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Dual 650b/700c Gravel Bikes

Posted March 14, 2016 08:32PM by Skye in the Cycling Forum
Dual 650b/700c Gravel Bikes
#1
CX Gear Gravel Road

Skye
Skye Skye Nott
@TheStaminist   Skye Nott Staminist.com
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 2 years ago   Posts: 493

I'm riding more logging roads every summer, but many of the back country FSRs around here are steep and loose enough that 35mm CX tires don't quite give enough grip on climbs, float across the rough stuff, or soak up the hits and washboard. Personally, I like doing all-day adventure rides in the interior mountain ranges of British Columbia, so mixed terrain capability and climbing speed are more important to me than ripping the downhills or getting max speed on the flat smooth roads that get you to the next range. Any bike is necessarily a set of trade-offs that depend on your particular needs and interests.

My choices used to be either a cyclocross bike with the widest 700c tires that would fit, or a hardtail/rigid 26er/650b mountain bike, but in the last couple years the all-road bike scene has exploded. There's even more options in 2016 and I'm especially excited about the new breed of drop-bar gravel bikes designed to accept multiple wheel sizes: 700c or 650b. The mix-and-match of components and geometry between all the cycling disciplines is opening up lots of new possibilities.

I'm slow to decide on anything, and some of these new frames are far from cheap, so I'm going to post some of the options below and update it as I research more options. Also going to add the Salsa Cutthroat and Marin Pine Mountain 1 to this list later, as the lines between MTB and gravel bike get more blurred - it really seems like there's going to be a bike for everyone's style. Not to mention the Cannondale Slate with it's oddball lefty fork. There's probably a bunch of interesting options in the WTB Road Plus compatibility list that bears exploration, although many of those won't fit 650b knobbies.

What do you think about dual 650b/700c adventure bikes? Got any news/reviews/favorite bikes to add? Post your comments below

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TORTOUR_Cyclocross_Open_UP_Winterberg.jpg

Skye
Skye Skye Nott
@TheStaminist   Skye Nott Staminist.com
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 2 years ago   Posts: 493

Here we have the Open U.P. (Unbeaten Path) which was released in the summer of 2015 so there are quite a few out on the trails already, and might be correctly called a trailblazing model in this category. If there are similar bikes that predate the U.P. please correct me.

U.P. (Unbeaten Path) combines a performance-oriented cross/road geometry & parts with clearance for mountain bike tires. So you can ride anywhere, and ride fast. Get out of town on asphalt, hit the gravel roads or switch to singletrack. The geometry gets you there fast; the big tires make you unstoppable.

The website says it can fit 650b mountain bike wheels with tires up to 2.1" wide, or 700c wheels with cross tires up to 40mm, or anything other combo that has a total radius of about 340-350mm and allows 6mm clearance between tire and frame.

It features a full carbon frame and fork, and fully internal cables and hoses which may or may not be a feature depending on your personal preferences. Premium product for a premium price, available as a frameset for $2,900 USD

Specifications
Frame:           OPEN U.P.
Frame sizes:     S, M, L, XL
Frame weight:    1150g (size L)
Fork:            3T Luteus II Team with 15mm thru axle (included)
BB std:          BB386EVO
Chainring fit:   Max inner ring: 36t
Max outer ring:  50t (more is overkill with the bigger tires)
Max single ring: 50t (flat rings, best cassette alignment)
Max single ring: 46t (SRAM 1x offset ring, GXP axle)
Max single ring: 44t (SRAM 1x offset ring, 30mm axle)
Headset std:     Integrated Tapered IS42/28.6 | IS52/40
Seatpost Ø:      27.2mm
Rear axle std:   142x12mm thru axle
Rear brake std:  Post mount for 160mm disc
Cable routing:   Internal via exchangeable MultiStops for 1x10/11, 2x10/11, Di2
Bag mount:       100mm front-post-to-bearing-bore-edge
Incl. in box:    Frame, fork, headset, seat collar, front thru-axle, spare rear hanger




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Skye
Skye Skye Nott
@TheStaminist   Skye Nott Staminist.com
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 2 years ago   Posts: 493

Here we have the very attractive Crema Cycles Duo which will fit a 700x40mm or 27.5x2.2" wheel & tire combo. Steel frame + ENVE CX fork made by an expat living in Bavaria. More details TBD their website is under construction




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Skye
Skye Skye Nott
@TheStaminist   Skye Nott Staminist.com
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 2 years ago   Posts: 493

Another new bike for 2016 is the Rawland Ravn

After seven production models over the past eight years, Rawland has made an evolutionary leap with our latest model, the new Ravn, a convergence of everything we’ve learned cycling off the beaten path for decades and countless miles, as well as researching, developing, and refining concepts for thousands of hours.

Available spring 2016 as a complete bike running disc brakes, the Ravn is the first in an entirely new category we call All-Road Enduro, with a focus on high speed, high performance, and comfort over long distances on mixed terrain. The frameset and wheel-tire combo have been painstakingly designed for maximum “float” over rough stuff like gravel, fire roads, and singletrack, without compromising performance on pavement.

The Ravn features low-trail geometry, intuitive handling, and an exclusive, high-performance Rawland Staal [4130 steel] tubeset, for incredible responsiveness and energy return, ultralight strength, and an incomparably lively feel. This performance-tuned frameset, combined with 26-inch wheels running supple 55mm Compass Rat Trap Pass tires, makes riders feel like they’re pedaling a perpetual-motion machine.

And while optimized for 26" x 55mm and 650B x 42mm with fenders (effective outer diameter of wheel approximately 673mm), the Ravn's disc configuration allows riders to also run up to 650B x 58mm [2.28"] and 700C x 43mm sans fenders.


Looks like a very capable and cool bike. The style is a little more flannel than lycra, as you would probably expect from a Portland handmade bike brand. Available around April 2016 for $2,999 USD complete.

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rawland-ravn-2016.jpg 68.3 KB open | download
rawland-ravn-2016.jpg

Skye
Skye Skye Nott
@TheStaminist   Skye Nott Staminist.com
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 2 years ago   Posts: 493

The Kona Sutra LTD comes at this new all-road segment from a different angle.

A really interesting design, basically they took their decade old long-distance touring Sutra, gave it a more aggressive cyclocross geometry, and fitted a hydraulic mountain bike groupset with disc brakes. The bikepacking roots still show through in many areas, the mid-length chainstay, tall head tube, and steel frame for instance (which is reported to be pretty stiff without any pack load, but that could be softened by switching to higher volume 650b wheels)

The Sutra LTD represents the converging trajectories of mountain and road bike parts. The focus of the design and specification allude to its multi-surface capabilities. Do the Oregon Outback (and if you don’t know get Googlin’), ride that extra section of trail on the way home from work, do that gravel loop you’ve always wanted to do. Let the Sutra LTD be your steed (or mare).

Frame Features:
The new Sutra geometry is based on our new CX geometry but uses a taller head tube and longer top tube as well as a 50mm offset fork to help improve tire clearance and limit toe overlap. The frame has a replaceable derailleur hanger on the rear dropout for unexpected issues during a trip, hidden fender eyelets inside the seatstays, and simple external cable routing for both shifters. The frame has two water-bottle bosses on the inside of the triangle and one on the underside. The new Sutra frame has a 1 ⅛" head tube and a newly designed fork has tapered blades for a more compliant ride, as well as forward-facing dropouts with two fender/rack eyelets and a set of water-bottle bosses in the low rider position for maximum rack compatibility. The seatstays on the Sutra have been thinned down slightly to help reduce chatter and provide a clean look. The Sutra frame uses slightly heavier gauge tubing than the Rove frame to provide a stiffer platform for heavier loads.


I haven't been able to find a max width for 650b/27.5 tires but the model is listed on the WTB Road Plus compatibility list

Price is $2499 CAD complete or $499 CAD for the frameset, so that's a plus

Specification Highlights
Frame Material: Kona Cromoly Butted
Wheels:         WTB Frequency Team i23 Tubeless
Fork:           Project Two Disc
Crankset:       RaceFace Æffect
Drivetrain:     SRAM XG1150 10-42 XD Driver
Cockpit:        Kona Road bar, Kona XC/Road stem
Brakes:         SRAM Rival 1x
Tires:          Schwalbe Mondial 700x47c folding bead
Saddle:         WTB SL8

I'm not sure about the 1x drivetrain but it does look very capable:


Attachments

kona-sutra-ltd.jpg 58.2 KB open | download
kona-sutra-ltd.jpg
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