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Who of you are thinking about buying a gravel bike?


GoneBabyGone
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So, I have been doing a fair bit of research here on TBH, and see alot of devided opinions on the matter.

 

One half are thinking its a consipiracy theory for bike manufacturers to keep taking our money.

The other half sees it as a practical solution to alot of things, ie. Replace your road bike with a gravel bike, its more comfy, you can easily go off the road on dangerous sections of traffic or climb curbs, you can do road races with them, all be it not UCI races, but who is checking. In fact, I saw someone do a sub 3 hour in the CTCT with a gravel bike....

 

I for one believe this is the bike that is in fact not the N+1 bike, but the bike that can give a person, the best of three worlds.

 

Whats your take on the matter, try and stay positie if at all possible lol

Edited by GoneBabyGone
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I was, then I realised I'll always find a way to spend money on things I don't need for no reason while making someone else wealthier. Decided to sell my trail bike, hard tail and forego the gravel bike and instead buy a Pyga Stage that does it all well and only weights in at 11KGs.

 

I might still get one some day, but only because I'm stupid  :thumbup:

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im really considering it because ive started enjoying the road riding i do with the wife on the mtb. She also prefers riding jeep track type offroad stuff more but she doesn't mind singletrack either. She'll never be a 'trail' rider though.

But I get annoyed when we hit the speed limit of what a 1x mtb can do. its like being stuk in 2nd or 3rd gear...i want to go up to 6 or 7 when i can.

I Dont think i'll ever buy a full onroad bike ever again (never say never i guess)...we enjoy riding offroad too much....so to me a gravel bike might just be the perfect compromise. if my mtb frame could take a front ring bigger than 34T....I would have done that by now. but thats the downfall of boost spacing. it limits the front ring size because it assumes you'd like a plus size tire in the rear....amongst other things.  ideally i would want 36 or even 38T up front. i'm still on a 36T cassette so i'm not to bothered on that side. I almost never hit 36T in the rear...and i can always go bigger in the rear for more granny love.

 

maybe i should ask Mr Mercer to mod the chainstay (steel frame) in the back so i can get a 36 or 38T n/w on there haha...

 

i feel the need....the need for speed lol

Edited by morneS555
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Me, when hte time comes to get a new roadie (if ever)

 

The idea of a more capable road bike that doesn't shirk away from a little bit of dirt is intriguing, and I'd far rather spend money on that than a dedicated roadie-only bike. 

 

40 / 45c tyres, disc brakes & drop bars. Lekka. 

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Me, when hte time comes to get a new roadie (if ever)

 

The idea of a more capable road bike that doesn't shirk away from a little bit of dirt is intriguing, and I'd far rather spend money on that than a dedicated roadie-only bike. 

 

40 / 45c tyres, disc brakes & drop bars. Lekka. 

also leaves the opportunity open for passing people on the left......on the dirt shoulder :ph34r:  :devil:

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Yes, When I look at the 7 bikes in my bike room and contemplate the fact that I only ride one of them on a regular basis I realise that there is an empty space in my heart for a gravel bike. 

 

We all need to be respectful of the fact that various in depth studies conducted by some of the top brains in the world have proven without a shadow of a doubt that you cannot own too many bicycles. It is not possible.  

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A couple of weeks ago there was a carbon Cannondale SuperX in the Bikehub classifieds ....  I thought that is the perfect bike as I could swop out the gravel wheels for road wheels whenever I wanted to do a road race. .... was a bargain at 20K ... but the current recession stopped me from flirting with the idea.  :mellow: 

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Took the plunge a few years ago and went the 2nd hand self-build route to keep the cost down.

 

Steel frame and fork. 2x10. 50-34 and 11-36 (about to go 46-34 and 11-40). Drop bars, STIs.

 

Love it! I tour on it on tar/gravel and train on the road too. Love the ability to run from 25 to 38mm tyres. It's comfy and handles well enough for a confirmed roadie.

 

Yes it's heavier than my carbon road bike and hence slower but not all rides need to be about speed.

 

I wouldn't easily be parted from it...

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In an effort to resolve the n+1 financial strain, I have invested in what I believe is my trilogy of bikes, carbon road racer, steel mountain bike and my titanium gravel bike over the last few years. The "problem" is the gravel bike has become the go to bike and I should have rather invested in a second wheelset for the GR  rather than a dedicated road bike, i.e. skinny wheels / tyres for road and wide tyre wheel combo for offroad. The spare wheelset can also accommodate suitable road gearing, to offset the ultra compact front chainring set upfront, when trying to hang with the roadies on Marine Drive loop.   

 

My decision to purchase the gravel bike was also dictated by my work (renewables industry in the Little Karoo and all of the Northern Cape), and the mountainbike was too slow to cover larger distances over our off weekends. A decision I don't regret, as it also very easy to add the bikepacking gear for the overnighters I end up doing.  In short the gravel bike allows for speed and comfort to explore large areas.

 

 

 

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I did buy a gravel bike so for me it's would I buy it again and the answer is yes.

 

There are times when I hate it and I've said before that sometimes I regard it as the bastard offspring of my road and mtb and combines the worst features of it's parents but this is usually at the point where my bike handling skills end and my reliance on the technology begins.

 

I would not ever use it as a replacement for my road bike or my dual suss. It sees daily use as an urban commuter - shortcuts over grass sections, hopping on and off pavements as OP observes. Currently has 4 devil thorns sticking out the tubeless picked up when I rode on to the embankment next to liesbeek bike path to avoid workmen. Makes me feel happy and confident that I won't end up at work with greasy hands from changing a flat.

 

I take it out to Koeberg once in a while or to PHily on the back roads which is a nice change and it races Amarider and Swartberg granfondo.

 

I think the addition of a dropper post will improve the bike for me - I have unreasonably long legs which puts my center of gravity quite high on the bike and I do feel a bit vulnerable on long steep bumpy dirt descents.

 

I say do it but I wouldn'tt look to it to be the only one to play all roles - having ridden good mid range road bike there is no way the gravel could ever fill the void that would leave in my life and loving MTB as I do - it could never take the place of my MTB.

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I went the self build route, but it's not a true gravel bike (is there such a thing?).  Basically a relatively lightweight Alu frame, carbon forks, and carbone just about everything else, with 45 FARR tyres and 2x10 MTB gearing.

 

What I like about it is the oodles of room I have for climbing gearing.  I noticed on Sunday when the guys on roadbikes ran out of gears up something like Smits, I still had plenty available.  The bummer is that peddling beyond 45km/h is beyond me, and the roadbikes catch up again on the flats.  Conclusion, I need to run bigger chainrings for road, and MOST gravel rides.  The bugger is (and I didn't think about this) is the availability of these chainrings in SA for my crank, and they cost a fortune if you can find them.

 

If I did the exercise again, I would think much more carefully about cranks and compatibility with larger chainrings (or just bought one of the  FARR frame kits).

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I originally built my gravel bike as my N+1 bike, but I find I ride it all the time, especially towards winter when it's dark on the morning rides.

 

The extra comfort and not having to worry about every tiny hole on the road, plus the power of disc brakes makes it my go to a lot of the time. It's also fast enough to keep up with road bikes.

 

Will it ever replace my road bike? No - as I race and the geometry isn't quite the same. If I weren't racing on the road, I would only have a gravel bike with two different wheel options. 

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I'm on record calling gravel bikes an industry hoax - but over the last few years I have fallen in love with drop bars and older road bikes - not always a safe option.  I ride alone a lot and I have endless miles of safe gravel at my disposal. I like my wife to be able to track me and fetch me if something went wrong and found myself riding a lot of gravel track on a full sus.

 

I built a gravel hardtail which I love and now I'm going to make it a bit more trail so I needed a "proper" gravel bike

 

So now I have this and I'm pretty sure that of my X amount of bikes, this will make up 80 percent of my mileage

The frame is temporary as I have a Curve Kevin on order with Benky - Ti appeals big time

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post-81229-0-75640100-1583823140_thumb.jpg

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How many mountain bikers use their bikes to its full potential? Very few, I'd think. 

 

Southern Africa is literally criss-crossed with perfect gravel roads. Millions of kilometres of them. A road bike is obviously not the best choice of tool for district (or worse) roads, a mountain bike is good but perhaps overkill. The gravel bike is near perfect. Plus you can tuck in when there is wind or just enjoy the many different hand positions for relief. They weigh little, have tough wheels and very decent brakes (if hydraulic) and are pretty cheap to maintain. Get a second set of wheels and skinny tyres and you have a pretty reasonable CTCT machine as well. 

 

What's not to like?

 

And no, you don't have to grow a beard and drink yuppie coffee.

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