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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:37 am 
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Location: manchester
[quote="ishaw"]I'm thinking it may not be worth the effort. I want to build a bike I can ride to work on, but on the way home do some extra miles. The downs are close by and are mainly gravel or mud, so maybe I should just build the bike up as a 26er. The frame is nice, I have some spinergy xyclone disc wheels with yellow spokes, some tidy Reba u-turns in yellow, all would play nicely with the yellow decals on the frame.

Normally I'd try to make the bike as mint as possible before using, but maybe this is the time to just put it all together and use. It will spend hours locked up at work and perhaps having a frame with patina (why did they lacquer the frame??) will encourage me to care less about scratches and scrapes and paint


Perfecto. 1.95<2.1 tyres and off you go, enjoy


Last edited by mdvineng on Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:06 am 
King of the DuckBoard
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:30 pm
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Location: 26 the only wheel size
marketing again.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 952
ishaw wrote:
I'm thinking it may not be worth the effort. I want to build a bike I can ride to work on, but on the way home do some extra miles. The downs are close by and are mainly gravel or mud, so maybe I should just build the bike up as a 26er. The frame is nice, I have some spinergy xyclone disc wheels with yellow spokes, some tidy Reba u-turns in yellow, all would play nicely with the yellow decals on the frame.

Normally I'd try to make the bike as mint as possible before using, but maybe this is the time to just put it all together and use. It will spend hours locked up at work and perhaps having a frame with patina (why did they lacquer the frame??) will encourage me to care less about scratches and scrapes and ride more?


For this purpose, I'd go for a stealth a build as possible. Tatty looking, but like the Millennium Falcon she's got it where it counts. Don't under estimate the ability of the local scrots to take an unhealthy interest in any bike that looks unusual.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:40 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 18863
Location: Yorkshire, England
We say marketing.

But the other bike you can buy are MTB with with long travel (Good allrounder for most stuff)

Downhill (no idea never look at them)

Full Sus MTB Enduro (comfy bumpy off-road things)

Road bikes, designed around TDF speed comfort rising ;-)

Track bikes

CX Bikes


Neither are all day general riding bikes now, ride the roads in comfort but quickly and dodge death, get to the the bridleways public footpaths, trundle along these, maybe a quick Bakst in a twist Forrest, through some mud and short steep hills etc.

Gravel Bikes are the all day go anywhere 'normal' trip from the house bikes.

We're in 2020 now, our old bikes don't exist in the shops, they are just filling in that gap MTB/ATBs went from.


Would I buy one, perhaps a flat bar one, but then I have plenty of old MTBs that can fit the task.

That's how I see it.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:29 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 pm
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Location: Skipton
I was not convinced about gravel bikes after my mate sold his mtb and bought one at the beggining of lock down. For him though it's been great as he's riding so much more than ever before which in turn has made him fitter so he can go further.

I built up a retro 26" to use on rides with him which was great and we also had rides out with me on my carbon road bike or full suss 29er but I started to get gravel curious. I'd saved up a few quid and an idle ebay bid saw me win the Marin below for a great price. I've only had it a month or so but tbh it's become my most used bike by far and I'm really enjoying going out for a ride and exploring rather than straight road rides or taking my mtb somewhere like Gisburn. A retro bike would do the job but I don't like 26" bikes in my actual size (rather than the 19" I convince myself I can fit on :facepalm: ) and as my rides usually involve a fair bit of road riding to seek out the off road bits it seems a better tool for the job.

I was having thoughts of getting a modern XC bike (funded by the sale of my remaining retro :| ) so I had four bikes that would cover literally every base I needed and I could decide what sort of ride I wanted to do and grab the appropriate tool but I'm enjoying the Marin so much my thoughts have turned to getting the weight down a bit in the short term and maybe selling all but my mtb to fund a more fancy gravel bike next year. We'll see.

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying gravel (or touring? Don't know the difference) are great and well worth having in the fleet. Yes, they have similar ability to retro (or more modern XC) but are better on road, a bit worse off and about the same inbetween. I think of it as a sliding scale where road bike is one end, huge travel full suss at the other. I'd say it goes Road- Gravel- Retro- XC- Long travel HT- Long travel FS- Downhill. You wouldn't want to ride a DH bike on road or a road bike off but the rest of them are capable of doing most of the riding most of us do with varying degrees of success but all will do it slighty differently so it's up to you what you want from your bike. Choice is fun!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm
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I'd say halfords and others do plenty of retro type mtb bikes - they are just called hybrid or commuter bikes.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:37 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Yorkshire, England
greencat wrote:
I'd say halfords and others do plenty of retro type mtb bikes - they are just called hybrid or commuter bikes.

The hybrid are now gravel bikes now that the they have started fitting flat bars. Just Gravel have more.bells.and whistles and generally comfier and grippier wheels.
Commuter are just gravel with bags and racks fitted.
Just gravel adds a price premium and coolness over them.
Same as it did 3 years ago.
You will see the current style Gravel bikes, but with late 80s /early 90s dressing in Araya catalogues from back then.

Hybrid has never been a catchy selling word.

Edit to add some pics.

1988 (bottom picture)
and by 1990 they had moved to 700c with the cross-over. (top picture)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:37 pm
Posts: 682
Location: Never far from a spanner.
I built this earlier this year. It's a 1989 Saracen frame with 26" wheels and 2.1 tyres. It cost very little to build and I thought it would be a cheap way to scratch the gravel itch. It is a bit of fun but I won't be replacing it with anything more modern/expensive any time. If you can build a gravel bike cheaply I'd say do it, if it is going to cost 100's, then I probably wouldn't bother.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:25 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 10338
Location: New Forest, UK
I'm with Fluffy on this one - the industry over-specialised and made more and more niched bikes.

Gravel bikes are a return to go-anywhere/do-anything bikes like tourers, early 90's MTBs etc. I'm not against them at all, but don't expect miracles.

I've managed to make equivalents to gravel bikes by putting drop bars onto a 1990 Marin Palisades (my touring bike for the past 25 years), a 1996 Dawes Edge and also by fitting 32mm CX tyres onto a 1979 Clubmans road frame with clearance for mudguards. They all ride nicely with snuances to the handling etc, and fit the bill totally. For the New Forest they allow a quick dash down forest tracks while joining the dots on the road. All good fun and ideal for local conditions.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:30 pm
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Location: Surrey
Thanks all. I can build one up with minimal to no outlay as I have everything already pretty much.

That said, comments on here have me thinking I'd probably be better off throwing an xc mtb together. I'll probably do that but save the drop bars just in case I want to play with the bars later, though ill need cable discs or hope v-twin.


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