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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 ;-)
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