Author Topic: Does anyone know what gravel is?  (Read 6575 times)

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #200 on: September 10, 2018, 12:41:32 pm »
All this talk makes me feel that a 650B bike with discs, racks and guards would be quite nice (with generous clearances - 38 or 40mm would be fine). Of course it would have to have a triple chainset and no more than 9, preference 8, pinions which fortunately probably counts out most of the current production (and needs well laid back seat tube as well).
Specialized Diverge is available with 8-speed, double not triple though. Or was last year. Shimano Claris, I think.

The Diverge suffers from one great failing, the seat angle is far too steep for me. The slammed stem would need a workaround but apart a look a bit bizarre that's not a deal stopper. The 700C wheels would have to be chucked of course, at first sight the site doesn't appear to be offering 650 as a base offer but perhaps I missed it somewhere. But the dealstopper is the seat angle, my current frames aren't as steep and already I am on max layback on seatposts. Fortunately that kills the affair before Mme does.
Doubt if there's a 650 option, either B or C or indeed A. Does anyone still make 650A tyres and rims?* I was mentioning it more as evidence that Shimano still do make 8-speed transmissions and somebody is using them in gravel-type things.

*Turns out SJS at least still do, probably more because it's the same as ye olde British roadster 26" x 13/8 rather than as French size, IYSWIM – which I didn't until just now.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #201 on: September 10, 2018, 09:24:36 pm »
All this talk makes me feel that a 650B bike with discs, racks and guards would be quite nice (with generous clearances - 38 or 40mm would be fine). Of course it would have to have a triple chainset and no more than 9, preference 8, pinions which fortunately probably counts out most of the current production (and needs well laid back seat tube as well).
Specialized Diverge is available with 8-speed, double not triple though. Or was last year. Shimano Claris, I think.

The Diverge suffers from one great failing, the seat angle is far too steep for me. The slammed stem would need a workaround but apart a look a bit bizarre that's not a deal stopper. The 700C wheels would have to be chucked of course, at first sight the site doesn't appear to be offering 650 as a base offer but perhaps I missed it somewhere. But the dealstopper is the seat angle, my current frames aren't as steep and already I am on max layback on seatposts. Fortunately that kills the affair before Mme does.
Doubt if there's a 650 option, either B or C or indeed A. Does anyone still make 650A tyres and rims?* I was mentioning it more as evidence that Shimano still do make 8-speed transmissions and somebody is using them in gravel-type things.

*Turns out SJS at least still do, probably more because it's the same as ye olde British roadster 26" x 13/8 rather than as French size, IYSWIM – which I didn't until just now.

Specialized mention the possibility of fitting 650B tyres with a huge section, they just don't seem to offer them fitted to a bike out of the box. Looking around there are several "gravel/adventure" bikes either specifically fitted with 650B tyes or with them as an option. For me personally Surly would appear to be the best bet with two models - Straggler and Midnight Special - with specifically 650B versions (and they sell the framesets - my local LBS should be able to get them, he got my clubmate a disc Trucker. Surly geometry seems to be me-compliant!

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #202 on: September 11, 2018, 08:56:21 am »
The Midnight Special is a development of the Pacer, one of which I have and a very fine bicycle it is too. The Pacer is not a gravel bike but can certainly be ridden over gravel. I don't think the Midnight Special is actually particularly like the Pacer though, whatever they say. And the Straggler is quite a lot like a Cross Check with disc brakes, so should be great for gravel and stuff. I see they've also got something called the Pack Rat, which has 650B in larger sizes and 26" in smaller sizes, and "is specifically designed around porteur-style racks and front-loading optimization." Sounds very bike-packing-y.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #203 on: September 11, 2018, 12:25:11 pm »
The Pack Rat has rim brakes. I must look to see what rims they use on the 650B version, there are not too many that are not disc specific.
I think the Midnight Special would appear to be as close as one could get to a modern randonneuse.

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #204 on: September 11, 2018, 01:48:40 pm »
Speaking of tyre sizes and ‘gravel’, there’s a good recap of the early years of mountain biking by Tom Ritchey here:

https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-podcast/pocast-tom-ritchey-on-the-birth-and-coming-of-age-of-the-mountain-bike/

He likens the Repack Road guys to downhill racers as opposed to his and Jobst Brandt’s interest in long rides with 30 miles of cross-country along the way. What he describes sounds as close to ‘gravel’ as anything else. I usually find Ritchey surprisingly eloquent through his slow drawl, and his reverence for Brandt always impresses me.

Well worth a listen.

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #205 on: September 12, 2018, 12:27:47 pm »
Just catching up on this thread.
I used 44mm compass tires on TCR this year and they worked out a treat. A few riders had similar set ups with varying widths.
There were many stories of woe particularly down in the Balkans about sealed roads deteriorating into tracks/gravel/dirt. (parcour at 4th checkpoint was all unsealed track up a mountain)
Wide tires are good insurance if you are directional challenged like me.


All the gear and no idea.Three dimensionally dyslexic.

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #206 on: September 13, 2018, 10:22:17 am »
Speaking of tyre sizes and ‘gravel’, there’s a good recap of the early years of mountain biking by Tom Ritchey here:

https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-podcast/pocast-tom-ritchey-on-the-birth-and-coming-of-age-of-the-mountain-bike/

He likens the Repack Road guys to downhill racers as opposed to his and Jobst Brandt’s interest in long rides with 30 miles of cross-country along the way. What he describes sounds as close to ‘gravel’ as anything else. I usually find Ritchey surprisingly eloquent through his slow drawl, and his reverence for Brandt always impresses me.

Well worth a listen.
I listened to it. Interesting in parts certainly. I wish he'd said a bit more about the weakness of the rear through-axle standard (for a start, which standard?). About standards and development of parts and so on he was interesting. As for Repack, I think it's clearly (assuming what I've read about it is accurate) downhill and downhilling.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #207 on: September 14, 2018, 01:50:43 pm »
I wish he'd said a bit more about the weakness of the rear through-axle standard (for a start, which standard?).

That also intrigued me, not that I’m likely to use any through-axle if I can avoid it.

It is clear even without Ritchey’s comments that the industry is reverting to less standardisation, and where standards exist they’re not always thought through or likely to last. Gravel bikes have a lot of new technology, which is problematic since new standards are sometimes needed to make it work well (like through-axles for disc brakes). Consequently a lot of these bicycles will not be serviceable in just a few years, although the buyers mostly won’t care because they’ll have new, new bicycles by then. This consumerism causes me more distress than it should but the world spins on. The truth is I was born about forty years late.

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #208 on: September 14, 2018, 04:47:38 pm »

Doubt if there's a 650 option, either B or C or indeed A. Does anyone still make 650A tyres and rims?* I was mentioning it more as evidence that Shimano still do make 8-speed transmissions and somebody is using them in gravel-type things.

*Turns out SJS at least still do, probably more because it's the same as ye olde British roadster 26" x 13/8 rather than as French size, IYSWIM – which I didn't until just now.

erm, most of the rim sizes that you might think of as being 'French' and know as '650B' and '700C' etc are actually sizes that were originated by Dunlop over 110 years ago. 650B (584mm BSD) is just another name for 26 x 1-1/2" and 700C (622mm BSD) is just another name for 28 x 1-3/4" wheel size.  See this chart (which was published in 1911, by which time the sizes were already well established);



Each 'wire edge' (Dunlop) rim lip stands 7/32" above the bead seat diameter. Thus if you subtract 9/16" from each OD measurement you get the BSD values. interesting the six sizes listed there all still exist, although 28x1-3/8" size is nearly extinct.

There are still new bikes being made with 26 x 1-3/8" tyres and rims.

cheers

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #209 on: September 16, 2018, 01:29:22 pm »

Doubt if there's a 650 option, either B or C or indeed A. Does anyone still make 650A tyres and rims?* I was mentioning it more as evidence that Shimano still do make 8-speed transmissions and somebody is using them in gravel-type things.

*Turns out SJS at least still do, probably more because it's the same as ye olde British roadster 26" x 13/8 rather than as French size, IYSWIM – which I didn't until just now.

erm, most of the rim sizes that you might think of as being 'French' and know as '650B' and '700C' etc are actually sizes that were originated by Dunlop over 110 years ago. 650B (584mm BSD) is just another name for 26 x 1-1/2" and 700C (622mm BSD) is just another name for 28 x 1-3/4" wheel size.  See this chart (which was published in 1911, by which time the sizes were already well established);



Each 'wire edge' (Dunlop) rim lip stands 7/32" above the bead seat diameter. Thus if you subtract 9/16" from each OD measurement you get the BSD values. interesting the six sizes listed there all still exist, although 28x1-3/8" size is nearly extinct.

There are still new bikes being made with 26 x 1-3/8" tyres and rims.

cheers

The other tyre size that is often forgotten these days (although I believe they are very common in NL) is the 635mm rim standard (700B). It is common to the "real" all-road bikes, those commonly sold in west Africa and which are either ss or 3sp. I guess it must be 28x1 1/2" (the size of "Bobby" bikes).

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #210 on: September 16, 2018, 02:28:59 pm »
635 lasted for quite a while in Oz but the tough one to get is 642. A friend has several bikes with 642 wheels and virtually no tyre options at all.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Does anyone know what gravel is?
« Reply #211 on: September 19, 2018, 12:21:49 pm »
I wish he'd said a bit more about the weakness of the rear through-axle standard (for a start, which standard?).

That also intrigued me, not that I’m likely to use any through-axle if I can avoid it.

It is clear even without Ritchey’s comments that the industry is reverting to less standardisation, and where standards exist they’re not always thought through or likely to last. Gravel bikes have a lot of new technology, which is problematic since new standards are sometimes needed to make it work well (like through-axles for disc brakes). Consequently a lot of these bicycles will not be serviceable in just a few years, although the buyers mostly won’t care because they’ll have new, new bicycles by then. This consumerism causes me more distress than it should but the world spins on. The truth is I was born about forty years late.
Agree about the proliferation of standards, to the extent that they're sometimes only "standard" to one manufacturer. I'd have thought through-axles should be pretty durable items so they're probably not going to suffer availability problems, though we'll see if other problems emerge, but some bottom brackets for instance are certainly going to be problematic to obtain. But then, as Brucey's and LWaB's posts show, multiplicity of standards (and of names for standards) is not a new thing.

What he said about the LeMond effect on American bike manufacturing was interesting too. I don't think we've noticed a similar Wiggins-Froome-Thomas-Yates effect, but of course manufacturing and lots else has changed in the intervening decades.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)