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Do I need a new bike?

Old 01-23-20, 07:10 PM
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rpatanav
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Do I need a new bike?

Hi guys,
I'm just getting into cycling and want to take it more seriously. Currently I have a 2019 Kona Dew and is wondering whether I should upgrade to a proper gravel bike? Im thinking about spending $800. Will I be able to get something that will make my experience significantly better?

The specs for the Dew is below:
  • Frame Material: Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted frame
  • Wheels: Double wall alloy 650b
  • Fork: Kona Project Two Disc
  • Crankset: Shimano Altus
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus / Tourney 8spd
  • Brakes: Tektro disc with 160mm front / 160mm rear rotor
  • Seat Post: Kona Commuter
  • Cockpit: Kona Aluminum Riser, Kona Control stem, Kona Key Grip
  • Front Tire: WTB Horizon Comp 650x47c
  • Rear tire: WTB Horizon Comp 650x47c
  • Saddle: Kona Comfort
Thanks for all the input!
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Old 01-23-20, 07:14 PM
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dualresponse
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A 2019 bike isn't exactly an old bike. Have you ridden your Kona Dew on gravel yet? Please report on your experience with it, and what you are trying to improve upon. Where does the Kona Dew excel? Where does it fall short? Is there a particular gravel bike in $800 category you are looking at? What are your goals?

Last edited by dualresponse; 01-23-20 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:17 PM
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rpatanav
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The Dew does alright on gravel but it feels very sluggish on the road. It doesnt seem to do too well on super rocky paths either.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:31 PM
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dualresponse
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https://biketestreviews.com/best-gra...or-under-1000/

edit.. okay, I went through the article. I didn't actually READ the article mind you, I just looked at the pics/ geometry. You want a Cannondale topstone. It gives you the most of what your current bike is not. Raleigh comes in second. DB and Tomasso's come in third. Pure cycles might come in first or last depending on riding you are doing. Single speed comes in last because it it too uncomplex.

Last edited by dualresponse; 01-23-20 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:54 PM
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You are not going to notice improvement on super rocky paths with a gravel bike, that is mountain bike territory. Your bike already has 47c slicks, you can make it feel faster by going to a 32c tire or smaller, but don't be surprised if you are only 1-3mph faster.

I'd suggest you borrow or rent a gravel bike so you can feel the difference. The components of a $800 gravel bike will be around the same level as your Dew. The biggest difference will be going to a drop bar (assuming that is what you are looking at).
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Old 01-23-20, 07:56 PM
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Nobody needs a new bike. But if you want one, and have the means, get one. Lots of sub-$1k gravel bikes out there nowadays.
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Old 01-23-20, 08:01 PM
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I'm guessing you'll notice a signifcant uptick in performance of any gravel DROPBAR bike. The flatbar setup of the Dew is holding you back, no doubt. Wild thought here, but maybe take some of that $800 and upgrade to a nice dropbar gearing setup?
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Old 01-23-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I'm guessing you'll notice a signifcant uptick in performance of any gravel DROPBAR bike. The flatbar setup of the Dew is holding you back, no doubt. Wild thought here, but maybe take some of that $800 and upgrade to a nice dropbar gearing setup?
And on that note, if you simply flip your current stem upside down to lower your current bar height, you might notice a more aggresive stance immediately with no $$$ needed. Also, moving any spacers in the stack from below the stem to on top of the stem will help lower the bar height. In this $ category, it's not like a "gravel" bike is going to have one part - say a wheelset- that is going to be so phenominal, that it makes the world perfect. Setup (on the other hand) can make a big difference in this ballpark ( or any ballpark...) .

Last edited by dualresponse; 01-23-20 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 01-24-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dualresponse View Post
And on that note, if you simply flip your current stem upside down to lower your current bar height, you might notice a more aggresive stance immediately with no $$$ needed. Also, moving any spacers in the stack from below the stem to on top of the stem will help lower the bar height. In this $ category, it's not like a "gravel" bike is going to have one part - say a wheelset- that is going to be so phenominal, that it makes the world perfect. Setup (on the other hand) can make a big difference in this ballpark ( or any ballpark...) .
It could... but How aggressive can you go and at what "cons"?

I went pretty aggressive on my 91 Schwinn Crosscut build. and It is twitchy on the street and absolutely nuts on loose gravel. Some of it could be the flexy as heck fork. In comparison my full suspension Scalpel is way more aggressive and 10x more stable than my hybrid on gravel.

So yes I think a hybrid can be made more aggressive, I however will Also vote for just starting with a Drop bar gravel bike.

There is no harm in flipping a stem, and removing spacers on the Kona to see how it feels. It's actually a pretty simple and free experiment. After that there are 2 camps of people. those who can ride a century on a flat bar. And then the people like me that struggle after 20+ miles on a flatbar.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Nobody needs a new bike.
hush, he needs a new bike. Don't be so negative.

It's possible that new tires would make the bike feel less sluggish on the road. But 47mm tires are pretty big, they might feel sluggish even if they aren't really slowing you down much. They are going to be more secure on rocky paths, so that is a trade-off you have to make. I ride 38mm Gravel King SK, and they don't feel sluggish to me on the road. YMMV
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Old 01-24-20, 08:58 AM
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I ride an alloy Topstone and I love it but before you spend money on a new bike I would rent or if possible burrow a bike of the type and price range you are looking at. Then you can have a direct line of feedback to what you would be getting compared to what you have. You might be surprised as to what your current bike has in common with a newer bike or find out that the new bike checks all of your boxes. The Topstone I have is considerably more that your projected budget but you don't have to get a 105 version. I would seriously try to get some seat time on other bikes and see just what you think. You might be better off staying with what you have and saving towards a bike that will make the difference you are looking for.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rpatanav View Post
The Dew does alright on gravel but it feels very sluggish on the road. It doesnt seem to do too well on super rocky paths either.
Perhaps you could clarify what "doesn't seem to do well on super rocky paths" means to you.

It's pretty easy to understand why a fatter 47mm tired flat bar bike won't do so well on the road but those things ought to aid you on more technical trails, as they do MTB's. It could be you are expecting too much out of your bike? One bike doing it all well? Do the tires lack traction on rocky ground or do you feel unstable? Going to a drop bar would help performance on the road but would not be the first solution for negotiating difficult terrain that I would suggest. Adjusting the fit of the fats (as suggested above), adding bar ends and looking at better tires are all cheap fixes or something that can carry over from bike to bike (tires).

Anyway, what did you find to be the problem on rocky paths to be?
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Old 01-25-20, 07:31 AM
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N+1 - you always need a new bike
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