lawnman
New member and new to gravel. Great forum. I have a mtb background most recently full suspension. 48 years young btw.Looking for something to do some hard pack dirt roads, some pavement, but not much. Mainly this would be connecting some dirt roads and farm roads . Not looking to race and want a comfortable geometry for 3 hour rides or so. Would like the bike to have room for 40c tires. This will be my first drop bar bike so this riding style is new to me . Originally wanted a steel frame and might still go this way. But....I found a great deal on a carbon warbird. Rival build. Bike fits me great. Seems like comfortable ride position but the bike did seem slightly harsh in the ride quality with the stock 37c tires. Maybe tubeless 40c's feel better? Anyway is this a bike that is to aggressive and race inspired to be comfortable for general riding I have described? Thx!
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chunkylover53
Sounds like a good choice for you.   Tire size and pressure are key for comfort (and geo and fit, which seems to work for you) - so no doubt a bigger tire, tubeless, at lower pressure will help a lot.  And the warbird can take up to a 44 - so I'd go closer to that size.  For me it was a toss up between the warbird and cutthroat.  I went cutthroat simply because I do a little more bike packing, and sometimes like to ride some mtb trails that are on my normal gravel routes.   I'm a big fan of steel too, and the ride is tough to beat.   But I'd recommend getting a bike that can take 43-44 tires.   You could also consider something like the Kona Rove series - runs 650 wheels, and comes stock with 47 tires.  Others may disagree with me, but other than fit, ability to run a wide variety of tire sizes is perhaps the most important consideration (especially if, like around me, the gravel is deep and coarse).  Good luck
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lawnman
Ok good to hear. Was worried about the carbon being to harsh. 40c tires I think would be fine. I am in Florida and south georgia and we don't have any "gravel" here. Mostly red clay dirt roads that wind through plantations and public greenway area parks with maintained dirt road system. But sometimes connecting all of this together with some pavement thrown in. No bickpacking or need for fenders at this point.
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lawnman
Of course tomorrow I'll be checking out the new Trek Checkpoint online. Looking forward to the build and geometry!
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chunkylover53
Given the terrain you ride, then the warbird sounds pretty ideal.  The carbon is designed for comfort (same stays as the cutthroat), plus it allows you to run larger rings that something like the cutthroat.  The Trek looks good too - I have friends who swear by their Domanes etc. and the decoupler.  Supposed to be pretty comfy.
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dangle
lawnman wrote:
Seems like comfortable ride position but the bike did seem slightly harsh in the ride quality with the stock 37c tires. Maybe tubeless 40c's feel better?


Any idea what the tire pressure was set at? I'm 190+ lbs and wouldn't ride tires that size over 40 psi. Normally I'm around 30-33psi on 40mm tires. No frame, seat and handlebars are going to be soft enough to overcome overly inflated tires. It would be worth taking a tire gauge, setting the tires closer to a psi that equals your bodyweight divided by five, and test riding again before pulling the trigger on something that expensive.
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lawnman
Good advice I will take. Wasn't sure what an ideal pressure would be on a tire that size. I do think they were a little over inflated. I know they still had tube in as well. I am probably 158 lbs ready to ride.
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NoCoGreg
+1 on the advice from Dangle...  IMHO for fully rigid bikes the tires make the largest difference in ride. Then wheels/spokes and finally the frame. 
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lawnman
Thx guys. So looks like the general consensus is that the warbird is as comfortable as any other carbon gravel bike then? Sounds good. Might just pull the trigger on it then
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moe53
The Warbird with that size tire should not ride harshly. I have 38's on mine at 33 front 35 rear. I weigh just a bit less than you. Latex tubes are a good choice if you don't want to deal with tubeless. 37c is plenty big enough for farm and dirt roads.
Enlightenment begins where the pavement ends. [idea]
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lawnman
Moe you have a carbon warbird? Cool. I suppose it's just me getting used to riding with no suspension. 40c tires would probably be comfy then. Thx all!
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moe53
It is a Ti Warbird, no longer available. I have been riding a rigid mtb for 10 years, after full suspension for 15 years. if you have been on a full sus there is a different technique involved. You need to get off the saddle a bit and use weight shift. You'll get used to it. The most important thing is the bike has to fit you and proper tire pressure, I like to go low but not enough to pinch flat.
Enlightenment begins where the pavement ends. [idea]
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tacopastorius
I rode a carbon Warbird w/ Clement MSO 40’s for about two years, and it is a fantastic, comfortable bike. I would highly recommend it, especially at a good deal.
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clarksonxc
moe53 wrote:
The Warbird with that size tire should not ride harshly. I have 38's on mine at 33 front 35 rear. I weigh just a bit less than you. Latex tubes are a good choice if you don't want to deal with tubeless. 37c is plenty big enough for farm and dirt roads.


Moe - do you have a source on wide latex tubes?  The only ones I've seen are from Challenge, which are listed as 29-38mm.  I am sure you can go wider than that, but I'm not sure how much.  They're also fairly expensive, but that's expected.

Lawnman - I have a '17 carbon Warbird and I love it.  Very light and responsive bike.  I second what the others have said here - tire pressure is the #1 element that can affect comfort.  For the riding you described I wouldn't normally recommend an expensive carbon bike (originally I was thinking Vaya when you described you needs) but if you found a good deal, go for it!

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moe53
Clarkson, Yes I have been using the Challenge latex tubes with Challenge Gravel Grinder 38c 120tpi tires. I have had excellent results with these tires and tubes. Latex is very flexible, I'm sure they could be used in a larger tire but I don't know what the limit is.
Enlightenment begins where the pavement ends. [idea]
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cheamhale
Warbirds is s great bike but beware that it doesn't have rack/fender mounts making bikepacking/touring a bit more difficult if you ever want to go down that rabbit hole.
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chas
lawnman wrote:
Thx guys. So looks like the general consensus is that the warbird is as comfortable as any other carbon gravel bike then? Sounds good. Might just pull the trigger on it then


Niner RTL RDO is probably the most cush gravel bike, and is comparable to the warbird.  Tires and frames are about 50-50 on ride comfort - both make a big difference.  But riding a 40cm tire at 30 psi is pretty cush.

Carbon used to be stiff in the old days, because that was the fashion.  These days cush is in fashion (laterally stiff, vertically compliant).  Carbon gives the frame maker a large leeway to do what they want.  Steel is great if you do solo riding, but its hard to keep up with a fast group ride if you are carrying an extra 5-10lbs and your frame isn't responsive.  

I think you'll like the warbird, if you don't need to hang racks or fenders off of it.  Cuthroat is going to give you bigger tires (more of a MTB frame with mounting points) and Niner a bit more cush for comparison.
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chunkyhugo
moe53 wrote:
The Warbird with that size tire should not ride harshly. I have 38's on mine at 33 front 35 rear. I weigh just a bit less than you. Latex tubes are a good choice if you don't want to deal with tubeless. 37c is plenty big enough for farm and dirt roads.

X2. Plus another point to consider is that we are gravel riding, not mountain biking. If you set up your tyres with too much comfort in mind, you could be struggling to get any momentum on road or easier track sections. It's about finding a balance through experimenting with different pressures.
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Zurichman
Lawman I was just down in your area riding this weekend on the Dirty Pecan. That is the first time I rode on clay. Sweet for sure. I was on my Raleigh Roker which is all carbon. At 200 lbs I was riding around 40 lbs front and back and it seemed a good mix on the Clement mso 40mm(now Donnley) tires. At your weight you can run less but you don't want to go too low that you burp a tire.

Zman
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
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NoCoGreg
Zurichman wrote:

...  At 200 lbs I was riding around 40 lbs front and back and it seemed a good mix on the Clement mso 40mm(now Donnley) tires.

Zman, if you haven't already tried this I'm pretty much the same weight as you and for gravel and mtb I run about 5 psi lower in the front than rear.  On the road I recently went to 7 to 8 psi difference as the pressure is much higher so the percentage difference is less.  Just a thot...

Greg

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chas
I do the same. My bikes weight balance is 40/60, so I try to approximate that with my tire pressure. I also look at the contact patch when riding through water and make sure the size is equal (at least 50% the width of the tire).
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Zurichman
NoCoGreg wrote:

Zman, if you haven't already tried this I'm pretty much the same weight as you and for gravel and mtb I run about 5 psi lower in the front than rear.  On the road I recently went to 7 to 8 psi difference as the pressure is much higher so the percentage difference is less.  Just a thot...

Greg



you are right NoCoGreg. I did run 5 lbs. lower when I raced at the Pony Express in Kansas as that was real gravel and flint there. On the Dirty Pecan this weekend it was all clay and very smooth. Lots of the local riders were riding roadie bikes with 28 mm or maybe 32 mm tires on them. The only guys I saw with flats were the guys 200 lbs. + or maybe some that were trying to run too skinny of tires. At my end I will take a weight penalty or slower tire over a thin/fast tire. I am not a racer or at least not yet. I would have to get back in shape for that and might have thoughts about going out and trying to place in my age group time will tell. Greg if you know gearing could you comment on my trying to get lower gearing for the Bootlegger 100 over on the Roker Review thread 

Thanks
Zman
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
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Zurichman
dangle wrote:


Any idea what the tire pressure was set at? I'm 190+ lbs and wouldn't ride tires that size over 40 psi. Normally I'm around 30-33psi on 40mm tires. No frame, seat and handlebars are going to be soft enough to overcome overly inflated tires. It would be worth taking a tire gauge, setting the tires closer to a psi that equals your bodyweight divided by five, and test riding again before pulling the trigger on something that expensive.


dangle question for you. I am around the 200 lb range now. I was somewhat surprised on you saying you were running 30-33 psi. I thought that was for the 150 -160 lb riders. I heard that last year lots of riders were burping tires on the downhills at DK200 because they were running too low of psi. Have you ever burped a tire at that psi? At my end(roadie) it sure is tuff getting use to riding a 1/2 flat tire. I came bailing off the mt one time this summer as I thought my tire was going flat. There was no way I wanted to get stuck up in the mt. with no car traffic and no cell phone coverage in case I couldn't get the tire fixed. Turned out there wasn't anything wrong with the tire at all it has been a tough learning curve for me for sure.

Thanks
Zman
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
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chas
Burping is partially an issue of the right tire/wheel combo.  With a good wheel and a bead lock shelf (on the inner channel) and the appropriate tubless tire, you should not burp.  I use skinnystrippers and even getto tubless don't burp.

Here is the famous tire pressure chart - should help with weight/pressure questions:

[bertopresschart] 
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