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Two skinny J's
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21,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's your landing zone.
 
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Two skinny J's
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21,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd love to buy/build a gravel bike but there is literally nowhere to ride "true" gravel for hours from here.
 
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YAY BAIKS!
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1,631 Posts
I’m bewildered by gravel bikes. I understand taking a road bike and putting some thicker knobby tires on it and riding on gravel but the entire gravel genre feels a little manufactured when it comes to companies making gravel bikes. My bewilderment only grows when the whole “bikepacking” thing gets thrown in on top of it.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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4,286 Posts
I like it because it is basically a more versatile and comfortable "road" bike that is a bit heavier, allows for moderate offroad singletrack, or gravel roads as well as any paved surface with less worries of flats. My true road bike is not comfy for all day riding and riding it is stressful as far as picking a path free of debris and cracks. It is lighter and considerably faster and that comes in handy way less than what the gravel bike offers. I don't race so the gravel bike makes more sense for my riding preferences.....and suiting your own personal preferences is what it's all about IMO. Make it what you want and have many for all your wants, lol. n +1 rules!
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,753 Posts
Yes! My touting bike is technically an 'expedition' model with room for the wider tires which make gravel rides a joy. I am fortunate enough to live in an area with plenty of gravel and mild singletrack,, including the iconic Highline Canal. That is a 71mi mostly contiguous canal through the middle of the Denver Metro area. It's flanked by a mostly gravel pathway and provides magnificent views of both urban and natural sights. Whether for a long ride or just a few miles, it's always a great choice. It's also the most popular of an array of local gravel options.

As much as I love riding pavement, gravel has a special place in my heart. As I have shared in other threads, I have suffered from the effects of PTSD for nearly all my life. Part of that is a level of social anxiety which ranges from 'high' to 'are you kidding?'. When the weather is good, local paved options get crowded quickly. That can be hard on my comfort level. I'd rather that wasn't true, but it is my reality. Gravel options fill more slowly and outright repel a higher percentage of both pedestrians and other cyclists. Between that and the added challenge of gravel mileage over pavement, I'm a fan.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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4,286 Posts
Maybe more of a preference than anxiety and because of how a large percentage of people act in general nowadays, I agree and share those feelings of getting away and enjoying the environment.
 

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tall old member
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1,515 Posts
I like gravel. I live on a gravel/dirt road. It is seldom smooth enough to ride my road bike out to the nearest paved road. My touring bike can handle gravel but it’s a little bit sketchy with 32 slicks. My gravel touring bike feels right at home on gravel. It will be good on unpaved trails like the C&O too.
 

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tall old member
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1,515 Posts
Not much happening on this gravel forum. I changed my saddle again. Try as hard as I could to get used to my fancy Bi-saddle my butt just said no. I have gained twenty five pounds and thought that would help, it didn’t. The townships that maintain our gravel roads have a tough time. I don’t know if it is our weather or they just don’t know what they are doing. The latest problem is the gravel roads turning into washboards that will rattle your brains. I found the only part of the road that isn’t washboard is the extreme edge. I’m talking six inches from the ditch, sometimes three. Sometimes I find a gravel road that is like they are supposed to be. I get all excited but a few miles down the road it turns to crap.
I have to ride gravel because that’s what I have but the joy that other gravel riders experience escapes me.

Lately I have been riding my gravel bike on a lot of pavement. Well kinda pavement, the roads that are not gravel are mostly chip seal. A big improvement over gravel. I have signed up to do the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure in less than two weeks. I’m thinking of doing it on my gravel bike. It’s not a gravel ride but I really like my gravel bike. It’s either that or my Trek 520. I don’t ride my road bike on anything but the trainer anymore. It just beats me up too much. If we had smooth roads it would be a joy to ride but we don’t.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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4,286 Posts
added a leg tach awhile back......after a generous gifting of a non used cylometer from a forum member...

Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Vehicle Bicycle tire


Wheel Bicycle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset Tire


I know....cadence

Bicycle handlebar Bicycle Automotive tire Vehicle Bicycle part
 
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Old, fat, and slow
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1,089 Posts
I have gained twenty five pounds ...
So now you are weighing in at what .... 45?

As for hills .... you live in regions where there are actual hills. I live in Flatahoma, where the ridges on Ruffles would be considered formidable climbs.

As for what i did to my bike .... it is what I failed to do.

I took off the cassette, cleaned it completely, reassembled it, and put the wheel back into my work bike, but a test ride proved that I have not solved the obnoxious gringing noise in the top four or so cogs. I am almost forced to conclude that the cogs--the most-used--are worn. I shudder to think of even investigating replacement costs .... and I don't even know if Shimazzle makes an 11-32 any more.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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4,286 Posts
11-32 how many speeds? I'll send ya a link....hg lx or xt shouldn't be more than 40-60$....new chain 30ish. Then question would be how do teeth on crankset rings look?
 
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Old, fat, and slow
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1,089 Posts
11-speed, 5800 105 .... the bike is fine in the middle of the cassette, a little noisy in the lowest gears (two biggest cogs) and sounds terrible in the bottom (smallest) three or four cogs. The chain ring looks okay ..... I am a little surprised, because the bike was nearly silent until I cleaned the chain. I put on the clean chain and it seemed to skip a little and grind. I changed the chain for another used chain and it grinded. I bought a new chain but I don't want to put a new chain on old gear and chew it up if there is a problem.

I guess I need to look into buying a new cassette ... i will need one eventually anyway.

It is funny .... up until about 2017 i could build bikes for fun. Now the prices of everything have doubled, at least, and just maintaining my bikes is a financial drain.

Thanks for suggesting MTB gear .... I was thinking of buying new or old 105, but those are not my only options.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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4,286 Posts
Well based on prices of new 105 or Ultegra 11-32 11 speed cassettes, I would consider Sunrace or SRAM. Here is a candidate....


.....but I saw in another thread that the new chain solved most of your issues. When cassette or chainring teeth get that angled look like a shark fin it's pretty much done. As long as they are at least semi-circular valleys with a bit of flat on tip of tooth, should be good to go. A tired stretched chain may look OK but be problem no matter if other parts are new. An old chain will eat new rings/cassettes even if shifting properly and a new chain on worn ring/casettes generally won't work right either.
 
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tall old member
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1,515 Posts
Holy moly, last summer when I was on chemo I couldn’t get up the hills on my new bike. It had an 11/32 cassette 11 speed. I found a Shimano’s 11/40 cassette on competitive cyclist for $60. I swapped them out and haven’t had any trouble (needed a longer chain). I checked the website now and they want over $200.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,753 Posts
Holy moly, last summer when I was on chemo I couldn’t get up the hills on my new bike. It had an 11/32 cassette 11 speed. I found a Shimano’s 11/40 cassette on competitive cyclist for $60. I swapped them out and haven’t had any trouble (needed a longer chain). I checked the website now and they want over $200.
Good for you! I ended up going from an 11-34 to a 12-46 and I'm in love. I almost never need the lowest gears unless I'm riding too far for my current fitness level or hauling heavy loads. I don't mind going slow on ascents, but I like to finish a ride without sore knees. The downside is the price. Based on your experience, I'm thinking I should have grabbed an extra cogset while they were in the $70 range.
 
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