Thinking about a gravel bike

cantunamunch

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I just got this trek Domane Al5. It's considered endurance. Notice how high the bars are? That's higher than the gravel race bikes generally. So there is some crossover. I already put one spacer above the stem since this pic.

If I really wanted to confuse OP, I'd post a pic of a Van Dessel WTF and point out that the bars are actually lower...oh nvm here it is.

1674667571099.png
 
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mikes781

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Lol I think I’m going to go into a shop and just pick up something with a sweet banana seat and tassels hanging from the handlebars.
 

cantunamunch

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Lol I think I’m going to go into a shop and just pick up something with a sweet banana seat and tassels hanging from the handlebars.

I laughed.

Train your eye, bud.

I'm sure @scott43 and probably the rest of the folks in the thread can tell just by looking at the pic that what I posted is very comfort oriented. The long long chainstays, the slack head tube and the tight saddle-to-cockpit distance scream 'cruiser' compared to even his Domane. But if I was going out for a long muddy or beach-sandy day out, of the two I would not pick the Domane.
 

dan ross

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I laughed.

Train your eye, bud.

I'm sure @scott43 and probably the rest of the folks in the thread can tell just by looking at the pic that what I posted is very comfort oriented. The long long chainstays, the slack head tube and the tight saddle-to-cockpit distance scream 'cruiser' compared to even his Domane. But if I was going out for a long muddy or beach-sandy day out, of the two I would not pick the Domane.
Yeah, the radius of the top tube/seat stays is interesting and implies comfort.
 

scott43

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I laughed.

Train your eye, bud.

I'm sure @scott43 and probably the rest of the folks in the thread can tell just by looking at the pic that what I posted is very comfort oriented. The long long chainstays, the slack head tube and the tight saddle-to-cockpit distance scream 'cruiser' compared to even his Domane. But if I was going out for a long muddy or beach-sandy day out, of the two I would not pick the Domane.
Yeah and for me, 80-90% of my riding is on pavement/bad pavement with some odd gravel bits thrown in, so I'm good with the shorter wheelbase/chainstays. For more serious goop, probably longer is better. At risk of driving a couch... :)
 

scott43

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What is your "15+ year old" MTB? Hardtails can be great gravel bikes.
I actually had my 2012 Giant XTC setup as a gravel bike kinda. In the end I just wanted one road bike and I'll look at a new slack HT later. But yeah it wasn't bad.
 

wooglin

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It’s Gary Fisher Cobia 29er… hard tail with front suspension.
Assuming the fork has lock out and the bike still fits, with fast rolling tires and a tune up to make sure everything works that bike would be absolutely fine for what you describe and a good option if you're strapped for funds. If you just want a new bike, don't agonize over the details. Go to every shop you can, ride everything they have in your price range (even just a couple of laps around the parking lot will give you a lot of information), and pick the one that speaks to you. Also a good idea to ride some bikes that are a little above your price level just to get a better handle on what you should expect.
 
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mikes781

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Bike is in decent shape but needs a tuneup and probably new wheels. I bent one of the rims, Front shock is spongy but I think it just needs some air. Not sure I want to put much money into it at this point. I’ve got a list of a few shops that I’m going to visit this weekend if I don’t ski. I really do appreciate all the help/advice!
 

cantunamunch

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Bike is in decent shape but needs a tuneup and probably new wheels. I bent one of the rims, Front shock is spongy but I think it just needs some air. Not sure I want to put much money into it at this point. I’ve got a list of a few shops that I’m going to visit this weekend if I don’t ski. I really do appreciate all the help/advice!

You need a shop where you're on a beer and cookies relationship with at least one mechanic :)
 

cantunamunch

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So...which parts of NJ and adjacent states you plan on riding?
 
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mikes781

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Nearby in Southern NJ there are a number of trails/unpaved roads in an called the Pine Barrens. These are flat sandy trails. There is also a nice long tow path not too far away along the Delaware River. I do see people road riding on our local roads. Within an hour or two there are lots of opportunities in Eastern PA and Northern NJ.
 

bitflogger

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Delay gratification and try stuff. Look into the differences of a higher vs lower stack and top tube lengths. The comment that AL can ride is in part true but for carry and long-term the treaded fittings of a steel and ti frame can be better.

1x simplicity is great but 2x can make a lot of sense for some riding. It is a matter of range and narrower splits between gears. Along with the drive train and tire diversity that is fantastic there are bikes more towards racer and tourer. Know those differences and get what's right for you.

We've had and still have a few in this category. Budgets have been modest through my Route 45 (Moots). It was initial shock but no regrets on the Moots. My wife's favorite is more an off road tourer and it moves great on pavement with the right tires.

Frame bags are best friends.

One more. Differences in ti are more than one might think. Lots are OEM tube sets. Moots has several diameters, sleeves butting. You get the magic ride with more performance and something you can absolutely beat on that lasts and cleans up well. My prior steel frame also put up with about anything.

2NWT9jo.jpg
 

Tom K.

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s an all-road bike also called an endurance road bike and do they just have a more upright/relaxed geometry compared to a regular road bike with similar gearing?

Pretty much spot on. Of course there are nuances between brands, and these can matter -- or not.

If in doubt, it is hard to argue against the Domane IMO, and @scott43 hit the meaty part of the value to quality ratio. If you truly plan to emphasize gravel, the Checkpoint wins. Of course, other brands have similar choices between dedicated gravel, pure road, and endurance road.
 

crosscountry

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Nearby in Southern NJ there are a number of trails/unpaved roads in an called the Pine Barrens. These are flat sandy trails. There is also a nice long tow path not too far away along the Delaware River. I do see people road riding on our local roads. Within an hour or two there are lots of opportunities in Eastern PA and Northern NJ.
In southern Jersey, I'd go with a Domane or equivalent. Basically relaxed road geometry with disc brake that can fit fat'ish tires. The sandy trail of Pine Barrens favors fat tires but no other demand on ruggedness or handling to justify the Checkpoint.

If you take it to Northern Jersey, things get complicated. There're increasingly rugged trails the Domane aren't best for. Same for eastern PA. The trade off between those 2 being, the Checkpoint are heavier, and not half as responsive. "Too much meat" for your primary day to day riding out your front door.
 

cantunamunch

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In southern Jersey, I'd go with a Domane or equivalent. Basically relaxed road geometry with disc brake that can fit fat'ish tires. The sandy trail of Pine Barrens favors fat tires but no other demand on ruggedness or handling to justify the Checkpoint.

Yep. Fat tires. And he'll want to be able to stay down out of the wind.

If you take it to Northern Jersey, things get complicated. There're increasingly rugged trails the Domane aren't best for. Same for eastern PA. The trade off between those 2 being, the Checkpoint are heavier, and not half as responsive. "Too much meat" for your primary day to day riding out your front door.

Exactly. This is why I asked the question above.

The Domane would be a nice workhorse for on-road riding there, with the ability to handle repeated punchy climbs. But off-road not so much.
 
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