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Endurance bike with some gravel capabilities?

Old 01-23-20, 07:54 PM
  #1  
aabb
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Endurance bike with some gravel capabilities?

Hi again. Apologies for yet another thread. Based on the last feedback I got I have decided to ask yet another question. Itís pretty short this time.

im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and thatís why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)

i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. Itís marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. Iím wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.

also please feel free to throw some suggestions for other bikes to look at. I just want something with a relaxed geometry that can go fast (not as fast as a racing bike obviously) but I can still take on some light trails and gravel.
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Old 01-23-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. Itís marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. Iím wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.
I'm not that knowledgeable about gravel bikes but I don't know where the weight issue is coming from regarding the Domane SL 5. It is my understanding that in general, a gravel bike is heavier than a road bike. (Have I been misinformed?) So, given the Domane is a quality road bike that has the ability to run up to 38mm tires I'm curious about where the "weight issue" is coming from.
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Old 01-23-20, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
I'm not that knowledgeable about gravel bikes but I don't know where the weight issue is coming from regarding the Domane SL 5. It is my understanding that in general, a gravel bike is heavier than a road bike. (Have I been misinformed?) So, given the Domane is a quality road bike that has the ability to run up to 38mm tires I'm curious about where the "weight issue" is coming from.
i keep seeing people in various forums (this one includes ) and in YouTube comments (yes not the best place) repeat it.
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Old 01-23-20, 08:11 PM
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I recently built up a Soma Fog Cutter for this reason, I'm riding 90% road. It can fit up to 700x42 / 650x47 tires, but I'm running it with 700x35 currently. I've only taken it on easy dirt paths so far and it handled those with ease.

Note that it is only sold as a frame so you'd have to pay a shop to build one if you can't.
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Old 01-23-20, 08:16 PM
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The complaints about the trivial weight gain of the Domane series should be ignored. Basically, the bike was re-designed to accommodate wider tires, and the wheels and tires are a bit heavier than racing wheels. The difference is less than the difference between a full and empty water bottle.

If I didn't already have something similar, I would get a Domane. (My "something similar" is a custom steel bike with similar specs. It weights more than the carbon Domane. This hasn't ruined my life.)

Get a bike that fits properly, and that can fit fat tires. Spend some money on really high-quality fat tires, like Compass/Rene Herse. Forget about the weight.

I weigh almost 200 lbs fully dressed. The bike weight difference is noise on the signal. I felt guilty about my Brooks saddle until I realized I could compensate by dropping 0.5 lb off my arse.

Last edited by wgscott; 01-23-20 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 01-23-20, 09:31 PM
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I like the Cannondale Synapse as a long-legged fast bike. The AL 105 bike is my personal (budget) pick, but you can go all the way to Hi-mod Carbon Dura Ace if you want.
Comes with 28's, but there's a 105 'SE' model with mech disks and tubeless-ready 32mm wheels, (and a 48t instead of the 'road' 50t)
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Old 01-23-20, 09:51 PM
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That Domane is a solid choice. Unless youíre planning on paying your bills with bike race earnings, the trivial amount of difference is, well, trivial. People here and many other places will whine about differences measured in grams - GRAMS. Many of those same people could lose a few pounds, so seriously, donít believe for a second that any difference between one year model to the next is gonna be a game changer. Empty your bladder and youíll make up the difference.

That Domane looks like just what youíre looking for. And for the record, Iím no Trek or Domane fanboy.


-Kedosto

Edited to add: You did ask for any other recommendations so Iíd suggest a look at the Specialized Diverge. The early Future Shock reviews were a little less than stellar, but those reviews are often from the same guys whining about the weight, so do your homework. And for the record here, I am a bit of a Specialized fanboy and probably would have begun my search there.

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Old 01-24-20, 12:23 AM
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Weight is important. But it is way, way, overrated in terms of its proportional effect.
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Old 01-24-20, 06:18 AM
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I've got a Domane SL6, a great road bike and I have ridden it (with 32mm tires) on gravel stretches of local rides - the bike is fine on the gravel stretches, the tires (Continental GP5000s) are too narrow and too slick.. With 38mm tires with the right tread, it would be fine for those stretches. More than fine - the ISOspeed damping is really nice for small bumpy stuff..

But, I also do touring and some riding on towpath or 90% gravel rides and I ended up getting rid of two older bikes (an old hybrid beater bike I would use on dirt/gravel/towpaths, and my 25 year old Trek 520 touring bike). I weigh 225 and the wheels on any good road bike aren't made for my weight plus baggage on touring or extended use on rougher stuff. I picked up a Jamis Renegade, just did a few days touring in Florida on it (CycleBlaze Journal here) and really like that bike for touring and mostly unpaved rides, love my Domane for the 95% paved rides.

If I weighed less, I would have just stuck with the Domane for road riding and touring, and the old beater bike for the rough stuff. But, by going from 3 bikes to 2, I was able to justify buying the Jamis - doing an N-2+1!
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Old 01-24-20, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and thatís why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)
.
Is this necessarily true? ie. Endurance faster and more comfortable (leaving the tires aside). What's the difference between a Domane and Checkpoint?
Actually I'm interested in what Cervelo has these days, and looking at a C3 (Endurance) vs Aspero (Gravel) -- I think it appears the Aspero is the more aggressively fit bike.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:35 AM
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I seriously considered a Canyon Grail before purchasing a Spec Roubaix (Comp Di2 on sale). I think it's set up really well for someone wanting to do road and light off-road riding. The 105 level is probably in your budget.
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Old 01-24-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Is this necessarily true? ie. Endurance faster and more comfortable (leaving the tires aside).
Faster? I doubt it. Once you stick a set of 38mm gravel tires on an endurance bike, it basically IS a gravel bike, IMO.

More comfortable? No.

With road endurance bikes starting to fit fat tires (example: my Fog Cutter -marketed as ďenduranceĒ - fits 42s) the distinction between the two categories is getting pretty fuzzy.
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Old 01-24-20, 11:08 AM
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For $4k I'd go Warbird or Warroad
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Old 01-24-20, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
Hi again. Apologies for yet another thread. Based on the last feedback I got I have decided to ask yet another question. Itís pretty short this time.

im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and thatís why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)

i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. Itís marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. Iím wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.

also please feel free to throw some suggestions for other bikes to look at. I just want something with a relaxed geometry that can go fast (not as fast as a racing bike obviously) but I can still take on some light trails and gravel.
If I were in the market for a new endurance / gravel bike with a sizeable budget, Iíd test ride everything I could find in my size that has a more relaxed geometry than a purpose built road racer.

Your assumption that an endurance bike is inherently faster than a gravel bike just isnít true. The frame geometries are very similar across many brands, as are the groupsets. Frame weight varies by materials and design, but most are generally close. When you narrow your search down to the Best Buyís for you, you can always select the lightest bike if that is of particular concern to you.

Really gets down to the wheels and tires and inner tubes if not tubeless. You can put widerer or thinner, more aggressive gravel or road tires on either. As you arenít looking for the widest gravel wheels and tires currently available, any newer disc brake equipped endurance /gravel bike will have clearance for the widest road tires and good gravel tires should you decide to try them.

As an aside, I mostly ride an endurance bike with 28mm road tires. Very nice on any road surface, even extremely rough roads. Even handles well enough on packed dirt, low cropped grass, and packed gravel. Hard pack covered with loose rocks, blown sand or forest debris are quite slow and challenging. Anything looser is an accident waiting to happen.

Good luck and happy cycling.
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Old 01-24-20, 12:39 PM
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Keep in mind that 4k Canadian is just a bit over $3k USD.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:38 PM
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What size tires do you think you'll be using? Most bikes can ride gravel but depends on what type. For me, I can get away with 32mm and be happy on any gravel around here that I ride. Check out Canyon bikes.The carbon Endurace is mighty high on my list...

Last edited by RockiesDad; 01-26-20 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Keep in mind that 4k Canadian is just a bit over $3k USD.
I went to Oanda web site to see what the conversion would be like:

https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/

This says $1 US = $1.31418 Canadian

Then I went to a Canadian bike shop "Wheels of Bloor" web site

Wheels of Bloor - Toronto's #1 Road Bike Shop | Bikes

That model I think is quoted at Canadian dollars $8,000

Then I went to "Competitive Cyclist" and the assumption here is that the price is US dollars, maybe

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/c...plete-bike?s=a

US dollars $6,000
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Old 01-28-20, 05:48 PM
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aabb
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Originally Posted by RockiesDad View Post
What size tires do you think you'll be using? Most bikes can ride gravel but depends on what type. For me, I can get away with 32mm and be happy on any gravel around here that I ride. Check out Canyon bikes.The carbon Endurace is mighty high on my list...
I called a few stores, and generally 32 seemed to be sufficient for gravel (but nothing crazy). So I think I will stick with that. Maybe get them to put tubeless tires
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Old 01-28-20, 07:10 PM
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I have a specialized Roubaix. You can, and I have, put 32mm tires on it.works good for light gravel. If I were to do it again I would get the Diverge. Very similar bike, but you can put up to 42mm on it and lots more mounting points for gear and bottles.
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Old 01-28-20, 07:33 PM
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I ride about 70/30 pavement/gravel on my Fog Cutter. Pavement ranges from OK to really bad.

I run 38s (Compass Barlow Pass) and they seem perfect.

If gravel is in the mix, I canít imagine getting a bike that canít clear 38s.
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Old 01-29-20, 08:12 AM
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I test rode a Domane a couple weeks ago. This was the 105 model. Yes, it's heavier than my current bike (Tarmac) but on the bike I didn't notice any extra weight. I think too many people get all caught up in how much a bike or a component weighs. I'm sure of you got on one of those 45 pound Walmart bikes you'd notice the weight. And if you race or you are a 120 pound pure climber weight may be a big factor. But for the vast majority of us a bike that is a half pound lighter than a different bike won't matter.
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Old 01-29-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
Hi again. Apologies for yet another thread. Based on the last feedback I got I have decided to ask yet another question. It’s pretty short this time.

im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and that’s why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)

i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. It’s marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. I’m wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.

also please feel free to throw some suggestions for other bikes to look at. I just want something with a relaxed geometry that can go fast (not as fast as a racing bike obviously) but I can still take on some light trails and gravel.
stay domestic?
Cycles Marinoni - Sterrato comes in a quality steel frame too. Not sure if prices are CAD or not though.
https://www.norco.com/bikes/road/gravel/ The Search has a ton of different models.
https://www.racycles.com/product/detail/19709 Argon 18 Dark Matter for $4200 CAD. GRX group, carbon, etc.
https://www.brodiebicycles.com/all-2020-romax multiple models

Or there are tons of mixed road/pavement plus options from Cannondale(synapse and topstone), Specialized, Giant, Cervelo, and more. Most modern endurance disc bikes can clear 32mm tires(or more), if thats all you are looking for.
Something that wont be mentioned is the Fairlight Strael 2.0 as comes in a huge number of sizes due to their R and T sizing, has road angles and trail measurements, can clear a 33mm tire, and uses quality tubing. the Shimano 105 build is below budget. https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa



As for the Domane being too heavy- thats absurd. It isnt lightweight, but it also isnt heavy. I always chuckle when someone buys a road bike that weighs 18# new, and puts frozen hose Gatorskin tires and a big wedge bag on it, whiich completely negates the point of the bike's design and spec. And this doesnt even begin to address rider weight and how that obviously totally changes any design intent for many road bikes. A 22# bike or a 19# bike shouldnt be a huge concern to most, even though it is.
- Find a bike with the geometry that you like(fit and handling).
- Buy what you can afford in terms of components.
- If you then want to upgrade either immediately or down the line, focus on tires and wheels as those will have the biggest impact on comfort, road feel, and effort.


Almost forgot- look into the Ribble CGR. It comes in multiple models and is continually well reviewed.
GT Grade too.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 01-29-20 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 01-29-20, 11:58 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by aabb View Post
Hi again. Apologies for yet another thread. Based on the last feedback I got I have decided to ask yet another question. It’s pretty short this time.

im looking for an endurance bike with some gravel capabilities, budget up to $4000 CAD. i anticipate I will be doing 60-70% road. So I really want to be able to go fast when I want to, and that’s why I have decided to shift my focus from gravel to endurance bikes (as they are faster and more comfortable)

i have looked at the Trek Domane SL 5. It’s marketed as an endurance bike but can fit tires up to 38. I have read about this bike, and people keep bringing up the large weight as a downside. I’m wondering how big of an issue this actually is and if there are any other downsides to the bike.

also please feel free to throw some suggestions for other bikes to look at. I just want something with a relaxed geometry that can go fast (not as fast as a racing bike obviously) but I can still take on some light trails and gravel.
ironically I was in the same market as you recently and just picked up a 2018 Felt VR3 for $1900 original MSRP $3700 USD. For me it was the perfect balance of an endurance road geometry bike that has high end components, it's light 18.5lbs stock, 48/32 sub crank to climb, and has clearance officially up to 30mm but really can fit up to 35mm tires. I ride mostly 90% road but it was nice to have the option to put larger tires for the winter or if I wanted to tackle more broken pavement, packed dirt, or even some lite gravel. The bike is not race oriented but still is plenty fast but a lot more comfortable with it's frame design without the carbon chatter

maybe you can find a leftover VR3 for around $2K USD or the VR2 Di2 for sub $3K USD

Another poster had a good suggestion the Salsa Warbird is a great choice for 40mm tires and lots of mounts at 20 or less pounds depending on model. What it comes down to is how much "gravel" and what kind you will be actually riding

Last edited by Jrasero; 01-29-20 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 01-29-20, 12:04 PM
  #24  
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Pedal hard enough and any bike is the fastest of the day.

That said, I’m planning on buying a Domane SL5 in a couple months to ride road and gravel/light cx gravel grinder races. Looks like a great all-around bike at a fair price.
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Old 01-29-20, 12:54 PM
  #25  
Jrasero
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
stay domestic?
Cycles Marinoni - Sterrato comes in a quality steel frame too. Not sure if prices are CAD or not though.
https://www.norco.com/bikes/road/gravel/ The Search has a ton of different models.
https://www.racycles.com/product/detail/19709 Argon 18 Dark Matter for $4200 CAD. GRX group, carbon, etc.
https://www.brodiebicycles.com/all-2020-romax multiple models

Or there are tons of mixed road/pavement plus options from Cannondale(synapse and topstone), Specialized, Giant, Cervelo, and more. Most modern endurance disc bikes can clear 32mm tires(or more), if thats all you are looking for.
Something that wont be mentioned is the Fairlight Strael 2.0 as comes in a huge number of sizes due to their R and T sizing, has road angles and trail measurements, can clear a 33mm tire, and uses quality tubing. the Shimano 105 build is below budget. https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa



As for the Domane being too heavy- thats absurd. It isnt lightweight, but it also isnt heavy. I always chuckle when someone buys a road bike that weighs 18# new, and puts frozen hose Gatorskin tires and a big wedge bag on it, whiich completely negates the point of the bike's design and spec. And this doesnt even begin to address rider weight and how that obviously totally changes any design intent for many road bikes. A 22# bike or a 19# bike shouldnt be a huge concern to most, even though it is.
- Find a bike with the geometry that you like(fit and handling).
- Buy what you can afford in terms of components.
- If you then want to upgrade either immediately or down the line, focus on tires and wheels as those will have the biggest impact on comfort, road feel, and effort.


Almost forgot- look into the Ribble CGR. It comes in multiple models and is continually well reviewed.
GT Grade too.
Are you US based? What was the cost of importing a Ribble? I was interested in their Titanium but in the end the VAT was a determining factor
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