Confession time.....I'm gravel curious !

Tootyred

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As time catches up with me, compounded by a mix of total devotion to ridgid frames and forks AND selective motorcycle crashes, I'm really starting to struggle on head down small framed bikes.

Ive got a bigger frame on its way from one of our members, who shares my stork-like physique, but im getting more intrigued by the idea of maybe.....oh god im going to say it....a gravel bike!

Now i don't mean some poncy carbon wheeled, disc brake horror.....(thats far to far a jump into an Arthur c clarke style future for me)....more a gentleman's off roader, such as an xtr m900 clad surly cross check with a big head tube and some nice mavic A719 rims etc.

Remember, i live in the flat lands, so my off roading is really cross country for several hours at a time and i would hang onto a propper job mountain bike incase the itch for jumping on / off stuff takes me.

So anybody done this or got any advice or experience to offer?
 
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MattiThundrrr

Kona Fan
You are not alone, that's for sure. With mountain bikes becoming so "downhill gnar" specific, adventure bikes have really become the answer for someone who wants to explore more horizontal locations. Many are transforming unused old MTBs into gravel and bike packing rigs, because the new crop of bikes really aren't that far from the old stuff we love.
 

jimo746

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Riser bars, drop bars are ok, but I find myself going back to flat/riser bars having tried multiple drop bar conversions, and a few as designed gravel bikes .
 

brocklanders023

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Been comparing my bikes recently having bought a modern, rigid XC to compliment the gnaaaar FS and gravel bike.

Current opinion is that the XC and gravel are very similar but the drops make roads comfier where as wide flats make all off road better. Defo a place for gravel bikes, they're great fun although I'd probably get a proper one rather than fit drops to a MTB.
 

widowmaker

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I'm glad you said it out loud (or typed) it's something that I have been considering for a while but didn't want to admit it.

Watching thread with interest.
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
I've just bought a gravel light/endurance bike. Room for 35mm tyres, but drops, discs and (dare I say it) Di2.
Fantastic for the gravel roads and double tracks round here. If I want to ride singletrack I'll get one of the mtbs or CX bikes out. I think it'll get a lot of use though. Will probably get some more aggressive tyres though, it's currently on 30mm slicks.
 

Tootyred

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I was planning riser bars, i never got on with drops. So literally transplant a full set of early 90s mtb kit onto a 700c frame.

Tyre size seems to be an issue, whilst i don't need mega wide, to be able to get 2.1" in would be great, but them in not sure there is an old skool, 700c, steel, cantilever frame that takes them is there?

The surly cross check ( not that i really want to buy one!) only takes 45mm apparently.
 

Tootyred

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The problem is, if your not careful you just go back round in a big loop back to a huge frame 26" mountain bike, which whilst not a problem, tends to get a bit unwieldy and somewhat errrr "ugly" and also heavy as the bigger frames tend not to lightweight in their construction.

But if it serves the purpose......

The other option is to put in 445mm a to c forks, but in not sure if thats going to reek havoc on the geometry of a bike made for 395mm! Although it will slacken the head angle like all the yoofs bikes.:LOL:
 

Ally

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I'll be interested to see what you come up with. There's something about gravel bikes that's appealing. Don't know if they would solve your problem though. Sounds like you're on the track of different frame for a better position on the bike anyway. Lot's of stem and bar combinations which should help as well. There's Jones bars and such as well. I think what you're doing now should make more of a difference.

I'm pretty curious about the gravel option as well though, so be good to see what you think if you go that route.
 

2manyoranges

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T-red - well, as long as you don’t mention it on-line on a cycling site or anything like that, you might get away with it.

Ooops.

As you may have spotted, I am starting a Road Rat build, and will start with 45c 29 WTB Riddler tyres as the basis of the build, and I have gone for a med. I toyed with trying to fart around with older frames, but I just decided to bite the bullet and get something with correct clearances, good geometry and adaptable dropouts. And with a good pedigree. So that’s a Cotic, then. Or a Shand. But a Roadrat came up and I got f&f for 175gbp. I absolutely believe in discs now, having been pulled-out-on by cars and lorries throughout last week. Without discs I would have been into the side of the lorry. He was as shocked as I was...but whilst he was apologetic, which was good, I was thinking about how my face would have looked after hitting the side of his cab.

I’m currently doing a Slow Build to constantly measure against other bikes to get the geometry right. Flat bars - probably with 12 degree backsweep.
 
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