Hardtail XC vs CX vs whatever other N+1 bike

Eickelbt

Member
Maybe this has already been discussed, but looking at Geo numbers, gravel suspension, flared bars, 650b wheels, etc- isnt' a hardtail XC mtb with like 35-40mm gravel tires and a 38t chainring the best of all worlds for gravel/allroad/buzzword/overland? marketing BS aside, does anyone have any input on this? I figure a spare MTB that can also crush gravel races, with gearing for most (not all) road group rides with 32mm slicks would be pretty sweet for those of us who don't need 5 bikes. I have a full squish epic and a TT bike (I race triathlons sometimes, it's a good tool for the job, but super dangerous on roads that aren't empty). the epic (34t, 10-50) doesn't have great gearing for fast stuff or road stuff.

tell me why i'm an idiot, please!
 

gmb3

JORBA: Sourlands
JORBA.ORG
If i were in your situation, i'd go with a 29er hardtail MTB with a carefully chosen double ring up front (do those still exist?). Then i'd get 2 wheelsets and 3+ tire sets, essentially getting 3 bikes in 1:
Mountain Wheelset with your favorite normal MTB knobbies for you know, mountain biking.
Cross/Gravel Wheelset with cross/gravel tires for that kinda thing and a set of slicks for when you wanna pound pavement.

Interchangeable drop bar/flat bar optional.
Obviously the snobby roadies will turn their nose up at you, but then you can laugh when you drop them on your frankenbike and they're left staring at your Camelback and baggies. :banana:
 

Pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
having a bike specific to the conditions is going to be what you want. Just like you said with the TT bike. Trying to shoehorn your XC bike into a gravel bike can work, but it isn't the way to go.
 

Eickelbt

Member
If i were in your situation, i'd go with a 29er hardtail MTB with a carefully chosen double ring up front (do those still exist?). Then i'd get 2 wheelsets and 3+ tire sets, essentially getting 3 bikes in 1:
Mountain Wheelset with your favorite normal MTB knobbies for you know, mountain biking.
Cross/Gravel Wheelset with cross/gravel tires for that kinda thing and a set of slicks for when you wanna pound pavement.

Interchangeable drop bar/flat bar optional.
Obviously the snobby roadies will turn their nose up at you, but then you can laugh when you drop them on your frankenbike and they're left staring at your Camelback and baggies. :banana:
fair. this is sort of what I was thinking. I refuse to own more than 3 bikes, and getting a raceable MTB/gravel/roadable bike seems cool. still, I might just get another set of MTB wheels and race the epic on gravel/ride fat slicks on the road if the need arises. saves money for more suspension rebuilds...sigh
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
what type of riding will you be doing? Gravel races would only be used for less than 1% of the life of the bike
 

Eickelbt

Member
what type of riding will you be doing? Gravel races would only be used for less than 1% of the life of the bike
I live quite near mohonk preserve/black rock preserve/awosting reserve in NY (originally from Leonia, NJ, so I feel like I can post here, if not, i'm sorry) where there are about 100mi of true gravel and dirt roads. however, I race the MTB pretty often, and a backup is never the worst thing to have. I don't have much desire to race CX, and occasionally do a road group ride. so, i figured the best move would be a hardtail with a tall gear range, easiy convertible back to xc race setup. is it worth $2500? probably not.
 

Ian F

Well-Known Member
I've thought about it, but the way modern XC bikes are these days, I don't know how well they would do as dropped bar bikes. Even the XC hardtails have pretty aggressive "trail bike" geometry as riders have pushed for more technical courses.

Thinking about it, the Salsa Cutthroat comes pretty close to your intended use. A gravel-bike designed to accept a suspension fork.
https://salsacycles.com/bikes/cutthroat/2019_cutthroat_force_1
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
isnt' a hardtail XC mtb with like 35-40mm gravel tires and a 38t chainring the best of all worlds for gravel/allroad/buzzword/overland?

Yes. This is a great all arounder. I have one that I ride all winter long. I have a suspension fork and a niner carbon fork to swap when I feel the need.
If I could only have 1 bike, it would be a hardtail.
 

ecsnsmb

Active Member
Just finished building this up!

I've run it 1X, but like the SS at the moment. Ultra light, super stiff.

Considering drop bars for next geared conversion, but happy for now.

Currently has 2.2 Ikons on it, but have some 45c Riddlers as well.
 

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Patrick

Overthinking the draft from the basement already
Staff member
Just finished building this up!

I've run it 1X, but like the SS at the moment. Ultra light, super stiff.

Considering drop bars for next geared conversion, but happy for now.

Currently has 2.2 Ikons on it, but have some 45c Riddlers as well.

what is the hub/SS cog combo there? looks serious.
Great color too.
 

liong71er

Well-Known Member
Just finished building this up!

I've run it 1X, but like the SS at the moment. Ultra light, super stiff.

Considering drop bars for next geared conversion, but happy for now.

Currently has 2.2 Ikons on it, but have some 45c Riddlers as well.
You Definitely gotta Dropbar that baby,it’s what Big boy ride Nowadays!
 

liong71er

Well-Known Member
Pageing @liong71er
Noticed your drop bar big tire bike in the BIYF thread.... What’s your setup?

@MadisonDan
Not much..
It’s basically a MTB 29er
Installed with Dropbar 48mm
Tires 2.5 rear and 2.6 front (I can put 3.0 if I want to)

Two version
Rigid fork and fox fork 120mm

In Rigid version
I used Boost Hub (dynamo Hub) TA

In non-Rigid version
15mm TA non Boost also with Dynamo

I switched Hydraulic Brakes set to Mechanical Avid BB7

10speed Drivetrains

SRAM rival shifters

Front and Rear Rack

also the Fork can install Bottle cage (this is a must for New Gravel Bike type in today’s market)

Rigid fork is Surly Krampus Boost

Rim is from Velocity Clifhanger built and recommend by Jdog

Dynamo Hub is From SP a Taiwanese Company
Paired with Dynamo light from Revo Exposure

All others are old parts that was built in 2014


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jmanic

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
Staff member
JORBA.ORG
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I live quite near mohonk preserve/black rock preserve/awosting reserve in NY (originally from Leonia, NJ, so I feel like I can post here, if not, i'm sorry) where there are about 100mi of true gravel and dirt roads. however, I race the MTB pretty often, and a backup is never the worst thing to have. I don't have much desire to race CX, and occasionally do a road group ride. so, i figured the best move would be a hardtail with a tall gear range, easiy convertible back to xc race setup. is it worth $2500? probably not.
The riding implied here calls out for either a cross bike or HT.
I have both, cross bike with low profile tires does double duty as my preferred road bike (got one of them too).
That said, for those miles of carriage roads, I’m reaching for the HT.
Which is then your back up race bike.

Swapping tires/wheelsets is the easier conversion, swapping between flat and drop bars less so.
Though Liong’s beast there makes a strong case for drop bars.
 
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