New gravel bike - or therapy?

The spirit of Grav-lo-cross. No but seriously, cyclocross and gravel go here!

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Styp
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:21 am

by Styp

I don't know if I have 'new bike acquisition syndrome' or a real need for something new.
Long story short, I bought an aluminum-speced Orbea Terra H30 GRX800 2x11 in 2022 to go graveling with my girlfriend, she was never too much into road bikes. I didn't want to spend a fortune on this thing in the first place. Well, it turned out that I somehow started to enjoy the gravel, went bike packing and even used it as a training bike in winter. F***

Although I enjoy riding this bike, I have a love-and-hate relationship with it. Riding is fun, but at the same time, I question the quality of the overall build. I replaced the original Praxis crank with a GRX 800 one, fixed the PF30 bottom bracket twice, etc. I dislike the lack of bento-box screw holders and the overall weight of the bike. The wheels are landfill-quality, but they are round and reliable. On off-road higher-speed passages, I dropped the chain on the front several times and vibrated some bolts loose. The integrated headset is an absolute pain in the arse to work with, especially to replace shifting cables.

I am considering building or buying something new, and I am looking for a suitable frame. The bike should be fun and racey to ride:
Aluminum, reasonably light, fast.
A bottom bracket standard that works (not sure if I am the problem, or PF30 is)
40-42mm tire clearance
Stack around 550-570
Reach around 380-390
Reasonable Seat-Tube length: Running Ergon / Canyon Allroad Saddle Post
Enough Mounts for bottles, Bento-box, (and a pannier bag option).

I am willing to spend some money on a suitable frame, and I hope to get the bike with reasonable wheels into an 8.5kg range, running a 1x 10-50/51 setup with a 44 or 46 front chainring.

Any ideas?

by Weenie


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Tonsos
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:13 am

by Tonsos

With your requirements I would be looking at older cyclocross-bikes/framesets. They usually clear a 40-42 mm tire, have a fun and racey geometry and many with a light aluminum frame. Something like a Cannondale CaadX or Trek Crockett - you can probably find good deals on these as the market seems to be more focused on wider clearance, more upright geometry etc. Something like the Salsa Stormchaser could be a good option as well. It has ALL the mounts you could wish for, fairly racey geometry and is relatively affordable (as frameset or complete build).

CampagYOLO
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 3:58 pm

by CampagYOLO

Tonsos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 10:10 am
Something like a Cannondale CaadX or Trek Crockett - you can probably find good deals on these as the market seems to be more focused on wider clearance, more upright geometry etc.
Given the OP has had issues with PF30 I'm not sure if they'll want a BB30 or PF86 bike. Although newer Crockett's are T47 so that's all good.
Giant TCX also worth a look at if the OP wants a good alloy CX bike, it has tons of clearance and Giant's BB86 frames are usually more relaible than the afformentioned manufacturers.

Styp
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:21 am

by Styp

Interesting.

Surely, I looked 27 times into the Crocket. Somehow, that bike has something special...

Tonsos
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:13 am

by Tonsos

CampagYOLO wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 11:54 am
Tonsos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 10:10 am
Something like a Cannondale CaadX or Trek Crockett - you can probably find good deals on these as the market seems to be more focused on wider clearance, more upright geometry etc.
Given the OP has had issues with PF30 I'm not sure if they'll want a BB30 or PF86 bike. Although newer Crockett's are T47 so that's all good.
Giant TCX also worth a look at if the OP wants a good alloy CX bike, it has tons of clearance and Giant's BB86 frames are usually more relaible than the afformentioned manufacturers.
Yea, missed the part about PF30. The TCX is a great bike.

Really like this category of bikes and have fond memories of my old aluminum Cube Cross Race (2016 I think). Post-mount brake calipers, no thru-axles, limited tyre clearance and super aggresive geometry, but very easy to maintain (bsa bb shell, external cable routing and no proprietary parts :) ) and soooo much fun to ride. 7000km on it on cx-courses, forest paths, salty and snowy winter roads and the last couple of years in the hometrainer.

London9921
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon May 10, 2021 9:14 am

by London9921

What's your budget? Will you sell the old bike to create some margin for your upgrades?

Styp
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:21 am

by Styp

I will definitely sell the old bike; I see the need for N+1, but honestly, I hope to replace the Terra.

Fund wise I would say 3.5k USD probably in total.
Spec-wise I haven't decided yet but something along these lines:
- Mechanical 12-speed GRX in a mullet setup
- lightweight and quality alloy rims (GR1600 or something built for purpose)
I think that's a generous budget to not make any stupid shortcuts that might hurt the quality of the build and the reliability.

What do you guys think of this frameset:
https://locabikes.com/category/gravel-b ... me-painted

I am based in Europe, so the Salsa Warbird might be a little hard to get.

by Weenie


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London9921
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon May 10, 2021 9:14 am

by London9921

The warbird is sold by https://www.bike24.com/p2313166.html

You'll probably get "more value" from a whole bike, as there aren't that many frame sets out there.

In terms of wheels though I'd recommend Hope. Absolutely amazing hubs and all made in Europe.

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