I'm trying to decide on an all purpose gravel bike that will serve as my only ride. I will use the bike for gravel rides of varying lengths, short and long, riding on the road and paved trails, commuting, and some light single track. I have narrowed it down to: Niner RLT 9 in steel or carbon (3 star build with shimano 105), the new 2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon 105, the Norco Search, or the Trek Checkpoint SL5. Although I will attempt to try all the bikes first, tracking down the Niners, the Salsa, and the Norco in my neck of the woods is next to impossible. The Niners and the Salsa are particularly intriguing to me as I often find myself between a 58cm and 61cm frame and they come in 59. Any insights on these bikes would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Nice bikes in that list. I enjoyed trying them. One of the dealers was stocked well and also had Konas. I ended up liking the Sutra Ltd and with time like it even more. It's not really a racy or weight weenie bike but it really does about anything including single track and touring.
FYI about the 1x. Most of the time I love the 1x simplicity but there have been a few times when I can tell my wife, son or a riding buddy has a ratio between mine.
A friend with same bike is running smaller tires than the 50mm here but I love the MSO 50s set up as tubeless for the truly does anything bike. That friend says this is the bike you buy if you want to do pavement and a jump line in same ride and rarely use your car.