Gravel Grinder - Road Bike search.

Ian F

Well-Known Member
#61
Mostly the D&R and D&L would be the gravel option.
I've ridden the D&R a lot on my standard road bike and it wasn't bad. The only time I really wished for a gravel bike was when it was wet and fenders would have been nice (my road bike lacks clearance). Even the cobble spillways weren't a problem - we are mtn bikers and supposed to be better than average at technical riding. ;) Nothing like seeing a guy with a fat tire hybrid bike walking across as you ride past him on you skinny tire road bike.

I bought a GT Grade a couple of years ago and tested it for about 100 miles. The fat tires are definitely nice and comfortable and the carbon frame was stiff as hell when I got up to pedal. But there are so many components I want to swap out that I don't know if I'll keep it. It's currently at a friend's house so he can test ride it. My main complaint about the frame is a lack of pannier rack mounts.

And flared bars - not for me. Another reason I stopped riding the GT was even after setting up the riding position to duplicate my road bike, the strange angle of the levers would make my hands go numb after about an hour of riding time. Or I'm just really used to the smaller lever hoods of my vintage Ergopower shifters. Since I want a Campy drive train, my next road bike will likely be custom.
 

Pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#62
I've ridden the D&R a lot on my standard road bike and it wasn't bad.
Want to echo this again, 30mm tires is more than enough for the canal path. You don't need a bike that can handle 40mm tires if that is what you plan to do with it.
Unless you just wanna flex
 

Johnny Utah

Well-Known Member
#63
I've ridden the D&R a lot on my standard road bike and it wasn't bad. The only time I really wished for a gravel bike was when it was wet and fenders would have been nice (my road bike lacks clearance). Even the cobble spillways weren't a problem - we are mtn bikers and supposed to be better than average at technical riding. ;) Nothing like seeing a guy with a fat tire hybrid bike walking across as you ride past him on you skinny tire road bike.

I bought a GT Grade a couple of years ago and tested it for about 100 miles. The fat tires are definitely nice and comfortable and the carbon frame was stiff as hell when I got up to pedal. But there are so many components I want to swap out that I don't know if I'll keep it. It's currently at a friend's house so he can test ride it. My main complaint about the frame is a lack of pannier rack mounts.

And flared bars - not for me. Another reason I stopped riding the GT was even after setting up the riding position to duplicate my road bike, the strange angle of the levers would make my hands go numb after about an hour of riding time. Or I'm just really used to the smaller lever hoods of my vintage Ergopower shifters. Since I want a Campy drive train, my next road bike will likely be custom.
This is good to know. I can get a closeout salsa colossal for a grand, but it is limited to a 28 or 30c tire. If I can get out at the price point I would!
 
#64
I've ridden the D&R a lot on my standard road bike and it wasn't bad. The only time I really wished for a gravel bike was when it was wet and fenders would have been nice (my road bike lacks clearance). Even the cobble spillways weren't a problem - we are mtn bikers and supposed to be better than average at technical riding. ;) Nothing like seeing a guy with a fat tire hybrid bike walking across as you ride past him on you skinny tire road bike.
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I did that last month and agree but that one cobble spillway on 25mm tires @100 psi, I thought I rattled a few brain cells loose.
 

Sven Migot

Well-Known Member
#65
I've spent time on a Diverge during the Gap/C&O trip and it's an impressive bike. I ran 38s on it and they were able to handle everything I found. Commuted back and forth to work with it and it was faster on the road than my All-City.
I second & third the Diverge. It took quite a beating on the GAP/C&O trip (351 miles in 4 days) & on the gravel roads of Bedminster. Fast & comfy too.
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Pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#66
I did that last month and agree but that one cobble spillway on 25mm tires @100 psi, I thought I rattled a few brain cells loose.
This falls into the, "Are you going to prepare your bike for 1% of your ride?" thought. That's line saying you need a quad cab dually truck because you hauled a mattress one time. Sure that 1% was better with a mountain bike sized tire, but for the other 99% of the ride, it would suck.
 

jimvreeland

Shop: Hilltop Bicycles
Shop Keep
#70
And flared bars - not for me. Another reason I stopped riding the GT was even after setting up the riding position to duplicate my road bike, the strange angle of the levers would make my hands go numb after about an hour of riding time. Or I'm just really used to the smaller lever hoods of my vintage Ergopower shifters. Since I want a Campy drive train, my next road bike will likely be custom.
We swap out the flared bars on almost every gravel bike we've ever sold. I'm not sure who they're aimed for but 100% of the people that ride flared bars complain about numb hands.
 
#72
This falls into the, "Are you going to prepare your bike for 1% of your ride?" thought. That's line saying you need a quad cab dually truck because you hauled a mattress one time. Sure that 1% was better with a mountain bike sized tire, but for the other 99% of the ride, it would suck.
Fully agree - I rode the towpath on the road bike purely on a whim. I'd take out ol' niterider if I was doing primarily a gravel ride
 
#74
Built up a Surly Straggler last winter and absolutely love it. The bike sees plenty of gravel, chunky double track, single track and road... it sparked my love for cycling back up thanks to the kind of riding it inspires.

Lots of responses here but ultimately its up to you and the kind of riding you want to do i guess but most importantly it has to look cool AF
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