Gravel bike - mares?

Dear gravellers, I am looking for a bike for trails/paths/bit of mud and a few hills. Can I ask if anyone can comment much about my shortlist? I will ride on road as well as off. Max ride 4-5 hours. I am thinking Ultegra di2 groupset with a carbon frame. Shortlist as follows:
Focus Mares (9.8 or 9.9?)
Ridley Kanzo
Cervelo Aspero
Santa Cruz Stigmata
Any thoughts much appreciated
Best wishes

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You can’t go wrong with any of those. There are so many good “gravel” bike out there right now. It all depends on how much tire clearance/how big of tire you want to run. I’m pretty sure the Mares can only take up to 35-38c and that will be with very little clearance.

CX bikes can definitely be used for gravel… don’t let anybody tell you otherwise… but the purpose built gravel bike will have much more tire clearance and a lot these days can also run 650b wheels.

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To echo what @jmwalsh2 said it all comes down to the bike letting you use the size tire you want, to match the terrain you will be riding.

My strava says a Focus Mares but I ride a Canyon Endurace. That is a road bike and I use it as my gravel bike. Crazy huh? My Focus Mares was originally my cyclocross bike and I also used it as my gravel bike.

I am somewhat of a minimalist and have only one bike. I like having one bike. Of course I believe in n+1 but these days one bike can do it all - and that’s what any road/gravel/cx frame can do as long as it fits the tire width.

My Endurace fits a 32mm just fine. Some course will dictate a 35 and then I’d need to find a frame with greater clearance to house a 35mm like a Grail or any of those you mention.

I sold my Focus Mares bc I wasn’t racing cross anymore and the frame was heavy bc it was designed for cyclocross. I see a lot of gravel bikes over engineered and are consequently piggy out there (too heavy). Thus my choice with the Endurace because it is light AF like a road bike and when you do a course like SBTG or the Crusher with 10,000ft of climbing you gotta count grams.

But if I were doing the DK like @jmwalsh2 I’d for sure be rocking a beefy gravel bike with 38mm tires

Fun topic - enjoy your decisions :slight_smile:

I’m biased a bit, but be sure to check out the Donnelly bikes, too!

I’ve been using a Focus Mares AX the last few years as both a CX race bike and gravel grinder here in Iowa. It’s been pretty solid once I got the fork shudder and loosening headset issues sorted. I’m really interested in that Cervelo Aspero. It’s got short chainstays to help with climbing traction, and a nice low bottom bracket. Also, the main thing I like about it is the long front center without slack head tube. It’s a lower wheel flop design than the others at the same trail ( Also, I love the teal colorway!

Guys im trying to sell this Bike. I picked it up at an estate sale a few months ago. Fun to ride but I need the money. My question is what would I list as description and what might I ask/grt for it?? Tires are a good 80% there. Only small comsmetic imperfections. Again it is a great riding bike. Thanks Torn in Nebraska!!

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