My newish Giant TCX (aluminium) is my first foray into gravel riding, and I'm loving it. I'm really only experienced in mountain bike geometry, but I've been reading a lot about Gravel bikes v Cyclocross v Road etc. and beginning to understand more about their nuances beyond the obvious things like ability to run wider tires. 

It's funny, the LBS sold the TCX to me on the premise that it was a 'gravel bike' but it's clearly a very specific cyclocross bike which (at least to my mind) does pretty well on gravel roads. The big difference from what I can see is the BB height. With a 60mm BB drop, that's a bit different from most gravel bikes at around 70-75. I understand that affects stability, centre of gravity and pedal clearance, but in an overall package does it make that much of a difference?

The reason I ask, is that I was riding with some guys today who categorically said "that's not the best bike for gravel - that BB height makes it too uncomfortable for long rides" but I'm not sure it's as simple as that. I mean, there are so many things affecting 'stability' including and angles, wheelbase etc. Well that's what I understand. Is 60mm drop undesirable, or do I need to see it in context of the overall package?

So to anyone who has ridden a TCX... am I silly thinking this is a 'gravel bike'? Would I be better off on a bike more gravel-specific? I do mainly long open gravel roads - say 90% pretty good gravel, with just the odd bit of technical stuff. Thanks heaps.
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It is perfectly fine as a gravel bike. I don't own one, but borrowed a friends when I traveled to a gravel race in Texas. I just set up the saddle, and the next day did a 100 mile gravel race. And yes, the bottom bracket was 1 cm (ONE CENTIMETER - which is probably less than the distance of me spelling it out if you are reading this on a computer screen) higher than the bottom bracket on my Crux. But you know what, I couldn't tell. The bike was fine, the bike was great. I did 100 miles on a bike that I had never ridden before and I didn't die. Maybe if you rode different bikes back to back, some people could tell. But my thought is that most people can't. And those that are telling you that the bike isn't suited to gravel have been reading too many forums and bike reviews. 
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Okie Outdoorsman

It is a good bike for gravel.  I know, as I have about 3,500 miles on my Giant TCX.  Have really enjoyed it on the gravel.  With that said, though, I know exactly where the lower BB drop crowd is coming from, as I have recently purchased a Salsa Journeyman.  I have noticed several differences in how the two bikes, "feel", when compared.  Also, I am 51 years old.  I believe my age does make a difference, as well.

The TCX is a bit more difficult, for me at least, to control, and handle in the deeper gravel, as well as the rough sections.  When on the TCX, it seems to me that I have to be "all over it".  It takes more energy, thus am more tired, at the end of a long ride on the TCX, versus the Journeyman.  Am limited, on my TCX, to running 35mm width tires.  Currently, am running 32mm MSO's.  The TCX is more responsive.  It is a bit harder on the back, as I am leaning forward more on it.

When I ride the Journeyman, with the lower bottom bracket, I don't have to be all over the controls to stay vertical.  It is definitely a much more relaxed type ride experience.  Don't get me wrong, it has it's moments in the deep, and sketchy stuff, too.  Overall, though, it takes less energy for me to ride this one on gravel.  Also, at the end of the ride, the more upright, and stable feeling, is easier on me.  Seems like I don't have to put out as much effort, to stay in control.  Between the two, the Journeyman is definitely an easier ride, and more comfortable experience on the gravel.  

Keep in mind that all of this is very subjective.  What I have experienced may be totally different from what you experience.  Enjoy that TCX.  It is a great bike for gravel.  I have posted reviews of both my TCX, it is a carbon version, as well as the aluminum Journeyman on this site.  By the way, I still love my TCX.  I have no plans on parting with it.  It is one of my favorites.  

The main thing, in my opinion, is ride.  Being on the gravel is how you get experience.  The more you ride, the more you will find what works, and what doesn't work for you.  Reviews are great, but you will form your own opinions, out on the gravel.

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Two great answers.  I love my TCX with 40mm Ramblers.  I ride it mostly on mild MTB trails and a few dirt & rock fire roads.  I ride in races, but do not race.  For me, it is a great do-all bike and I like the challenge of getting it to work in different arenas.  As long as you like it, ride it.

As many point out, it is the rider not the bike......I can't tell you how many times I get smoked by a really good rider, with a road bike, with 23's and no discs.
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I'd say you've got a good bike that will do fine.    I have a 2015 Giant TCX 0 carbon frame in size medium.  It's set up as a gravel bike, running Gravel King 40 front and 35 rear.  I used it extensively last summer riding gravel roads and singletrack in the Park City Utah area.  It handled everything I threw at it. 

One of my other bikes, a size L 2014 SWorks Crux canti, has a bit more drop and more front center but I can't say I can feel a big difference in handling or ride.  No toe overlap on it vs the Giant though and I like that.  My newest bike is a Lynskey Cooper CX and it is noticeably less harsh on rough gravel than the other two.   Similar geo to the Crux.  It's now my favorite mainly due to the feel of the Ti frame and excellent Enve fork.   I just raced it with great results at the Bootlegger 100K in North Carolina.  It's not a gravel bike but still did great, even when bombing the rough and steep downhills.  Would a long wheelbase, low bb bike have been better?  Maybe on the descents but not enough for me to get one. 

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Thanks for all the comments and advice. Much appreciated. I get the 'just forget it and ride' argument, but I really enjoy understanding my bike better - especially as a newbie - and all your comments really help. The TCX has already done a couple of 200+ k races already and so far so good. Compared to my Ritchey P-29 (rigid with carbon forks), the TCX is quite a bit slower on almost every training course I do which is interesting... but I really enjoy the different 'feel' of the 'gravel' bike. I am sure lighter wheels on the TCX would help in race situations. 
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