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Gravel bike - useful or marketing?
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=417653

Author:  ishaw [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

I'm looking at reducing the fleet and wondering if a gravel bike is something to consider as a do it all (ish) bike?

I have an old disc only rock lobster team ti frame that I'm not sure what to do with. Considering a gravel conversion, 29er wheels, slimmer tyres and drop bars. My theory is that I would end up with a bike I could ride on road and off (local downs are mostly gravel).

Is this a worthwhile venture or am I best having an mtb and road bike?

For the conversion I assume I'm going to need road disc brakes which is annoying as I have some road brake/shifters though they aren't amazing (sora or tiagra iirc).

As most if my stash is mtb, are there road shifter options that work with mtb mechs? I'd prefer to go 10sp and have mechs already (sram or shimano). Can't really afford to buy a groupset for what would essentially be a project/trial.

I have everything else I'd need, advice on whether its worth it, whether suspension or rigid forks are best, also if 26, 27.5 or 29er wheels are best on a frame designed for 26er and nobbly tyres?

Author:  d8mok [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I purchased a gravel bike in May this year as I was finding myself doing much more gravel type riding during lockdown. Up until that point I maybe did once or twice a week max on gravel using my 2012 Cannondale flash but as the miles piled on it started to show its age and mileage.

So i bit the bullet and bought a Ti Enigma and I absolutely love it. Since end of May until now I’ve done 1500 miles and it’s just such a great type of bike. I’ve not touched my road bike since , and have only ridden trail bikes a handful of times.

The thing that’s great is that it’s almost as fast as a road bike on the road , almost as fast as a MTB on local trails (not on proper chunky stuff obviously) and is untouchable on gravel. I’ve ridden it down red routes , done 30’mile road rides in rain , and blasting the canal endlessly.

Author:  My_Teenage_Self [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Could you not use Avid BB7 road calipers?

I'm still of the opinion that a gravel bike is a 90s XC mountain bike with drop bars, so I can't see any reason your idea wouldn't work fine. I almost went that way, but went for a modern 29er XC bike as I do very little road miles.

Author:  greencat [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Does it have to have drop bars? It seems to me you could make the changes you want without having to change key parts of your groupset if you could make that compromise.

I think I may have even seen a recent gravel bike with flat bars. Edit:
https://www.cyclesuk.com/content/meet-s ... -bike.aspx

But I'm with TS, I reckon a gravel bike is little more than a 90s MTB or hybrid with drop bars.

Author:  mattr [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

ishaw wrote:
As most if my stash is mtb, are there road shifter options that work with mtb mechs? I'd prefer to go 10sp and have mechs already (sram or shimano). Can't really afford to buy a groupset for what would essentially be a project/trial.
Yes, shimano 10 speed road mechs will work with shimano *9* speed mtb mechs to give you a 10 speed set up. Pull ratios changed between 9 and 10 speed mtb, and 10 and 11 speed road. 9 speed everything works as well.
SRAM 10 speed gear is (as far as i know) pretty interchangeable.

I did a hybrid mtb/road thing in the late 90's, long low racy steel mtb, drop bars.

It was horrific, too long, too low (and i was racing a lot of road then).
Check if you can achieve your normal road position with the frame you have (short steep stem!).

BB7 (or 5) road disc calipers will mate up with your road shifter, no issues at all. Just get some really good cables.

Check the clearance on your frame, i know some 26" mtb frames have some clearance issues with larger cx size tyres (700x35c+). 650B with a gravelly 48 mm tyre *might* give you better clearance and more comfort.

Author:  ishaw [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I have a ti 29er already and use it the most of all my bikes. My thinking is that as I need to downsize, I could do away with a bike if a gravel bike would cover a couple of bases. I'm torn between using my road bike (a nice di2 equipped cannondale) as I don't really ride it at all, barely at all since getting it, or whether to try and build something with what I have, or let it all go and buy something with the funds.

Having read various threads and also of the opinion that a gravel bike is little more than an xc bike with drop bars, thought about giving making one a go. Will it work, no idea, want to keep the spend down just in case it doesn't.

Author:  CassidyAce [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

d8mok wrote:
I purchased a gravel bike in May this year as I was finding myself doing much more gravel type riding during lockdown. Up until that point I maybe did once or twice a week max on gravel using my 2012 Cannondale flash but as the miles piled on it started to show its age and mileage.

So i bit the bullet and bought a Ti Enigma and I absolutely love it. Since end of May until now I’ve done 1500 miles and it’s just such a great type of bike. I’ve not touched my road bike since , and have only ridden trail bikes a handful of times.

The thing that’s great is that it’s almost as fast as a road bike on the road , almost as fast as a MTB on local trails (not on proper chunky stuff obviously) and is untouchable on gravel. I’ve ridden it down red routes , done 30’mile road rides in rain , and blasting the canal endlessly.

Interesting. I've wondered about getting a gravel bike over the last few months but I always end up scratching my head over whether it would be any improvement over one of my rigid 1990s 26-ers. The similarity between the two is often commented on, in which case, why bother getting a gravel bike? I can see some advantages to a gravel bike - disc brakes and faster on the roads, mainly - but fatter, 26" tyres offer more cushioning and, presumably, more grip on, you know, actual gravel. So, is there a net gain with a gravel bike or is it just swings and roundabouts?

Author:  mdvineng [ Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Since 1965 I've ridden alsorts of bikes on allsorts of terrain and they all work to a point. Some might give you better comfort, some might give you better experience but even an abondened rod brake will work on gravel, it isn't a magic surface. :D

Author:  ishaw [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

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?

Author:  mdvineng [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

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?



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

Author:  mdvineng [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

[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

Author:  tintin40 [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

marketing again.

Author:  greencat [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

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.

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

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.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

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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Author:  greencat [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

I'd say halfords and others do plenty of retro type mtb bikes - they are just called hybrid or commuter bikes.

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

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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Author:  kipperthedog [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

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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Author:  hamster [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

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.

Author:  ishaw [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

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.

Author:  d8mok [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Personally the drops ‘make’ the bike. Having multiple hand positions and being able to get your head down really makes a difference when cracking on.

Yes a retro Rigid is a similar bike but has comprises compared main ones I think are -

Tubeless/700c wheels really smooth out the chatter and roll so well.

Hydraulic discs - well we all know they better than any alternative

1 x 11 just works.

You can tell I’m a fan. But I do use my loads now which helps justify it. If you just going to use it once in a while then maybe a XC mtb is better as a all rounder.

Here’s mine

Image

Image

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Very nice. 8)

Author:  CassidyAce [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

So, in general, there's scepticism about whether gravel bikes are worth buying . . . apart from the folks who have already bought them and they really rate them. Perhaps there's a lesson there.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I'd agree with that, especially as a former sceptic!

Author:  ishaw [ Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

That does look nice i have yo say.

I have some new 27.5 and 29er wheels, could I get away with running them on a 26er frame? I know laying up some 700c wheels there is plenty of room but with a larger tyre probably not so much.

The stumbling block for me (wherl and tyres permitting) would be shifting and brakes. I have a number of 9, 10 and 11sp options from shimano and sram. But all are mtb so I'm guessing I'd be out of luck finding a set of drop bar levers that would work mech wise, let alone brake wise. I have some magura brakes spare and also some hopes, are any compatible with ant lever/shifter combos or would I be looking at a new set of brakes and drive train?

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Not sure about gears but you can get some hydraulic calipers that are operated by cable levers.

Author:  hamster [ Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

CassidyAce wrote:
So, in general, there's scepticism about whether gravel bikes are worth buying . . . apart from the folks who have already bought them and they really rate them. Perhaps there's a lesson there.


If you go into it buying a bike that is an all-rounder that does nothing badly then you won't be disappointed. As a 'one bike' solution it will be pretty good. Accept that there will be limitations which are the compromises to do most things. Probably they are a bit better for most tasks than a slicked-up MTB.

But don't expect miracles.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I'd agree with hamster. If it's a one bike solution you really need to have a good think about what and where you ride. If you ride anything other than modest terrain off road a HT or FS will make mincemeat of gravel. If you ride roads, green lanes and bridleways most of the time gravel bikes are fun.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to have a few bikes they certainly have their place.

Author:  hamster [ Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

ishaw wrote:
That does look nice i have yo say.

I have some new 27.5 and 29er wheels, could I get away with running them on a 26er frame? I know laying up some 700c wheels there is plenty of room but with a larger tyre probably not so much.

The stumbling block for me (wherl and tyres permitting) would be shifting and brakes. I have a number of 9, 10 and 11sp options from shimano and sram. But all are mtb so I'm guessing I'd be out of luck finding a set of drop bar levers that would work mech wise, let alone brake wise. I have some magura brakes spare and also some hopes, are any compatible with ant lever/shifter combos or would I be looking at a new set of brakes and drive train?


9 speed is interchangeable, there are some details that need to be considered carefully with front shifting however. Likewise 10 speed road shifters will shift with a 7/8/9 speed MTB rear mech (or 10 speed road). Personally I run bar-end shifters and V-brake front drop levers. IIRC SRAM road and MTB is interchangeable for rear, but I have never tried it.

Another alternative is Campag: by fluke their 10 speed has identical cable pull with 8 speed Shimano, while the micro indexing front types will work fine with MTB front mechs.

Author:  ishaw [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

So on checking the drop bar shifters/levers I have in the stash are 9 speed sora, so based on a previous reply, I could run 9sp mtb mechs? Tbh I'd prefer to go 1x10 so what are my shifter/lever options that I can run hydraulic discs with? Budget is low.

As for this being a do it all bike, I will still have a nice ti 29er to play with, plus a few 26ers, just looking to throw something together i can commute on and take in a longer ride home on.

Thought jumping on the gravel bike trend might be the way to go, trying to use what I have but maybe sticking to an mtb is best. I have all i need to achieve that and could create a pretty decent bike tbh out of what I hsve, and not care too much about it being left vulnerable (though where I work is pretty remote and unlikely to be too vulnerable to an opportunist thief as they would have to get onto a private site).

Author:  hamster [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Yes, MTB mechs will run with Sora. For the front use a road mech. If you want to use an MTB mech then to match the different cable pull you have to clamp the cable on the wrong side of the bolt. For braking use Avid BB7 road brakes (not the BB7 MTB which has a different cable pull).

Author:  mattr [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Re:

CassidyAce wrote:
So, in general, there's scepticism about whether gravel bikes are worth buying . . . apart from the folks who have already bought them and they really rate them. Perhaps there's a lesson there.

TBH, where I am now, they serve no real purpose. We have good roads, and then we have good, well maintained, regularly used gravel roads and paths. I regularly ride them on my training bike with 28s. If the weather is shit, you need studded tyres or sturdy boots.
Next stage is proper off road. Rocks, steps, roots, deep mud etc. Doable on a CX or gravel bike, but high risk and difficult.
The bread and butter riding for a gravel bike can easily be fulfilled by a road bike with large clearances and a spare set of wheels with some all-round tyres in 30 or 32mm size.
So that's probably what I'll get.

Author:  ishaw [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I did toy with the idea of fitting wider tyres to my road bike actually. Its a cannondale caadx black inc running ultegra di2 10sp and rim brakes. I wonder if I can get some gravel tyres on there? Any tyre recommendations for this approach?

Author:  hamster [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Forget it unless it can take mudguards and has deeper drop callipers (e.g. the non-series 57mm ones). Schwalbe CX Pro 32C are pretty slim, will go in my Witcomb but it can take 32C with guards and plenty of space.

You might just get it to fit if the brake blocks are absolutely at the bottom of the callipers.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I considered getting some wider rims/tyres for my carbon road bike but decided in the end to keep that as intended. Calipers were the main stumbling block and the worry of a fat lad taking a light road frame off road.

Ultimately plenty of what has been said is true and the difference between gravel, retro and XC is not huge. Ultimately for me I got mine to ride with my mates. When I went out with my pal on his gravel I was either waiting at the bottom on my full suss or waiting at the top on my road bike but now we ride together which is the whole point I guess.

Author:  ishaw [ Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

No space for wider tyres so looks like I'll probably just build a stealth bike from good but used parts and it can be my everyday bike then, with my retro, road and 29er getting airings when appropriate.

Just need to decide whether to go rigid or suspended up front. The rest will take care of itself.

Author:  mattr [ Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

yeah, i was thinking more along the lines of a modern, disc braked carbon bike, most of these have clearance for something between 30-35mm now, so something like a G-One speed or allround would work.

And thats even proper race bikes, endurance geo can be larger.

Author:  reindeer [ Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Campagnolo released their new mechanical Ekar gravel groupset, 1x13 with a 9 teeth small cog.
Top end. A replacement cassette, most of it cnc machined out of one block, will set you back 250 :wink:

Author:  hamster [ Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Hmm, I can't see a 9T sprocket lasting long. All that pedalling load on 4 teeth. :shock:

Author:  d8mok [ Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

My GRX group has been faultless and cost substantially less so I’ll think they will struggle a bit.

On a side note my mrs has just bought a new gravel bike which came with Microshift 1x10. And for anyone considering a cheap 1x I’ve got to say it’s great. Way better than bottom of the range sram it shimano and easily comparable to mid range stuff

Author:  reindeer [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

I've just upgraded my 2x9 setup with one of the nicest (in my humble opinion) rear mechs, a lucky find on ebay. And my first ever crankset with external bearings, one of the few reasonable priced supercompact available. It also took me a lot of time fiddling with the BB7's to get them working as they do now. It would all have been useless and without effort, just buying a new groupset :lol:
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Apart from that, standards (disc mounts, axles, freehubs) seem to change so fast these days, three years later, and you're outdated. In fact I would have to buy a complete new bike, if I wanted to keep up with the trend.

Author:  madjh [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Gravel can be funn in certain circunstances, CX for example is more hard, the thin tires are worse in paths or requiere more hability and if you look in that way, all kind of bicycles are funn to ride. Even cheap ones ;)

Author:  legrandefromage [ Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Big tyres and 50psi on this has made it a bit of a roadie chaser as well as forefilling its intended purpose of 'mtb'. The rolling diameter is not far off my road wheels, the steel frame has a lot of give and the short travel air forks sort out the grumbly bits off road. It has a road cassette (its not the peak district here) and a 46t up front which pretty much acts as a single ring/ 1x9.

It cost peanuts and has been the most ridden bike during lockdown in forests and lumpy by-ways, I just couldnt justify spending large amounts of money on something that I would probably end up being disappointed with. It is just lacking barends for that ultimate all day on/ offroad ride (the longest being 58 miles)

Image

Author:  Chopper1192 [ Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Gravel bikes. Didn't get on well with mine. Capable of pretty much anything, but good at nothing.

Author:  legrandefromage [ Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Chopper1192 wrote:
Gravel bikes. Didn't get on well with mine. Capable of pretty much anything, but good at nothing.


Aaaaghhhhh! G G Ghost!!!

Author:  hamster [ Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

Chopper1192 wrote:
Gravel bikes. Didn't get on well with mine. Capable of pretty much anything, but good at nothing.

I think that sums it up - a go-anywhere / do-anything machine. While it excels at nothing, it's also capable of most things: commute, tour, light off-road, long day rides. 25 years ago they were called tourers. :lol:

It's a pragmatic reaction to the over-specialised niche machines of 5 years ago. Early 90s steel MTBs were similarly versatile.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Bikes are good, all bikes are good.

Having spent most of the summer on my gravel bike I hit Gisburn with my 140mm 29er full suss mountain bike today. It was good.

Author:  prezza [ Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

I got rid of my modern full sus carbon MTB years ago and switched to CX bike as IMO unless I was going to trail centres I wasn’t getting the best out of the bike. Final straw was being overtaken by a guy on a CX bike wizzing along the railway lines with ease as I pushed hard on my carbon full suss (S works) 26er.....

My modern bikes are now a carbon road bike, carbon CX bike (purely for racing on) and a cheaper alloy Focus Mares AX CX bike which is my go to bike and has been for a few years. Fitted semi slick gravel tyres and it’s a speedy hoot on all surfaces...
I think that CX/Gravel bikes suit a great niche for people like me who generally set out on rides from home, are surrounded by old railway lines and like to explore.

I wouldn’t be without one!

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Just sold my carbon road bike as although it was ace at it’s job my gravel bike goes as fast as I need on road and can dive off on to green lanes and canals. I’m a MTB’er at heart so the gravel suits me better.

Author:  brocklanders023 [ Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

I’m not good enough at any riding discipline to need a specific tool so a couple that cover most is where I need to be.

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