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Gravel-capable road bike, budget

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Gravel-capable road bike, budget

Old 11-01-20, 04:17 PM
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busygizmo
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Gravel-capable road bike, budget

Looking for bikes that will be used primarily as a winter training and commuter bikes but that would have the ability to ride occasionally on forest service roads here in Washington State. We have limited space for storage and would look to sell our older backup road bikes and wouldn't be able to have a gravel specific bike.

Would prefer steel frames since our budget is probably going to dictate used versus new. What I'm hoping for is recommendations for bikes a few years old that have a road focused geometry and also disc brakes.

I see a lot of used bikes that seemingly fit the bill on craigslist and elsewhere but having to research each model to see how they ride is a bit confusing and time consuming. Hope folks can recommend a few brands and models that are in the 2-4 years old range that would sell for under $1K on the used market, be more of a "classic" road geometry but still allow for 40+mm tires when needed.

Thanks
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Old 11-01-20, 11:11 PM
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Allcity, black mountain cycles, surly, Soma. There are multiple models from each brand that fit your ask.

I'm have no idea how active CL is locally, but it may be difficult to find models from these companies in the sizes you need.
That seems pretty specific and narrow.
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Old 11-02-20, 01:34 PM
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There are several (too many to list) Facebook buy/sell/trade groups that will have tons of bikes that fit the bill. if you live near a city with a large cycling scene, you can likely find something nearby, but expect to pay a little more to ship something long distance otherwise. be patient.
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Old 11-03-20, 12:31 PM
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so you are just looking for a gravel bike or touring bike, no road bike is gonna have 40mm clearance
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Old 11-03-20, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
...no road bike is gonna have 40mm clearance
Endurance road bikes can fit 700x40c + tires. There are many out there from various brands.
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Old 11-03-20, 06:26 PM
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If you are on a budget you can build it yourself - I built up one for $1200 with carbon frameset, carbon tubeless wheels, shimano 7020 hydraulics. I run 700x35 on the road and 650x48 for gravel.
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Old 11-03-20, 07:55 PM
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I hate to admit I like my All-City Macho Man Disc a lot. I know a few of them have been sold.
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Old 11-06-20, 02:47 PM
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You can find a Cross Check in that price range (not disc though, but a classic all-rounder bike--folks have certainly ridden them in the winter tons before discs caught on). For disc I'd look for a Straggler - not sure if you'll find one under $1k but maybe close.
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Old 11-09-20, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
so you are just looking for a gravel bike or touring bike, no road bike is gonna have 40mm clearance
I'm looking for a road bike that would ride as closely as possible to a traditional race geometry road bike but would be able to swap tires to something large enough to do an occasional gravel ride on local forest service roads. I'm not looking to race, tour or get into any technical riding, just be able to keep riding a bit when the pavement stops. I understand that there will be compromises and no bike is perfect for all conditions.
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Old 11-09-20, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
You can find a Cross Check in that price range (not disc though, but a classic all-rounder bike--folks have certainly ridden them in the winter tons before discs caught on). For disc I'd look for a Straggler - not sure if you'll find one under $1k but maybe close.
Thanks for the recommendations. There is a 56cm Cross Check on our local CL for $875. Last week there was a Soma Double Cross in the same size for about the same price. Both have cantilever brakes which I'm fine with but my partner is sold on disc brakes. There is a Straggler listed but it is a size too small. There seems to one or two bikes that look promising that pop up on CL every week so I'll just keep looking.

If anybody else has any specific models they think fit the bill, please post them.

I also saw this review for the Canyon Grail AL 7.0 that sounds really promising for a reasonable price but is out of my current budget.
https://cyclingtips.com/2020/03/2020...l-bike-review/

I'll probably just ride my old steel road bike this winter unless something really great pops up on CL or at one of the local shops that sells used bikes. Hopefully this pandemic gets under control so my industry rebounds, then a new bike will be in order.

Thanks
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Old 11-09-20, 02:20 AM
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Soma has the current double cross frame in stock. If you can do the work yourself, and transfer some parts from your old bikes, you can keep the budget down.

However, their fog cutter probably fits your description better. A new version is supposed to be released in 2021 with flat mount brakes and thru axles if that is important to you.
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Old 11-10-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post
I'm looking for a road bike that would ride as closely as possible to a traditional race geometry road bike but would be able to swap tires to something large enough to do an occasional gravel ride on local forest service roads. I'm not looking to race, tour or get into any technical riding, just be able to keep riding a bit when the pavement stops. I understand that there will be compromises and no bike is perfect for all conditions.
The Midnight Special might fit the bill. It's advertised as a road bike that fits up to 42mm tires, has disc brakes and a steel frame.
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special

Most people here would describe any drop bar bike that fits 40mm tires as a gravel bike, but Surly calls it a "road plus bike". It ships with 650b, but can fit 700x42.
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Old 11-10-20, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post

I also saw this review for the Canyon Grail AL 7.0 that sounds really promising for a reasonable price but is out of my current budget.
https://cyclingtips.com/2020/03/2020...l-bike-review/
If you're opening up your search to aluminum frames, there are more options. Many CX bikes would fit into what you describe. Both the Cannondale CAADX and the Specialized Crux fit 40mm tires and have geometry that is going to be more similar to a road bike than a gravel bike.
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Old 11-20-20, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Soma has the current double cross frame in stock. If you can do the work yourself, and transfer some parts from your old bikes, you can keep the budget down.

However, their fog cutter probably fits your description better. A new version is supposed to be released in 2021 with flat mount brakes and thru axles if that is important to you.
The parts on my old bike are fairly old Ultegra 8 speed with low end wheels I used to use for commuting and winter riding.

The Fog Cutter actually sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. I've been eyeing the Smoothie for years as a replacement for my current steel frame and the Fog Cutter sounds like a perfect match. I'm going to keep an eye on that and see when the new one comes out and see if any of the local shops will sell fully built bikes. I've never worked on disc brakes and have very limited space to work so would prefer to have someone else do the initial build.

Thanks, I never even bothered to click on the Fog Cutter while looking at the Some website.
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Old 11-20-20, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The Midnight Special might fit the bill. It's advertised as a road bike that fits up to 42mm tires, has disc brakes and a steel frame.
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special

Most people here would describe any drop bar bike that fits 40mm tires as a gravel bike, but Surly calls it a "road plus bike". It ships with 650b, but can fit 700x42.
This one looks promising too, fortunately there are dealers locally for both Soma and Surly. Hopefully we are in a post-pandemic world in the not too distant future and I can test ride bikes again at shops.

Thanks.
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Old 11-20-20, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
If you're opening up your search to aluminum frames, there are more options. Many CX bikes would fit into what you describe. Both the Cannondale CAADX and the Specialized Crux fit 40mm tires and have geometry that is going to be more similar to a road bike than a gravel bike.
A lot will depend on if and when my job returns. If I can afford a new bike then aluminum would be on the table especially since it seems like you can get a lot of bike for the money. If I'm buying used then I'm more comfortable with steel.

I'll definitely keep these bikes on my radar.

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post
I'm looking for a road bike that would ride as closely as possible to a traditional race geometry road bike but would be able to swap tires to something large enough to do an occasional gravel ride on local forest service roads. I'm not looking to race, tour or get into any technical riding, just be able to keep riding a bit when the pavement stops. I understand that there will be compromises and no bike is perfect for all conditions.
Factor LS. I have a review of it on the road cycling group. Bought it for pretty much the exact same purpose as this.

Edit: sorry, I just noticed you are looking for something in the sub-$1k range. Pls ignore.
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Old 11-24-20, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post
The Fog Cutter actually sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. I've been eyeing the Smoothie for years as a replacement for my current steel frame and the Fog Cutter sounds like a perfect match. I'm going to keep an eye on that and see when the new one comes out and see if any of the local shops will sell fully built bikes. I've never worked on disc brakes and have very limited space to work so would prefer to have someone else do the initial build.

Thanks, I never even bothered to click on the Fog Cutter while looking at the Some website.
I just heard that they are planning to release photos of the 2021 Fog Cutter in late December.
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Old 11-28-20, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
However, (the Soma) fog cutter probably fits your description better. A new version is supposed to be released in 2021 with flat mount brakes and thru axles if that is important to you.
Given the original criteria the poster is trying to meet, I can't think of any real advantages to thru axles or flat mount brakes. So those shouldn't be reasons to wait, in my view.
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Old 11-28-20, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by scubaman View Post
Given the original criteria the poster is trying to meet, I can't think of any real advantages to thru axles or flat mount brakes. So those shouldn't be reasons to wait, in my view.
I agree with you, but most like the latest "standard" I don't think there is are any more frames available for the current Fog Cutter anyway.
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