The Riding Gravel Forum
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
red1992v6rs

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #1 
Sorry for the long post in advance.

I am slowly trying to get back into cycling for fitness and for sport.  I have only really ever cycled recreationally on my dad's old '78 Fuji Sports 10 road bike.  Where I live now I have a mixture of paved and gravel road (75%/25%).  I live in a rather hilly / mountainous area.  My main goal is to not have to turn around when I hit a gravel road like I have been doing on the Fuji.  I may use the bike to participate in a gravel race (50-70mi) or give cyclocross a try, but I'm not looking to be competitive in either.

I'd like to say my budget is around $1,500, higher is ok, lower is better.  Here's what I had in mind:

GT Grade Alloy 105 - $1,400
Raleigh Willard 2 - $1,500
Diamondback Haanjo Comp - $1,600
Giant Anyroad CoMax - $1,800
Raleigh Tamland 1 - $1,900
Fuji Jari 1.3 - $1,900 (when it comes out)

I think what I am looking for is some guidance regarding:

Frame material recommendations? (Is carbon really worth it in the Anyroad, steel on the Tamland, aluminum on the others?)
Should I stick to a 105 groupset, or would a 1x (Willard) be ok for a "beginner"?

I should also note that I have a dealer nearby that sells Diamondbacks and Raleighs at a really good price below MSRP.

Any other insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ryan

0
Enoch

Member
Registered:
Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #2 
I wouldn't call this a beginner bike, but the price is


I think this one of the best deals out there right now... 


http://www.competitivecyclist.com/diamondback-haanjo-trail-ultegra-complete-bike-2016?skidn=DMB002N-POLALU-S50CM&ti=UExQIENhdDpDeWNsb2Nyb3NzIEJpa2VzICYgRnJhbWVzOjE6MTpjY0NhdDEwMDE1OA==

0
RoverAl

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 493
Reply with quote  #3 
I have and enjoy my 2016 Raleigh Willard 1, it is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. Road,gravel, light touring it's a great bike.
 This is a very forgiving bike,I have ridden it until exhaustion and it has saved my butt a few times. It handles confidently not twitchy at all and is quick.  Has a longish wheelbase and low bottom bracket which I was looking for on my bike.  The 2016's are a different frame but for a grand below link this would be hard to beat. Not all that good on single track but it can get you home thru the rough stuff. I regret not purchasing the willard 2 because I will be keeping this bike awhile.

The 1 has been flawless though mechanically and where I ride (flat Florida) the stock set up works great. In 1500 miles I adjusted the rear der once to take up slack at about 600 miles still on original chain too. 

The Raleigh gravel bikes have been around a few years as well, one of the first purpose built bikes for the terrain. The 2016 Tamland is redesigned and looks great too. 
The Willard is an excellent all around bike for road and gravel.

You can get 15% off these prices too with a code.
http://www.jensonusa.com/Raleigh-Willard-2-Road-Bike-2015

http://www.jensonusa.com/Raleigh-Willard-2-Road-Bike-2016



















0
Nubster

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 440
Reply with quote  #4 
Frame material debates can go on forever with no definite answer. Short answer...if built properly...frame material doesn't matter that much. I love carbon. I love steel but hate the weight. Yes...there's lighter steel but you pay a high price. Aluminum...I've had harsh and not so harsh. My newest bike is aluminum and I'm very happy with it. I wouldn't get too hung up on material...especially at this price range. 

105 vs a 1x setup...depends on what you ride and your fitness level. Do you need the gearing? Do you have a lot of hills that might require you to spin in a low gear? Will a 1x give you that ability? I've ridden triples, 2x, 1x, and my new bike is single speed. Unless I really really have to...I'll never do a triple again. My Renegade is a compact double with a 36T rear. That's low enough to climb anything I'm capable of climbing. I had a bike that was 1x...40 up front and a 40T out back. I liked it ok but it was annoying sometimes when you couldn't find the right gear while cruising. Sometimes it was too low or too high...it was missing something in between. But I got used to it mostly. For a CX race bike...absolutely 1x. For a bike that I plan to ride 40, 50, 60 miles...nah...I'll take a 2x up front. If I'm feeling crazy or know that there's no huge climbs...I'm all about the single speed.

As far as the bikes you have listed...

GT Grade gets lots of love. Lack of tire size turns me off. 35c max. For my personal use...40c is the minimum. 

Willard gets really good reviews. I wanted a Roker but couldn't get one in my size when I was shopping for a bike. Maybe check into those as well. Not sure if the geometries are the same but the Roker is a carbon version of the Willard but they may be a little different in geo so make sure to compare if that's something you consider. Especially if you can get them for a decent price. The Roker might get pretty close to your budget.

Haanjo gets great reviews too. I've never ridden one but seems that those that have them, love them.

Best suggestion if possible...ride as many bikes as you can. See what you like and don't like. I'm not lucky enough to have that option for the most part. So I have to research and decide mostly based off what I read and hope for the best...which has really turned out pretty good so far for me. But I'd definitely prefer to ride before I buy when possible.
0
asleepatthekeel

Member
Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #5 
I say, look at them all repeatedly and then buy the one you absolutely can't take your eyes off. I've been staring at my Tamland 2 for two years now. It aint the lightest or fastest but Oh is it sexy!
0
almazing

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #6 
I have a DB Haanjo Trail Carbon, which I got for much less than retail. But you can get the aluminum frame Haanjo Comp or Trail for $900 and $1300 respectively in competitivecyclist.com. The reason I went my the Trail Carbon is because of all the good reviews I've read on the aluminum Haanjo Trail. When I saw that DB was releasing it in carbon, I was sold. I think both the carbon and aluminum frames an amazing price for the components included. No other bike in that price range will get you Ultegra derailleurs and hydraulic brakes. The carbon frame, at least to me, seems future proof for the next couple of years. Thru-axles, massive clearance for big tires, the ability to run 27.5 MTB wheels and mount racks, 3 bottle cages, and Di2 compatibility. For the price, it's very hard to beat. Unless you care about which brand you're seen with and look at DB in a negative light because their bikes are sold in big chain stores, you would do well to consider the Haanjo.
0
red1992v6rs

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you all for the responses so far.  My biggest concern really is longevity.  I'd like this bike to hold up for a long time.  I'd love to get a carbon frame for the weight savings, but I'm a little worried about how carbon would last over time as well.  Unfortunately, I live in a rather rural area, so the LBSs around me don't carry a lot of inventory. 
0
Nubster

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 440
Reply with quote  #8 
Carbon can last forever. There's carbon bikes still being ridden that are 20+ years old. In fact...baring a major crash, carbon can and will likely outlast an aluminum frame. 
0
jonz

Member
Registered:
Posts: 60
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by red1992v6rs
Thank you all for the responses so far.  My biggest concern really is longevity.  I'd like this bike to hold up for a long time.  I'd love to get a carbon frame for the weight savings, but I'm a little worried about how carbon would last over time as well.  Unfortunately, I live in a rather rural area, so the LBSs around me don't carry a lot of inventory. 


One thing I discovered - a carbon frame is repairable.  I broke mine and the repair is holding up fine.  You mentioned you're a beginner living in a hilly/mountainous area.  Based on that, I'd say you should eliminate a 1x.  I'm not a beginner, live in a mountainous area, use  2x front chain wheels, and I still had to go to a lower geared cassette for the mountain rides around here (Yellowstone area).  Also, I was pleasantly surprised how well the 105 derailleurs work.  If you can get the Ultegra ones it's a benefit but I think the 105's are an area where you could save money and not be disappointed.  I personally feel hydraulic brakes are worth the money especially on gravel where braking feel is important - you can brake right up to the edge of traction and keep it there.  Front wheel skids are BAD.
0
Osco

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #10 
I ride a 1x11 mountain bike and love it, But I have a 2 x 11 on my gravel bike and use It.

2017 Trek Cross Rip 3 $1889.00 plus tax.
105 gear and the best hydraulic brakes I have ever used.

I think 47c or 1.75" wide tires will fit and up to 42c with fenders for Urban duty.
0
pauley

Member
Registered:
Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
I ride a 1x11 mountain bike and love it, But I have a 2 x 11 on my gravel bike and use It.

2017 Trek Cross Rip 3 $1889.00 plus tax.
105 gear and the best hydraulic brakes I have ever used.

I think 47c or 1.75" wide tires will fit and up to 42c with fenders for Urban duty.

Was looking at that Cross Rip3 online. Even though they market it as primarily a commuter, looks like it would be a nice gravel bike.
Do you miss having through axles? That seems to be the one thing missing from otherwise great specs.
0
TD Bud

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #12 
I believe test rides are imperative. I have owned many bikes over the years. I ordered a new gravel bike yesterday at my LBS. I went with the Specialized Crux (Carbon 1x11). [I currently ride a Foundry Auger] When it comes to fit and handling, it's very personal...try several on and see which one feels "just right." I went in last Wednesday and test rode 5 bikes, back-to-back: Giant TCX, Specialized Crux, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Fargo, Salsa Vaya. I went in thinking I wanted the TCX or Warbird, but then the Crux felt awesome. The steel bikes felt really nice, but they were heavy. Then just pick the component spec you want. AND MAKE SURE YOU LOVE THE PAINT SCHEME!!! If you think it's ugly you'll be less likely to ride it and want to trade-up soon. Happy shopping!
0
lennymatuszewski

Member
Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #13 
I'm gonna give you my extremely biased vote for the GT Grade. I have a carbon Grade and it is by far the smoothest thing that I've ever ridden. Comfort is king on gravel! I have no experiences on any of the other bikes you listed but have ridden my buddy's CrossRip 3. It's a great bike, but the ride quality does not compare to my Grade. Now, would I notice that if I didn't have the Grade to ride every day? Probably not.
0
CvRyder

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #14 
Check out Salsa. They build some proven gravel bikes. Like the Warbird or the Viya. I run 1x11 105/Xt8000 on mine and love it!

Attached Images
jpeg 20160805_202205.jpg (3.86 MB, 33 views)

0
larrytx01

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #15 
I just bought a Sonder Camino by ALPKIT, titanium frame, sram rival 1x, avid disc brakes with 40mm WTB fast rolling tires.  My price was $1680 at the door.  For an additional price, they will even cut custom size frame tubes per your specification.  Titanium is the only way to go IMHO, no rust, great ride feel, looks great and will probably last forever.
0
jchap

Member
Registered:
Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #16 
I have been extremely happy with my Felt V55. The other models are fie as well.

If you're getting into this for fitness, I wouldn't worry about a couple of pounds on the bike. When it comes down to it, all the discussions about bike weight and rotational mass an the rest are mostly theoretical, backed by math. In practice it make such a small practical difference it just doesn't matter.

Riding a bike is not a simulation. Having I bike you like to ride and could afford is pretty important with respect to you mental state while riding it.
0
Osco

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #17 
My take on Carbon for people like me, the working class, first gravel bike, just love to ride,,[smile]

My Rip 3 was I think 23 pounds outfitted,
I rode a 21 pound carbon bike, could not feel the slightest difference, not even the smoothness/compliance.
I have lost four pounds riding my Trek, cost,,zero...

The better components are what I could feel from the get go, like the wet brakes,, so,
I walked away from the carbon bike with mechanical brakes and Its cheaper wheels and hubs.
If I wanted to race, I'd most likely need the carbon advantage but I don't so I didn't.[tongue]

I got a Carbon fork,, 
Trek Rip 3 $1,889 plus sales tax OTD. I am very happy with this bike.

0
red1992v6rs

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #18 
I think I've ruled out the carbon Anyroad Comax at the point. When I took it for a test ride it felt great but I've read about some of the frames cracking. Since longevity is a key to me, I have to ax it. I am going to try to stick with a 105 group set. It seemed to me that it shifted much crisper than the tiagra group set that was on the other Anyroad that I tried. I think that goes a long way from a quality standpoint that I could tell a difference between the two since I currently ride a 30+ year old slosh box of a group set. I think I'm going to eliminate the 1x group sets as well since i liked the wider range of gear offerings. Thanks again for everyone's input so far. It's really appreciated.
0
bart0549

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by red1992v6rs
Thank you all for the responses so far.  My biggest concern really is longevity.  I'd like this bike to hold up for a long time.  I'd love to get a carbon frame for the weight savings, but I'm a little worried about how carbon would last over time as well.  Unfortunately, I live in a rather rural area, so the LBSs around me don't carry a lot of inventory. 


Red,

In the past I worked as an inventory and warranty specialist 7+ years.  Here's the way I look at frame material debates:

1)  Fatigue life:  Carbon Fiber wins this, hands down.  Fatigue life for modern carbon is nearly forever, limited only by the epoxy used to fuse it.  Certainly longer than you'll own a bike.  All metals, just like a paper clip, will eventually break if flexed enough times.  Luckily, modern frame metals have much more going on than a simple paper clip.

2)  Durability:  Carbon usually wins this as well, but issues are sometimes difficult to spot on metal bikes.  When a carbon bike breaks, you'll almost always know it.  Maybe a new mysterious noise, maybe a hole, but almost always, the issue will be apparent.  I've seen aluminum and steel frames with micro fractures that owners had never noticed.  The paint on a metal bike can hide a lot...  From a safety standpoint, a big dent in a downtube, makes a bike a liability, though, most of us (myself included) will make our own judgments.

3)  All bikes are awesome.  If you can get on and have fun, then quit worrying and go for a ride.  I've got some pretty expensive and awesome bikes in my stable, but my latest is a single speed Charge Plug ($500) and the thing is a blast on gravel; on any surface.  I have a better than stock wheelset installed, but the thing is pretty great.  Also, single speeds are best - most durable drivetrains on the market!

Nate
0
red1992v6rs

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #20 
I think I am continuing to narrow down my selections. I think I'm going to end up going with a Raleigh Willard or Tamland. My local dealer offers them at too good of a price to pass up. Now, my next question in sizing. I'm 6'3", with a roughly 35" inseam. According to their website, it should put me on a 60 or 62. The 60s have a 33.25" stand over, whereas the 62s have a 34". Is that inch of clearance too close for a gravel bike on the 62? There is also about a half inch difference in the top tube length. Not sure if that makes a whole lot of difference.

I tested a 58 and 61 Specialized Diverge today. I couldn't really feel that much of a difference in sizing between them. I think the 61 felt a little better, but that may have only been because it was a better spec'd bike. Is that normal for someone with limited/no experience on modern bikes?

Any other thoughts? I appreciate it.

Thanks,
Ryan
0
bart0549

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #21 
Ryan,

   The best advice anyone can give you at this point is to ride the bikes that you're interested in.  That Diverge that you rode might be a great bike, but it's not going to be the same as the Willard or Tamland.  

   Get the input of one of the fit specialists at your local shop.  Generally speaking most people can fit on a number of sizes from a given manufacturer/model.  It will depend on the bike you're looking at and your intended purpose to determine the better size for you.  In my opinion, 1" of standover clearance is perfectly adequate.  I'd say the Effective Top Tube and Head Tube Length are much more important in this instance.  There's also a slew of important questions your fitter will need to ask about your personal physiology.  For example, I'd even have you do a few quick flexibility assessments before putting you on the fit bike and seeing how your body deals with being on a bike.  I'd be able to see the answer to questions about posture and habits pretty quickly.  Sorry if it seems like a cop-out to say it, but defer to your fit-specialists.  Likely, if you're planning on buying a bike from that shop, they'll do a full assessment for free.  I did for my customers at the shop I managed...

N
0
RoverAl

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 493
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by red1992v6rs
I think I am continuing to narrow down my selections. I think I'm going to end up going with a Raleigh Willard or Tamland. My local dealer offers them at too good of a price to pass up. Now, my next question in sizing. I'm 6'3", with a roughly 35" inseam. According to their website, it should put me on a 60 or 62. The 60s have a 33.25" stand over, whereas the 62s have a 34". Is that inch of clearance too close for a gravel bike on the 62? There is also about a half inch difference in the top tube length. Not sure if that makes a whole lot of difference. 


I have a 60 willard 1 I'm 6'1 about 33.5 inseam with long arms. Out of the box the bike was almost perfect excepting seat height and bar adjustment. I have only made a few slight adjustments since. Mine fits just right for me.

Raleigh sizes their willard series different from what other makers do. For instance my seatpost is 57 and they call it a 60 others usually use the seat post length as the size guide. 

Regarding the stand over, when I am stopped at a light or whatever with feet on the ground I am slightly touching the top tube. I actually prefer that type of fit excepting mountain bikes. Just seems to work better for me, I do not like raising my seat post to the sky. Imo one inch is probably about right. If you can sit on them and check is the best way. I took a chance and bought online sight unseen and am completely happy with my fit just going by the guide and prior experiences.
 
You are kind of a tweener and depending on your preference could probably go either size.
There is a review on here somewhere from a rider who is tall but I can't remember his frame size. I will try to find it. I know when I had a bike that was to big for me I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as a properly fitting one. That was years ago and I learned from it.

Side note about the Willard series, they have a light shock absorbing stem and seat post. Basically just a rubber bushing between metal parts that absorbs some of the rough stuff. I absolutely, 100% love it and they work and you can feel the difference. Having said that the stem is not designed to be flipped, but I do it anyway.  I have a Shock Stop stem on the way another story for another time, anyway the stock set up gives you 0 degree rise which is ok but if you are easing back into things a little rise is much more comfortable and will give you a little more upright riding position.
Keep the stock stem don't allow the shop to switch it out with a standard stem because it is an expensive item.

When I am ready for another bike it will most likely be a Tamland or a Roker because that's how much I like the geometry.
Also an interesting side note,Guitar Ted one of the founders of this site, had frame design input on the original Tamland which made its way to the Willard as well. 
Here's that review http://ridinggravel.com/gravel-news/raleigh-willard-two-quick-review/
0
red1992v6rs

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #23 
I was leaning towards the Tamland 1 until tonight.  I got a quote from another LBS for a 2016 Specialized Crux E5 X1 that was very comparable to the Tamland 1 quote.  I'm still unsure if the 1x setup is right for me since I will primarily be riding roads and hilly roads at that.

Here's links to both bikes:

Tamland 1
Crux E5 X1

The Crux seems like a heck of a build for the price and it looks damn sexy.

I have never ridden a cyclocross bike.  Is the geometry of a cyclocross bike that different and racy that it would make a difference comfort-wise for rides?  At this point in time I'll probably be sticking to 15-30 mile rides, maybe occasionally do some longer races for fun.  I highly doubt I'd get into century territory.

Thanks to everyone.  A lot of good insight here.
0
RoverAl

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 493
Reply with quote  #24 
I'm not familiar with the Crux but it is more of a compact racier geo than the Raleigh's you mentioned. Higher BB, shorter wheelbase, TT etc. Good Luck. Get the one you like to ride, that is something only you can decide.
0
pauley

Member
Registered:
Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #25 
Like Rover Al said, the Tamland geometry is going to make for a bike that is less racy but noticeably more comfortable. Also it will be more comfortable and versatile with the room for wider tires. You may be doing short rides now but the third water bottle mount and braze-ons for rack/fenders may come in handy on the Tamland. Another issue I see with the Crux is that the gearing is nowhere near sufficient for hilly terrain- especially if you are going to be on dirt/gravel roads. Just my 2cents but if you don't mind a couple extra pounds on the bike, I think the Tamland is more what you're looking for. But also, as Rover Al said, only you can decide.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.