Road/Gravel Quiver Killer

Greetings,

I am looking to simplify things with my training and one of those is to have one bike for road and gravel, with an emphasis on gravel events. Do any of you have recommendations on a good road/gravel quiver killer?

Thanks,

Bryan Gee

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I suppose it would depend on the type of gravel racing you do. If you are doing an emphasis on gravel races I would recommend something like the Cervelo Aspero or Giant Revolt. This way you could put wider tires. I know I had 650 Bs with 47mm tires on my Cervelo and was doing some hard core off road riding with it. But also you could easily put road tires on it and be just like riding a road bike. The Giant Revolt I had was similar to that.

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Hi @bryangeeotr - I am a minimalist in my bikes and have what I call a ‘mixed surface’ bike. Its a Canyon Endurance with clearance for 32mm gravel kings.

I raced the Steamboat Gravel on it and I’ve done the Haute Route Rockies on all.

My key is switching wheelsets or really tires. Tires are what make your bike gravel or road specific.

So I have one mavic wheelset with 28mm slicks I put on for road group rides and road event and another wheelset with 30-32mm tubeless options for off road dirt roads and such.

We don’t ride much mtb’ey stuff out here - mostly hardpack dirt roads which a 30mm Panaracer GravelKing is terrific for.

If I were to do Unbound which warrants a much bigger tire, I’d have to get a different bike to house 40-42mm tires but at the moment I don’t have those plans!

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Hi Frank,

That is helpful. My gravel events are mixed with my “A” gravel event being Crusher in the Tusher. So I am thinking for that event a wider tire would be helpful?

Bryan

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For the Crusher you need a 35 mm with sidewall protection for the high speed descent after the first climb - so my bike in this setup would surely get a flat

Outside of tire width any opinions on the Cervelo Aspero, 3T Exploro Race, Giant Revolt and the Specialized Diverge?

A frame is a frame in my opinion - look at the weight in grams to price ratio.

Lighter usually = more expensive.
Heavier = less expensive.

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I ride a CX bike with road tires for road days and 40c gravel tires for gravel days. I definitely don’t win any “cool bike” or “wow, expensive bike!” awards on the group rides but it gets the job done!

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Bryan,
I ride a 2020 Trek Domane SL for road & gravel. I can run tires up to 42 wide. Earlier Domane frames have less clearance. I couldn’t agree with Frank more, two sets of wheels is the ticket. This setup works well for all our Upper Midwest courses as well as Unbound Gravel, Robidoux Rendevoux & SBTGRVL. The new Checkpoint SLR might work as a do all bike, if you don’t mind the wait.
Sam

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I think the Ribble CGR might be just what you’re looking for. Ribble makes them in a bunch of different frame materials and they seem reasonably priced. It’s the bike I’d go with if I didn’t already have a road/gravel bike.

Seems that all manufacturers now have really good gravel bikes and that the CX market has merged with the gravel market. I have a 2017 Cannondale SuperX which was one of the first CX bikes designed to be a bit more slack for very techy sections and I did the Crusher on it this summer and it was great. Cannondale’s new gravel/CX product looks good and the Specialized Crux is their racing CX bike yet it is being called a gravel bike. I got rid of my road bike a long time ago because a disc gravel bike is all you need unless you are road racing. I have three sets of wheels-road rubber, file tread and a mud tread (CX racing) and then I use 35mm Panaracers for the Crusher and other gravel events. It all works great. Having multiple wheel sets with one drop handlebar bike is the way to go.

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I’ve been riding a Scott Addict Gravel for road, gravel and cyclocross for a couple of years. I have a set of wide (25mm internal) carbon wheels that I mainly use for road with 28s, but they work great for wider gravel tires too; then a second set of wheels that I keep set up with gravel or cx tires (this frame fits up to 40mm). I swap between road and mtb pedals, and a 52 or 46 big chain ring depending on what I’m doing. In the picture I’ve got 32mm Maxxis Refuse on, great for road and light gravel.

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a +1 vote for the 2017 SuperX. I have 3 wheel sets for it: road 28mm Vittoria Rubino Pros for rainy road riding, another set with 40mm Vittoria Terreno Dry (original wheel set that came with the bike) and a 650b x 47 set for the gnarlier chunky routes. I bought that set after cursing a friend vociferously for the chunked out boulder fest of a “gravel” ride he took us on in western NC. Horses for courses.

A strong buddy uses the Cervelo Aspero on fast group road rides in the winter, keeps up just fine for the most part using his 40mm Gravel Kings, the same set up he used for the BWR Asheville.

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Vote #3 for the superX. Simple and cheap- and same geo as the new C’dale supersix gravel bike. I have terravail 42 R and 45 F for riding on the singletrack, and 30mm for road duty.

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The Allied Echo was purpose built for this.

Colin Strickland rode the Unbound 200 on an Echo this year and then raced at Tulsa Tough on the same bike the next weekend.

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Hi Gang,

I ended up moving on with a 2022 Cervelo Aspero with GRX DI2 and a set of Spinergy Carbon Road and Gravel Wheels. Thank you all for the feedback it was encouraging and helpful.

Bryan

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I have a 2020 Domane, also, and still have my 32’s that it came with. But I want to go big. I know Trek only recommends 38mm max, so I was excited to read that you have 42’s. I was thinking of trying 40’.s. Wow, so they never rub anywhere on the frame? Are they pretty knobby or fine on the sides?

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I run a set of 40 mm Vittoria Terreno Dry tires for events like Unbound Gravel. On DT Swiss 531 GR rims the tires caliper at 42 mm. In dry conditions I have no clearance issues. No rubbing. Rim width affects the mounted width of a tire. Tire width from one 40 to the next also varies. Test the fit of what you’d like to ride. Happy trails.

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Great bike, btw. Are you satisfied with the basic handlebar? To my mind, for that price, they could do something better. I’ve changed it to Ritchey’s stuff(this one) - much better for aggressive riding

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