Gravel Grinder - Road Bike search.

Johnny Utah

Well-Known Member
#1
Prior to my hiatus I was eyeing up a bike to cover long trips, especially those that cover the D&R and D&L while leaving from my house (about a 45 mile journey to get to the closest option). At that time, which was three years ago I was looking at the following:

- Salsa Warbird
- Salsa Colossal
- Specialized Crux

It has been a bit time wise and knowing bike technology I am sure those bikes are ancient now. Any thoughts? I am looking for a drop bar bike that can be fitted with bags for 100+ mile rides with an overnight. Disc Brakes, maybe through axles? Looking to hold faster speeds than that of my fatty. It needs to have a tire that can handle canal paths and gravel roads. Hoping to be under 200lbs again by spring, so factor in my weight as well.

$1-3K would be just right and I don't mind buying slightly used.

I haven't owned a skinny tire bike for almost 20 years, and I put minimal mileage on that one. I have no plans on going full roadie, if I did so in the future I would reassess and buy a different bike.

There are some closeouts on Salsa Colossal's for under $1K which look attractive but I feel like that may be stretching it on the canal path.
 

Magic

Formerly 1sh0t1b33r
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#4
This ^ or the Warbird are probably the type of bike you're looking for. Soma has a couple touring options. I love my Soma Smoothie roadie. Jay sells 3T and they seem to make some really nice gravel options. I think the top two finishers at Iron Cross this year were on the 3T. Not sure if they're an expensive brand or not. The Crux seems like a great cross bike, but probably too racey for your use.
 

Delish

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#9
I was very tempted to get a Niner RLT Steel. I had a custom steel cx/gravel/road/everything bike made instead. Most of the time I keep 40c tires on it but have done fast group rides with 28's. Steel bikes ride so nicely. Skip the colossal doe....Small tires.

You could probably find an All City macho man/macho king for pretty cheap. People think they need thru-axles so the QR disc bikes tend to have lower resale value. Thru axles are great but not necessary for a gravel bike.

Kona Libre & Rove look legit too.
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
#12
I saw someone riding a BMC RoadmachineX last year, looked really sharp
Though still not sold on 1x for road bikes, I just prefer the gear options better with the double
1546474037575.png
 

Strugglebus

Well-Known Member
#13
Look into Kona. The Rove, Sutra and Libre are all very good options.

The new Warbird also looks great.

I will have a few miles put in on my new Rove ST next week and will report back. I’m excited to give the ‘road plus’ platform a try. (650 x 47 )

Edit: forgot about the new Felt Breed. It looks like a pretty solid bike at a good price and I know @jdog has a few in stock
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
#16
I love my Twin Six Standard Rando.... despite being heavy. It’s like riding on air.
View attachment 84418

https://www.twinsix.com/products/standard-rando-complete-black?variant=9146431299


Here’s a fairly good list to research as well.

http://ridinggravel.com/bikefinder/
It is funny the mr pink isn’t on that list considering it was one of the first of the modern steel bikes to accept 32’s.

For @Johnny Utah, these 50c tires are silliness and are the perfect example of that guy that went alittle too far, like where people need such a tire. Similar to mtb, I think the gravel hike tire since hits it’s max with the 50 and now it will level out somewhere around 40/45.
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
#18
I just got the Salsa Vaya and I love it. The Warbird is one that I tried, but I just didn't love how it felt for me (it's a great bike though and I definitely suggest trying one). Cannondale is coming out with a Topstone that looks kind of fun (if you are ok with aluminum, which I do like). The lowest end Vayas start off cheap so if you find one at a shop that's a few years old (steel fork, vs current ones with carbon fork, you can get it for like $700 or something like that, but that one will be the most difficult to carry over bridges :) @terrabike01)
 

Juggernaut

Master of the Metaphor
#20
It is funny the mr pink isn’t on that list considering it was one of the first of the modern steel bikes to accept 32’s.

For @Johnny Utah, these 50c tires are silliness and are the perfect example of that guy that went alittle too far, like where people need such a tire. Similar to mtb, I think the gravel hike tire since hits it’s max with the 50 and now it will level out somewhere around 40/45.
You might want to a dig little farther into the blog... dudes responsible for a little event called trans-Iowa and had been immersed in gravel for decades. BTW, he also agrees that while 650b 47+ have their place, 700c’s around 40 are best for most gravel. :)