Why are the 1x gearing setups fragile? When you say that do you mean the 1 cog on the front and 7 or more on the rear?A gravel bike is essentially a mid-90 mountain bike geometry. The marketing industry has just discovered touring bikes. A 1990 Dawes Galaxy is almost identical, except no disc brakes and no fashionable but fragile 1x gearing setup.
This is not a thread drift - it's spot on - I am comparing vintage bikes with newer bikes when it comes to touring road comfort and other efficiencies.I think Hamster is being a touch harsh on gravel bikes in general and 1x in particular.
Geometry-wise gravel bikes are closer to a classic 72 parallel road bike than a 90s mountain bike. Though perhaps not a million miles from either.
While the head and seat angles are similar to a 90s MTB, a gravel bike will be a lot shorter in the top tube and possibly a bit lower as well. The overall effect being more like a relaxed road bike than a racy MTB, certainly in cornering.
Of course, in practice, the dropped bars provide the most immediately obvious difference in feel. And for you the rest of it may be close to negligible.
Regarding 1x, while I don’t doubt the technical accuracy of all Hamster’s criticisms, in practice 1x works just fine and is no more fragile than any other 10, 11 or 12 speed drivetrain. Or indeed than 8 or 9 speed in most use cases.
I’ve been running SRAM Force 1x on my 3T Exploro for the last three years and it hasn’t broken, disintegrated or worn out in that time. Neither has it required attention when the bike has been dropped, or indeed adjusting more often than any of my other bikes. That said, I only do about 100km a week, and the bike is used pretty much exclusively on road, though I do ride in all weathers and that can be a drivetrain killer.
Poor chain line the top and bottom thirds of the cassette probably is less efficient and more wearing, but not to any extent that I’ve noticed, either in use or in maintenance.
It is fair to say that the total gear range is more limited, but with a 46t ring and 11/36 cassette I get a couple more low gears than I do with a 53/39 and 11/25 cassette, and only lose two top ratios that I rarely use anyway. I don’t mind the gaps between gears, but that’s just personal preference.
In the end most if not all gravel bikes can be configured with 2x drivetrains if you want (the Brick Lane bike linked is already), will have clearance for significantly larger tyres than most road bikes, and will have disc brakes. All of which you may want, but certainly won’t make for a classic bike that can keep up with modern bikes.
Anyway, apologies for the thread drift.
From what I can see in the photos I'd disagree - The rear axle seems to be the centre of the dropout, so I'd expect the brake pads to be in the centre of their adjustment. Surely this bike doesn't have 'long' dropouts? as that would be contrary to what they are aiming at - it's not a touring bike! I'd suggest 'medium' dropouts at most. The exact movement of rim wrt brake pads isn't as simple as "As the rear wheel is pulled back in the dropouts the rear pads have to be raised...it's basic bicycle design" it depends on the angle of the dropouts wrt the seatstay, and the offset of the brake behind the seatstay - it's simple geometry. The only way of ensuring there is no rim movement would be to fit dropouts that had a curve to the slot i.e. a gentle arc. I'd also suggest (because of brake offset wrt seatstay) that pulling that wheel to the rear of the dropout would mean the blocks going lower, not higher. The brake blocks on the front brake are also at the bottom .... maybe to 'match' the rear.Brake pads at the bottom of the slots and long rear dropouts allow extra clearance for fatter (up 28mm) tyres to be safely fitted, the Ti Raleigh replica is supplied with 23mm as standard. As the rear wheel is pulled back in the dropouts the rear pads have to be raised...it's basic bicycle design.
Raleigh understands we don't ride on skinny tyres like we did 40 years ago and has made allowance for this, this is something that has completely eluded the self proclaimed Raleigh experts and has left them baffled and confused.