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emcb1230
any long-term updates?  How are you all liking the bike?
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jerrduford
I haven't had it outside in a while here in Michigan (Fat bike season), but have had it on the trainer occasionally. I put ~800 miles on it during the fall and loved every minute of it, no qualms with it, and I won't be letting it go anytime soon. Very capable, comfortable, and light. 
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emcb1230
Thanks!  good to hear.  I'm trying to decide whether I want something a little racier or this bike that seems to be able to handle anything.  Seems like a great bike and obviously an awesome deal.  hard to beat. 
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SwiftCarbonBiker

180 miles on mine and I'm happy with it. The weather's been wet in the PNW and I've fitted a set of PDW city fenders and they attach solidly to the fender bosses, no issues with rattling. It's a stiff bike, and you do feel all the bumps on the trail with the stock tires, but I expect that switching to tubeless and running lower pressures will help with that.

With the handlebars slammed down all the way to the top cap, the stack height/reach are similar to my Specialized CruX, so it's racy enough - though I didn't buy it for that, I got it for its versatility.

I do get a bit of toe overlap with the front wheel on my 56cm frame (size 12 shoes) despite the slightly longer (compared with CruX) wheelbase so that's a little disappointing but not the end of the world. Other carbon gravel bikes with similar specs seem to run at least $1.5K - $2K more.

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emcb1230
it's such a great deal.  hard to beat with those components.  thanks for the reply and glad to hear it's still working out for you.
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MarkMyers
Hi folks! Decided to pick up one of these last month. I’m a mountain biker, and thought it would be nice to have a ‘“change of pace” bike that would still mostly allow me to be off-road. And with all the rain we’ve had here in SoCal this year...
Anyhow, the BikesDirect Force 1 version was sold out, so I picked up the Rival 1 version which sold for $1,999 and ended up around $2,200 with shipping etc. Other than Rival instead of Force, and different stem and bars, the wheels were Stans Grail v1 rims with generic hubs,  a 40T chainring and 11-42 cassette. I switched out the cranks for a set of SRAM X0’s I had, put on a 36T chainring (bad knees) and built a set of carbon 25mm internal width wheels with XD, a 10-42 SRAM cassette and WTB Resolute 700 x 42mm tires.as is bike weighs around 18.5 lbs. Frame is 52cm, I’m about 5’6”. 
So far very impressed. Bike is very comfortable, surprisingly (to me) stable off-road, and has very good traction in loose conditions. The gearing so far is working really well for me - I don’t care about speed and I have lots of range for climbing which we have plenty of in San Diego. Still exploring gravel and dirt trails. As mentioned by others, the stand over is very high but It doesn’t bother me and I feel that the frame dimensions otherwise are right for me. Overall, I think the bike is a bargain and am very pleased. Appreciate the information in this forum, it has been very helpful.
Cheers,
Mark
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droitaubut
Would never buy a bike without a geometry chart. If tyre clearance is okay with you stack/reach would be my concern. Cyclocross bikes just like flat out racebikes are oftentimes made for racing. If you are a flexible rider, this is of no concern, if you're stiff, probably look elsewhere. In general gravel bike geometry is more friendly to inflexible people than cyclocross geometry.
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MarkMyers
Hi, not sure if the previous post is in response to mine but if so, I agree about the importance of a geometry chart, and it is readily accessible the for the Kestrel. This is definitely a gravel bike and not cyclocross. Geometry is similar to the Salsa Warbird and some others, lots of tire clearance.
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SwiftCarbonBiker
I rode this trail last weekend on the TerX with 650b 2.1” Schwalbe Thunderburts https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4550979/ape-canyon-to-plains-of-abraham-imba-epic

Most folks do this ride on a FS MTB - and I met a couple of guys on e-MTBs - but the Kestrel worked great, if a little slower on descents.
11BF78CD-77B6-4266-B750-0426EC167012.jpeg  F5044223-DBD8-4D43-860A-0044679EB797.jpeg  6A305231-F448-4391-AE42-91239CEEF205.jpeg  EBB067E6-1602-48CB-B5BE-2C4F01CD5DBE.jpeg  83C50D7C-ED90-4E03-B66C-3435DFF970BE.jpeg  45A6B45F-AF2F-49BA-BDBA-20B408ECA479.jpeg  D7DAB532-92FF-44AD-98C7-4F16FD258854.jpeg86A3C32F-B434-4CAD-8F51-6DEAA542445A.jpeg
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smoothmoose
Beautiful.  I agree - tires provide the most cush on a gravel bike.  I take my gravel bike on singletrack on 2.2" XC tires.  Dropper post helps on the descents too ;-)
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leonard
Bikes Direct has the Kestrel on their black Friday sale.
 http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/kestrel/kestrel-carbon-gravel-bikes/kestrel-terx-ultegra-discbrake-carbon-gravel-bikes.htm 
Still tempted to get the Century Pro 
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/disc-brake-roadbikes/centurypro-discbrake-roadbike-xx.htm 
 I think the gearing might better suite me, since I also do pavement, and if it gets really steep, I will use my MTB.  Seems like tire clearance is similar, but I could well be wrong.  Would the Kestrel frame be any better?
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JBarney
Damn.... I mike have to pick up one of those for another "do it all: bike.
Doesn't look like I would need to change a thing.
The question is, would my wife notice another bike in the garage?
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rocthrower
Personally I would go with the Kestrel.   From a frame/fork perspective I'd rather have the 12mm thru axle fork and BSA bottom bracket of the Kestrel compared to the 15mm thru-axle and pressfit BB of the Century Pro. 

The Kestrel also looks to be better spec'd with full Ultegra where the Century Pro is pretty much 105 except for the Ultegra front/rear derailleurs, and only has an FSA Omega Crankset. I also would prefer the DT Swiss wheelset with center-lock vs the Novatec/Joy 6 bolt hubs on the Century.

I think the increase in price for the Kestrel is worth it; you are getting a lot of bike for $2000.
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leonard
Thanks Rocthrower, You have made some strong points in favour of the Kestrel.  Do you know if it would be an issue to change the cranks to road compact since I lack the patients to cost down the downhills.
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valve_timing
after seeing the kestrel and the mulekick im slightly rethinking building a carbonda 696
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smoothmoose
after seeing the kestrel and the mulekick im slightly rethinking building a carbonda 696


Yeah...that's what the math told me when I looked at doing a decent Carbonda build as well.

That said - I ended up spending half as much as the Kestral on an alloy Vitus Energie.  Left me plenty of room for additional 650 wheels, dropper post, etc.  And have recently got new carbon 700c wheels as well.  I think I've finally went over $2k total spend on my gravel bike with the carbon wheels upgrade.
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valve_timing
Yeah a decent 696 build might be 2500-3k what I thought to do is order just the frame /headset and take everything off my breezer doppler
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smoothmoose
Yeah a decent 696 build might be 2500-3k what I thought to do is order just the frame /headset and take everything off my breezer doppler


I thought about doing that too - swapping off the parts from my Vitus onto a Carbonda frame - but I ended up liking the geometry of the Vitus a lot - while for my size the either Carbonda would have been a tough fit for a dropper post.

Ultimately my money for a carbon frame went towards carbon wheels instead.
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rocthrower
leonard wrote:
Thanks Rocthrower, You have made some strong points in favour of the Kestrel.  Do you know if it would be an issue to change the cranks to road compact since I lack the patients to cost down the downhills.


It shouldn't be an issue unless you are switching to a crankset with a 30mm spindle like Sram.  If you stick with a Shimano crank or 24mm spindle, you shouldn't have any issues switching out the cranks. 

The only thing is you might have to add a link or two to the chain, since you'd be going from a 46 to a 50, but you might not have to either. 
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ohio
Bumping an old thread as I bought one of these (Ultegra build) in a 49cm. Super happy with the bike (after some reassembly... less happy with the factory pre-assembly), however, I wish I bought the 52cm... I actually love the geometry and haven't been able to find anything as progressive this side of the Liteville, just need more height at the front end which is exactly what the 52cm would provide, without additional reach. I really wish they sold the frameset alone... Any chance someone here bought the 52cm and is interested in a swap? Mine has 3 road rides on it. No offroad or moisture. Email me at MARC dot FEN at GMAIL. Sorry I don't have much history on this forum. I'm well known on some others, but this was my first gravel bike.
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