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Input welcomed. The more I research, the harder it is to make a decision.

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.

Input welcomed. The more I research, the harder it is to make a decision.

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Old 02-15-19, 10:10 AM
  #1  
CodyDog
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Input welcomed. The more I research, the harder it is to make a decision.

I was about to pull the trigger on a Trek Checkpoint SL5 until I saw that Trek downrated the maximum tire size to 35mm. When I first looked at the bike, 45 mm was the info I found. So now that steers me towards the Specialized Diverge Sport which is outfitted with a 38mm tire. The Giant Revolt Advance 2 has a 40mm tire but I'm not completely convinced on this particular bike based on some of its short comings pointed out in some reviews. It's hard to compare apples to apples on gravel bikes. One offer this and the other offers that!

I have ridden each of the three in a parking lot scenario and feel like can can adapt to each with what limited test riding I had. I have no experience with a gravel bike (used to ride a FS MTB)

My budget is $3,000.00 and I'm wanting a carbon frame gravel bike with at least Shimano 105. Would also like the ability to go with wide tires for trail riding. I will ride rode, gravel and trail with my new bike. I would consider a Cyclocross with a dual chain ring (if suitable to ride roads).

Any last minute comments, advise, opinions or input are welcomed. I'm wanting to buy in the next couple of days. I'm about researched out!

Thanks,

CodyDog
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Old 02-15-19, 10:32 AM
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Why even look at a model that can't fit above a 40mm tire? If you are interested in trail riding periodically there is no reason to limit yourself when there are plenty of brands out there that offer more clearance.

Check out the Salsa Warbird and Cutthroat, which can both fit wider than 40mm in 700C and go into the 2 inch range for 650B. They have builds for under $3000.

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Old 02-15-19, 10:40 AM
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I have a Trek Checkpoint SL that I had built up from a frameset. Beautiful bike equipped just the way I want it. I've put about 730 miles on the bike. I've been a gravel rider for six years and I've ridden aluminum (Niner RLT9) and titanium (Salsa Warbird, Lynskey custom) gravel bikes in the past. The Checkpoint is my first carbon gravel bike. Here are my thoughts . . .
  • I don't think the fact that the Checkpoint frame is made of carbon is that much of a benefit. Maybe it would be over the course of 200 miles, but for anything less than 150, it just doesn't matter that much.
  • The Checkpoint is not a light bike. Carbon doesn't make it lighter. It weighs about the same as my old aluminum and titanium bikes did.
  • The Checkpoint's Isospeed decoupler doesn't impress me. It smooths out the rough stuff, but it also eliminates stiffness in the seatpost. I'm accustomed to using leverage against the saddle when sprinting or climbing hard while seated. That doesn't work with the rear Isospeed. Plus, on smoother roads, I find the Isospeed's constant bobbing to be both noticeable and annoying.
  • Then, there's the tire clearance issue. Let me say that, with the wheelbase adjusted on the long end of its travel, there are no clearance issues for 42mm tires. BUT . . . I suspect the new clearance spec is because IF you have the wheelbase adjusted short (for "sporty" handling) AND you have big tires mounted AND you hit a big bump, the rear Isospeed / seat tube could flex enough to make contact with the rear tire. That could be unsettling / dangerous on a fast descent and pretty annoying no matter the circumstance. (I've never liked my wheels to lock up without warning, even for just a second.)
  • If you like to mount anything to your seat post, forget it. The Checkpoint's seat mast is relatively huge. No normal seatpost mount (other than big rubber bands) will work.
  • On the other hand, the Checkpoint has all the mounts and bosses you could possibly desire. It's a cargo carrying machine.
  • And it's a really nice bike for rough chipseal and unmaintained pavement (built up with a shock absorbing stem). I could see it being the perfect commuter bike, so long as you kept the wheelbase adjusted long.
  • The Checkpoint is a great long-haul utilitarian bike. It's no racer. It feels heavy. Even at the same weight as my older metal bikes, the Checkpoint FEELS heavier.
Bottom line: Do I like the bike? Yes. Would I buy it if I had the choice to do it all again? Absolutely not. What WOULD I go with? Well . . . has Salsa cured their Warbird v4 fork problems yet?
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Old 02-15-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Check out the Salsa Warbird and Cutthroat, which can both fit wider than 40mm in 700C and go into the 2 inch range for 650B. They have builds for under $3000.
Do you know if Salsa has cured their Warbird v4 fork problems yet? Last I heard, they were under recall and a "do not sell" order issued to retailers.
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Old 02-15-19, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Why even look at a model that can't fit above a 40mm tire? If you are interested in trail riding periodically there is no reason to limit yourself when there are plenty of brands out there that offer more clearance.

Check out the Salsa Warbird and Cutthroat, which can both fit wider than 40mm in 700C and go into the 2 inch range for 650B. They have builds for under $3000.
I appreciate the input, I will take a look at the bikes you mentioned.
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Old 02-15-19, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I have a Trek Checkpoint SL that I had built up from a frameset. Beautiful bike equipped just the way I want it. I've put about 730 miles on the bike. I've been a gravel rider for six years and I've ridden aluminum (Niner RLT9) and titanium (Salsa Warbird, Lynskey custom) gravel bikes in the past. The Checkpoint is my first carbon gravel bike. Here are my thoughts . . .
  • I don't think the fact that the Checkpoint frame is made of carbon is that much of a benefit. Maybe it would be over the course of 200 miles, but for anything less than 150, it just doesn't matter that much.
  • The Checkpoint is not a light bike. Carbon doesn't make it lighter. It weighs about the same as my old aluminum and titanium bikes did.
  • The Checkpoint's Isospeed decoupler doesn't impress me. It smooths out the rough stuff, but it also eliminates stiffness in the seatpost. I'm accustomed to using leverage against the saddle when sprinting or climbing hard while seated. That doesn't work with the rear Isospeed. Plus, on smoother roads, I find the Isospeed's constant bobbing to be both noticeable and annoying.
  • Then, there's the tire clearance issue. Let me say that, with the wheelbase adjusted on the long end of its travel, there are no clearance issues for 42mm tires. BUT . . . I suspect the new clearance spec is because IF you have the wheelbase adjusted short (for "sporty" handling) AND you have big tires mounted AND you hit a big bump, the rear Isospeed / seat tube could flex enough to make contact with the rear tire. That could be unsettling / dangerous on a fast descent and pretty annoying no matter the circumstance. (I've never liked my wheels to lock up without warning, even for just a second.)
  • If you like to mount anything to your seat post, forget it. The Checkpoint's seat mast is relatively huge. No normal seatpost mount (other than big rubber bands) will work.
  • On the other hand, the Checkpoint has all the mounts and bosses you could possibly desire. It's a cargo carrying machine.
  • And it's a really nice bike for rough chipseal and unmaintained pavement (built up with a shock absorbing stem). I could see it being the perfect commuter bike, so long as you kept the wheelbase adjusted long.
  • The Checkpoint is a great long-haul utilitarian bike. It's no racer. It feels heavy. Even at the same weight as my older metal bikes, the Checkpoint FEELS heavier.
Bottom line: Do I like the bike? Yes. Would I buy it if I had the choice to do it all again? Absolutely not. What WOULD I go with? Well . . . has Salsa cured their Warbird v4 fork problems yet?
Great feedback. Thanks!
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Old 02-15-19, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CodyDog View Post
I was about to pull the trigger on a Trek Checkpoint SL5 until I saw that Trek downrated the maximum tire size to 35mm. When I first looked at the bike, 45 mm was the info I found. So now that steers me towards the Specialized Diverge Sport which is outfitted with a 38mm tire. The Giant Revolt Advance 2 has a 40mm tire but I'm not completely convinced on this particular bike based on some of its short comings pointed out in some reviews. It's hard to compare apples to apples on gravel bikes. One offer this and the other offers that!

I have ridden each of the three in a parking lot scenario and feel like can can adapt to each with what limited test riding I had. I have no experience with a gravel bike (used to ride a FS MTB)

My budget is $3,000.00 and I'm wanting a carbon frame gravel bike with at least Shimano 105. Would also like the ability to go with wide tires for trail riding. I will ride rode, gravel and trail with my new bike. I would consider a Cyclocross with a dual chain ring (if suitable to ride roads).

Any last minute comments, advise, opinions or input are welcomed. I'm wanting to buy in the next couple of days. I'm about researched out!

Thanks,

CodyDog
Of the three bikes you mentioned, I have not heard any bad things about the Giant Revolt Advanced. The Giant is the clear winner to me - I am curious what bad things you have heard about it. I ride a carbon niner and like it a lot.
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Old 02-15-19, 11:58 AM
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I just talked with Salsa. They have figured out the problem with the Warbird forks and they are in the process of recertifying current inventory. The complete bikes should be available for sale soon. As for framesets? They projected availability sometime in May.
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Old 02-15-19, 01:20 PM
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After talking with several builders, reps, and shop guys, the trend seems to be going bigger tires. I donít know if I would look at a bike that canít carry at least 700X45.

Maybe that is because I am in So Cal where we donít really have gravel and I have bikepacking dreams.
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Old 02-15-19, 01:31 PM
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I took a closer look at my Checkpoint over lunch hour . . . it appears the point of interference might be the front derailleur. Especially if you've got a big front derailleur or one that hangs back from its mounting bolt, it's closer to a big rear tire than anything else. The seat post has a cut-away to clear the tire, but the front derailleur hangs back farther than a non-cutaway seat post would have. But again, if you adjust the rear axle to provide a longer wheelbase, I can't believe it would be a problem.
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Old 02-15-19, 01:58 PM
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Ibis Hakka MX.
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Old 02-15-19, 02:04 PM
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https://www.diamondback.com/road-bik...o-7c-carbon-41
$2160 thru the free corporate discount site.
full carbon frame and fork, Ultegra shifting, quality Praxis crank with good chainring sizing, good hydraulic brakes, great cockpit components, and nice thruaxle wheelset with butted spokes. 42mm tires fits fine.

https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/renegadeexpert.html
$2600
full carbon frame and fork, 105 drivetrain, thru axle, great cockpit components, and 40mm tires fit fine.


The Specialized Carbon Diverge Sport is perfectly fine. Uninspiring to me, but fine.
The Giant Revolt Advance 2 doesnt quite live up to its name of being revolting, but it wouldnt be something I consider. 1- just dont get excited about Giant as a brand. 2- the inhouse hydraulic system is a solution that may work great, but is just extra steps and clutter compared to direct hydraulic braking. 3- I dislike anything proprietary and Giant is one of the kings of proprietary for the sake of it. A D shaped seatpost?...no thanks. A box bolted to the stem to give hydraulic braking?...no thanks.

$3K can get a lot of bike when it isnt something watered down from the big3. It can get even more bike when the frame can be made with quality steel.
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Old 02-15-19, 04:20 PM
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The Haanjo 7c is a great deal, which would leave you with some money for accessories and stuff.
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Old 02-15-19, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
$3K can get a lot of bike when it isnt something watered down from the big3. It can get even more bike when the frame can be made with quality steel.
I generally refrain from suggesting something different from what the OP has specifically asked for, but I had the exact same thought about steel at this price point. You could build up a really nice Fairlight Strael or Secan for that price.
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Old 02-16-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tdilf View Post
Of the three bikes you mentioned, I have not heard any bad things about the Giant Revolt Advanced. The Giant is the clear winner to me - I am curious what bad things you have heard about it. I ride a carbon niner and like it a lot.
For me personally, the Revolt Advanced 2 has the Conduct SL system which I prefer full hydraulics. I don't like the look of the cockpit with the bulking system and I have cable actuated hydraulics now and do not like them.. The Revolt Adavnced 1 has true hydraulic brake but a single chain ring ( I want a dual) and Apex instead of Shimano 105. Correct me if I'm misguided but isn't the 105 considered higher in quality than the Apex?

I do like the Revolt Advanced 0 but higher than what I have budgeted.
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Old 02-16-19, 01:58 PM
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I was recently gravel bike shopping and wound up with a Diverge with a Sram Force 1x set up. I already own a Specialized Roubaix so the fit and feel of the diverge was very familiar. It is touted as a more all-around bike that is road friendly. The Diverge Sport with the 105 is certainly a nice bike.

My other choices were: Ibiss Hakka, very nice bike but the sizing was a bit off, 58 too big, 55 too small. Giant Revolt 0, wanted a 1x but it does have Ultegra and carbon wheels. This was hands down the best value but honestly I didn't like the flat black color and it felt a bit more racy than I like. The Trek was off the table due to the bb90 and funky seat post. Salsa Warbird is a gravel race bike and wasn't very comfortable for me. To be honest all the bikes I rode were amazing and worthy of consideration, but as with anything what works for you is more important than what works for me.

I spent a bit more than I originally planned just because I knew where I was going to end up. Piecing together a bike is sometimes more expensive than getting it all at once.

If you can find a few more bucks and it fits you, the Giant Revolt 0 is a great choice and value.
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Old 02-16-19, 04:27 PM
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The Giant Conduct brake thing does look a bit weird doesn't it. Like a small crab sitting on the end of the stem

I went for a three hour gravel/singletrack test ride on one yesterday. The orange 105 2x model. Coming from my JuinTech setup, I thought the brakes were pretty nice.
Shifting was very smooth. Saddle suited me great.
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Old 02-16-19, 07:00 PM
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If you can deal with the wacky bar (which is supposed to actually be pretty good), I'd go for:
https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road/gr...l-cf-sl-8-0-sl

It's a really good deal for what you're getting. Can fit 42s.
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Old 02-17-19, 03:00 AM
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How about a Norco Search XR Carbon Apex 1? It's slightly out of your budget but maybe a shop will work with you.
https://www.norco.com/bikes/dirt-dro...carbon-apex-1/

eric/fresno, ca.
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Old 02-17-19, 07:13 AM
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In my opinion the conduct brake system that Giant uses is really nice. It's not unobvious to me that they use it to save on the costs of using full hydraulic shifters on their bikes, I was sceptical of it first.

However I think it's one of those don't knock it until you try it systems. I toyed with full hydraulic shifters and found the mechanical shifters to be more ergonomic and comfortable as they are much smaller on the hood tops, at least with the Tiagra hydraulic variant. It does also make it very easy to mix and match shifters if you want to upgrade them later down the line. I prefer the feel of the conduct braking to the Deore hydraulics on my old Talon mountain bike.

Just my observations of them, I see a lot of people bashing them and I totally understand why but I really like them. And yes I agree that proprietary systems are never nice on a bike, we want more options to customise and replace, not less.
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Old 02-17-19, 07:53 AM
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Any other criteria besides tire clearance and carbon? What are your thoughts on wheelbase and position (angles) or the possibility of adding any bags or racks or fenders or the included gearing on what you are looking at. I put tire width high on the list but frame material much lower for a multiterrain or multipurpose bike. Gearing and geometry are up there for me (gearing fixable but can get expensive, geometry and wheelbase is almost fixed). Are you trying to mimic an experience and feel from an existing road bike you have now or looking for something else? More choices and more things to consider doesn't make the decision harder, it should make it easier to help narrow it down.
Specific comment about the DB Hanjo mentioned in post 12 above. That has a very high standover for the given size compared to just about anything else. Maybe in real world it would have been a non issue for me but that was a negative check on my list.

Last edited by u235; 02-17-19 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-17-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RicePudding View Post
In my opinion the conduct brake system that Giant uses is really nice. It's not unobvious to me that they use it to save on the costs of using full hydraulic shifters on their bikes, I was sceptical of it first.

However I think it's one of those don't knock it until you try it systems. I toyed with full hydraulic shifters and found the mechanical shifters to be more ergonomic and comfortable as they are much smaller on the hood tops, at least with the Tiagra hydraulic variant. It does also make it very easy to mix and match shifters if you want to upgrade them later down the line. I prefer the feel of the conduct braking to the Deore hydraulics on my old Talon mountain bike.

Just my observations of them, I see a lot of people bashing them and I totally understand why but I really like them. And yes I agree that proprietary systems are never nice on a bike, we want more options to customise and replace, not less.
The Revolt Advance 2 is a really cool gravel bike and I was impressed with the ride. The braking system is very efficient but I'm not sure I can get over the way they have it set up on the bars.

Rethinking my budget and trying to convince myself to go for the Revolt Advance 0. I'll be test riding another one this week in my correct size. Last test ride was on a one size smaller frame.

On a second note, test drove a Specialized Crux and loved it! Just afraid it won't be as comfortable on some of the longer gravel and chip seal road rides as the true gravel bikes. Any one riding a Crux on long rides?

I think it's down to the Revolt Advanced 0 or Trek Check Point SL5. Making decision this week.
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Old 02-17-19, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
If you can deal with the wacky bar (which is supposed to actually be pretty good), I'd go for:
Canyon Grail

It's a really good deal for what you're getting. Can fit 42s.
Hiro11:

Great suggestion. I like this bike. Sort of a gamble to order prior to riding but they have a liberal 30 day return policy. Reviews are solid.
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Old 02-17-19, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Any other criteria besides tire clearance and carbon? What are your thoughts on wheelbase and position (angles) or the possibility of adding any bags or racks or fenders or the included gearing on what you are looking at. I put tire width high on the list but frame material much lower for a multiterrain or multipurpose bike. Gearing and geometry are up there for me (gearing fixable but can get expensive, geometry and wheelbase is almost fixed). Are you trying to mimic an experience and feel from an existing road bike you have now or looking for something else? More choices and more things to consider doesn't make the decision harder, it should make it easier to help narrow it down.

Specific comment about the DB Hanjo mentioned in post 12 above. That has a very high standover for the given size compared to just about anything else. Maybe in real world it would have been a non issue for me but that was a negative check on my list.

Thanks for your comments. My experience is with A Specialized Stump-Jumper and Fat tire bike, both alloy frames. Gravel bikes with drop bars area a new path for me. My desire for wider tire potential is based on future trail riding, a little hairier than your average gravel. My preference for carbon is its ability to absorb shock vibration. As far as geometry, deciding on which way to go for comfort on longer rides and more stability, seems like most gravel geometries offer this. Wanting a dual chain ring for a wider range of ratios (road riding).


You're right about more choices and things to consider shouldn't make the decision harder. I guess I'm just over thinking choices. Going to make a decision in the next day or so.
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Old 02-17-19, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CodyDog View Post
Thanks for your comments. My experience is with A Specialized Stump-Jumper and Fat tire bike, both alloy frames. Gravel bikes with drop bars area a new path for me. My desire for wider tire potential is based on future trail riding, a little hairier than your average gravel. My preference for carbon is its ability to absorb shock vibration. As far as geometry, deciding on which way to go for comfort on longer rides and more stability, seems like most gravel geometries offer this. Wanting a dual chain ring for a wider range of ratios (road riding).


You're right about more choices and things to consider shouldn't make the decision harder. I guess I'm just over thinking choices. Going to make a decision in the next day or so.
I swap between two wheel/tire sets on my AL gravel bike. I have a road-gravel and a gravel-road setup. I've used them opposite to though. Coming from a fat bike you may have different idea of comfort

Last edited by u235; 02-17-19 at 05:57 PM.
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