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  1. #1
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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    Anyone have any more information on the new AWOL gravel grinder?

    Frame geometries, weights etc

    ? THE AWOL

    Brian

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    Very cool.
    Seems like Spesh is having a lot of fun w/ bikes lately.

    That said, I would think this would overlap a lot w/ the TriCross...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRRoubaix View Post
    Very cool.
    Seems like Spesh is having a lot of fun w/ bikes lately.

    That said, I would think this would overlap a lot w/ the TriCross...
    Overlap, yes, but there are several important differences which, for me, make the AWOL a much more attractive choice for gravel road riding. Taller headset, lower bottom bracket, better frame material on the Comp model and wider tire capability. Looking forward to seeing the geometry chart for specifics, but this is looking a lot like the bike I thought I was going to need to have built custom.
    There's only two things in life (but I forget what they are). - John Hiatt

  4. #4
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    I agree! I just don't know where the TriCross fits in their lineup now- where is it's niche?

    (I'm finding a lot of irony in that I was looking for a gravel/commuter over the last few months and finally last week purchased a Kona Rove... ah well- I have too many Spesh bikes already, I guess...)

  5. #5
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    Here are the geo charts for AWOL



    Weights fully equipped with racks seem to be around 32lbs which is slightly disappointing.

    Brian

  6. #6
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    Really long top tubes and really short stems. Interesting and confusing. Do you know the weight for the Comp frameset?
    There's only two things in life (but I forget what they are). - John Hiatt

  7. #7
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    I fell between a medium and large Fargo, and opted for the large at 580mm effective top tube. Feels great for reach but slightly big overall, so a medium AWOL would be good at 575 ETT and 75mm stem I think.

  8. #8
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    Is the frame painted or powder coated?

  9. #9
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    Real world weights appreciated ASAP. Lower 20's # ? Upper 20's #? Heavier/lighter than the Tri Cross? Wheels = brute weight over built dog on climbs , cheap'o heavy or decent?

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    Weight is around 31 lbs.

  11. #11
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    I can't wait to try one of these. The AWOL is not something I expected from Specialized.
    He who dares....wins!

  12. #12
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    This is pretty cool ~

    http://wearegoingawol.tumblr.com

    Be sure and check out the "archives"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJohnny View Post
    Is the frame painted or powder coated?
    Reply from AWOL team is that it is wet painted covered with wet painted satin clear coat in a colour they call Gunmetal. Sounds perfect for the bike.

  14. #14
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    Thank you.

  15. #15
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    Am I missing something or is the gearing quite High for this bike, intended use - adventure tour, bike pack, double track, fire roads, XM, etc.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Really long top tubes and really short stems. Interesting and confusing. Do you know the weight for the Comp frameset?
    Seems like a lot of these drop bar adventure bikes are getting with mountain bike sensibilities.

  17. #17
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    Any updates? I saw one of these at my LBS, but haven't heard anything about it yet.

  18. #18
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    Just test rode a base model at my LBS and it was pretty nice. Didn't get a chance to weigh it but it was a steel bike with big tires. It came with some Spec branded 42c cross style tire. I rode it around and it was nice and stiff, but definitely a steel bike. I would really like to try the Reynolds steel version though as it didn't have that light bling steel feel.

    The long top tube short stem is the business IMO, but that's how I like my bikes. The bar is short reach with shallow flared drop like a Salsa cowbell. Really nice set-up and honestly too cool to be a Specialized. Only thing that that would make it nicer is having Rival or Ultegra and maybe a tad lighter but that would double the price. R785/Ultegra Cross drivetrain and some carbon wheels with the Reynolds steel frame would be boss. You could also run the Comp model with a belt drive and an internal hub. Alfine Di2 and R785 belt drive would be a interesting set up. I heard there might be a "Specialized Edition" with a belt drive Alfine hub coming. It's got all the typical touring bike mounts for bottles and racks.

    I wanted to see how big a tire would fit and just for giggles I fitted a set of Roval Control carbon 29er wheels with Captain 2.0 tires and it totally fit! That's a 28mm wide rim. Front and back fully fit with clearance and you could probably run a 45c with fenders. I didn't take a picture of it. I didn't have my phone on me, but I'm planning on grabbing a photo sometime this week.

  19. #19
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    If you're wanting something that should ride similarly but not support the big S, check out the Surly Straggler. It's got the same mondo long top tube/short stem drop bar tourer geometry with clearance for 29x2.0 tires front and rear (I've actually put a 2.2 Ikon on the front of mine for added cushion).

  20. #20
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    I would prefer not to support Spec., but the AWOL seems much better suited for bike travel than the Straggler, or the upcoming and very pretty Soma Wolverine. The AWOL's head tube is a good deal taller, and the sloping top tube allows for the kind of seatpost extension you need for the larger bikepacking saddle bags.

    If the AWOL rides just like an LHT (reliable but plodding), then it'll be just okay for me. If, on the other hand, it rides more like a Vaya (faster and more fun to pedal), just with proper tire clearance for dirt tours, I'll be all over it.

    There seems to be an opening for a 29" disc touring bike with major tire clearance that doesn't ride like a pig, so we'll see if the AWOL is it.

  21. #21
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    I have mine on order at my lbs. I absolutely cannot wait for it to be here!! It will make a great bike to throw some 2.2s on and go hit the single track then turn around and ride home!! Ill post some more info about it when it is built up!!
    14 years, 6 bikes, 1 ambulance ride, 12 medals, 4 ribbons, 2 trophies, and some cool scars = BIKING ADDICTION!!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    I would on the other hand, it rides more like a Vaya (faster and more fun to pedal), just with proper tire clearance for dirt tours, I'll be all over it.
    Why not buy a Vaya in the first place. It's a great bike.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Why not buy a Vaya in the first place. It's a great bike.
    It's an option, but being able to run large tires is a plus.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    It's an option, but being able to run large tires is a plus.
    I've seen, but never ridden, a Vaya. How a big a tire fits? I know the Fargo can fit some pretty huge tires.

    I guess the question becomes "how big of a tire do you need"? If you need bigger than say, just a guess, a 42C why not get a 29er or a fat bike?
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  25. #25
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    I'm seriously considering the AWOL primarily for commuting and winter riding duty, but also as an all-rounder I can take with me on vacations where I don't know if I'll be riding roads, bike paths, or dirt/gravel. Bike paths in my area can be twisty-turny and crowded, thus awkward on a road bike. Torn between the AWOL, the Trek Crossrip, and the Niner RLT -- I know they're different bikes for sure. AWOL in the LBS felt really heavy, like a tank, but I'd be leaning towards the Comp with the better component spec. Not sure if there is much weight savings.

    My current "road" bike is a Gunnar Crosshairs cyclocross bike with skinny rubber. When you put wider tires on it and head off-road, you find that for control you need to be in the drops (I'm normally on the hoods like 90% of the time), and that feeling of being so far over the front wheel isn't comfortable at all when it gets steep. The AWOL definitely brings the bars up higher, monster cross style, so that would put me comfortably in the drops.

  26. #26
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    My current "road" bike is a Gunnar Crosshairs cyclocross bike with skinny rubber. When you put wider tires on it and head off-road, you find that for control you need to be in the drops (I'm normally on the hoods like 90% of the time), and that feeling of being so far over the front wheel isn't comfortable at all when it gets steep. The AWOL definitely brings the bars up higher, monster cross style, so that would put me comfortably in the drops.

    Anything from Gunnar is going to be lighter the the Specialized. But you can only fit 37C tires if I remember on them. Why not try Salsa Woodchipper bars. They have a shallow drop.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Anything from Gunnar is going to be lighter the the Specialized. But you can only fit 37C tires if I remember on them. Why not try Salsa Woodchipper bars. They have a shallow drop.
    My plan is to keep the Gunnar setup as a pure road bike, rather than tweaking the position with a taller stem and different handlebar. Mostly because I can't run fenders without toe overlap. No big deal, it is what it is.

    Based on the geometry I should have no problem running fenders on the AWOL. The Crosshairs has 73* HTA, but I'm confident the slacker HTA (72* for AWOL) will give me enough room for the fenders, plus will be more stable on descents.

    I probably shouldn't worry about the weight so much, especially for the intended purpose as a commuter/bad weather/gravel/winter/bar hop bike.

  28. #28
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    I just got an AWOL Comp but haven't put it through the paces yet. I decided to go for comfort and versatility and not worry about weight. This will become my regular commuter as well as some dirt/gravel rides recreationally, and eventually hopefully some touring.

    Any other AWOL owners out there? Curious to hear how others are liking it, what modifications/upgrades they have done, etc.

  29. #29
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    I picked up a XL AWOL comp. Haven't gotten much time to ride it but I did get a chance to weigh it. Weights are as received but without reflectors, pedals or plastic plate behind cassette. Wheels are with cassette, quick release, tires, tubes and rotor.

    Full Bike: 26.26lbs / 11.91kg
    Front Wheel: 4.08lbs / 1.85kg
    Rear Wheel: 5.49lbs / 2.49kg
    Seat: 311g
    Seatpost: 313g
    Last edited by HawkeM; 04-11-2014 at 07:20 AM.

  30. #30
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    Pics? I would like to see an XL (my size).

    Quote Originally Posted by HawkeM View Post
    I picked up a XL AWOL comp. Haven't gotten much time to ride it but I did get a chance to weigh it. Weights are as received but without reflectors, pedals or plastic plate behind cassette. Wheels are with cassette, quick release, tires, tubes and rotor.

    Full Bike: 26.26lbs / 11.91kg
    Front Wheel: 4.08lbs / 1.85kg
    Rear Wheel: 5.49lbs / 2.49kg
    Seat: 311g
    Seatpost: 313g

  31. #31
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    Good job! Kiwi Awol

    I have just ordered and got a new Awol.
    I just have to build it up and Name it
    Have changed rear mech to XT (because I had one just laying around at work) and maybe a bar bag etc........

    Looking forward to some road riding on back roads how and stay off main roads by riding on some of the Mountain Bike tracks.

    Kiwi Pete

  32. #32
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    1st Night ride

    Well i'm loving my new Awol, 1st On/Offroad ride tonight


    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-dscf0006.jpg



    Pete

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    Is that a medium or large? How tall are you please. I am 5'10" and can go medium or large but probably medium.

    Brian

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by keyhavenpotterer View Post
    Is that a medium or large? How tall are you please. I am 5'10" and can go medium or large but probably medium.

    Brian
    Hi Brian,
    It's a Medium and i'm 5'7".
    If I was an 1" shorter I would have got a Small.
    You need to have your LBS check you for size to which is best to fit you.
    I have named my Awol too! it's called "TDA"

    Pete

  35. #35
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    AWOL frameset weight

    I just picked up a medium AWOL frameset and thought I'd post weights for anyone interested:

    Frame (w/ collar and bottle bolts): 5.2 lbs.
    Fork (w/ crown race): 2.45 lbs. (300mm steerer)
    Frameset (both above + included headset): 7.85 lbs.
    Included 350mm seatpost: 311 grams

    Weights seem about right for the frameset's intended purpose. I'll post some pics once I've finished my build.
    Last edited by albeant; 05-03-2014 at 11:18 AM.

  36. #36
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    Just finished the build: SRAM X9/Force, Shimano CX77's, Hadley/DT/Blunt, Syntace, WTB, and a Salsa Cowbell 2. I may need to cut the steerer a bit, but I'm always hesitant to do that on a touring bike.

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-dsc_0386.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-dsc_0387.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Just finished the build: SRAM X9/Force, Shimano CX77's, Hadley/DT/Blunt, Syntace, WTB, and a Salsa Cowbell 2. I may need to cut the steerer a bit, but I'm always hesitant to do that on a touring bike.

    That bike is sweet! I can't wait for them to start popping up on Craigslist. It's going to be my DK200 bike next year.

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    Thanks. The AWOL's been really fun. I took it on a mixed-surface ride with 8500' of climbing last week, and it was just awesome--ride quality feels more like a good steel road bike than a tank-ish touring bike on the road, and yet it bombs fire roads very confidently in the drops. (We were over 35mph on a long, rocky dirt descent, and I never felt like the bike was getting sketchy.)

  39. #39
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Thanks. The AWOL's been really fun. I took it on a mixed-surface ride with 8500' of climbing last week, and it was just awesome--ride quality feels more like a good steel road bike than a tank-ish touring bike on the road, and yet it bombs fire roads very confidently in the drops. (We were over 35mph on a long, rocky dirt descent, and I never felt like the bike was getting sketchy.)
    I have find the same too.
    Only on climbs do I notice the weight, But I still love my Awol and how I can link on road and off road tracks all up.





    Kiwi Pete..

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    Half Pint (110 miles) Dirty Kanza bound. Slight upgrades, Stans Crest wheelset with 1.8 Specialized Renegades, converted to 10 speed with 12-30 cassette and retro shift shifters. Still running stock Sora derailleurs. 155mm Phenom saddle.

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-photo-1.jpg

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    Anyone have an opinion on the stock wheelset?

    Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
    Anyone have an opinion on the stock wheelset?
    Hi yes the stock wheels are very good, only looking to build a second set because i'm planning to run a front Schmidt SON 28 dynamo hub and maybe use a spare DT Swiss 350 rear hub that is just laying around at my work...

    Kiwi Pete

  43. #43
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    Waw! Nice job!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Just finished the build: SRAM X9/Force, Shimano CX77's, Hadley/DT/Blunt, Syntace, WTB, and a Salsa Cowbell 2. I may need to cut the steerer a bit, but I'm always hesitant to do that on a touring bike.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Waw! nice job!

  45. #45
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    I bought the Awol Deluxe (only in Europe I think) a few months ago. I like it a lot! When I bought it, it looked like this:

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-img_20140430_102612542.jpg

    Now it looks like this (except for the saddle which I changed for a Brooks):

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-img_20140501_092253114.jpg

    I've done abouth 850 km (530 miles). Love the frame, plan to make upgrades in time (Maybe Shim Alfine??)

    One thing though: It seems the paint is not verry 'solide'. Anyone any experience on that?

  46. #46
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    I have a medium Comp coming for test/review (size medium). It'll be interesting to see how the ride compares to my old Salsa Vaya.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  47. #47
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    My Awol in Winter

    Well it's mid Winter in New Zealand
    Here is a few photo's of my last day ride (last weekend) and the more I ride my "TDA" (awol) the more I love it
    I'm riding only about 120 km's a week this time of year! mainly after dark, but in Training for my 1st long race/ride 320 km's later in the year



    TDA



    Lake Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand

    Kiwi Pete

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    I'm picking my AWOL Comp up this evening after work and can't wait to put it through it's paces! I took it out for a 20 mile road ride last week and was pleased at how nicely it rode. It rolled along nicely even with 32psi in the tires. It goes much nicer w/ 60psi btw. I have a few days off and access to some amazing singletrack/fire roads/back roads that I've been looking to explore

  49. #49
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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-imageuploadedbytapatalk1410831588.337049.jpg
    Just got one a couple days ago. Love it. Yeah it's heavy, but it's totally badass. I tried out a Vaya, a Crossrip, a TriCross and a couple others. Really loved the Vaya too. Long story why I didn't get it. I do not regret going with the AWOL one bit.

  50. #50
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    AWOL review

    I have about 400 mixed terrain miles and 44,000' vertical on my AWOL Comp. It's a GREAT bike and I'm really enjoying it! It makes me want to get out more. My road, mountain and town bikes are all jealous.

    Initially I thought I would use it for road touring, but it's so much fun just knocking around on old roads and trails that I see all kinds of new opportunities.

    It gets along just fine on the road, but it is much more capable off road than I expected. It tracks really well and it provides clear and predictable feedback. When it starts to slip, it's gradual and transitions nicely into a slide, so getting loose isn't scary. It took a while to get comfortable getting loose on a drop bar bike, but the AWOL is ready. This gives it a fun and eager personality.

    Another area the AWOL really shines is when your on the road entering a corner at speed and realize there is a bunch of gravel/dirt/sand/pot holes! Where a road bike would sketch out, the AWOL says "Relax, I got this" allowing you to carry speed where you wouldn't on a road bike.

    Beyond a very good fit, I find that the ease with which it takes on obstacles allows me to be more relaxed and be supple on the bike. This is good for handling, but also saves a lot of energy.

    The long TT, short stem, high trail, tall HT, low BB combines to produce a comfortable, confident and versatile ride. The handling inspires confidence and I find I'm more relaxed and look around more. With the higher bars, I also use the drops more. Even though it's very stable, it's agile too. The frame mutes rough stuff as only the best steel can. Power transfer is lively and efficient.

    After a couple of hours, these qualities really add up to much more than the sum of their parts. It would be easy to under estimate this bike without spending time on it.

    I was on the fence about front loading. So I mounted a Tubus Tara front rack, loaded 25lb in my panniers and want for a test run. I tried road, gravel, trail and dirt with a lot of steeps and am now a big fan of front loading. I read somewhere in WeAreGoingAwol that this was part of the design intent. They got it right!
    I also loaded up my Revelate Viscacha and Sweetroll with the same 25lb and hit the same test run as with the front panniers.
    Tough choice, but the low front panniers climb more naturally and handle better, especially on loose surfaces.

    The Trigger Sport tires do a great job. Reasonably light and fast for a touring tire and stick well off road. I run 'em ( a little low, per mfg spec) at 45psi off road and 50 on. They roll faster than my road bike 700x25s over rough pavement and chipseal.

    I put on a set of 29x2.2 Specialized FastTrak Control tires (at about 34psi) and what a hoot. It really wants to sling dirt and catch air! They barely fit, so I ordered Fast Trak 2.0s for gravel touring. It's like having a different bike with just a tire change.

    I made some brackets to scoot 24oz bottles down to clear the (Lg) Revelate Tangle frame bag. Compared to a Hydration Pack and seat bag, the weight distribution of the Revelate Gas Tank and Tangle bags works well with the "forward and low" load carrying design intent.

    The bike fits me well. It's a Lg and I'm 6' tall w a 34" sit bone to floor inseam. I normally ride a 58cm road bike with a 58ish Eff TT and a 110 stem. Compared to most adventure touring bikes, the AWOL has notably different geometry in that it has a 60cm Eff TT and a 75 stem, which works out to about the same, but seems to provide more MTBish steering leverage.
    I've owned a few touring bikes and also test rode the Salsa Vaya 2, Surly Long Haul Trucker and AWOL (not comp)... all great bikes and it was a tough choice. I chose the AWOL because it's handles a little larger tire and has a little more MTB like handling.
    Stock, it weighed 27.3lb with pedals, reflectors.
    Set up is straight forward. BB7s have a learning curve, shortened by YouTube. The adjustable Swinger drop out is simple, but takes a bit of finesse to align. The Swinger securing bolt(s) torque is 10nm, per Specialized rep. The Swinger should work well for SS and belt drive.
    Personally I don't need the swinger dropout, yet. It does allow a little wheelbase adjustment, I tried both short and long and prefer long. You can tell the difference, so if you want a quicker (town/commuter/cross) bike, set it short, but don't worry, you can still eat and dodge pot holes with no hands. It climbs steeps better and handles more stable (especially on gravel and with a load) set long.

    I like the stock gear combinations, but currently I'm running an ultra wide ratio 10sp double. CAUTION, don't do this at home folks, but...
    11-40 (Leonardi SRAM) cass, 30-46 Rotor Q Rings, Sugino OX601d 110/74 crank and an X9 T1 RD. You probably couldn't get away with this on many bikes, but the AWOL's low q factor and long chain stay help. It's a little finicky (chain length, B tension, NO Type2 RD). There are 17 usable gear, bigger jumps and ya gotta to think ahead due to the lack of duplicate gear overlap. Shifting on the largest 4 cogs requires just the right amount of overthrow, so you have to index your right hand a bit too. That said, it works really well (for me) on this bike.

    I would highly recommend the AWOL and can't imagine anyone not being happy with this bike.

    Hats off to the Big S for committing to a small market sector (adventure touring) with the passion of a small company. And thanks to Eric and R. for the inspiration and Jeff and Isaac at Siskiyou Cyclery.

    Happy trails, Ken
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-20140804_190544-adj2-sm.jpg  

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-20140914_151417adj-sm.jpg  

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-20140914_160504adj-sm2.jpg  

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-20140921_185708-adj-sm.jpg  

    Last edited by kward541; 09-23-2014 at 11:54 PM. Reason: add pics and fix goofs

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    Are there any tall guys on this bike? Like 6'6" or so? 37" inseam and arms to match?

    I finally had a chance to sit on a large, the reach forward felt good but the seat was obviously too low to tell for sure. It was an x poler. Strange paint and interesting front rack. Stock seat would have to go.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Are there any tall guys on this bike? Like 6'6" or so? 37" inseam and arms to match?

    I finally had a chance to sit on a large, the reach forward felt good but the seat was obviously too low to tell for sure. It was an x poler. Strange paint and interesting front rack. Stock seat would have to go.


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    I just built my AWOL frameset up and am trying to get a handle on the rocker dropouts. A couple of questions for those that have the adjustable dropouts. Where do you prefer the the rocker? Fully forward, fully back or somewhere in between? Also, when you set the limit screws do you screw them so they butt against the front of the rocker, forward, or so they are against the rear of the rocker, back? Forward seems to be the logical place to have the screws as braking would put a rearward force on the rocker and the screws would prevent the rocker from slipping back during braking. Or does it not really matter as the 10.2 Nm torque on the rocker screws is enough to hold the rockers in place? I tried to get setup information from Specialized but the person on the phone was either unable or unwilling to give setup information.

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    I'm 5'12 and the Large is perfect. 6'6 is tall enough for a XL. You want this bike either perfect or slightly larger for a more relaxed position.

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    I've read that one sits "in" it and not "on" it. I'm pretty sure I'll never know that sensation again since I last sat in my Big Wheel.


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    The guys who designed and developed AWOL are usually pretty good at answering questions. Always answered mine. Should be able to help with the rocker setting question.

    Try here http://wearegoingawol.tumblr.com and press the "ask us anything" button down on the left of the page.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
    I just built my AWOL frameset up and am trying to get a handle on the rocker dropouts. A couple of questions for those that have the adjustable dropouts. Where do you prefer the the rocker? Fully forward, fully back or somewhere in between? Also, when you set the limit screws do you screw them so they butt against the front of the rocker, forward, or so they are against the rear of the rocker, back? Forward seems to be the logical place to have the screws as braking would put a rearward force on the rocker and the screws would prevent the rocker from slipping back during braking. Or does it not really matter as the 10.2 Nm torque on the rocker screws is enough to hold the rockers in place? I tried to get setup information from Specialized but the person on the phone was either unable or unwilling to give setup information.
    Here's the setup manual:
    http://service.specialized.com/colla...0000045167.pdf

    My approach has been to loosen the four dropout bolts (two each side) first, then use the adjusting bolts to achieve the desired chainstay length and/or tension, while eyeballing the tire clearance at the chainstays & seatstays to verify the adjusting screws were equal on each side, then tighten all the dropout bolts to torque spec.

    I don't think you should move the adjustment screws once the dropout bolts are torqued, or at least that is my perception of the design.

    EDIT: for a normal derailleur rear setup, I have the dropouts adjusted to about 80% of the way maxed out, because I like the tire clearance and I'm 6'4" so I like longish chainstays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Are there any tall guys on this bike? Like 6'6" or so? 37" inseam and arms to match?
    I'm 6'4" on an XL and I'd definitely suggest you stick with an XL. I have a 36" inseam and 37" sleeve length in a dress shirt. I could have used an L if I put a more normal-ish stem on it (like 110mm) but as you noted, the seatpost extension on the L for folks our size will be pretty massive. I'd rather have less leverage against that frame joint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    Here's the setup manual:
    http://service.specialized.com/colla...0000045167.pdf

    My approach has been to loosen the four dropout bolts (two each side) first, then use the adjusting bolts to achieve the desired chainstay length and/or tension, while eyeballing the tire clearance at the chainstays & seatstays to verify the adjusting screws were equal on each side, then tighten all the dropout bolts to torque spec.

    I don't think you should move the adjustment screws once the dropout bolts are torqued, or at least that is my perception of the design.

    EDIT: for a normal derailleur rear setup, I have the dropouts adjusted to about 80% of the way maxed out, because I like the tire clearance and I'm 6'4" so I like longish chainstays.
    Thanks,

    I talked to S and was told to leave it in the position it came from the factory in. After I pressed a little for information regarding what the recommended position was, I was put on hold and then told that the dropouts should be set at the furthest setting from the seat tube, (11). Is it me or does the 7.9 Nm torque seem a little light? I'd assume the rocker would see some fairly strong forces during a hard brake or a root or pothole hit. I guess the set screw will help keep the rocker from moving though.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with the bike, it handles very well but is not very sporty out of the gate.

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    I moved my dropouts/rockers all the way forward, and the bike seemed a little more lively. Not a night-and-day difference, but certainly noticeable.
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    I guess a pic may be in order. The bike is still a work in progress. I'd like to add racks and fenders and bar tape is temporary until I position the brifters just right, though the leather is kind of growing on me.
    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-img_20141018_112243730%5B1%5D.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    I moved my dropouts/rockers all the way forward, and the bike seemed a little more lively. Not a night-and-day difference, but certainly noticeable.
    Does doing that affect what size tire one can use?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Does doing that affect what size tire one can use?


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    Not that I could tell. Granted, I'm running 32mm tires at the moment, but there's a boatload of clearance to begin with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    Not that I could tell. Granted, I'm running 32mm tires at the moment, but there's a boatload of clearance to begin with.
    A couple of months in, what's your take on the AWOL. My recollection is that it's not quite as spunky as the Vaya that I only test rode. I guess that's the trade off for versatility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
    I talked to S and was told to leave it in the position it came from the factory in. After I pressed a little for information regarding what the recommended position was, I was put on hold and then told that the dropouts should be set at the furthest setting from the seat tube, (11). Is it me or does the 7.9 Nm torque seem a little light? I'd assume the rocker would see some fairly strong forces during a hard brake or a root or pothole hit. I guess the set screw will help keep the rocker from moving though.
    I suspect they recommend the "full out" setting because that would be the least prone to slippage. Basically, full out is the position the drop out would get pushed to by forces if you left the bolts "loose." So if you tighten things up in that position from the start, it really can't move on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    I moved my dropouts/rockers all the way forward, and the bike seemed a little more lively. Not a night-and-day difference, but certainly noticeable.
    That makes sense. Per the manual I linked earlier, the range of chainstay length is 444 to 459mm. 15mm is enough to produce a noticeable difference in the ride. In comparison, cross bikes like the Soma DC are 425. Vaya is 450.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Does doing that affect what size tire one can use?
    It will definitely limit things at the extreme, but anything 1.75" or below should still be fine. I've got a bunch of tire clearance photos I will get around to posting. I'll try to get an example at the shortest chainstay position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
    A couple of months in, what's your take on the AWOL. My recollection is that it's not quite as spunky as the Vaya that I only test rode. I guess that's the trade off for versatility.
    The AWOL is one of the most stable-riding bikes I've encountered. Right out of the box I felt like I could ride it no-handed on broken pavement while eating a PowerBar. I do notice the extra weight on my daily commute, but I'll take the weight penalty when I'm riding in the dark and the ground is damp, etc.

    That said, I'll be building up a Vaya with SRAM's CX1 group in the near future. It'll weigh a lot less than the AWOL, so that sort of rules out an apples-to-apples comparison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    The AWOL is one of the most stable-riding bikes I've encountered. Right out of the box I felt like I could ride it no-handed on broken pavement while eating a PowerBar.
    Much has been written about the trail on this bike and it's stability with loaded front panniers. So I plugged in the AWOL's numbers as well as those from my old Hardrock with rigid fork, here:

    http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/trailcalc.php

    The trail is almost identical and with a slightly smaller tire, exactly the same. Although it arrives there with slightly different numbers. The HR is pretty stable as well.

    Is this an MTB masquerading as a road bike or the other way round?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    The trail is almost identical and with a slightly smaller tire, exactly the same. Although it arrives there with slightly different numbers. The HR is pretty stable as well.
    What HA and rake numbers did you use for the Hardrock?

    The trail values for the AWOL don't strike me as unusual. If one assumes a larger nominal tire in use on the AWOL than the Vaya, the resulting trail values only differ by 2mm or so. Across suitable tire sizes, Vaya trail is 64-69mm whereas AWOL is 60-66mm. My Soma Double Cross is 65-70mm. Contrast that to a Fargo, at ~80mm. Or a Soma Randonneur at 28mm (!!!).

    To me, the most unique geometric aspect of the AWOL is the long top tube and short stem. Obviously the stem length won't influence no-hands stability, but it certainly influences actual hands-on steering.

    Its hard to isolate what is/isn't causing some of these ride characteristics.

    But back to your Hardrock . . . has anyone suggested that those don't make good touring bikes? To the contrary, several touring books I've read suggest the rigid fork 90's mountain bikes as an excellent, inexpensive touring chassis. My objection to them is based more upon lack of disc mounts, narrow rear dropout spacing, limitation to 26" tires, occasionally odd seatpost diameters, etc. But if a friend said "I've got $200 to spend on a touring bike" then a 90's steel MTB is where I'd point them.

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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    My HR is a 2006 XXL with a Surly Troll fork. Using an angle finder app on the HT, it fluctuated 72-73. I used 72.5 and 40mm offset as per Surly's published info. 50-559 tires. AWOL numbers as per Specialized's info. Coincidentally, the 2015 HR frame seems identical to 2006.


    I won't pretend to know what all this means or that the AWOL is a better bike or maybe just sexier, but found the result interesting.


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    I'd be surprised if your HR really had that steep of a head angle. 26" hardtail MTB geometries converged pretty consistently to 73/71 for SA/HA for "typical" XC models (slacker for bikes intended to be pointed down steeper train, but virtually never steeper). I would expect a 2006 era HR hardtail to have a 70.5 HA +/-0.5 deg.

    I use the angle finder on my phone, too, and it can be finicky to get good placement, but it does work. If the headtube isn't perfectly flat, I lay the phone against the stanchions of the fork.

    A shorter fork (non-suspension corrected) would perfectly explain the steeper head angle, but the Troll fork has always been suspension corrected as far as I know. You might measure the crown-to-axle length: it should be 453mm. A non-corrected fork would be more like 410. Your head angle will change about 1 degree for each 20mm change in fork length.

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    Placing an angle finder on the Troll forks won't work as the tubes are tapered and not parallel to the steerer. At any rate, it is what it is, really solid on pavement with the Big Apples and equally so on gravel with the Smart Sams.


    But back to the AWOL...... I'd like to know the height of the handlebar clamp relative to the BB on an XL. Haven't found that number anywhere and finding an XL in a store to try on isn't happening either.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Placing an angle finder on the Troll forks won't work as the tubes are tapered and not parallel to the steerer. At any rate, it is what it is, really solid on pavement with the Big Apples and equally so on gravel with the Smart Sams.


    But back to the AWOL...... I'd like to know the height of the handlebar clamp relative to the BB on an XL. Haven't found that number anywhere and finding an XL in a store to try on isn't happening either.


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    It's unlikely you'll find that number online unless someone measures their own XL AWOL. If Specialized published the stack and reach measurements, that would help, but unfortunately, they don't. Plus, bar clamp height will vary with stem angle, etc.
    Last edited by GRAVELBIKE; 11-15-2014 at 04:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    But back to the AWOL...... I'd like to know the height of the handlebar clamp relative to the BB on an XL. Haven't found that number anywhere and finding an XL in a store to try on isn't happening either.
    I find it really irritating when companies don't list stack and reach values. They are the most useful parameters to directly compare cockpit dimensions, so I don't know what their rationale is for leaving them.

    Lucky for you, I have an XL that I can directly measure and post. I'll get down to the garage later and let you know.

    As @gravelbike notes, the actual bar height is dependent on stem/spacer, so I'll just give you actual stack (= vertical distance between BB and top of headtube).

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    Freightliner,

    Here are the measurements of my XL with stock 700x42 tires (all cm from floor):
    BB height = 28.6cm
    Headtube height: 95cm
    Center of the top "flats" of the drop bar: 103.5cm

    So that means 95-28.6 = 66.4cm stack

    I tried to measure the reach, but its hard to get exact value without a plumb line, etc. I measured 40.6cm.

    Hope that helps.

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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    Thanks for that. I'm sure others will find it useful as well.


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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Is this an MTB masquerading as a road bike or the other way round?



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    It reminds me of Salsa Fargo. Which is a nice bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    It's unlikely you'll find that number online unless someone measures there own XL AWOL. If Specialized published the stack and reach measurements, that would help, but unfortunately, they don't. Plus, bar clamp height will vary with stem angle, etc.
    ? We got quite a few questions about the stack and...

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    Well if those are the official numbers, apparently I'm pretty good with a tape measure.

    Forgive me the 3mm error eyeballing the reach, but I nailed the stack!

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    That stack/reach chart is interesting--I've never seen different measurements for frames and complete bikes. I would think that the latter would depend heavily on tire size, stem length/rise, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    That stack/reach chart is interesting--I've never seen different measurements for frames and complete bikes. I would think that the latter would depend heavily on tire size, stem length/rise, etc.
    Not sure how tire size would change stack or reach, but they state that the "bike" stack and reach figures are based on the bike "as shipped" with all spacers under the stem and the stem flipped up.

    They probably added that to show that the overall fit with the longish top tubes offset by the very short stems results in a more typical fit than the regular reach measurement might indicate.
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    Ive had my AWOL deluxe since early spring and I really like the bike. Im trying to figure out what is the widest tire I can fit on it. Ive already bought 29x2,0 specialized fast trak but they are to wide. So i would like to hear what are the widest tires you have been able to fit on this bike because I live in Iceland and there are not many shops who sell these thin mtb tires so I will likely have to order it from abroad.

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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    What about the Schwalbe Smart Sam? Comes in a 47/622. I have them on my 26", they really are an all around tire.


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    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Im trying to figure out what is the widest tire I can fit on it. Ive already bought 29x2,0 specialized fast trak but they are to wide. So i would like to hear what are the widest tires you have been able to fit on this bike because I live in Iceland and there are not many shops who sell these thin mtb tires so I will likely have to order it from abroad.
    I'm surprised the 29x2.0 Fast Trak wouldn't fit. Your Deluxe model lacks the adjustable dropouts, right? Maybe that explains your experience vs. mine.

    Here's some photos I took of my XL AWOL Comp with dropouts set about 75% of the way toward "maximum chainstay length" position.

    29x2.35 Big Bens:

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-bb_fk1.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-bb_fk2.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-bb_cs.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-bb_ss1.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-bb_ss2.jpg

    29x2.25 Rocket Rons:

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-roro_fk1.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-roro_cs_1.jpgSpecialized AWOL gravel grinder-roro_ss1.jpg

    I'm not suggesting anyone actually ride longterm on something like the 2.35 Big Bens (although it worked for me for 10 minutes ). But I thought that it might be illustrative as a sort of "boundary" example of what fits.

    The 29x2.25 Rocket Rons seemed like they would be rideable IF you were willing to accept the fact that a modest wheel issue (out of true, dropouts not aligned) would require immediate attention.

    I also fit some 29x2.1 Specialized Ground Controls, and they had (barely) better clearance than the RoRo's, but I couldn't get useful photos (sun had set).

    So my admittedly non-scientific summary:
    - virtually any 29x1.9 or smaller should work
    - some/many 29x2.0 should work, depending on brand/model or actual carcass dimensions, and/or your personal preferences for clearance
    - 29x2.2 or bigger is going to be challenging for any longterm use, but technically does "fit".

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    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Ive had my AWOL deluxe since early spring and I really like the bike. Im trying to figure out what is the widest tire I can fit on it. Ive already bought 29x2,0 specialized fast trak but they are to wide. So i would like to hear what are the widest tires you have been able to fit on this bike because I live in Iceland and there are not many shops who sell these thin mtb tires so I will likely have to order it from abroad.
    Hi Specialized 29x2.0 FastTrak's fit! and 29x2.1 Ground Control tyres fit too.
    I did have to change the front derailuer to clear the rear tyre.
    Why did 29x2.0 tyres not fit you bike?

    Awol away
    Kiwi Pete...

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    On my AWOL Comp, the WTB Nano 2.1 TCS fit decently, but with very little room for mud or wheel wobble.

    After sidewall-slashing my second Nano, I put on the Kenda SB8 2.1. It fits with more clearance that the Nano's, mostly because it has the characteristically flattish profile of Kenda's dirt tires. Not a great tire on the road, but it's been excellent everywhere else.

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    I don't want to sign up for Tumblr just so I can ask on the AWOL blog, so I'm hoping someone here can help me as I have a few questions:

    - anyone know what the uncut steerer tube length is for the frameset?

    - does anyone have the top tube and down tube outer diameter for the XL frame? My LBS only has a medium in stock; it looks like a 28.6mm top tube. I'm wondering if they oversize it more for larger frames.

    Thanks!

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    @seatboy,

    Frame tubing diameter doesn't change across sizes. Butting/wall-thickness profile is presumably different, but I don't *know* that to be fact. I also was a bit surprised at the "skinny" top tube, thinking it perhaps too skinny for a touring rig, but framebuilders tell me the downtube and chainstays are the primary contributors to "longitudinal" frame stiffness, so maybe the TT isn't a big deal. I haven't ridden w/ a big load yet, so I have no data point.

    The steerer on my XL is 325mm. Don't know if it was cut (I bought second-hand) but there is room for 30mm+ spacers + stem + "cone" of headset top.

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    Thanks guys for the information.Probably I should have been more specific, there is a enough room in the frame, the problem is the front derailuer, I cant use the smallest wheel on the crank. Kiwi Pete, what kind of derailuer did you use to give you enough clearence for the wider tires

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Kiwi Pete, what kind of derailuer did you use to give you enough clearence for the wider tires
    Hi
    I find that a NOS mid 1990's XT derailuer worked good and had good room for the rear tyre.

    But i'm how looking to change the Cranks to a set of MTB 2x or 3x XT cranks as I have find low gear to high for climbing big hill's off road and i'm planning to ride in the Kiwi Brevet (at the start of 2015) Kiwi Brevet 2015
    With this set up the standard front derailuer will work great and have a load of room for the 2.0 plus tyres.
    I hope this helps

    Kiwi Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Probably I should have been more specific, there is a enough room in the frame, the problem is the front derailuer, I cant use the smallest wheel on the crank.
    Are you running a triple?

    I have the stock crank (FSA Gossamer) and front der (SRAM Apex) on my Comp. When the front der is at the innermost position, it is still (slightly) further outboard than the chainstay below. In other words, any tire will hit the chainstay before the derailleur cage.

    I intend to change to a mountain triple at some point, so I wonder if I'll encounter der/tire interference.

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    The steerer on my fork (size med frame) measures 300mm. Interesting to hear they're spec'ing a longer steerer on the XL. As for frame stiffness, unless the tubing thicknesses are different for the XL, I'd expect some frame wiggle with plumply loaded rear panniers. I've tried my AWOL loaded up that way, and managed to get some swaying, particularly when climbing out of the saddle. I was using a Tubus Cargo designed for 26" (the rails sit just above the rear tire), so the rack itself wasn't the issue.

    Not that that's a problem, at least for me. Aside from grocery runs, I'm pretty much done with panniers now that I've got a bikepacking setup, and the AWOL is plenty stiff for that kind of loading.

    I have also tried the AWOL with heavily loaded front panniers on a Tubus lowrider, as it appears in most of the AWOL marketing fantasy landscape, and handling was rock solid. For a pure road tour where you might want panniers for convenience, front-biased loading seems to be the way to go with this frame.

  91. #91
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    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZPeterG View Post
    Hi
    I find that a NOS mid 1990's XT derailuer worked good and had good room for the rear tyre.

    But i'm how looking to change the Cranks to a set of MTB 2x or 3x XT cranks as I have find low gear to high for climbing big hill's off road and i'm planning to ride in the Kiwi Brevet (at the start of 2015) Kiwi Brevet 2015
    With this set up the standard front derailuer will work great and have a load of room for the 2.0 plus tyres.
    I hope this helps

    Kiwi Pete
    Hi This helps alot but could you tell me what NOS stands for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    Are you running a triple?

    I have the stock crank (FSA Gossamer) and front der (SRAM Apex) on my Comp. When the front der is at the innermost position, it is still (slightly) further outboard than the chainstay below. In other words, any tire will hit the chainstay before the derailleur cage.

    I intend to change to a mountain triple at some point, so I wonder if I'll encounter der/tire interference.
    Hi
    Yes Im running triple as the deluxe version comes with FSA omega triple

  94. #94
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    New Old Stock (ie, part from several years ago that's been sitting on a shelf somewhere)

    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Hi This helps alot but could you tell me what NOS stands for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    New Old Stock (ie, part from several years ago that's been sitting on a shelf somewhere)
    thanks a lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by gudbjornm View Post
    Hi This helps alot but could you tell me what NOS stands for?
    Hi
    I agree with you that the low gear is to high for steep climbing off road but as I broke my rear derailuer while off roading I replaced it with a mountain bike one and am waiting for my LBS to get me an shimano HG-61 casette which has 11-36 gearing. Im hoping that this will get the gearing I want.

  97. #97
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    Just installed Tubus' Vega Evo rear rack and Tara lowriders on my medium Vaya, and it was dead simple. No bending or tweaking necessary. Probably the quickest/easiest rack install I've ever done.



    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

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    Larger Rotors for AWOL?

    I've not seen much info for the AWOL on the ability to upgrade the disc rotors to a larger size. I'm a big guy and live in hilly country. I like the BB7's but prefer a 203mm in front and at least a 180mm in the rear. Does anyone have experience on whether this is feasible with the AWOL. I've found two issues with going to larger rotors in the past. (1) The rotor's clearance to the fork or chainstay, and (2) conflicts in fitting the larger adapter needed for the larger rotors. Of course, there are also some issues with the bike manufacturer standing behind larger rotors (for example, Surly specifically states they do not).

  99. #99
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    Kiwi Brevet..... Awol

    Well i'm planning to ride in the Kiwi Brevet in Feb next year so have started charging a few things for the better

    Name:  tumblr_nfhj9bHfdU1tabsgao10_500.jpg
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    My bike in the Sun last Sunday afternoon

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    Swat Stem Tool

    Specialized AWOL gravel grinder-tumblr_nfhj9bhfdu1tabsgao4_500.jpg

    Surly front rack with lower updated mounts and I customized the upper mounts front a pair of older lower mounts... for a cleaner look (& strong too)

    More to come a new MTB crankset etc

    Kiwi Pete....

  100. #100
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    The AWOL in commuter mode:

    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

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