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Can A Gravel Bike Be A Good Road Bike?

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Can A Gravel Bike Be A Good Road Bike?

Old 10-09-18, 08:34 PM
  #101  
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Do you ride on a drum... I dont ? so yeah sticking to my "story" backed by my "real data" taken on real roads. Silly? because you disagree ? I'm glad you are done because all you got is someone else data.. go with it. It's nice and all.... I purchased pro-ones before because of that site, but I dont take it as gospel... I like to do my own testing as well. Maybe anecdotal for you, but it's repeatable for me.. so it is what it is.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:44 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
But darned if I could see any fenders which apparently are supposed to be all the rage with fast riders.
haha, bitter much? Spoon never said what you are claiming. No need to act foolish.


*edited to ensure I am not name calling and instead am just likening one's wording to an undesirable approach to life.*

Last edited by mstateglfr; 10-09-18 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:50 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
haha, bitter much? Spoon never said what you are claiming. No need to act a fool.
No need to be so harsh.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:55 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
No need to be so harsh.
and here i thought it was restrained.

point taken though- next time ill let the inaccurate representation of a discussion go without laughing and calling it what it is.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:58 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
and here i thought it was restrained.

point taken though- next time ill let the inaccurate representation of a discussion go without laughing and calling it what it is.
Thank you. It was the name calling that was the issue, not the pointing out of inaccurate info...
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Old 10-09-18, 09:01 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
And you and I agree. But I don't think that you'd do a Cat 1 Crit on your bike either..
Iím not doing Cat 1 crits on ANY bike
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Old 10-10-18, 10:44 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
When ordering online itís all about price, and return policy. Itís not like an LBS where youíll see them over and over. So PB is fine for me right now.
True that! It's just frustrating that they don't have more of a hands on. However, my Local PB is stocking more gravel bikes. I asked about Jari several years ago, and they were like what? what's that? now they have no cross bikes, but they have breezers and Jari's

Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post


And the wheels ó itís 490g vs 443g. At least for the rims, not sure about the weights of the other stuff in the wheelset. And these wonít be my road set. Itís more important that they be able to hit a rock and not get damaged. Iíll look for lighter when I get another wheelset for road use in the spring.
not too different then. I probably shouldn't have been so harsh about their weight.

Can't wait for a ride report.
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Old 10-10-18, 10:56 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
haha, bitter much? Spoon never said what you are claiming. No need to act foolish.


*edited to ensure I am not name calling and instead am just likening one's wording to an undesirable approach to life.*
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Old 10-11-18, 01:30 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
But darned if I could see any fenders which apparently are supposed to be all the rage with fast riders.
Fenders didn't slow this bike down at all, Matter of fact it actually felt faster with fenders, like less drag on the back side of the wheel/tire.

Of course I am running them way to tight, and I really don't care about clearance.

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Old 10-11-18, 07:37 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Fenders didn't slow this bike down at all, Matter of fact it actually felt faster with fenders, like less drag on the back side of the wheel/tire.

Of course I am running them way to tight, and I really don't care about clearance.

I'm not criticizing your bike in the least. Just the idea that this sort of set-up should be recommended to someone asking advice on a faster sport bike. They don't make bikes that aren't designed with a purpose in mind, so we should at least agree that aside from quality which is dictated by price all bikes are good bikes.
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Old 10-11-18, 08:15 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I'm not criticizing your bike in the least.
why not? I Criticize it all the Time! ask around, lol

It was worse when it had stupid Bontrager parts on it. Like Bontrager wheels, worse wheels ever! Between Bontrager and Trek and this bike I now hate both brand names and anything associated with them.

point is fenders din't slow it down, neither did the 38s

bigger tires only bring weight, but so do steel frames! I'd take a Carbon bike with fat Compass tires over a steel frame bike on 23/25s. Especially Gatorskins at that!!!!
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Old 10-11-18, 08:27 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by idc View Post
In my experience, yes, it can be a "good" road bike. But not great.

I sold my old CX "race" bike and converted my old road geo bike to a fixed gear a bit over a year ago, and planned to ride a newly purchased modern carbon gravel bike (Salsa Warbird) for everything.

The Warbird with mid-depth carbon road wheels/tires rolls fast in a paceline, and sprints fine. But it's not so great on turns as it handles slowly. And once the road goes up beyond about 5-10% it feels a bit less sprightly a climber compared to my old alumin[i]um road bike. Between the looong wheelbase (esp. the front-center), the very slack head tube angle it's definitely more suited to bumpy gravel. It's possible that the comfort baked into the rear end and longer chainstays affect the power transfer too, but I'm not sure.

For smoother gravel and CX racing I would actually prefer my old CX bike (actually: especially for CX racing). And on fast group rides, for anything with sharp cornering and/or sprinty hills I'd prefer a more aggressive road geometry.



I have actually considered getting a "race" geometry CX bike again, or even just a plain road bike again mostly for the faster group rides. But I don't really race often nor at a very competitive level so I haven't (yet).

One other point I've considered: it may depend a bit on your size. I'm not heavy (<140lbs) and I almost never run anything larger than 32mm tires even though my gravel bike clears 44mm. I imagine the differences between having wider tires/lower pressure/etc. are bigger for larger folks, and in that case it may make more sense to have a gravel bike. In my case, in hindsight, it almost feels like overkill as I used to just do gravel on my CX bike with no problems. And conversely, even the minor differences in geometry between my road bikes and my gravel bike are enough to affect my smaller frame/power output.
I totally agree with this.

I also have a CX bike, road endurance bike with relaxed geometry that fits 32 mm tires that I use for "gravel" off road riding and two race bikes(very aggressive geo). Geometry makes all the difference how the bike feels. The more aggressive the geometry is the more fun it is to ride.

And no, a CX bike is not a "Gravel" bike(geometry is different). My aluminum CX bike is more fun to ride than my lighter "endurance" carbon road bike because of the geometry. And my race geometry steel bike is more fun to ride( and faster) than my carbon endurance bike. On fast group rides I prefer riding a "race geo" road bikes. If I bring my endurance bike to those rides I have to work much harder to keep up...
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Old 10-11-18, 09:03 AM
  #113  
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Guy riding gatorskins is gonna tell everyone else how they should be fast

Anyway, I did not and do not recommend fenders for everyone. Here's my post, that you skimmed and then used to construct a strawman. You seem to be entertaining yourself with it quite well, just be sure to keep the door closed and wash your hands when you're done.

After 6 months of group rides, mixed gravel centuries, training crits, bandit cross races and friendly singletrack time trials; I have concluded exactly the opposite. One bike, one set of tires and one wheelset has been not just good but great for everything. 650bx42/47 is fast enough, wide enough and has enough traction that I don't really need any thing else. I will concede that at times I have removed the fenders in the interest of not destroying them on drops and such.
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Old 10-11-18, 09:11 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I'm not criticizing your bike in the least. Just the idea that this sort of set-up should be recommended to someone asking advice on a faster sport bike. They don't make bikes that aren't designed with a purpose in mind, so we should at least agree that aside from quality which is dictated by price all bikes are good bikes.
A 73/73 degree road bike with 45mm fork rake, 425mm chainstays, 25mm quality tires, and trendy mid-compact road gearing can run fenders and there is no downside. It will still be nimble and ride just as fast as an otherwise identical bike with 415mm stays and no fender mounts.

A 'faster sport bike' as you call it can have fenders and still be fast.

Fast bike and fenders arent mutually exclusive.
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Old 10-11-18, 09:19 AM
  #115  
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There's something with fenders and wider tires I haven't been able to quite figure out yet. When I was using fenders with regular road racing tires <28mm there was no difference in my rolldown tests, often the fenders were incrementally faster - probably would not stand a regression analysis but anyway.

Now that I'm using fenders on a 47mm front tire they perform much worse on rolldown testing but only on the steeper hill I use. Seems like below 25 miles per hour there is no change but above they start to act as a air brake and the total speed difference/distance is significantly worse. Now the speed wall acts as a red herring, I mean my average speed is never close to 25 miles per hour but then I think about all the hills I go down where I am or would be above 25 mph and that loss of speed translates in 50-100-150 linear feet lost coasting up the other side. Really seems to have an effect on overall speed. I haven't had time to play around and see if reducing the clearance will make a difference and honestly it doesn't seem to matter as much riding with groups so I'll probably just let it lie. I do occasionally get called out for filtering to the back on descents but that's just life I guess.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:43 AM
  #116  
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my setup on the Trek above was the fastest roll down hill out of of 5 bikes on a 3 day ride. so much different I brought it up! It was actually annoying.
I wasn't the heaviest either, by a long shot. The heaviest was on Rat Traps but with bento box and front panniers. (pushing a wall!!)

I originally set the fenders up on a 28c GP4000 (30 measured), and it was faster with fenders on that set up than without the fenders. the fenders are only tight with the 38s because I didn't feel like adjusting.

I even have Race Blades clip on fenders that I occasionally throw on my Singlespeed that runs a 25c, They don't slow me down either. However wet roads are also faster too. so maybe it's a wash. When the farmers are dropping fertilizer on the roads etc..... Fenders are a must I don't want that Crap (literally) on me!

I really do want to love the Crossrip. but between the black hole tax on my energy input, the front flexing, and the frame flex when I power down, along with it being very jarring (even with the 38's) I'm done with it.

I can see fenders being an issue pushing past 20mph averages. but again the guy on gator skins isn't doing that either!

Edit: I was looking at Willard, Tamland, and Crossrip. I really regret not buying a Tamland or Willard. Then a couple years after I bought the Crossrip. Fuji dropped the Jari on the market.
I am pretty sure a 2019 Revolts going to fix it. a Revolt on Barlow Pass or 38c Gravelking allroads slicks.

Last edited by Metieval; 10-11-18 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-09-19, 09:03 PM
  #117  
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like where is that is the only thing I changed... 20w is real
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Old 09-09-19, 10:35 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I have a gravel bike. It is perfectly fine as a road bike. I have two wheel-sets. One is for on-road with slick tires, the other is off-road with serious treads.

Although I have run narrow tires (28mm is narrow for me), I'm now using 38mm slicks and 38mm treaded tires (both Compass) on the two wheel sets. I detect no performance hit with wider slick tires on road, and it allows me to take it on modestly challenging gravel roads too.

In other words, a gravel bike does not inflict any significant penalty, and it gives you the advantage of running wider tires if you so choose. You might not even need two sets of tires/wheels, depending upon what kind of gravel you ride.

A gravel bike is a road bike with fewer constraints on your riding.
totally agree, running 38mm GK slick it does not feel slow at all compared to 28mm and 32mm. It will be less aero but the comfort is worth it, I can ride for 4hr+ w/o feeling any soreness, cannot say the same running the same bike with 28mm
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Old 09-10-19, 07:52 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
. What his stupid riding style got him was a heart attack that relegated him to not riding a bicycle at all and slowly dying pretty miserably over the next 5 years. You can retain the very best your age and body type can handle but you have to remember that ignoring the medical facts of life is not good for you. And in the group I presently ride with more and more of the group are learning this.
How did I miss this the first time around? You blamed Jobst dying on his bicycle rides! Not all the other factors that play into the odds of a heart attack, nah, just his long bike rides.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:28 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
How did I miss this the first time around? You blamed Jobst dying on his bicycle rides! Not all the other factors that play into the odds of a heart attack, nah, just his long bike rides.
I notice that you didn't seem to been able to assimilate my posting. Is English a second language for you? Jobst did everything that was "manly and brave" in the 1930's and even in the 70's was known to be extremely bad for your heart. He could not bring himself to erase the idea that carrying a fixie gearing up steep hills was anything but the mark of a man. Now that I have reached 75 I'm still putting in 50 miles rides at a pace that won't stop my heart and the group of 55-70 year olds I was riding with have mostly had heart attacks racing to the top of all of the climbs and then not waiting the 5 minutes for me to get there. If you think that you're going to be able to put out 350 watts regularly on a weekday ride by all means do so. See where it gets you. You can end up like them and be afraid to try to keep up with the younger guys that have turned up in the group and feel miserable because they are afraid of dying all of the time.

Also, I knew Jobst and rode with him on a couple of occasions. The address and map he published to "my home" was not my home - it was some little old lady that he was trying to be people to disturb thinking I lived there.

I don't know who you are or why you believe you can talk about anything other than yourself.

I have a T-shirt that says, "I may be old but at least I'm slow" and no one seemed to know what that meant until after they injured their hearts. In the meantime I'm passed by all of the young fast guys to the tops of the climbs and when I reach them they are laying over the rail puking and I ride by and go down the hill. Over the last two years my speed has gone down rather remarkably because my max heart rate has decreased so much. But I'm still riding and am as healthy as ever. Are you working on a heart attack to prove how manly you are?
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Old 09-10-19, 08:37 AM
  #121  
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Wait why are you posting from multiple accounts
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Old 09-10-19, 08:42 AM
  #122  
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Yes, gravel bikes make excellent road bikes. I have no problems on A group rides with my Revolt using a second wheelset with 28mm GP5Ks. I've also done fast rides on the stock 40mm tires, but that def takes more effort.


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Old 09-10-19, 12:23 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
I notice that you didn't seem to been able to assimilate my posting. Is English a second language for you?
I understood your post.
English is my first language.

I deleted the rest of your post because at no point in your post do you show my comment was wrong. You actually showed further 'evidence' of thinking bicycling is why Brandt had a heart attach. You dont acknowledge all the other known factors and instead further explained that Brandt rode his bike in a heart unhealthy way.

...I assume I am responding to cyclintom.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:59 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
I have a T-shirt that says, "I may be old but at least I'm slow" and no one seemed to know what that meant until after they injured their hearts.
All this time I thought those t-shirts were meant to be funny, but now you're saying they're really dispensing medical advice?
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Old 09-12-19, 04:29 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I understood your post.
English is my first language.

I deleted the rest of your post because at no point in your post do you show my comment was wrong. You actually showed further 'evidence' of thinking bicycling is why Brandt had a heart attach. You dont acknowledge all the other known factors and instead further explained that Brandt rode his bike in a heart unhealthy way.

...I assume I am responding to cyclintom.
Unlike you I don't try to tell people like Jobst that they are crazy for attributing his heart attack to his sport. My only addition was his habit of using gears that went out in the days of Bohamontes which plainly had a deleterious and visible effect of ruptured blood vessels in his legs.

Jobst and I had some disagreements but we also had many things we agreed on completely. My greatest problem was his habit of taking a group of relatively new riders down a descent that turned into an unpaved road without any previous warning. He and I had ridden individually when many mountain roads did that and it was second nature to us but the last thing I would do is take anyone around what was little more than a dirt trail without warning them that it was going to be there.

Yes, this is cyclintom. After my concussion I was vey angry which is symptomatic of concussions. I suppose I must have cussed people out on several groups and they removed me. Since I was in continuous seizures I had little control over my temper. After receiving treatment to stop the seizures and recovering the larger part of my memories, I had to re-register under a different moniker.
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