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wradom

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Reply with quote  #1 
Is it possible to be competitive in gravel races with a relatively light hardtail 29er? I don't have a cross bike or really the funds to justify shelling out for one.. Thought I could put a long/low stem on my 29er, some narrower bars/tires and hold my own pretty well.. 
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trippertim

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes.
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #3 
Gearing will be the issue. If you can keep up with someone on a gravel bike with road gearing for many miles...then you're good to go. 
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wradom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Is there significant upside in grabbing a rigid fork? I have a reba rl right now, which isn't too heavy and locked out it doesn't bob too much..
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wradom
Is there significant upside in grabbing a rigid fork? I have a reba rl right now, which isn't too heavy and locked out it doesn't bob too much..


A carbon fork would shed a lot of weight, and if its a aero fork, better aerodynamics.  Most mtb suspension forks aren't very active over gravel, so you're carrying around a lot of extra weight for little benefit.  
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Rigid > suspension for sure. 
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wradom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Any recommendations for rigid mountain forks? Would need to be 1 1/8 threadless, preferably thru axle.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #8 
Finding a carbon 29er fork that is 1 1/8", thru axle and aerodynamic is probably going to be close to impossible.  There are some Chinese ones on ebay, but I don't trust those (I once cracked a Chinese CX disc fork in half braking too hard.)  You might be able to find something like this one from Nashbar (the Nashbar one does not have thru axle)  

http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10053_10052_585407_-1___
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wradom

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Reply with quote  #9 
"You might be able to find something like this one from Nashbar (the Nashbar one does not have thru axle)  

http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10053_10052_585407_-1___"

I came to the exact same conclusion, already have this on order, thanks! Lucky for me I purchased a QR front wheel ages ago that I've never been able to use.. 
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just FYI, you can also use 9mm adapters to run a thru axle wheel on a QR fork.  These are Mavic adapters, but I have used them on all different brands of wheels with no problems.

 
http://www.jensonusa.com/!-BcvbwcEPCoxNCdEJiKt6A!/Mavic-Crossone-15mm-To-Open-QR-Adapter?utm_source=FRGL&utm_medium=organic&pt_source=googleads&pt_medium=cpc&pt_campaign=shopping_us&pt_keyword=&gclid=COjd042Eu9ECFdOCswodIY8PDA
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #11 
Niner fork but not through axle and 1 1/8". You'd have to run QR.
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jrp8234

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Reply with quote  #12 
Is there anyone who has raced both a hardtail and gravel bike in a gravel race? Do you notice a big difference how fast you can go?
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cattiy19

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Reply with quote  #13 
I would kill for a Hardtail MTB frame with trough axles and the ability to use a road crank!
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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #14 
image-4.JPG 

Singular Swift, and a 1-1/8 On-One carbon fork.
http://webshop.singularcycles.com/en/Products/Singular-Swift.html
http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FOMK35CF/mkm-35-rigid-carbon-mtb-fork

I run a 27.5 plus front wheel 2.8" (shown) for MTBing and swap in a 29er wheel 2.4" for gravel.

It is not as light as an aluminum or carbon frame but the same as a steel gravel frame like the Soma Wolverine.




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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #15 
You use 2.4" tires for gravel?  
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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #16 
If you look at the Tour Divide "Start List" Google Doc, you can see what frames people use, including rigid MTB's:

2016
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ry-lZPuFXayMt8Do2k_XcidY0HlKsdjDm2iVL1MKbyQ/edit#gid=588221087

2015
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IlxJlEG7KjpgvjOQ13p_NBPw55bQHtg-8jhdlhY0Z6c/edit#gid=32

If the frame works well for bikepacking, then it should work well for gravel.  You just need to pay attention to the "reach" length if you want to use drop bars (which I recommend for gravel).
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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #17 
For the front, sometimes - gives a nice cushion.  I use the front tire as my "suspension" Other times, I run WTB Nano 2.1" front and rear for gravel.

For the rear, I run a 2.1 or 2.2 all the time, for both MTB and gravel.  That being said, I am looking for a set of Specialized Renegade 29x1.8's to try for gravel.

The bottom bracket on the Swift is pretty low already, so if I put 40-45c tires on there it would risk pedal strikes.  That and the WTB Nano 2.1" tires have pretty low rolling resistance, even on pavement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljsmith
You use 2.4" tires for gravel?  
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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #18 
If you are going to run gravel width tires (40-45c) you might look for a 26" hardtail instead (so that the bottom bracket height is kept with 700c wheels:

http://www.cxmagazine.com/nats-bike-profile-dean-ferrandinis-cannondale-flash-frankenbike

Like this master's cyclocross frankenbike

dean-ferrandini-2015-nationals-masters-75-79-cxmagazine-ayee-img_3144-e-upload-upload_1.jpg 


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Erik_A

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Reply with quote  #19 
If I was doing another gravel bike now it would be similar to this:

http://theradavist.com/2016/08/my-agave-marginata-crema-duo-cross-bike/

Have the ability to run 650b x 2.3" tires as well as top swap in a 700 x 40c wheelset for cyclocross.


Attached Images
jpeg My-Agave-Marginata-Crema-Duo-Cross-Bike-15-1335x892.jpg (182.09 KB, 4 views)
jpeg Wheelsize.jpg (376.33 KB, 4 views)

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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #20 
Something like this is the ticket IMO....

http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/all-road/stuntman

But for me...my next bike purchase...I'm determined to get a Lynskey GR250 or something very similar...I just can't see anything with this frame not to like...

https://lynskeyperformance.com/road/touring-commuting/gr-250/
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