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FIRST LOOK

Canyon Grizl CF SL8 Suspension

Words Cooper Quinn
Photos Cooper Quinn
Date Mar 22, 2022
Reading time

November 2nd, 2016.

As far as I can tell, this is the last time a front derailleur was featured on NSMB (at least in a review). Roughly two years earlier, somewhere between October 19th and November 9th, I removed the last front derailleur I’d ever own or ride. Until now, that is. Let me present the 2x GRX equipped Canyon Grizl CF 8 Suspension.

Before we delve into the bike, let’s delve in to why this bike is even here. I don’t think I’m a terribly unique human – when I look around at my friends, there’s a remarkable amount of died-in-the-wool mountain bikers hiding drop bar bikes under a tarp in the garage. My drop bar habit started innocently enough; looking to replace the 16 year old, flat bar 2003 Dr. Dew (long since converted to 1x with some RF Turbine cranks and 11-25 DuraAce off a DH bike) I’d owned since new, I decided to build up a new commuter. And when it was all said and done, I was many multiples past the original commuter budget, but I owned a bike that fulfilled the non-budgetary parts of the design brief; it kept me off the tarmac as much as possible, and was infinitely more comfortable than a road bike. My Bjorn SS founds its way onto these pages in 2019, and I still dearly love it. Commuter duties, with no detours, are a ~24 kilometers and 300 meters of climbing a couple days a week and it's a solid mix of road/gravel.

Grizl_CQ-16.jpg

I know, I know. We're going to take some flak from readers here - first ebikes, and now front derailleurs. Don't worry, NSMB isn't changing. Hopefully this is a one and done and the rest of our gravel content is 1x... the way things should be.

This initial hit of drop-bar biking took hold, and what started as a way to keep far away from the 2000 kg Machines of Death on the way to the office, led to taking detours on the way home. Then longer detours, up, over and around on paths and walkways, finding connections and routes... Eventually, occasionally, I found myself reaching for drop bars purely for fun. When COVID really set down here in Beautiful British Columbia in March of 2020, I took almost exclusively to the gravel bike in an effort to keep fit without a commute and keep myself out of the healthcare system (where I make semi-regular appearances thanks to mountain biking).

Grizl_CQ-24.jpg

My stainless steel gravel bike - despite being from 2019 - is longer and slacker* than almost everything on the market today in 2022. It was designed around a much shorter stem than most gravel bikes. I'm running a 60mm stem, which works well with the 420mm reach. The Canyon Grizl, in medium, has a 402mm reach and comes with an 80mm stem, providing a similar riding position.

*Head tube angle is less critical in the gravel world than we're used to in the MTB realm. Stability and steering characteristics are dialled more with changes in a bike's trail, with forks often coming with a flip chip in the dropouts to adjust this.

Nowadays, gravel is just one part of a healthy bicycle food pyramid for me. 170mm enduro bikes one day, gravel bikes another, “downcountry” in the middle, and towing a baby trailer around on an ebike through it all. I'm not someone out there micro-dosing my way through 270 kilometer days in the mountains of BC on resource roads - my typical gravel ride is anywhere from 30-60 kilometers of urban-adjacent riding, and since I live on the North Shore, there's usually a lot of climbing. It's all about trying strange connections to 'see if it goes', following fencelines, the occasional sketchy MTB descent, and learning the surrounding geography using methods that would be less efficient any other way.

Here at NSMB, I’ll bring the occasional bit of gravel content with our usual angle: a healthy dose of skepticism and irreverence, with the same me in our unique geography and environment. There are lots of other great places to read about gravel bikes, but if you’re a mountain biker looking to expand the quiver, hopefully this perspective will be helpful. As this is the first piece of gravel content here, don’t be shy in the comments – let us know what you want to see (or not), what your questions are, and let’s take a ride.

Grizl_CQ-23.jpg

I swear it's not going to be that different. Mist, fog, roots: it's still NSMB, just with different handlebars. This is a common part of my gravel experience - seeing hints of trail off a side road, and diving in. Walking is all part of it, sometimes.

Let's go Grizlin'

I don’t think we need to go deep in the weeds on geo, specs, and frame design here. It’s all available on Canyon's website, and there's nothing here on NSMB to compare it to anyway. Canyon's Grizl comes in alloy builds from 2,149 CAD, and two different carbon layups with builds from 2,749 (SL is Canyon's more affordable carbon designation, and SLX denotes premium carbon -Ed.). Canyon provides a myriad of build options and paints, rigid or not, and it all tops out at (an incredibly reasonable) 6,599 CAD for a Force AXS build with RockShox Rudy suspension fork. All build frames and build kits are size-specific, covering four bar widths, at least four stem lengths, three crank arm lengths, and XS and S come with 650B wheels. Geometry on gravel bikes is an evolving beast, but the Grizl geo is on a trend towards my preference of longer reach and ETT paired with a shorter stem that’ll feel more familiar to mountain bikers. Yes, you’re reading that right. Gravel bikes are getting longer, lower, and slacker. The Grizl fits in where you’d expect from the German brand: on trend but not on the front edge of the wave.

Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Highlights

  • 9.98kg / 22.0lbs (listed)
  • Alloy and CF SL builds are dropper compatible (SLX aka premium/lightweight carbon is not)
  • 50 mm tire clearance front and rear
  • GRX 810 Drivetrain, 48/31 front, 11-34 cassette
  • DT Swiss G1800 Spline db wheelset with 45mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tires

The build here is a size medium, “Matcha Splash*”, and costs 4,299 CAD. We got one with a Rockshox Rudy suspension fork because, well, this is NSMB after all.

Accessories

Operating in the D2C (Direct to Consumer) world means it behooves Canyon to have a dialed accessories program. As your local bike shop also knows well, once customers have decided to take the plunge on a bike, convincing them to add a few high-margin accessories to maximize the experience is gravy. In the past, I've mentioned they have some really well thought out Canyon branded products; Canyon also carries a significant amount of other brands to add to your order.

We've thrown a few things from the Canyon store onto the Grizl - the Canyon X Apidura bags (2.4l frame bag, fuel tank, and seat bag), and fenders. Wonderfully, it all came installed on the bike in the box - no fender faffing required - however the fenders are very simple and well set up if you like to take yours on/off as conditions require. In another nice touch, the frame was wrapped with clear protective tape where the bags are attached.

Riding Impressions

I’ve got around 300 kilometers on the Grizl, so it’s early days, but my initial thoughts are positive. I’m enjoying the geo and frame thus far; it’s a “racier” fit than my personal bike (however it's less racy and aggressive than Canyon's gravel race bike, the Grail, with its polarizing handlebars), but not uncomfortably so. It's a bike that's very comfortable and snappy on road but really starts to feel at home once you hit dirt. This bike is fast - no, comfortably fast - and feels premium.

Canyon’s overly complicated and elegantly named S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost and 30mm of air-sprung travel provided by the Rudy up front provide a significant amount of separation between rider and Earth, doing a very noticeable job at smoothing out the rough bits. Does this translate to more speed, more comfort, or both? Perhaps. The seatpost flexes enough that you're able to stay seated, keep spinning, and keep power down. I'm less sold on the suspension fork at this point - it's heavy and expensive. But we'll see - I do enjoy some of the ride characteristics it provides, but I haven't determined if it's worth some of the tradeoffs, at least for how I ride.

GRX shifts very well, and the brakes are fantastic, however unless you’re in the pro peloton, front derailleurs just need to die already. I'm perfectly capable of performing the dance with both hands, but here in 2022 there's almost no need for this. Give me - and especially every begintermediate rider - simplicity, please. That said, despite having every major option from SRAM and Shimano, there's currently no stock Canyon Grizl build that totally suits me (I'd like to match the range provided by the Ratio Technology hacked Force 11 x Eagle X01 drivetrain on my Bjorn). If it were mine and I had the dough, I'd be building a mullet AXS setup; as Pete refused my request for thousands of dollars in mod budget, we'll try some other more budget-friendly options to ditch the front derailleur and keep plenty of range.

Grizl_CQ-11.jpg

To paraphrase Bill Lear, if it looks fast, it'll go the same.

It’s time to start making some changes here, though. The touch points need some swaps. We’re going to add a dropper. This front derailleur is going in a box. I’ll do what we do here at NSMB – ride this bike up steep hills, down steep hills, and in all weather. The jury is still out on whether or not the RockShox Rudy matters and makes this the mountain biker's gravel bike.

Does this belong here? Do you have a gravel bike? What do you want to know, fire away. But beware, the first person to joke about how “gravel bikes are just 90’s XC bikes” in the comments owes me a beer. (what if I joke about it before the comments? -Ed.)

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Backyard exploration...

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...rain or shine.

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Comments

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
3 months, 1 week ago
+8 Cooper Quinn Trent Blucher JT Etacata Pete Roggeman Alex Hoinville imnotdanny Timer

The last shot! 🤌🤌

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Pete Roggeman Alex Hoinville imnotdanny

That... was about the wettest I've gotten commuting.  Absolute downpour.

Huge shoutout to Mission Workshop for keeping my laptop dry.

Reply

cheapondirt
cheapondirt
3 months, 1 week ago
+8 Cooper Quinn nothingfuture Pete Roggeman Cr4w Cam McRae Todd Hellinga DCLee ohio

Bikes are cool. I'm alright with it.

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
3 months, 1 week ago
+7 Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman Alex Hoinville Cam McRae shenzhe Simon Apostol ohio

Certainly not my type, but even for the bikes that are, I'm not in the new bike market anyways.

Can't complain about having more to read.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+4 Alex Hoinville Merwinn Simon Apostol ohio

"Can't complain about having more to read." 

Sir, this is the internet. People complain about *everything*.

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
3 months, 1 week ago
+7 taprider Merwinn Jerry Willows Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Todd Hellinga Cooper Quinn

And here I've been biting my tongue ever since joining the herd, afraid that my drop bar, sorta paved, sorta dirt outings would be noticed and thereby ruin my already questionable credibility. But now that the bandaid has been ripped off, let me tell you about my new super wide drop bars!

Hell, I'm even running the dinosaur ancestor to that seatpost, poached from some product samples over a decade ago back when Ergon was trying to sell them. Good stuff, good reading!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+4 Pete Roggeman Todd Hellinga Mike Ferrentino khai

Its ok. While we didn't explicitly *know* you had a gravel bike, we do know (roughly) where you live, and that owning drop bars is a prerequisite for residency in the People's Democratic Republic of California.

Reply

joseph-crabtree
Joseph Crabtree
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I've still got my Ergon seatpost also though I just got a dropper and am curious how that will go.

Reply

Murman30
Murman30
3 months, 1 week ago
+6 Pete Roggeman Alex Hoinville Cam McRae Craig Ellis DCLee DadStillRides

This makes sense. A mountain bikers perspective from a site I trust. I look forward to more gravel content mixed in. Thank you.

Reply

taprider
taprider
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cr4w Alex Hoinville ohio

Yes lets celebrate diversity. 

There is more than one way to shred the trails of the North Shore and there are many types of amazing riders using all different kinds of equipment

All North Shore Types Matter   ;-)

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Alex Hoinville

Cheers!

Reply

Lowcard
Lowcard
3 months, 1 week ago
+5 Lynx . Mike Ferrentino Jerry Willows Todd Hellinga Timer

I'm semi immersed into the gravel scene now, after nearly 3 decades on knobbies. I love the different perspective that curly bars and smaller tires gives me - it opens up new possibilities to see the world by bicycle. But one thing I have learned about myself is that I don't quite understand the grey areas that people are using their gravel bikes for. If the trail requires front suspension or tires approaching 2" wide, why not just use a hardtail mountain bike? To me, gravel is gravel. Dirt roads and long distances (and not much else). Mountain bikes are so much more versatile when venturing into singletrack. To me, gravel bikes are essentially road bikes with wider bars & tires and more forgiving gearing. Is that just me?

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
3 months, 1 week ago
+6 Chad K Lynx . Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Cr4w Todd Hellinga

"Gravel bikes are essentially road bikes with wider bars and tires and more forgiving gearing. Is that just me?"

No, that about sums it up. It's not just you. Some pedants will argue that some geometry alchemy is going on, but really it's about tire clearance and places to mount "things". And dangle mugs. Oh, wait, that's bikepacking. Totally different gig...

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Mike Ferrentino Jan

I certainly don't want to wind up reviewing titanium bongs designed to be hung off your saddle... 

Comfortable tires and comfortable geo FTW. The number of folks out there who actually NEED a carbon fibre race-geo road bike is small.

Reply

FlipFantasia
Todd Hellinga
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Mike Ferrentino Simon Apostol Lowcard

where's your sense of adventure??!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Mike Ferrentino

I'll leave danglebong reviews to enthusiasts like yourself.

Reply

jan
Jan
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Velocipedestrian Todd Hellinga

Would review

Reply

Lowcard
Lowcard
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Gravel riding blurs the line with bike packing/adventure biking waaaay more than gravel/light duty mountain biking. At least, that's how I envision gravel riding to align itself in the market.

I'm never one to needlessly suffer, so maybe that's why I would never take my gravel bike on technical singletrack. Unless I was connecting points, as Cooper said.

The best analogy for me would be motocross bikes vs adventure/dual sport bikes.

Reply

Timer
Timer
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 shenzhe

It's not just you. I ride both MTB and road, and from that perspective a Gravel Bike is simply a roadbike which is less picky about the surface its being ridden on. Any kind of serious offroading on a Gravel is just a pain and no fun at all when compared to a flat bar mountainbike.

That's casual riding, obviously. The competition scenes are totally different.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
3 months, 1 week ago
0 Lynx . Greg Bly

I'm with you on that. My gravel bike is a lot like Cooper's Bjorn. It's basically 90s 71-73 geometry but with 1x and road bike everything else and biggish tires (though not nearly as big as some I've seen). I love the places I go with this bike. Tying together points on the map, mostly connecting urban green spaces with gravel and parks. But my limit is way closer to the road than trail. As soon as it's much rougher than basic gravel I start whining for my other bikes. Besides I ride my gravel bike to spin out and roll around my thoughts and I can't do that when I'm getting banged around. I have mountain bikes for that. 

I've recently come to accept that beyond this bike is hardly the terrain that demands my 160mm enduro rig. I really should dial up my hardtail to cover this kind of riding :)

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cr4w Chad K

Yeah, don't get me wrong... I'm not out here seeking out the gnarliest trails gravel bikes can handle, or anything. If I wind up on rough stuff, its likely just trying to connect points on a map. A hardtail mountain bike would be much slower and less efficient for 90%+ of the ride, so I'm willing to be drastically underbikes (and/or walk) some sections.

It is part of why I like the drop bars over a bike with flat bars - clear difference between bikes, uses, and where you want to go and do.

Reply

Lowcard
Lowcard
3 months, 1 week ago
0

My sentiments exactly.

Reply

cbamos
cbamos
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Mike Ferrentino

As someone who progressed from road -> XC -> PNW gnar over the past 15 years or so, purchasing an Evil Chamois Hagar this year has been eye opening. Fully drinking the kool aid on this machine, with its whizzbang electronic mullet drivetrain and long-drop seatpost. Road bike positioning w/ 30mm stem, same HTA as my old 2017 trail bike - It is so goddamned fun, even if I ditched actually wearing a chamois years ago. Maybe I should try jorts?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

The Chamois Hanger is certainly... interesting to look at, hahah. 

But yeah, how fun is it! I do plan on AXS mulleting the drivetrain on my Bjorn this year. What tires are you running?

Reply

cbamos
cbamos
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Tires are stock WTB Ventures - 50c. No complaints, although they aren't great in the snow, and apparently they suck in the mud. Amazing to go "road" riding on the file treads at 25/30 psi F/R. I used to think the bike looked strange too, but now it's flipped and all other bikes look bizarre. My custom steel road bike with 100 mm stem appears to me now as a clown bike.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Interesting. I have Ventures in the 40mm variant on my bike and I have a real love-hate relationship with them. Those squirrelly little spines are super flexible and are terrifying to lean on for road cornering, off road too TBH. They are great on wet gravel. I can't wait for the weather to improve so I can swap them for something else.

Reply

cbamos
cbamos
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I might be lulled into complacency by how well the CH handles to not notice the tires, but they have been fine for me. I used to ride a fair amount of FSR and single track on an early 2000s CX bike (with cantilever brakes), and I am absolutely flying on the new machine. It's night and day in terms of off-road descending, with basically zero penalty on the uphill. The bike weighs 20 lbs! I am trying to find the downside (other than the indefensible cost).

Reply

khai
khai
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Pete Roggeman Lynx . taprider

I don't have any interest in "gravel grinding" as per the Rapha catalogue but if I was in the market for a road bike I'd almost certainly be looking at a gravel bike. Race aspirations notwithstanding they simply do everything a road bike can do - better, and more comfortably.

I also don't have any interest in trying to ride "real" mtb trails on a gravel bike. I see the newer gravel riders white knuckling their way down the Fromme access road, and some of the better ones dropping in to mtb trails. Power to them, but that's not my bag.

For what you're doing it makes perfect sense as the appropriate tool for the job.

I do like drop bar bikes. My touring bike is one of my favourtie bikes and has taken me on many adventures, great and small. I'll happily ride it on gravel and dirt roads (though fully loaded panniers can suck when the roads get really bad) and it eats up tarmac nearly as quickly as a "pure" roadie - and far more comfortably. I've done some very long days with a full tour load (bike + bags weighing ~120lbs) and averaged ~25kph for ~8000km, fully loaded. If I could change one thing about it I'd opt for some nice mechanical disc brakes, like a set of Paul Klampers.

Checkit Coop - a TRIPLE chainring!!!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 khai Todd Hellinga

With a bike loaded that heavily... i'd want a granny gear too! Love the setup!

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Neil Carnegie utopic

Meah. I don't have an issue with gravel bikes, it's just those silly drop bar thingies. OK, if you're using it to do those long ass rides and such, then yes, drop bars could be the thing, but for what you're describing, I'd definitely be sticking to a regular flat/low rise MTB bar, pretty much just an early days MTB, but with the stem not being 120mm> or bar being <680mm :-) Also, that drop bar sin't even like an off road type with much flare in the drops, looks like a road bar to me.

As to the front derailleur, absolutely nothing wrong with them, still run one on my rigid Monkey commuter and even still on my Phantom, but that may change when I can acquire a smaller "big" ring. People seem to have trouble remembering/figuring out how to use 2 shifters or something, along with a dropper post. An FD gives you an enormous gear range and the ability to run a shorter chain and RD, as long as you're not a moron and can't remember how to correctly use the gear ratios.

BTW, love your Steel Graveler, should give it a try with a nice wide, flat bar sometime ;-)

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Lynx . Craig Ellis

I mean, strokes for folks and horses for courses. I'm a fan of the drop bars - lots of smooth/road miles to connect. 

Disagree re: FD, but hey, people are allowed to have different opinions here. I don't think I'm a moron, operating two shifters is something I'm perfectly capable of doing. But its unnecessary, and I'm trying to avoid getting TOO deep into gear inches here because that's a subject that's been covered to death, but one thing I do want is a significantly lower gear. It's also something I'd want if I were loading up for big bikepacking trips anywhere but Nebraska. I will also maintain that the vast majority of riders don't need one, and it adds more headaches than the tighter ratios and extra top end a 48x11 offers is worth.

Reply

neologisticzand
Chad K
3 months, 1 week ago
+4 Lynx . Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Todd Hellinga

In the interest of discussing the FD, I personally chose a gravel bike with a 2x setup when I bought my bike. In my case, I live in an area that has me on fairly mellow terrain (canal tow path) for a lot of my ride, with some small undulations mixed in. For that sort of riding, I find that having a smaller range cassette really is nice. I don't think it's absolutely necessary, but I do like the ability to sit in the 48t (on GRX 810) and shift back and forth between the mid-higher gears of the cassette for tighter control over cadence when grinding out miles. When I'm on singletrack, I just leave my bike in the 31T and ride it like it's a 1x bike.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Yep, fair enough! Out of curiosity, what's your... background. MTB, or road (or... something else?) 

I have a few working theories on how various people use gravel bikes (hoods vs hooks vs tops, gear range and ratios....etc).

Reply

craw
Cr4w
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Todd Hellinga Andy Eunson

I heard a roadie say "you can always tell a mountain biker because they only ever ride the hoods". I started immediately trying to use the flats and drops more. I ride the flats most of the time now.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Chad K

Don't underestimate the tops for long climbs. Also a nice place to lean the forearms if you're getting bored or tired.

FlipFantasia
Todd Hellinga
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

sigh, this is me...hahah

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Andy Eunson

I'm hoods or hooks - hooks for anything technical or descending, hoods the rest of the time. I almost never use the tops.

But yeah that's my working theory. Road background folks seem to descend on hoods, mountain folks in the hooks or drops.

neologisticzand
Chad K
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

For me it is: 

Mountain bike background --> Road --> Gravel

I ride on the hoods predominantly, regardless of if it is singletrack or if it is pure gravel road. I do use the drops, but more so on the road. Only use the hooks for sprinting out of the saddle or very fast descending on a road bike (usually still descend on the hoods otherwise). Tops are for comfort on longer climbs.

If you wanted to know about gearing choice, I ride:

Gravel: 48/31 w/ 11-34 (GRX)

Road: 48/35 w/ 10-33 (Force Etap)

And of course 1x on a mtb, with chainring size depending where I am, always 10-50 cassette.

My prior gravel bike was 42T with an 11-36 cassette (Rival 1x)

My usual gravel ride is about 10 miles of singletrack with 20-40 miles of canal tow path mixed in.

Curious as to how I fit into your theory. FWIW, my current dream drop bar bike something like the new Specialized Crux with 2 wheelsets, fat slicks and knobbies.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Chad K

Dammit - I'm not sure how you fit in. I think I'd put you in "mountain biker with a gravel bike"? 

...which means you're ruining my data set, and you should be spending less time on the tops, and descending should always be done in the drops/hooks.

Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Chad K

Hey, that's the good thing about this place in general, people can agree to disagree without getting but hurt :-) Wasn't meaning any offense with the moron comment, just never understood how it was so hard for people to use the FD and be in the right ring in tandem with where they were in the cassette to not cross chain etc., never got that.

Maybe I'm a weakling, but I wasn't thinking anywhere even close to a 48t ring, I'd set it up just like my Monkey is setup for commuting 28/38 rings and an 11-36 cassette, all the gear range you could want for anything true off road, except for seriously long flat roads, once you're not a racer/racing and even then if you've got the fitness, still doable. When I was younger, fitter and not injured, I ran 34/46 rings on it.

On the drop bars, I notice that on your personal bike you have true off road drops, and those I think I might be able to give a go, the ones on this review bike seemed to just be your avg road drop.

Here is the Monkey in "Gravel" modeMonkey is "gravel" packing mode.

Here is it in "Roadie" mode.

Monkey in "Roadie" mode

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Craig Ellis

Yeah, the bars on this Canyon are very... road. I've got an Easton AX setup on my personal bike that I like *way* more. 

Gear range is such an endless topic, and very location and riding preferences specific. 

I built my Bjorn up initially with 40t, and Force 11 10-42. Eventually, I swapped in the Ratio Tech, and am now 10-50. I'd like to go up to a 42t front ring for a bit more top end, and I'll still have significantly more low end than I did with the original setup. But until this ring wears out, there's no point. 

For the riding I do around here, the 31x34 low gear... I mean its doable, obviously. But it could be a lot more pleasant when you hit 18% walls.

Reply

Briain
Briain
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 jwellford

Just to gear ratios. I run a e13 cassette on my full sus and my gravel and the 9 tooth doesn't make any difference for MTB, but is absolutely brilliant on the gravel bike. I run a 44 big ring and a 9-46 cassette basically have the same range as a 2 by system. It might even be lighter if I weighed it

Reply

jwellford
jwellford
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Briain

+1 to the e13 cassette for gravel. I run the 12sp with a 40T on my racier bike and the 11sp with a 34T on my 2.2” tire drop bar MTB. Another big plus is that they are plug and play with Rival/Force long cage derailleurs (mechanical or AXS).

Drops for descending unless I’m racing cyclocross (hoods pretty much always for CX). Tops almost never. I went CX->Road->MTB->Gravel, but all in the same year so no real habits had been formed.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Briain

Oof, one thing I'll be doing with this bike is going with a 42t front ring over the 40t that's on my personal bike, to avoid the bottom of the cassette a bit more. Those teeny cogs just EAT watts, and I don't have a ton to offer! The range of the e13 cassette is cool, but the 9t can't feel great. In fairness I'm sure you're mostly using to to spin on descents so its probably fine. 

I do dearly wish the AXS road shifters had the capability to shift up/down with one hand... having to use both sides seems silly considering you can do everything with one side for the mechanical setups.

Briain
Briain
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Absolutely and the ratio 12 speed conversion is great. I nearly bought AXS but I really like how the SRAM double tap system works, I can operate it with my knuckles. I did use the original apex derailleur for a bit but it was really extended on the back of the cassette so I swapped a xo1 derailleur  and it does shift a little better for it. Because of covid supply issues I've tried a load of components from small brands that I never would of normally tried like e13 and for the most part have been really pleasantly surprised by them

Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Cooper, wait until one of the batteries in the Brifters dies and you can't shift anywhere, because of that stupid design that you can't change, even in the app, that's so super fun :-\

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Todd Hellinga

That just shows how highly dependent gear ratios can be on bike, tire, terrain, rider, and cargo. The 38 x 11 setup that you describe as plenty would be middle of the range for me on my gravel/commuter. Even when I ran a compact (48 x 11 at its tallest) on my road bike, I would frequently spin it out on the flats (granted, while really honking) and it felt short on downhills so I'd just tuck and run.

But that also points to the difference drop bars can make. Going from the tops to the drops at a constant cadence is the difference between one or sometimes two gears (higher speed registers a greater aero advantage). If you plan on putting in a lot of road miles, or just really long days of pedaling, then the extra hand positions of the right drop bar will far outweigh the familiarity or attack position of a flat bar. Totally depends on how you're using the bike. For a commute of less than two hours, no question flat bar is great. For a ride over two hours, especially on road or gravel where you're not up and down off the seat with nearly the regularity of a mountain bike, gimme them drops.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Yup. As I said, back in the day 46t ring was my go to and I could really push that thing, but yeah, also fell a bit short on the descents, so if it wasn't a tight, technical, steep descent, between that and the bikes weighing 10-15lbs less than mine, I'd get dropped.

These days I don't do road anymore, just commute if I'm on the road and I'm in no rush to really hammer like 10+ years ago. Back then I used to run a 38/24 ring combo and 34-15 cassette on my proper 29er MTB because I was using an SS/Trials hub and abbreviated cassette for a stronger wheel and I could crank that 38-15 gear combo up to 25mph for about a 1/2 mile if needed, which by my calcs was somewhere around 140 RPMs - man do I miss the fitness.

Also back then I'd not long moved to a bar wider than 680mm, so the width of a road drop didn't feel so bad, but these days, OMG they feel so horribly wrong, just like trying a 680mm wide MTB bar feels, so, so unstable.

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neologisticzand
Chad K
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Agreed on having all the hand positions on drop bars. For days in the saddle over 2hrs, it gets nice to have some body mobility, especially if it is a lot of grinding away miles while seated. Also a big fan of the tucked onto the hoods hand position, make use of that as much as the drops.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Lynx .

@Lynx, the options for drop bars are... numerous. There's multiple options even just in the drops, as you reference.

There's so many more choices than flat bars, and crucially you can move around and change wrist/elbow alignment, how upright (or not) you are... etc. 

But, everyone is different! Choose your own adventure.

Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I dunno about drop bars having so many more different hand positions that a flat bar, seriously, only one I can think of is down in the drops, but you can accomplish all the rest on a flat bar no issue and if you want that really low position and it's not technical, you can hold the top of the legs/crown :-)

Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

@ Cooper, I know the drops have more possible position, but the straight MTB bar has a load too. Not sure if it's because I've spent lots of time doing Endurance/long MTB type rides & training for races, but I can imitate bar ends, the on the tops on the side of the stem on drops, if not cranking as hard ontop the brake levers and I drop or bend my elbows to engage my muscles, arms, wrists differently - I count 5 different positions that change how your weight is distributed and angles on your wrists/arms/ shoulders.

HollyBoni
HollyBoni
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Derailleur cage length determines the capacity. If the range is the same on a 1x and a 2x, the RD won't be shorter on the 2x. 
But the sprockets will be most likely bigger on the 1x, so the RD will be a bit lower to the ground in the lower gears.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Ah, um, NO!  Since you're running a shorter cage, and you can run a shorter chain, because your overall chain length needs are shorter since I'm achieving my easiest/small gear ratio using a 24t ring and 36t cog (60 tooth count total) vs a 1x using a 32t ring and 50t cog (82 tooth count total). Big ring is a 36t lets say and you don't go further up the cassette than your 2nd largest cog, a 32, then your total capacity is 64t, even if you went to the largest cog, then that's 72t total, 10 teeth less than the 1x setup, so equivalent much shorter chain, even if you leave it long enough to do the bad gear combo, sometimes. But maybe I'm a quack and don't know |WTF I'm talking about here :-\

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Vikb
Vik Banerjee
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 taprider Jerry Willows

I had a couple drop bar road/gravel bikes in the fleet and a couple MTB riser/Alt bar mountain bikes with fast rolling rubber as well. After a few years I noticed I grabbed the mountain bikey machines 9 out of 10 times when riding on pavement/gravel despite having "better" options. So I sold the drop bar bikes. No regrets.

With smart tire choice the speed differential isn't important as long as you aren't racing [real life or virtual phone racing]. With fenders and a rack the MTB can be very functional not to mention when you turn off the road and are faced with a black diamond trail the MTB just keeps on trucking which I like a lot.

The versatility is the selling point for me. I can take one of my road/gravel biases MTBs on a trip and know that no matter what ends up happening I'll have a machine I can ride and have fun. If I brought a drop bar gravel bike or a shreddy FS enduro bike I'd have to seek out some specific terrain and stay away from some other stuff to make the most of the machine I had.

My GF has been making some rumblings about getting a "gravel bike" recently. I have pointed out her existing hardtail with fast rolling rubber is probably a better choice for her performance needs as well as her ergonomic needs [she's never gotten along with drop bars]. Her reply has been riding a MTB on gravel missions isn't stylish and/or cool vs. a dedicated drop bar gravel bike. I can't really disagree with that. I've made a mental note to get her a Rapha "gravel" jersey for her birthday and some Specialized branded leg shaving razors/shaving cream as a Christmas stocking stuffer! You can't fight stuff like this.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cr4w Chad K

Everyone will have a different opinion - I don't have much interest in putting flat bars on this (or any) gravel bike. I put in a lot of tarmac miles, and part of the joy of gravel bikes (to me) is that they very much aren't mountain bikes. But yeah, I hear you on versatility, and its valid. I don't travel with this bike - I travel with a mountain bike. 

That said, I'm building a gravel bike up for my partner, and she wants flat bars.

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Vikb
Vik Banerjee
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I'm not saying people shouldn't ride a "true" gravel bike if that turns their cranks. I'd also say flat bars on a gravel bike isn't really what I am talking about in the vein of riding a rigid/hardtail MTB with fast rolling tires on "gravel" rides. Flat bars doesn't really change the versatility of a machine much vs. drop bars.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I'm with you on that Vik, again. A good steel rigid with the ability to fit whatever size wheels and tyres, racks and whatever is much more versatile and doesn't feel much if any different from your regular MTBs.

As to your GF, I don't know what to tell you, don't understand the "looks" crowd, never have, never will. I used to get strange looks from the roadies when I arrived at a road ride with my 30lb Monkey, kitted with either 38mm or 32 semi slicks in those super wide stays and fork arch, but then when I was hanging out in the front of the ride or at the top of climbs first, the kind of look changed and I used to laugh my ass off. 32mm tyres were the real road tyres were a decent weight, the 38s weigh about 600g a piece, a bit too heavy to go "play" properly with the roadies.

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Lowcard
Lowcard
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I'm in the interior, where smooth & long dirt roads outnumber paved ones, so it only makes sense to own a gravel bike here. I would never own if I lived on the coast, as it would never get used.

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Fatboy7
Corey Kawucha
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Todd Hellinga

I'm a die-hard MTB rider. I own two bikes, trails Full suspension and a Fatbike for winter riding with multiple fork options. I live in Ontario so we get snow and a lot of rain/slush. Our trails are predominantly clay based so when it rains in the Fall/Spring it gets muddy. Peanut butter mud. So we miss roughly 5 months of the year due to bad trail conditions. You just can't ride your trail bike on the trails. At all. When it freezes and/or snows enough we ride our fatbikes, hard! But when that melts... it's back to peanut butter. So, I made the plunge last year and purchased a Kona Libre with Roval Carbon wheelset. (Aluminum frame, carbon fork and seatpost, carbon wheels). I wasn't sure if I would like tyhe gravel grinding world. That was almost one year ago... I am addicted! We call it Groading. It's so fun to leave from my driveway, ride a bit of road or bike path to get to a gravel trail or railtrail, that then leads into a country gravel/dirt road. Ride for 60-100km. It has changed my perspective on cycling in general. I love riding my MTB but my gravel bike is almost as important to me now as my beloved SWORKS trail machine. Summer gravel trips to Vermont are in store and I'll bring the MTB too so I can ride trails and gravel roads all in one weekend. Quebec too.

So please keep adding Gravel bike stories/reviews etc on NSMB.com  There are a LOT of us here in Eastern Canada that will be glued to your site. Thanks!

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Stay glued! ...er... I mean stay tuned! 

And yeah, its definitely a very different experience, and one that I think... folks who haven't tried it may not fully grasp why "can't you just do that on a hardtail" aren't wrong, but it isn't the same thing at all. 

Gravel really isn't the right word - at least not for me - but there isn't really a better one that's common. 

We could switch back to ATB?

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taprider
taprider
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I'd like to see a transmogrification between a comfy rubber hooded road brake lever and the position and the pivot orientation of a mtn bike lever, so that the lever would act no different on a flat bar than a normal mtn bike brake, but the lever body could be held like a inner bar end or road bike hood (you could lightly brake from the inner position, but for bracing your body for powerful braking you would need to move back to regular mtn bike position).

Magura already has the brake cylinder near perpendicular to a flat bar (just need a cam or linkage to adjust for the difference between pivot orientation and cylinder orientation), and you could also have the brake hose connect to the back of the cylinder perpendicular so that the hose would be inline and flush with the handle bars. Actually all cables could be easily oriented inline and flush with the handlebars, but just don't try to hide them or try to connect or tape them to the bars (it would be better to route all cables and hoses behind a handlebar-bag/roll rather than in big loops in front, the limitation would be that you couldn't do bar spins).

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Ripbro
Ripbro
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I’m definitely gravel curious. I have a 2009 jake the snake Cx bike that I’ve wanted to update. 

I’d love to see some mini-max articles showing how to upgrade it (drivetrain options, handle bar options, tires). The Jake is super fun and we have a lot of fast smooth single track which dry up early. The Jake makes these trails fun and feels like a rocket ship, but the front derailleur drives me nuts. The canti brakes aren’t great but are fine for these trails. I’m interested in these types or articles, and will read anything on NSMB

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Chad K Ripbro

Awesome - I'd say start with some tires*, and just cram the biggest rubber you can in there. The geo is "dated" from a gravel perspective but... you'll be 100% fine. I'd also be looking for an affordable alloy bar with flare. 

We'll go through some drivetrain options in time here - but the cheapest way I know to go wider range 1x would be to find a used mtb cassette and rear derailleur and just chuck some bar end friction shifters on. I know a few folks running Eagle on their gravel setups this way.

*edit. Adding I've had a really good experience on the 38c Pathfinder Pro. No, its not a huge tire, with huge knobs, but its fast, comfy sidewall, and as long as you don't feel like you need to get too extreme, it could be a good option.

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Ripbro
Ripbro
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Thanks lots to look into. I’ve started digging, and going down the rabbit hole.

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Captain-Snappy
Merwinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Had a '07 JTS, great bike. Unfortunately, 'stopping' was an intermittent and somewhat noisey luxury, and a mere fantasy on wet days with those canties.  Have a '21 Hatchet w. Apex hydro discs now... it's like my XT discs on my Altitude, so-o good.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Well, my first suggestion to you would be to track down some Canti to V-brake adapters and switch to Vs, will make a world of difference. An even better option would be to find a used steel fork with disc brake tabs of the right A2C for that bike and run a disc upfront, V in back - this setup works a treat for older bikes, disc brake on the front puts the power where it's actually needed.

Unless you love drop bars, I'd move to a nice, wide flat/low rise bar and appropriate stem, also kind of a necessary of sorts if you go to Vs and Disc, unless you get some mechanical Brifters, which as far as I'm aware are only had in lower end stuff.

Depending on what width rims it came with, maybe a rebuild of the wheels with wider rims and if they'll fit some 40-45mm tyres like a WTB Nano or some such.

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Captain-Snappy
Merwinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

The seat post looks awesome; compliant but laterally supportive. However, I also wonder about it's longevity (and noise?) when gravel/sand/dirt gets in between the fore and aft halves for long enough slowly grinding the CF away. Still it's an intriguing design.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Yeah, I've also had this thought/concern, as it's basically a tiny jaw crusher

If you see above, Mike F has been running one for a decade plus, so that's encouraging? But he also doesn't live in the land of Muck and Grit. 

They do sell the seatpost separately, as well. But I think only in 27.2.

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mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I also haven't done a single cycloross style remount with it since I first slapped it on my old Hunter road bike. To be totally transparent, it hasn't seen massive mileage - the Hunter was mothballed for several years and then the post got used on the newish Pivot because it was the only 27.2 post I had laying around. But it's about a thousand miles in now with no complaints, on top of a couple thousand over the prior decade.

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qduffy
qduffy
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Lynx . taprider Greg Bly

Good god, that article generated some comments, huh? I was super, duper close to getting a Canyon ( probably Grail, but like 51/49 with the Grizk), but my tax return was bigger than expected, so I now have a Trek Checkpoint with Rival AXS. Love the 1x12, love the etap, bike is awesome, all bikes are awesome.

I've been finding more desire to ride the gravel bike lately - $2 gas and the brutal drive over to the shore from East Van has me reaching for the drops rather than hitting drops on the mtb. It won't last forever, but I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

$2 gas, is that per litre? Please tell me it's not per 4 litres/gallon. Either way, don't bitch, I wish our was ever that low per litre, lowest I think it's ever been is just above $3 a litre in the last 10 years.

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qduffy
qduffy
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Oof. No, that's $2 per liter, but it's all relative. There was a time in Vancouver where it was 35 cents. Don't get me wrong - our gas prices are laughably low compared to the UK or Europe, but it's becoming a barrier to frequent MTB trips. A drive back and forth to Squamish is probably $40 in my car - never mind the carbon guilt. When the EV shows up, I'll feel a bit better.

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Eurosquirrel
Eurosquirrel
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Lynx .

This conversation is quite interesting on multiple levels. I appreciate the different viewpoints shared and want to add my 2 cents based upon my own experiences.

I believe that it is of limited importance to determine why people choose to ride a bike, what setup they prefer, or what kind of riding they do. In my book, every biker is a good biker, valuable to our community and our ability to make our society more bike(r)friendly.

I live near Finale Ligure and I use my Canyon Inflite AL 9.0, which I bought in 2019. Despite the FD setup, which I don’t mind, the bike was simply not set up to face the steep climbs we have here. Subsequently, I changed the set-up to an MTB hybrid with a bigger cassette. Still not quite optimal, though. @Cooper Quinn, I’ll definitely will look into the Ratio Technology setup, thank you for creating awareness of this option. I love the versatility of the bike because I often find myself exploring new trails and new areas in the Ligurian ‘hinterland.’ I can simply jump on my gravel bike, explore on fireroads or simply check out what could be a killer singletrack on the side of the road (please note that I ride flats on my gravelbike, too). It beats getting my hardtail in terms of exploring and just expands my possibilities to go out riding. And, yes, I also use it to ride some of the Finale singletracks, albeit the more ‘mellow’ ones (by Ligurian standards), such as around the 24hours course, or some trails on the Natobase and Melogno. It certainly helps with my skill development and there is something to be appreciated on going down trails without any suspension whatsoever. In my humble opinion, it is just another, fun aspect of riding. And please recall the golden rule of how many bikes one needs, the answer is always n+1. Happy trails.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+3 Lynx . Todd Hellinga Eurosquirrel

It sounds like we have similar philosophies on life, bikes, and how we use our gravel bikes, hah! The Ratio Tech works pretty well - I'm not sure I'd buy it if I didn't already have an Eagle cassette and RD sitting on the bench, but if you do its a great use.

Something you mention though is worth discussing; often overlooked by people reading reviews (or, at least people commenting on them) is that a review is just one person's opinion, colored by all their strengths, weaknesses, and biases and articulated within the constraints of whatever media is uses. Its up to the reader to try and apply that opinion to their riding, wants, and needs. 

I've never been to Finale.... some day!

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Eurosquirrel
Eurosquirrel
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Dear Cooper, it appears we do share similar views indeed. I'll give the Ratio Tech a shot and report back on how it worked out.

And, yes, I couldn't agree more about the caveat and you picking up on my corresponding comment. In my profession we refer to a context and pervious experience bias. The underlying theory states that not only different consumers evaluate the same products in the same setting differently (such as you described), but also that the same consumer can perceive the same product in a different way if the context changes (such as us using a bike on different trails, locations, etc...). In summary, perceptions are reality and they can vary dramatically from person to person even if all other circumstances are equal. Thus, I appreciate the advice given on sites like NSMB.com, always stating that it is best to try out yourself.

If you ever venture out to Finale, please let me know, and we will hook you up with accommodation and whatever else you might need.

Happy trails

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Briain
Briain
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Eurosquirrel

I used my ratio kit with the standard 11 apex mech that came on my bike it worked fine but was a bit stretched at the top of the cassette. But one less thing to buy if your on a tight budget

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Eurosquirrel
Eurosquirrel
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Briain

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the kit, Briain. I'll see how it works.

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AlanB
AlanB
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Judging by the response here, Cam better grab the nsgb.com domain.

Agreed on lots of local rides for the gravel crowd. There's even the Rotary Ride For Rescue on June 11 if you want to outstrip the fat tire crowd up BLT. That's a climb worthy of being called a grind!

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taprider
taprider
3 months, 1 week ago
0

How well does the GRX front derailleur work compared to a Shimano XT/XTR front pull side swing?

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
+4 taprider Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman cheapondirt

TapRider, no experience with the GRX, but that move to the front pull/side swing FDs Shimano made, made a HUGE difference and improvement on how FDs worked, they're amazing compared to the old stuff IMHO. No worries about it interferring with tyre clearance with stuff hanging into the rear, much stronger mechanism, so crisp and precise.

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neologisticzand
Chad K
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I have absolutely no complaints about my GRX front mech after about a year of use! Pretty set and forget, with minimal adjustments needed. Shimano also did a good job at making it easy to set up.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Don't get me wrong - it shifts well. I won't make any direct comparison notes though; I haven't used any other FDs in so long I don't think I have a valid opinion.

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taprider
taprider
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Give a front pull side swing Shimano a try before dismissing front derailleurs

FDs can fix lots of chain line issues plus allow shorter rear cages.

A combi shifter with a front shift lever stacked on top of a rear shift lever body, so that you couldn't do the big-big or small-small gear combinations, would be an even further great improvement

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Shoreloamer
Greg Bly
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Call it a drop bar bike . It's interesting that these " road bikes"go very fast but I believe have much faster steering from a much steeper hta. They don't feel like a mountain bike . 

It feels different. Riding in the drops full power is fun ! Good for a truly alternative feel. 

I personally love the integrated shifters in the brake levers . Compared to a mountain bike it's a very clean simple cock pit .  North shore is all steep  hills . One click and your in climbing gear . You prefer ten  clicks ?  I'm certain tiny close ratio gear clusters shift like butter . You want to put on a huge pie plate outback with a long cage clutch derailer ?  That's better? More convenient? 

What percentage of time on flats ? , Hoods and drops ? The three different hand possiions that make drop bars quite different from flats . For long commutes and trekking different hand positions is helpful.  

Personally I would throw on a SID fork to upset the fickle roadie crowd. That and pavement is rarely smooth.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Chad K

No, they really don't feel like mountain bikes - which is definitely a feature not a bug. 

Yeah, I prefer a wide ratio cassette over front derailleur but hey - options out there for everyone! 

I'm hoods/drops, almost no time on the tops. But yeah, the different hand positions are great. Lots of folks want to run flat bars as its what they're comfortable with - and that's fine - but once you get used to all the options with drops... 

Integrated brifters never really caught on... has anyone other than Shimano even tried? Dual control was certainly a bit of a flop.

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khai
khai
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Greg Bly

>> Integrated brifters never really caught on... has anyone other than Shimano even tried? Dual control was certainly a bit of a flop.

Aside from Shimano: Campagnolo, Sachs (made by Campy), SRAM, and Mavic (1st ever electronic shifting!) all come to mind.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Sorry -to be clear - I mean in the mountain realm.

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khai
khai
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I thought about that after I had answered - though I'd argue that the "Rapidfire Plus" style of under bar mounted shift paddles - regardless of whether they're part of the lever or not, fulfil the same role as roadie brake/shift levers in that one can brake and shift without having to remove one's hands from the bar - unlike a thumb shifter mounted atop the bar on a mtb, or a downtube/bar end style shift lever on a road bike.

Dual Control did blow, though...

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Hey Cooper, that Dual Control brake/shift of the 2000s may not have been widely popular and don't think I'd have run them, but the Rapid Rise RDs made it possible for me to MTB without putting as much strain on my damaged thumb. I rode 9spd until 2016 because of those RR RDs, but then tried the newest 10spd on a friends and it felt fairly smooth and didn't require so much force to shift, plus there was the clutch.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Now this has been a very civil and interesting discussion, but no one's touched on your question about coverage of "other" stuff like e-bikes, so here goes, expect a lot of hate, but oh well.....PLEASE don't encourage the modern trend to laziness, please do not encourage manufacturers looking for easy $$ from lazy people, please keep mountain biking what it's always been, a super fun way to get out into nature and get some exercise while having a load of fun, leave the moto stuff to sites dedicated to those with real disabilities.

And just for those who think I'm against e-bikes, I'm not, what I'm against is the BS surrounding them and the "They're just like regular bikes, they only provide a LITTLE assistance". 

I actually think that e-bikes are a fantastic step forward to help more people consider a bike as a form of transportation and easing traffic congestion, polution etc., but please keep them off the trails.

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Ddean
Ddean
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Where are you guys who live on the Shore riding these bikes? 

Heading east seems obvious to me, but it seems that you are finding dirt/gravel miles on the Shore? Really?

I can see up Cypress on BLT and up and over and down Cypress West trail - but why? Fromme, up Mountain Hwy and back down Mountain Hwy, but why? Im sure theres an equivalent Seymour route.....but why?

My background is road and one of the things that I miss (basically the only thing I miss) is the breadth of geography that you cover on a road bike versus a MTB, which if you're pounding miles tends to be looping different trails within the same zone), and I would love to find a way to re-connect with that experience.

Not sure that type of adventure is possible on the Shore, so Im asking. Ill get one of these things if it is!!!

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gdharries
Geof Harries
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Ddean Niels van Kampenhout

Here is a route guide that is often referenced.

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Ddean
Ddean
3 months, 1 week ago
0

That is extremely helpful! Thank you!

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khai
khai
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Ddean

I know people that explore the FSRs North of Vancouver through Squamish and all the way up to Pemberton and beyond.  I once rode Whistler to Lillooet on a road bike, and a gravel bike would have done that well - particularly in those areas where the paving isn't great.  More locally I've seen lots of gravel riders riding around the Mt Seymour Conservation Reserve (formerly Seymour Demonstration Forest).  While not exactly exciting, that's a better ride than up and down the Fromm fire road imo.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Todd Hellinga

Ha, I mean you've missed the most popular one - Fisherman's out to the Seymour Dam.

McKay Creek is a great gravel climb. Lots of stuff around Cypress, think of everything in/around Cypress Falls Park, Fern trail... connect over via Millstream and Cap Dam to Grouse Powerlines...  and that's what I can think of in 45 seconds before I even think of crossing a bridge. Its a nice climb up parallel to the Cut through Loutet, and on to Greenwood park (this is also part of my commute). 

There's lots of "gravel" riding - sure maybe its not what most people think of - ribbons of doubletrack or Pitt Meadows levees, but it can be a lot of fun. If there's a "why".... that's up to you! But it opens up a world of riding that's different. (someone is going to chime in about how you could just do it all on a mountain bike, and they're not wrong, but that for me would really get a "why". Its the wrong tool for the job.)

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Ddean
Ddean
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I see it, although Im not sure that Id choose a gravel ride on the same "connectors" that I use to link up MTB trails instead of an MTB ride, but I can appreciate that its another way to enjoy bikes in the "woods", and thats what most of MTBing is for me.

One thing is for certain, these bikes have evolved a hundred years since I bought my JTS with cantis.

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syncro
Mark
3 months, 1 week ago
0

So basically this is an old school mtb with drop bars - why all the fuss?

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 months, 1 week ago
0

You owe me a beer.

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