bethlikesbikes Show full post »
bethlikesbikes wrote:
Wow, so much to consider. I'm honestly not sure how wide I need my tires to be. In PA we have a lot of loose gravel and there are some light singletrack trails through fields that I would ride on. Otherwise, I have a mountain and a road bike, so would probably defer to them for the extremes. I'm going to try to pop into the LBS tomorrow to talk to them about the Ridley X-Trail and they also sell Scott and Kona.

bethlikesbikes I live here in Pa. and have done 2 Pa. gravel rides. No I probably don't need that for Pa(40 mm tire). but if you are ever going to or thinking about going to the MidWest to ride you probably should consider a bike that can fit a 40 mm tire. A mt. bike would work some on the extremes but not your road bike. I will give you an example on a Pa. ride. On the Maple City Century at Honesdale. Lots of riders were riding their roadie bikes with probably 28 mm tires. They really had to pick and choose their lines especially when they were in the rough stuff and also going downhill they had to go slow. At my end with my gravel bike I could let it rip and not really worry about picking my lines. I thought maybe that is what you were getting a gravel bike for to ride in any kind of terrain. I also know the more money you can afford to spend upfront in the beginning as long as the bike fits you the less you will have to spend later on with upgrades.

Good luck in whatever you buy.
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
Quote 0 0
Based on your budget, I think Ridley X-trail fits the bill.
How tall are you and what’s your inseam?
I think you should look at the reach measurement, not necessarily the top tube.

I’m 6’ tall with 33” inseam, and I ride a medium size frame with a 120mm stem.
My daughter is 5’7” with almost the same inseam, and she rides a XS Fuji with a 70mm stem with a 30mm spacer under it.

Ridley does run big in terms of the stack height, as I can’t get the handlebar low enough but that might be beneficial to you. I got the bike for gravel/trail riding as well as riding in the snow and ice (with studded winter tires).
I find the bike to be fun to ride, stiff and generally pretty good but not great.
To me that’s to be expected based on the low price tag of the bike.
My guess is that it might be due to the entire frame (?) being made out of HM Modules carbon fiber.
Having said that, I think the type of tire, size and air pressure may have a bigger affect on the ride.
I also think that the tubeless tire will make a big difference.

Keep your eyes on the funky sizing with the smaller size frames though, as the XXS frame has a longer reach than the XS frame.
If you are comfortable with Fenix, You may want to get a X-trail with the same reach measurement.
Quote 0 0
I'm a happy (biased) Jamis Renegade owner, so I'll throw that in with the suggestions. I use it for everything. The bike is stable, fast, and comfortable, and it has handled gravel abuse with aplomb. It combines a longer wheelbase with fairly aggressive steering geometry.

The Renegade has multiple fork sizes to pair well with different frame sizes, keeping handling consistent. The stack and reach of the size 51 seem like they might be on the money for you, given the lower BB compared to your Fenix. You may be able to find a 2017 Renegade Expert or Elite in your size on clearance. The Elite especially is a really great spec right of the box. For 2018 they added the Escapade, which is a very nice steel Ultegra spec. It's not as light as the carbon models, but it's not a pig either.
Quote 0 0