Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

Looking for a titanium or steel gravel bike with a short chainstay

Notices
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Looking for a titanium or steel gravel bike with a short chainstay

Old 01-24-20, 03:07 PM
  #1  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Looking for a titanium or steel gravel bike with a short chainstay

It seems that titanium gravel bikes have a rather long chainstay (430 mm+). I found J. Guillem Atalaya with 420 mm chainstay and Litepseed Ultimate Gravel with 425 mm. And Bearclaw Thunderhawk with 428 mm chainstay. Is this it?

In terms of steel there is a Marin Nicasio Ridge with 420 mm chainstay and Cotic Escapade with 425 mm chainstay. But I can't think of any other steel bike with a chainstay shorter than 430 mm. Can you?
sweetspot is offline  
Old 01-24-20, 04:14 PM
  #2  
tangerineowl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Oz
Posts: 727

Bikes: Curve Grovel v2 ti

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 20 Posts
Off the top of my head:- T-Lab X3 ti. 2020 Norco Search XR steel (650b frame). Rondo Ruut steel models.
Edit: Just remembered the Nordest Albarda. Steel (a bit heavy) or ti. Lower bb position.

Fugio and Breezer Inversion are 425mm.

I'm sure there's more out there.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 01-24-20 at 04:26 PM. Reason: txt
tangerineowl is offline  
Old 01-24-20, 05:11 PM
  #3  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Off the top of my head:- T-Lab X3 ti. 2020 Norco Search XR steel (650b frame). Rondo Ruut steel models.
Edit: Just remembered the Nordest Albarda. Steel (a bit heavy) or ti. Lower bb position.

Fugio and Breezer Inversion are 425mm.

I'm sure there's more out there.
Thanks. There is also bombtrack Hook ext with 425 mm chainstay and Surly midnight special (also 425 mm)
sweetspot is offline  
Old 01-24-20, 06:01 PM
  #4  
katsup
Senior Member
 
katsup's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,245

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter & Vintage Mountain Bikes

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 415 Post(s)
Liked 234 Times in 137 Posts
The soma fog cutter is 424mm, marketed as an endurance bike. The wolverine says 427mm (min) and double cross disc is 425mm.
katsup is offline  
Old 01-25-20, 07:42 AM
  #5  
dsaul
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,566
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 457 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 155 Posts
As someone who builds steel gravel bike frames as a hobby, I can tell you that anything shorter than 425mm is very difficult to achieve and still have clearance for wide tires and a road crankset. At less than 425mm, there is also the possibility of the tire contacting the seat tube with a 73 degree seat tube angle and a large tire like a 700x47. A curved seat tube can solve the seat tube contact issue, but the further forward you push the tire, the less room there is between the tire and the chainrings. Titanium adds to the problem by requiring larger diameter chainstays that don't dimple easily for tire clearance..

I normally do 425mm on my frames. I go to 430mm for a larger rider that requires a slacker seat tube angle. On 650b frames I usually do 420mm stays.
dsaul is offline  
Likes For dsaul:
Old 01-25-20, 07:53 AM
  #6  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
As someone who builds steel gravel bike frames as a hobby, I can tell you that anything shorter than 425mm is very difficult to achieve and still have clearance for wide tires and a road crankset. At less than 425mm, there is also the possibility of the tire contacting the seat tube with a 73 degree seat tube angle and a large tire like a 700x47. A curved seat tube can solve the seat tube contact issue, but the further forward you push the tire, the less room there is between the tire and the chainrings. Titanium adds to the problem by requiring larger diameter chainstays that don't dimple easily for tire clearance.

I normally do 425mm on my frames. I go to 430mm for a larger rider that requires a slacker seat tube angle. On 650b frames I usually do 420mm stays.
thank you very much for your answer. If you don't mind I have a few more questions to you:
1. How would you rate the compliance decrease between 430 and 420 mm chainstay of a steel frame? The common notion is that the longer the chainstay the more movement it can provide so shorter, at least in theory, should also mean less comfortable, yes?
2. Why there is so little steel bikes with the seat stays connected somewhere in the middle of the seat tube (Marin Nicasio Ridge is one of the rare examples of that approach)? When carbon is considered, this lower cross-section point is considered as more comfortable than connecting seat stays with the seat tube at the top tube level.
3. Do you use a bended seat stays (like Litespeed Ultimate gravel bike has) for increased rear-end comfort or this is just a gimmick in your opinion?
4. What do you do to increase the stiffness at the bottom bracket area? My steel Jamis Renegade Exploit is very comfy but also flexes a lot when pedaling hard. Is it possible to get a comfy steel bike that will be also very power efficient?
5. Do you use different seat post diameters (for example 27,2 and 30,9) and if so, how would you rate the compliance decrease when going from 27,2 to a wider seat tube diameter?

Thanks!
sweetspot is offline  
Old 01-25-20, 09:23 AM
  #7  
dsaul
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,566
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 457 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
thank you very much for your answer. If you don't mind I have a few more questions to you:
1. How would you rate the compliance decrease between 430 and 420 mm chainstay of a steel frame? The common notion is that the longer the chainstay the more movement it can provide so shorter, at least in theory, should also mean less comfortable, yes?
2. Why there is so little steel bikes with the seat stays connected somewhere in the middle of the seat tube (Marin Nicasio Ridge is one of the rare examples of that approach)? When carbon is considered, this lower cross-section point is considered as more comfortable than connecting seat stays with the seat tube at the top tube level.
3. Do you use a bended seat stays (like Litespeed Ultimate gravel bike has) for increased rear-end comfort or this is just a gimmick in your opinion?
4. What do you do to increase the stiffness at the bottom bracket area? My steel Jamis Renegade Exploit is very comfy but also flexes a lot when pedaling hard. Is it possible to get a comfy steel bike that will be also very power efficient?
5. Do you use different seat post diameters (for example 27,2 and 30,9) and if so, how would you rate the compliance decrease when going from 27,2 to a wider seat tube diameter?

Thanks!
I'll try to answer your questions, but I feel like your mission of a comfortable, vibration free off-road ride is misguided. Riding a bike off-road is never going to be a comfortable and vibration free experience.

1.Compliance(flex) in a triangulated steel structure is not something that happens. I believe that the reason shorter stays feel harsher is because they place the axle closer to being under the saddle and rear wheel impacts are transferred more directly to the rider.

2.Attaching the seat stays to the middle of the seat tube is a awful design from an engineering standpoint. You see something that will flex to provide some comfort and I see something that is likely to collapse because the load is being transferred to an unsupported tube at its weakest point.

3. I do use S-bend seat stays, but only because I prefer the look of them over straight stays. They do not flex once they are welded into a triangular structure. They will move horizontally, but not vertically.

4. The bottom bracket doesn't flex. It has 4 tubes welded to it and it is not long enough to have any mechanical advantage over those welded joints. The flex you see is actually the top and down tubes twisting over their length and the chainstays flexing horizontally. To make the frame stiffer, use larger diameter tubes.

5. All of my gravel frames use 27.2 seat posts. My mountain bike has a 30.9 seat post, only because I wanted the option to use a dropper post. I can't tell the difference between them, but the MTB has a 2.8 inch rear tire that absorbs most of the hits at 12psi. The flex of a seatpost is going to be depend on the angle of the seat tube and the amount of post that extends out of the frame. It stands to reason that a smaller diameter post will flex more, given that both posts have the same wall thickness.
dsaul is offline  
Likes For dsaul:
Old 01-25-20, 10:37 AM
  #8  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I'll try to answer your questions, but I feel like your mission of a comfortable, vibration free off-road ride is misguided. Riding a bike off-road is never going to be a comfortable and vibration free experience.
Yes, I know but I still want to know what makes bike a comfortable one and how I can improve the compliance without loosing the fun ****or (power efficency, short chainstay etc).

I have one more question for you.

Is T47 bottom bracket a better choice in terms of power transfer and why there are none steel bikes with press fit bottom bracket (I found a couple of titanium bikes with press fit, but I don't know if this solution is prone to the same issues that with a carbon frame, mainly cracking, weird noises). What is your opinion about that?

Thank you!
sweetspot is offline  
Old 01-25-20, 11:25 AM
  #9  
Marcus_Ti 
FLIR Kitten to 0.05C
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 5,139

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2234 Post(s)
Liked 252 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
Yes, I know but I still want to know what makes bike a comfortable one and how I can improve the compliance without loosing the fun ****or (power efficency, short chainstay etc).

I have one more question for you.

Is T47 bottom bracket a better choice in terms of power transfer and why there are none steel bikes with press fit bottom bracket (I found a couple of titanium bikes with press fit, but I don't know if this solution is prone to the same issues that with a carbon frame, mainly cracking, weird noises). What is your opinion about that?

Thank you!
Pressfit in a Ti/steel frame is all but pointless. PF was introduced to make carbon frames easier to fabricate and increase margin--as bonding a metal sleeve with threads on a CF frame was problematic BITD. And so the plague of creaky PF BBs was born and foisted on everyone. A PF BB on a metal frame is pointless--as you can easily chase/machine the BB for threads--we've done it for 50+ years, and just about all bike shops everywhere have the tools for facing/chasing as a result. Very few bike brands are/were fool enough to foist PF BBs onto their metal frames--Niner comes to mind.


T47 has been very slow to gain any market traction at all. BSA by and large worked, and most people use a Shimano Hollowtech 24mm spindle which easily has external bearings for BSA....T47 is like BB386EVO in that it allows you to have a 30mm spindle in a metal frame....BB386EVO actually lets you do 30mm spindle cranks within even a BSA shell. Trek actually IIRC is the first major bike brand to start selling T47 frames--no other major on-the-shop--floor bike brand does as of now AFAIK.
Marcus_Ti is online now  
Old 01-25-20, 12:05 PM
  #10  
dsaul
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,566
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 457 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 155 Posts
I agree with Marcus Ti on all of the above. The only real benefits to T47 are putting the bearings back into the shell and the ability to use a down tube larger than 38mm. For some off road and larger sized frames, a down tube larger that 38mm is desireable, but it just doesn't work too well to try to attach them to a 38mm BSA shell without squashing them into an oval. The current crop of T47 bottom brackets are very expensive, as are the necessary taps for chasing the threads. If the standard doesn't catch on, you'll be left with a frame that you can't find bottom brackets for.
dsaul is offline  
Old 02-01-20, 06:36 PM
  #11  
Lindarets
Junior Member
 
Lindarets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15

Bikes: J.Guillem Atalaya Gravel, Orient All-Road, & Tomir mountain

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
More on the Atalaya

@sweetspot,

Thanks for finding the Atalaya! Part of what allows the 420mm chainstay is the cast titanium BB/chainstay assembly. It's dropped on the drive side to clear the chainring and provide plenty of stiffness without resorting to a chainstay bridge. Jan-Willem (founder of Van Nichols and owner of J.Guillem) is very much coming from a road background and really spent a lot of time and effort keeping the rear end close and efficient.

As far as the press fit (BB86) bottom bracket goes, it's been a non-issue for us in the US and J.Guillem in NL. The benefit is a ~15mm wider shell, which allows for a wider/stiffer down tube and more tire:chainstay clearance as well as better-supported bearings. The tolerance and wear issues you see in some carbon frames aren't an issue- Ti stays the size it is machined to. As long as you stick to standard Shimano/SRAM/Rotor/Easton BBs and away from the oversized models designed for creaky carbon frames you'll be A-OK. We've tried some aftermarket BBs in the past and because the Ti doesn't give, the aluminum cups can be deformed enough to cause a lot of drag. T47 has some advantages for sure, but not enough at the moment to justify the added cost, weight, and parts availability challenges- and a framebuilder will have to weigh in on the impact of the larger shell on chainstay length. Shimano undermined the BB86 standard when they didn't issue frame tolerance ranges when the standard was launched- which meant that there was a lot of experimenting among manufacturers to see where the pass/fail line is. At this point we just don't see creaky BBs on JG BB86 frames- and it's rare to hear about issues with Giant, BMC, or Pivot (who all use the standard) as well. And given BB86's widespread use, you know that parts will be available long into the future.

Compliance-wise, tires and tire-pressure are by far the biggest contributor- there's an early post on the Silca blog that suggests that within a given category, the difference between stiffest and most compliant frames equates to a few psi. They have a beta pressure calculator on their website that I've found to be pretty spot-on for gravel. Seatposts can make a difference when they're engineered for compliance (Cannondale SAVE, Syntace HiFlex, Ritchey Flexlogic), but it's less noticeable on a road or gravel bike simply because there's less post exposed than on a similar mountain bike. While wheels shouldn't matter, I do think that there's something special to Spinergy's gravel wheels, for what that's worth: given the same bike/tires/pressure they ride somehow 'quieter' than similar-weight and -width wheels I've ridden. There's probably an aerodynamic downside to the larger diameter spokes, but when fitted with wide knobby tires it's probably in the noise (and they can be had with bladed spokes for a small upcharge). I've only grabbed a set off a demo bike for ~40mi and there's a hint of windup when starting from a trackstand, but I look forward to spending more time with them, especially on big days.

When building bikes for customers we have to keep those short stays in mind when it comes to SRAM AXS FD battery clearance (~38mm tire max, vs 42-43 for 1x), but aside from that they just make the bike more lively and (to me) fun. The Atalaya is a bike that a road cyclist will hop on and feel fast, both nimble in twisty singletrack and confident at speed. It's on the stiff/responsive end of the gravel spectrum no doubt, but with the right tires (up to 700x43mm or 27.5x2.1in) and pressures for your terrain is a bike that you can happily spend all day on (which, Superbowl notwithstanding) exactly what I plan on doing tomorrow. In the meantime, please feel to reach out any time!
Lindarets is offline  
Old 02-02-20, 07:39 AM
  #12  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Lindarets View Post
@sweetspot,

Thanks for finding the Atalaya! Part of what allows the 420mm chainstay is the cast titanium BB/chainstay assembly. It's dropped on the drive side to clear the chainring and provide plenty of stiffness without resorting to a chainstay bridge. Jan-Willem (founder of Van Nichols and owner of J.Guillem) is very much coming from a road background and really spent a lot of time and effort keeping the rear end close and efficient.

As far as the press fit (BB86) bottom bracket goes, it's been a non-issue for us in the US and J.Guillem in NL. The benefit is a ~15mm wider shell, which allows for a wider/stiffer down tube and more tire:chainstay clearance as well as better-supported bearings. The tolerance and wear issues you see in some carbon frames aren't an issue- Ti stays the size it is machined to. As long as you stick to standard Shimano/SRAM/Rotor/Easton BBs and away from the oversized models designed for creaky carbon frames you'll be A-OK. We've tried some aftermarket BBs in the past and because the Ti doesn't give, the aluminum cups can be deformed enough to cause a lot of drag. T47 has some advantages for sure, but not enough at the moment to justify the added cost, weight, and parts availability challenges- and a framebuilder will have to weigh in on the impact of the larger shell on chainstay length. Shimano undermined the BB86 standard when they didn't issue frame tolerance ranges when the standard was launched- which meant that there was a lot of experimenting among manufacturers to see where the pass/fail line is. At this point we just don't see creaky BBs on JG BB86 frames- and it's rare to hear about issues with Giant, BMC, or Pivot (who all use the standard) as well. And given BB86's widespread use, you know that parts will be available long into the future.

Compliance-wise, tires and tire-pressure are by far the biggest contributor- there's an early post on the Silca blog that suggests that within a given category, the difference between stiffest and most compliant frames equates to a few psi. They have a beta pressure calculator on their website that I've found to be pretty spot-on for gravel. Seatposts can make a difference when they're engineered for compliance (Cannondale SAVE, Syntace HiFlex, Ritchey Flexlogic), but it's less noticeable on a road or gravel bike simply because there's less post exposed than on a similar mountain bike. While wheels shouldn't matter, I do think that there's something special to Spinergy's gravel wheels, for what that's worth: given the same bike/tires/pressure they ride somehow 'quieter' than similar-weight and -width wheels I've ridden. There's probably an aerodynamic downside to the larger diameter spokes, but when fitted with wide knobby tires it's probably in the noise (and they can be had with bladed spokes for a small upcharge). I've only grabbed a set off a demo bike for ~40mi and there's a hint of windup when starting from a trackstand, but I look forward to spending more time with them, especially on big days.

When building bikes for customers we have to keep those short stays in mind when it comes to SRAM AXS FD battery clearance (~38mm tire max, vs 42-43 for 1x), but aside from that they just make the bike more lively and (to me) fun. The Atalaya is a bike that a road cyclist will hop on and feel fast, both nimble in twisty singletrack and confident at speed. It's on the stiff/responsive end of the gravel spectrum no doubt, but with the right tires (up to 700x43mm or 27.5x2.1in) and pressures for your terrain is a bike that you can happily spend all day on (which, Superbowl notwithstanding) exactly what I plan on doing tomorrow. In the meantime, please feel to reach out any time!
Thank you very much! Very informative. But it got me thinking. It looks like Atalaya is the titanium bike that offers plenty of stiffness, but at the cost of compliance (you said that it is not the comfiest and I read a review stating basically the same). So you buy a titanium bike for its comfort but at the cost of stiffness and when you want the stiffness you lose comfort. So what is the point when you can get the desired stiffness from carbon and at the same time you can engineer compliance to that frame whereas titanium you can make either compliant or stiff. I am thinking about a bike like Vielo V+1 which also has a short chainstay, is plenty stiff but at the same time has nice flexing rear end and a very compliant fork.

PS thanks for bringing the Spinergy wheels into the conversation. I am certainly intrigued by them.
sweetspot is offline  
Old 02-02-20, 08:23 AM
  #13  
Lindarets
Junior Member
 
Lindarets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15

Bikes: J.Guillem Atalaya Gravel, Orient All-Road, & Tomir mountain

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
Thank you very much! Very informative. But it got me thinking. It looks like Atalaya is the titanium bike that offers plenty of stiffness, but at the cost of compliance (you said that it is not the comfiest and I read a review stating basically the same). So you buy a titanium bike for its comfort but at the cost of stiffness and when you want the stiffness you lose comfort. So what is the point when you can get the desired stiffness from carbon and at the same time you can engineer compliance to that frame whereas titanium you can make either compliant or stiff. I am thinking about a bike like Vielo V+1 which also has a short chainstay, is plenty stiff but at the same time has nice flexing rear end and a very compliant fork.

PS thanks for bringing the Spinergy wheels into the conversation. I am certainly intrigued by them.
sweetspot
You're welcome! I don't know that the focus of modern Ti is comfort- the material (as used in bikes) certainly has some liveliness that you don't always feel in other materials, but the frame shouldn't be the first stop when it comes to comfort. Good tires, a reliable gage, and a willingness to experiment with pressures are a lot less expensive and more effective there.

That said, titanium is particularly well-suited to gravel bikes. There's the liveliness, a slight springiness (or 'planing') that can be built in and does add something to the ride. But moreso you have durability, and longevity. In a sport where it's not uncommon to have rocks kicked into the downtube or a bike topple over at a rest stop, you don't need to worry about actually using a Ti frame. You can strap bags to a (raw) Ti frame or knock a muddy wheel out of true and not worry about wearing through the finish, let alone causing structural damage. And I personally take pleasure in the thought that Ti frames are disproportionately passed on rather than retired due to wear or crash damage- you can be reasonably certain that the Ti frame you buy today will be someone's town/errand/commuter bike in fifteen or twenty years' time.

What a lot of us missed was the moment where many off-the-peg carbon frames became more expensive than Ti- which just isn't the case any more. Both materials can be had across the price spectrum, but there's a lot more overlap than people seem to realize. Maybe it's nostalgia or trickle-down prestige from the custom builders, but many riders tend to connect emotionally with Ti in a way that they don't with carbon. And if you're looking at a mid-range or higher carbon frame I think that it's absolutely worth taking a good look at what you can get in Ti- our GRX bikes aren't much more than a good quality carbon frame with similar parts and our AXS builds are close to or less than most similar premium brands'.
Lindarets is offline  
Old 02-02-20, 09:05 AM
  #14  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Lindarets View Post
sweetspot
You're welcome! I don't know that the focus of modern Ti is comfort- the material (as used in bikes) certainly has some liveliness that you don't always feel in other materials, but the frame shouldn't be the first stop when it comes to comfort. Good tires, a reliable gage, and a willingness to experiment with pressures are a lot less expensive and more effective there.

That said, titanium is particularly well-suited to gravel bikes. There's the liveliness, a slight springiness (or 'planing') that can be built in and does add something to the ride. But moreso you have durability, and longevity. In a sport where it's not uncommon to have rocks kicked into the downtube or a bike topple over at a rest stop, you don't need to worry about actually using a Ti frame. You can strap bags to a (raw) Ti frame or knock a muddy wheel out of true and not worry about wearing through the finish, let alone causing structural damage. And I personally take pleasure in the thought that Ti frames are disproportionately passed on rather than retired due to wear or crash damage- you can be reasonably certain that the Ti frame you buy today will be someone's town/errand/commuter bike in fifteen or twenty years' time.

What a lot of us missed was the moment where many off-the-peg carbon frames became more expensive than Ti- which just isn't the case any more. Both materials can be had across the price spectrum, but there's a lot more overlap than people seem to realize. Maybe it's nostalgia or trickle-down prestige from the custom builders, but many riders tend to connect emotionally with Ti in a way that they don't with carbon. And if you're looking at a mid-range or higher carbon frame I think that it's absolutely worth taking a good look at what you can get in Ti- our GRX bikes aren't much more than a good quality carbon frame with similar parts and our AXS builds are close to or less than most similar premium brands'.
how would you evaluate the front end comfort of Atalaya? The fork looks rather stiff (especially compared to the fork of Vielo V+1) so is there any compliance build in it?

The durability of titanium is a thing that for sure is important for me. Especially that I want to ride with my son and I have a nice child seat that you mount on a seat tube. I can use it with a titanium bike, but there is no such possibility with a carbon frame. I can buy a carbon bike with rack mounts and mount a child seat on it but I don't feel that it will be 100% safe.
sweetspot is offline  
Old 02-02-20, 09:36 AM
  #15  
Lindarets
Junior Member
 
Lindarets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15

Bikes: J.Guillem Atalaya Gravel, Orient All-Road, & Tomir mountain

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
how would you evaluate the front end comfort of Atalaya? The fork looks rather stiff (especially compared to the fork of Vielo V+1) so is there any compliance build in it?
We spec the ENVE G Series fork on our (US) builds and don't have any experience with the V+1 so can't compare directly. But with that said, I would say that the G Series does a good job at balancing the compliance with stiffness and durability. It's the same sort of stacked spring problem as with the frame- the tires have an order of magnitude more impact than the fork, followed by the bars and potentially wheels. For ultimate comfort, active suspension like a Lauf fork or Redshift stem make a massive difference- but they come with downsides in the forms of weight/cost/unwanted movement/aesthetics that won't be acceptable to everyone. After tires/pressure, the biggest front end difference someone who doesn't want active suspension can make is a compliant bar- the ENVE G Series gravel bar has a great shape and reduces buzz noticeably and is a great place to start and I've heard that the Canyon biplane bar is pretty comfy (but won't be for everyone).
Lindarets is offline  
Old 02-02-20, 01:02 PM
  #16  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Lindarets View Post
We spec the ENVE G Series fork on our (US) builds and don't have any experience with the V+1 so can't compare directly. But with that said, I would say that the G Series does a good job at balancing the compliance with stiffness and durability. It's the same sort of stacked spring problem as with the frame- the tires have an order of magnitude more impact than the fork, followed by the bars and potentially wheels. For ultimate comfort, active suspension like a Lauf fork or Redshift stem make a massive difference- but they come with downsides in the forms of weight/cost/unwanted movement/aesthetics that won't be acceptable to everyone. After tires/pressure, the biggest front end difference someone who doesn't want active suspension can make is a compliant bar- the ENVE G Series gravel bar has a great shape and reduces buzz noticeably and is a great place to start and I've heard that the Canyon biplane bar is pretty comfy (but won't be for everyone).
Just out of curiosity. Do you offer a discount on Atalaya bikes? From what I have heard this brand does not want to offer any, especially when bikes are selling quite well. Not that I will benefit from it because I am from Europe but I just want to know.
sweetspot is offline  
Old 03-23-20, 01:22 PM
  #17  
sweetspot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Lindarets View Post
sweetspot
You're welcome! I don't know that the focus of modern Ti is comfort- the material (as used in bikes) certainly has some liveliness that you don't always feel in other materials, but the frame shouldn't be the first stop when it comes to comfort. Good tires, a reliable gage, and a willingness to experiment with pressures are a lot less expensive and more effective there.

That said, titanium is particularly well-suited to gravel bikes. There's the liveliness, a slight springiness (or 'planing') that can be built in and does add something to the ride. But moreso you have durability, and longevity. In a sport where it's not uncommon to have rocks kicked into the downtube or a bike topple over at a rest stop, you don't need to worry about actually using a Ti frame. You can strap bags to a (raw) Ti frame or knock a muddy wheel out of true and not worry about wearing through the finish, let alone causing structural damage. And I personally take pleasure in the thought that Ti frames are disproportionately passed on rather than retired due to wear or crash damage- you can be reasonably certain that the Ti frame you buy today will be someone's town/errand/commuter bike in fifteen or twenty years' time.

What a lot of us missed was the moment where many off-the-peg carbon frames became more expensive than Ti- which just isn't the case any more. Both materials can be had across the price spectrum, but there's a lot more overlap than people seem to realize. Maybe it's nostalgia or trickle-down prestige from the custom builders, but many riders tend to connect emotionally with Ti in a way that they don't with carbon. And if you're looking at a mid-range or higher carbon frame I think that it's absolutely worth taking a good look at what you can get in Ti- our GRX bikes aren't much more than a good quality carbon frame with similar parts and our AXS builds are close to or less than most similar premium brands'.
I have bought and tested a set of Spinergy GX 700c wheels. They are indeed slightly more comfy on a bumpy road than my previous set of wheels but on a fast gravel road the difference in comfort was non-measurable by me. But I will keep them because they look cool and are much lighter than my previous wheelset was. Below you will find my review of them: https://gravelbikes.cc/tests/spinerg...wheels-review/
sweetspot is offline  
Old 03-23-20, 03:40 PM
  #18  
tangerineowl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Oz
Posts: 727

Bikes: Curve Grovel v2 ti

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 20 Posts
Totally forgot to mention the steel Rodeo Labs Flaanimal 5.0. Though it has a carbon seat tube.
Can be run at 415mm chainstay.
tangerineowl is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.