it. Price.

    Definitely welcome thoughts on my list or other options to look at. $3k is my absolute top end can't go a penny more max...and that's only if I can sell one of my other bikes. Maybe I should start my own thread.
    Last edited by Nubster; 04-30-2016 at 06:08 PM.
    Cannondale F29 carbon
    Jamis Renegade Elite
    Kona Big Unit SS/full rigid
    Kona Private Jake SSCX (build in progress)

  45. #45
    Dr. Frost
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    Boone?

  46. #46
    Dr. Frost
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    I mean.....Boone!!!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    Boone?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    I mean.....Boone!!!
    You called?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Gravel Grinding Bike-boone-7.jpg  

    Cannondale F29 carbon
    Jamis Renegade Elite
    Kona Big Unit SS/full rigid
    Kona Private Jake SSCX (build in progress)

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