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Help - I'm drowning in information and confusion!

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.

Help - I'm drowning in information and confusion!

Old 07-31-19, 10:38 AM
  #51  
HarborBandS
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
It was mountain bike riding - mostly cross country mixed with downhill. I am torn about getting a cheap bike to get started vs spending the money I have allocated and getting a nice $3k bike now!
The nice thing about getting a 105-level 11-speed bike is that you can gradually upgrade individual parts to Ultegra or DA in the future without changing out the entire drive train (until they switch those upper tier groups to 12-speed, anyway). All of the Shimano 11-speed group sets are compatible, but if you drop down to Tiagra, you have a lot more parts to change over if you ever upgrade.

I think the drive train is probably a low upgrade priority on these bikes, however. Wheels are the low-hanging fruit. But hey, if you need a new derailleur, why not just pop an Ultegra on there?
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Old 07-31-19, 12:06 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
It was mountain bike riding - mostly cross country mixed with downhill. I am torn about getting a cheap bike to get started vs spending the money I have allocated and getting a nice $3k bike now!
Here are three typical ways people end up with a $3K bike.....
1- Buy a $3K bike
2- Buy a $1K bike, then spend $3K on upgrades.
3- Buy a $1K bike, spend $1K on upgrades, then spend $3K on a new bike.
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Old 08-01-19, 05:28 AM
  #53  
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Just went through the same thing and weighed out all the pros and cons and ended up with a Diverge with the future shock! I love being able to go fast on roads and then just turn onto a side road and just cruise along a river etc! The versatility and ride comfort can’t be beat on a gravel bike. I use mine for weekly road group rides and periodic gravel rides (just starting out) and only thing I do is change tire pressure with what I’m doing!
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Old 08-01-19, 01:56 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Here are three typical ways people end up with a $3K bike.....
1- Buy a $3K bike
2- Buy a $1K bike, then spend $3K on upgrades.
3- Buy a $1K bike, spend $1K on upgrades, then spend $3K on a new bike.
True. I did #1 *.

Actually, I did
#4 :I started out with a Craig's list bike, learned what I liked, didn't like, and what I needed, so when I was ready to buy new, I knew what I wanted. That way I didn't spend the $$$ just to learn it wasn't what I wanted.
I think @bjn74 might be better of with option #4 if this is his first drop bar bike.

*Actually, I got a Canyon, so I got a $5k bike for $3k, lol.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:05 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Here are three typical ways people end up with a $3K bike.....
1- Buy a $3K bike
2- Buy a $1K bike, then spend $3K on upgrades.
3- Buy a $1K bike, spend $1K on upgrades, then spend $3K on a new bike.
So true! I started my gravel venture on a used $700 Giant TCX SLR2. I loved it so much I just dropped $3k on a Niner RDO. No worries, I'll sell the Giant to another person and the saga will continue.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:10 PM
  #56  
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So I ended up going for the Trek Domane SL5! Super happy with it. Yes it can 'only' fit 38mm tires but some of the gravel bikes I was testing came with 38s and I was happy with that. If I feel as though I need something more dirt orientated I can get another bike! The color really changes in different light - love it!




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Old 08-13-19, 12:37 PM
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Gorgeous bike (for a Trek ).

Reminding that this was to be used for gravel...

Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
- riding gravel rides to get away from the traffic and I enjoy dirt roads

- looking forward to the future I can see us driving somewhere to ride through country roads/gravel for half day type of thing.
...go get it dirty.


-Tim-
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Old 08-13-19, 12:59 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Gorgeous bike (for a Trek ).

Reminding that this was to be used for gravel...



...go get it dirty.


-Tim-
That's my plan! Did my first real ride this morning in 15 years and this is my first drop bar bike. Did a 12 mile ride this morning. My legs have a long way to go! In Dallas so once the weather cools down will go find some gravel/dirt.
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Old 08-13-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
That's my plan! Did my first real ride this morning in 15 years and this is my first drop bar bike. Did a 12 mile ride this morning. My legs have a long way to go! In Dallas so once the weather cools down will go find some gravel/dirt.
First in 15 years?

Most excellent!!!

A red letter day! Congratulations.


-Tim-
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Old 08-13-19, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
So I ended up going for the Trek Domane SL5! Super happy with it. Yes it can 'only' fit 38mm tires but some of the gravel bikes I was testing came with 38s and I was happy with that. If I feel as though I need something more dirt orientated I can get another bike! The color really changes in different light - love it!




Very nice! I am leaning the same direction, though likely waiting until Spring, and a million new cool bikes could come out before then. And I will get a glossy red one.

BTW, a guy on the "Domane Owners Lounge" Facebook group posted a photo of his 2020 Domane with 700x43c Panaracer Gravel King SK's. Not a ton of room for "mud clearance", but there was room. I myself would fear the smallest branch fragment or pebble with such small clearance.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:52 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Very nice! I am leaning the same direction, though likely waiting until Spring, and a million new cool bikes could come out before then. And I will get a glossy red one.

BTW, a guy on the "Domane Owners Lounge" Facebook group posted a photo of his 2020 Domane with 700x43c Panaracer Gravel King SK's. Not a ton of room for "mud clearance", but there was room. I myself would fear the smallest branch fragment or pebble with such small clearance.
I checked out the photos - 43 does seem a bit close for comfort! However, if that means that 40c can fit with enough room for practical use, that's a good outcome!
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Old 08-14-19, 02:20 PM
  #62  
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38mm is plenty unless your ride is mostly single-tracks. I currently ride 50% tarmac and 50% dirt and fire-road, no actual gravel road in NYC. 38mm Gravel King is more than enough, might be even too slow for tarmac, gonna try 35mm next.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:31 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
38mm is plenty unless your ride is mostly single-tracks. I currently ride 50% tarmac and 50% dirt and fire-road, no actual gravel road in NYC. 38mm Gravel King is more than enough, might be even too slow for tarmac, gonna try 35mm next.
I've got no real experience on different tire sizes on gravel. Noting I'll be probably 75% (at least) on sealed roads I don't want to sacrifice too much speed. As mentioned earlier in this thread I did take the Domane on a test ride and the LBS sent me down a gravel, rocky road for half a mile. It wasn't too bad on the stock 32c tires. I'll probably give 38c as my next set.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
So I ended up going for the Trek Domane SL5! Super happy with it. Yes it can 'only' fit 38mm tires but some of the gravel bikes I was testing came with 38s and I was happy with that. If I feel as though I need something more dirt orientated I can get another bike! The color really changes in different light - love it!
That is so cool! You will be surprised at how fast you improve. Especially with a bike like that to inspire you. Get a Strava account and watch your increase in performance! I find that in the summer, I'm happy on 32mm tires on gravel - in the winter and spring I want more. But really, the biggest difference is what tire pressure the tires are comfortable at. You can reliably go 10-15psi lower going from 32 to 40mm.

FYI, ISO standards are 6mm clearance, so you can always go a little fatter if you want (if you are not worried about mud or riding on a broke spoke with a warped wheel).
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Old 08-15-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
That is so cool! You will be surprised at how fast you improve. Especially with a bike like that to inspire you. Get a Strava account and watch your increase in performance! I find that in the summer, I'm happy on 32mm tires on gravel - in the winter and spring I want more. But really, the biggest difference is what tire pressure the tires are comfortable at. You can reliably go 10-15psi lower going from 32 to 40mm.

FYI, ISO standards are 6mm clearance, so you can always go a little fatter if you want (if you are not worried about mud or riding on a broke spoke with a warped wheel).
Yep - set up my strava account for my first ride. I'm an engineer so I like data! I also picked up the Bontrager duotrap speed/cadence sensor (as there's a mount for it built into the frame) so I can capture that information with the rides. I don't have a bike computer yet so no read out of 'live' data.

Will be tracking down some dirt/gravel this weekend to see how it goes. Can't wait!
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Old 08-15-19, 09:18 PM
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Don't forget skills.

This video was recommended here on BF and it is the number one thing that improved my riding. MTB specific but completely applicable to gravel.

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Old 08-16-19, 07:25 AM
  #67  
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Happy New Bike Day! Even though it isn’t a gravel bike per se, that is a very nice steed indeed.
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Old 08-16-19, 08:45 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by BluFalconActual View Post
Happy New Bike Day! Even though it isnít a gravel bike per se, that is a very nice steed indeed.
That's probably a fair statement! It will be 'gravelly' enough for me to get started and see where things go. I think it will be a very versatile bike!
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Old 08-16-19, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bjn74 View Post
Yep - set up my strava account for my first ride. I'm an engineer so I like data! I also picked up the Bontrager duotrap speed/cadence sensor (as there's a mount for it built into the frame) so I can capture that information with the rides. I don't have a bike computer yet so no read out of 'live' data.

Will be tracking down some dirt/gravel this weekend to see how it goes. Can't wait!
so, if you are an engineer like me,

Get a heart rate monitor. You'll be able to track your fitness, freshness, and fatigue, not to mention your improvement.
Ideally, when you can ride hard for an hour, you will calculate your lactate threshold - the maximum heart rate you can sustain for an hour (well, 20 minutes is good enough). If you really want to go hard core, you can get a power meter ($$$$), but start with a $50 chest strap heart rate meter (wahoo works fine).
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Old 08-21-19, 02:11 PM
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Took the bike onto some smooth single track over the weekend. Only a few miles. The path a bit overgrown in spots. Bike was more comfortable than I expected with 32c tires at about 60psi. Am looking forward to doing more exploring!



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Old 08-26-19, 07:09 PM
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That is not single track, that is a bandit route.

Have fun exploring. Looks like an adventure!
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