Finally starting my search for a new bike in earnest, and I feel like I've had a bit of a revelation:
Since I'm not racing on the road anymore, maybe get a 'gravel'/'adventure'/'latest-marketing-buzzword' bike that can cover what I had previously thought would be a quiver of 3+ bikes?
The maybe-unfortunate reality is that 90+% of the time, the bike will be used as a plain-old-road-bike, probably on 28s - so my biggest question is:How bad (or not) is a bike that's built to fit 40c (or bigger) tires, going to be for normal road riding, on normal road tires?
Terrible? No worse than a 15-year old aluminum Kona? Not as good as a purpose-built road bike, but just fine for all but the most discerning bike owners?
Assuming that I'll be happy primarily using a gravel bike on the road, "what bike"?
My near-requirements are pretty short:
- "aspirational" frame material - carbon fiber, maybe Ti.
- clearance for 40c minimum.
- disc brakes
My nice-to-have list is a lot longer:
- Provisions for mounting front/rear racks
- Bosses for fork-mounted bottle cages
- Under-downtube bottle cage bosses
- Double chainring (the Power2Max powermeter I've got on my road bike now will be going onto the new bike, so it'd be nice if I don't have to change more than just a BB)
- SRAM doubletap preferred
My short list so far includes the Salsa Warbird, Niner RLT 9 RDO, Why Cycles R+, and Jamis Renegade.
Longer list includes the Specialized Diverge, Ridley X Trail, GT Grade, maybe 'cross bikes? (I've already got a CX race bike...)
Other bikes I should be looking at? Recommendations?