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Should I buy a road bike?

Old 09-02-20, 08:12 PM
  #26  
Maelochs
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Check out @Jim from Boston over on the fifty+ page and the New England page .... he commutes in that area yea-round and has a ton of info about everything related to riding around Boston in all conditions.
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Old 09-02-20, 08:21 PM
  #27  
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Gravel or no gravel, there is no way in hell I would buy a new bike that could not clear 38mm tires. Call it Gravel Bike, Road Plus, Fat Tired Endurance, whatever.

IMO, a ďGravelĒ bike IS a road bike.

Edit: should have read the whole thread. I see you got a domane. Good choice!
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Old 09-02-20, 08:38 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Gravel or no gravel, there is no way in hell I would buy a new bike that could not clear 38mm tires. Call it Gravel Bike, Road Plus, Fat Tired Endurance, whatever.

IMO, a ďGravelĒ bike IS a road bike.

Edit: should have read the whole thread. I see you got a domane. Good choice!
I call it a granny bike 🤣🤣🤣
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Old 09-02-20, 09:23 PM
  #29  
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Lol .... everyone is obsessed with "gravel bikes" and recommends them to everyone else ... whether or not those folks even have any gravel roads around them, or ever would want to ride gravel.

Five years ago a 28-mm tire was too fat. Now people say 38 is too narrow.

A Domane will work for just about anything .... unless the OP had said specifically, "I want to ride on gravel."

I know I am old and my memory is shaky ,... but wasn't the name of the thread something like, "Should I buy a road bike?"

Obviously the guy wants advice on what kind of cars and cameras to buy.
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Old 09-03-20, 12:24 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I wouldn't place a lot of importance on the need for gravel capabilities....
They're actually quite useful even if you'll never use them on gravel. In places where the roads are poorly maintained and consequently, bumpy and rough, the wider tires and gravel frame will do you a tremendous favor in terms of riding comfort. Also the wider tires and rims is more resistant to damage in these riding conditions.

It gives you more places you can travel without worries of damaging your bike.
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Old 09-03-20, 11:27 AM
  #31  
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My wife has a 2020 Domane SL5, which we both test rode against many of the other endurance bikes, e.g., Roubaix. She wanted comfort, first and foremost, and the Domane is great in that respect. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The Domane is perfectly capable as a gravel bike. I test mounted 45 mm WTB Riddlers (a gravel tire) and, at least on a size 54, these tires fit fine. If you need a gravel tire larger than 45, I'd rather be on my XC mountain bike. Perhaps the only downside as a gravel bike is that the gearing isn't a short for hill climbing, but that can be fixed easily by changing out the crankset.
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Old 09-03-20, 01:12 PM
  #32  
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A road bike is great if you only want to ride on paved surfaces (cement, asphalt). However, if you want to ride on some dirt trails as well, then I would recommend a gravel bike. The best option might be getting a road bike where the frame can accommodate gravel bike tires. I know that a lot of manufacturers (Specialized is one) are making road bike with a 'gravel tire' accommodation. Then all you need is to get a good set of gravel tires and switch them out when needed.
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Old 09-03-20, 01:36 PM
  #33  
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N+1 is always gaining approval here ..
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Old 09-03-20, 02:06 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
They're actually quite useful even if you'll never use them on gravel.
Sure, but my post that you quoted was based on the OP's first post which did not mention gravel at all. Only in the next six posts between his and mine did "gravel" get mentioned a bunch of times. But it is 2020 and everyone is recommending gravel bikes now, so I shall not stand in the way.
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Old 09-03-20, 02:25 PM
  #35  
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Like you I started out with a hybrid, Trek 7.4 FX, around 6 years ago. I loved it but started to get a bit more adventurous and felt the bike was holding me back. 2 years ago I purchased an Emonda ALR6. It was 4 ounces heavier than the SL5 carbon, had full ultegra groupset and Aeolus Comp wheels at about $1,000 less than the SL. I absolutely love it. My speed has increased about 4 MPH (but lots of that is that I'm just stronger) and I'm now riding between 45 and 55 miles on a fairly regular basis, at least once a week with a couple 10 to 15 miles rides in between. If you can afford it, buy the best bike you can but don't judge the quality only because of the price.
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Old 09-03-20, 08:47 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
Sure, but my post that you quoted was based on the OP's first post which did not mention gravel at all. Only in the next six posts between his and mine did "gravel" get mentioned a bunch of times. But it is 2020 and everyone is recommending gravel bikes now, so I shall not stand in the way.
The OP did mention "endurance" where gravel bikes are well suited for.

A gravel bike is still a road bike that can fit wider, more comfortable, and more durable wheels, and have extra eyelets for adding equipment like fenders, pannier racks, etc.

I went long distances in a gravel bike in my teens purely in the road (ironically, I never used the gravel bike on gravel) and my friends in their road bikes run into more problems with their skinny wheels like rim damage, snakebite punctures (despite correct tire presure), and more accidents, often due to the skinny wheels caught in a crack or gaps in the road. Never had issues keeping up with roadies and the comfort offered by the wider tires (and the bike's chromoly frame and fork) is just amazing!

Even GCN channel recommends gravel bike for both on-road and off-road use if you only have space for 1 bike. There's also plenty of good, road-treaded wide tire options for gravel bike
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Old 09-03-20, 09:20 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by drewtk View Post
My wife has a 2020 Domane SL5, which we both test rode against many of the other endurance bikes, e.g., Roubaix. She wanted comfort, first and foremost, and the Domane is great in that respect. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The Domane is perfectly capable as a gravel bike. I test mounted 45 mm WTB Riddlers (a gravel tire) and, at least on a size 54, these tires fit fine. If you need a gravel tire larger than 45, I'd rather be on my XC mountain bike. Perhaps the only downside as a gravel bike is that the gearing isn't a short for hill climbing, but that can be fixed easily by changing out the crankset.
This post sort of seals the deal .... Particularly since the guy ALREADY BOUGHT a DOMANE.

I agree, if you need more than 45 mm get a real MTB or maybe a fat bike for that particular ride.
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Old 09-04-20, 05:05 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by gokhanbas View Post
Snipped. . . After debating a lot between Domane and checkpoint, Iíve ordered a Domane SL4 in slate/radioactive red, and Iím picking it up on Friday. . . .Snipped
Well today is the day you pick up your new bike. Congratulations on your new ride. A new bike day is the best day.
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Old 09-04-20, 05:50 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The OP did mention "endurance" where gravel bikes are well suited for.

A gravel bike is still a road bike that can fit wider, more comfortable, and more durable wheels, and have extra eyelets for adding equipment like fenders, pannier racks, etc.
I get it, man! No need to throw gas on the fire.
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Old 09-04-20, 06:04 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Lol .... everyone is obsessed with "gravel bikes" and recommends them to everyone else ... whether or not those folks even have any gravel roads around them, or ever would want to ride gravel.
Before gravel bikes, people are obsessed with MTB's using them only on the road. Road use of MTB turned out to be quite successful for the bike industry for many decades.

There's just too many advantages of wide wheels over skinny wheels to pass up on them... Two of the critical advantages of wide wheels are safety and durability in wide range of conditions. With comfort being secondary but also highly valued feature to many.

Gravel bikes made it possible to have wide wheels on a road frame with drop bars, changed the whole game and now you can be quite aero and fast and lightweight with wide tires that's why many loves the idea of a gravel bike and using them anywhere, not just on gravel.

There are no hard rules on bike application and if you only have one room for a bike in your life then a gravel bike is probably the best option.
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Old 09-04-20, 09:20 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by gokhanbas View Post
I had a hybrid fitness bike (Trek FX7.2) for ten years. I have only been biking in summer and fall during this time, usually one or two 20 miles trip per week, with an average speed of 12-13 mph. (For those who know Boston area, Iíve been riding from Lexington to Harvard square and back - fairly flat)

Then, during pandemic, I was introduced to ebikes, which seemed like a great idea...But now that Iím deeper in this, and that Iím definitely capable of pushing hard without the pedal assist, I want to get more serious about biking.

Iím 40, Iím just realizing how much I love the experience, and I am in fairly good shape as well. Should I buy a road bike?
And if I do, what should I get? I had great experience with Trek so far, and Iím not a racer. So I was eyeing endurance models; Domane SL5 might be a good fit maybe?

Thank you for reading!
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Check out @Jim from Boston over on the fifty+ page and the New England page .... he commutes in that area yea-round and has a ton of info about everything related to riding around Boston in all conditions.
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Lol .... everyone is obsessed with "gravel bikes" and recommends them to everyone else ... whether or not those folks even have any gravel roads around them, or ever would want to ride gravel.

Five years ago a 28-mm tire was too fat. Now people say 38 is too narrow.

A Domane will work for just about anything .... unless the OP had said specifically, "I want to ride on gravel."

I know I am old and my memory is shaky ,... but wasn't the name of the thread something like, "Should I buy a road bike?"

Obviously the guy wants advice on what kind of cars and cameras to buy.
Thanks for the reference, @Maelochs; I didnít note the Boston location in the OP.

To @gokhanbas, I live near downtown in Kenmore Square, and I canít think of any gravel riding well within about a thirty mile radius of my home. PersonalIy, I have ridden around here with a steel road bike, then a carbon fiber, both with 25C tires for decades. My beater, including for winter is an aluminum road bike with 30 C tires, studded in the winter (the smallest size studded tires I know of), and probably amenable to a ride on good gravel or other non-paved surfaces.

I have posted an informal Cycling Guide to Boston (link) with few references to gravel riding on the Minuteman Historical Trail, and the Reformatory Trail (more dirt as I recall) in Lexington I think. There are numerous fine paved roads for cycling around here:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston [and other cities]. The size is large enough to plan century rides, yet the scale is small enough to find excellent cycling roads nicely defined by the road color and weight of the line.
A BF subscriber named @ZIPP2001 posts often on the Northeast Discussion and Fifty-Plus threads about gravel riding in central Mass, and a more local thread, ďMetro Boston: Good ride today?,Ē with over 9000 posts describes somewhat more sub- and exurban riding, especially in the western sectors, to include gravel / unpaved roads and trails.


˅˅˅˅

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Old 09-04-20, 09:48 AM
  #42  
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˄˄˄˄
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Try a test ride and see how you like it. Not a ride around the parking lot, and perhaps not a ride from Lexington to Hahvahd and back, but a good 5-10 miles. If the bike speaks to you and says, "Wouldn't you like to ride me every day?" then buy it. And ride it home!]
Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Unless you pahked your cah in Hahvahd Yahd.
Local Comedian Steve Sweeney had a reply to such a quip:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
A well-known local Boston comic was asked to say, ďPark the car in Harvard Yard (Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd)Ē to which he replied, "Whaht ah ya, retahded?Ē

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Old 09-04-20, 04:55 PM
  #43  
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On the Forum, Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational), is a recent thread, "What's your minimum preferred tire width for gravel riding?." The general consensus seems to be from 32 to 40C.
.
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Old 09-21-20, 09:11 PM
  #44  
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I've already put 200ish miles on my Domane SL4, 65 of which during my metric century ride today.
I am very happy with the balance, comfort, speed. When I hit 10 posts, I'll post pics
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Old 09-22-20, 12:39 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by gokhanbas View Post
First of all, I think Iíve asked the question in a wrong way, but that doesnít matter anymore.

After debating a lot between Domane and checkpoint, Iíve ordered a Domane SL4 in slate/radioactive red, and Iím picking it up on Friday.
Checkpoint was on my list, as I ride unpaved rail trails as well, and there will be snow and slush here in MA so gravel tires could work better. But from my research, Iíve learned that Domane can handle the terrain Iíve been riding, and it has iso-speed front and back vs Checkpoint only has it on the back, and Domane can even take knobbier tires as well if I absolutely need them. Also Domane geometry appears to be a little more relaxed, and as someone who never rode a road bike I thought that was a plus as well. Anyway, as a result, from my limited knowledge on biking, $2399 for that bike appeared to be a great deal for Domane SL4.
Love the paint on that bike! Good choice.
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Old 09-22-20, 01:25 PM
  #46  
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It is fascinating to read so many recommendations for gravel bikes regardless of any particular situation. For example, where I live I'll need to drive for some time to find gravel roads. And they will be short and not so interesting compared to to good regular roads all around me.
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Old 09-22-20, 01:37 PM
  #47  
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Gravel bikes beat road bikes every time. It comes down to three key characteristics:

1) Their geometry tends to be more stable. Slightly longer wheelbases, longer trail on the fork, etc, will make it harder to go down in a crash, which could be valuable in an urban setting. You can go in a straight line forever with no hands.
2) Larger tires. I used to ride road bikes, but if you have any variation in surface quality of your pavement, maxxing out at 28c kind of sucks ass in terms of ride quality, and there's no perceptible difference in the amount of effort it takes to turn the wheels with 28c versus 47c. And 47c sucks up all the bumps, while 28 buzzes in your wrists if the pavement is bumpy. Also if you're hopping curbs or having to ride through / around construction sites that constantly pop up in cities, you'll really appreciate the larger tires as well. The lower pressure also makes it (or at least it seems to me) less likely to puncture and flat, which is a huge benefit if you're going anywhere.
3) Stack height. Gravel bikes tend to have a higher stack while still giving you the benefits of drop bars. Put another way, in an urban setting where turning your head frequently to look over your shoulder for cars sneaking up is frequent, you'll be in a better posture for doing so if your grips are a couple inches higher. The other benefit is that if you like riding in the drops, because they are in a more natural position for your wrists, then this gives you the best of everything.

The fourth is simply that gravel bikes look cooler. Road bikes tend to look fragile, while gravel bikes tend to have a little of that dirt bike aesthetic.

In a lot of ways, gravel bikes are like a fitness bike with dropbars, but I personally think you'll be dissatisfied with the loss of all around versatility if you switch to a straight up road bike. I still have my Lemond, but I never ride it. It just doesn't have the ride quality I want, and I sacrifice nothing by riding on my gravel bike, or even my dropbar mountain bike. You could also look at cyclocross bikes. Those are also pretty rad and again, more useful than a road bike.

Last edited by bcpriess; 09-22-20 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 09-22-20, 01:52 PM
  #48  
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no. they're too much fun, go too fast, & look way cool.
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Old 09-23-20, 06:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bcpriess View Post
Gravel bikes beat road bikes every time. It comes down to three key characteristics:

1) Their geometry tends to be more stable. Slightly longer wheelbases, longer trail on the fork, etc, will make it harder to go down in a crash, which could be valuable in an urban setting. You can go in a straight line forever with no hands.
2) Larger tires. I used to ride road bikes, but if you have any variation in surface quality of your pavement, maxxing out at 28c kind of sucks ass in terms of ride quality, and there's no perceptible difference in the amount of effort it takes to turn the wheels with 28c versus 47c. And 47c sucks up all the bumps, while 28 buzzes in your wrists if the pavement is bumpy. Also if you're hopping curbs or having to ride through / around construction sites that constantly pop up in cities, you'll really appreciate the larger tires as well. The lower pressure also makes it (or at least it seems to me) less likely to puncture and flat, which is a huge benefit if you're going anywhere.
3) Stack height. Gravel bikes tend to have a higher stack while still giving you the benefits of drop bars. Put another way, in an urban setting where turning your head frequently to look over your shoulder for cars sneaking up is frequent, you'll be in a better posture for doing so if your grips are a couple inches higher. The other benefit is that if you like riding in the drops, because they are in a more natural position for your wrists, then this gives you the best of everything.

The fourth is simply that gravel bikes look cooler. Road bikes tend to look fragile, while gravel bikes tend to have a little of that dirt bike aesthetic.

In a lot of ways, gravel bikes are like a fitness bike with dropbars, but I personally think you'll be dissatisfied with the loss of all around versatility if you switch to a straight up road bike. I still have my Lemond, but I never ride it. It just doesn't have the ride quality I want, and I sacrifice nothing by riding on my gravel bike, or even my dropbar mountain bike. You could also look at cyclocross bikes. Those are also pretty rad and again, more useful than a road bike.
These are all personal preferences, not absolute facts. I, for one, want an efficient sporty bike to ride on asphalt. And I want it to be clean. But I do not push my personal tastes on everybody here.
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Old 09-24-20, 06:28 AM
  #50  
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I have a Cannondale Synapse thatís, I think, similar in intent to the Domane. Iíve LOVED having it. I question the idea of getting a gravel bike. The Synapse handles crushed limestone trails with bravado on its 28mm tires. Iím not sure why some people think they need fatter tires for something like that.
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