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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.

Ready for a new gravel bike

Old 06-18-19, 07:28 PM
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adefeatedman
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Ready for a new gravel bike

Good evening:


I'm currently riding a 2012 Giant Defy 1 which I managed to wedge 700x30c Schwalbe G-One Speeds onto for a mixture of road and gravel. The gravel near me is about as firmly packed, dry and nontechnical as it comes, but even then, there have been some moments where I had to dismount whereas my buddy with his Jamis Renegade with 36c tires was able to wiz on through with minimal fuss. Further, the caliper brakes are constantly getting clogged with dirt and debris. I love my Defy because it is what got me into road cycling, but I want to upgrade. I have my Ritchey Road Logic for fast road riding, but for more training oriented or leisure rides, I plan to use the new "gravel bike."


With that said, I think I can make do with something more road oriented, but with discs and sufficient tire clearance. I'm quite loyal to my bike shop which carries Giant, Specialized, Salsa and Niner. I've limited my budget to around $2,000 and arrived at the following list:


1. Specialized Diverge E5 Elite - New Tiagra and hydraulic brakes. Well within budget. This one is at the top of my list.

2. Niner RLT 2-star - Old Tiagra and Hydraulic brakes. Just within budget, but really hate the old non-series hydraulic shifters. Love the look of the bike though so I can't get away from it.

3. Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 700 - Sram 1x which I have no experience with, and mechanical brakes. Well within budget but also heavier and more adventure focused, so probably not the bike for me.

4. Giant Toughroad - Salesman told me it isn't for me, so don't know much about it anyway.


Wanted to get some input before I go back. The new Diverge isn't in yet and they do not have any of the old Diverge in stock in my size, only the model up with the headtube shock and mechanical brakes. I'll probably take the Diverge out for a ride along with the Niner but I don't think I could buy the Diverge knowing the new model is coming soon, and I probably won't buy the Niner unless they agree to swap the shifters for something smaller that fits my hands.


Last, the salesman was trying to push me towards stretching my budget and getting a Roubaix or a Defy Advanced and making do with 32c tires or finding a set of 35c tires that run smaller. I thought about that before going to the shop, to be honest, and just selling the Ritchey and going with one single nice bike for all uses, but I'm worried that I'll eventually wish I could get larger tires in there, even if I only plan to run 35c tires now, and be stuck in the same situation.


I feel like the more I think about it, the less sure I become. Help me.


Thanks,


-Jacob
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Old 06-18-19, 07:34 PM
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The Revolt Adv 2 lists only a little beyond your budget. Maybe you could get a discount? Seems like a really nice bike.
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Old 06-18-19, 07:59 PM
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I was trying to stay away from carbon fiber frames as I'm worried about them getting cracked during those brewery tours and leisure group rides with friends. Unless the new bike becomes the nice bike and I relegate the Ritchey to those rides.

Again, I'm lost.
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Old 06-19-19, 01:24 AM
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Giant TCX SLR 2.

Massive tire clearance, up to 45's. Apex 1x is great for gravel. Fast fun ride.
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Old 06-19-19, 07:06 AM
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Why avoid carbon? It's not going to crack, and if it does, Giant will replace it. I think you need a new salesman for not recommending the Revolt Advanced 2 (unless you specifically told him no carbon lol). It's a great bike, comfortable and stable. It's basically a Defy with more tire clearance, can fit 45mm. With a second wheelset it makes a great roadbike too. The 105 hyd discs are fantastic.


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Old 06-19-19, 07:27 AM
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Sounds like you should go do some test riding and let that be your guide…
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Old 06-19-19, 08:20 AM
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My completely subjective opinion is that waiting on the new Diverge is probably your best bet for off the rack.

But I'd also try finding an LBS that didn't try to pressure you into an upsell. $2000 should buy you plenty of bike.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Why avoid carbon? It's not going to crack, and if it does, Giant will replace it. I think you need a new salesman for not recommending the Revolt Advanced 2 (unless you specifically told him no carbon lol). It's a great bike, comfortable and stable. It's basically a Defy with more tire clearance, can fit 45mm. With a second wheelset it makes a great roadbike too. The 105 hyd discs are fantastic.


I definitely told him specifically no carbon. lol. It might be all in my head, but that's enough for me to worry. I'm going to add it to the test ride list though.

Part of the reason I want to stay in budget is I would like this bike to compliment a specific road bike like my Ritchey, or something more aggressive down the line. I wish you didn't post a picture of your Revolt because that looks damn good though.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tdilf View Post
Sounds like you should go do some test riding and let that be your guideÖ
Yeah, 100%. If only it would stop raining around here because the LBS won't let me take out new bikes into the rain.


Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
My completely subjective opinion is that waiting on the new Diverge is probably your best bet for off the rack.

But I'd also try finding an LBS that didn't try to pressure you into an upsell. $2000 should buy you plenty of bike.
I think that is the case, so I'll probably test ride a 2019 model and if I like it, I'll put in an order for a 2020. They're usually pretty good, but like someone else commented, I just need to find a different salesperson. I've been using this shop for years and they are the best in the area. I am loyal to them. Just wasn't happy with this salesperson tbh.

After some consideration, I'm definitely going to stick with a gravel specific ride and not try and shoehorn large tires into an expensive endurance bike as a do it all. Here's what I've brought it down too:

1. Specialized Diverge E5 Comp - I think I might grow to like the future shock and the upgrade to 105 is worth it to me.
2. Giant Revolt Advanced 2 - As suggested, definitely the best value even if slightly out of budget. Carbon frame, but that has benefits and the geometry should be familiar to me.
3. Niner RLT 9 - It's just so damn beautiful I need to at least try it. Even if it is an awful value and last generation Tiagra. Even if I liked it, I'd probably try to integrate an upgraded groupset in an effort to make a deal.

Thanks guys.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:42 AM
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I have the Niner RLT RDO 4-star (Carbon). Iíve been on some fairly challenging technical single track (more technical than my off road riding skills warrant) and havenít cracked the frame. I have the OEM Stanís wheels with 38mm G One All Arounds and a set of November RCG36 wheels with 30mm Pro Ones for road riding. Works well for me.

Edit, Bikebling has the 2018 version (like mine) for $3,199. Iíve never bought from them, have no idea who they are, but thatís a heckuva price for this bike:

https://www.bikebling.com/Niner-RLT-...4-18-47-55.htm

I realize this is over your budget though.

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Old 06-19-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
I definitely told him specifically no carbon. lol. It might be all in my head, but that's enough for me to worry. I'm going to add it to the test ride list though.

Part of the reason I want to stay in budget is I would like this bike to compliment a specific road bike like my Ritchey, or something more aggressive down the line. I wish you didn't post a picture of your Revolt because that looks damn good though.
Giant has 100% guarantee on their composite frames, even if you crash it, they'll replace it for the first two years. Def ride one and see what you think, it's very comfortable. My road bike is feeling very neglected since I got a set of road wheels for the Revolt and just ride that all the time. lol

The metallic orange is only for '19, the '20s have new colors, the new blue is nice too. But they also went full hydro on the '20s, which is great. Mine came with the mech/hyd Conduct system, but I had the shop remove that and put full hyd on it from the start, they had a set of takeoffs from another bike, with a lil discount, I came out a lil cheaper than a '20 and with the color I wanted. I loved the metallic orange the moment I saw it.

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Old 06-19-19, 09:42 AM
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I'm a much heavier guy but I'm not worried about carbon cracking during a ride. I'm more worried about it getting knocked over when it's parked outside or in my garage. I'll ask my LBS about that warranty. Two years is plenty.

100% would need that orange if I get the Revolt though.
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Old 06-19-19, 11:42 AM
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I would say of the three bikes on your list, the Niner is the least compliant if you are looking at the aluminum model. The carbon and steel frames are a different story however.
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Old 06-19-19, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tdilf View Post
I would say of the three bikes on your list, the Niner is the least compliant if you are looking at the aluminum model. The carbon and steel frames are a different story however.
Interesting. Thank you, that is quite valuable information.

On a slightly related note, if I road more gravel than I do, I think I would do a custom build on a Niner RLT RDO and not look back. Strictly based on looks and cool factor alone. But with only doing two or three gravel rides a month and being I don't ride outdoors much in the winter, it doesn't make sense to expand the budget that much for a gravel bike.
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Old 06-19-19, 01:05 PM
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$1350 Cdn plus tax for my toughroad Gx Slr1. Money saved through the ugly mech/hydraulic brake converter that takes up cockpit real estate. If you are not racing I think the bike does just about everything you could ever ask of it. Tell the salesman to set one up for a test ride before you make up your mind. Certainly can not hurt and budget wise you would have some cash left over for upgrades.

If I had the money, I would probably buy the Revolt Advanced myself, but I don't think not having one is taking any fun out of riding for me.
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Old 06-19-19, 03:28 PM
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Check out the Cannondale Topstone. Hard to beat that level of components for the price, and Cannondale makes nice aluminum frames. The 105 hydraulic version comes in at $1,750.

There are some very strong reviews out there for this bike too.

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Old 06-21-19, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post


Guys, I bought a bike today. It is exactly like the one above.

The LBS wasn't allowing any test rides for some reason and after standing over a Revolt Adv 0 that they had in my size, I realized it felt awfully familiar. It just felt right. Also, I knew I wanted hydraulic brakes but I hate the larger hoods on the hydraulic levers so the Giant Conduct brakes made sense to me. And that color...

Decided to stop overthinking it and took a leap before it was too late. There were only nine orange Revolts left at the warehouses across the country in my size. Seriously can't wait!
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Old 06-21-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post


Guys, I bought a bike today. It is exactly like the one above.

The LBS wasn't allowing any test rides for some reason and after standing over a Revolt Adv 0 that they had in my size, I realized it felt awfully familiar. It just felt right. Also, I knew I wanted hydraulic brakes but I hate the larger hoods on the hydraulic levers so the Giant Conduct brakes made sense to me. And that color...

Decided to stop overthinking it and took a leap before it was too late. There were only nine orange Revolts left at the warehouses across the country in my size. Seriously can't wait!

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 06-21-19, 08:57 PM
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I thought test rides was something that set them apart from mail order. Strange. Hope it fits
To be honest, a 10 minute ride around the block is really only for good for bringing out gross deficiencies in fit or comfort anyway or something that shows up in.... 10 minutes A 50 mile gravel ride would be more representative but.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I thought test rides was something that set them apart from mail order. Strange. Hope it fits
To be honest, a 10 minute ride around the block is really only for good for bringing out gross deficiencies in fit or comfort anyway or something that shows up in.... 10 minutes A 50 mile gravel ride would be more representative but.
Well, that's what I thought too, but I wasn't in an argumentative mood. This will be my fourth Giant that I've owned and all the others were Mediums that fit fine. I did a bunch of research after hearing the opinions on here and it just seemed like this was the only bike that hit all the requirements and offered a carbon frame. It was $100 over my original budget, but that's not so bad considering I was expecting an aluminum frame at that pricepoint. If this bike rides as well as I hope, I might end up selling off the Ritchey along with my Defy and making this my sole bike.
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Old 06-22-19, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
Well, that's what I thought too, but I wasn't in an argumentative mood. This will be my fourth Giant that I've owned and all the others were Mediums that fit fine. I did a bunch of research after hearing the opinions on here and it just seemed like this was the only bike that hit all the requirements and offered a carbon frame. It was $100 over my original budget, but that's not so bad considering I was expecting an aluminum frame at that pricepoint. If this bike rides as well as I hope, I might end up selling off the Ritchey along with my Defy and making this my sole bike.
Two sets of wheels and your done!
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Old 06-23-19, 10:36 AM
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I also picked up a Defy (2020 model. Iím really jealous of your orange paint) and if I owned a Defy as well, I would absolutely sell it and use some of that $ for a second set of nice road specific wheels and tires for the Revolt.
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Old 06-23-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BluFalconActual View Post
I also picked up a Defy (2020 model. Iím really jealous of your orange paint) and if I owned a Defy as well, I would absolutely sell it and use some of that $ for a second set of nice road specific wheels and tires for the Revolt.
Absolutely (assuming you meant Revolt in that first part). Took the Defy out today for a final voyage as my Revolt should be in this week but I'm likely going to work on the Craigslist ad tonight for all three bikes I own, actually.

I have my heart set on a set of Hunt 4 Seasons but, embarrassingly, I exceed the maximum rider weight by about twenty pounds. I need to stay off the post-ride beers for a while...
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Old 06-23-19, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
Absolutely (assuming you meant Revolt in that first part). Took the Defy out today for a final voyage as my Revolt should be in this week but I'm likely going to work on the Craigslist ad tonight for all three bikes I own, actually.

I have my heart set on a set of Hunt 4 Seasons but, embarrassingly, I exceed the maximum rider weight by about twenty pounds. I need to stay off the post-ride beers for a while...
Doh! I did mean the Revolt.
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Old 06-23-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post

I have my heart set on a set of Hunt 4 Seasons but, embarrassingly, I exceed the maximum rider weight by about twenty pounds. I need to stay off the post-ride beers for a while...
Dang dude, you might as well forget the Hunts then. You need a much wider and much more robust wheelset or you will be breaking spokes left and right. My buddy who has been on the weight loss journey for the past year and half is testament to that.
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