ForrestM
My wife and I bought hybrids this year, not really knowing what we wanted or how much we would ride. We did this for exercise as we were tired of the elliptical. Good news! I've logged around 1200 miles since the beginning of June. I did my first Century ride on August 18th, on my Specialized Sirrus hybrid.

With this said, I've done some group rides and mixed terrain rides and some road rides. I love the gravel, but it sucks on my current bike. So, this leads .e to some questions.

I'm leaning towards a Salsa Warbird. I am 6' 1" and 170 lbs, and Salsa says I should ride a 58cm. Honestly, the 56cm felt more like I was an extension of the bike, if that makes sense. Do you generally go by the manufacturers suggestion or with what just feels right?

I had a bit of sticker shock with how much bikes cost. So, here's my thoughts. I enjoy the fundraiser roas rides. Id also enjoy the freedom of having a gravel bike because of the roads less traveled. Literally, I feel safer in these roads! So, buy the Warbird, and also an extra set of wheels/rotors/casette? I am looking at the Carbon Ultegra build, but the 2019 builds have been very hush hush. I can't find anything yet.

* Buy the extras ot just ride it on the road as it comes?
* Should I expect a noticeable speed difference between the road wheel and tires? I'm averaging 16 on longer rides and 17 on shorter rides on my hybrid.
* Who has suggestions on a road wheel/tire set?×

My last question is about components. What are your thoughts on electronic shifting for gravel riding? Looks cool, but comes with a price. Worth it?

Thanks for reading this far. Your help is much appreciated!


Quote 0 0
imwjl
Welcome.

We sure like our Salsa and other models we tried but for sure know you don't have to spend the $2000 - $4300 in the Warbird range. You get into diminishing returns in a hurry with bike spending. You need to remember how much more important your bike engine is than the bike. If you are going to spend that much check out Trek's Checkpoint. That range will also get you into higher end steel tube set bikes. Lots of great stuff out there.

Delay gratification and try a lot of stuff. That way you know what you like and have less risk of being influenced by someone who is in different circumstances and has different interests.

A friend with electronic Shimano shifting is as convinced it's the way as much as another is about his single speed gearing as much as I like 1x. So there we go again, that argument for trying lots of stuff.

Some associates who like simplify are very happy with one set of wheels and riding approx 40 mm tires. A few in my circle do gravel riding when MTB trails are closed and in spring so they ride much bigger tires. At same time road and speed oriented associates have mental anguish if a tire is wider than 35 mm. There we go again, delay the gratification and try stuff.

When you try stuff take time to adjust the bike for you. Ask to fill the tires or know the pressure so you can better know how a bike behaves. Don't test similar bikes with one at 40 psi and another at 65 psi in the tires. Seats might vary so know the way a bike feels on some bumps out of the seat and with same sort of tire pressure.

I'm not against high end bikes. We have them as MTBs or my wife's plastic frame fancier version of fat bike. For this gravel and all road stuff 3 in our family are perfectly happy with lesser stuff. Let's go back to my wife's fancier fat bike for a moment. This applies to others. We have two Trek Farley bikes with one at high end of the range and other at bottom. It proves all the time how you get diminishing returns as you spend. My son has what's probably the lowest level frame - heavy - but nice wheels with DT Swiss hubs. Those wheels make more difference than his heavier frame.

On the wheels. I've been doing same commute on 32 mm touring tires, 35, 50, 2.3 - 2.4 MTB tires and a fattie. It's only pushing to hold a high speed when bigger tires can bother me. Last year a same bunch of associates were doing a same gravel ride with an array of bikes. We all got there. In crappy sections those of us with bigger tires plowed through. That advantage was lost on a windy flat section of smooth packed gravel. Get something that can hold narrow and wide tires. Then you'll be set.

Have fun shopping.
Quote 1 0
dangle
ForrestM wrote:
My wife and I bought hybrids this year, not really knowing what we wanted or how much we would ride. We did this for exercise as we were tired of the elliptical. Good news! I've logged around 1200 miles since the beginning of June. I did my first Century ride on August 18th, on my Specialized Sirrus hybrid.


Nice work! Hopefully your wife has been keeping active as well. I keep searching for a used one of those Sirrus' as a commuter as well.

ForrestM wrote:
With this said, I've done some group rides and mixed terrain rides and some road rides. I love the gravel, but it sucks on my current bike. So, this leads .e to some questions.

I'm leaning towards a Salsa Warbird. I am 6' 1" and 170 lbs, and Salsa says I should ride a 58cm. Honestly, the 56cm felt more like I was an extension of the bike, if that makes sense. Do you generally go by the manufacturers suggestion or with what just feels right?


It depends on a few things, but my initial thought would be 58 assuming your arms are proportional to your height. "Reach" tends to become one of the most important numbers when choosing a bike. I don't think you have a lot of baseline coming from a hybrid bike. My initial thought is kind of worthless without knowing you or looking at the Warbird's geometry chart.

The Warbirds are not very long (horizontally) and there's almost no difference in length between the 56 and 58....which is a little weird. It's just my opinion, but a 56 and 58 shouldn't have felt much different. A 1.5 mm difference in length should be imperceptible. The deciding factor here would be how low you want your handlebars. If you rode with 2-3 cm of spacers below the stem on the 56, you might as well get a 58 and ride with no spacers under the stem. The only 'real' difference between the 56 and 58 Warbird (according to their own sizing chart) is how tall the front of the frame is. The 56 with 25 mm of spacers under the stem and the 58 with no spacers under the stem only have 1.5 mm of difference otherwise. This is unique to the Warbird though. I have a couple 58 CX/gravel bikes and their reach is a full 10 mm longer than the 58 Warbird. That's why sizing numbers like '58' aren't very valuable. Learn your preferred reach and stack over time. Generally they should be pretty close between road bikes and gravel oriented bikes. As you get into more off-roading, we are seeing that longer reach and shorter stems is becoming more popular.

ForrestM wrote:
I had a bit of sticker shock with how much bikes cost. So, here's my thoughts. I enjoy the fundraiser roas rides. Id also enjoy the freedom of having a gravel bike because of the roads less traveled. Literally, I feel safer in these roads! So, buy the Warbird, and also an extra set of wheels/rotors/casette? I am looking at the Carbon Ultegra build, but the 2019 builds have been very hush hush. I can't find anything yet.

* Buy the extras ot just ride it on the road as it comes?
* Should I expect a noticeable speed difference between the road wheel and tires? I'm averaging 16 on longer rides and 17 on shorter rides on my hybrid.
* Who has suggestions on a road wheel/tire set?×


The extra wheels are a great idea, but it's an easy hole to fall into. I think I have 7 full wheelsets between 2 cx/gravel bikes right now. A gravel set and a road set makes sense. Something like a 28 mm tire will be 95% as fast as any road bike out there. Aerodynamic resistance is such a greater factor than rolling resistance at the speeds you're talking about, so I don't think you will "notice" a big speed difference between a road specific and gravel specific tire if they are both high quality. 1-2 mph with all else being the same except tires. Check out some of the builders that frequent here. Ol' Ritter is very reasonable and makes some cool stuff. A lot of wheel companies are selling hype and not much more. Builders know the ins and outs of making the best wheel for you and your budget. Generally you want rims with a minimum of 20 mm inner width, probably not much over 23 mm inner width, tubeless compatibility, and then spokes and hubs that fit your budget. Most hubs now have end caps that can convert to different sizes.

ForrestM wrote:
My last question is about components. What are your thoughts on electronic shifting for gravel riding? Looks cool, but comes with a price. Worth it?


Not worth it to me. I use it on my time trial setup, but I just can't bring myself to bother with it for road/gravel/cx. Sure it's cool, but not worth it. Say you're comparing mechanical ultegra to ultegra di2 on a new bike. You're paying roughly an extra $1000 for the di2. If you sell your mechanical, buy the di2 parts you need, you will probably only be out half that amount....but your bike is at least half a pound heavier and it still shifts basically the same. The only thing that might change my mind is if I get crazy and make an aero setup for a looong race like DK or similar. I had a 200k last year that I really would have liked to have tucked in for several spots or just have been in a different position. Being able to borrow my TT shifters, put aerobars on a CX bike and shift from multiple spots would be nice. I could drop the Roadlink and run an XT rear derailleur full time too...but I have never had a problem with drops or shifting with my current setup. Ooh, sorry...that got long. Anyhow, welcome to the forum and enjoy your riding!
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thefuzzycow
Well damn... There's a lot to really comment on looking as the first few messages so I'm just going to keep mine brief.

I got rid of my road bike for a gravel/road/drop bar mtb. I realized what I wanted was a lot to ask for so I was going to pay for it as well.

I went with the 3T Exploro; the Aero Gravel bike.

This this is a machine!
700x28 road tire
700x42 Teravail Cannonball gravel tire
650x2.1" Schwalbe Thunder Burt mtb tires

I really do get three bikes in one! And it's more than worth it! The price tag is a little up there but the technology and engineering behind the frame and geometry is very interesting. I did nothing but read about the bikes I was interested in for about 2 months before deciding on the Exploro. It does have a more aggressive geometry being a road/gravel bike, but it's so versatile and you can always make adjustments to have the bike fit you however you wish. Bike is super stiff, aero frame tubing and internally routed cables help with the geo and clean look of the bike. There are still some of the last year Team model bikes (white frame with red logo) out there which you could possibly find for a good deal since the new frame model is out. Comes with SRAM 1x group set unless you buy a frame set and custom build the bike up yourself. (Which is what I did. I went full Di2 2x Ultegra)

I was looking at the warbird as well but it can't fit 650b mtb tires so I was disappointed. The geometry for the Warbird was also more upright; still a drop bar bike but with a more upright geo, it would be slightly less aero and bring forth more wind resistance sitting more upright in the cockpit. Not a bad bike by any means, but I wanted more versatility in the wheels so it wasn't the bike for me.

Next was the Specialized Diverge. Awesome bike! Loved it! Fits 700x 42 tires and then 650x47 tires as well. Rode the bike and pretty much loved it except for the Future Shock. Me personally, I wanted a bike where I could feel everything in the front end; especially if I'm riding trails and such. Again, that's just me. If I was just looking for gravel and road, I would've went with a Diverge all day. The Future shock adds 20mm of travel in the head tube and also has 3 different springs that offer different tension for whatever feel you desire; a light, medium and stiff spring. When you stand up and hammer out of the saddle, you don't feel the squish of the spring. Feels like a normal cockpit on the bike. When you're riding in the hoods, flats or drops, the 20mm spring helps absorb the bumps and gravel int he road to help keep the front tire in contact with the ground as well as take some of the force and vibrations away from transferring to your shoulders and arms. My wife runs a bike shop and the Diverge is a huge seller for couples wanting to explore a little more than just pavement.

If I had to make a recommendation, I would say look into the Diverge. The 3T isn't for everybody and the price tag tends to be a quick decision maker. The Diverge really is an awesome bike. I say go with the Diverge since you can fit two wheel sets. More for your money! That's what everybody wants, right? A bicycle is an investment. You should get what you want, what you're looking for, DO NOT settle and something that gets you a good ROI/bang for your buck. To me, that's a bike that's versatile; ie: Diverge or Exploro. You could ride 700x28 road tires on it an then switch out for the 650b wheel set with 47mm tires on there, make some minor adjustments and then take it out and shread some gravel roads and get dirty!

For sizing, my gut would also say go for the 58. I'm 5'11" and fit well and toward the end of the 56 size bike. A 58 feels decent to me but a slight stretch. So assuming your body is relatively proportionate, the 58 would be the bike!

I agree with a lot of what Dangle said. Made a lot of good points that I won't beat a dead horse over!

My only difference in opinion is on Di2 shifting. I absolutely love it. I had mechanical for a while riding casually and racing and was always skeptical of Di2. I didn't think it was really all that better than mechanical and was just a market gimmick. Until I really gave it a chance.  When I was testing an Exploro, I fell in love. The shifting of Di2 is so much cleaner, crisper and quicker. With the new firmware of the Di2, they have semi-synchro shifting and full synchro shifting updates. Long story short there, it shifts the front derailleur based on how you shift the rear to help avoid cross-chaining, a more fluent shift and to help avoid losing momentum when switching chain rings. I didn’t want to worry about a battery and having to charge it but it’s really simple. You hit a button to check the power level and charge if needed. Depending on how much and often you ride, you won’t need to charge it all that often. I was assuming the worst and it’s avtusly very very simple and user friendly. Another cool thing with the Di2 is depending on how you wire up the system, you can wire in extra shifters and such to really customize your build! I won’t go back to mechanical. Of course everybody will have their opinions on whether it's worth it or not. What does each person value as "worth it" etc. I have a Specialized CruX for cyclocross and gravel riding before I got my Exploro and it has SRAM 1x on it. I tested an Exploro with Di2 and ended up building my bike up with the Di2. I've rode the bike a ton and love it. Went back to the CruX for some CX races and I missed the ease of the electronic shifting. I don't quite like riding the CruX anymore with the mechanical shifting. You can also customize how you want the shifting to work and what you want each button to do etc. It's a very advanced yet amazing system. To me, going with Di2 is the way to go if the funds allow. Once you go Di2, you'll never want to go back. That is my opinion. And to piggy back on what Dangle said, you could buy the bikes as well as a Di2 group set and then immediately sell the mechanical that comes on the bike to offset the cost of the Di2 groupset. That's what a lot of people do!

Anyway, that REALLY ended up being A LOT more than I intended on sharing but hey, it's just more food for thought on what you're looking for!

Enjoy! Welcome!
-moo
Quote 0 0
tdilf
My first gravel bike was a Salsa Warbird Alum with 105 in a 55cm frame. I really like the Warbird but it turned out to be a tad to small for me. I am 5' 11" with a shortish reach. The 56cm would be the perfect size for me – I ended up getting a Niner RLT RDO in a 56cm because I found a good deal on one. I am primarily a mountain biker but my new Niner gravel bike has replaced my road bike (sold to a friend). I can ride roads, gravel and light trail with this bike - great for exploring.

Di2: I have never tried it but I hate the idea of having a battery on board that you need to remember to charge.

Extra sets of wheels: I would get a new bike first, see what kind of riding you prefer and then make a decision on wheels. For me, another set of wheels would give me two tire choices before every ride - maybe some day.

Definitely recommend testing as many bikes as you can at least for fit.
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ccand51997
I too am new to "gravel" but not to cycling so I have a lot of experience on other platforms.  I have found, that where I lived always dictated what my preferred type of riding was.  In my present location, the roads are not wide and they are rough, so I started to gravitate to the near-endless dirt roads that are available.  Then I found that my old bikes for off-road, both fat, were overkill.  I took a Motobecane fat bike and rebuilt the hubs with 29er rims and used some old drop bars.  I did not like the massive q-factor on that bike, so I started playing with my daughters little-used hybrid and replaced a lot of the cheap original stuff with quality but old components that I had in my garage.  Voila!, now I have two "gravel" bikes for different sorts of terrain.  If you are handy with bikes, your present hybrid only needs a few components swapped out and you are there.  Neither of them are light, but when I started looking at the price of entry level gravel bikes I noted those bikes were often north of 26 pounds, so I was not giving up much.
 
As you dive further into cycling, let me give you a couple of pieces of advice. 
1. The weight of your bike is not really that important for performance. I tested it once on a rolling course with a power meter and I could not even tell the difference between a 10-pound difference.  Unless your every ride includes 5,000 feet of climbing, then don't get caught up in forever trying to reduce weight on your bike.  Fit, tires, good shorts and shoes, shifting, all matter a lot more than weight.  The corollary to this is 1.a that rotating weight matters more than other weight.  Also not true.  People say they can feel the difference, but your power meter does not care.
 
2. For multi-surface riding, at some point you are going to have the wrong tires.  I found this out in a fire road 100k I did a few weeks back.  For 80 percent of the course, my converted hybrid was great, but for the two big downhills I was toast.  My tires were too small, my brakes did not get the job done and my more road-like position was downright scary.  And my ghetto tubeless front tire job burped all its air down to flat.  Knowing your course and the riding you do will help you decide where you land on the tire spectrum.  I started out smaller and now I am gravitating towards much bigger tires, like 2.2s, because I hit sand often enough that I need more float and the bigger tires eat up the washboards better.  Plus that bike has a shock, which I really like in my old age.  I come back feeling less beat up.  
2a. if you buy a bike that can handle bigger tires, you can always go smaller, but you can't go bigger if your bikes only clears 38mm, or whatever.
3a. You can definitely ride a gravel bike on the road with a small tire change.  Alternatively, some tires, like the Schwalbe G-One Speed, has been shown to roll really fast on the road at higher pressures and can handle a lot of off-road riding and sand, if not really aggressive riding or mud.  I am leaning towards trying that tires next.  As I do more mixed surface riding, I think for rides with less than 40 percent road, I am going to go with the 2.2--2.35 tires and for high percentages of road, with 35mm tires.  For the riding I do, the 35-50mm range is kind of the no-man's land of performance.  Not wide enough for a lot of the off-road riding but not particularly fast on the road.

3. Throwing more money at cycling only increases the enjoyment to a certain point.  You mentioned sticker shock and I felt it too as I looked at gravel specific rigs, but don't think that spending 5,000 on a bike is going to make it twice as fun as 2,500 or 4 times as fun as 1,250.  Heck, a $750 bike with a geometry and fit that you like, plus really good tires is going to get you 95 percent of the way to gravel nirvana. 


Quote 1 0
Norcalgeek69
I bought a Niner rlt rdo 2 star build. I wanted a Warbird because I’m a Salsa fan...and I could not justify to entry level price tag on the Warbird. I’ve been grinning since I bought the Niner! I read a lot of reviews and watched a lot of YouTube reviews as well. The Niner really smooths our the bumps on single track and is a very capable road bike.
Have fun shopping ! One thought on fit is to have a fit specialist do measurements for you—I’ve heard this really helps get pedal stroke and positioning right on the money:)
Ncg
Quote 0 0
mtnbikerva1
I did a year or so of research and rode a number of different bikes.
I want a bike I can count on and a great all around performer.
I watch people with Carbon bikes freak out when there bike just falls over when leaned up against something.
Carbon frames in some ways are great, but in others are very weak/frail. Fails catastrophically, Always costly.
Aluminium in most people’s opinion is harsh riding and is a very soft material. Fatigues quickly. Just rubbing against another bike rubs the frame thin. Dents very easily, can also fail catastrophically.
In my opinion if you want to spend once, for a great ride and piece of mind, buy quality titanium.
I have the Litespeed GRAVEL model and I LOVE it!
Great ride quality practically indestructible and a good weight.
My bike takes both 650/27.5.x2.1 And 700x45 tires.
I also have a road bike and do not ride it anymore.
Also has a good warranty if that is ever needed.
Also talk into consideration where you buy it.
Quote 1 0
GHC
Salsa's and Niners are awesome bikes, no doubt.

That said.  IF you don't have a need to run over 38mm rear, AND you want a carbon bike, AND you want to save some coin.....

Check out the Ridley X Trail carbon Ultegra.   If you show a little patience, you can catch one from Competitive or Performance for around $2250 - $2400 during sale season.     The new ones are shipping with Rotor cranks, which is nice if you want flexibility to play with gearing in the future.   

The tire size limitation is a show stopper for many ... if you want more than 38 tire clearance...the Ridley X-trail is not the bike.   If you don't need more than 38, and you want an awesome (imo) gravel bike that will also cross over to pavement if you so choose (I don't), this is a great option imo.  


The Carbon Xtrail is compliant in all the right ways (imo), and on tubeless tires does what I need it to on gravel.  You have to be comfy with the rear tire size limit as I am though. 

Quote 0 0
Alan_D
I went with the Lightspeed Gravel after much thought as well. SRAM 1x11 with 10-42 full pin cassette and 40t chainring on a Gx crank that stays on the bike most of the time. Can climb any paved road with the 700x32mm “road” wheel set installed. Yeah, I am a bit slower than with a full on road bike, but not by that much. And the comfortable ride, handling, and corning traction is amazing. Gearing works well for most gravel rides using the 700x42mm “offroad” wheel set. I have a 38t ring that I install for rides with extended steep climbs. Can move to an even smaller chainring as I get older, if needed. Most $$$ I have spent for any of many bike build projects over the years and no regrets.
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mtnbikerva1
Alan_D wrote:
I went with the Lightspeed Gravel after much thought as well. SRAM 1x11 with 10-42 full pin cassette and 40t chainring on a Gx crank that stays on the bike most of the time. Can climb any paved road with the 700x32mm “road” wheel set installed. Yeah, I am a bit slower than with a full on road bike, but not by that much. And the comfortable ride, handling, and corning traction is amazing. Gearing works well for most gravel rides using the 700x42mm “offroad” wheel set. I have a 38t ring that I install for rides with extended steep climbs. Can move to an even smaller chainring as I get older, if needed. Most $$$ I have spent for any of many bike build projects over the years and no regrets.

I am Di2 Ultegra 50/34 front and SRAM XD10-42 rear.
Works just ok with some rubbing on front derailleur in some gear combinations.

42 is locked out due to too much chain wrap. I do not need it anyhow.
I have Wolf tooth road link on my Ultegra di2 derailleur.
Want to try XT derailleur.
Quote 1 0
ITry2Hide
Hakka MX has to be the best frame I’ve ever owned. I have a Frankenstein drive train. E.13 9x46, xtr gs, wolftooth tanpan, 40t chainring. Ultegra shifter brakes, and a force 1 crank. converted the left shifter to control my dropper post. That Enve fork is butter.

Both 700 x 38 and 27.5 x 2.1.
Quote 0 0
Norcalgeek69
mtnbikerva1 wrote:
I did a year or so of research and rode a number of different bikes.
I want a bike I can count on and a great all around performer.
I watch people with Carbon bikes freak out when there bike just falls over when leaned up against something.
Carbon frames in some ways are great, but in others are very weak/frail. Fails catastrophically, Always costly.
Aluminium in most people’s opinion is harsh riding and is a very soft material. Fatigues quickly. Just rubbing against another bike rubs the frame thin. Dents very easily, can also fail catastrophically.
In my opinion if you want to spend once, for a great ride and piece of mind, buy quality titanium.
I have the Litespeed GRAVEL model and I LOVE it!
Great ride quality practically indestructible and a good weight.
My bike takes both 650/27.5.x2.1 And 700x45 tires.
I also have a road bike and do not ride it anymore.
Also has a good warranty if that is ever needed.
Also talk into consideration where you buy it.
Quote 0 0
Norcalgeek69
I’m curious how much and where did you get data on “catastrophic” failures of gravel bikes?
Just curious:)
Quote 0 0
thefuzzycow
mtnbikerva1 wrote:
Carbon frames in some ways are great, but in others are very weak/frail. Fails catastrophically, Always costly.
Aluminium in most people’s opinion is harsh riding and is a very soft material. Fatigues quickly. Just rubbing against another bike rubs the frame thin. Dents very easily, can also fail catastrophically.


I agree. What data do you have? Or is this just your perception to carbon v aluminum v titanium frames?

Carbon is not what it used to be. It’s not brittle and weak. The carbon lay up on bicycles these days are incredibly strong and durable. Super stiff, lightweight and helps disburse vibration.

Agreed with aluminum being a softer metal, but it’s still extremely durable.

At the end of the day, if you crash, all frames, regardless of material, are at risk for damage and/or fail. The metal frames are welded together. Sure it’s adhered together by the weld and support of the adjoining tube, but it’s a weak point. I see steel, ti and aluminum bikes separate/crack at the welds all the time. Its a risk we all take with bicycles. Proper tire size (so they don’t rub) and care is also important for obvious reasons. Sure carbon bikes might not be able to withstand a blunt force blow like a steel or ti bike would, but that’s not what it’s intended for. We don’t take the bikes out and throw them down a mountain to see which one fares better.

Sure it’s something to consider, but I don’t think it’s a sole point to make a decision off of. Depends on what you want, what your intended use is etc.

Just my thoughts. Good chat though!
-moo
Quote 0 0
Norcalgeek69
mtnbikerva1 wrote:
I did a year or so of research and rode a number of different bikes.
I want a bike I can count on and a great all around performer.
I watch people with Carbon bikes freak out when there bike just falls over when leaned up against something.
Carbon frames in some ways are great, but in others are very weak/frail. Fails catastrophically, Always costly.
Aluminium in most people’s opinion is harsh riding and is a very soft material. Fatigues quickly. Just rubbing against another bike rubs the frame thin. Dents very easily, can also fail catastrophically.
In my opinion if you want to spend once, for a great ride and piece of mind, buy quality titanium.
I have the Litespeed GRAVEL model and I LOVE it!
Great ride quality practically indestructible and a good weight.
My bike takes both 650/27.5.x2.1 And 700x45 tires.
I also have a road bike and do not ride it anymore.
Also has a good warranty if that is ever needed.
Also talk into consideration where you buy it.


Just curious where you got your data regarding "catastrophic" failures?  I was wondering what data did you look at and where did you get sources?

Quote 0 0
mtnbikerva1
Norcalgeek69 wrote:


Just curious where you got your data regarding "catastrophic" failures?  I was wondering what data did you look at and where did you get sources?



from experience.
Quote 0 0
imwjl
Maybe from quality manufacturers needs to be a qualifier. I know and work with bike industry people that include some managers in QC, warranty and engineering. I'm in Trek's and Pacific's back yard. They test stuff where I do a lot of work. Coaches my kids had and have point out the volume of all sorts of bikes and parts with small percentage of failures.

One product manager I know well says the biggest problem with composites is they have to spend a whole lot more for quality control and inspection beyond just the higher labor all composites have.

I'm not kind but not abusive to my bike stuff and am mostly a MTB rider always after going down hills fast or hanging out at a particularly nasty rocky place - greased sharp rock. I have to confess my fears with plastic bikes and parts were unfounded.

My criticisms would be diminishing returns as you spend more than anything. I'm not afraid of composites sold by top tier firms with assembly done right.
Quote 1 0
bcgravel
I have a 2018 Niner RLT RDO with a 1x11 setup. 46t up front, 11-42 rear. All sram force. 
Gravel wheels : Niner alloy setup tubeless w/schwalbe g-one 35mm
Road Wheels : 50mm carbon DIY Bike (ebay) china clinchers/novatec hubs with vittoria graphene 25mm tires w/latex tubes. 
I will have the gravel wheels on 90% of the time and i didnt use my road bike so i sold that and got a cheap pair of china wheels. They've handeled some serious abuse so far, after a few gravel roads between pavement. No complaints so far. 1 less bike to be neglected
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