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Gravel Bike Thread

Aug. 23, 2021, 3:09 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

I finally got this after the shipping company lost it twice and then delivered to the wrong address in the middle of a lockdown. It turned up the day before we entered another lockdown, so provided some good workshop time building.

Short version, I'm blown away. It's more comfortable than my Moots was, it's a fair bit lighter, and with the massive tyre clearance and very slight geo tweaks it's super capable, even with pretty challenging singletrack. There are a couple of minor tweaks still to make, mostly cosmetic. Steel frame, carbon seat tube.

The Ultradynamico tyres in the first picture ride amazingly, but holy jeebus are they soft - really noticeable tread wear after two rides. I've swapped a pair of Rene Herse tyres on and they've definitely been more capable. Cushcore is a huge benefit.

Aug. 23, 2021, 3:40 p.m.
Posts: 14403
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

That's a great looking rig!

Aug. 23, 2021, 5:12 p.m.
Posts: 146
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Couch_Surfer

That's a great looking rig!

Yes! 

Is the second pic Whakarewarewa?

Aug. 23, 2021, 11:20 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

You’ve got a good eye! We moved here just recently. 

You can get down most of the trails up to / including a lot of the grade 4 on a CX bike in decent conditions. 

It’s not a terrible place to be.

Aug. 24, 2021, 3:12 a.m.
Posts: 146
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Heinous

You’ve got a good eye! We moved here just recently. 

You can get down most of the trails up to / including a lot of the grade 4 on a CX bike in decent conditions. 

It’s not a terrible place to be.

Not terrible. But the braking bumps get tiring without suspension. 

I hope it's in your neighborhood exercise distance for lockdown.

Aug. 24, 2021, 3:26 a.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

They can, although thankfully there are a lot of trails less prone to that. It’s definitely pretty hard on the wrists on the CX bike at times.

It’s just across the road, so plenty of trail in my zone.

Aug. 24, 2021, 6:48 p.m.
Posts: 1070
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Heinous

I finally got this after the shipping company lost it twice and then delivered to the wrong address in the middle of a lockdown. It turned up the day before we entered another lockdown, so provided some good workshop time building.

Short version, I'm blown away. It's more comfortable than my Moots was, it's a fair bit lighter, and with the massive tyre clearance and very slight geo tweaks it's super capable, even with pretty challenging singletrack. There are a couple of minor tweaks still to make, mostly cosmetic. Steel frame, carbon seat tube.

The Ultradynamico tyres in the first picture ride amazingly, but holy jeebus are they soft - really noticeable tread wear after two rides. I've swapped a pair of Rene Herse tyres on and they've definitely been more capable. Cushcore is a huge benefit.

That bike is beautiful. I'm so jealous. I'm digging the cushcore as well. On trails you can really drop the pressure and if you accidentally nail a root, it's ok. The traction is so amazing.

Aug. 25, 2021, 8:59 a.m.
Posts: 967
Joined: Feb. 28, 2014

My wife gravel riding in Kamloops. She's new to this, but having fun!

Aug. 26, 2021, 4:31 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

With the cost of decent alloy rims these days the Cushcore pays for itself super fast on these kinds of bikes if you ride them on trails. I have previously killed 1-2 rims a year which adds up.

Aug. 29, 2021, 4:34 p.m.
Posts: 1070
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Heinous

With the cost of decent alloy rims these days the Cushcore pays for itself super fast on these kinds of bikes if you ride them on trails. I have previously killed 1-2 rims a year which adds up.

Yup. Way more hard rim strikes with only 42cc between my rim and an abrupt root. 

Speaking of getting rowdy on a gravel bike, how often do you all crash on a gravel ride. I have to say that gravel riding feels way closer to the edge a lot of the time due to the gravel on hard surface and crap tires (in comparison to a mtb bike tire). My most common crash is having the front wheel wash out in a corner. I'd say it happens to me about one in 20-30 rides. I fu÷#ing hate it though. Gravel crashes can be pretty high speed and falling on gravel always sucks.

Aug. 29, 2021, 8:05 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

I very rarely crash cx / gravel bikes on gravel, but in CX races where pushing harder and the conditions are usually terrible probably average a small crash every few races. Riding a CX bike on MTB trails I don't crash often, but do have the odd emergency dismount.

Crashing on gravel at high speed is nasty business, and while I tend to go pretty quick, crashing is a rarity. Grinduro California I had one that could have been really bad but managed to salvage it and eject in an upright position and run off the speed. 

If you're crashing at high speed on gravel washing the front I'm curious about your bike fit and set up...

Aug. 30, 2021, 12:48 p.m.
Posts: 1070
Joined: May 11, 2018

I think my bike fit is  OK. My tire setup may need to be rethought. I'm running gravel king semi slicks right now as I do at least 50% on roads. I also ride a little too fast a little too often but sometimes my spills aren't tire or equipment related. For instance, yesterday my front tire blew out in a corner that had 3" of loose gravel on top of hardpack. Gravel has to be the least confidence inspiring surface to corner on imo. It's also hard to predict what gravel is going to let loose. I'm relatively new to gravel so I was wondering what others experience was.

Aug. 30, 2021, 3:29 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

Do you have any road riding experience? I think road riding is really useful. The position is similar, but mostly, I find that the way you handle the bike and assess risk is informative. I crash mtb's a lot more than gravel, but that's mostly because gravel (like road) crashes tend to be pretty nasty.

Sept. 4, 2021, 9:59 a.m.
Posts: 2280
Joined: April 2, 2005

took a cervelo aspero 5 force axs testbike home over the weekend, daaaaaang what a super fast maschine it is. easy 4-5km/h more than with my bombtrack

Sept. 5, 2021, 10:41 a.m.
Posts: 1446
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

Rebuilt my cache with drop bars, not the ideal brake/shifter setup, as I couldn't get my hands on 12 speed hydros but mechanical Force 11 with TRP Spyres are working well. My intention is to swap up to the new 12 speed Ultegra when they become readily available.

Cache Drive

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