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Has anyone setup a gravel for more road use ?

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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Has anyone setup a gravel for more road use ?

Old 01-07-23, 10:12 AM
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drz400
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Has anyone setup a gravel for more road use ?

Interested in knowing if anyone has set up their gravel bike for more road use? My geographic location burdens me to alot of road travel to commute to favorite trails. I am thinking 2x with good rolling tires. Has anyone set their bike up like this ?
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Old 01-07-23, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by drz400 View Post
Interested in knowing if anyone has set up their gravel bike for more road use? My geographic location burdens me to alot of road travel to commute to favorite trails. I am thinking 2x with good rolling tires. Has anyone set their bike up like this ?
Where I live, itís 80% paved so my all-road bike has two wheelsets, with one 38mm Barlow Pass tires when mainly paved riding, and wider/knobbier when mainly gravel and dirt.
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Old 01-07-23, 11:04 AM
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I added a 2nd wheelset, Conti Grand Prix 4 Season tires in a 28mm, which are actually 32mm on a wide rim. I switched to a 12-25 cassette, better for an area with few hills. Instant road bike, I use this bike the most,
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Old 01-07-23, 11:05 AM
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My Kona Sutra has 29" gravel tires. Besides road use, I have used it on trails and gravel.
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Old 01-07-23, 11:14 AM
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My CX bike ďgravel bikeĒ I have fitted 35 Michelin Power Gravel tires, but I used to have 28 road tires and it was super fast. I was thinking of trying some 32 Gatorskins maybe to use on some smooth gravel roads mixed with asphalt and see how much faster it is. Because the grab tires on wet roads are kind sketchy feeling. I wonder if the gator skins are enough protection for just smooth gravel.
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Old 01-07-23, 11:33 AM
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Post #2 is my story as well.

Originally, gravel bikes were intentionally designed not to be overly-differentiated, so that they could handle all road surfaces and used in exactly the way the OP describes.

Even the more differentiated, slack-geometry gravel bikes should be fine on-road with some wide but slick low-rolling resistance (eg Rene Herse) tires.

The roads I ride here encourage me to have at least 38mm tires, as they are in such poor condition.
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Old 01-07-23, 11:54 AM
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Sure, there you go
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Old 01-07-23, 12:31 PM
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With a 2x drivetrain, and 40mm tires with minimal center tread, I find my gravel bike does well on pavement when I'm riding between gravel/trail sections. Unsurprisingly my average speeds drop a little compared to riding the same roads on a dedicated road racing bike, but the difference is small enough not to bother me since going fast on pavement isn't my top priority with that bike.
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Old 01-07-23, 03:04 PM
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I'm using an endurace bike, a Canyon Endurace with 700x32 Continental tires on multiple surfaces and the bike is excellent on both pavement and firm gravel. It's more efficient and faster than my Raleigh Roker Gravel bike with the same tires. However, the gravel bike is far more stable and comfortable than the Endurace on softer and more rutted gravel.
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Old 01-07-23, 07:33 PM
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I ride mostly on paved roads with my Specialized Diverge with 700x38c tires and 2x 48-34 chainrings. The bike is excellent on paved roads. I also have a Cervelo Calendonia with 700x30 tires. For road use, I ride these bikes pretty much interchangeably. The Diverge is just as enjoyable on the road as the Caledonia. I (almost) don't see any reason to get a second wheel set and tires (although I do have a second wheel set, on a second bike). If I'm riding with others, I'll take the Caledonia because it's a bit faster and more responsive. If I'm riding off road, I'll take the Diverge. But if I'm just doing a solo ride on pavement, both bikes are equally enjoyable, and I'll often choose the Diverge over the Caledonia for a solo road ride.

I'm riding Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700x38 tires on the Diverge, which I got because I was having a problem with lots of flats with the bike's original tires. I like them, but some think they have a harsh ride.

The bottom line on your question is, as far as I'm concerned, a gravel bike with 700x38 tires makes a great road bike, and you don't need a second wheel set, especially if you're riding a mixture of pavement and gravel on the same ride.
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Old 01-08-23, 08:39 AM
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I'm old and ride for fitness and recreation so my equipment is not as critical as it is for more advanced riders. Almost all my routes are a combination of tarmac and dirt accessible from my house. This is my compromise gravel bike. I switched out the 2.125 knobbies for 1.75 Schwalbe Land Cruisers. It rolls almost as smoothly as my Specialized Elite on pavement but is still stable on dirt roads and mild gravel trails. Haven't ridden the Elite since getting the Rockhopper set up with a shorter stem and the new tires.


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Old 01-08-23, 09:06 AM
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I bought my 2022 Diverge Carbon Expert knowing full well it likely would never see gravel. My favorite type of riding is distance 100+ and wanted this bike for the excellent geometry (for me) and the use of 32c tires which are my preference for such riding.
I kept my 2008 (?) Orbea Terra for any actual gravel riding which wears 35c knobbys and Iím not concerned about getting really dirty 😄
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Old 01-09-23, 02:18 PM
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I have two sets of wheels with I9 hubs for my Niner RLT. One is set up for for dirt and gravel, the other is aero rims for road use. I call it my N-1 bike.
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Old 01-09-23, 03:01 PM
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Yes, I am using my gravel bike (Warbird) for usual road riding and also endurance road.

Normally I would use (2) wheelsets but this time around I set up my Warbird with GRC1400 wheels, G-One Speed Super Ground 35mm tires. Kept the drive train the same. It rips multi-surface, but primarily I am riding on tarmac.
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Old 01-09-23, 03:30 PM
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Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes




So I made my gas pipe bike light with a bunch of Chinese stuff


The same bike with Paul 9.2kg
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Old 01-09-23, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Conman_ View Post
My CX bike ďgravel bikeĒ I have fitted 35 Michelin Power Gravel tires, but I used to have 28 road tires and it was super fast. I was thinking of trying some 32 Gatorskins maybe to use on some smooth gravel roads mixed with asphalt and see how much faster it is. Because the grab tires on wet roads are kind sketchy feeling. I wonder if the gator skins are enough protection for just smooth gravel.
I ride smooth gravel trails on 32mm GP 5000 tubeless all the time. It works fine as long as the trails are dry.

Gatorskins are pretty awful - I would avoid unless you really want a high mileage commuter style tire that puncture protection. They're heavy, high rolling resistance and ride very harsh.
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Old 01-09-23, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by drz400 View Post
Interested in knowing if anyone has set up their gravel bike for more road use? My geographic location burdens me to alot of road travel to commute to favorite trails. I am thinking 2x with good rolling tires. Has anyone set their bike up like this ?
Many people do this.

I also own multiple wheelsets and swap between 28mm road tires and wider 32-40mm gravel tires, depending on the situation. There are some really fast rolling wider tires out there now that make the "road to gravel" a lot easier as well.
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Old 01-10-23, 05:05 AM
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I have an Aspero with a road and gravel setup. Itís got a mix of Rival/Force AXS on a 2x 46-33 chainring with a 10-36 in the back.

Rides just like my R3, so much so that I got rid of a dedicated road bike


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Old 01-10-23, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
I'm old and ride for fitness and recreation so my equipment is not as critical as it is for more advanced riders. Almost all my routes are a combination of tarmac and dirt accessible from my house. This is my compromise gravel bike. I switched out the 2.125 knobbies for 1.75 Schwalbe Land Cruisers. It rolls almost as smoothly as my Specialized Elite on pavement but is still stable on dirt roads and mild gravel trails. Haven't ridden the Elite since getting the Rockhopper set up with a shorter stem and the new tires.


I love the simplicity of you old Rockhopper and I ride for the same reasons that you do and additionally to run some errands.

The only thing I would ask is, have you considered adding fenders. I realize for some that would be anathema, but it would allow you to ride in any weather and stay clean.

Our family still have and use three 1980's Rockhoppers. Two have been handed down to grandchildren. I could see them lasting another generation.
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Old 01-10-23, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
I love the simplicity of you old Rockhopper and I ride for the same reasons that you do and additionally to run some errands.

The only thing I would ask is, have you considered adding fenders. I realize for some that would be anathema, but it would allow you to ride in any weather and stay clean.

Our family still have and use three 1980's Rockhoppers. Two have been handed down to grandchildren. I could see them lasting another generation.
Thanks! The Rockhopper is everything I need and nothing I don't. SE Wyoming gets 12-14 total inches of moisture per year, rain and snow, so I don't have much need for fenders. If it's really sloppy out, I'll take the Diamondback and just live with the spray.




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Old 01-10-23, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by drz400 View Post
I am thinking 2x with good rolling tires.
My Cross Check came with 2x stock and I found myself shifting the front derailleur far more often than I was used to, having ridden 3x bikes exclusively since I bought my first MTB in 1990.

I changed it to a 3x, so now I can leave it on the middle chainring most of the time but still have low gears for steep offroad trails and "highway" gears for smooth roads.

2x just doesn't work as well for me based on the terrain where I live and ride.
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Old 01-10-23, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by drz400 View Post
Interested in knowing if anyone has set up their gravel bike for more road use? My geographic location burdens me to alot of road travel to commute to favorite trails. I am thinking 2x with good rolling tires. Has anyone set their bike up like this ?
It seems most of the responses (e.g., second wheelset with road specific tires) so far have been as though the OP asked about setting up a gravel bike for only road use, whereas the question as worded seems to be directed at tire choice suitable for significant road riding but still functional on the trails. I have just bought a gravel bike, and while researching this issue, learned that Panaracer Gravelking SK tires seem to be favored by many as such a compromise tire choice.
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Old 01-11-23, 05:00 AM
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2x or 1x is a matter of reference I have 3 wheelset for my gravel which is mostly a mullet but the thing I don't like is being slow on tarmac.

1 wheelset is 700c with panaracer gravelking slicks (35-622), which are decently fast but not as good as a road tyre like conti gator skin, GP etc.
1 wheelset is 650b with Vittoria Barzo (52-584), XC tyres great of off road and not too slow on tarmac.
1 wheelset is 650b with Conti Race king (50-584), Dry XC tyres which are as good (if not better) off road as most of gravel tyres but they are much faster on tarmac than te gravel king. And when spending some geeky time on Bicycle Rolling Resistance, it makes sense as the RR of Race king is low 20s when the gravel king is in the mid 20s.

Dry XC tyres may have low RR which will make them comfortable and fast so OP might want to spend so time on that website to select several low roll resistance tyre they like the look of.

I recently done the same exercise on a 20" and found that swapping from Kojak to Contact Urban would save me ~10W per tyres and that was very noticeable positive change.
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Old 01-11-23, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I added a 2nd wheelset, Conti Grand Prix 4 Season tires in a 28mm, which are actually 32mm on a wide rim. I switched to a 12-25 cassette, better for an area with few hills. Instant road bike, I use this bike the most,
I'm going to have to measure my tires on rim now .
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Old 01-11-23, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
I have an Aspero with a road and gravel setup. Itís got a mix of Rival/Force AXS on a 2x 46-33 chainring with a 10-36 in the back.

Rides just like my R3, so much so that I got rid of a dedicated road bike


Sad to say I find my road bike is not getting the miles I thought it would. I feel the cx is safer even on a smaller 25 to 50 mile jouurneys. That is a nice looking bike !
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