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Gravel Bike

Old 08-12-20, 01:40 PM
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Sorg67
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Gravel Bike

I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-12-20, 01:47 PM
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Sounds good! There's an entire sub forum related to Gravel https://www.bikeforums.net/cyclocros...-recreational/
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Old 08-12-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
Yes, that's a fairly standard way to go. Makes even more sense if tubeless tires are involved.
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Old 08-12-20, 02:10 PM
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My SuperX came with "OK" wheels and 35mm knobby tires. I bought a set of Zipp 30 Course and put 32mm Bontrager AWS2 tubeless road tires on.

Since this is my winter - foul weather bike the road tires get used more but it just takes a few seconds to swap wheels and go off road.
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Old 08-12-20, 02:51 PM
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Just don't count on one being in stock anytime soon.
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Old 08-12-20, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Just don't count on one being in stock anytime soon.
Isn't that mostly just the sub-$1000 bicycles that are out of stock? I'd think good quality gravel bicycles would be in a higher price tier.

Last time I was in my LBS was probably three weeks ago. They had plenty of bicycles. Approximately the same time period I was in a Dick's Sports, where ninety eight percent of the bicycle stock was gone and not a single helmet in an adult size to be had.
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Old 08-12-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Isn't that mostly just the sub-$1000 bicycles that are out of stock? I'd think good quality gravel bicycles would be in a higher price tier.

Last time I was in my LBS was probably three weeks ago. They had plenty of bicycles. Approximately the same time period I was in a Dick's Sports, where ninety eight percent of the bicycle stock was gone and not a single helmet in an adult size to be had.
The gravel bikes at any price seem to be gone around here.
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Old 08-12-20, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
Every size in every color is sold out.
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Old 08-12-20, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
Its a very popular thought.
Its called a quiver killer.

I personally like bikes and am not interested in having only one,, but understand the appeal for other's situations.

If I did have 1 bike and 2 sets of wheels, knowing myself I would use the gravel wheels and tires for 80% of my riding, even when doing full road rides.
I'm just too lazy/not interested in swapping multiple times a week.

I can ride my gravel bike on paved roads a lot easier and better than I can ride my road bikes on gravel.

I would just end up with quality grsvel tires that roll fast and call it a day.
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Old 08-12-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Just don't count on one being in stock anytime soon.
I was just in a shop in my metro today that opened 9 weeks ago. Sparse place bit its getting up and running. They are a Felt dealer so far.
The Felt rep was able to get a bunch of gravel bikes for the owner to sell. It was all just Felt Broom and Broam bikes priced at $950-2000. I found it curious those were available since the gravel genre is exploding and that's the sweet spot.
Neat that he got those bikes as our metro and state overall is ripe with gravel riding.

Seems like that example is more the exception than the norm right now.
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Old 08-12-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
I think that's a lot of considering. Just do it!
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Old 08-13-20, 04:41 AM
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Thanks for the useful comments.

The Specialized Diverge Sport is about $2,900 US. And you are right, they are difficult to find. I have put myself on a waiting list. My hybrid bike serves my needs. Adequately at the moment. I will keep shopping and learning.

I have been advised by a friend that I want a carbon frame and Shimano 105 or equivalent components. The bikes with the Ultegra components are upwards to $4K US.

Bike shops around here are difficult to get into and some are doing strictly curbside pick up. I do not think I will buy a bike in this price range until things open up a bit more and I have a chance to do some test rides. And until there is some selection available.

Hopefully soon, but we will see.
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Old 08-13-20, 05:58 AM
  #13  
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A gravel bike with two wheel sets covers a good range of riding. I've done the same with my Salsa Warbird Ti - original 700c wheels with slick roadie tires and a second set of 650b wheels with semi-knobby tires for dirty rides. I also used the bike in either configuration to commute to work (when that was still a thing). I say do it, you'll have a relaxed road bike, a gravel bike, commuter bike and even a bike packing bike - all in one bike. Plus an extra wheel set is easy to swap out - assuming you have tires/rotors/cassette on both.
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Old 08-13-20, 07:32 AM
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Get a set of Rene Herse Bon Jon Pass (35mm) or Barlow Pass (38mm) and you may not even bother with the second wheelset.
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Old 08-13-20, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Thanks for the useful comments.

The Specialized Diverge Sport is about $2,900 US. And you are right, they are difficult to find. I have put myself on a waiting list. My hybrid bike serves my needs. Adequately at the moment. I will keep shopping and learning.

I have been advised by a friend that I want a carbon frame and Shimano 105 or equivalent components. The bikes with the Ultegra components are upwards to $4K US.

Bike shops around here are difficult to get into and some are doing strictly curbside pick up. I do not think I will buy a bike in this price range until things open up a bit more and I have a chance to do some test rides. And until there is some selection available.

Hopefully soon, but we will see.
Odd.
There are plenty of quality aluminum frame and steel frame options with 105 or Ultegra GRX level that cost less than $2900.

I would think the geometry of the bike would be more important than the frame material for most riders. Gravel bikes range from overbuilt slow steering bikepacking rigs to quick response race machines. The geometry is what will make that bike too sluggish or too twitchy or perfect to steer or perfect to descend.
Once a 40mm or wider tubeless tire is on there, its super tough to say the frame's material matters much beyond weight, and weight is a seriously overblown concept. The Diverge Sport's tires and wheels could lose 500 combined grams without even doing much($500 and not getting extreme wheels), and thats a similar difference in weight between some frame materials.
But hey, whatever gets you on the road and enjoying the ride.
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Old 08-13-20, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Bike shops around here are difficult to get into and some are doing strictly curbside pick up. I do not think I will buy a bike in this price range until things open up a bit more and I have a chance to do some test rides. And until there is some selection available. Hopefully soon, but we will see.
Seems prudent ...
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Old 08-13-20, 03:57 PM
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The more I read about the Gravel bike, the more it sounds like the right bike for me. There is a local bike shop that has the one I like in stock. The showroom is closed. You buy it online. They build it for you and then you come in for a test ride. If you like it, it’s yours. If you don’t they refund your money.

However, the one I thought I wanted is a 2 x. I think the one I want is a 1 x. They do not have the 1x version. Not really sure whether 2X or 1x is better for me. It seems that 11 gears should be enough. Not too worried about losing some low end. But wondering about the top end.

mstateglfr made an interesting comment about frame material. I have been focused on carbon frames. But I do not really know if I need that. I do want decent quality components.
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Old 08-13-20, 04:05 PM
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IMO, if you are going to be riding pavement a fair amount on this bike, go for the 2x.
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Old 08-14-20, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Odd.
There are plenty of quality aluminum frame and steel frame options with 105 or Ultegra GRX level that cost less than $2900.

I would think the geometry of the bike would be more important than the frame material for most riders. Gravel bikes range from overbuilt slow steering bikepacking rigs to quick response race machines. The geometry is what will make that bike too sluggish or too twitchy or perfect to steer or perfect to descend.
Once a 40mm or wider tubeless tire is on there, its super tough to say the frame's material matters much beyond weight, and weight is a seriously overblown concept. The Diverge Sport's tires and wheels could lose 500 combined grams without even doing much($500 and not getting extreme wheels), and thats a similar difference in weight between some frame materials.
But hey, whatever gets you on the road and enjoying the ride.
I think you are right that the geometry is the principle reason to select any bike. My understanding of the gravel geometry is it more stable easier to ride around varied terrain.

My understanding of the the rationale for a carbon frame for me is not for weight, it is that carbon dampens vibration and makes the bike more comfortable. I am 60 years old and have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am sensitive to vibration.

I do not think I will do much true off road riding. The gravel bike appeals to me for stability, comfort and ability to ride over grass, pop over curbs, brick streets, rail road tracks, wood bridges, etc.

I am currently focused on the Specialized Base Carbon. The difference between that and the Pro Carbon is the 1x rather than 2X drive train. I like the simplicity of the 1x set up. I am guessing that the narrow gear range will not be limiting for me.

Not that hilly in Florida to need the super low granny gear and I do not see myself riding fast enough to need the top gear.

Still researching and learning. I appreciate all the helpful, educational comments. Donít be shy about telling me if I do not understand something correctly.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:39 AM
  #20  
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I really like my Rayleigh Tamland gravel bike. 105 equipped and 2K. They make a 2x and 1x version, steel frame, carbon fork, disc brakes. Bought a 650b wheel set with 53c tubless tires for rail trails, added racks, fenders, lights. Take it overnight camping on rail trails.

But like said above Rayleigh is 100% out of stock.
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Old 08-14-20, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I think you are right that the geometry is the principle reason to select any bike. My understanding of the gravel geometry is it more stable easier to ride around varied terrain.

My understanding of the the rationale for a carbon frame for me is not for weight, it is that carbon dampens vibration and makes the bike more comfortable. I am 60 years old and have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am sensitive to vibration.

I do not think I will do much true off road riding. The gravel bike appeals to me for stability, comfort and ability to ride over grass, pop over curbs, brick streets, rail road tracks, wood bridges, etc.

I am currently focused on the Specialized Base Carbon. The difference between that and the Pro Carbon is the 1x rather than 2X drive train. I like the simplicity of the 1x set up. I am guessing that the narrow gear range will not be limiting for me.

Not that hilly in Florida to need the super low granny gear and I do not see myself riding fast enough to need the top gear.

Still researching and learning. I appreciate all the helpful, educational comments. Donít be shy about telling me if I do not understand something correctly.
When comparing 1x to 2x, it is not just the overall range to consider, but the gear ratio spacing. Often, 1x will have a wider range cassette, which, assuming the same number if cogs, means wider spacing.

Not much of an issue for MTB, but in my experience it matters more for road and gravel.
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Old 08-14-20, 08:35 AM
  #22  
Sorg67
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
When comparing 1x to 2x, it is not just the overall range to consider, but the gear ratio spacing. Often, 1x will have a wider range cassette, which, assuming the same number if cogs, means wider spacing.

Not much of an issue for MTB, but in my experience it matters more for road and gravel.
Gear spacing may be an issue. I sometimes find myself between gears on my hybrid. It has 3 x 8. But there is some overlap. I will have to calculate the ratios to see if the actual ratio spacing is wider or narrower than the 1x11 I am looing at.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I think you are right that the geometry is the principle reason to select any bike. My understanding of the gravel geometry is it more stable easier to ride around varied terrain.

My understanding of the the rationale for a carbon frame for me is not for weight, it is that carbon dampens vibration and makes the bike more comfortable. I am 60 years old and have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am sensitive to vibration.

I do not think I will do much true off road riding. The gravel bike appeals to me for stability, comfort and ability to ride over grass, pop over curbs, brick streets, rail road tracks, wood bridges, etc.

I am currently focused on the Specialized Base Carbon. The difference between that and the Pro Carbon is the 1x rather than 2X drive train. I like the simplicity of the 1x set up. I am guessing that the narrow gear range will not be limiting for me.

Not that hilly in Florida to need the super low granny gear and I do not see myself riding fast enough to need the top gear.

Still researching and learning. I appreciate all the helpful, educational comments. Donít be shy about telling me if I do not understand something correctly.
A quality wide tire run tubeless at lower pressure will give you a ton of suspension and negates the inherent vibration differences between frsme materials. An extreme exame would be if you rode on balloons- so much road chatter would be absorbed by the balloons that the frame material is...immaterial.

Add in thick bar tape and a redshift stem or brand's proprietary suspension stem/hesdset, and you have a ton of suspension and vibration damping built in.

Also consider that any bike in your price range will have a carbon fork which is attached to the front wheel and stem/bars. If carbon as a material is good for damping vibrations to the hands then that is the job of the carbon fork.

With that said, a curved thin steel fork that can literally spring up and down when pressed down will naturally absorb a lot of vibrations. So it isnt just the material, but also how its designed and used.


As for 1x or 2x...there is no right or wrong only preference. I prefer 2x as my gravel bike is ridden on gravel roads which are ultimately just roads. The large ring is used just as much as a road bike on paved roads and the small run plus larger cassette cogs then help because gravel hills here are typically steeper than paved road hills.
In florida, 1x may work great due to lack of climbing- you could tighten the cassette's range if needed. Or 1x may be bad because its flat and you want more large chainring use.
Who knows.



For geometry-
- a slack head tube angle and high trail numbers will slow the steering down. It will make the steering feel more stable on descents. It will also make staying straight more difficult when riding slowly up hills.
- a more traditional road head tube angle and lower trail numbers will make steering feel quicker or more responsive. Steering on climbs will be straighter and easier. Steering on descents requires more rider input to stay straight.

Neither of these is 'good' and neither is 'bad'.
on one end you have the Evil Chamois Hagar with an absurdly slack head tube and huge trail number. Its almost like a mountain bike. In the middle you have Giant's gravel bike with a slack medium-high trail setup, trek's gravel bike with a middle ofnthenroad medium trail setup, and then on the lower trail side you have usually smaller boutique brands that cater to those wanting a road bike feel on gravel.
I prefer lower trail and chose a bike with that. Other want higher and that's cool too.
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Old 08-14-20, 10:04 AM
  #24  
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mstateglfr thanks for the detailed and informative post. Very helpful. At this point I do not know enough to know what I don’t know.

May need to wait until the LBS opens up more and I can go ride 6 different bikes to get a feel for the differences. Right now, I think I like the idea of a Gravel bike with more trail to give me more stability around largely city riding and on varied terrain.

Still somewhat drawn to the carbon frame, but it seems that probably won’t make much difference.
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Old 08-14-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I am considering stepping up my game a bit. I think a gravel bike is a good fit for me. I am considering the Specialized Diverge Sport.

Considering a second set of wheels with road tires so I can easily switch out between fatter gravel tires and thinner road tires.

Thoughts?
Do it!!!!! I ride a Walmart gravel bike with a aluminum frame and average 40 kilometres a day as my commuter, the bike fits me like a glove I think this is key to biking; if you give me a Specialized bike I could ride that to the moon haha. Post your new bike when you get it; I am also looking at a Alpine Ultimate CF myself and doing lots of reading before I spend some hard earned money.
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