Gravel bike - useful or marketing?

hamster

Retro Wizard
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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).
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
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CassidyAce":2mnickm6 said:
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.
 

ishaw

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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?
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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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.
 

brocklanders023

Retrobike Rider
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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.
 

ishaw

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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.
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
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.
 

reindeer

Old School Hero
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 ;)
 

d8mok

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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
 
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