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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.

Show us your Gravel Grinder

Old 08-07-19, 09:22 PM
  #1326  
csrpenfab
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The man in the big brown truck came by this afternoon bearing gifts. Two boxes from Excel Sports containing my new Niner RDO gravel bike.

Even though Excel said these heavily discounted 4 star builds were “demos”, the sales tech was truthful when he said many were never unboxed. My 56cm in Concrete/Blue was new in the box. It arrived very well packaged and they shipped the front wheel in a 2nd box.

The Stans Grail wheelset came already set up tubeless with the Schwalbe 38’s mounted. Two injector bottles of sealant were provided as well. A few minutes with the compressor and the wheels were ready to go.

The only other assembly was inserting the seat post and attaching the bars. I got it out for a few laps around the hood and it fits well. Very light and quick with a nice cushy ride. We will see how it handles the gravel later in the week.




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Old 08-08-19, 08:13 AM
  #1327  
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The niner looks sharp. Bet the STIs will be really comfortable if the bars are pivoted closer to level with the ground...
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Old 08-08-19, 08:24 AM
  #1328  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The niner looks sharp. Bet the STIs will be really comfortable if the bars are pivoted closer to level with the ground...
For sure, that pic was before I had done any "dialing in" of the adjustments....
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Old 08-08-19, 08:35 AM
  #1329  
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One of the guys in my club has the same Niner, colorway and all. Really nice bike.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:13 AM
  #1330  
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Originally Posted by csrpenfab View Post
For sure, that pic was before I had done any "dialing in" of the adjustments....
Totally get it. I figured that might be the case, but wanted to still mention in case you didnt realize. Everyone's setup is different and I didnt want to come off as saying something is being done wrong...there is no good way to say 'you are doing it wrong, even though there is no actual wrong way'.

Back to the bike- strong deal for a sharp looking bike = setting you up for a fantastic fall of riding!
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Old 08-08-19, 09:33 AM
  #1331  
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Welcome to the club csrpenfab!
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Old 08-09-19, 04:49 PM
  #1332  
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love all the new Niner, just upgraded mine to di2

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Old 08-09-19, 05:22 PM
  #1333  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Yes! I finished it today! It's a gravel bike!
Nice, Tom! I think the "beausage" of the frame suits it now!
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Old 08-09-19, 05:42 PM
  #1334  
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As @noglider says, many old 531 Raleighs are gravel grinders in their bones. My 1971 International looks period but runs a modern 2x10, rolls on wide supple tires and eats dirt and gravel.

This was late June near Sleepy Hollow on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, 30 miles of dirt goodness that starts just north of NYC.

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Old 08-10-19, 10:52 AM
  #1335  
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Cannondale Slate (2017) w/Lefty Oliver fork. Absolutely the best bike I've ever owned.
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Old 08-12-19, 09:18 AM
  #1336  
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Canyon Grail CF SL 8.0 (Mech Ultegra Groupset)
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Old 08-12-19, 10:47 AM
  #1337  
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^^ That photo makes me want to ignore doctor's orders and go out on my bike right now.
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Old 08-12-19, 06:59 PM
  #1338  
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Originally Posted by richard.susanto View Post


Canyon Grail CF SL 8.0 (Mech Ultegra Groupset)
curious where this is
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Old 08-12-19, 07:58 PM
  #1339  
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This is in Vernon Hills, a suburb of Chicago. The trail is called Des Plaines River Trail.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:37 PM
  #1340  
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Originally Posted by richard.susanto View Post
This is in Vernon Hills, a suburb of Chicago. The trail is called Des Plaines River Trail.
Nice. I've run parts of the Illinois Prarie Trail near Wheaton. Flat!
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Old 08-12-19, 08:59 PM
  #1341  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Nice. I've run parts of the Illinois Prarie Trail near Wheaton. Flat!
Yea. The prairie trail is flat, and boring in most parts. There is a section close to the town of Crystal Lake where you will find crazy climbs and descents, passing through a small forest. This is the best part of the trail.

If you like climbs, Western Illinois has some of the steepest long climb in the state. Rapha cycling club coordinated a 100 mile gravel grinding event back in June this year. I didn't participate but some of my friends went and told me about the crazy hills they encountered.
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Old 08-12-19, 10:26 PM
  #1342  
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Originally Posted by richard.susanto View Post
This is in Vernon Hills, a suburb of Chicago. The trail is called Des Plaines River Trail.
good to know, thanks. I grew up in Winnetka and Arlington heights- know the DP trail well. Never on it up in Vernon Hills though.

Heading into the burbs in a month for in-law visit time, bit they are near Hinsdale so I'll have to make the drive north and ride the trail further north. I've seen pics of all thenparrs I've never ridden...apparently every part I didnt ride is cooler looking than what I remember!
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Old 08-13-19, 01:17 PM
  #1343  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Nice. I've run parts of the Illinois Prarie Trail near Wheaton. Flat!
That's the Illinois Prairie Path, which does link up with the Prairie Trail further north and west. Yeah, subtle difference in name! To make it trickier, parts of the Illinois Prairie Path are mislabeled on Google Maps as "Prairie Trail".

Illinois is very flat. I did a 50 mile loop connecting the main stem of the Prairie Path, a couple of branches of the Prairie Path, and the Fox River Trail, and it was 1,073 feet of total climbing. But parts of it are quite scenic as you get WEST of Wheaton. Lakes, rivers, marshes, etc.

The North Shore Century in September has about 1,600 ft. of climbing for the entire 100 mile route.
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Old 08-13-19, 03:28 PM
  #1344  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
That's the Illinois Prairie Path, which does link up with the Prairie Trail further north and west. Yeah, subtle difference in name! To make it trickier, parts of the Illinois Prairie Path are mislabeled on Google Maps as "Prairie Trail".

Illinois is very flat. I did a 50 mile loop connecting the main stem of the Prairie Path, a couple of branches of the Prairie Path, and the Fox River Trail, and it was 1,073 feet of total climbing. But parts of it are quite scenic as you get WEST of Wheaton. Lakes, rivers, marshes, etc.

The North Shore Century in September has about 1,600 ft. of climbing for the entire 100 mile route.
Interesting. I didn't know about the name change. It was really nice though with phlox growing along the trail.

The run was memorable because I was in Chicago for a training class while simultaneously training for a marathon. Every evening I would get out of class, drive to a different part of the city and go for a long run. One night was the Prairie Path/Trail.

Speaking of marshes, I went into the Lincoln Marsh Natural Area and managed to get lost, which is pretty sad given the relatively small size of the place. I spent a while running in circles until I figured out how to get out of the place.

Class got out early on Friday and I did a 20 mile run all over downtown Chicago - the pier, along the lake front. to the Sears tower, through some garden near the chrome bean, stopping to talk to firemen practicing using the hose by spraying water into one of those canals. I stopped some businessmen and asked, "Hey, where should I run to go see something cool" and they were like, "Yeah, check out the Tribune building, that way!"

Chicago has a great vibe. Atlanta is dead at night.

And kosher dogs with sport peppers on the poppy seed buns at Portillos.
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Old 08-14-19, 09:00 AM
  #1345  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Interesting. I didn't know about the name change. It was really nice though with phlox growing along the trail.

The run was memorable because I was in Chicago for a training class while simultaneously training for a marathon. Every evening I would get out of class, drive to a different part of the city and go for a long run. One night was the Prairie Path/Trail.

Speaking of marshes, I went into the Lincoln Marsh Natural Area and managed to get lost, which is pretty sad given the relatively small size of the place. I spent a while running in circles until I figured out how to get out of the place.

Class got out early on Friday and I did a 20 mile run all over downtown Chicago - the pier, along the lake front. to the Sears tower, through some garden near the chrome bean, stopping to talk to firemen practicing using the hose by spraying water into one of those canals. I stopped some businessmen and asked, "Hey, where should I run to go see something cool" and they were like, "Yeah, check out the Tribune building, that way!"

Chicago has a great vibe. Atlanta is dead at night.

And kosher dogs with sport peppers on the poppy seed buns at Portillos.
Sounds like you got around quite a bit! Chicago has had a lot of bad press lately due to lingering crime issues in certain corners of the city, but vast areas of the city and suburbs are really great places to live and recreate. I'm out in the "commuter rail" burbs now, and have really enjoyed the interlinked trail systems out here. They not only provide a place to ride or jog, but also give an easy "escape route" out of the congestion of the metro area without tangling with a lot of cars.

I ride through Lincoln Marsh regularly, since the prairie path provides easy week day rides before or after work. But my favorite riding around here is in southern Wisconsin--either in the Kettle Moraine area northwest of Milwaukee (around the basilica known as "Holy Hill"), or the super hilly "Driftless Area" west of Madison.
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Old 08-14-19, 09:03 AM
  #1346  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Sounds like you got around quite a bit! Chicago has had a lot of bad press lately due to lingering crime issues in certain corners of the city, but vast areas of the city and suburbs are really great places to live and recreate. I'm out in the "commuter rail" burbs now, and have really enjoyed the interlinked trail systems out here. They not only provide a place to ride or jog, but also give an easy "escape route" out of the congestion of the metro area without tangling with a lot of cars.

I ride through Lincoln Marsh regularly, since the prairie path provides easy week day rides before or after work. But my favorite riding around here is in southern Wisconsin--either in the Kettle Moraine area northwest of Milwaukee (around the basilica known as "Holy Hill"), or the super hilly "Driftless Area" west of Madison.
The Wisconsin ride sounds awesome....Do you happen to have the route maps on Strava or 'Ride With GPS' that you can share?
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Old 08-14-19, 09:40 AM
  #1347  
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Originally Posted by richard.susanto View Post
The Wisconsin ride sounds awesome....Do you happen to have the route maps on Strava or 'Ride With GPS' that you can share?
Note these are primarily areas for road riding. Not sure if this matters to you--we are in the Cyclocross and Gravel forums, after all.

Most of my routes are private, since they start at my in-laws' house, or a friend's private residence (I'm from WI). But many are just modified from existing rides in Ride With GPS. Do a search for "Erin, WI" or "Merton, WI" for the Holy Hill area, or "Blue Mounds" for the Driftless Area. There are a LOT of road riders in both of these areas.

The more the merrier... It all adds to our safety to get people used to cyclists in the area. There is a well-regarded organized ride in the Driftless Area called the "Horribly Hilly Hundreds" (10,000 ft. of climbing!). And the Driftless Randonneurs are active in the area doing brevets. It's very popular for road cyclists.
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Old 08-17-19, 11:33 AM
  #1348  
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Just finished building this gravel bike last night. Quite happy with the way it came together, with the exception of the natural color bar tape (which I screwed up a bit) which I'll replace with black when it needs replacing.

Getting it out for a short spin today then a 62 mile dirt/gravel/backroads ride tomorrow.

ETA: 22 lbs.


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Old 08-18-19, 03:17 PM
  #1349  
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Got it all cleaned up today so I snapped a couple pics. Also finally got my Hope RX4 purple bore caps installed.

Specialized Diverge, Sram Force 1




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Old 08-18-19, 06:29 PM
  #1350  
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The oil slick effect on those cages is pretty cool. What are they?

I like where your saddle bag is located. Is that a B-Rad?


-Tim-

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